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Grass Shrimp
#144813 01/14/09 06:39 PM
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I found out yesterday that grass shrimp are in several local public lakes and that I would be free to net a good supply out. I'm already scanning the net for a good, fine mesh, sturdy dip net.


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Re: Grass Shrimp
Rangersedge #144861 01/14/09 10:36 PM
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I netted my shrimp out of an 8 acre pond. There were a bunch of trees and brush around the banks, making dip netting very difficult. After 3 hours of netting, we ended up with around 200 shrimp and some badly snagged nets. I hope you have better luck!

Re: Grass Shrimp
bobad #144928 01/15/09 11:43 AM
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Mosquito sized netting works good for a mesh size. I removed the net from a landing net and substituted the hand made net from mosquito netting.


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Re: Grass Shrimp
Bill Cody #144973 01/15/09 03:04 PM
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Thanks for the info. That will help! \:\)


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Re: Grass Shrimp
Rangersedge #145054 01/15/09 10:36 PM
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Go to your local stores fabric department. They sell mesh by the yard. It is the stuff they make wedding veils out of. Line a standard dipnet with it and secure it to the hoop edge with zip ties.


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Re: Grass Shrimp
DJT #145106 01/16/09 11:25 AM
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Also more durable standard mosquito netting (42" wide) is available from jannsnetcraft.com and numerous eBay sellers.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/24/14 11:01 AM.

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Re: Grass Shrimp
Bill Cody #145181 01/16/09 08:04 PM
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I found a standard dip net mesh worked perfectly. The shrimp were mostly 1"-1.5" long, so they can't fall through. A finer net would have caught tiny little shrimp, which would be too tedious since I would have to pick them out 1 at a time. Since the shrimp's bodies are very clear, it's hard enough to find even the 1.5" ones!

Re: Grass Shrimp
bobad #145421 01/19/09 07:02 AM
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Anyone know what species of grass shrimp these are? The only ones I know of in the east live in larger rivers... None I know of will survive in ponds.


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #145482 01/19/09 03:12 PM
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I think the ghost shrimp AKA grass shrimp is palaemonetes kadiakensis.

Here is a pic or one that looks identical to mine:



Re: Grass Shrimp
bobad #145502 01/19/09 05:47 PM
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Great pic Bobad, how big is that one around the inch & half mark?


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Re: Grass Shrimp
jakeb #145515 01/19/09 08:00 PM
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bodad has the name correct. Size runs 1"-1.5". A 1.5" one is a big one.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/19/09 08:01 PM.

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Re: Grass Shrimp
Bill Cody #145550 01/20/09 02:11 AM
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The shrimp in that picture look very similar to the ones I find in rivers around where I live. I'll have to research more and find out whether that species is the same and if so, can it survive in ponds. Thanks for the info guys!


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #145741 01/21/09 09:20 AM
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OK, I did a little digging and here is what I found...

The grass, glass, or ghost shrimp, whichever you prefer to call them are in the Genus Palaemonetes. There are several species native to North America. All reach a maximum size of about 1.5" with females being larger than males.


P. Pugio- Daggerblade Grass Shrimp
P. Valgaris- Marsh Grass Shrimp
P. intermedius- Brackish Grass Shrimp
P. paludosus- Eastern Grass Shrimp
P. kadiakensis- Mississippi Grass Shrimp
P. texanus- Texas Grass Shrimp
There are also a few cave dwelling species of very limited range.

The ones I have personal experience with are mostly P. pugio and P. vulgaris. They are both found in brackish waters along the east coast. P. pugio can survive in low salinity levels but cannot reproduce in them. P. valgaris can only survive in salinities as low as 5 ppt. P. intermedius is also found along the east coast in brackish waters. It is also only capable of reproducing in brackish waters. This makes these 3 species unsuited for a pond.

So, that leaves P. kadiakensis which is already mentioned above with the fine photograph by bobad. The other species of value to pond owners would be P. paludosus and P. texanus.

P. texanus has a very limited range and is very uncommon. P. paludosus is very cold water sensitive not being able to survive in water temperatures under 50 degrees. It is the species that is found throughout Florida and if you have ever seined in any lake in Florida or fished with grass shrimp for RES in Florida, youíve definitely come across them. So unless you live in the far south, that only leaves P. kadiakensis as an option.

P. kadiakensis is native to the Mississippi River drainages. They live about 1 year and usually only have 1 brood per year, but apparently some populations may have 2 broods. The length of the breeding season is dependent on latitude and is longer in southern populations. In Illinois and Michigan ovigerous females are present April-August. In Louisiana they are present February-October. The number of eggs produced ranges between 8 and 160. The fecundity is a function of length of the female incubation period (temperature dependent) and varies from 2 to 3 weeks. They have six stages of free living larvae that usually mature when they reach a length of 20 mm. Adults usually die after reproducing, but females in some populations may produce a second brood. The adults usually disappear in populations in late summer or early fall after death.

P. kadiakensis appears to be tolerant of turbidity and may actually prefer it as an escape mechanism from predatory fish which feed mostly by sight. They also seem to prefer aquatic vegetation as well.

Anyways, hopefully this didnít completely bore you all to death, but I found it pretty interesting. I have no experience with P. kadiakensis, but I know the species I have dealt with are readily gobbled down by just anything that can swallow them. So I am sure they would help build a healthy food chain in any pond.


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #145747 01/21/09 09:41 AM
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Good info. Thanks for the research. I put a couple hundred in a pond this winter, but I don't know what species. I bought them from an aquarium dealer, so guess will see if any are left next spring. Assuming there is any water left for them to swim in \:\(


Re: Grass Shrimp
david u #146299 01/25/09 12:49 AM
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I want to add some to my new pond. I would dip net them, but because I have never been to a body of water that I saw a population of grass shrimp, I turned to the internet. Many sites offer them but they are all P. Pugio, and P. Valgaris, or do not specify what type you will get. So does anyone know of a website that offers P. kadiakensis like bobad posted? Or grass shrimp that will reproduce in a pond, and cold resistant.


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Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #146337 01/25/09 12:11 PM
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CJBS,

I think your writeup is an excellent guide for those interested in stocking shrimp. You answered all the pertinent questions about the various species.

The only questions left are, what is their impact on the food chain?

I have gained a cursory knowledge of them over the years, and I'm still learning. At this point I have many more questions than answers.

Thanks for the nice write up!

Re: Grass Shrimp
bobad #146365 01/25/09 08:32 PM
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They ask ""what is their impact on the food chain""? Grass shrimp are detritivores which means they eat primarily detritus (organic matter formed by the decomposition of plants). Thus they are very good at processing dead plant matter and moving food energy up the food chain while themselves also serving as food items. Crayfish and grass shrimp will also eat some waste fish food that is lying on plants or the bottom.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/25/09 08:34 PM.

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Re: Grass Shrimp
Bill Cody #146382 01/26/09 01:41 AM
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Yeah, I don't think grass shrimp are gonna hurt a pond's food chain. They are detrivores as Bill said. I have kept them in tanks with the smallest of fish and have never seen them attack them. They are rather skittish, I would be too if I was that low on the food chain! They are not zooplankton feeders like many of the fish species that we place in our ponds for food chain building. This means there is no competition with BG, RES or young LMB for the limited supply of zooplankton. The larvae of grass shrimp do feed on very small zooplankton, but they themselves are larger zooplankton, so they probably benefit the pond by converting the very small zooplankton into larger zooplankton that BG, LMB etc would be more apt to feed on.


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #151914 03/03/09 11:55 PM
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I got some ghost shrimp from the local wal-mart. I put them in an aquarium to see how they live. It has been about 2weeks and out of the 10 I got only 2 are still alive. I wonder if they have just been handled poorly between the wal-mart supplier to wal-mart to my tank? I think it is most likely that they are the species that need brackish/salt water to live and reproduce. Because wal-mart sells them as feeders, they dont need them to live long.
Sigh...the quest for a ghost shrimp source continues.


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Re: Grass Shrimp
jakeb #151918 03/04/09 12:04 AM
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jakeb, in all likelihood the species you got from Wal-Mart was P. paludosus. They are the most common species raised for use as feeders. They are a solely freshwater shrimp but cannot tolerate cold temperatures as they are native to the deep south only.

I found this site... http://www.fishhobbysupply.com/invertebrates.php Scroll to the bottom and they list grass shrimp and the supplier claims they are P. kadiakensis. They are 12 for $10.00. I have not bought from him, but if I cannot find another source I may. Hard to tell if they really are P. kadiakensis. Even harder to tell if like your Wal-Mart shrimp they are handled roughly and will mostly die. If you do buy some, let me know how they turn out...

Last edited by CJBS2003; 03/04/09 12:08 AM. Reason: added more info

Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #152174 03/05/09 08:28 AM
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Man I really need to get into the shrimpin' business.
I lived in Monroe,(north)Louisiana on a shallow lake for 18 years while I was growing up and I used to dipnet these little grass shrimp out to bream-fish with. I also hatched out some hooded merganser's one summer that were very finicky eaters, but loved the grass shrimp that I netted and dropped in their kiddy-pool.
The shrimp congregate right next to the bank, where the moss(esp. coontail moss) and weeds grow, in no more than 1-2 ft of water. From about May-Sept you could just net a big scoop of moss and dump it out on the bank and pick up probably 7-8 of these grass shrimp w/ each netfull of moss. So if this feller sells them for $10.00 per 12 shrimp, I was netting bout $6.00 each time. (Now at 24,I am thinking I shouldn't have gone to college w/this lucrative grass shrimp market developing.)
This lake was 12-15 acres w/ an average depth of 3-4ft, while the deepest part being 5-6ft. I am not sure what species they are, but I assume P. kadiakensis since they reproduced yearly.
Also, my parents moved about 20 miles from old house and my father built a 12-acre pond (avg.depth 6ft,deepest 15ft) and stocked it 10 years ago. So before they moved I netted 400-500 grass shrimp out of my old lake and carried them in an ice-chest full of water to our new pond. Now thats been about 5 years ago since I added the shrimp to new pond and during warm months all of the bass I catch are gorged with grass shrimp, so introducing them to our pond worked for us.
I was suprised when I read this forum about how many people have never heard of grass shrimp thriving and reproducing in ponds/lakes when they were so common my area.
Anyways I hope this post helped to get the ideas rolling. I would definitly recommend looking into this method of obtaining grass shrimp rather than the walmart route. Seems to me that if you caught them in a pond, you know they can survive in a pond. By the way, I dont think I lost many, if any, during the transport. Granted it was only 25 miles away, but it was hot, I had no aerator and didn't really have to rush them there. They are pretty hardy in my opinion. I just dumped them into shallow water upon arrival, no acclimation of water or anything special, and it worked for me.
If you live close to North La, just go net you some out. Surely they have to be more widespread than North Louisiana though.

Re: Grass Shrimp
BWillis #152208 03/05/09 10:43 AM
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 Quote:
So if this feller sells them for $10.00 per 12 shrimp, I was netting bout $6.00 each time. (Now at 24,I am thinking I shouldn't have gone to college w/this lucrative grass shrimp market developing.)


I guess that makes me a millionaire. \:\) I get 6-12 shrimp per scoop. I've got over 20 per scoop several times. I netted around 175 of them in a friend's lake, and stocked them less than 2 years ago. They appear to be a better investment than alpacas, ostriches, and chinchillas. \:\)

@Jakeb: Click my sig to see a pic of P. kadiakensis and compare to yours. They're very hardy, so I'm betting yours is a brackish water variety. You can always add a little salt to your aquarium.

Re: Grass Shrimp
bobad #152269 03/05/09 08:04 PM
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Looks just like the ones we have around here in Louisiana.

Re: Grass Shrimp
BWillis #152307 03/05/09 11:58 PM
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bobad, you sure yours are P. kadiakensis and not P. paludosus? Louisiana is a warmer climate so P. paludosus would do well there...

If they are P. kadiakensis I'm gonna beg you to scoop up some and ship em to me so I can experiment with them... I have a barren pond I am going to turn into a forage pond this year and would like to start by stocking it with some P. kadiakensis. I'd like to do this before they spawn so I can get a good year class hatch...

I have seen in person P. Pugio, P. Valgaris, P. intermedius and P. paludosus and can't tell the difference! About the only way I can tell them apart is by where I catch them... They just vary by their habitat preference. Just isn't much literature out there on grass shrimp, particularly P. kadiakensis.


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
Re: Grass Shrimp
CJBS2003 #152314 03/06/09 04:29 AM
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I did a little research, the best way I can find to tell the two species apart other than geographic range is the P. paludosus has a red band on its front claws were as P. kadiakensis appears not to but this isn't always 100%...


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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