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#14509 07/03/06 03:27 PM
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ewest, thanks for getting me on right thread. I was hesitant to start a new topic, because I was certain such issues have been previously covered (as best they can)... . Out of the 30 or so fish I have caught and transferred, I am hopeful some are female. Although I dont have pics, some of the larger ones caught a couple weeks ago exhibited some type of bright colored (whitish/yellowish) nodules on the basal fins, and their bellies appeared really fat (w/ eggs?). The nodules did not appear to be any kind of parasite, but rather some kind of growth on fin. I probably should have cut a few just to find out, but was too excited getting these lunker perch into pond. another thing I noted was the rapid color changes these fish exhibit. Like a chameleon, when pulled from water and put into white bucket, their skin immediately changed colors (brightened to more yellows than greens), when I pulled them out of bucket at my pond, they darkened up again....had never seen that before.

After reviewing all the threads you provided ewest, my questions evolved into wondering what were the original native freshwater perch species in N.America. the variations are mind boggling. I wouldnt be surprised if we have western varieties of perch that have evolved differently from those back east, like some of the birds (eastern bluebird/western bluebird) so we have "western GSF/BG". were GSF/BG present 200 yrs ago, across the continent or have they been introduced out west here (like German Brown Trout...now naturalized but now called "native" if they were not stocked by Dept. of Fish and Game).

[Rhetorically] has anybody traced perch back into geologic history?? What were the original true species. What species(or sub-species) is closest to the original from which we get all the variations today?........does anybody care as long they grow big, are fun to catch, and good to eat??


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#14510 07/03/06 04:08 PM
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Trying to answer my own dumb questions.....i am remiss for not having any good freshwater fish textbooks, but did find reference to origin of sunfish (and others) in CA from a Sierra Nevada natural history book i have. Probably old news for most of you, but new to me. According to this reference (and reading between the lines), Lepomis (GSF/BG/pumpkinseed were the ones mentioned), SMB, LMB, and even Gambusia were all brought west (from back east) during the "americanization" of CA...whatever that means.......when the settlers came in droves, and pushed out the mexicans and indians i guess.

So from a geologic standpoint, either the Rockies and/or the Sierra Nevada kept sunfish and Bass confined to central and eastern waters of the continent.. any western variations in these fish would have evolved in the last 200 years or so.


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#14511 07/03/06 05:08 PM
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So hats off to those Manifest Destiny Pondmeisters, who carried the familiar fish from back East out to California in their covered wagons. Think what great aeration systems they must have had in their live wells! Thanks to them, we have BG/LMB/CC (and those pesky GSF) from sea to shining sea.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#14512 07/03/06 05:17 PM
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Pretty interesting to ponder there Theo, just how did those little guys survive a covered wagon trip over the Rockies? Seems it would be some pretty dedicated work, think of all the times they had to change out the water between here and there.

Probably most western stock was started with only the strongest of the survivors.


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#14513 07/03/06 07:22 PM
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No wonder they look a little different - they're the best of the best of the best!


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#14514 07/04/06 09:46 AM
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The normal thinking about HBG is that they don't provide as much forage as pure BG. This is because they are mostly males. My question is this.

Even if they are 95% males, aren't there still enough females to reproduce adequately? If the BG are capable of multiple spawns, why aren't HBG?


Norm Kopecky
#14515 07/04/06 12:56 PM
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Since they are (half) GSF (or RES or ...), they are probably less capable of multiple spawns than BG to some degree. Plus, Norm, I bet the F2 generation has a lot of gene combinations that prove fatal at the egg or fry stage, making recruitment from HBG even lower. No info on that point, just a hunch.


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#14516 07/04/06 02:05 PM
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Norm,

I'm convinced there is a lot about HBG that we do not know. Each different cross (and backcross) from GSF, BG, and RES male/female may indeed represent different behavior patterns including spawning.

Much (perhaps most all) of the standard complaints about HBG may very well be due to breaking one of the cardinal HBG rules such as never stock HBG with BG. That coupled with the bias commonly seen against these fish and reputations can be established with questionable science behind them.

I've learned a few things in my small experiment with HBG, but most of all have learned how little I know about these interesting fish.

#14517 07/04/06 08:44 PM
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No doubt there is a lot to learn about each fish species and cross including HBG and their many variations. I have not found bias or questionable science in any of the approximately 50 studies and compilations I have seen on HBG , lepomis and centrarchids and their crosses. There are a couple conflicting study results. I would like to see any study that has bias or questionable science.

I doubt very seriously that any of the scientists who did the studies or wrote the papers I have seen (on HBG or otherwise) would risk their reputation on bias or questionable science in a study that is subject to extensive peer review prior to publishing and open review by his peers after publication.

Norm to answer your question Laarman (1979) found that reproduction by BG was 279 times greater than that of HBG.
















#14518 07/04/06 09:15 PM
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To clarify, my comment "reputations can be established with questionable science behind them" referred, for example, to establishing the reputation of HBG as producers of GSF offspring without any science behind it. I think most can agree that they have been told that HBG will produce GSF and that those offspring will "take over" a pond.

I think I may have even read it here a time or two. ;\)

The comment was not at all directed at legitimate scientific studies.

#14519 07/04/06 10:22 PM
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quote by Meadowlark..."I think most can agree that they have been told that HBG will produce GSF and that those offspring will "take over" a pond." I have seen and heard these comments, even from producers. I dont know what they will make, but you, ML, will know in a few years, and I, for 1, will be very interested. I have never bought in to the 'backcross' into GSF stuff. If logic is followed, then mustn't we assume that they will also backcross into bluegill? Then, what...we start over again? Just doesn't make sense. Always an interesting topic.


#14520 07/04/06 11:21 PM
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Recall that in my case, the ranchpond has been unmanaged and not stocked for over 30 years. What you are seeing in my pics are GSF (hybrids?) that have naturalized, are obviously reproducing, and continue to produce really nice fish [even w/ them big mouths (Mr. Sunil)], and in the presence of large numbers of LMB, which could be the key to their size. The problem is nobodoy knows what started in the pond....they could be naturally cross-bred GSF w/ BG that were introduced at different times....in a galaxy long long ago.


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#14521 07/05/06 07:55 AM
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Lots of good points. Maybe Dave Willis will see this and tell us about the HBG at Lake Hendricks.

It seems that HBG used to be considered the be all and do all. Then it swung completely the other way to where we should avoid them completely. I think there is a good middle ground.

In another thread, we are discussing "Keeping things simple". One possibility is a predator only pond. If we can do a predator only (LMB) pond, then the low reproductivity of HBG shouldn't matter. Also, we shouldn't have to worry about hybrid depression as the predator would eat almost all of the HBG offspring.

We have HBG along with northern BG in our 4-acre lake. I've seen HBG on nests many times but have never seen any surviving offspring. I like the color, agression and size of HBG. If I could get HBG large enough to avoid predation, I would stock some every year.


Norm Kopecky
#14522 07/05/06 08:15 AM
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Norm,

I think you make an excellent point about predators. One surprising aspect of my little experiment, as least surprising to me, has been the growth of the HSB that were stocked as predators in the little TGG pond.. The HSB were stocked as 3-4 inch fish last December and now are 10+ inches.

This result has certainly opened up the possibility of using a HBG pond as a grow-out pond for HSB. It could also be a grow-out pond for HBG for those who might wish to stock them in larger ponds and avoid predation.

#14523 07/05/06 09:18 AM
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ML :

Thanks for your clarification. I now understand your comment.

HBG turning into GSF has no science behind it to my knowledge. That is where I lost your train of thought. HBG offspring, because of outbreeding depression, can (may) be undesirable depending on ones goals, but they can not change their genes to those of a GSF.

There are many good uses of HBG depending on ones goals. Many of the studies are positive in nature on the uses of HBG as a tool in the right circumstances. This is reflected in some of the State pond mgt. books which suggest uses like yours (with HBG).

I know I have posted this before but the studies are in conflict wrt the ability of HBG to backcross with either parental species. One says yes one says no. Both were well done studies and some very good scientists were involved and so far there is no answer for the different results. Some of us have even contacted fisheries geneticist PhDs at the highest level who have written on sunfish genetics and they have no answer as most have not studied HBG cross genetics.

Stop and think about that. If HBG can not backcross with parentals then they can not ever create or get genetically close producing GSF , even through repeated spawning attempts with GSF. If they can backcross then through repeated crossing of HBG with GSF for generations the population as a whole will have a higher content of GSF genes.

DIED you may have (in the Ranch pond) viable populations of BG and GSF that continue over time to have some crossing. Have you seen any BG or GSF ? If not then it would be really interesting to know the facts of what is going on wrt the HBG.
















#14524 07/05/06 10:10 AM
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Ewest I understand the point of not having a 100% Pure GSF but can you not have % of fish that look, act and grow poorly like a GSF? I doubt ML has any yet, in fact ML you have very little repro at this point, right? However I'm intersted in what he has in year 2.


Greg Grimes
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#14525 07/05/06 10:33 AM
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Greg,

Yes, exactly right...as far as I can tell from trapping, surviving repro is virtually nil. I've only been able to trap 1 offspring thus far. Remember, however, I have HSB predators stocked at a 5 to 1 ratio.

#14526 07/05/06 11:18 AM
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ewest, i have never caught (or seen) any other forms of lepomis from the ranchpond. i also have never caught anything under about 8-inches, the max being (as a guess) ~12-inches. the fry that are visible in weedbeds are all LMB. the lepomis fry must be really doing a great job of hiding. i've probably fished that pond 50 times in 10 years, and the (catch) results have always been the same.....a high number of 8-14-inch LMB, occasional large (3-5+ lb) LMB, and only large GSF/(hybrid?). a conclusion might be that the GSF/LMB populations have come to some kind of unmanaged equilibrium favorable for large GSF/(hybrid?)s.


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#14527 07/05/06 11:31 AM
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D.I.E.D,

A most interesting situation...and a very desirable one from my viewpoint. Having consistent 8 to 12+ inch HBG fishing without any apparent complications from undesirable offspring is very interesting, indeed. I would want to maintain that equilibrium, myself.

Is there any way to trace back to what was originally stocked in the pond? Can you estimate the RW's of the LMB, i.e. do the 8-14 inch LMB appear to be stunted? I'm also assuming you have Gambusia as a forage? Any other forage?

#14528 07/05/06 11:53 AM
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Don't know if I can add anything to this discussion but I can guarantee that my pond started with and has never been stocked with anything but HBG and I think they have reproduced. I began seeing them on spawning beds in the second year or third year, can't remember which, but they were around 5 inches long and trying to spawn. Despite the fact that in 4 years I have cleaned and eaten almost 200 of them and never found a female I occasionally catch some that are around 3 inches long. I think some of these look different. Some of the smaller (younger?) ones are more long bodied and lighter colored than others. To my eyes they don't look the same as the original stocking. My original stocking was 1000 HBG and 6 LMB. The hatchery told me I wouldn't need any more LMB than this because HBG don't reproduce much. I made the "mistake" (time will tell) of also putting crappie into the pond which may eat some HBG. Whether right or wrong the combination seems to be working in that I definitely don't have an overpopulation of small HBG. I do have too many Crappie, a fact that most of you would have predicted but in my small pond I don't seem to have trouble trapping them out.


Gotta get back to fishin!
#14529 07/05/06 12:05 PM
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Greg :

To keep it straight in my mind I divide this topic in 2 parts for genetic purposes.

Part One -- each type BG , GSF and HBG are a separate thing, each with their on genetics , traits, abilities, benefits and problems. Each separate and different .

Part two -- HBG are a cross (a genetic change) and as such have the potential for both hybrid vigor and outbreeding depression. Both of these are present in HBG. Big mouth - fast growth start and most important aggressive (easy to catch) and skewed sex ratio in the F1 cross. As time , generations pass outbreeding depression works to lessen hybrid vigor and can (may) lead to offspring that have traits worse than either parental species. In time they may become "unwanted" but not because they are BG or GSF (or seem to have their traits) but because they are Fx HBG that have experienced outbreeding depression and the resulting negative genetic traits.

Recall that small size and/or stunting/ overpopulating is common to a number of lepomis not just GSF. I know that one or more of these traits are common in GSF , PS , BG , and others as well.

ML has GG and I don't know if they are HBG or not. Yes you can have different %s of parental species gene sequences ( BG , RES and GSF for example) but its how they mix and match up (if they are viable/live) that counts. To my knowledge science does not know ( I have not seen it written) what traits come from where and in what % and combinations with HBG or other lepomis crosses. Much left to learn. That is why I am interested in DIED's HBG situation -- are they continuing F1 HBG or are they Fx HBG.

I hope this helps somewhat.
















#14530 07/05/06 12:18 PM
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ML, I've never really pushed the landowner for great detail, he just told me that the pond was (re-)stocked back in the 70's and the fish, both LMB and BG...(as he callem them) came from another nearby (and larger) ranch pond that i have never been to.

I have never weighed the LMB, i really ought to get a small digital scale or something, but the rare larger LMB appear to have a normal mass to length ratio (good thick pudgy stomachs), and the 8-14-inch LMB are defintely on the skinny side with normal heads, although I wouldnt say they dramatically exhibit the large head tiny body of classically stunted fish.

I have not seen mosquito fish in the ranch pond, although the landowner said they had been there in the past, and to my observation and knowledge he never planted any other forage (i.e. FH, GS).

An interesting side note....the GSF/(hybrid?) fry run the creek above ranchpond every winter (i guess they think they're full grown salmon) and onto my property where i dug out a pretty good size pool (~1-6 foot deep, 30 foot long). the pool holds water almost all year (the creek is basically the shallow water table), and right now its got at least 50-75, 2-4 inch fish in it (they've been growing). i want to get a bait net or small seine and check them out in more detail, and possibly move em up to my pond before herons and whatnot get them. they probably run up there to escape the LMB predation, or maybe its just in their blue jeans.


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#14531 07/05/06 07:24 PM
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I had a brief off-forum correspondence w/ a trusted source (wild bill) who thought our ranchpond fish were classic GSF but of unusually nice(perhaps trophy)size.

As a follow up duty, I'll measure the mouth gape length and width of selected future catches, the data of which can confirm the identification, and Sunil's astute observation \:D .

It has been suggested I submit to Cecil's big fish from private ponds website for the GSF sp., which would be really fun to do. Cecil, when I start fishing my pond and land one of the 10+ inchers again, I'll send you a submission, until then, for this thread, I'll quit making observations on fish that probably are not hybrids.


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#14532 07/05/06 09:26 PM
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DIED :

Here is some id info .

From Wisc. Fish ID system. You can take this info or better yet download the software and look at all the pics and descriptions etc.

http://wiscfish.org/


GSF
Mouth and snout: Mouth Terminal, large and oblique, with pads of small teeth on the jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Back dark brown, olive, or green, sides yellow-green or blue-green, belly tan or yellow. Sides either with a more-or-less solid color, faint dark blotches or mottling, irregular faint light blue or yellowish SPOTS, and/or diffuse dark vertical bars. Sometimes 3-5 bluish lines radiating backward from underneath the eye; opercular flap dark with a light margin. Dorsal, caudal, and to a lesser extent anal fins usually darkly pigmented with faint dark blotches or light dark spots and often a light yellow/cream margin; pelvic and pectoral fins lightly pigmented to dusky. 44-51 ctenoid lateral scales. Body shape and size: Body laterally compressed and deep, somewhat elongated; oval in cross section. Typically 75-150 mm (3-6 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 250 mm (10 in).

Tail, dorsal and other fins: Slightly Forked or round tail. Dorsal fin with 2 lobes, broadly joined by a membrane and appearing as one fin, the first with 9-11 spines and the second with 10-12 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9-10 rays.

GSF There are 9-12 short and thick primary gill rakers on the 1st arch.

BG
BG There are 13-16 moderately long primary gill rakers on the 1st arch.


HBG
Hybrid of green sunfish X bluegill: Notice intermediate appearance of gill rakers

Let us know what you see and find out.

These should help

GSF



GSF gill rakers



HBG


HBG (Bg x GSF) gill rakers


















#14533 07/06/06 11:43 AM
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much obliged ewest...., this is really helpful. funny part is i never thought i would be performing such things on these fish...o.k. sir, open wide, first we'll just measure your gape, now get on your side, let me count your gill rakes.....oh no...i am sorry to report, but you have GSFitus.

At some point, I'll report back w/ field data...and thanks again, my little brain is swelling w/ new found fish knowledge.


GSF are people too!

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