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and did you catch a picture of them?


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I got them from Todd Overton and no I didn't get a picture. I wanted to get them in the water as soon as possible.

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Are they adults, fry, fingerlings?

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Fingerlings

About 1-1.5" long.

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Were they wild caught or were they born at the hatchery?

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Hey guys. I just happened to stumble on the forum this morning. As I researched the Lake Chubsucker for my Master's degree at the Univ. of Illinois back in 1994-1996 (see North American Journal of Fisheries Management), I am very curious to know how they are making out as forage in small impoundments?


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Welcome, Chubby. As you saw, Ewest always does a great job of getting us directly to pertinent literature.

What are you currently doing, if you don't mind me asking??


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From Bob Lusk: Dr. Dave Willis passed away January 13, 2014. He continues to be a key part of our Pond Boss family...and always will be.
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Chubby,

As of right now the use of lake chubsuckers as forage in small impoundments is brand new. Only one hatchery just this spring has started to attempt to culture them. One forum member just stocked about a dozen in his small pond. Only time will tell if the lake chubsucker is going to be a successful forage fish at least in some ponds with attributes suitable to their liking. Welcome to the forum and don't be a stranger. I am sure you have plenty of knowledge to share with us all...

Travis

PS Where in PA are you and what university did you study?

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Yeah, this looks to be a pretty cool website. Also interested, not because I went to undergrad school to get a degree in fisheries and aquaculture, or because I spent 2 1/2 years of my life studying the lake chubsucker, but because I love to fish!! I currently work for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Why does your name seem familiar?

Out here in the east, stonecats/margined madtoms are EXCELLENT to use for smallmouth bass. Takes a little effort to catch them by hand, and crazy expensive to buy at the tackle shop (plus they sell them to small!!). I tried contacting various aquaculture facilities in Arkansas, but did not have any luck finding a place that sells them. Can anyone help me out?


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We had no problem getting them to spawn in one acre ponds in northern Illinois.

I work out of Harrisburg (state capital), and live in Carlisle. Undergrad is from the State Univ. of New York at Cobleskill, and my graduate degree is from the Univ. of Illinois.


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Well, good to have you aboard Chubby. All of my family is from PA and much of it still lives there. My dad and I have a hunting camp/trout creek in Bedford Co, PA that we visit often. I went to Penn State and got a minor in wildlife and fisheries science there. My mother spent much of her childhood growing up in Camp Hill, PA.

You'll find there are some very knowledgeable guys on here and that this community is as friendly and willing to share ideas and knowledge as any around!

Definitely some fine smallie fishing on the Susquehanna! I do not know of any place that sells madtoms of any species. I always caught them with a minnow trap or seine and I do agree they make fine bait. Surprising since they got some nasty little spines on them but the smallies sure love to gobble them down. So do big brown trout!

Since you have hands on experience with lake chubsuckers... I've got a few of questions for you if you care to and can answer them.

During your research, what spawning method did you observe lake chubsuckers using? I have seen several different accounts of their spawning method. Anything from broadcast spawners over vegetation to sneaking into active largemouth bass nests and laying their eggs in that nest?

With the lake chubsucker having such a large native range, is there any sign of there being subspecies? Perhaps a northern subspecies native to the upper midwest and then a southern one adapted to warmer water temps native to FL and the southern Gulf Coast? I ask this as the hatchery that currently is working with lake chubsuckers is in TX. Should they be successful and I am able to get a few lake chubsuckers from them, could those fish not be adapted to colder climates, sort of like the FL subspecies of largemouth as compared to the northern subspecies of largemouth...

What was the water chemistry make up of the ponds you had success in getting the lake chubsuckers to spawn in? I have read they prefer soft water and do not tolerate turbidity...

Thanks, Travis

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Where are you living now, and how did you end up there? I graduated from Camp Hill High School.

Sadly, the river has had some issues lately that has led to very little recruitment over that past couple of years. The fishing has not been very good for about the past 4+ years now and going. Multiple angencies continue to try search for how to correct this situation.

Going to test my memory? As a back up, feel free to send me an email at reberts@state.pa.us and I can send you the link to my journal article. If my memory serves me correctly, they broadcast over vegetation. Spawning in N. Illinois, usually occured in April JUST before male largemouths started making nests. Hence why there would always be an immediate food source for the YOY largemouth coming off of the nest. While I never observed sneaking behavoir from them, I would notice lake chubsucker YOY schools (clouds) in close proximity to largemouth nests and think that may be how the sneaker theory came about?

Why they may have an expansive native range, I do not recall them being very abundant in many states? Because of such, in conjunction with them being a non-game species, I doubt anyone ever took the time to any genetic work on them?

If the brood stock was started from a southern population, I wouldn't think there would be a problem raising them as a single species in a pond, so long as ample vegetation was present. Also, as many fish are bought from hatcheries in the south and stocked in northen ponds, I would not think that the chubsuckers would have any problems adapting to a new region?

I would have to send you the journal article to answer your water chemistry question. Our broodstock was taken from infertile gravel pit lakes that were weedy and may have had secchi depth of 20+ feet? However, our research ponds were only one acre in size, with may be a mx. depth of 6 feet. These ponds were so weedy that we actually stocked a few grass carp in each pond to try and at least keep the weeds from getting to out of control. The carp cause some turbidty.

I hope I answer most of your questions?


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Great info... Thanks for sharing it. I was born in NY and moved to VA as a young kid and have lived in northern VA my whole life thereafter other than while I attended school at Penn State. I now live a little further south(trying to get my distance from Washington, DC) but still work right outside Washington DC in Fairfax County. My mother graduated from Camp Hill HS as well, back in '70...

Another guy on here, who is shall we say is about as knowledgeable as it comes on ponds and fish, Bill Cody is also a big fan of the lake chubsucker. He may have a few more questions for you when he checks in.

Any plans on building your own fishing pond in the future?

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I'd love to build and manage my own pond. The closet I have come to date, was a brother-in-law building a very small (may be a 1/4 acre) spring fed pond. However, that did not stop me from having a blast. First step was to get some cover in the pond!! I recuited a bunch of tree top and sunk them tied to cinder blocks, and then when and pulled some "weeds" at the local reservoir and I was good to go from that perspective. Because of the small size, I only started with an original stocking of 7 largemouth, and 4 pairs of sunfish. They successfully spawned, and then I would periodically put in a couple new fish from time to time to mix up the genetics. To add a little forage base, I went to a local stream and caught a bunch of crayfish and put them in the pond as well. I added a few bullhead over time as well. A HUGE thing to note, is the importance of not letting the sunfish population get out of control. Invite and let people catch and keep as many sunfish as possible. If that is not a desireable option, find a way to put a dent in the population from time to time. I would occassionally catch 30-40 and chuck them for coon bait, or if legal in your area, get a seine and seine a bunch out and burry them or use them as fertilizer! In no time, we were catching 8+ inch sunfish and bass nice size bass. Finding the water to maintain a quality pond is often difficult. Our state, to which I enforce such, it is difficult and expensive to build an "on-line" pond, and you can not build/construct a pond in wetlands. So, you are often left tring to obtain a general permit for the intake and outtake. So, at best, I find myself giving more advice to people than I do of planning my own pond!

No, I did not stock the brother-in-laws pond with chubsuckers!! Though I would have loved the opportunity to have done so. However, this is even a fine line there of trying to get enough of them to grow to a size to avoid predation from most of the top end predators (largemouth) or then won't be around for long!! That journal article of mine, even has optimal sizes listed in it?


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Well, I am sure your knowledge about PA laws will be valuable to those members on here from PA as well as other states... My and I have thought about building a pond on our hunting property in PA. We'd like to dam up a hollow on the side of the mountain our land is on. The hollow has an intermittent stream that only flows during the spring and right after a heavy summer rain. Otherwise its all underground. I suspect it would be easier to get the permits to do that than trying to dam up a permanent stream...

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Chubby, if you kept any of your textbooks, you might look at the Authors name. Good chance that it could be by Dave Willis.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Yeah, when I clicked on his profile, it all came back to me....


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If and when you ever get to that point, I would highly recommend that you contact the respective DEP regional office to see what, if any permits would be needed.


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Yeah, I don't want to go building a pond and then find out I didn't pull the right permits and be liable to substantial fines and having to tear the pond down... The hope is that no permits will be needed. I think with it being a non permanent stream and if I keep the dam under I believe 20 feet, then permits will not be needed.

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So long as the stream has a defined bed and bank, we regulate it. Even if the stream is intermittent or not. You were close with the 20 feet. It's actually dams greater than 15 feet require a dam safety permit. A lot also has to do with the drainage area to which the dam would be constructed.


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Well, when the time comes if we decide to build a pond there I'll get in tough with the DEP and make sure I do it right...

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Chubsuckers at 1-3inch size are now available for purchase via pickup, delivery, or UPS. They are $1 ea. Just PM if interested. Let's start putting these guys into some ponds. The two bottom pics are recent, the two top pics are from 30 days+ ago.









Last edited by overtonfisheries; 03/28/10 10:21 AM.

It's ALL about the fish!
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We have success!!! Your chubsuckers must have done their thing... Congrats!!!

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The sweet smell of success is actually very fishy........


It's ALL about the fish!
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HAHA, looks like they are growing great as well. I have heard they grow very fast their first year and then slow a bit as they age. Any idea on how many little ones you ended up with? I am sure Bill Cody will be thrilled to get his hands on a few... Thanks again for trying something new. I think as the word gets out, you're gonna cash in on this fish!

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