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OK, at the request of overtonfisheries, I've started a new thread to unhijack the original gizzard shad vs golden shiners thread.

For those who are unfamiliar with lake chubsuckers, IMO and probably Bill Cody's, they are the least known but perhaps the most ideal forage fish for largemouth bass and perhaps other predatory fish.

To read more about them, check out Lake Chubsucker Link from Texas State University.

Below is the section from the hijacked post, but I'll start it with a post from 6 years ago by Bill Cody...

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From April 9, 2003... Yes, Bill Cody has been searching for this fish for at least that long!

 Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Do any hatcheries raise lake chubsuckers? If not, why not? Does anyone know where I can locate some of these great forage fish? See notes below.

The lake chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) was favored by George Bennett "Management of Lakes and Ponds". His lengthy quote follows. "It is one of the most satisfactory forage fishes for bass in central IL. The adults rarely get more than 11" long are round cylindrical bodied, soft rayed (fins), golden color and capable of maintaining a sizable population in the presence of LMB". (Cody-Note: weeds are probably impt for this.) "In IL it begins spawning in late Mar early Apr and the fry are available at the time YOY bass are leaving the nest. It apparently fills a niche not occupied by any of the predatory or semi-predatory fishes. Its presence broadens the food web for basses. Chubsuckers are a clearwater species and do not roil the bottom; it is so retiring and unobtrusive that it is seldom seen except during height of the spawning season. It has been stocked w/ SMB for as long as 10 years where yields ranged from 27 to 89 lbs per acre. Lake chubsucker ranges from east MN to New England (so. Ontario) and south to FL & TX" (mostly in a area along Mississippi River).

Spawning. Spawning occurs from late Mar into July (72.5 to 85.1 deg). Eggs are scattered at random over all types of submerged living and dead vegetation including moss & filamentous algae. Number of eggs ranges from 3000 to 20000 per female. Young grow rapidly (up to 0.5mm/day). Young frequent weedy areas.
Life span 8 yrs, ave size is 6"-8" rarely over 10"-11", maximum size was a 15.1" specimen from FL.

They can tolerate low oxygen levels in winter kill lakes. They are hardy and tolerate handling stresses. Becker states it rarely overpopulates. Numerous references brag about its value as a forage species.

Beyer et.al 2003.LakeLine. Report stocking 200 lake chubsuckers into a renovated Big Muskego Lake in SE WI.

Why aren't they more popular today and why don't more hatcheries raise them??? What happened to them and where are they now?


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This post caught the eye of overtonfisheries and started the hijack...

 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Depends on the size of the large adult gizzard shad... They can top 20"! The average pond might grow 10 lb hybrids and a fantastic pond may grow them into the high teens. The world record hybrid weighed in at 27 pounds 5 ounces. Even at that size I doubt it could swallow a 16" gshad... Remember, hybrids have much smaller mouths in comparison to largemouth... Pure striped bass have slightly larger mouths than hybrids. IMO 12-14" gshad is about tops for the size a large hybrid could take on.

What we all need to hope for is a fish farm out there start propagating lake chubsuckers, then there won't be a question about whether to use gshad... Lake chubsuckers are probably the single best big bass forage out there.


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overtonfisheries response:

 Originally Posted By: overtonfisheries
CJBS,

We have our first experimental chubsucker pond stocked with broodfish right now!! This is the first mention of chubsuckers that I can recall on the forum. I agree that they are excellent bass forage, everywhere we find chubsuckers we also find super healthy bass.

We've found chubsuckers only in softer slightly acidic waters with significant amounts of aquatic vegetation like lily pads, bushy pondweed, and coontail, so they may not be for everyone.

If we are successful we will announce on the forum. Will know something this summer about spawning success. Not sure how to encourage good spawn and production on the farm, but picked a pond with a history of vegetation problems and letting it go unchecked.


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 Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Todd - I like the sound that you have chubsuckers on the farm. I am excited about your experiment. They spawned well and maintained good numbers in several Illinois ponds with weed beds. Bennett thought the chubsucker did well in a mud or sand bottom ponds. The main requierement Bennett thought was relatively clear water. Bennett considered the chubsucker was as close to an ideal forage fish as any species. If you get them to spawn I would like like to be first in line for some of the YOY. I have been looking for some lake chubsuckers for probably 10 years. Thank you for taking the effort to try them.

If you can get them to spawn you will probably sell out every year and you can just about name your price. In the pet shop trade they are pricey if you can even locate them. If you succeed you will be the only place in the US with them. IMO about 90% of the fish farms in the US don't even know what a chubsucker is!


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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Miracles happen!!! I know Bill is already jubilant as am I.

I definitely want on the list for YOY if you have a successful spawn... From my correspondence with a aquaculturalist who has experience in raising them, they struggled to get them to spawn much is smaller ponds. He said only lakes with soft, clear water, weedy, and an organic layer on the bottom seemed good candidates for the species. He said they are very common in east Texas but non existent in south Texas where his farm is currently...

Even thought there are no subspecies listed for lake chubsuckers, they do seem to have two or maybe three distinct populations. A northern population which seems to be struggling, a south eastern population, FL up to southern VA and then a south western population, the southern Mississippi drainages... I wonder if the southern populations would handle northern climates, much like coppernose BG cannot handle the northern winters. I guess time will only tell!

Thanks much for giving lake chubsuckers a try! If you can get them to breed well I am sure they will make some great money for you with a little advertisement!


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Eric as usual adds some great info to the mix...

 Originally Posted By: ewest
This should help.
The Progressive Fish-Culturist
Volume 40, Issue 1 (January 1978) pp. 33–34

Possible Use of the Lake Chubsucker as a Baitfish Jerome V. Shireman, Robert L. Stetler, and Douglas E. Colle School of Forest Resources and Conservation University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611

ABSTRACT: Adult lake chubsuckers (Erirnyzon sucetta) were placed in a 0.3-ha vegetated pond where they spawned. A population estimate yielded a mean biomass estimate of 514 kg/ha; the fish averaged 128 mm total length. Females produced an average of 18,478 eggs. Food analysis indicated that fingerling chubsuckers consumed primarily filamentous algae, cladocera, chironomid larvae, and copepods. Fingerling lake chubsuckers seem ideally suited for use as bait minnows since they have round cylindrical bodies, soft fins, and golden color. In addition they are hardy and can withstand the stress of handling.

At least 20 species of fish have been raised as baitfish in the United States. Of these, the go!deen shiner (Noternigonus crysoleucas), fathead minnow (Pirnephales promelas), and the common goldfish (Carassius auratus) have been cultured successfully in the southeastern United States (Anon. 1970). These species have the following characteristics in common: they are easily and inexpensively raised, they have sufficiently high fecundity to establish large fingerling populations, they spawn naturally in ponds, and they are acceptable to fishermen. Additional features such as hardiness, cylindrical body, and vigor are desirable characteristics of baitfish. The golden shiner and fathead minnow are soft-rayed species, which is also a desirable trait.

The lake chubsucker (Erirnyzon sucetta) is distributed through the eastern United States, ranging from eastern Minnesota to New England and south to Florida and Texas (Eddy 1957). It is found in a variety of habitats including ponds, lakes, and low-gradient streams with mud and sand bottoms (Bennett and Childers 1966). Because the lake chubsucker exhibits many of the characteristics desirable in baitfish, we undertook a study to obtain life history data and to evaluate the potential of the species for commercial culture.

Methods

Lake chubsuckers were collected from December 1975 through March 1976 for fecundity estimates. After capture, fish were measured to the nearest millimeter (total length) and weighed to the nearest 0.1 g. The ovaries were weighed to the nearest 0.01 g and preserved in Gilson's solution, which hardened the eggs and freed them from the ovarian membranes. We washed the preserved eggs through a series of USA Standard sieves (2,000, 850, 600, 250, and 125/am) to separate them into uniform size groups from volumetric displacement estimates. Mean egg sizes were determined for both preserved and fresh eggs by placing a sample of eggs in a partitior•ed petri dish and measuring them.

On 18 March 1976, 7 male and 11 female chubsuckers (269 to 404 mm total length) were stocked in a 0.36-ha vegetated pond. Eighteen brood stock channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were already in the pond. Fingerling grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) were stocked on 18 July 1976. Grass carp consumed all the vegetation in the pond except for a small stand of cattail (Typha sp.). On 17 October 1976 the pond was sampled with electrofishing gear to collect chubsuckers and to estimate the fingerling population. Chapman's modification of the Peterson formula, N = (m+ 1)i'C+ 1)/R+ 1, was used to estimate the number of small chubsuckers (Ricker 1975). Confidence intervals were established by using binomial tables (Steel and Torrie 1960). The upper one-third of the digestive tracts of 15 young of-the-year chubsuckers from the pond were examined for food and the percentage occurrence of each food item was determined.

Results

Fecundity Eggs were separated into three size groups upon sieving. Materials that passed through the 250 -/am sieve contained ovarian tissue and small immature ova. These small ova were not used in fecundity estimates because they would not be expected to mature during the current spawning season. Mature preserved eggs were separated into large (700/am) and intermediate (400/am) size classes. Wagner and Cooper (! 963) reported that mature eggs of creek chubsuckers (Erirnyzon oblongus) varied in size, depending on the degree of ripeness. Behmer (1965) found large, intermediate, and small transparent eggs in the ovaries of carpsuckers (Cariodes carpio). Although he at first assumed that the intermediate-sized eggs represented an egg stock for a second spawning, he later found that the intermediate-sizeggs remained in the ripening ovaries until spawning and were apparently released with the larger eggs during spawning; he found neither intermediate nor large eggs in spent ovaries. In our study we found that ovaries contained only small transparent eggs after spawning. The relation between intermediate and large egg sizes obtained by Behmer was very similar to ours. For this reason we included both large and intermediate sized eggs in the fecundity estimates, on the assumption that both sizes of eggs were viable. The 14 chubsuckers used in this estimate were 259 to 347 mm long. The mean fecundity estimate was 18,478 (SD • 5,477) eggs. The correlation between the logarithm of fish length and total number of intermediate and large eggs was not significant (P•0.05)(nonsignificance may have resulted from the small sample size).

Population Estimate Electrofishing for a population estimate was done from 17 October 1976 to 2 February 1977. A total of 1,262 chubsuckers were captured; 1,022 were marked and released, and 147 were later recaptured during the collecting period. The population estimate for the pond was 8,730 young-of-the-year chubsuckers. Confidence intervals (P • 0.05) were
7,683 to 10.127 fish. THe total mean biomass estimate was
514 kg/ha (455 lb/acre). On 15 October 1976 the mean total
length of these fish was 117 mm (SD -- 29.3), and by 1 February
1977, when the study was terminated, the mean length was 128 mm (SD -- 23.4).

Food Habits

Fifteen chubsuckers (83 to 152 mm long) were collected from the pond and examined for food. All intestines with food (14) contained detrital material and sand grains, indicating bottom-feeding. Fish 83 to 103 mm long fed primarily on filamentous algae (100% occurrence), cladocerans (25% occurrence), and chironomid larvae (25% occurrence). Copepods were of lesser importance (13% occurrence). Larger fish, 127 to 152 mm long, fed
primarily on copepods (50% occurrence) and algae (25% occurrence); cladocera, ostracods, and chironomid larvae (13% occurrence) were eaten with equal frequency.

Discussion

Lake chubsuckers can be propagated easily and inexpensively, and spawn in vegetated ponds without artificial stimulation. The young fish do not require supplemental food but feed on naturally occurring organisms that can be increased by fertilization. In the laboratory, however, young chubsuckers accept artificial feeds and might use such foods in culture ponds. Young-of-the-year chubsuckers are extremely hardy and, unlike bait fishes in the cyprinid family, do not have deciduous scales; consequently they antal food but feed on naturally occurring organisms that can be increased by fertilization. In the laboratory, however, young chubsuckers accept artificial feeds and might use such foods in culture ponds. Young-of-the-year chubsuckers are extremely hardy and, unlike bait fishes in the cyprinid family, do not have deciduous scales; consequently they are less susceptible toinjury.

Our fecundity estimates indicated that this species produced adequte numbers of eggs to sustain production ponds. Unfortunately, lake chubsuckers do not reproduce during their first year and brood stock must therefore be held to maturity or collected each year from wild populations; however, it may be used for several seasons. We are not certain of the age of the first spawning, but maturity is probably reached in the third year of life.

Acknowledgment

This work was supported by special funds from the Center of Environmental Programs of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

References

Anonymous. 1970. Report to the fish farmers. U.S. Bur. Sport
Fish. Wildl. Resour. Publ. 83. 124 pp.
Behmer, D.J. 1965. Spawning periodicity of the river carpsucker,
Carpiodes carpio. Iowa Acad. Sci. 72:253-262.
Bennett, G.W., and W.F. Childers. 1966. The lake chubsucker as
a forage species. Prog. Fish-Cult. 28:89-92.
Carnes, W.C. 1958. Contributions to the biology of the eastern
creek chubsucker, Erimyzon oblongus (Mitchill). M.S. thesis,
North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 69 pp.
Eddy, S. 1957. How to know the freshwater fishes. Wm. C. Brown
Co., Dubuque, Iowa. 253 pp.
Ricker, W.E. 1975. Computation and interpretation of biological
statistics of fish populations. Dep. Environ. Can., Fish. Mar.
Serv. Bull. 191. 382 pp.
Steel, R.G.D., and J.H. Torrie. 1960. Principles and procedures
of statistics. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. 481 pp.
Wagner, C.C., and E.L. Cooper. 1963. Population density,
growth, and fecundity of the creek chubsucker, Erimyzon
oblongus. Copeia 1963(2):350-357.

Accepted 17 October 1977

34 THE PROGRESSIVE FISH-CULTURIST


Last edited by ewest; 04/20/09 08:04 AM.
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I added info from the Texas State University Lake Chubsucker Link...

 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003


Habitat Associations

Macrohabitat: Occupies ponds, oxbows, sloughs, impoundments, and similar waters of little or no flow (Wall and Gilbert 1980). More common in lake and ponds as opposed to streams (Ross 2001).

Mesohabitat: Clear water, having bottoms of sand or silt mixed with organic debris; aquatic vegetation usually present (Wall and Gilbert 1980; Werner et al. 1978; Trautman 1981). Stream habitats are characterized by moderate to slow currents in relatively deep pools (Meffe and Sheldon 1988). E. sucetta was a new species collected from Longtown Creek (tributary of the South Canadian River), in Oklahoma, in a clear, vegetated pool with rocky substrate (Pigg and Gibbs 1995). Species can tolerate low oxygen thresholds in winterkill lakes; in Michigan, lake chubsucker had a toleration level of approximately 0.4-0.3 ppm (Cooper and Washburn 1949).

Biology

Spawning season: Based on laboratory studies, March to May (later stage larvae prefer temperatures of 28-34 degrees C; Negus et al. 1987).

Spawning habitat: Phytolithophils; nonobligatory plant spawner that deposit eggs on submerged items, have late hatching larvae with cement glands in free embryos, have larvae with moderately developed respiratory structures, and have larvae that are photophobic (Simon 1999; Balon 1981). Cooper (1935) indicated that eggs were scattered over aquatic vegetation including moss, filamentous algae, and grass stubble. Carr (1942) reported an association between lake chubsuckers and largemouth bass nests and in which lake chubsuckers laid their eggs in active largemouth bass nests and the developing eggs would be protected from predators by largemouth bass.

Reproductive strategy:

Fecundity: Eggs demersal and adhesive, averaging 2 mm in diameter; hatching occurs in 6-7 days at 23-30 degrees C and in 4-5 days at 20-22 degrees C (Fuiman 1979, 1982; Kay et al. 1994). Individuals of 259-347 mm TL produce an average of 18,478 mature eggs (Shireman et al. 1978). Fertilized eggs hatch in about 72 hours at 22-25 degrees C (Hiltabran 1967).

Age at maturation: Cooper (1935) found that both sexes reach maturity in their third summer of life.


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 Originally Posted By: overtonfisheries
I take full responsibility for hijacking this thread, and hereby request a new thread for the topic of lake chubsuckers.

I have some ponds ready and available for production season and with the unexpected encouragement, I will devote serious investment. We'll start a list, starting with Bill Cody.





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I will gladly be second on the waiting list!

From the sources we placed on here, spawning times and temps are:

Spawning occurs from late Mar into July (72.5 to 85.1 deg).

and

Based on laboratory studies, March to May (later stage larvae prefer temperatures of 28-34 degrees C; Negus et al. 1987).

So your brood stock should have just started spawning and may not be more than a 1/3 of the way done...

I hope your chubsuckers make lots of healthy babies!

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From now on CJ, you're "Mr. Lake Chubsucker" in my book.


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I've been looking for lake chubsuckers since I was a kid! They are not found in the wild this far north in VA.

I'll gladly take the name...

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Well Mr. Lake Chubsucker, if you are going to wear the name, you better post a picture here of a chubsucker. Not just any picture either, pick a good one. We expect good stuff on this PB Forum.

As the readers will see, a chubsucker looks like an overgrown fathead minnow. Who wouldn't want some 5"-10" FHM type fish as forage fish in their sportfish pond? Lots of opportunities are possible with a forage fish like this one. IMO Fish Farms have been long missing the opportunity on this one. I have high praise for Todd Overton of Overtonfisheries for his innovative spirit and taking a chance producing lake chubsuckers. - Yea Todd ! - YOU get the Pond Boss "Ata Boy" for 2009!

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/18/09 07:55 AM.

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Lake chubsuckers are not quite as adaptable as FHM, but ponds in which they adapted to, they will no doubt help the LMB and other predators out without the downsides other forage fish may present. Plus, they have been proven to survive heavy predation unlike FHM. Average 6"-8" in size when mature with an unusually large one topping 14"...

Here are a few pics...

Juvenile lake chubsuckers:





Adult female lake chubsucker:


Adult male lake chubsucker:


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Color me interested. Add us to the list, Todd!


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Thanks very much CJBS for relocating this chubsucker thread and putting it back together. The list has officially been started, and I'll keep you posted. Looks promising.


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Sure Thing Dave!


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 Originally Posted By: overtonfisheries
Thanks very much CJBS for relocating this chubsucker thread and putting it back together. The list has officially been started, and I'll keep you posted. Looks promising.
Todd is a risk taking entrepreneur as well as a “fish squeezer”.
We wouldn’t have “grown-out” HSB, classic Florida CNBG, and $8.00/pound tilapia in Texas if it were not for Overton Fisheries.



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We stocked an existing 15 acre bass lake with about 15 chubsuckers in 2007 and then verified a successful spawn via electrofishing in summer 2008. Those chubsuckers were a mix of males and females, one female well over 14". The lake is a typical soft water east texas lake with significant submerged vegetation. I can't wait to see what the LMB do over time with these new baitfish.


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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Lake chubsuckers are not quite as adaptable as FHM, but ponds in which they adapted to, they will no doubt help the LMB and other predators out without the downsides other forage fish may present. Plus, they have been proven to survive heavy predation unlike FHM. Average 6"-8" in size when mature with an unusually large one topping 14"...


The LCS (?) sound too good to be true! (I mean that in a good way)

CJ, what do you know anecdotally about their eating habits? Do they compete directly with lepomids for food? How about egg eating? Has that been ruled out? How about eating larva/fry of small lepomids and LMB?

With their range including the south east, I assume they can handle very warm water.

Thanks so much for your leg work!

PS: How about spawning? Once per year, or more in warmer climes?



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Todd,

Is that the lake east of you with the island in the middle?

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Chris,

They went into a lake near New Waverly, 100 miles south of us.


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Im sure interested, my head is spinning with the possibilities.


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Put me 5th on the list. I've caught some years ago in a local sand bottom stream. I think they'd fit right in!

oops, I didn't know there were creek and lake chubsuckers. I don't have any experience with lake chubsuckers, but I still want on the list!

Last edited by esshup; 04/18/09 07:37 PM. Reason: the lightbulb finally came on.

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Small lake chubsuckers feed as most smaller fish on various forms of zooplankton. Lake chubsudkers feed prinmarily on bottom criters (invertebrates), attached algae, small clams, snails on or near the bottom. Small ones have very similar feeding habits as the FHM. Vegetable matter can at times make up to 70%-100% of their diet which includes eating some forms of filamentous algae. At times they eat a lot of midge larvae. Several studies made it a specific point to say they did not eat fish eggs, but I'm sure a few unprotected eggs (shad, shiner, drum, carp) occassionally get eaten. It has been noted as producing relatively large numbers but has not been reported as ever causing an overpopulation or stunting - probably due to predators keeping their numbers from being overabundant. Even at higher numbers it is not reported to roil up the water nor increase turbidity from their feeding activities. It is a roundish bodied, soft rayed fish and easy for predators to swallow.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/18/09 07:38 PM.

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Straight from the Texas State University web site...


Food habits: Invertivore/herbivore (Goldstein and Simon 1999). Major food items in streams include midge larvae (Dipteran), detritus and algae, small clams, and water mites (Sheldon and Meffe 1993). Pond-reared fish consumed items including detritus, filamentous algae, zooplankton (cladocerans, copepods, ostracods), and midge larvae (Shireman et al. 1978). Copepods, cladocerans, and midge larvae (Dipteran) and pupae were also an important prey of a lake population of chubsuckers (Ewers and Boesel 1935).

Another interesting thing about lake chubsuckers is some researchers noted that LMB will actually allow them to spawn into LMB nests. This is thought to be a symbiotic relationship. Basically, the more eggs the less likelihood predators will eat the LMB's eggs, and the LCS gets its eggs protected by the LMB.

There is a closely related species which can be easily confused for a lake chubsucker. It is called the creek chubsucker. For those who aren't real good at IDing similar fish, chances are if you catch them in a running water body, its a creek chubsucker and if you catch them in a pond, lake or swamp its a lake chubsucker. I have collected creek chubsuckers in the past and they do quite well in ponds, but I do not think they are capable of spawning in most ponds which precludes them as a forage fish...

Probably the easiest time to tell them apart is when they are young, creek chubsuckers never get the lateral line, but stay they olive yellow color. Here is a pic of a creek chubsucker:



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Gentlemen, What would be the advantages or disadvantages between lake Chubsuckers, and creek Chubsuckers?
I had read on NY website that they will reproduce in a pond, whats the consensus .

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Thanks Bill and CJ.

Do they spawn once per year?

What advantages would they have over goldfish as forage, which have similar size, shape, and diet?


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I haven't had luck in getting creek chubsuckers(CCS) to reproduce in a pond, but I am still trying. This will be my second spring. I think I may have immature fish in the pond, which maybe why I couldn't get a spawn. CCS are found in a number of mill ponds and reservoirs around my house but they all have streams that feed them and from what I understand, the CCS ascend the streams to spawn in the spring. If you could get CCS to spawn in a pond environment, I think they would be just as good a forage fish as lake chubsuckers(LCS). They don't get quite as large, which may be a plus, depending on your situation...

AP, LCS and CCS are both acid water tolerant, they actually prefer it. So they may be a good option for additional forage for your pond.

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Bobad, it appears they do spawn once per year. I would say the biggest advantage over goldfish is they do not disturb the bottom substrate with a rooting behavior like goldfish or carp do. LCS actually prefer non turbid water so they would not do something to affect water clarity. There is no risk of over population as well. Biologists have never found a pond or lake where they over populated in them. They also have been proven in scientific studies to maintain viable populations under LMB predation. Goldfish are usually extirpated from a pond rather quickly after the introduction of LMB. Plus they are native...

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I admit we have not been very scientific about our observations. However in most south GA tannic acid lakes you have quite the adundance of chubsuckers. In every case (probabluy 100 of more lakes shocked with them) the bluegill populaiton is low snd growth rate slow. Might be a function of water quality but seems to me the food overlap and possibly egg consumption is a great possibility. Just some word of caution may not be a good as the post seems to indicate.


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I think tannic acid lakes tend to have low fertility and this may be more of a reason for the poor bluegill population than competition with CCS or LCS. I have no experience with LCS, but the fisheries biologists in Texas who do, seem to believe they are top notch forage for bass. As experience with LCS and perhaps CCS expands, we may determine them to have a possible detrimental affect on the sunfish population. My experience with reservoirs with CCS in them has been about the same as those without. I think gshad are far more deleterious to sunfish that LCS or CCS ever would be.

LCS
Food habits: Invertivore/herbivore (Goldstein and Simon 1999). Major food items in streams include midge larvae (Dipteran), detritus and algae, small clams, and water mites (Sheldon and Meffe 1993). Pond-reared fish consumed items including detritus, filamentous algae, zooplankton (cladocerans, copepods, ostracods), and midge larvae (Shireman et al. 1978). Copepods, cladocerans, and midge larvae (Dipteran) and pupae were also an important prey of a lake population of chubsuckers (Ewers and Boesel 1935).

BG
Food habits: Larvae and juveniles of 5-10 mm in length frequently ingest Cladocerans and copepod nauplii (Werner 1969; Beard 1982). Individuals reaching 20 mm have varied feeding habits, primarily consuming Cladocera (Chydorinae) and adult copepods and insects (mainly chironomids; Beard 1982). The primary diet of adults in various water bodies is comprised of aquatic insects, crayfish, and small fish, although zooplankton serves as the main food item in other bodies of water (Mittelbach 1984; Carlander 1977). This species also ingests aquatic vegetation including algae (Carlander 1977; Sublette et al. 1990). Based on the following data, Goldstein and Simon (1999) list first and second level trophic classifications as invertivore and drift; trophic mode listed as water column/surface: In Canada, populations primarily consumed insects, crustaceans, and plant material, with 50% of food volume consisting of chironomid larvae (Keast and Webb 1966); in late summer, when insects were not as abundant, 22% of diet was plant material (Moffett and Hunt 1943; Goldstein and Simon 1999). The fish louse, Argulus, has been found in bluegill stomachs, suggesting individuals may perform “cleaning” function on infected fish (Carlander 1977).

Compare their diets and make a call on whether they would compete with each other...

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Not to discourage anyone but here is the rest of the story (or at least part of it). This is a long study so only parts are included. Greg very good observation. There are of course pluses and minuses to many aspects to the points in this study but it does confirm , as is often noted here , " it all depends".

North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:295–307, 1998

Suitability of the Lake Chubsucker as Prey for
Largemouth Bass in Small Impoundments
RONALD C. EBERTS, JR.
Center for Aquatic Ecology, Illinois Natural History Survey
VICTOR J. SANTUCCI, JR.*
Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation
DAVID H. WAHL
Center for Aquatic Ecology, Illinois Natural History Survey


Abstract.—We evaluated the suitability of lake chubsuckers Erimyzon sucetta as prey for largemouth
bass Micropterus salmoides in small impoundments by examining life history, susceptibility
to predation, and effects on predator growth. Characteristics of lake chubsucker life history are
favorable because the fish can produce moderate numbers of young for prey, can reach a size
refuge from most predators and thereby maintain a viable population, and do not consume fish
eggs or fry. In laboratory pools, largemouth bass consumed lake chubsuckers more often than
they consumed bluegills Lepomis macrochirus. Largemouth bass growth was similar between
experimental ponds containing either bluegills or lake chubsuckers, and although mortality was
lower for age-0 and small largemouth bass in ponds with lake chubsuckers than ponds with
bluegills, it was not lower for larger fish. In a lake manipulation experiment, largemouth bass
growth was not changed by the introduction of lake chubsuckers. We recommend that lake chubsuckers
not be stocked to supplement available prey in waters supporting bluegills or other abundant
prey populations and that they never be stocked outside of their native range. However, lake
chubsuckers may benefit largemouth bass in small impoundments in which bluegills are not present.


Under laboratory conditions, lake chubsuckers
appeared more suitable as prey than bluegills.
Largemouth bass struck at lake chubsuckers more
often than at bluegills and consumed them far more
often. A fusiform body and soft-rayed fins may
have contributed to the higher vulnerability to predation
for the lake chubsucker than for the deepbodied,
spiny-rayed bluegill (Wahl and Stein 1988;
Einfalt and Wahl 1997). Previous work has shown
that largemouth bass (Lewis and Helms 1964) and
other piscivores (esocids and walleye; Parsons
1971; Gillen et al. 1981; Knight et al. 1984) select
soft-rayed prey over spiny-rayed prey.
Based on optimal-foraging theory, we anticipated
that largemouth bass might consume lake
chubsuckers more than bluegills in field experiments,
but this was not the case. Greater occurrence
of bluegills in bass diets probably was due
to their higher abundance in our experimental
ponds and lakes. However, lake chubsuckers also
exhibited antipredatory behaviors that may partially
explain their low frequency in the diets. Like bluegills, lake chubsuckers spent most of their
time in near-motionless aggregations associated
with the lower sidewall and bottom of experimental
pools. In ponds and lakes, we observed lake
chubsuckers using submersed vegetation as cover
when largemouth bass predators approached. Associating
with vegetation or other structure (Savino
and Stein 1989) and remaining motionless
(Wahl and Stein 1988) are behaviors known to
decrease the likelihood of attack by predators.

Although unavailable to age-0 fish, lake chubsuckers
were vulnerable to predation by older
largemouth bass. Based on our estimates of optimal
prey size, lake chubsuckers 200 mm in length
or larger would be effectively excluded from predation
by most centrarchid predators. Electrofishing
catch rates in Shady Lake confirmed high survival
of adult lake chubsuckers in a lake with a
high percentage of large predators; largemouth
bass over 350 mm made up 17% of the sample
each fall. Based on our estimates of lake chubsucker
growth, they could be available as prey for
largemouth bass for up to 4 years. This long period of vulnerability may benefit predators, but it may
also compromise prey population stability by allowing
elimination of lake chubsucker young before
they recruit to non vulnerable sizes. Self sustaining
populations of lake chubsuckers may be
particularly difficult to maintain in impoundments
with abundant predator populations (Carline et al.
1986) or where protective habitat and alternate
prey are lacking (Carline et al. 1986; Wahl 1995).

Lake chubsuckers spawn around
the time of largemouth bass (Kramer and Smith
1960), and their young grow rapidly during the first
year. In our ponds, age-0 largemouth bass never
gained enough of a size advantage to allow consumption
of lake chubsucker young. In contrast, by
initiating spawning later in the year and spawning
repeatedly during the summer, bluegills produced a
continuous supply of vulnerable-sized prey that
were used by age-0 largemouth bass. In impoundments
in which bluegills are not overly abundant,
they may benefit age-0 largemouth bass more than
lake chubsuckers would.


The intent of many prey fish introductions is to
increase growth of piscivores and ultimately to
increase their recruitment to the fishery. Our evaluation
provided an initial assessment of the potential
for lake chubsuckers to serve as a prey species
in small impoundments. We found that stocking
lake chubsuckers in a lake with an established
centrarchid community produced little change in
the diets and growth of largemouth bass and that
production of lake chubsucker juveniles was low.
From these results, it appears that lake chubsuckers
should not be stocked in waters containing established
largemouth bass and bluegill populations.
In contrast, our life history assessment, prey
selection experiments, and pond experiments suggested
that lake chubsuckers may benefit largemouth
bass at least as much as bluegill prey in
new or renovated ponds in which bluegills are not
desired. Because lake chubsucker young appear
highly vulnerable to predators, stocking adults 1
year before largemouth bass may be warranted.We
stress, however, that stocking should take place
only within the native range of lake chubsuckers.
Further, we recommend additional evaluations of
the effects of lake chubsuckers on fish and other
components of aquatic communities and long-term
assessments of predator and prey population dynamics
before proceeding with widespread use of
lake chubsuckers as prey for largemouth bass.
















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Great study. We have observed as well in ponds with high amount of vegetation the population of lcs is high. WIth some good herbicide applicaitons to lower vegetation the population of lcs the following year was much lower and there is noticeable peak in bass growth. The following years we have also noticed increase in bluegill populaiton. Thus I thought the lcs used vegetation to hide and once gone the bass hammered down on the lcs. Once lcs populaiton was lower the bluegill was more plentiful.

I could see in the right situation where the introduction might benefit. This might just be another bullet in the ammuntion, not the magic bullet though that everyone wants is seeking.


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So, the Lake Chubsucker may not be all it's cracked up to be?


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I would agree with Greg. LCS is one more tool in the belt to be used in the proper situation. One would have to think about the situation and the tool options to decide. In the examples noted in the study there were + and -. I would not count on them to alone be the forage base for LMB. I could see using them in a pond (probably north) where the owner did not want BG because of possible stunting or in one without LMB as part of the plan. It just depends.
















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LCS might be a boon to pond owners that don't have a significant amount of submerged aquatic vegitation, like myself. I'm going to introduce some plants, but previously nothing grew 'cept a small stand of Eurasian Water Milfoil that hopefully was totally removed during the renovation


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So what would be the northern boundary for LCS? I have not read anything suggesting a reason for a northern boundary at all, really?

I would like to try some in my pond as I already have FHM and GS, maybe by adding some LCS there would be enough variety that all three could sustain a population.

Just by watching the 25 bass I have in my pond over the last three warm days I can see why FHM dont make it very long. They are getting pounded literally by the minute by the LMB "patrols".


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Most if not all the negatives about LCS in the Illinois LCS study could also be applied to the habits of BG or RES.
1. Abundance is important in prey selection. Thus when BG (in cited study) are many times more abundant it stands to reason that LMB would consume more BG than LCS. Both test lakes were pretty weedy with milfoil. Results may vary significantly under different habitat conditions. Laboratory conditions with no weeds did indicate the LMB preferred (consumed) LCS "far more often" over BG. Similar studies with low or no weeds and with other predators also reveal similar results (preference for a soft rayed fusiform vs BG).
2. Antipredatory behavior. Different species of predators behave differently so antipredatory behavior for LMB may not cause the same results with a different species of predator.
3. 7.8" fish are excluded form predators. Compare the body depths of a BG and LCS at 7.8" long. LCS normally grow to 7.8" size slower than BG, although first yr growth of LCS is fairly rapid. Earier spawning predators than LMB may see more benefit of LCS fry that LMB.
4. Difficult of maintain where predators are abundant. Most all preyfish have this feature.
5. Little change in diet & growth of LMB when introduced to an established LMB-BG lake. What if in test lake LMB were already growing at a relatively good rate?
6. BG at least on this site are often suggested to be stocked and allowed to spawn 1 yr in advance of adding LMB similar to that suggested for LCS.

This was only one study. Be careful when drawing too many conclusions from one study.

BG too will become overabundant in weedy ponds. BG can consume some of the same foods as small LMB (diet overlap) and compete at least on some level with the bass. LCS were noted to have minimal diet overlap with YOY LMbass. There is probably no perfect forage fish. Almost every pond owner has somewhat different goals and definately each has a DIFFERENT type of water body even on the same "ranch", thus they should incorporate and use somewhat different techniques to achieve those goals. That is what this site and Pond Boss magazine is for - teaching and helping provide information for producing better pondmeisters and better fisheries.

IMO the biggest negatives to LCS is they are not angler worthy nor good eating. IMO LCS would be most beneficial in ponds where BG are not desired or to use them as a supplimental forage species (diversity) for LMB or other types of predators.

If one does not want BG and yet wants to grow some decent sized predators including LMB, what are their options? There aren't very many, at least really good ones. The LCS increases the options and choices. Actually only a very small amount of research has been done with LCS. Obviously the more common they become the more research that will occur and more good information (+ & -) will result.

I think I speak for CJS2003 and myself that our apparent enthusiasm was not that these LCS were a panacean, magic bullet fish but our joy was that a relatively unknown and new, versatile forage fish will hopefully soon at least become available as a hatchery farm raised fish. Again I commend Todd Overton for taking the initiative spirt to work with and try to raise these fish.

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 Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I think I speak for CJS2003 and myself that our apparent enthusiasm was not that these LCS were a panacean, magic bullet fish but our joy was that a relatively unknown and new, versatile forage fish will hopefully soon at least become available as a hatchery farm raised fish. Again I commend Todd Overton for taking the initiative spirt to work with and try to raise these fish.


Couldn't have said it better... I'm just sick of the same old FHM and GSH and no other option for forage fish. There are many other species of fish out there that can be used as forage. It's good to see Todd Overton breaking out of the box and trying something new!

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 Originally Posted By: rexcramer
So what would be the northern boundary for LCS? I have not read anything suggesting a reason for a northern boundary at all, really?


LCS are found into southern Canada. So I am sure they will be able to survive northern ponds. The only question as of right now IMO is are there different subspecies of LCS? Researches have found LCS to be very tolerant of low DO and survive when other species are winter killed. One researcher gave DO levels as low as 0.3 to 0.4 ppm...

They are not a well known species so the question of separate subspecies is not really known. Just like CNBG only doing well in the southern states, will LCS collected from Texas be a distinct subspecies that may not do well in northern waters? Is there a separate as of yet not described northern subspecies of LCS? Would these be better suited to northern waters? We are all on the edge of something new... Only time will tell and people like Todd Overton, Bill Cody and I hope to find these questions out. If you don't try something new, you are stuck in the same old...

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Two of the questions that pop into my head are:

Would they be more usefull as extra forage in ponds with LMB/HBG (no native BG) mix?

Since FA is part of thier diet can they effectively control it?


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I think they may very well be a great compliment to a LMB/HBG pond...

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If you are feeding the LMB pellets or along with another forage species assuming you want healty LMB population ( LMB , HBG , LCS , GShiners , RES and TShad). Might be interesting.

CJ
"If you don't try something new, you are stuck in the same old... " That is fine if its your pond and you are willing to take the risk. I am all in favor of people doing what they want with their water - I do. I would not suggest with out a disclaimer that someone else go ahead and take this unknown risk because he may end up with his head "stuck in the same old..." and not be happy with the result.
















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Bill Cody, this is a great thread I too appluad Todd. However until I made a post there was not realty check. Bill I applaud research but lots can be learned from experience. LCS is not new to me and have not seen where they have made a positive impact.

I too like the idea of something diff. We jsut put a new spin on a old fish by putting more forage and less predatros, etc.

So not to be negative nealy but simply stating my experience for the record and hope that is taken into consideration.

I just got in from shocking ponds after leaving at 5 am and first thing I did was check this thread. I care about PM readers and also would caution adding these fish without knowing the whole story.


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Greg - Reality checks are always good especially for readers looking for that magic fish to grow huge bass. I too would caution about adding fish ANY species of fish before knowing the whole story. IMO some speices of fish are not good at all in certain stocking combinations. Again, I was not saying the LCS was a magic bullet for producing a great bass fishery. I was basically expressing the opinions of a few respected fishery scientists as to their experiences with LCS. Readers must also note the referenced studies were conducted in a northern winter ice state and not a winter ice free state which may have a bearing on the conclusions and results. Presence of other foragfe fish will also have a bearing on results.


Greg, I'm not saying your conclusions are incorrect or flawed. I suppose there are situations where addition or even presence of LCS does not noticably help a fishery especially where those fisheries are balanced and functioning optimally. But I am just as confident that use of LCS will help some fisheries. As I always say - "It all depends".

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Put me on the list!!!

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Two dozen Lake Chubsuckers have a new home in North Texas. I will let everyone know how they do.

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I'm jealous, where did you source them? What size are they?

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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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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.


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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.

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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........


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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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Nice!!


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with the LCS eating small clams do you think they would also eat small snails as well? Because BG like snails so it would be a win win situation and snails help clean the pond floor, but is there a chance of them overpopulating a pond?

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 Code:
is there a chance of them overpopulating a pond? 


Not if you have LMB!

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It would not surprise me if LCS ate snails as well. Probably anything found on the bottom that is living could be consider fair game... And yes, if you have any kind of predator in your pond, LCS are not going to over populate.

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At long last, I have LCS in hand!

Here they are in their shipping container:


For an overnight trip from Texas to Virginia in this insane heat, of the 50 or so ship shipped, only 3 definite morts and perhaps 1 other that isn't looking too hot at the moment.


Close up of the better looking dead one:


Two will go in my 125 gallon aquarium for future observation. The rest will be split in half, one half going to my forage fish only pond and the other going into another experimental pond.

Thanks Todd, the fish seem to be in great health. I'll be placing them in their new homes tomorrow.

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CJ, good luck with your chubs, are you still having problems with an otter in one of the ponds?



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I haven't seen the bugger in a while. So I am hoping he moved on to greener pastures. Should he return, I will do battle and it will not be in a fair way. Fortunately, the forage only pond has no real inflow or outflow so the odds of the otter finding it is highly reduced compared to the larger pond. The LCS are quite active in the aquarium I am holding them in. I treated the water with Tetra Aquasafe and aquarium salt to help them recover from the long trip. Tomorrow I will slip them into their new homes.

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CJ -- do you have good overhanging tree canopy? Any beaver ponds or similar features (lowhead dams) that open the canopy and slow (warm) the water? Anything to shade, speed up, and deepen water might make a couple of degrees difference for you and could be helpful? Just brainstorming. You probably thought of this stuff already?


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Dave, was this post intended for the other thread about DO and water temp? I'll copy it and move it over there as I think it is and answer it there...

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Oops. Wonder how that happened. That took special skill on my part, I'm sure. Thank you.


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HAHA, you are a man of many skills! I have done it in the past as well, hard to say how though!

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I was able to catch a few pictures of my LCS in my aquarium. So far they are doing well... Absolutely no sign of them in either pond I stocked them in. I am hoping they are gorging themselves on all the tasty stuff growing on there bottoms though. As you can see from the pics, the two LCS have taken on very distinct coloration. One has the typical striping while the other is almost always a darker gray color, almost turning black at times.











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Any lake chub sucker updates? I'm interested in stocking these as a supplemental forage fish in virginia. The last post in this thread was from 2009. For anyone who has stocked the lcs, what kind of results have you observed?

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Too early to know... we have determined they're very sensitive to handling and difficult to raise in hatcheries.

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Yep. Tried to get some from Overtons this Spring, but couldn't.


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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Too early to know... we have determined they're very sensitive to handling and difficult to raise in hatcheries.


Did anyone try using salt to alleviate the stress? (Osmotic balance). Wild fish really stress out in artificial settings.

Salt works wonders for me. I don't get morts, morbidity, parasites, or any other problems (knock on wood) when I move fish with 0.5 percent saliinity, dip in 3.0 % salinity (as soon as they lose equilibrium take them out), and keep the fish at 0.2 percent salinity indefinitely in my tank systems.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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What's the final word

I am interested in trying to stock these in my new pond to maximize forage base

Anyone?

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They will get fairly large (12"+) in the southern waters. If you can keep the weed populations reduce so bass can find the LCS then if they are reproducing and providing year classes each year they should be good forage for all sizes of bass smaller and large.


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Good sources?

Didn't see any on overtons website

For sure non available around me

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The only commercial source I know of is actually in FL. They ain't cheap though! http://www.aquaculturestore.com/Fresh-Water-Vertebrates/?page=4

If you have a predator free pond, just 10-12 will do. If you give them the chance to spawn a time or two before predators are introduced. Even if you just give them a chance to get big enough to not get eaten, you can then allow them to spawn and hope some of the YOY survive. Or you can buy some of the larger adults they offer.

My LCS have done very well in a .34 acre pond. They spawn in northern VA where I am in late March, early April in the shallows. It is about the only time I ever see the adults. They come into the shallows, the males fan out areas to clear away the silt and then groups spawn in the clean areas.

The YOY are now about 1.5" long this year and rove in schools of a few dozen fish working the bottom for food. 1 year old fish are 3-4", 2 year old fish are 5-6", 3 year old fish are 6-8" and my original stockers from back in 2009 are now 7-10" in size.

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Does anyone know where to buy these Chubsuckers in Georgia?

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Talk to Greg Grimes at http://lakework.com/site/ He regularly shocks them up when doing electroshock surveys for his clients and may be able to wrangle a few up for you... Otherwise, the only place to get them is in the previous post I made.

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CJ, didn't Greg shock up a bunch a while ago and had them slowly die while waiting to ship/transport them?


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Yes, the larger adults apparently didn't do well in a holding tank.

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Sweet fancy Moses

Is that really the only place to get them

For all the rave reviews about how awesome these are for forage you would think that someone would have figured these guys out by now

Cjbs. I have looked at other species from that site. He is very proud of his inventory

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No doubt Gallop...

While I respect a man with pride in his fish, at some point they get to stay his fish...


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Might be able to work out some deal on a larger volume order.

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I think I just came up with a use for 1 of my 20x30 ponds

Let the experiment begin!

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Good idea of growing some LCS as stockers in a small pond. Keep us advised as to how the project progresses. Others can learn a lot from your experiences with these fish in a small forage pond. Keep in mind that they need to be 2-3 yrs old before they spawn; probably 2yrs farther south and 3 in the north.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/05/13 07:17 AM.

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Mine spawned at year 2 in VA.

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I see Zimmerman's Fish has successfully bred some and he is offering them for sale. http://www.zimmermansfish.com/Price.html In a new pond or one lacking predators, it would only take a couple dozen to get a population established.

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Chris Steelman, how did your LCS do?

Any others watching this thread have any updates?

Did Todd Overton's growing pond for LCS have any success and is it an ongoing endeavor?

I did just order some from Zimmerman's Fish

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My LCS were stocked in 2009 and spawned for the first time in 2012 from what I can tell. I now have 4 year classes of LCS in my pond. Anywhere from yearling 3" ones up to 12"+ original stockers. I am very happy with them and think they make excellent forage under certain goals and ponds.

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I never saw my LCS after stocking them but my pond is muddy so not really the ideal habitat for them.

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LCS prefer clear weedy waters, so a pond that has little no no vegetation and is regularly muddy will likely not support them.
Cody Note: Since LCS prefer clearer water their feeding behavior would not be beneficial to their thriving and survival by creating turbid water from their rooting heavily in the sediments. Thus it is logical that LCS do not crate turbid water conditions.

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When I was young we used to seine the creek for catfish lines we would catch two different looking suckers one looked camouflage and the other silver is that the same fish yall are talking about? Is that a good fish if so can I seine them up and put them in my pond?

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Unlikely the same fish. Hard to be sure with your basic description though...

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CJBS, some of your pictures from the first page of this thread seem down or maybe my work filtered connection is blocking pictures that are hosted on facebook or some other hosting page. I'd love to get those pictures into photobucket or some other hosting program?

How are your LCS? You said it took 3 years to spawn?

Chris Steelman, how did your LCS do? Seeing any juveniles with the give away black stripes on them?

Any others watching this thread have any updates?

Did Todd Overton's growing pond for LCS have any success and is it an ongoing endeavor?

I was very glad to find an adult LCS of spawning size in my trap this spring and caught one again last week that looked healthy. It has been 2 years but I think I can identify LCS young in the shallows, so far can't get them to enter traps.

It appears that my Grand Rapids, MI pond allowed for successful growth and spawn and survival of young. I would say the northern limit of LCS is still north of where I live yet!

The like clearer water and after soilfloc and removal of about 70% of my adult goldfish my water is clearer. I have zero vegetation except a bit of FA in the first 1 foot of water and some sedges growing in 1 foot of water. Somehow they found a place to put their eggs and they survived the other fish in there (RES, LES, GSH, goldfish, perch and crayfish).

If overton isn't selling then brian zimmerman may be the only source that is shipping right now? He sold me 25 and If I'm IDing the minnows correctly that I didn't need to stock any more than that to get a population going in my .25 acre puddle.

If I can figure out how to readily trap them I'd be willing to try to help others get them established.

They seem to take a few years to grow to reproducing size but once established would be a great forage fish option for SMB or LMB.

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Don't like to rain on anyone's parade, but I seem to recall seeing research that said LCS did not actually increase LMB growth.

The research was done years ago, not sure if it has been updated or revised more recently.

As for grass shrimp, I'd love to buy some.

Last edited by anthropic; 09/21/16 04:36 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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How about LCS for SMB?

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I think LCS would be great for SMB, also any additional forage species in a pond seems like it would be beneficial. The more selection your predators have the better.....That's just take on it .

I got a few and I am trying to raise them up to breeding age and size before I stock into my pond as I already have predators.


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Haven't seen mine since I stocked them. My water was muddy and didn't have any vegetation. Doubt they survived very long.

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Found a couple dozen LCS below the outflow pipe of the SMB pond that must be from a spawn since I only stocked a dozen originally. They were all between 5-7 inches long. Have relocated 17-20 to a new 1/2 acre pond which only has FHM in it. The pond is new and does not have any plant life yet, so I hope they find food. My hope is to let these multiply for a while. The SMB pond must be full of them. It has curley-leaf pondweed that might be helping them out.

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Just a note: The 1-acre SMB/YP/GSH/RES/LCS pond has a watershed that is almost completely from a neighboring soy/maize rotated agricultural field. I credit the high water quality in the pond to the presence of a very small sediment pond and the use of GM crops to facilitate conservation tillage and use of environmentally friendly herbicides, plus the replacement of soil-applied and sprayed insecticides with in-crop Bt production. I have yet to see a dead fish in the pond. Hopefully, this will continue. Interestingly, my neighbor has also seen in big increase in his fur trapping which I account for by all the crop residue now available to herbivores all winter (rather than fall plowing as was common previously).

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Harvest some curley-leaf pondweed and put it in the small pond.
















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Can't bring myself to add curly-leaf pondweed to a body of water. I will be adding water lilies and a lotus along with marginals this spring. I will also try adding eel grass if the stuff I have survived in the small artesian pond. However, the pondweed may invade on its own.

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I would not add curly leaf to any pond. It is an exotic and considered by most to be an invasive plant. The darn stuff spreads way too fast and is too invasive to where it will grow into 13ft-15ft of water. As the stuff spreads it tends to make the water clearer and thus it ends up growing deeper. It does not need much light to grow on the bottom and in cloudy water of 7ft I've had it grow across the entire bottom to top. In spring when it is growing well it can fill with water column with vegetation from bottom to top where it is growing. It does tend to die back in mid summer after it flowers, develops turions (winter buds) & seed heads. Turions sprout in fall and maintain growth a foot or two tall as it overwinters. If you want viable, green winter vegetation 1-2ft tall on the bottom this plant is for you. I've lived with it and hate it.

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I have not added this, but rather it invaded. I have not yet had an issue in the SMB pond but will add grass carp if I do. It has not yet invaded the LMB pond, but chokes the shallow duck ponds at certain times. For me, this is like shrub honeysuckle that invades woodlands. While it has some advantages for whitetail, I am working hard to push it back.

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Reviving this old thread for several reasons:

1. Many still would like to have LCS in their pond and we all need to work together to try to source them again.
2. Can Mr. Chris Steelman or others who did get some LCS from Overton's update us on how things went? Any reproduction?
3. Why did Overton's stop selling? Not enough demand?

Anyone have more information?

Reading through this thread again was very interesting!

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I am not a businessman, but I did just move some LCS to a new 1/2 acre pond from a thriving population in yp/smb pond. and would be glad to share. I just don't want to get in trouble by breaking any laws. This forum has been a truly educational experience, and giving back to this community would be a pleasure.

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