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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:



Last edited by CJBS2003; 04/18/09 08:44 PM. Reason: added info about creek chubsuckers.
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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?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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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.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/19/09 08:56 PM.

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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...

Last edited by CJBS2003; 04/19/09 09:15 PM. Reason: added more info
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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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Dang fish are like pets!
by Theo Gallus - 04/12/24 12:40 PM
Pumpkinseed
by FishinRod - 04/12/24 10:56 AM
What did you do at your pond today?
by Theo Gallus - 04/12/24 10:01 AM
Amazing the variety of soft plastic fish attack
by canyoncreek - 04/12/24 09:37 AM
Help with ground cover
by wyzoon - 04/10/24 03:33 PM
New Pond Design Advice Needed
by Donatello - 04/10/24 12:28 PM
Pond is crashing.
by esshup - 04/10/24 07:55 AM
Sunfish (Centrarchid Fishes) genetics
by Snipe - 04/09/24 11:38 PM
Newly Uploaded Images
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
by Tbar, December 10
Deer at Theo's 2023
Deer at Theo's 2023
by Theo Gallus, November 13
Minnow identification
Minnow identification
by Mike Troyer, October 6
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12

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