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#370828 03/31/14 10:09 PM
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http://www.zimmermansfish.com/Price.html

Currently in stock and available at $6 a pop. Ouch! But, in a pond that is being stocked from scratch with no predators, only a couple dozen, maybe even less is all it would take to get them established. I only stocked 27 into my pond and now have thousands. So, for those of you who are looking for a larger forage species that is adapted to pond life, here you go!

Also, several other interesting forage species available as well. I suspect if you buy in bulk, you may be able to get the price down a dollar or two per fish.

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Also, for those who are interested in banded killifish, Zimmerman has the western subspecies available as well. I have the eastern subspecies and stocked only 12 adults into my pond and now have thousands. So, again. If you are starting fresh or have a forage pond... Just a few is all it takes.

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Thanks for the link Travis...looks a lot like Jonah's aquarium. I wonder if LCS could be pellet trained and caged until they reach 3-4"?


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Would raising 10 LCS up in an aquarium and adding them to a future SMB pond which currently has FHM, GSH, and YP be worthwhile as a forage item for future SMB? How large would they likely need to be before releasing them? Does anyone have experience with this supplier? They guarantee replacement of fish that arrive dead, but the customer has to pay for the new shipping which could be more than the cost of the replacement fish.

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I have bought from Zimmerman's in the past and have always been treated well. IN is not far from OH, so shipping should be a lot cheaper. Pending just where you are in IN and where he is in OH, you may be able to make a drive.

I have raised LCS in aquariums in the past. At first they are picky eaters, but they will eventually take frozen blood worms and the like and will move up to freeze dried foods and eventually sinking shrimp pellets. I suspect, with some time they would even take Aquamax pellets, I doubt they would take them from the surface though, but hydrated would likely work...

In my opinion LCS would be an excellent forage fish for a SMB pond. I'd want them to be at least 1/2 the size of the largest SMB in the pond to stock them, especially at this price... From my experience with them in my pond, they are fairly prolific. They spawn in April in my area and by June you see schools of dozens to near 100 cruising the shallows feeding on the bottom. I was concerned they would muddy the bottom but I have never seen an issue. The only time they seem to stir the bottom up is in the spring when they come very shallow to spawn. Even then, they don't stir up the bottom much and it is just in isolated areas where they are clearing the bottom to lay their eggs. It is about the only time I ever see the adults. They go shallow for about a week when you will see 3-4 males cruising around looking for a receptive female to spawn with.

As I said, I stocked just 27 into my pond in 2009. By 2012 they were 7"-9" and spawning. I have had successful spawns every year since. The pond they are in is .34 acres, clay/mud/detritus bottomed, moderate clarity and neutral pH. Under predation from SMB, having at least moderate submerged aquatic vegetation for the YOY and sub adults to take cover in would be advised. My original stockers are now in the 10"-12" range and will top out around 14". They live to be 8-10 years old... They feed on food items that are not a major diet source for most other game and forage fish.

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As far as I can tell they are not on the susceptible species list for VHS so no pre-importation permit needed in Indiana from BOAH to ship them in.

Not sure if you would need an aquaculture permit from the INDNR as I can't tell if they are on the approved species list or not.

Unfortunately something to keep in mind bringing in fish to Great Lakes states or shipping to other Great Lakes states.

Not that I think VHS wasn't totally blow out of proportion, but I won't go there.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/01/14 10:16 AM.

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Travis, You should make them available....

do you have extras?

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A study by Bennett & Childers (The Lake Chubsucker as a Forage Species) in Prog Fish Culturist 1966 used chubsucker with SMB in 5 ponds & lakes in IL. They used stocking rates of 22-34/ac for LCS. SMB yields in the 5 ponds were 27-80lb/ac. They concluded the LCS was "a very satisfactory forage species" if BG are not wanted. They stated the LCS rarely grew more than 10"-11".

Another study by Eberts, Santucci and Wahl 1998 (Suitability of LCS as Pred for LMB in Small Impoundments; N.Am J.Fish Mgmt) concluded LCS be not stocked as prey in waters with LMB and BG or other abundant prey, nor stock LCS outside their native range. Ponds contained milfoil. They conclude LCS would benefit LMB in small impoundments that did not have BG. Stomach analyses of LCS yielded cladocerans, ostracods, (both zooplakters) and midge larvae comprised 86% of the foods eaten. Insect larvae were more abundant in stomachs of larger LCS. In the lab studies LMB struck at LCS more than BG. In field studies BG were eaten more than LCS. Behavior avoidance was used to explain the difference.

Shipping of pond fish is always much more successful if it is done in cooler weather such as Mar-Apr and Oct-Nov.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/01/14 10:38 AM.

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Thanks to all. I may try 10 of them and see how they grow in a fish tank.

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If you go that route, go to a pet store and purchase frozen blood worms, glass worms, daphnia, etc. They will readily eat those. As they become more acclimated to your tank, you can generally get them to switch to dried foods of the same type and eventually prepared flake or pellet foods. They grow fairly fast. If you picked up 1-2" ones in the next month or so, expect by Sept for them to be 4"-5".

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I think that we have too many projects going this year. If they are unlikely to take to flaked food, I think I will wait. I will likely have another pond built in the next few years, so I may add some when establishing forage in the new pond. I do have a floating cage built, but I am guessing that they would not survive in there with what swims by.

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Change of plans again. I emailed the supplier and he wrote that they are not too picky and eat flaked food.

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LCS love shrimp pellets, and will transition quickly to flakes if that's all that is available. They'll also eat those pill sized pellets that are sold for herbivores readily.

They'll do extremely well in a tank, as CJ said, and they're really interesting to watch as they pick through gravel for food. Very cool fish.

I think they're pretty tough, too-I overwintered some in a cage in my pond with pretty minimal care and most survived.

Got mine last year from Brian Zimmerman-he was great to deal with and based on that [admittedly single] experience I would highly recommend him.

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I wonder if the LCS get more fragile as they get older/larger?


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Good thought, I remember Greg had a lot of morts when he tried to transport older, adult fish. I had one single mort from the fish Brian shipped me, and they were in the mail for about 48 hours. All survived a couple weeks in an aquarium before being transferred to the cage, and they did well in the cage overwintering.

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If I wanted to try another minnow species like LCS or others on the site above in my 1/3 acre pond in W MI, do I have to wait for a certain water temp? I don't have a warm water holding tank and have to time things correctly with shipping. I have no predators so I'd like to get a wide variety of forage started, providing the minnows will have a chance of overwintering. (still have about a foot of ice on 90% of pond with rim of open water on the edges as of today) I see no dead frogs, it will be a wonder if frogs and turtles make it through.

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You could stock a few LCS when the ice is off probably in 3 weeks would be good. Place your order now so he reserves some for you and doesn't sell out. Place the order for later delivery / shipping yet hopefully still in April at latest 1st week in May. IMO 12-20 LCS would be enough to establish some brood stock. Release them directly into the pond after checking water temperatures to make sure they are within 4-5F. LCS need to be minimum 2 yrs old before they spawn.

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Thanks Bill. What is the reason to avoid later than the first week of May? If they have to just enjoy the pond for 2 years before spawning does it matter if they go in later in May or June? Just puts them out for a third year (waiting for the third spring for spawn?)

Beyond LCS, is there another species of minnow on that same web page that would be a good addition with the FHM, perhaps with GSH as I build my forage base?

I assume the sentence about 'make sure they are within 4-5F means the water in the bag they get shipped in and the water in the pond are within 4-5 before putting them in. A process that may take 20 minutes or so?

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You want to avoid shipping fish later than May1 is because it gets pretty hot in the trucks, staging and sorting areas. Heat is the worst factor when it comes to shipping fish. Metabolism and bacterial action is slower in cooler water and oxygen stays higher, longer in cooler water. You want the air temps to always be as cool as possible when UPS, Fed-Ex shipping fish. Always minimize stress as much as possible with handling and especially shipping fish.

Temperature acclimation. Check water temps of shipping water and pond. If more than 5F add pond water by 12oz - 16 oz slowly every 3 to 5 min to slowly bring the water to equal the surface pond temperature. Slower is better. At least that is how I do it for bagged fish. Normally the fish are not shipped with a lot of water, maybe 1-2gallons?

Other fish. IMO his fish are very pricey, thus I would only buy very hard to locate fish from him. GSH are usually commonly available and not $4.00ea. If you will not have bass you could buy 6-10 western banded killifish.

Zimmerman's fish is located in the middle of Ohio; not far NE of Columbus.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/02/14 08:06 PM.

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Zimmerman's LCS are likely raised from a young age on prepared foods, rather than seined from a pond where they had no experience with wild food. This would likely make them far easier to deal with...

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I wasn't sure what the difference was between the creek chubs I keep for bait, and the lake chubsuckers mentioned above. I must say that I was quite surprised when I Googled images for "chubsucker". I'll just say that many photos fell into the XXX-ratings category -- and it wasn't pretty. Those weren't all fish on the Google Images page.

Yeesh. Sometimes I feel really niave.


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I've been looking to stock additional species of prey fish for the SMB I'll be stocking. Sounds like LCS would be a good fish to consider in my 3 ac pond. Would it be feasible to stock them in April and 4-6" perch in Mid-May along with 5-7" SMB in the fall?

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I was doing some more research like JamieE and was surprised to see how big these fish can get. Up to 11 or 12"? How are these same or different from what we called 'creek chubs' growing up, or from 'suckers' that spawned in the lakes in the spring (maybe they were white suckers?) Is this a cross between chubs and suckers?

In the first year or maybe 2 I may not have many predators, that will allow the LCS to get large. Once they get 6" or more I would assume SMB or HSB would not be able to eat them, so they may live on untouched? Except for maybe the possibility of a heron, or an aerial attack from an eagle or osprey or similar hunting bird?

Bill C, if I only stocked a small number of these or of the killfish (say only 6-10) they somehow still get the right female male ration and figure out how to 'find' each other in the middle of a host of other types of minnows of other sizes and shapes to arrange for making babies smile?

Thanks for clarification on acclimation and I agree I would find GSH from another source closer by (baitshop or other supplier)

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
I was doing some more research like JamieE and was surprised to see how big these fish can get. Up to 11 or 12"? How are these same or different from what we called 'creek chubs' growing up, or from 'suckers' that spawned in the lakes in the spring (maybe they were white suckers?) Is this a cross between chubs and suckers?


Travis (CJ), can elaborate, but to address your questions about the creek chubs and white suckers, both would be incredible forage options, if they could spawn in a pond. Both, for sure creek chubs and Travis can confirm about the white sucker, require moving water to spawn.

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I know Creek Chubs won't spawn in ponds, and don't believe White Suckers will either. Also, after I researched White Suckers a while back Travis and Cody indicated they top out at 20" and 6 pounds. I wouldn't want a pond full of 20" suckers in my fishery...

Think GSH, LCS, YP, Crays, and some minnow or other shiner species for SMB forage. Along with a pellet program the SMB won't stress the forage base too much. My SMB are all well over 100 WR on forage base of pellets, YP, BG and GSH.


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