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Caught this guy along the shoreline today not sure if it's a young fathead or something else

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Looks like a stickleback to me but I am really bad at the "ID this fish" game!. smile

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/24/15 04:10 PM. Reason: Typo

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Could be I saw some on my fish camera a few weeks ago. I guess there were some in the fatheads I put in

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I think finding them in FHM is pretty common. There were a lot in the ones I stocked.


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Wrong shape head for a FHM. Mouth wrong.


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I'm hoping it's something other than a stickleback I haven't seen a sign of the fish I stocked last fall other than the fatheads and sticklebacks

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Here are some pictures of FHM

FHM pics

I would not swear that every one of the pics is a FHM, but most of them are at least. Some pics in spawning colors, some not.

Last edited by snrub; 05/24/15 11:27 AM.

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Looks like a stickleback to me also. Dorsal fin should be spiked if so. Won't harm fishery.


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Yes it is a stickleback. I have pumped these into my pond from the creek. Picky little buggers. The pectoral fins will be spiked too.

The tail is rounded as well.

Last edited by DonoBBD; 05/24/15 05:31 PM.

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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Looks like a stickleback to me also. Dorsal fin should be spiked if so. Won't harm fishery.


I don't particularly care for them, they are very good at a avoiding predators.



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FWIW Right or wrong, I think of them as my safety net. If food runs short in January under the ice, those guys are still there if the predators are hungry enough to work for a meal. I have found nothing in my reading here on the forum or on the net that there is a downside to having them in the pond.

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/24/15 07:36 PM. Reason: Clarification

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I don't see any upsides to having them. I do know that the state of Wyoming has them on their aquatic invasive species (AIS) list and that they have actually banned live possession of brook stickleback anywhere in the state.

https://gf.state.wy.us/web2011/Departments/Fishing/pdfs/AIS_STICKLEBACK_INFO130003770.pdf

Quote:
Brook stickleback have been shown to compete with and negatively affect other fish species and waterfowl. Studies show that waterfowl may be negatively impacted by brook stickleback due the species’ affect on zooplankton biomass and abundance. Brook stickleback are known to forage for other fish species’ eggs which may negatively impact fish populations and result in reduced fishing opportunities.



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Thanks for the info Shorty. I will check it out. smile


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Last year I fed FHM to RES in my aquarium for six straight months, my 5 RES would eat between 15 to 25 FHM a day. Every once in a while I would get a few sticklebacks mixed in from the bait shop and they never got eaten, not sure if my RES didn't like eating them or just couldn't catch them. I even had trouble catching the brook stickleback in my net. They are very good at getting in tight spaces and staying put. My best luck catching them was when I had the tank drained down for a water change. It's the reason I don't particularly care for them as forage.



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That's the part I was thinking was a good thing about them. My thinking was, if the predators have eaten everything else, they can root around and maybe snag a stickleback in hard times. I have absolutely no basis for saying that other than, if I was really really hungry, dumpster diving might be in the agenda....The question....what if you quit putting the FHM in the aquarium and your RES only had the stickles to feed on. Would they find them?

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/24/15 08:45 PM.

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Dangit! We just hijacked Hatrackr's thread. Sorry man!


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Hey that's alright! Now that I have them I love the info on what to expect from them. I'm just bummed it's not a yoy of any of the gamefish I stocked. I'm guessing I'm going to have to restock as I have not seen any sign of them since last fall. At least I have a great forage base you can almost walk across the pond on the fhm.

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YOY fish are hard to see - especially through the clouds of forage you have swimming. I would use a cast net or seine to survey your fish population. Also, if you are pellet feeding, this can help you ID fish as they approach surface to feed.

Maybe I'm missing this on another post, but what did you stock last year, and why are you thinking you have issues with their success? Did you have a fish kill event? Since you are up North, where we can have panfish population management issues, I'd verify you absolutely need to supplementally stock panfish before you go for it.

If you want to survey your pond, use a 8' handle net, cast net, or seine. If you use the 8' net quickly through your vegetation, you should be collecting YOY BG, PS, or whatever panfish species you stocked. If your minnows made it through the Winter, I suspect your other fish did, also.


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If you have big blobs of FA around the outside of the pond, pull it out with a rake and you will likely find some YOY. At least I do when pulling out FA. The fish will be tiny and you will miss a lot in the algae but some will be on the surface of it and can be seen.

FA makes good habitat and cover for YOY and a lot of little bugs forage fish like to eat. That is about the only good thing I can say about it. Ok maybe two things. It is a nice shade of green if you like the color green.

Last edited by snrub; 05/26/15 01:47 AM.

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Last year I stocked fhm, hbg, lmb, cc, yp, and bcp (black crappie). I would have done things different if I had found this site first. All fish were 3-4 inches when stocked except the cc were 6". I found 2 dead cc after ice out on the bottom and I'm worried as I left my diffuser too deep over the winter possibly super cooling the water. My pond is only 1/10 acre and 10 ft deep at full pool. After a dry fall last year it was down to 6ft all winter which made it all that worse leaving the diffuser to deep. The pond is in the woods and has zero weeds as it is shaded most of the day so I've been adding structure like Christmas trees. I've fished since ice out and have not caught anything. I ordered a minnow trap to see if there are any yoy so be prepared for more fish Id questions! Also I am going to use some of the fat heads as bait and see if that gets any bites night crawler is not working if there are any fish left!

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Those conditions added to your location do sound ominous. That has to be a sickening feeling.

Good luck and keep us up to date. If all your predators were killed, at least it will be pretty easy to restock and get a forage base started again. Maybe even a better opportunity to do it better this time.

Last edited by snrub; 05/26/15 10:19 AM.

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I put out a minnow trap to see what's lurking below and caught a couple giant fat head minnows and a pile of sticklebacks plus these 2. They look like fhm to me but what's up with the bright yellow on the one there was one a little larger with the same color just a young fhm?

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I would venture to say 100% not FHM on larger first picture . Almost snakehead like. The second one doesn`t look very FHM like either, but no clue on species.


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central mudminnow first pic , finescale dace second pic my guess


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Holy crap! Guess I'm not buying any more fhm from the local fish farm wondering if there were any actual fhm in that bag or just a mix of whatever he could net! Are any of these harmful to my fishery?


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