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#494448 08/01/18 10:54 AM
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Well, this was supposed to be a brag thread on how fat my newly stocked fish are becoming so I will get that out of the way first off...My cheapo scale from Harbor Freight worked out of the box, but did not work the first time I needed it at the pond. So much for figuring relative weights. It was fun fly fishing my pond for the first time last week and I caught a few RES and a good number of HBG, no HSB yet. They were all in good to fat condition with the exception of a common infection of parasites...Fish lice? Any discussion is appreciated...





The pond had a secchi clarity of 18 to 20 inches all last week. It has always appeared to be very fertile and the color changes every few days from greens to browns and back around again as the algae blooms come and go. It used to be a cattle watering hole, but was drained and de-mucked in 2016 and was stocked with game fish this spring.

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Fish Para 01.jpg Fish Para 02.jpg
Last edited by Quarter Acre; 08/01/18 11:01 AM.

Fish on!,
Noel
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That is black grub (black spot disease). It has a very interesting life cycle.

https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3395.htm

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Thanks for the info Accoursey! According to the article, there's no man-made cure for the pond's infestation, but there is also no real threat to fish or humans. Since their life cycle includes snails, hopefully the 100 RES will keep the black grubs to a minimum. So, that's why RES are always in the stocking plan. They need to start earning their keep!


Fish on!,
Noel
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I got the cheapo scale replaced and managed to catch a couple fish the other night...

One was 4.25" long and weighed 0.08 pounds. The other was 5 inches long and weighed 0.14 pounds, but my RW chart for BG does not list anything shorter than 6 inches and there does not appear to be a RW chart for HBG anyhow.

The shorter one appears to be a female HBG not a RES, do you all agree?



Here's the current pond record...



They both have plenty of black grubs, but seem to be very healthy beyond that.


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Female HBG.jpg Male HBG.jpg

Fish on!,
Noel
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I had those on fish early this spring. Looked about like yours.

But anything I have caught later in the year they seem to no longer be much of a problem.

Looks like your HBG are doing well.


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Never seen that


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

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Both fish pictured with black spot are HBG - possibly one male and smaller one female; or the smaller one could be reproduction from F1 hybrids?


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Those are some beautifully colored fish. You sure can see the GSF traits.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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I was hoping someone might discuss whether raising the pond salinity might be way to disturb the parasite life cycle???

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I could not help but do some reading on the darned things because they are so unsightly and reduce people's desire to eat the fish. I found a thesis paper here...

https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=2ahUKEwi6gq3rhNncAhVBS6wKHUJrCuIQFjAHegQIAhAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.liberty.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1192%26context%3Dhonors&usg=AOvVaw3yj9kYKK3yCuylYc1wMJfn&httpsredir=1&article=1192&context=honors

That states..."This disease does not pose a threat to humans and thus does not require extensive prevention."..."The best way to prevent black spot disease in fish is to disrupt this parasite’s life cycle by decreasing the number of intermediate host snails."

And this..."An organism infested with parasites is considered to be sickly; however, a rich parasitic community can indicate a thriving stream environment."

And..."About 95% of the diet of the Redear Sunfish is snails (Goodman, Marschall, & Stein, 1984). This characteristic makes this fish particularly fatal to the Black Spot life cycle."

WELL, the article also talks about snail poisons (molluscicides), but later states that the snail predators, like Res or Malayan snail eating turtles, are the most cost effective means to reduce the parasite.

SO, The bad news is there's no quick and easy fix.

The good news is...the parasite is generally harmless and is an indicator of a healthy environment. For the most part, according to the article, this "healthy environment" means little to no pollutants.

Journeyman, no mention of salinity or water quality changes. The cures revolved around knocking out one of the hosts (fish, birds, or snails) and snail poisons will often kill the fish too.

Good thing my fish supplier gave me a lot of extra RES because he was afraid the long trip home might be hard on them. I ask for 50 and he gave me almost 100 and they traveled and transplanted well. They just need to get to eating the snails which I see very few of anyhow.


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I've often wondered about snails and how they actually get into our ponds. Since the subject seems to be leaning toward snail control, how does one determine if they've stocked enough (or not) or too many RES. I've only personally bucket stocked a handful, but the Harvey storm put a few in for me too. No idea how many are in the pond.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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As I understand it birds deposit them as part of their life cycle in their droppings. Same with mussels.

Then you have guys like me that like RES and actually inoculate a pond dedicated to raising RES with snails and snail eggs attached to water primrose I transferred from one of my other ponds.

I looked just yesterday and I have a very good population of snails along the bank line out to a couple inches deep water, then nothing. I have often speculated that the RES keep the snails "cleaned up" up to as shallow water as they dare to go. Where the water is too shallow for the RES to go the snails thrive. Out in deeper water you have to turn over a rock or dead tree leaf to find snails where they can hide from the RES. At least where there is a large enough RES population to utilize all the snails.

In absence of enough snails the RES will eat just about anything BG will eat including FHM, fish larvae, invertebrates, etc. Some of them will eat pellets if exposed to them but they do not pellet train nearly as easily as BG. From my observation in an aquarium of small RES that I was feeding they would be "interested" in the pellets as long as they were sinking or moving. But as soon as the pellet hit the bottom and was still they would stare at it then leave it alone. If another fish would make some water movement that caused the pellet to move then the RES would get interested again and sometimes eat the pellet. It appeared to me the RES keyed into movement of the prey. When I put live snails in the RES would see a snail move, race to it, stare at it a short time, then when it moved again would eat it. As long as the snail was still they did not seem to bother it. I surmised this need to see movement in their prey is one reason they do not pellet train easily. That is my speculation based on anecdotal observation.

Last edited by snrub; 08/07/18 10:25 AM.

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Thanks for that very appreciated input, snrub. I don't see any snails at all in my shallows, which is what prompted my question. Knowing my RES don't necessarily need snails/mussels to survive makes me feel better, especially since I've got forage/fry coming out the wazzoo. I've never seen anything I could definitely say was RES when feeding, but if they don't surface feed much, I wouldn't anyway.

That being said, I guess I need to pay closer attention to my fish when I catch them to see if this parasite shows up.


.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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Well, curiosity got the better of me so I grabbed my sein dip net and went around the pond lightly dragging the bottom from as far out as I could reach and did actually come up with a couple very small snails. (Usually when I was able to drag up a few leaves.)

I also drug up some kind of critter that kinda resembled a tick but larger, and some really small jelly like globs, smaller than a #2 pencil eraser. Think maybe some kind of Bryozoan.


On another note, I also seined up a few small fry. Most were GAMs, but some were either GSF or BG. Even at 1/2" long, the bright green markings on the GSF gill plate is very evident while (what I think are BG) were more silver. Other than that, at that size, they're pretty much identical.

Last edited by Mike Whatley; 08/07/18 08:02 PM.

.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!
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