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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524046 07/27/20 11:46 PM
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A couple to look at...
I believe #1 is bluntnose and #2 Red shiner?

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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524063 07/28/20 12:09 PM
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Good photos - that would be my WAG also but you've got far more experience with both these species than I do at this point. In fact, I've never directly handled either species...yet!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524081 07/28/20 09:38 PM
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I need a clearer sharper picture of the nose and snout to verify bluntnose.


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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524082 07/29/20 12:14 AM
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Sorry Bill, I had taken probably 25 of each and had a really tough getting it to focus through the bag.
There are only 3 species in this forage pond, Bluntnose, Spotfin and Reds.
If youre thinking possibility of spotfin, I'll have to get another caught and try again.


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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524176 07/31/20 09:30 PM
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I am pretty sure the shiner is a red shiner not a spotfin. The body is too tall (wide) and scales are not 'right' for a small spotfin shiner. Try taking pictures of fish in a plastic bag with less water in the bag so the water does not make the walls so far apart. If only bluntnose is in the pond then pic1 is a bluntnose. I just couldn't clearly see the snout.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/01/20 08:44 PM.

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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524534 08/09/20 03:15 PM
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I'm having a hard time getting good pics but these fish have grown quite a bit in 10 days. To a point I have 2 obvious species ID'd and I have loads of both RSH and BNM. I have not had a single specimen that has made me think the very few adult spotfins I put in forage pond has reproduced. The BNM and RSH I have now are about same size as the original stock I received and with pics I have of those it's obvious what I have.
on a side note, another observation I've made is 1"-1'5" BG and RES will READILY consume fry of 3/8-3/4" in huge numbers which surprised me. BG more than any I have in tank are extremely aggressive when adding minnow fry to feed my 4" spotted bass, even though the BG and RES are trained to readily consume flakes and are in super body condition.
Another surprise (to me) was how many 1/2" minnow fry a Gambusia will consume. I have 2 female skeeter fish in my big tank and even though they get more flakes than they want, they will hammer minnow fry. That alone makes me think Gams are not good to have with reproducing minnow populations.
Just a few things I've noticed playing with things related to forage production..


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Re: Red Shiner experiment for alternative forage
Snipe #524548 08/10/20 08:15 AM
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Snipe,

It great to read how your RSH and BNM are reproducing in your pond with an already establish population of fish. Congratulations. That's really good news!

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Another surprise (to me) was how many 1/2" minnow fry a Gambusia will consume. I have 2 female skeeter fish in my big tank and even though they get more flakes than they want, they will hammer minnow fry. That alone makes me think Gams are not good to have with reproducing minnow populations.

I think Gams would prefer to eat fry over anything else. But I think this is also true of SMB, RES, and BG. I will add some thoughts on Gams. In monoculture, Gams do not attain the standing weights that other fish can, including other minnows. Beyond fertility, the standing weights they can achieve is highly dependent on the quantity of edge a BOW has as compared to the surface area. Because of this, they attain higher standing weights per unit area in smaller ponds than in larger ones. So they do have a niche along the edges which in part limits them.

Gams also limit themselves. After they reach a critical density, recruitment falls way off. This is probably due at least in part to fry predation. So gams will add more forage if they are being cropped by predators. The interesting thing about Gams is how much forage can produce in relation to their maximum attainable standing weight. They can produce many times this maximum standing weight in forage annually under cropping. The contribution of Gams is so good that I have to say it is better to have Gams than no minnows at all.

Given that Gams fill a niche, I think whether they will be a net positive in a pond with other minnows is an "it depends" that depends in part on what the other minnows are and what niches they fill as preferred habitat. To be sure, their niches will overlap. For example RSH will utilize the edges that the Gams prefer. It may be possible that the edges can support a greater weight/unit area of Gams than they can of RSH. Given that RSH prefer midwater pelagic water, fry predation by Gams may be low enough that the Gams make up for that negative. I don't know and I am reluctant to guess but I will say this. Prey diversity is best when they are filling underutilized niches in time, space, and primary food sources. So diversity in peak reproduction, preferred habitat, and types of preferred foods should maximize forage production. From this perspective, the combination you are working with seems almost ideal from the minnow perspective. RSH for midwater, BNM for benthic water, and Gams for the edges.

Even so, as long as the BNM and RSH are reproducing in good numbers ... you may not miss the Gams.

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