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#543913 02/10/22 12:17 PM
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Anyone in Indiana have experience with spotfin shiners in their pond? Do they do well? Do they offer any advantages over GSH in some situations? Thinking about options for my 4th pond.

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Spotfin shiners will behave basically the same in all ponds not just Indiana.
1. Spotfin will not grow as big as golden shiners. Spotfin(SFS) maximum length will be about 5 inches whereas GSH can easily grow to 8" and sometimes 10".

2. Spotfin due to their smaller size are as not as bad of bait stealer as GSH.

3. Spotfin spawn completely differently compared to GSH.

4. Spotfin are crevice spawners whereas GSH scatter eggs in very shallow water near shore vegetation.

5. Both GSH and SFS eat fish food very well.

6. Both are very prolific.

7. SFS have a longer spawning season than GSH.

8. SFS are probably do not eat as many fish eggs compared to GSH.

9. SFS are not reported to have the egg suppression parasite common to GSH.

10. SFS due to their smaller adult size will not tolerate as much big fish predation as GSH.

11. Both SFS and GSH probably have the same water quality requirements.

12. Both are rapid, very active swimmers and size for size have about the same predator avoidance ability.

I could write at least page of information about very one of the above topics.

GSH and Spotfin have their own niche, similar to FHM and BNM being similar and closely related have their own niche and specific benefits in the pond habitat for a sport fishery. Different types of fisheries have different requirements based on the specie of fish.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/13/22 08:44 AM.

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Bill - Thank you once again for sharing your in-depth knowledge! Wondering if spotfins might fit better in a small crappie/catfish pond, or if GSH might actually be better to reduce reproduction of those species. Also thinking about spotfins in my 4th pond if I end up adding grass pickerel that I catch (actually would prefer chain pickerel, but cannot source them). Hoping the 4th pond will reach full pool soon!

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RAH #543950 02/11/22 12:07 PM
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Ideally I prefer to have the baitfish (as adults) get too big for the predators to eat easily, so there will be some broodstock left.

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Quote
Ideally I prefer to have the baitfish (as adults) get too big for the predators to eat easily, so there will be some broodstock left

Good point. This is why one importantly should properly match the preyfish with the predator. Know the habits of all fish related to your fishery. Bluegill - LMbass combo makes matching easy. Other less popular fish really should have some homewwork or professional and experienced advice before randomly stocking fish just because it seemed like a good idea. There is way too much of "Oh snap, I wish I would not have done that".

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/11/22 07:49 PM.

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I have two successful fish ponds based on the great info that folks have provided here (BG/LMB & YP/SMB). My 3rd pond will go off course a bit with crappie and catfish in a 0.4 acre pond, but I am going in with my eyes wide open. Nothing but FHM and lake chubsucker in the pond now and I am still hoping that I can locate some blue catfish locally to transfer in rather than ordering CC. If things go awry, it won't be due to not being given fair warning. Just wanting a different mix of fish that will spawn. I do have a neighbor who loves to fish, so that might save me if the catfish cannot control the crappie. I could also perhaps add GSH to eat eggs if things start going downhill. Sounds like spotfins are really no advantage in this pond, but might work in a RES & grass pickerel pond since perhaps the breeders might be too big for most of the predators?

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RAH, don't plan on the GSH eating enough eggs. Ain't gonna happen.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
esshup #543995 02/12/22 02:26 PM
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Just one component of the plan, however half baked it may be...

RAH #544008 02/12/22 09:55 PM
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RAH I would most definitely use SFS in your pond. I've posted my impressions before about them and they present almost no downside that I can think of.
The main struggle is sourcing them. I was unable to dedicate enough time and energy (and find suitable equipment or build it) that would allow me to harvest or trap, or net large enough quantities to share with others. But it is back on my list of things to do again this year.

You are fortunate if they are native in your streams or lakes already. I'm not sure there are any natively in the bodies of water in SW michigan. The fish database page that was linked to in a thread earlier has a few pictures and entries for SFS by me but the pictures listed makes me real skeptical about the identification accuracy.

Bill has a great write up about them too.

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I am afraid that adding them now to my 3rd pond that has only FHM and lake chubsuckers might not be good because there are no submerged plants yet due to the clay bottom.

RAH #544060 02/14/22 01:33 PM
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What is the fear with less plants? NO place to hide from predators? I don't see a predator problem in that pond.
Lack of area to spawn? SFS use artificial spawning structures very readily and we can help you make your own. I'm not sure what your fear of inadequate plants is about.

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Does the fear of no submerged plants not apply to FHM and chubsuckers? Spotfins are primarily an open water pelagic specie not as dependent upon submerged plants as refuge compared to more bottom oriended and bottom dwelling FHM and LCS. My philosophy is stock several species and the local habitat and other fishes will determine who are successful based on existing conditions.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/14/22 01:44 PM.

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I have easy access to more FHM and lake chubsuckers (the latter from one of my ponds), but the spotfins will be in shorter supply. With only these other 2 species in the pond, do you think the spotfins would be OK? Will I need to add specific structure for them to spawn successfully? I could hold out adding any other species for a couple years if that is desirable. Alternatively, I could add them to my 4th pond when it fills and clears up if you think a new pond would have enough food for them. The 4th pond might actually be a better fit with other species that I would like to add (grass pickerel and pumpkinseed sunfish). Just trying to think of alternatives to try. If the eelgrass (protected by chicken wire) works out, perhaps I'll have some desirable submerged plants in a few years.

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RAH #544070 02/14/22 03:24 PM
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The spotfin can easily outswim your lake chubsuckers and FHM. They move faster than your eye can follow almost. As Bill says they hang out in open water, bask in the sun, and do not seem to fear any predators. They move in groups and all will dart this way or the other way in a cadence.

I think it would be spectacular planning to keep just FHM, Lake Chubsuckers and SFS in this pond for now. If the water chemistry is right and they take off with spawning you will soon have tons of little fish and then you can decide if you want to net them and add to other ponds, or be a local source for other pondboss-ers in your area, or just let them get to ridiculous numbers.

In my pond their only predator is YP and the balance seems to be fine. I have 4-5" adult SFS that the YP can't handle but they also guarantee more eggs being laid. I have a few senior citizen GSH left that help control my YP numbers but the SFS seem to be able to keep ahead of predation and produce many many young minnows.

I have found it very easy to add artificial spawning structures (Cody can share pictures of what he has built). I have made plastic cardboard stacks but they didn't like them. They used my stacks of music CDs the most favorably although they are fussy about the gap size between the CDs. I added some old gnarly logs sawed in half the last 2 summers. The logs had pool noodles on the 'bark side' to help them float. The log were cut long way and the smooth side where the chain saw went through became a floating platform for the turtles, the underside was rough bark and I hoped the SFS would use the natural crevices in the bark to spawn in just like they do in streams where they have to find their own natural crevices. The pool noodles were a challenge to get positioned right to allow the increasingly water logged log to keep floating with the flat side upright. As it got heavier it kept trying to flip over. I need a better plan this summer.

I will continue to experiment with other structures to encourage SFS spawning as this year my stacks of CDs had zero eggs glued to them but I had tons of SFS cruising around.

This year you could have a glorified forage pond with the SFS. If you want a little predator action you could put in some adult YP (8" plus preferred and maybe a dozen) They would go after your FHM first since they move slower.

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Thank you for the encouragement. I actually find the idea of adding them to my FHM and lake chubsucker pond attractive because that gives me more time to see if I can source blue catfish rather than settling for CC in that pond. I have lots of small fish in this pond, but I have not caught any to verify that some are lake chubsuckers. I initially stocked 19 fish that washed out the pipe of my 2nd pond, but since installing the water-control box in that pond and adding 1' of boards, I have not seen any wash out. Same thing with small YP. Nice to be able to plan during the cold weather!

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as far south as you are probably no chance of sampling fish by way of ice fishing right?
If you have YP in this pond they may bite on a live bait presented slow on the bottom just like they do through the ice. That would help you decide if you have a few YP left. I'm not sure how else to sample what 'small fish' are in this pond since I'm not sure if fish would go in traps at this time of year.

But again, SFS would be able to outlast any panfish (their mouth size isn't very big) and would be more subject to predation if they were overwhelmed with predator numbers (say 10-15 big hungry YP to every 10 minnows)

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RAH #544085 02/15/22 05:48 AM
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Only FHM and lake chubsuckers in my 3rd pond where I am thinking of introducing spotfins. Yellow perch are in my 2nd pond. Had enough ice for a friend and his son to fish the pond with YP in it, There are also SMB in the second pond and GSH, so I have no plans to introduce spotfins in that pond.
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azteca #544092 02/15/22 10:38 AM
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Thank you for posting the link! It was suggested that logs added to the pond might work as well?

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azteca that is a fabulous slide deck you posted. I wish we could hear the audio that went along with these slides. I bet it is a treasure trove of real life knowledge and experience. I wonder if anyone in WI is still growing SFS for the bait industry on a larger scale using the lessons learned here?

Bill Cody, do you understand how they are making these cedar spawning structure? Where are the crevices, just the space in between the cedar planks? They indicate a certain size square was preferred but didn't mention a preferred gap size. If the cedar squares are 2-5mm apart, how do the eggs get so far in between the squares? The fish can't swim in that crack!!? Maybe the current floats the eggs that far in?

I note current was helpful and I see that as a missing thing in my pond as well. SFS orient immediately to any moving water in my pond as well.

It could be that my black plastic cardboard squares were not accepted as egg laying structure due how smooth the surfaces were and not due to gap as gap size was similar and orientation very similar to what was in the pictures in that slide show. Probably (guessing) the cedar (wood) squares gave some added texture/roughness for depositing eggs.

I will experiment with rough sawn cedar vs smooth cedar and other crevice structure. I had added pallets and put a car tire with plenty of tread left under the deep end of the pallet to help keep it level on my sloped banks. I assumed the SFS may have used the crevices in the tires as spawning sites but have not pulled the tires yet to see for sure if eggs were laid there.

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Abstract from - https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/10.1139/f76-243 on observed results from collecting eggs from free range Spotfin Shiners.

In 1975 experiments were conducted in the Susquehanna River, near Berwick, Pennsylvania, to investigate spawning-site selection of the spotfin shiner (Notropis spilopterus), a crevice spawner.

Results of experiment A revealed that visual cues and water currents were important in spawning-site selection.

Spotfins deposited 43.638 eggs on black discs and only 2 eggs on clear discs; 87% of the eggs were in horizontal crevices and the remainder in vertical crevices paralleling (7%) and perpendicular (6%) to the current. Fish spawned over the entire disc in slow currents but avoided strong currents (0.57 m/s) by spawning on the downstream side of the discs. Nearly 90% of the eggs were deposited in crevices 1.5 and 3.0 mm wide, the two smallest sizes. In angular crevices 15–90° from horizontal, fish deposited 74% of 8,358 eggs in the 15° crevice and 24% in the 30° crevice.

In experiment B, a stack of black acrylic plates was placed near the river surface, at midwater, and near the bottom;

in July fish deposited 91% of 13.088 eggs in the bottom stack. By mid-August stack usage had changed and 80% of 11,456 eggs were in the surface stack; the others were in the midwater stack. Rate of egg deposition on acrylic plates between July 10 and August 20 peaked in early August.In experiment C, 95% of 46,328 eggs were placed in crevices between blue (55%) and black (40%) plates; other colors were green (4%), red (1%), and white, yellow, and orange (< 1%). Fish usually spawned on the plates between 0600 and 1000; spawning did not occur at night.

The spotfin has potential as a bioassay organism because of its wide distribution, the ease with which large numbers of its eggs can be collected, its extended breeding season, and the simplicity of rearing the young.
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Stressless Note: There's not enough money to pay me to count thru 46,000 and change pin head eggs!!

So I'm building stacked sets of rigid black or dark blue plates with crevices 1.5 - 3.0 mm wide that will be put in the eddy areas of the local creeks/rivers that have Spotfins, using FISHMAP(click here) to find those, setting the stacked crevices horizontal at the bottom of the water column and moving them up in the column as the month slides from Late June thru Aug in Ohio.

Last edited by Stressless; 02/15/22 01:22 PM.

8 Ponds in Mid-East Ohio, three streams that merge to 1.

Fishbowl Pond - 1.5 acre, family swimming hole, 22'
Figure 8 Pond - 1.25 acre, 12'
Crescent Pond - 2 acre 11'
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Stressless, thanks for this!

What is your idea of a 'acrylic' plate? What are you using for 'plates' and will you paint them or coat them with black or blue tape (duct tape or painter's tape?) I assume that an acrylic plate would be smooth/slippery so texture of the crevice surface wouldn't matter?

it also appears current has to be present but not too powerful

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Is current definitely required?

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Based on what I saw from the slide deck it appears that aluminum siding could be used... hmmmmm.... my next step will be to find rigid material that can be easily worked and preferably come in black or dark blue. thinking the spacer between disks can be forthright but some tension or other add-on to keep the 1.5-3.0 mm spacing tolerance right out to 4" from the center or make three spacers that go on the "outside" of the rigid material, think isosceles triangle that would def keep the spacing in currents as I'm betting I'll get a gully washer while they soak (high currents) and want them to remain viable.

Well - about in business.... https://hkresale.com/collections/ne...plexiglas-laser-cut-sheet-7-3-8-diameter

So they are 1/16" thick reg acrylic disk is 1/8" so chip up a reg 1/8" and one 1/16" disk - make your platter with some plastic bonding glue handy, glue three 1/8" chips in that isosceles triangle about half way from center to edge, alternate with three 1/16" chips and build as high as you care to. Strong and "hosedownable" to wash out/off between collect/hatch cycles. Prolly make some kind of removable weight connector on the bottom disc, removable D clip connector on the top disk.

Last edited by Stressless; 02/15/22 01:57 PM.

8 Ponds in Mid-East Ohio, three streams that merge to 1.

Fishbowl Pond - 1.5 acre, family swimming hole, 22'
Figure 8 Pond - 1.25 acre, 12'
Crescent Pond - 2 acre 11'
RAH #544112 02/15/22 01:48 PM
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RAH, current is not required. I have had great reproduction success even with the 'wrong kind' of artificial spawn surfaces. The fish find a way using other structures in the pond as well.

I just noted that in the slide deck above they found benefit when current was present and in Stressless study he quoted, too much current caused them to seek shelter from the current and only use the 'sheltered' side of the spawning structure.

I was just thinking that I do have a hydrant in one area of my pond and could keep a hose running with diffuser to try to create some water movement across a spawning structure. The other structures would have to be in still water (unless I can add some electric powered underwater turbines/fans/merry-go-rounds) next to each spawning structure. I do not like the idea of electricity going to power something that lives underwater.

These dock/pier mounted deicers still make me nervous for those who might be in the water nearby.

Maybe I can use transformer and instead use 12 or 18V DC power to run a propeller/impeller/ or maybe a automobile squirrel cage type under dash heater/a/c fan to get a little water movement across the spawning disks. DC feels safer somehow...

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