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#552254 09/19/22 07:54 PM
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I'm interested in transferring a few Native bluegill/pumpkinseed/Unknown Bluegill hybrids from a friends pond near my property. All we have in our pond right now is copper nose bluegill. Im looking to spice it up and add some variety and hopefully have some of the transfer bluegill breed with my existing bluegills. thoughts?

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What is your goal ? Are you sure they a PS ? What else is in your pond ? Adding fish can but does not always help your population.
















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Introducing "native" mixed bluegill sunfish species in with coppernose bluegill will result in production of various types of hybrid bluegill. It has been shown that some combinations hybrid bluegill produce eggs that do not hatch or fry do not survive. Whereas some of the hybrids can produce offspring that can back cross with existing 'fertile' BG. If one of your goals is to have more production of small sunfish for bass food the adding the other mixed sunfish species is not a good idea as this could actually decrease the overall number of small fish for bass to eat and grow. If your goal is to just add some variety to the sunfish community, adding mixed bluegill types will surely produce new varieties of sunfish to the pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/20/22 10:20 AM.

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I'm curious, do pumpkinseed bluegill exist commonly in Texas? I thought they were a northern pond only species? Would love to see a picture of the PS in your friend's pond. I wonder if they are Red-ear sunfish?

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I purposely introduced some CNBG from Harbin Fish Farms in Central KS in hopes of limiting BG reproduction some-as Cody suggests "may" happen. I can't confirm that but with RES present, it's made for some interesting colors and some fast growing sunfish.
It seems the opercular tab is the best indicator of purest vs mixed/hybrid, or at least that is what I'm finding in common with other more visible ques.

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@ewest
goal is big bass, and the pond is relatively fresh (the bass just went in in june)

I've thought it would be nice to see some variety in colors in the bluegill i occasionally fish for at our pond.

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@Bill Cody interesting info didn't know a lot of this thx.

As far as if they are for sure pumpkinseed I couldn't say for sure but I have caught a good handful of what looks like them in our friend's pond. If i can track down a picture I will share it.

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Originally Posted by Snipe
I purposely introduced some CNBG from Harbin Fish Farms in Central KS in hopes of limiting BG reproduction some-as Cody suggests "may" happen. I can't confirm that but with RES present, it's made for some interesting colors and some fast growing sunfish.
It seems the opercular tab is the best indicator of purest vs mixed/hybrid, or at least that is what I'm finding in common with other more visible ques.

Snipe,

Any reproduction of pure CNBG in your ponds?

Are the original stockers showing decent growth?

(I thought you were too far north for waters favorable to CNBG. I also thought that Harbin's CNBG came out of their Oklahoma operations. Of course there is a LOT that I don't know!)

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CC, I looked it up. Punkinseeds are reported at 2 Texas lakes. To me, that means they were introduced and not native.


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Rod, Harbin has CNBG in KS also-has for about 20 yrs now I guess. Plenty of reproduction pure and hybrids. Can't say growth rate has been any different than the Northerns.

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Snipe your observation that your CNBG did not grow better than BG is proof that the CNBG are close to out of their preferred environment (that is too far north).

Barracuda post some pics of the fish you are talking about. PS are generally a more northern fish. Color is mostly governed by environment and situation (stress, anger, fear and such). Lots here on fish coloration in BG. I would not suggest mixing lepomis (sunfish) species for many reasons (Bill noted) until you understand the possible pros and cons.

Here is a bit on coloration from an old thread;

A fascinating subject and probably more than anyone wanted to know about fish color including changes. As I read the description I could picture the changes occurring just as I have seen it many times.

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqSciSubWebIndex/coloration.htm

http://www.clarku.edu/departments/biology/biol201/2002/CSantos/Colored%20Chromatophores.htm

Long before aquariums we�ve known that fishes change color in response to their background, and that they change color during exercise and courtship. These changes in appearance are under the control of pigment containing cells called "chromatophores".

Some examples of this loss of dark color are ... sunfishes (Lepomis) that can quickly blanch from dark to light or come back again given fright or excited states.

Chromatophore changes can be divided into two categories, morphological and physiological. Morphological changes are usually evoked by maintaining an organism in a given setting, on a specific background for a number of days.
Physiological color changes involve alteration of pigment granules causing dispersion or aggregation consequent to various stimuli, e.g. light, temperature, chasing.

The control of aggregating and dispersing of pigment granules is caused by changes in the chromatophores ionic charge. A change of charge within the cell causes a change in color. There are two ways to change the ionic equilibrium within chromatophores, hormonal and neural. Both "paths" are often employed, one working more gradually, the other more immediately. For example, the time required to change from light to dark varies immensely.

There is good evidence that melanophore control by advanced bony fishes is principally actuated by the autonomic nervous system.

There are two principal chemicals that are produced and release by neurons (neurohormones) that affect color.
Epinephrine (Adrenalin): A nerve-activated hormone that�s released by an organism when it is excited or scared, causing pigments to contract and the animal to blanch, lose color.

Acetylcholine: A chemical that is active in muscle tissue, movement, almost always causing melanin to disperse, darkening the organism.

Morphological color changes are due to amounts of pigment present in the chromatophores of an organism. Morphological changes occur very slowly, generally over the course of a month or more, and are usually permanent.

Types of chromatophore are characterized by the color they carry. Erythrophores contain reddish pigments found in carotenoids and pteridines. Melanophores contain black and brown pigments called melanin. Xanthophores produce yellow pigments in the form of carotenoids. Fish are capable of producing some pigments, but others must be supplied in the diet. For example, they cannot produce carotenoids naturally. They accumulate carotenoids from their diet and transfer them into pigment cells to produce red, yellow, and orange colors. The intensity of the pigment is reliant on the quantity and types of carotenoids supplied in their food. The carotenoid pigment found in most marine invertebrates is astaxanthin. Another pigment that is derived from a food source is phycocyanin. This pigment is blue and is readily found in blue-green algae. Additionally, the ability of fish to store pigments they have acquired from their diet will greatly affect their appearance.

Various hues are made possible by the combinations of different layers of chromatophores. Cells carrying more than one pigment are called compound chromatophores. Most fish that appear to have green coloration on their scales actually have a layer with yellow pigment and another layer on top that scatters light and reflects a blue color. There are other types of chromatophores that do not retain pigments .

Note that there are two types of pigments true or based on color and reflective. Also note that not all chromatophores contain the actual pigment color that they appear. That is, that some work on different principles other than selective absorption/reflection. The iridophores contain quanine crystals that reflect different wavelengths of light, which give them an apparent color though no true pigment is present. Further, there are two types of iridophores or reflecting pigment cells, ones with decidedly larger and smaller quanine crystals. The larger crystals can change their orientation to reflect different colors of light. Cells with the smaller crystals can aggregate or disperse their pigments thereby controlling the intensity of color.

Because iridophores are typically light in color, the effect of dispersion and contraction is opposite that of melanophores. When quanine crystals are aggregated, the cell appears darker. The plate-like crystals give off iridescence as seen on the top and flanks of many fishes (e.g. Silver Dollars, Metynnis, Mylossoma, Anchovies, Engraulis).

Green, gold, red, blue and many other colors can be reflected selectively by iridophores. The iridescent blues of Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) are a result of quanine crystals for instance, and not blue pigmentation.

Fishes also utilize combinations of pigment cell types, with iridophores and melanophores mixed.

Much more in the links.

This is from Bob Lusk

Sunfish color, including bass and bluegill, is typically influenced by water clarity and nutrition. Muddy water yields light colored fish. Clear water influences them toward darker colors. During the spawn, males become much darker and rich in color, while the females fade in color a bit.

Last edited by ewest; 09/21/22 08:44 PM.















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pictures, we love pictures!

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Does anyone reading this have experiences or have reliable information of having coppernose BG breeding with northern pure strain BG and how the hybrids of these two variants perform???


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Couldn't find any photos of my pumpkinseed catches as i usually just toss back sunfish rather quickly. I will say I have researched sunfish hybrids since this discussion and it's possible what I thought were pumpkinseeds were actually a redear/bluegill type hybrid. Makes sense with the large population of red ear in the pond I fish

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Does anyone reading this have experiences or have reliable information of having coppernose BG breeding with northern pure strain BG and how the hybrids of these two variants perform???

All the data I have seen do not indicate that CNBG and BG are a cross (same species). I have not seen nor heard of any issues with the 2 interbreeding. Same traits, numbers, sex ratio, growth and other factors in southern climes. Note - a clime is a zone that has a characteristic climate.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/23/22 09:11 PM. Reason: clime definition















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ewest - Yes, CNBG and BG are the same species and each type (variant) is a regional or climate variant. I don't think or know if a species variant qualifies as a technical subspecies or variety, or form for our discussion of CNBG and pure BG???? . At this point I do not know if genetic molecular testing ( genetic sequencing) has distinguished the technical differences of a subspecies, a variant and a form. All 3 of these names could be just 'old school' taxonomic categories (see below) that I am familiar with. My question was, has anyone seen how the offspring perform of the genetic crossing of southern warmer water adapted CNBG X regular cold water tolerant strain BG?? . Are there any studies or experiences of using these two "types" or "forms" of BG together in the same pond that produce several generations of combining both BG types in a pond? These offspring BG could be somewhat similar to and perform similar to features of the F1 largemouth of (Northern X Florida LMB)?

I will see if I can find info about the terms variant, subspecies and variety.
Advanced Reading Learning (not for the casual reader - LOL).

In biological terms, a polytypic species has two or more genetically and phenotypically divergent subspecies, races, or more generally speaking, populations that differ from each other so that a separate description or label is warranted. These distinct groups do not interbreed as they are isolated from another, but they can interbreed and have fertile offspring, e.g. in captivity. These subspecies, races, or populations, are usually described and named by zoologists, botanists and microbiologists.

Biology – Variation or variant - refers to the differences or deviations from the recognized norm or standard. It may be a modification in structure, form or function in an organism deviating from other organisms of the same species or group.

Subspecies - is a rank below species, used for populations that live in different areas and vary in size, shape, or other physical characteristics (morphology), but that can successfully interbreed.

Species Variant (variation) - any difference between individual organisms, or groups of organisms of any species caused either by genetic differences (geneotypic variation) or by the effect of environmental factors on the expression of the genetic potentials (phenotypic variation).

Form - Some zoologists use the word "form" or "forma" to describe variation in animals. Forms have no official status, though they are sometimes useful in describing altitudinal or geographical clines.

Race - in biology and ecology a race is a localized form that has evolved characteristics as a result of the selective effect of a specific environment.

Clines - A cline refers to a spatial gradient in a specific, singular trait, rather than a collection of traits; a single population can therefore have as many clines as it has traits, at least in principle. Additionally, Huxley recognized that these multiple independent clines may not act in concordance with each other. For example, it has been observed that in Australia, birds generally become smaller the further towards the north of the country they are found. In contrast, the intensity of their plumage coloration follows a different geographical trajectory, being most vibrant where humidity is highest and becoming less vibrant further into the arid center of the country. Because of this, clines were defined by Huxley as being an "auxiliary taxonomic principle"; that is, clinal variation in a species is not awarded taxonomic recognition in the way species or subspecies are.
While the terms "ecotype" and "cline" are sometimes used interchangeably, they do in fact differ in that "ecotype" refers to a population which differs from other populations in a number of characters, rather than the single character that varies amongst populations in a cline.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/23/22 09:17 PM.

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I think we need to contact Mark Harbin. He has had both CNBG and NBG in central Kansas for close to 20 years. I have both, problem is I am not "seeing" anything that is a visual que to ID offspring of the 2, only the RESxBG hybrids..
I know we stocked a freshly renovated impoundment NE of me even, with Harbin's CNBG over 3 years ago and they have exploded and done just fine reproduction-wise. In THAT impoundment, there are no NBG. When we stocked the Colby lake, my fish came out of the same load and I catch an occasional CNBG that is obviously from the original stocking as they are all the same, large size.
I will try and get some info from Mark.

Last edited by Snipe; 09/23/22 09:47 PM.
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Maybe next year, if there are hybrids, they will be big enough to ID, but at this point, I have no proof of that example.

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I tried this stuff once in a very small, seasonal, pond that I own when it filled. I stocked 2 types; bluegills and copper nose. They were 3 to 4 inches. The pond lasted about 3 years before drought and heat dried it out. It hasn’t dried out since but may if we don’t get some badly need rain.

The offspring that I could identify as crosses grew to the same sizes of the non crosses.

What I couldn’t identify were the progeny of cross/cross, cross/original donor, etc. the original stocker progeny were obviously non crosses.

Texas drought and heat ended the project. I seined the whole bunch and added them to the larger pond.

Re Green Sunfish. This 1/4 acre pond is about a mile from the house. I don’t live on the property. I first stocked it about 35 to 40 years ago with fatheads, bluegills, redears, cats and bass. Cormorants have gotten all but one catfish, all the bass and the larger sunfish. When I make it there, I feed them. I also seined my creek and added a bunch of sunfish. In those days I didn’t know the difference but I later figured out that I had added the “dreaded” green sunfish.

The greens have bred/cross bred with the original lepomis and have now, many year later have become the only species. Yep, they can take over a pond but, in this case, has taken dang near 25 years.

The upside of the green guys is, in a perennial drought stricken area, is that they only spawn annually. Like all other fish, 95% of the offspring get eaten per Lusk. That cuts down on the O2 crashes.

I like my greenies. They have a spot in my world.


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I suspect that the offspring of CNBG X BG will be very hard to recognize from pure BG. This is probably the case with croxxing FL LMB with northern LMB to produce F1 LMB. Those members with F1 LMB,,,, are they recognizable from northern LMB??? Bob Lusk would know. Maybe we can get his input.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/25/22 07:45 PM.

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Some people say they can id F1s or Fla but not IMO. There is supposes to be a slight lateral line scale count that is different by 2-3 scales . I have seen to many of all involved and can't tell with any certainty.

As for CNBG vs Native

Coppernose bluegill have been around for a long time. They are only one of three recognized subspecies of bluegill (lepomis macrochirus). Coppernose (lepomis macrochirus purpurescens) is native to Peninsular of Florida. Coppernose bluegill have 12 soft rays on their anal fin as opposed to 11 soft rays found on the regular bluegill. Coppernose have fewer but wider vertical bars on their sides than do regular (common or native ) bluegill. Coppernose also have orange margins to their fins. Male coppernose has a broad copper band above the eye or forehead and are prominent during spawning season. Reproduction of the Coppernose is about the same as with most all bluegill.

More to come.

The Coppernose bluegill is known for its colorful markings. The fins of the coppernose have a reddish orange fringe outline with a pencil thin white border. The vertical bars on the sides are more distinct and broader especially in the young. The distinct copper band across the head which is brilliant on the male is the reason for the common name "coppernose".

THE COPPERNOSE BLUEGILL (CNBG) IS ALSO A FLORIDA STRAIN. IT IS EASILY DISTINGUISHED FROM THE NORTHERN BLUEGILL BY ITS COLORATION AND MARKINGS. THE FINS OF THE CNBG ARE REDDISH-ORANGE WITH A THIN WHITE MARGIN. THE TYPICAL VERTICAL BAR PATTERN OF THE BLUEGILL IS PRONOUNCED IN THE COPPERNOSE, AND VERY DISTINCTIVE. ADULT MALES HAVE A BROAD COPPER BAND ACROSS THE HEAD THAT IS THE TRADEMARK OF THE STRAIN.


I have not tried to id CNBG X BG to see which if any traits stand out.

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The dominant genes for body pattern will show the most common degree of expression in some or many of the offspring when a BG & CNBG cross and produce offspring. As with most hybrids due to phenotypic variation not all the F1 hybrids will look identical - genetic variation of subtle differences in appearance among the year class will likely be common for some of the F1's. Successive generational crosses will likely look like more like which of the parents that have the dominant genes for body pattern i.w. "stand out traits". Since ewest reports the CNBG is a subspecie of BG,,, then I think the dominant genetics will be with the main specie pure strain BG and not the CNBG. Additional generation crosses will I think look more and more like "regular" BG as the "stand out traits".

In genetics, the phenotype is the set of observable characteristics or traits of an organism. The term covers the organism's morphology or physical form and structure, its developmental processes, its biochemical and physiological properties, its behavior, and the products of behavior.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/26/22 09:48 AM.

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I will be in Harbin's area next week. Mark said he didn't have time to seine out any CNBG, but their facility in Oklahoma had them and they were from the same broodstock. So, I will be bringing 30#, maybe 40# of 4"+ fish back to do some testing. I will stock some in my pond, and some in a 1/10 ac pond that has only Golden Shiners and Crayfish in it now. Some SMB will be stocked at the same time in that same pond.

Cody, you want a few?


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Guys,
Some of the hatcheries in Arkansas sell "coppernose" bluegill, but I'm convinced they are actually an intergrade cross with another strain of bluegills. Native sunfish in Glen Rose will either be bluegills, green sunfish, longear sunfish (highly likely) and an occasional warmouth. Redear have been stocked throughout that area as have hybrid sunfish from hatcheries. If a hybrid exists in this pond, it's a cross between any of these except longears.

To increase the food chain for bass, focus on bluegills, even if they are intergrade crosses between strains. They'll still reproduce and have growth potential as well...in Glen Rose.


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He can teach to catch fish...
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esshup,

Are you using those CNBG as a pure experiment for your local conditions?

I thought we had a thread on Pond Boss showing that CNBG growth rates and recruitment diminished (compared to standard BG) as the pond locations moved north from about the latitude of north Texas.

I cannot find that thread now. (So I either have a faulty memory, or poor search skills!)

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