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Well, about maple syrup...

We are in SW MI and every year is different. Last year we probably mistimed the first little bit of sap run due to unexpectedly early run due to an early warm up. Then we never got the cold snap to start it back up again. I think all told last year we tapped about 20-25 trees and had maybe 20 or so pints. (we are primitive, just plastic taps and drop hoses and a few old school metal taps, and some 2 gallon buckets)

This year, despite a very strange warm winter, very little ice, and an early thanksgiving snow event and a few other short lived snow storms, we did much better. We had to jump out early again to get the taps in and catch the 2 weeks of beautiful sunny days and cold nights. Sap ran well during that time. Then it stopped, tried to start, stopped again and then stopped for good. We collected over a longer time this year and also tapped some more trees down the road at my inlaws place. I bought him a set of 20 'classic' galvanized buckets with flip up lids. He loved helping out this year! Our total tree tap might have hit 50 'taps' although some trees have 2 or 3 taps in them.

With his sap and ours, an outdoor fireplace, and a commercial gas stove in the basement to help 'finish' it, we did really well this year. We finished up just now and I think at last count we were right about 145 pints. So even though we couldn't skate or ice fish, somehow we had a good sap run.

Now to find a market for it! The kids load it up in a tow behind bike cart and peddle it around the neighborhood... Is there a better way to get it to people who appreciate it?

We have a lot of local craft beer and brewing establishments and more popping up every day. There is a small corner bar that makes hard liquor (Michigan Moonshine is the name). Would a small batch brewery or distillery have use for maple syrup in a small run of whatever brew they are making? I know nothing about alcoholic beverages so not sure if this would go in bourbon or whiskey or rum or whatever but I'd sure love to help them out and sell what I have.

I know our batches have a different appearance and taste then others, some probably from early syrup vs late season syrup changing taste but some may be from the exact mix of trees being used (they are maples, but not all sugar maples).

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cc,

Sounds like another productive year for your family maple syrup crew!

Is there a little farmer's market in your area that opens up every other Saturday (for example)?

Your kids could help run the stand on a Saturday. First year sales might be a little slow, however the customers at those types of places like to become "regulars". If they loved your syrup this year, they might buy 10 bottles next year to give out as small gifts, mail to their daughter in California, etc.

Good luck and have fun!

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
cc,

Sounds like another productive year for your family maple syrup crew!

Is there a little farmer's market in your area that opens up every other Saturday (for example)?

Your kids could help run the stand on a Saturday. First year sales might be a little slow, however the customers at those types of places like to become "regulars". If they loved your syrup this year, they might buy 10 bottles next year to give out as small gifts, mail to their daughter in California, etc.

Good luck and have fun!

I have to give the Amish family that I get my maple syrup from an order a year in advance for what I want the following year. They call me when it's ready.


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Originally Posted by esshup
I have to give the Amish family that I get my maple syrup from an order a year in advance for what I want the following year. They call me when it's ready.

Sounds like you have become a "regular" for that family business.

I bet they give you pretty good service?

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Went though a plankton cycle the last 8 days or so, water looks "real good" but no ribbons. Surface temp 44, photo period 12+7min.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by esshup
I have to give the Amish family that I get my maple syrup from an order a year in advance for what I want the following year. They call me when it's ready.

Sounds like you have become a "regular" for that family business.

I bet they give you pretty good service?

It took an "in" from another Amish friend to get them to sell to an "Englishman". LOL He had to call them, and tell them that he gave me their phone number and to expect a call from Scott about some Maple Syrup. I will take them some deer snack sticks and venison summer sausage every year when I pick up the maple syrup. The first time I bought from them, I took some to them and they looked at me like I was a 2 headed snake. I gave them the grocery bag full of the stuff, they looked inside and looked at me with this quizzical look as if to say what is this? When they realized what it was and that I was giving it to them, not wanting to trade for syrup, things changed. LOL Yeah, when I go there, they have to take me back to the sugar shack so I can see how they are making it and they show off any new equipment that they've purchased the previous year. They collect the syrup in a roughly 1,000 gallon stainless steel tank on a wagon pulled by 4 of the biggest draft horses that I've ever seen.

We talk about how the year for them has been going, they ask about fish, etc. I am usually there about an hour or so.


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Originally Posted by Snipe
Went though a plankton cycle the last 8 days or so, water looks "real good" but no ribbons. Surface temp 44, photo period 12+7min.


Today was our 12 hour 12 minute photoperiod.


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[Linked Image]Southeast Iowa pond. Did a walk around yesterday and there were no sightings of any egg strands. Our daytime average temps have been on the chillier side (40s average). Nights have been average 20s and 30s for the most part, so we are still working on achieving the desired water temps. I did catch a female YP and she was still full bellied. Once some decent warming starts, I presume it won't be long. I caught the one female YP and made a couple more casts, had a few perch follow the jig to shore, which was nice seeing with such cooler temps of water and air compared to expectations. I was done shortly after that, won't sample again until after they've done their thing reproductively speaking.

Last edited by Perch Pond; 03/24/23 02:54 PM.
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Finally we can report eggs in Michigan! I checked Friday evening and we had none, then didn't check again till Sunday morning and saw about 6 to 7 strands. We had rain all day Saturday so I'm guessing they went in over night between Friday and Saturday. The egg strands in most cases had a layer of fine silt over them which makes me think the rain and wind may have silted them over.

I'll put the date for 2023 as March 25, 2023!

Not sure if it is harmful to the egg strand to gently reposition them? I swirled a little water over them to wash the silt of and then redraped them up over leaves and sticks to try to get the best possible chance of successful hatch. I found it interesting that some of the individual eggs already had white on them. I thought the white color came many days later to indicate no successful fertilization but these are white already in some instances.

This year the eggs were pretty evenly distributed around the South, SW and SE corners and all in about the exact depth water, about 18" This year they also preferred to use sticks, underwater branches of my swamp buttercup bushes and flattened reeds that happened to be underwater as the preferred spot for laying eggs. Only 2 skeins were laying on the oak leaves in the south edge which is the usual favorite place.

I put in a few more branches and we'll see where the late eggs go. New ribbons seem to appear for a week at least after the first sighting depending on weather conditions. We have had a lot of rain, a little snow, some melts and the water table is pretty high so the pond edges are pretty much near full pool.

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Won't be long now. This little chunker was found in the B trap yesterday.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

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Yes! I noticed if I had traps out with larger openings (mine had 5" circle openings) that the YP would go in and lay eggs in them.

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None in my Southern Ohio pond yet. My fish went in 2 weeks ago (hopefully all female), so that stress may have thrown them off a little. They all looked about like Augie's there going in. This weekend warmed up a bunch for us, hitting 60 degrees, so I'd guess mine won't be long.


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03/27/2023
I walked the perimeter just in case any YP had strewn some egg strands and I was surprised at finding one. I was just there a couple days ago and didn't see any. In total, this evening, I found 3 different egg skeins in about 12" of water. I wasn't expecting it, so I didn't have anything to check the water temp with. I do know a large lake was 40 degree surface temp today, so I imagine the pond has reached high 40s. Strands were all suspended on grass a few inches off the bottom. Also, one strand was in the SE corner of the pond, and the other 2 were spaced about 15 yards from each other on the east shoreline. All 3 strands were about 15 yards apart or so. I did take some good 📸, but haven't mastered uploading from my phone. Be on the lookout, it's happening!!

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Fabulous Perch Pond!

I was surprised that a few of the egg strands were very shallow, about 12" at best and suspended up off the bottom. I walked around after work today and found no new ones. Sunday was full of changing weather, some wind, cold, some on and off rain and a little snow. Today was sunny, still cool but we'll see maybe more eggs tomorrow. I put out more branches.

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Augie, is that offspring from some we sent back??
Starting to think I had a fish kill big-time.. not seeing anything.

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Looks like a 2yo female to me. If that's correct it must have been spawned here.

"Where'd my fish go?" is starting to become a theme here this spring.

Hopefully they're just not out of the winter funk yet.

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Here are some photos of the egg strands I found in fairly shallow water yesterday on March 28th. It seemed as if the female perch had kind of weaved tunneled through the grass to help get the strands of eggs out and distributed.

Ponds around me last summer were as low as I've ever seen them be here in southern IA. I wonder if another pond I keep tabs on lost some of the bigger fish (BG, Crappie, HSB, LMB) seems as if it did maybe, but not total loss if any at all.

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Female out of the same pond where the eggs strands are. Just wanted to share.

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Originally Posted by Perch Pond
Female out of the same pond where the eggs strands are. Just wanted to share.

She's so pretty, she should probably be an Instagram model!

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Bill Cody, is it Ok to gently move the egg strands? to reposition to better drape up over vegetation or branches or at least to swish some water over the egg strand to avoid silting and suffocation of each embryo?

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Yellow perch egg ribbons can be moved around and lifted out of the water for several seconds. The longer the ribbon is out of the water the more drying that occurs and this lowers the hatching percentage. I remove and transfer ribbons each year, keep them damp as possible, and egg hatch is always good. YP Ribbons are pretty durable to movement and handling. Each egg is encased in a gelatinous covering that holds all the eggs together in the strand. . It does not seem to hurt the integrity of most of the eggs if the ribbon is torn or broken into segments - egg hatch still seems pretty good.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/29/23 09:35 AM.

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Pond water temp here was 44.0°F yesterday, today it's 44.9°F. That will go back down, high tomorrow will be 61°F, then snow flurries on Saturday with a low Sat night of 22°F. High on Sat *might* hit 40°F.


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My YP have been spawning for 2 weeks now and IMO are now Apr 05 are done laying. YP spawn for me usually lasts 2 weeks. Cecil Baird at same latitude as me also had YP eggs back around Mar 21. Those eggs not laid will be absorbed by the females. I still see some very gravid females eating pellets. Not all females will drop their eggs. Not sure why.

One local 22ft deep pond I help manage had the YP just start laying eggs April 01 with surface water temp of 50F. Generally in my experience when water temps reach 54-55F the YP are done spawning. Anyone else see fresh YP eggs at 55F water temps?


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Bill I left on spring break to make a run into the hill country of the ozarks. Much more to be said about my trip through 'Misery' and into Arkansas, learned a lot but also have a lot of questions...

But during my 10 days gone, I came back and due to heavy rain events are about 1 foot higher on the banks and the water is a bit silted up. I can still make out the egg strands although they are now in about 24 inches instead of 8 inches of water. I did not see any new strands so either my female YP are mostly gone or we just didn't have many egg layers this year.

I have had less and less strands the last few years and even less fertilizing. But my original stocking was I believe in 2014 so they must be gone (can YP live in a small pond to 10 years old?) and some of the early years of reproduction must also be getting old and tired. We had not had many visible young YP in the shallows the last 3 years.

Time to make a road trip to Laggis again and start over.

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canyon,

Is your catch rate still good on your "target" size of YP?

Are you also catching some small YP that are from recent spawns?

Or can you not evaluate your spawn results because you have a YP predator species in the pond that also significantly effects your observations?

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