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plecos in texas


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#1 Guest_don212_*

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

went to visit m old haunts in del rio tx, i used to live there from 74-77. theres a beautiful spring creek in the village that used to be full of a diverse mix of fish including a lot of texas cichlids. now it is full of pleco catfish and veri little else, do these nasti things eliminate the natives, and how? does anithing eat them? what can be done?

#2 Guest_NVCichlids_*

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

The only thing I could think of eating them would be bigger cats (mountain lions?), possibly coyotes and large birds.

Have you ever picked up a pleco of 5-6" SL? They are pretty much only vulnerable on their underside, otherwise protected by an armor plating that is hard for any normal animal to get through. I imported a 12" pleco (L155.. they grow to 30" if not more) and that thing I couldn't hold/transfer from the shipping box to the tank without gloves (granted I am diabetic and my fingers are sensitive).

Plecos are good egg hunters, but depending on the species that is loose in TX, I think it would be hard for them to wipe out everything (sunfish and cichlids are usually pretty darn good parents so some should always s urvive.)

Just my 2cents

#3 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

Other factors, e.g. development, stream alteration, urban stormwater, fertilizers, other pollutants might also be partly responsible for disappearance of the natives, not just the "pleco" invasion. Pterygoplichthys species (the invasive "plecos" in TX and FL) do well in degraded streams, although they can certainly invade healthy streams and springs too.

#4 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

There have been some studies out of TX State University in SM about invasive plecos, and having been in a number of places containing them, am pretty confident in saying that if there is loss of diversity, it's mostly due to stream degredation of one type or another. Are you talking about San Felipe Creek? Did you pull a seine in there to look for other species?

Raccoons and otters will eat plecos.

#5 Guest_don212_*

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

yes, the san felipe, no i didn't, i saw a few cichlids, bass, and sunnies, but very few

#6 Guest_AussiePeter_*

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:33 PM

I sampled San Felipe Ck close to the end (timewise) of it's native fish community (2006). All the natives were on the ratty side and none seemed abundant. From what I understand there aren't too many natives left today. It's not clear what the mechanism for their loss was, but the sheer biomass of catfish in that creek is amazing. Several of the minnow liked to eat algae and I'd guess that the algae community has changed a lot after plecos were introduced. There were some folks from a college in Del Rio who were studying aspects of the creek and the fish communities. Folks got a nanfa education grant in 2008 to work in the creek too, http://nanfa.org/corcoran.shtml

Cheers
Peter

#7 Guest_gzeiger_*

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:55 AM

Are they any good to eat?

#8 Guest_AussiePeter_*

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

Are they any good to eat?


Probably, you could put them in a pot of boiling water, add a pleco, add an old shoe, boil for a couple of hours, throw away the fish and eat the shoe! :D/

cheers
Peter

#9 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

Peter, I enjoyed our times together. We'll miss your sarcasm. Good luck in the future!!


Did you really have to encourage him James?

#10 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

Are they any good to eat?


Yes, I've eaten a few. They'll tear up your hands and knife for about a thumb-size piece of meat out of a 12" fish. It's firm white meat. I ate mine steamed with garlic butter.

I think there's more going on in San Felipe than just a massive invasion. The biomass of plecos is extremely high in the San Marcos River, too, but, though not perfect, the fish community is relatively healthy. The changes in the fish community largely coincide with flow alteration, notably a series of low-head dams that alter the flood cycle.

#11 Guest_don212_*

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:33 PM

low flow is a problem but due to drought, lake amistad is down 33ft, even cactus are dying

#12 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:50 AM

Yes, I've eaten a few.


Spoken like a true Cajun.

Because, after all, you can't stop after just one...

#13 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

Spoken like a true Cajun.

Because, after all, you can't stop after just one...


Hahaha... I'm not a Cajun; just surrounded by them. That was spoken as a true hungry Texan in grad school.

#14 Guest_wargreen_*

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:05 AM

Are they any good to eat?

In South America they bake them "in the shell" and then crack it open to eat the meat.....nut crackers will work on small plecos

#15 Guest_wargreen_*

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

went to visit m old haunts in del rio tx, i used to live there from 74-77. theres a beautiful spring creek in the village that used to be full of a diverse mix of fish including a lot of texas cichlids. now it is full of pleco catfish and veri little else, do these nasti things eliminate the natives, and how? does anithing eat them? what can be done?

Yes they eat fish eggs and further degrade river banks by eating the foliage and digging

#16 Guest_Subrosa_*

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

That's Dionda diaboli habitat. Not good.

#17 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

Yeah, but diaboli have been struggling in those small tribs for some time, I think. From what I've seen firsthand, they are still doing very well in the Devils, and some other spots where until recently they weren't thought to be.

#18 Guest_Subrosa_*

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

Yeah, but diaboli have been struggling in those small tribs for some time, I think. From what I've seen firsthand, they are still doing very well in the Devils, and some other spots where until recently they weren't thought to be.

That's a bit of good news! I have a friend on another forum who lives in Del Rio and samples that very creek and has noticed a precipitous decline in diaboli in just the last two years.

#19 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:42 PM

It's been a while since I've messed with those guys, but I've looked for them in Las Moras creek to no avail, but we did record them in areas of the Devils where they were considered extirpated. The interesting think that came out of that study was that D. argentosa were more often found near the springs, and D. diaboli were more associated with the channel, backwaters, and vegetation.

I'd have a hard time blaming plecos for their decline (but it is possible). There are still Dionda in the San Marcos, which is just crawling with plecos.

Edited by rjmtx, 14 December 2012 - 02:43 PM.


#20 Guest_Subrosa_*

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:36 AM

It's been a while since I've messed with those guys, but I've looked for them in Las Moras creek to no avail, but we did record them in areas of the Devils where they were considered extirpated. The interesting think that came out of that study was that D. argentosa were more often found near the springs, and D. diaboli were more associated with the channel, backwaters, and vegetation.

I'd have a hard time blaming plecos for their decline (but it is possible). There are still Dionda in the San Marcos, which is just crawling with plecos.

Wouldn't it be nice to find an easy answer for once?




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