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I just can't get over how pretty these bullheads are!


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#21 gerald

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:42 AM

Brian's spotted bullhead really looks quite different from the FL mottled form of brown bullhead: larger eyes, dark dorsal blotch, black fin edges, light round spots on dark background, etc. Looking at the Peterson Guide maps I see the REAL spotted overlaps with its close cousin the snail bullhead, and "replaces" their other cousin the flat bullhead in north FL & south GA. Are spotteds and snails conspicuously different in their overlap range?

Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#22 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 05:43 PM

That's an interesting one, as I was reading the first line or so of your email, I was thinking to myself how many of those traits sound like north georgia's snail bullhead.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#23 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 06:47 PM

Here's a spotted from the last Tate's Hell trip:
Posted Image

Sorry to further derail your thread, gitano. Your brown certainly is a great-looking fish!

#24 smbass

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 10:02 PM

Yes the snail and spotted bullhead do look different where they co-occur I caught some of both in the Chipolla River. All of my brunneus photos are from there it is actually the only time I have ever caught them. I think the serracanthus 3 and 4 in my gallery are from the Chipolla River.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#25 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 10:53 PM

We have noticed the larger eyes, the mottling, and the flatter head whenever we see snail bullheads (which is kinda all the time here in my drainage and in lots of places around Atlanta... biggest one I have ever seen was only about 9 inches long... and the Petersons says they are somewhat smaller... I have often thought that they would be a bullhead that would be easier to keep if you were into cats.

A. brunnues from north of Atlanta in the Chattahoochee, a small individual
Posted Image


A large individual from the type locality in the Ocmulgee drainage southeast of Atlanta.
Posted Image
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#26 gitano

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 08:21 PM

Here's a spotted from the last Tate's Hell trip:
Spotted%20Bullhead.jpg

Sorry to further derail your thread, gitano. Your brown certainly is a great-looking fish!

No sweat, GI. The discussion is great.

 

Paul



#27 Betta132

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:40 PM

BREED THOSE DALMATIAN KITTIES. They need to be an easily available thing.



#28 Sean Phillips

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 04:18 PM

BREED THOSE DALMATIAN KITTIES. They need to be an easily available thing.


Lol. Myself and two other members of planet catfish collaborated a while back on breeding Ameiurus sps., we all agreed that we'd attempt to spawn them indoors within the next could of years. I was planning on attempting yellows this spring-summer but unfortunately the planned broodstock aren't growing fast enough to be sexually mature, so maybe I'll have some luck in another year or two once they're big enough.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#29 Osprey

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 01:58 PM

I saw the post here about the Flat, Snail, and Spotted Bullhead and I have enjoyed reading all the post.  As you probably know the Snail, Flat, and Spotted Bullhead Catfish are very localized to only a few states in the southeast, and have experienced large declines due to the introduction and predation of the Flathead Catfish. There appears to be alot of confusion among people attempting to identify what kind of Bullhead they have caught. Most people don't know one Bullhead Catfish from another. I have created the chart below in hopes it will help people identify which kind Bullhead they catching, and perhaps maintaining in their aquarium.

 

There are 7 kinds of Bullhead Catfish that swim in U.S. waters. I have 8 listed. Two types of Brown Bullheads are listed. The Brown Bullhead Sub-species "Speckled Cat" is considered a southern variant of the Brown Bullhead. All 7 are of interest to anglers and grow to harvestable size. 

 

 

BullheadTypes_Fotor.jpg

 

Invasive Flathead Catfish Threaten Native North Carolina Fish Species
 known as the bullhead, mud cat or yellow catfish has decreased dramatically. Fish biologists believe it is due to non-native Flathead catfish preying on them.Local anglers are reporting to wildlife resource officers a decline in Snail and Flat bullhead catfish, tough local species that have provided recreation and food for Surry County fishermen. According to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission fisheries biologist Kin Hodges, their observation is true and is due to the artificial introduction of Flathead catfish to local waters.“The bullhead is traditionally one of the main fish taken on the Yadkin,” said Hodges. “Even in previous years when the Yadkin was dirtier it tended to favor these little catfish over bass or trout.” He said buffer zones of vegetation along rivers and creeks and efforts coordinated by the N.C. Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have resulted in less runoff and better agricultural practices that have helped make the Yadkin cleaner. He said the water quality has not improved to the point that this is a factor hurting the bullheads. Hodges indicated fisheries biologists with the commission recently completed a series of electrofishing surveys in Surry, Yadkin and Wilkes counties and found that catch rates near Elkin had declined from a high of 120 fish collected per hour in 2005 to less than three fish collected per hour this year. Similar collection rates at an upstream site in the Ronda community have decreased from nearly 300 fish per hour in 2005 to 20 fish per hour. He reported an even more extreme decline of bullheads in the Yadkin River below Idols Dam near Winston-Salem. Hodges said no bullheads have been collected from this section of the Yadkin since the commission began its surveys in 2005.“In my opinion the game changer occurred with the introduction of the non-native species of Flathead catfish in bodies of water that drain into the Atlantic. Flatheads are native in waters such as the New River which drains into the Mississippi. Hodges offered some hope in ongoing studies to find out why Flatheads have not impacted local fish populations as they have here. Hodges explained that Flathead catfish are the dominant predator in waters they inhabit, eating mainly life fish. Although they prey heavily on bullheads, shad and sunfishes studies have shown they also will eat carp and crayfish. Flatheads commonly reach weights of 20 to 30 pounds in North Carolina. The state record, caught in the Cape Fear River, tips the scales at 78 pounds. He said bass have not eaten bullhead catfish. Their numbers have increased recently because more periods of clear water favor bass’ hunting behaviors and lead to more bass being produced. He said Snail and Flat bullheads typically are 12- to 16-inches in length and weigh a pound or less. They were valued for being plentiful, easy to catch and good to eat. One phenomenon noted by both fish and game biologists is an overabundance of prey animals or predators will offset each other. It is a boom or bust cycle that occurs in many ecosystems. Flatheads preference for slower, deep waters could offer the bullheads a niche to fill to lessen the impact of Flathead predation, so the little catfish could escape extinction. Hodges said the department had stocked some Flatheads in High Rock Lake in the 1960s and quickly noticed their mistake. This is an area where Idols Dam served as a barrier to help keep Flatheads out of the upper Yadkin until recently.“Sharp declines in bullhead abundance have been documented in other river systems in North Carolina and throughout the southeast where Flatheads have been introduced,” said Hodges. Biologists speculate this has led to anglers who wanted to increase fishing opportunities for a large and hard-fighting fish in their areas, to slip them in local waters. He said that while it might seem like a good idea to replace a population of small bullheads the result will be less fishing opportunities.“As a general rule, only 10 percent of the weight of a prey item is converted into body weight of the predator that eats it,” continued Hodges. “If a stretch of river now contains a single Flathead catfish weighing 50 pounds and ate bullheads exclusively, up to 500 pounds of bullheads could have been eaten by that Flathead to grow that big.” The food chain mathematics gets worse from there.“Taking that scenario one step further, if you assume an average bullhead weighs about half a pound it means that for each 500 pounds of bullheads that are eaten, anglers fishing the Yadkin River are losing opportunities to catch 1,000 half-pound bullheads and replacing them with a chance to catch one trophy-sized Flathead catfish.” He said the commission passed a regulation in 2005 that requires anyone interested in stocking a public, inland fishing water to obtain a stocking permit first. Hodges noted that unwanted species continue to appear across the state. “To prevent episodes like this one from playing out in other water bodies across the state it is imperative that anglers do not release any species of fish into streams, rivers or lakes where they currently do not exist,” stressed Hodges. “This is one of the most significant threats to populations ofboth game and non-game fish. Once a non-native species becomes established within a river system,very little can be done.”Persons interested in more information on fishing in public
 
Bullhead and flathead catfish from Yadkin River.jpg

Pictured Above: Flat Bullhead Catfish

Pictured Below: Flathead Catfish


Edited by Osprey, 30 December 2015 - 02:40 PM.


#30 UncleWillie

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 03:56 PM

I've spent most of my time over the last 10 months in south Georgia along the Chattahoochee River.  We've caught 5 of the bullheads along the Hooch and its tributaries.  Snails were the most commonly found bullhead, but restricted to flowing tributary streams.  Yellows and blacks were very rare, but mostly restricted to tributaries.  Browns were very common in mainstem Hooch and its backwaters.  Spotted bullheads were rare and only found along mainstem margins with woody structure in summer months.  Here are some photos for snail, spotted, and "southern" brown bullheads.

P7140044.JPG

P8040387.JPG

P7220337.JPG


Willie Pruitt
Chattahoochee River, GA


#31 gitano

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 05:13 PM

Now that this fish is a year older, it is looking more like the "typical" bullhead. In other words, the 'speckling' has been muted by a brown 'overtone'. Here's a couple of q&d pictures:

Catfish-2s_zpsvvbd7p0t.jpg

 

Catfish-1s_zpsyzczzs8o.jpg

 

Still not "spots" in the sense that the spotted catfish spots are circular and these are rectangular, but the pattern remains even if muted.

 

Paul

 

PS - I just saw your post UncleWillie. Accordingly, I would call the above "southern".

 

Paul


Edited by gitano, 30 December 2015 - 06:00 PM.


#32 Osprey

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 05:50 PM

Those are great pictures guys. I know it's often reported the Flat, Snail, and Spotted Bullhead don't get much more than 9 or 10 inches. I'm sure that's true in small creeks and rivers. Excluding the White Catfish, they seem to get as big as any other Bullhead. I know they in fact get much bigger in large rivers, lakes and ponds.   

 

All the fish pictured are Snail Bullheads

Attached Images

  • GoldSnailBullhead.jpg
  • Snail_Bullhead.jpeg
  • Snail Bullhead3.JPG
  • Snail BullheadCrop.jpg

Edited by Osprey, 30 December 2015 - 06:07 PM.


#33 gerald

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 05:58 PM

Introduced Flathead catfish may also be a factor in the disappearance of Carolina Madtoms from most of the Neuse River basin and lower half of the Tar River basin in NC (the only rivers where this species occurs).  And some of the Atlantic slope sucker species are taking a hit too. possibly from Flatheads.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#34 gerald

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:10 PM

Wow Osprey that last pic of Snail Bullhead must be close to 24" ~ twice the size listed in the Peterson Field Guide and Freshwater Fishes of NC.  Head shape looks right but I can't see the characteristic dark dorsal blotch.  Do large ones lose it?  Or does it fade away at night?


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#35 Osprey

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:32 PM

Oh without a doubt! Flathead Catfish are opportunistic indiscriminate apex predators through & through. What makes them even more formidable is their large size and huge mouths. I've seen small flatheads try to eat a Bullhead their same size. A Flathead of 8 pounds or more has no problem choking down a two pound bass or channel cat. Some say the fish fauna will eventually adapt to the new predator.  I'm sure some fish will adapt, but I have no doubt others will succumb without intervention.

Attached Images

  • FlatheadEatingCatfish.jpg

Edited by Osprey, 30 December 2015 - 06:32 PM.


#36 Osprey

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:45 PM

Hi Gerald, in some locations as the Snail Bullhead matures the mottling and dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin tends to fade out somewhat. It's still present, but isn't near as bold as can be seen in the smaller fish. In the larger Snails you need good lighting to see the faded mottling and the dorsal spot.

 

Snail bullheads between 2 and 5 pounds were fairly common on Lake Oconee years ago. Since the introduction of Flatheads and Blue Catfish rarely ever catch them out of the lake anymore.  


Edited by Osprey, 30 December 2015 - 06:58 PM.


#37 gitano

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 07:50 PM

Why must people move fish? Not much else in the world bothers me more. What is a thousand times worse is introduction of "exotics" by natural resource managers. One would think that practice went out 50 years ago, but sadly, there are only too many of them, ESPECIALLY fisheries biologists, that continue the practice. I can find some level of forgiveness/excuse for ignorance, but the stupidity associated with "moving" fish is mind-boggling when it is perpetrated by people supposedly scientifically trained. I won't apologize if anyone is offended by my blunt comments. There's simply no good excuse for that level of stupidity.

Paul



#38 Osprey

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 01:38 AM

I couldn't agree more. There needs to be more education geared towards the public about the impacts of moving fish around. Especially large fish. Then again it only takes one igornorant or selfish individual to decide they are going to do it regardless. The saying "it only takes one or a few bad apples to spoil the whole barrel" rings true in this case. If not impossible, it's very difficult and expensive to unring a bell.

 

I think increased promotion of native fishes to aquarium hobbyist, garden pond owners, private pond and lake owners would be beneficial to public awareness. Here's an educational video put out by Nebraska Game and Parks Fisheries Outreach Program, Manager Daryl Bauer talks about alternatives to goldfish and koi for backyard ponds. A good video, but more educational material needs to be put on sight in fishing area's to convince anglers it's in their best interest to value all the native fauna. How to best do this is beyond my expertise? It seems like the Maryland DNR has a good educational program about invasive non-native fish. I just wish more states would take notice of what they are doing to educate the public.

 

Native Nebraska Fish

 

We Need Your Help

 

With support from the Bay Program, the Maryland DNR has established more than 150 signs at water access points and kiosks around the state to help anglers identify, catch, keep and kill all invasive species, while Maryland Seafood has escalated its efforts to market the fish to restaurants and boost consumer demand.

 

“Humans are great at overfishing things,” said Maryland Seafood Marketing Director Steve Vilnit. “And the northern snakehead, the blue & flathead catfish are species that we want to overfish.”

Attached Images

  • We Need Your Help.jpg
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive.gif

Edited by Osprey, 31 December 2015 - 01:55 AM.


#39 gerald

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 12:26 PM

There's simply no good excuse for that level of stupidity.

No good excuse, but there's a widely accepted bad one:  Sport fishing funds the agency.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#40 Osprey

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 01:55 PM

I'm a sport fisherman myself, and I know many sports fishermen that feel exactly the way you and I do. Your right money can corrupt and skew common sense and often fisheries biologist are pressured with the impossible task of trying to keep everyone happy.

 

On a lighter note: Here is a video of a Savannah River Dive Featuring The Snail Bullhead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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