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Native Cyprinids that are coldwater?


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#1 az9

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:24 PM

Local lake has had cisco and smelt apparently extirpated. Lake is a coldwater lake and holds over planted trout. However I mark bait balls of fish in the thermocline and slightly deeper. What could these be? Yellow Perch are rare in this lake, however there seem to be several minnow species in shallow water. (Friend catches them with a minnow trap). One species appears to be the Spot tail Shiner. 

 

This link claims the spot tail's optimum temp is 54 F. Can that be true? If so could that be the bait balls in the deeper colder water? 

 

http://www.fishhawke...ter-temperature



#2 centrarchid

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:45 AM

Could silversides persist in the shallows?  In some locations they can be very abundant and could transfer some of the productivity of the warmer shallows to the larger predatory coolwater fishes.  Crooked Lake as I remember has a healthy Brook Silverside population.  Darters in the form of Least and Iowa might also be present.

 

I would think the Spot-tailed Shiner would need warmer water to breed and support rapid first year growth.


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#3 az9

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 08:53 AM

Could silversides persist in the shallows?  In some locations they can be very abundant and could transfer some of the productivity of the warmer shallows to the larger predatory coolwater fishes.  Crooked Lake as I remember has a healthy Brook Silverside population.  Darters in the form of Least and Iowa might also be present.

 

I would think the Spot-tailed Shiner would need warmer water to breed and support rapid first year growth.

 

Definitely Brook Silversides (Labidesthes sicculus) in the lake but I assumed they could only be reached by the coldwater fish when water temps are cooler. Didn't think Brook Silversides go down into the colder water temps. I see your point though. 

 

Yes friend has seen a few darters but did not identify them. What temp preferences do they have? Are they cool water like other percids? 

 

This lake chain is very similar to Crooked. Unproductive marl bottom green color due to suspended marl etc. 

 

BTW trout stocking was discontinued on Crooked at least a decade ago due to the decline of cisco. (Not sure if you knew that?) I believe it was more due to water quality issues though.

 

The Oliver Lake chain had very abundant cisco and smelt in coexistence with the rainbow and brown trout. One theory is once lake trout were planted, which are extremely predacious on coldwater forage, the combination of all the predators was too much on the cisco and smelt. Could have caught the smelt on a down cycle too. 



#4 centrarchid

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:02 PM

The trout might come up after the silversides at night and catch a few.  In southern Illinois they would come to surface in 80 F water to catch prey before quickly going back down.

 

Darters up your way have similar temperature preferences to a yellow perch.  Bigger and more important difference is the target benthic prey in shallower water than yellow perch do.  Darters from farther south I think prefer and tolerate a warmer range of temperatures.

 

Crooked Lake to my eye is productive in the shallows, it is just the productivity does not feed into the part of the food web occupied by the fish we target for angling.

 

I have not been keeping up on lake management in Indiana, too much to track her now.

 

How about crayfish?  I assume Northern / Virile Crayfish are already present.  How might their availability be promoted to benefit the fish in the deeper water.  I have an organic reservoir that supports a huge population of crayfish.  When their numbers get up they can reduce vegetation abundance which might improve mobility of nutrients going to water column.  Crooked Lake had a butt load of Mud Puppies that likely keep the crayfish too low to impact plants much.


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#5 az9

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:33 PM

Don't think the trout come up for the Brook Silversides as stomach contents are nothing but zooplankton. 

 

Disappointed in the management of the Oliver Lake chain for coldwater fish. It's very unproductive and mostly coldwater habitat. But one biologist says he is hesitant to plant an exotic species to feed exotic species. No other state I know of has a problem with it. It's not like the smelt would spread to other lakes downstream. They lack the coldwater habitat. 



#6 fundulus

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:06 AM

That one biologist is a smart person, we need more like them in similar positions.
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#7 centrarchid

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:39 PM

I suspect concern is not just about spreading, it is about impacting native stocks present where introductions might take place.

 

 

Desired impact without introductions might me realized with some modest habitat modification that reverses if not maintained.  The modifications could be geared to promote interactions between warmwater species in the littoral zone with the deeper cold water species.  Adding something like brush in the shallows could protect species might benefit from reductions in the macrophytes which currently do not support much productivity going into larger fish in the deep water.


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#8 az9

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Posted Yesterday, 01:12 PM

The main lake in question that was oligotrophic enough to support lake trout (Savelinus namaycus) and has a very small littoral zone in ratio to deep water (averages 40 feet deep) has a minuscule amount of macrophytes and even less now due to the termination of septic tanks. 

 

I would be all for attempting to reestablish Cisco (Coregonus artedi) and have even volunteered to hatch eggs to produce several hundred to a few thousand fish. 

 

I just don't think attempting to supplement warm and coolwater fish would increase forage much for cold water fish. Case in point yellow perch have never been very common in the lake chain. 

 

Historically the smelt and cisco apparently coexisted O.K. as the chain had one of the most prolific populations in the state. 

 

I understand the nature of the NANFA ideology but why let a particular niche go to waste when the native species in the lake seem to be just fine?

 

Furthermore the rest of the watershed downstream cannot support Rainbow smelt due to low D.O. in deep cold water later in the summer. If the smelt did make it downstream during times of cool enough water they could potentially make it to Lake Michigan which already has them. 



#9 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted Yesterday, 01:42 PM

Don't emerald shiners provide a huge amount of forage in the great lakes as well? Maybe they won't go as deep as smelt, but surely deeper than silversides? They are also easily available commercially. They may not be true coldwater fish, but they are all over. Wouldn't be risking introducing something that is not already in most watersheds in the region.


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#10 centrarchid

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Posted Yesterday, 02:00 PM

I would not introduce anything.  Odds are considerable improvement of forage abundance can be realized by do some modest habit modification bringing together shallow water prey to deepwater predator.  If native I would think a given species would already be present with much such lakes.  Habitat as stands not correct.

 

Save stocking as method of compensating for habitat fragmentation.  Going to need to start doing that soon.


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