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Sacramento sucker sampling


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#1 catostomus

catostomus
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 03 July 2024 - 05:05 PM

Hi all,

 

First post ever. I'm a researcher studying native suckers in California. I've just started doing field collections and am having difficulty capturing specimens. Obviously e-fishing would be pretty straightforward but I don't have regular access to an e-fish setup nor am I certified to use one. My permit covers a variety of other methods instead, including hook and line, seine nets, and dipnets. So far I've managed to catch a few on hook and line by sight fishing but it is incredibly time consuming and difficult to find locations where this would work (i.e. clear water, high ground, good lighting, etc). However, dip-netting and seine netting has been even more difficult. They usually hang out at the bottom of slow-moving pools, which already makes them hard to reach using a dipnet but they also scatter much, much faster than other local natives like the roach. The dipnet is way, way too slow to get anywhere near them. Seines are even worse since the bottoms of the rivers I've tried are usually either too deep or too boulder-y. But of course, I have little experience using these sampling methods. So, I have a few questions:

 

1) How can I be more effective hook-and-line fishing for them?

2) Does anyone know of good locations in California for me to go for them?

3) How can I improve my dipnet/seine technique?

 

Thanks in advance,

catostomus



#2 mk0816

mk0816
  • NANFA Guest
  • Concord, NC

Posted 07 July 2024 - 08:43 PM

Hi all,

 

First post ever. I'm a researcher studying native suckers in California. I've just started doing field collections and am having difficulty capturing specimens. Obviously e-fishing would be pretty straightforward but I don't have regular access to an e-fish setup nor am I certified to use one. My permit covers a variety of other methods instead, including hook and line, seine nets, and dipnets. So far I've managed to catch a few on hook and line by sight fishing but it is incredibly time consuming and difficult to find locations where this would work (i.e. clear water, high ground, good lighting, etc). However, dip-netting and seine netting has been even more difficult. They usually hang out at the bottom of slow-moving pools, which already makes them hard to reach using a dipnet but they also scatter much, much faster than other local natives like the roach. The dipnet is way, way too slow to get anywhere near them. Seines are even worse since the bottoms of the rivers I've tried are usually either too deep or too boulder-y. But of course, I have little experience using these sampling methods. So, I have a few questions:

 

1) How can I be more effective hook-and-line fishing for them?

2) Does anyone know of good locations in California for me to go for them?

3) How can I improve my dipnet/seine technique?

 

Thanks in advance,

catostomus

Are you collecting by yourself? If so, sight fishing's probably your best bet. A small (#18+) barbless circle hook with an egg sinker (Carolina rig style) baited with a worm would probably work best, if you aren't doing that already. Disappointingly enough, they're slow browsers and can take a while to catch- though they will occasionally target bugs at the surface or in the middle of the water column.
I've only really had success netting disoriented juveniles stuck in shallow waters after a flood; adult fish are practically impossible to net or seine by yourself. If you have a few people and a fairly long (24'+) seine, you might be able to carefully corral the fish (would require a few people to lift the net off rocks/debris without letting fish escape, though).
Might be a bit unorthodox, but a cast net might work- I've caught a few suckers with one before.





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