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Any Fishermen Here?


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6 minutes ago, MysticalWar said:

Woah cool fish 🐟 😎

Not really. I'm a fisheries biologist. Asian carp were introduced to North America to help clean up algae-infested ponds but then started to get loose in the 70s and became well-established by the 1990s. I first saw them in Kansas in the early 90s and the local game warden didn't even know what they were, but a Vietnamese man who was fishing at the Clinton Lake spillway did. They went on to infest most of the Mississippi River basin and have decimated the natural food webs by consuming the plankton that native filter-feeding fish like buffalo, paddlefish, and shad also eat. Though a good forage fish when they are young, Asian carp quickly outgrow the capability of the native predatory fish to eat them. They are here to stay, however, so there needs to be a commercial fishery developed for them. Currently there are a few commercial operations that concentrate on them but nowhere near as many are being harvested as need to be. Although good fighters, they really aren't even that fun to catch because they are such an infestation that you can catch one every cast in many areas and that gets boring after a while. You can eat them but like the common European carp, which is another introduced fish, you have to pressure-cook them and then flake the meat off the bones to make fish cakes, which is time consuming.

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1 hour ago, Kalishnikat said:

Any Fishermen Here?

Big Head and Silver Carp, Kaskaskia River, Illinois

I have fished in my lifetime.  But it has been decades since I did so.

I do remember seeing this Television commercial, though.  🙂 

  
 

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15 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

Not really. I'm a fisheries biologist. Asian carp were introduced to North America to help clean up algae-infested ponds but then started to get loose in the 70s and became well-established by the 1990s. I first saw them in Kansas in the early 90s and the local game warden didn't even know what they were, but a Vietnamese man who was fishing at the Clinton Lake spillway did. They went on to infest most of the Mississippi River basin and have decimated the natural food webs by consuming the plankton that native filter-feeding fish like buffalo, paddlefish, and shad also eat. Though a good forage fish when they are young, Asian carp quickly outgrow the capability of the native predatory fish to eat them. They are here to stay, however, so there needs to be a commercial fishery developed for them. Currently there are a few commercial operations that concentrate on them but nowhere near as many are being harvested as need to be. Although good fighters, they really aren't even that fun to catch because they are such an infestation that you can catch one every cast in many areas and that gets boring after a while. You can eat them but like the common European carp, which is another introduced fish, you have to pressure-cook them and then flake the meat off the bones to make fish cakes, which is time consuming.

They are delicious. You can clean around the bones, or grind em into fish burgers. My daughter in law is from China and she loves them too. Yeah, they are invasive, but they aren't going away so might as well use them. I will disagree with the boring part. Hooking a big fish that makes your drag scream as it goes off on a epic run just doesn't get boring for me. 

I would suggest an alternate way to view them. The Mississippi has long been over fertile causing a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps these fish can help clear up some of the overabundance of plankton and clean up the river some. From what I've seen buffalo and shad are still abundant and paddlefish were declining before the carp showed up. Still see a few paddlefish though. 

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If you are in a run of the Mississippi River basin where trout, even stocked trout, can survive then it's a relatively clean one. Unfortunately, much of the basin is too polluted to confidently eat the fish. You can still catch them but you shouldn't eat them. My state recommends that most people eat fish-eating fish like black bass and flathead catfish caught from its rivers no more than once a month and also limit consumption to young fish that haven't had time to accumulate as many toxins. Now, stocked fish in relatively clean reservoirs and ponds are a different matter. Corn-fed channel catfish can be eaten every day. However, there is even a problem with stocked fish if they have been fed fish meal pellets at the hatchery. Fish meal pellets are made from other fish and a binder, usually chicken feathers, and thus contain bio-accumulated toxins as well. I took my students to visit a fish-meal production facility once. I don't think that any of them ate any fish for a month after that. Talk about a stinky place!

You are right about algal blooms -- they are a big problem in hypertrophic waterways. I dove Rosalyn Lake late one summer before the dam was removed and it was drained. I could see huge columns of blue-green algae rising up through the water in the relatively clear water near the dam. I didn't get much water past my regulator mouthpiece, only a few drops, but I still was sick for a week after that dive. Other than in the late summer, however, the lake was a decent stocked-trout fishery. I worked for ODFW at a nearby Coho salmon hatchery for a while. Salmon runs are not entirely specific to a species so we'd occasionally get some steelhead come in too. We'd take the steelhead and stock them in Rosalyn Lake, as they are just big sea-run rainbows. A little kid fishing for one-pound trout who latched onto a ten-pound steelhead had a big story to tell indeed.

I have a funny story about scuba diving in Rosalyn Lake but I'll put it in Chat Funnies instead. 

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The trout are from Meremac Springs...a spring fed creek that flows into the Meramec River in MO. Rock bass from there too. Very clean water. White Bass from my time back in the Houston TX area. 

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Speaking of invasive species, we used to catch lots of Tilapia back in TX. Also very good to eat. Like catching 2lb bluegills

tilap.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Kalishnikat said:

Speaking of invasive species, we used to catch lots of Tilapia back in TX.

If I was 30 years younger and lived in the south I'd probably build me some ponds and raise catfish and tilapia, and maybe crawdad's too. I think you could have a pretty good business doing that. 

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Here's a ling cod I took a picture of on a night dive one winter when the plankton was down and the water was clear. Ling cod (actually not a cod but rather a a greenling) are a popular sport fish in the Pacific Northwest. The orange thing is a plumose anemone in its nighttime dormant phase. Plumose anemones are a sure-fire indicator that you are in the PNW. It's hard to tell here because there is no scale but the fish was about three-feet long.

tp4GSF.jpg

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Thanks. We put this rig together in 2011 to fish restricted hp. and/or total electric lakes. It's a Alumacraft 1648 mod V with a 9.9 Honda 4 stroke, 55 lb. transom mount and 45 lb. bowmount trolling motors. It has 2 deep cycle batteries in the center seat and an on board battery charger. We really enjoy it and it has enabled us to continue fishing into our 70's because it's light and easy to handle. (We, the wife and I, have been fishing together for 30 years. This is our 5th boat and much smaller and lighter than our last couple.)

052823ca.thumb.jpg.c36234bee2a47baf10b6270681e2b9d5.jpg

Edited by Gillhunter
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I did a lot of fishing out of john-boats when I was a kid. One of the jobs of us kids was to hop into the water and replace the shear pins on the outboard motor props. The natural creeks and rivers of southeastern Oklahoma had a lot of tree falls, which made for hard boating but great fishing. We were always on the lookout for catalpa trees. When we found one another job we had was to shinny up one and nab a couple of handfuls of catalpa worms for bait. There's nothing like a caterpillar-infested catalpa hanging over a creek to insure you are going to catch some big bass and bluegills.

catalpa-worms-Arkansas-AGFC.jpg&f=1&nofb

 

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By the way, here is a picture of a couple of plumose anemones that are opened up and feeding. I took this picture when I was diving in Puget Sound. The giant plumose anemone is an indicator that you are in the Pacific Northwest. I've seen them in orange and white as shown here. I don't know if they come in any other colors as I haven't seen any. They are big for an anemone -- two to three feet tall for the larger ones. The white spots in the photo are from plankton light backscatter. The waters of the Pacific Northwest are highly productive and support a diverse array of wildlife but that also means that you are essentially diving in plankton soup much of the year.

tZUXEb.jpg

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