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Re: unexpected fish in pond

In a message dated 97-10-12 04:19:41 EDT, Karen Randall says:

<< I also found another species of fish, and I'm not sure what
 it is.  It doesn't look like anything I keep in my tanks,
 but I also bought plants from Paradise Water Gardens, so I
 suppose eggs could have hitch-hiked from there too.  It
 looks Cichlid-ish, with vertical bars.  Could it be a baby
 Sunfish?  I thought they laid their eggs in sand pits, not
 plant leaves.  Any other guesses? >>

I'd say a sunfish is a pretty good guess.  Almost all species of sunnies have
a blue "tab" on the center of the gill plate.  This would ID it as to family
at least.  I have noticed that sunfish somehow end up in many private
man-made ponds where there is no connection to other bodies of water.
 Although they do spawn in gravel beds in lakes and ponds, they tend to be in
the shallows, where water fowl can roil them up and get the eggs caught on
their feet or feathers.  This is the best explanation I have heard for the
phenomenom of fish showing up in places they should not be.  It is not likely
that a duck or goose would spend time in a tub pond, but it is not
impossible.  Do you recall seeing any birds in the pond over the summer,
especially the early part of summer when nearby lake temperatures would have
been around 55F?

Bob Dixon