Fellow nature lovers,
I have just excavated a new 1.3
acre lake a few years back and want to stock it with native minnows.
The lake is located on a 31 acre property in southern NY, is spring fed, 14
feet deep, and has a waterfall falling directly into the deep end (should have
good aeration) on the east. There is a 40 foot cliff that goes
directly into the water. Cliff diving is a possibility. The deep
end also has a spring coming in from below the cliff. There is
another spring that feeds from the north with a cool shallow
stream (3"deep) but it is only about 40 feet long and 1 to 3 feet
wide. The lake is lined with clay on one end and has exposed ledge on
the other. It is a converted bluestone quarry. The
spillway empties onto a rocky area and the water disappears
underground with nearest downhill water body more than 3000 feet away over
dry ground (so there is no danger of accidentally stocking other waterways).
I am going to keep it as a
amphibian preserve but want to add some minnows to eat mosquito
larva. I do not want anything that would attack amphibians or their
eggs. I would like to add pretty native minnows but I cannot find a source
for live minnows. I want to see them when I walk the
shore or skin dive. I do not mind a tadpole
taken here or there but I do not want mass amphibian extinction. A
minnow that is a poor predator of tadpoles is acceptable even if it does catch
the occasional one.
My lake had been leaking for a few years and I am now having
it lined with clay on the side it is leaking. While it was half full
of water and full of mosquitoes I put in some golden shiners. They worked
like a charm but I do not think they are pretty enough. If they get
along with the other fish I decide to put in (without taking all the food) then
I might leave them in. To get rid of them I will empty
the lake completely again before restocking.
up some minnows in a book that I thought were pretty but I do not know if they
attack amphibians, their eggs and tadpoles. I want them to eat
mosquito larva also. I wouldn't mind a few different
kinds. Maybe even some bottom dwellers.
Here are the ones I think look
nice but are not suitable for one reason or another. I like ones with lots
of color or bold stripes:
Bleeding Shiner - Beautiful color but no good because it lives in streams.
I don't think it could survive in a lake. Is there anything
similar that lives in a lake? Or am I wrong?
* Sailfin Shiner - Not Native to NY. Native to
Florida. Would die in NY. Wouldn't mind something that looks like
* Daces - Many of these have pretty reds but seem not to be
able to live in anything but a stream. Am I mistaken? I definitely
want one of these.
These might work but might
* Rosyface Shiner (Notropis rrubellus) - Native to NY but will
it survive in my lake? But it likes springs and streams with water
flow. Is my stream long enough to support a
* Lake Chub - Nice stripe on side. But does
it grow too big. What does it eat? I used to see these in a cemetery that had a pond when I was
in 8 years old. I know where I can catch these myself.
Anyone want to trade?
* Orange Throat Darter - Excellent! Another stream
lover? Darn why are the pretty ones always living in streams? I like
many of the darters but are there any pretty ones that live in lakes?
I like these too and they
seem more appropriate:
* Brook Silverside - I really think this one looks
cool. Almost like a needlefish. Looks like a
* Starhead Topminnow - Not native to NY but it is so cool I
would consider it.
* Spottail Shiner - Nice and slivery.
* Brook Stickleback - Pretty tessellated pattern on back and
sides. Makes cool ball shaped nests in weeds.
Can I stock larger
fish? I would like to be able
to fish the lake also and I do like the Red Eared Sunfish but it may be to
aggressive. Does it eat tadpoles? I do not want Bass, Perch or
Trout as I know these are bad. It would just be catch an release so
a small fish would do.
The original quarry had some water in it and became a
habitat for amphibians before I came along. I have four kinds of
salamanders that breed in the lake: Dusky Salamander, Spotted Salamander, Slimy
Salamander, and Red Spotted Newt. One salamander breeds in the moist
rocks above the lake: Red Backed Salamander. Enormous amounts of
Grey Tree Frogs sing in the spring. My youngest son
is afraid of them because he thinks they sound like raccoons.
They are my favorite frog. I also have American Toads,
Green frogs, Bullfrogs, and Spring Peepers.
In the summer the baby amphibians emerge from the
water and like to collect under the waterfall before proceeding
further. I have found groups of ten or more small baby Spotted
Salamanders, Spring Peepers and Gray Tree Frogs under one rock.
Usually a rock that is splashed by the waterfall. Baby toads cover
the ground in June.
All the amphibians attract reptiles. We
found a 5" long Northern Hognose snake one summer that was very
cute. It flattened its neck to pretend it was a cobra.
After that didn't work (I know about their bluff) it played
dead. We have also found garter snakes, black snakes, and
I am also looking for sources of native NY reptiles and
amphibians. I have not found any wood frogs, green snakes, or
ribbon snakes yet. I would like to introduce them since I have caught them
in the past within thirty miles of the property.
I am glad I found this site. So who can help
me. I need to know what fish to get and where to get them.
PS. We have seen all these on our property: Fox, Grouse, Turkey,
Vultures, Red Tail hawk, Pilated woodpecker, Red-headed wood pecker, Kingfisher,
Bats, Porcupines, Skunks, along with many more common birds and mammals.
Many of them nest or have dens on the property. There is a fox den
and we saw two young foxes playing within 20 feet of us. Both a red
tailed hawk and a woodpecker have nests. I even was swooped by the hawk
one time but that is another