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NFC: Re: Native minnows for mosquito control at amphibian/reptile preserve [NFCponds]

Sounds like a wonderfull setup ..Invite some NFC members over for a visit :)
Id reccomend northern redbelly dace as they dont need riffles to breed and durable and colorfull. They are a common bait fis hwich should tell you how tough they  :)

Robert Rice
Save those Fishes,  Join the Native Fish Conservancy
Love those gartersnakes? visit
On Thu, 17 Aug 2000 08:15:54 -0400 "Rational" <rational at dellnet_com> writes:
NFC Pondkeepers List - http://www.nativefish.org

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.
    I looked 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 this.
            * 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 not:
            * 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 population?
            * 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 needlefish.
            * 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 water snakes.
    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.
                Brian Macker
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 story.

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Robert Rice
Save those Fishes,  Join the Native Fish Conservancy
Love those gartersnakes? visit