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"Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>: Re: NANFA-- Feeding darters?Collecting madtoms.

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>
To: "Kenway" <kenway at planet_net>
Cc: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Feeding darters?Collecting madtoms.
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 19:59:11 +0000
Message-ID: <199709030300.UAA23340 at chinook_nwifc.wa.gov>


>  #2- Is it not better to trap madtom catfish(assuming it's legal) and
> DO you catch them anyways?

Madtoms are nocturnal and seek cover during the day, but they'll 
also move and feed during the day.  In the day you'll almost always 
find them associated with some sort of stream cover (rocks, trees on 
the bottom, waterlogged boards, or vegetation in some cases).  
Noturus flavus, for example, was aptly named the stonecat. 

The margined madtom Noturus insignis is found in New Jersey.  I 
always found the margined madtom among stream litter and boulders.  
It wasn't in undercut banks very often, preferring areas further out 
in the stream.  Perhaps over evolutionary time, margined madtoms 
which sought out undercut banks became food for larger catfish and 
other predators, leading to its present habitat distribution.

You can absolutely trap them, but not necessarily with a baited trap. 
Trick them with their need to find cover.  I'll bet you'll have 
luck with a carefully positioned and camoflauged crayfish trap (or 
minnow trap with a large opening) with the opening at the 
substrate-water interface.  

I sent an email a few months ago to this group about the Scioto 
madtom's propensity to hide in aluminum cans during the day.  To 
summarize, Milton Trautman (for whom the fish, Noturus trautmani, was 
named) found the small fish in these cans.  Alas, the fish is 
probably extinct now.  

>  #3- Is there any way, short of experience, to tell a MadTom from a
> Bullhead? 	

You bet.  The best way is to see if the adipose and caudal fins are 
connected.  If they are connected, even loosely, you've got a madtom. 
 If there's a distinctive unconnected adipose fin, it's another 
species of catfish.  Look at the tail shape and other characteristics 
to see what kind.  In general, bullheads have caudal fins which are 
straight, or only slightly forked.  Channel cats and blue cats have 
deeply forked caudal fins.  Madtoms, by the way, have rounded or flat 
caudal fins.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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