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Re: Fish ID ideas?

Comments bewlo: ) 

J. L. Wiegert                            NFC at actwin_com List Admin              
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 Dubotchugh yIpummoH.                      bI'IQchugh Yivang!

On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, Kudzu wrote:

> >Hmmm...  It could possibly be a sculpin.  However, sculpins are primarily
> >associated with rocky areas and cold water.  The spring may be cold enough
> >to support it. You seem to indicate that the stream is more palnt-filled,
> >which does help to rule out a sculpin.  It still could be, though.
> Well the spring is maybe 48" wide and 12" deep at its widest. I is moslty
> rock but the Water Cress has taken over. If it weren't for that it would be
> a typical creek with lots of small rock. I don't know how cold the water is
> for sure but your hands get cold fast! I would guess it to be in the 65
> degree range.
>Habitat is all wrong for a sculpin, though the temperature is about

 >I don't htink it was a darter.  Darters typically do not have a head much
> >wider than the rest of the body.
> It had a large head! I didn't think it was a darter but not really sure.
> Haven't seen many up close to know.
> >My next guess would be that it was a catfish of some sort.  Possibly a
> >bullhead, madtom, etc.
> I wondered about a Madtom but again having never seen one........
Welp, lets rule this out easily:  Did it have whiskers, or were you able
to tell?  

> >(Don't ask how, but its a common superstition on
> >newsgroups [i.e., places to post spam] that if you type the word "pleco"
> >your pleco will die.)
> Well that is a new one on me! Hope that doesn't kill the two in my tanks 8*)
> I have grown rather fond of them.
> >Did it bounce along the bottom?
> Nope!
Further evidence to disclude a darter.  Darters typically bonce along the
bottom, hence the name. :)

> >Did it swim just off the bottom?
> Yup like a rocket too! It moved very fast but only a short distance.
Not like a sculpin at all.  Sculps seem to move in a manner similar to
darters, though they swim a bit more.  This also isn't indicitive of many
catfish.  Typicaly, they burrow a bit, swimming angularly.  I'm not
super-familiar with a lot of our native cats, so I can't rule this out.  

> >Did it sit around?
> Yup! It just sat there while I pointed it out to a lady that came by to
> collect water. (The spring is very popular place to get drinking water) I
> almost had to touch it to make it move.
Given the rest of the evidence, I'm willing to bet it was an introduced
plecostromus.  The size bothers me, though.  Typically, they get released
at larger sizes, you described yours as 2-3".  Thats not to say someone
with a small tank, or who just didn't like their agressive behaviour
didn't drop them off.  The presence at the headwater, and two at once,
seems to imply they were dropped off fairly recently.   	As its
apprently popu,ar to get drinking water from, its a very distinct
possibility that someone placed it there.  Now, this isn't to rule out any
number of native catfishes.  If you spotted large whiskers, or it did tend
to swim in an angled mode, we can rule out the pleco (most of them,
anyhow.  Fortunately, the ones that are likely to show up under the name
of "Pleco" and be dumped have relatively short whiskers, and swim more
like torpedos.  The exception would be bristle nosed.)
J. L.