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Wild Daphnia


I collected about three pounds of daphnia yesterday (for those who may not
know, daphnia is a tiny freshwater crustacean that is often cultured as a
live fish food).  I went for a hike along the Olentangy River yesterday and
noticed brownish clouds of something suspended in the water along the bank.
This area is just upstream of a low dam.  Right now the flow is very low
and there was practically no current along this section of the river bank.
Another interesting feature of this area is that the bank here is composed
of shale and gravel that are washed down by a small tributary stream.  The
tributary has some flow, but the water dissappears into the "delta" (is
that an appropriate term?)  of shale and gravel and apparently seeps
through into the river.  I could not ascertain whether there was actually
any outflow from the delta where the daphnia were observed.  Judging from
the extent of the delta bank and the slight flow of the tributary, I would
have to say that any outflow would be minimal.  Anyway, there were thick
clouds of daphnia all along the edge of the delta.  I could have easily
collected 20 lb of daphnia if I wanted to.  I just used a fine mesh
aquarium net to dip out the bugs, let them drain, and then dumped them into
a bucket of river water.  I collected about three pounds in about 10
minutes.  I took them home, dipped them out again, and put them in the
freezer in ziplok bags.  Free fish food!

So does anyone know of any diseases that might be transmitted by wild
collected daphnia?  If not, this seems like an excellent way to collect
live food for natives.  I have also observed thick congregations of daphnia
in a reservoir in a State Park west of here.

Wonder if this stuff can be shipped frozen or live.  Anyone interested?

Mark Binkley
Columbus Ohio USA          <))><
mbinkley at earthling_net

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him
to use "the Net" and he won't bother you for weeks.