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Re: Mosquito fish

>> Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 12:42:34 -0800
>> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
>> Is there anything that will kill mosquitos and not harm anything
>>> else in the pond?
>> Mosquito fish:-) Call Mosquito Abatement. They will give them to you or you
>> can get some guppies or livebearers. A blue gill or sunfish would work. Some
>> sunfish eat small snails which eat algae. Any small tough fish that loves a
>> meal.
> Tough to challenge one of the true Gurus, here, but I must disagree with Tom
> on this one.

Thanks you bring up a good issue(s) that does mean something to me.

1)Well I did _suggest_ the blue gill and the sunfish which would be more to
my personal liking. These are native and could feast well on any invert

Not sure where the fish are release and I'm certain there are serious issues
with MA, but most of the ones I've seen them released are in irrigation
ditches and destroyed habitat. Restoration of water ways is a tough road and
a hard sell. Conservation and protection of what we have is a/the huge issue
I think. I'm sure the MA folks play up their own issue etc. If they are
putting them in NV or the habitat as you mentioned they truly are fools.
They should never add a fish like this anywhere near a protected or
endangered fish, to do so is criminal.

2)But this is not nature, this is his pond in MI. Still, they seem like
little beasties anyway so they should not be suggested for any situation. I
agree with you on this point and will promote the awareness of this in the

3) I agree with you on the effectiveness and lack of research before tossing
a non native in there. Problem is that the idea of using so called "natural
pedators" to control pest is _wildly_ popular. They introduced tiny wasp to
control red scale many years ago and there are numerous examples of other
introductions. Ecologist often are "sold" on this notion. Kudos for you for
pointing this out. I'm a much more restoration, creation, conservation type,
I would not have them in my pond(sunfish). I'll bring up the issue with our
prof's over here at UC. Many of them might be getting MA funding:)

4) Which is worse? DDT like the old days or mosquito fish? Restoration of
natural water ways sounds great, but SF bay lives off that Hetch Hetchy
water. Want to remove the damn? Or remove all the damns along the Sacramento
river to help Salmon runs that have been decimated down to 1-5% original?
I do and would be willing to pay for the alternatives. Most folks? No
frickin way. The businesses that rely on this? Not even. Political
considerations? Forget about their career if they did that. Hey we can take
this as far as you want. People, the nasties that we are, sacrifice one
species for themselves. Taking on LA or SF or the Central Valley AG interest
is a rough proposition. Lots of bucks and Big busiess and political

As a biologist all I can do is make recommendations to try to stop this and
attempt to manage ecosystems rather than destroy, abuse and go blindly at
nature without a careful study. I'm a plant guy, fish guys make
recommendations that they have research and it looks good, they get the the
front seat. More research and reserves are terribly needed. Folks care more
about Monica BC or GW choking and passing out on a pretzel than real issues
that will effect their children and their children's children. After a
biologist does make a recommendation, political and business interest make
their case. It's a 3 way deal. It's not exclusively the biologist fault.
Most of us are all frustrated with the business and political interest.
Provincial politics can also play large roles in stymied action or poor

You can always suggest a better critter for the job. Suggest a grant to
study introduction of pup fish to these areas. My favorite critter is the
native of which many pan fish are to MI. Taste better than those little
guppy beasties too:). Not to mention prettier:)

I'm trying to help my dad prevent one of the largest cave systems in the
world from being turned into the world's largest sewer.

 Lots of blind cave fish that take 30-40 years just to mature in this
Spartan environment, blind crayfish(these look so cool) that take up to 100
years to get 5inches long. The town of Spencer TN wants to dump sewer water
right into a State Park about 100 ft from the sinkhole that leads into one
of the hottest cave fauna bio diversity site ever found. They want
permission to dump _up_ to 2 ppm of NH3 into the system(a 0.5ppm regular
emission level). Recall that NH3/NH4 is pH dependent. A karst geology will
allow only higher pH's to exist which means this inflow will be very toxic
to all life down stream(instead of the NH4 form which is not as bad). This
town is a few miles north of Chattanooga, TN. The room is huge, larger than
any cave I've ever seen(about 5 acres and well over 200 ft tall and has a
huge river system. It is called the "rumble room" and the cave is called
Rumbling Cave. It was recently discovered about 3 years ago.

There's some serious provincial "Boss Hog" style get out of my little hick
town attitude even though the state of TN is paying for their treatment
plant for the town of 1700. The biological survey is pretty airtight but the
politicians will not let their recommendations or case be stated instead
siding with the engineers of the Water control board who are not biologist
but seem to think they can predict biological outcomes off the cuff. You
know who's side they are on. you can check it out here:

KY made their big cave into a national park, TN? Looks like they want to
make it into the world's largest sewer system.

BTW there is a true cave red algae that lives in the cave and a blind cave

Tom Barr