Re: NANFA-L-- Creek Chubs?


Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Creek Chubs?
ichthos-in-comcast.net
Date: Wed Nov 24 2004 - 11:54:10 CST


I would imagine that some male creek chubs retain tubercles year-round, but that this in now way resembles how truly "horny" they get when spawning is afoot (afin?).

Dr. Dave's comment about their omnivory is on the mark. Fishwatchers can amuse themselves by tossing potential food items into creek chub shoals. Berries, leaves, small sticks, and willow buds are greedily attacked and consumed. One time I watched picnickers toss fried chicken bones into a stream to the apparent delight of the resident creek chub.

re: Moon's question about creek chub spawning runs heading upstream -- I wouldn't call them spawning runs, but creek chub likely overwinter in deeper water and move into shallow headwater streams -- usually in less than two feet of water, in riffles, open runs or pools, or along the banks beneath overhanging cover -- to spawn. This makes it easy for patient fishwatchers to watch the chub's nest-building and spawning activities either from the bank or in the water with a snorkel. (If you snorkel be prepared to get cold since Semotilus begin spawning in early spring, often in water thatís as low as 54F. Spawning in more northern populations may continue until as late as July.)

Chris Scharpf
Baltimore

> Just curious to know why you said the following? "Came back 24 hours later to
> find not a single minnow but had over a dozen creek chubs!" Last I knew,
> _Semotilus_ was still retained in the Cyprinidae, with no proposal to move it to
> another family.
>
> I have kept creek chubs without the kind of behavior that you mentioned.
> However, they were smaller when I collected them. Though large ones eat a lot
> of fish, crayfish, and grasshoppers, they readily accept almost any food, live
> or dead, natural or prepared. Larger individuals tend to be solitary in some
> circumstances (not always), but medium sized individuals like yours readily
> aggregate in streams where I have experienced them.
>
> So far as the tubercles, breeding condition is regulated hormonally, under the
> influence of light regime and temperature, and yes, creek chubs mostly are in
> breeding condition in spring - early summer. But I have found a good many
> different kinds of minnows, including creek chubs, with tubercles in every month
> of the year. That doesn't mean that they will spawn soon -- that takes a
> complex of conditions and behaviors, including nest building, which are unlikely
> to converge in fall.
>
> Dave
>
> David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
> Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
> Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely-in-lunet.edu
> telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
> home page http://www.lunet.edu/mcneely
>
> "Where are we going?" "I don't know, are we there yet?"
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dean A. Markley" <damarkley-in-earthlink.net>
> Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 9:21 am
> Subject: NANFA-L-- Creek Chubs?
>
> > Last Saturday, I had dropped my basket style minnow trap into a
> > local (Lancaster County, PA) stream to collect some feeder minnows
> > for my longnose gar and redeye.
> >
> > These boys ranged from 4-9 inches long. I
> > thought, what the heck and took six of them back top toss in my
> > tank. Well, let me tell you, these fish are wild! Everytime I
> > walk near the tank, they go bonkers, shooting across the gravel,
> > even digging into it! Has anyone here any experience with this?
> >
> > Oh, and to make matters even stranger? One fish has tubercles
> > (horns) all over his head. Isn't November kind of late for this?
> >
> > Dean
> >
> >
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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 12:42:53 CST