Re: NANFA--Minnow Trap Advice

Fri, 26 Jan 2001 15:15:57 -0600

Thanks for your thoughts Ray. I know you and I know that you would never do
anything to cause damage to your waterway, but my concern is more for the
less educated or as was the most recent example, where the fish where being
used to feed a commercial hatchery. Even though those fish are present in
abundant numbers today, how do we know they won't be in trouble tomorrow?
Who else is taking feeders from that water? Too many times I have seen the
same argument when people are using a resource. Whether it's fish or oil.
They say there's plenty. I'll be responsible and I'll only take what I
need. But while some do (like you) some don't and who's to say that two
people doing the right thing can't cause as much trouble as one person
doing the wrong thing?

I'm not trying to pass judgment on anyone that does it, I guess I'm just
uncomfortable with it and looking to see what the issues are morally or
otherwise. Granted this is probably one of the smallest issues facing our
little fishy friends, but I am still curious about it.

I used purchased feeders. I run them through a quarantine and feed them.
This assures me that I am feeding my fish, healthy feeder fish. I can get
Goldfish for around $.10 to $.15 a piece and Fathead Minnows for $1 to $2 a
dozen. I would like to breed my own, but haven't been able to get that to
work yet. Of course then you get into the whole feeder fish and their
living conditions argument.

I need to head up by you one of these days. I'd love to get me a net full
of those Northern Red-Bellies for my tanks. I have some of the Southern
version headed my way as soon as the weather warms up enough for shipping.


I catch my own feeder fish, but they are very common here. Golden shiner,
fathead minnows , creek chubs , northern red belly dace, blacknose shiners
and emerald shiners. I would not feed red finned shiner, redside dace or
other less common fish. I believe wild fish are healthier than bait minnows
or feeders from a pet shop. Those fish are contained in little areas which
increases disease spread. Sure wild fish can harbor problems, but less
likely. Second, if the fish I kept were still in the wild, they would be
eating these same fish anyways, and not differentiating between emerald
shiners and baby paddlefish. I think anyone is free to do what they feel
"morally" right in this regard. I doubt anyone is catching rare species
feeding them off to other fish. Another way around this is any fish that
will eat worms should be fed them instead. I notice more vigor and health
sunfish that are fed worms. My small bowfin that are being raised a strict
night crawler diet are much better looking than my large ones that are
eating minnows. I did this once before , and the color and health seemed
much better. Worms are also unlikely to have any aquatic disease problems
associated with minnows.

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