Re: NANFA-- wintering fish

Bob Muller (
Fri, 2 Jan 2004 12:10:27 -0500

I believe that there are many things that keep native out of the pet
trade. After breeding 10 sp. of darters and many native minnows and Killi's
I find that it takes at least one year to reach full size sometimes two.
Most tropicals are marketable size in as little as 3 months. The flagfin
shiners I spawned last summer are still only half grown. A good many
natives have a spawning season while tropicals usually breed year round. I
have collected in Peru and the amount fish is unbelievable compared to here.
We often had 8 to 10 sp. of catfish in one net pull. People in South
America that collect for the trade are paid a fraction of a penny per fish
and that's if it something like a cardinal. If there was a heavy collecting
trade in North America fish it wouldn't pay enough and you would have to
sort for the marketable fish. Many of our colorful fish in the south have
very small ranges and heavy collecting might do them in. People always
think that the grass is always greener fish from far off places are more
interesting to them. Look at NANFA of all the people that keep fish in this
country and are members of aquarium clubs only about 400 belong to NANFA.
Leo Long and myself have been giving talks on native to the Detroit area
fish clubs for years. Two people have shown an interest. When we hosted
the convention in Ann Arbor we sold the convention hard to the locals for
over a year one attended, and these are people very interested in fish.
Regardless of how great or interesting native are there will never be many
interested in keeping them. The best I believe we can do is get as many
people in the general public to know these great animals are here and what
to make sure we don't lose them.

Bob Muller
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