Re: NANFA-- backyard fun...

R. W. Wolff (
Mon, 20 May 2002 11:21:33 -0500

Here is a list of fish from the marsh and swamps of central Wisconsin that
are found in these habitats. Oddly, some are thought to be cold water fish
( stickleback). These areas are harsh environments, becoming hot frothy
algae slicks during hot dry summers, to probably solid flats of ice in mid
winter. Usually areas of thick peat like mud are found, probably how these
fish get through winter, and some springs probably keep them cool, since
often the top layer of deeper water is steamy hot , even on cool spring/fall
days ( since it is usually black from tannins looking like dark roast
coffee) yet the wading you will find your feet are still cool.

Bowfin, Pirate Perch, Central Mudminnow ( Easterns can be used too), Grass
pickeral ( redfins and juvenile northerns can be used as well), Golden
shiners, brassy minnow, fathead minnow ( try the pink form for some color?),
blacknose shiner, blackchin shiner, finescale dace, northern red belly dace,
pearl dace, black bullhead ( yellows and browns seem to prefer deeper
water), tadpole madtoms, blackstripe topminnow, northern starhead topminnow,
brooke stickle back, pumpkinseed, black crappie, iowa darter and least
darter. Many of these fish have similar species from elsewhere that can
work. In particular the killis and elassomas. The best of the species I
listed ( ones that turn up in the oddest shallow waters far from deeper fish
water, and seem to survive winter and such) would be the mudminnow,
stickleback, northern red belly dace , tadpole madtom and iowa darter. The
first two of those being the most adventurous. I have found pools in low
lieing areas miles from stagnant ditches ( the closest source of
introduction during flooding) with populations of those fish doing well,
along with amphibian larvae of all kinds, and neat invertrabrates of all
types as well, from fingernail clams and pond snails to large diving beetles
and crawfish. Any of the insects you mentioned that have flying adults
should show up on there own. They seem to be attracted to dark shiny areas.
Often dark cars are bombarded with all sorts of water beetles on sunny days,
with the beetles trying to get through the "surface" of the paint.

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