RE: NANFA--Snakeheads and Pacu

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Thu, 25 Sep 2003 18:33:12 -0500

Moon asks:
>>>Can pacus reproduce under the conditions in most American rivers?<<<

Jan replies:

Probably not in "most" but possibly in some.

Pacus require warm water, flooding, and a forested floodplain. According to
Michael Goulding's excellent book, "The Fishes and the Forest - Explorations
in Amazonian Natural History, " most pacus (and other migratory characins)
spawn sometime during the flood cycle (timing varies with species), just
below the mouths of forested tributaries. After spawning, they return to
tributaries to feed on seeds and fruits. Several rivers in Florida and the
deep south would provide suitable hydrology and possibly suitable forage. A
limiting factor is "cold," but if suffcient numbers of fish are introduced
repeatedly and winters are unusally mild, it is not inconceivable that
cold-tolerant pacus could result.

In the early 1970s, weren't some advocates of grass carp saying that the
fish could not successfully reproduce in North American waters ?
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