Zebra Mussells and catfish

Discussion in 'Fishing Forum' started by kswaterfowler, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. LA yard dog

    LA yard dog Elite Refuge Member

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    Man, I've been on some zebra beds for years that are thick. After the spawn, the catfish fatten up for winter big time on them. It's the only place I run my lines and nets this time of year. On my lines, every single hook is either loaded with 'em or has a fish on it. I've found several dozen zebra mussel beds between Palarm Creek and Wrightsville. A couple are 300-400 feet wide and over 1000 yards long. Every fish's guts loaded to the brim coming out their ***.
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Elite Refuge Member

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    The way Redheads, Bluebills, Cans and such love Mussels you'de think they would eat the dickens outta those Zebras.
     
  3. LA yard dog

    LA yard dog Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm not too sure how deep a duck can dive, but the beds I've found I would think would be a little too deep.
     
  4. You guys are making me feel a little better about the situation. We have a boatload of channels, but no bluecats. They say drum love them so I guess we will see. The primary forage in our lakes is gizzard shad, so we may be hurting in that respect.
     
  5. BFG

    BFG Senior Refuge Member

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    Freshwater Drum readily eat them, but it sure does look like they hurt when they come out judging by the torn up butts on them! LOL

    Invasives are never good for an ecosystem. Sure, they cleared the water up on Erie but in doing so it also eliminated a lot of the plankton that the baitfish and native mollusks consume. Yes, the smallmouth fishery has exploded (in combination with the cleaner water and a general encouragement for catch and release) but it has been some time since we had a really good walleye hatch (2003).

    Walleyes are inherently low-light feeders and with the ever-clearing waters we are having to travel farther and farther each year to catch them. A natural migration of mature fish from West to East and then back West again as the year goes by has seen a lot of the mature fish vacating the shallower western basin much earlier in the year. I'm no fisheries biologist, but I would think that walleyes would much rather spend their time in darker water (i.e. deeper) than clearer (shallow). Clearer water also makes young of the year more susceptible to predation (especially from another invasive the white perch, along with yellow perch, smallmouths, catfish, and white bass).

    In relation to divers eating them, zebras will grow on dock pilings, rock outcroppings, etc.etc. I've watched bluebills chomp them down by the dozens. I've said for a long time that I believe it is the contaminants that accumulate in the mussels that are consumed by the divers that have contributed to their poor hatches in the recent past.

    We used to see 10's of thousands of bluebills in Western Lake Erie each fall. Now...we are lucky to see 5,000 total in those same areas.
     
  6. itallushrt

    itallushrt Elite Refuge Member

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    There is actually a lot of talk about them being bad for divers. The selenium levels in the zebra mussels is through the roof and they believe it contributing to poor nest success because it weakens the females so badly. :(

    "Afton and other biologists have developed three theories as they attempt to find reasons behind the bluebill decline.

    The contaminant theory relies on research conducted by state, federal, and Canadian agencies on scaup migrating across the Great Lakes. In one study, researchers examined adult female scaup and found 100 percent of greater scaup and 77 percent of lesser scaup had elevated selenium levels, which could cause reproductive impairment. Selenium is a semimetallic trace element occurring naturally in some soils; it is also a byproduct of smelting operations and other industrial activities. Although selenium is nutritionally required by birds in small amounts, it is highly toxic in greater quantities.

    Scaup ingest large doses of selenium when they consume zebra mussels. These nonnative mussels trap pollutants such as selenium, which accumulates in their flesh. When migrating across the Great Lakes, scaup eat large quantities of mussels. "
     

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