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About Cecil

  • Rank
    APHQ Ambassador
  • Birthday 12/05/57

More Information

  • Biography
    Fish Taxidermist, aquaculturitst, freelance writer. Avid reader and tinkerer.
  • Interests
    Anything related to fish, political debate

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  • Location
    Ligonier, Indiana USA
  1. Ande, Pike are very active under the ice. They can really take line too. Sometimes they spawn while there is still ice on a lake.
  2. I think the fish is almost dead and was held in the hole in the picture. Just out of the picture is another hole the guy dives in and comes up into the adjacent hole in the picture. Obviously not a capture by hand and for those of us that know anything about Esox Lucius you don't want to get anywhere near the mouth of an active fish. I have had them purposely try and snap at me. Very nasty teeth in their mouths including teeth that are curved back to hold onto their prey and can do a number on flesh or fingerings.
  3. Nice Esox but I've see enough of them to know it's not 39 lbs. Mind if I share that video?
  4. -13 Fahrenheit (-25 C.) Too cold to even make ice fishing fun!
  5. I've definitely decided to produce feed trained hybrid crappies (Pomoxis nigromaculatus X Pomoxis annularis) this spring. Produced black crappies (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) previously, but albeit they are feed trained I'm not that impressed with their condition factors and growth. And I've come to the realization that the really monster size crappies I get in to mount as a fish taxidermist are natural hybrids. It seems 100 percent of the 17 to 21 inch crappies I get in are natural hybrids. Literature says the hybrids grow faster the first two years also. My black crappies are inside in an RAS but probably won't have the correct photoperiod and temps to use as broodfish, and I'm really not set up to produce those parameters. So will get my female black crappies from a local natural lake as in before and I have access to a reservoir a couple of hours away I will catch my white crappies (Pomoxis annularis) males from. Would like to do manual spawning indoors, start on rotifers graduating to artemis and then feed train all in a tank, but don't really have the tank space. So will plant 5 to 10 broodfish in a fertilized 1/10th acre pond and let them do their thing. Five male white crappies and five female black crappies. Unlike with the previous black crappies I will NOT add fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) for the broodstock. They ended up competing with the crappie fry! Here's a great publication to read if this interests you: https://srac.tamu.edu/serveFactSheet/277
  6. It's -6 F. today (-21.1 C.) this morning and the snow cover is not showing any mink activity nor are there any hits on the new "cubby" traps I built and baited with salmon. Maybe too cold for even mink to move?
  7. God bless you for doing this. I wish I could help but my forte is not aquaponics but rearing fish. I hope others will chime in.
  8. Likewise!
  9. First saw this large mink come out from under a pier while walking the dog after the dog discovered his scent under the pier and started nosing around. Unfortunately was helpless to do anything about it as the gun was in the house. Watched him swim the length of a pond and disappear. Started setting traps and it's been like the cartoon the Willey Coyote and the Road Runner. Bait taken, trap not tripped. Bait gone and trap tripped with no mink. And one of the latest a live trap apparently trapped the mink but he chewed his way out. We are talking steel wire here! You can see in the photo where he left some of his fur. To the left and down is an opening created by chewing and bending the wire that cage is made of. Not shown to the left of that is an outward bulge created by the mink. This is one mean character to chew through metal! Latest saga is when he came running out of a burn pile I started burning. I thought I was ready for him as I brought out the shotgun just in case he came running out from under the pile as I set it a blaze. Sure enough it happened while I was distracted lightng the pile in strong winds. However the shotgun was not really close as I didn't want it to get burned. By the time I got to the gun and drew a bead on the animal is was half way across the pond on the ice and I only succeeded to blow hole in the pier! He proceeded to go into a drain tile that was blocked on the other end. Sure thing now right? Set a trap at the opening and he had to go through it right? Came back the next day and the trap was tripped with no mink ... again!
  10. If they are growing and eating well I wouldn't be too concerned, but keep an eye on them. What are your water parameters like, ammonia, nitrites, PH? Anything that could be stressing them? Remember many pathogens can be there but not effect the fish until they are stressed. Sometimes you just have a few fish that have issues while the rest are fine.
  11. AquaT, If I was you I would start out with a hardy species that will give you the least trouble for your first experience. That hands down is tilapia. And after you rear your first batch it's easy to produce your next batch yourself. I would strongly suggest a book available on Amazon for about $20.00 called Small Scale Aquaculture by Steven VanGorder. Not sure I would recommend building the RBC he recommends but there is all kinds of other information.
  12. Regular table salt is fine. No need to go to the extra expense of buying sea salt. Allegedly you want the NON-ionized salt but I'm skeptical if it really makes a difference. And I am not alone.
  13. Thanks. I did lose up to about 15 or 20 from bacterial issues and subsequent fungal issues from the move. As I indicated moving fish is stressful and brook trout are right up there with crappies as far as sensitivity to handling. Part of the problem was females that were egg bound, which added to the stress. If female trout don't have optimum spawning conditions they will hold their eggs and attempt to reabsorb them which is stressful. When I move 100 male brooks, about 60 tigers, and 60 browns back to the trout pond in late spring I will be lacing their feed with a broad spectrum antibiotic to curb any more losses. Most likely the losses will be less, as I will be able to feed them well vs. the dropping water temps and lower feeding activity which I ran into this fall. Whenever you handle fish, being able to get them back on feed ASAP is important. So rising water temps helps that. And even with trout, dropping water temps below optimum means heir immune systems aren't working 100 percent.