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Kaskaskia Pond Draining/Fin Clipping Part Deux


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Steve Jordan and I helped drain a rearing pond around Farmer City on Thursday October 18th. Trent Thomas and crew from the DNR worked their tails off all day to retrieve the large brood stock as well as the smallmouth offspring from nets full of writhing, muddy crayfish, baby crappie, sun fish and tadpoles. The adult smallmouth produced 141 little guys that were returned to the Kaskaskia River on Friday, the 19th. Some of the young smallies were minnow sized, while others were 6" fish after only one season in the pond. Apparently some of the larger smallmouth dined on their own siblings as well as the thousands of tiny sun fish and crappie.

On Friday I was joined at the Shelbyville spillway by ISA members Jack Thompson and Dave Franklin for the fin clipping. Each fish had a fin clipped for future identification. Half were released below Lake Shelbyville and half above the lake. There will be another pond draining at Lake Shelbyville Friday, October 26th. There should be a thousand smallmouth in this pond. These fish will be released into the lake itself.The DNR could use help on this project also. I hope some ISA members will be able to get down there and give a hand. I will write a more extensive article for the Bronzeback Bulletin about all our exciting adventures.

 

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It was a lot of fun and you always learn something at one of these events. This year one of the fisheries guys showed us a water scorpion. They look almost like a walking stick but thier two front appendages have tiny stingers.

 

Trent informed us that the blood coming from the gills of the smallmouth I'm holding was caused by all the mud in the water.

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