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Tips for Finding Necturus maculosus

Nathan050793

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Does anybody have any tips on how to find Necturus maculosus this time of year in Pennsylvania? I know they live in lake Erie, however, I heard that in the summer they move to deeper water. Can they be found in streams and creeks? How do you catch them?

I don't normally ask this many questions but, I would really be interested in finding some if I get the chance and I'm rather clueless when it comes to these guys. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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Gregarious

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I have asked many a fisherman about mudpuppies and to my suprise they are caught usually by mistake. The old-timers typically kill them because they say they eat perch eggs. So if you like perch you kill Salamanders? (dam not cool). Anyways, I live near Detroit,Mich. and we do have Necturus maculosus in the Great lakes. On the 03/07/08 I kayaked on the river and unfortunately saw around 50 dead mudpuppies floating. Many were approx. 16'' long (that's huge). I don't know why they were dead. The possitive side is that if they are there dead there should be living ones also. That was my first time seeing mudpuppies in the wild. I have since set minnow traps in Sept. to try to catch some alive. Not that I'm out collecting as many as I can get, more simply I want to gain knowledge and actually see them alive. I didn't catch any but did get minnows and crayfish. Maybe I could have been in deeper water for that time of year. I waited till Dec. and tryed again, set the traps and caught all types of fish a monster crayfish and a little bit of ice. I hope that I will be successfull in catching at least one alive maybe just for my peace of mind. To my suprise there is an actual season for them relative to a fishing licence. That's odd but most people don't even now they exist so it's not that relevant and most people that tell me they killed them say they wouldn't do it again. Lets hope that is true!
 
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Kaysie

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The easiest way I've found is to use a two person team, where one flips rocks under water, and the other swoops with a net. In the winter, you'll find them in shallower water. They're often caught by ice fishermen.
 

Gregarious

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I didn't mention that the river is quite beautiful and I have spent a lot of time on it. This episode with the dead mudpuppies was the only time that I have seen that occur. The water flows fast and comes from Lake Huron which is clear and blue.
 

Otterwoman

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In this book, The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State,
http://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=53979
there is a sidebar/box called:
"Mudpuppy: A Rash of Mysterious Deaths"

Here are the highlights: (p. 282)
"In June of 2002, thousands of mudpuppies...washed up along the shores of Lake Erie, most notably along the shore stretching from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo, New York. The suspected cause of death was type E botulism. ...How might they have been exposed? ...One theory involves zebra and quagga mussels..."



You can google more on this.
 

onetwentysix

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Another possibility would be lampricides; I know there have been studies done that show they've had a huge effect on larvae, but adults would probably be affected as well. Really sad. =(
 

Nathan050793

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Wow, I totally forgot I even started this thread...that was a looong time ago. I decided back in June that when necturus are about a 6 hour drive out of your range and you probably won't even find anything, it's not really worth it anymore (at least to parents). :p


Post #400! :)
 

Greatwtehunter

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Parents just don't understand do they.:rolleyes: I would totally make the 6 hour trek for Necturus but I think my wife would have a different opinion. If you happen to sweet talk your parents into letting you do this, you got to post how it went.
 

Gregarious

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Rotenone sounds like a scary (natural) pestiside. The info I read says it is used for organic farming. Lampriside is used by the DNR in Mich. to help controll lamprays which are an invasive species to the Great Lakes. I don't see the point because we are not going to eradicate them, bad as they are, they are hear to stay. E-botulism is a natural occuring bacteria that likes anarobic decay (dead things). Sounds scary but bacteria is here to stay also. I am curious as to why the E-botulism outbreak happened. What sparked that fire? I think all this is relavant to "finding Necturus maculosus" because were talkin about the health of a population. I suspect that even with these set-backs the mudpuppy population is still sustaining itself, I hope. This question is what got me to try to find one.
 
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