Do catfish eat Quaggas???

Cliff

Well-Known Member
In doing some research I find some reference to catfish eating zebra mussels.
I'm wondering if there is any evidence of them eating quaggas here in Powell?
Anyone done any stomach contents checking finding that?
Maybe a new food source for them also (to grow bigger?).
 

SEALEGS

Well-Known Member
I have definitely noticed a change in the average size the last 3 yrs or so. I release most of the cats that I catch but when I do clean them they are usually loaded with crawfish. I believe that the crawfish are feeding on small mussels.
 

linnell

Well-Known Member
Seeing that they are bottom dwellers and have a mouth hard as shoe leather, it wouldn't surprise me.
 

fastarget

Well-Known Member
it is great to know that a predator exists, reduce the invaders even in small quantities. How do they digest that stuff, neat, cat fishing should improve.....
 

jph3

Member
I’ve got a pic from a striper full of them as well... not sure how they digest the shell??
 

PBH

Well-Known Member
it is great to know that a predator exists, reduce the invaders even in small quantities.

One thing to keep in mind is: what do the young-of-the-year predators eat?

Those predators have to reach a certain size before they can utilize this new "food source". Before they get to that size, they have to eat something else. Small young-of-the-year fish typically rely on plankton and zooplankton. If mussels, which are filter feeders, strip the water of the same food source that other fish rely on, then they can never reach a size to start preying on the mussels.


Certainly some catfish will take advantage of this [new] opportunity. The real question is whether or not it is sustainable?
 

Chum

Member
One thing to keep in mind is: what do the young-of-the-year predators eat?

Those predators have to reach a certain size before they can utilize this new "food source". Before they get to that size, they have to eat something else. Small young-of-the-year fish typically rely on plankton and zooplankton. If mussels, which are filter feeders, strip the water of the same food source that other fish rely on, then they can never reach a size to start preying on the mussels.


Certainly some catfish will take advantage of this [new] opportunity. The real question is whether or not it is sustainable?
If the young larvae mussels are suspended and the size of zooplankton, wouldnt the juvenile fish eat those along with plankton?
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
If the young larvae mussels are suspended and the size of zooplankton, wouldnt the juvenile fish eat those along with plankton?
It is very likely that some veligers will be eaten. They don't have a shell yet so they should provide some forage for all the young fish that have hatched in the spring. I will have our staff look at stomachs of larval shad and other small planktivorous fish caught in meter nets to see if we can see any microscopic evidence of veliger consumption.
 
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