Fish Transport

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Ohio_River_Rat, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Ohio_River_Rat

    Ohio_River_Rat New Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Charlestown, Indiana
    Me and a buddy of mine spent a good bit of the summer transporting catfish to both of our lakes from the river. We used a large rubbermade tub, but by the end of the summer it had broken. It could take all the water and stress. I was thinking of using those 55 gallon plastic barrels that alot of people use to keep feed in but i dont know where to get them at. Does anyone have an inexpensive method to do it or any other ideas?
     
  2. Environmentor

    Environmentor New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Buffalo, Iowa
    First, according to the Iowa DNR it is illegal to transport fish in the state of Iowa. So, I don't condone any Iowans to restock their lake by this method (plus you get serious fines if it is not your pond but transporting fish to just any public/private pond as the DNR spends millions in researching and balancing public lakes and such actions can spread exotics or disease). So, I will just assume it is your private pond and is legal in your state.

    However, here is how the DNR does it:

    While working for the Iowa DNR, all the fisheries biologists used the same set up. A big metal tub (cattle trough) that sat in the middle of their flat bottom. They simply attached a small bilge pump to the back of the boat, ran it off the battery, to feed water in. Then had attached a pipe so water could flow out over the side of the boat. Every time they collected fish they would keep them in their. Sometimes they would even drive the fish back (many miles) to the office. This would work great if you are out on the river in a flatbottom catching the fish (because normal live wells may be too small).

    Pretty much anything that holds water should work: big rubbermaid containers (like from Farm and Fleet), large barrels, garbage cans, or you can make a transport unit that sits in the back of a truck.

    However, its not the amount of water that important; rather, it is the Oxygen content. So, if you are bank fishing and putting the fish in the container until transport then you need to add oxygen. (I would not put fish on a stringer, then put them in the transport - this does major gill damage and the fish likely won't survive very long even if they look healthy after the release.) So, you can use a bilge pump to recirculate the water or anything that would cause agitation (However, units you buy for minnows probably wouldn't be sufficient). You can even add oxygen with a tank of oxygen gas (but this might be a costly set up). You can also just keep dumping buckets of water in the transport unit from your fishing site till it is time to go. However, if the fish are getting stressed (gulping at the surface) then they are running low of Oxygen. So, you want to keep them from stressing.

    You also may want to add ice since it is the summer to your transport unit (cold water holds more oxygen and reduces oxygen consumption by lowering fish metabolism). However, realize that shock will happen if you take a fish from warm water and put it in cold. (So, to reduce shock I would put your catch in a 5 gallon bucket with a little source water, and add some ice water from the transport a little at a time until the 5 gallon bucket is mostly full of cold water then release the fish into the transport unit).

    Finally, no matter what rig you use. You will once again want to get all your fish accustomed to the temperature of the pond you are delivering if it is really different temps (it would be if you use ice or if it was a long transport). So simply scoop out a bucket of ice water, and add a bucket of source water from their new home.

    All this should reduce mortalities.
     

  3. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Let me get this rite Zac. You and a buddy of yours spent the Summer rapeing the river for fish for your private use in your lakes.

    Good move SLICK!

    May you find the DUNG of a 1000 camels in the back of your vehicle every day for the next 1000 days!
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I have to agree with Big George on this..I dont like to see people taking fish from public waters to stock private lakes.

    Especially wild river fish.
     
  5. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    well ignore for a moment that he is stocking his lake... what about if you wanted to do that in the event you caught a world record catfish? or say a line class record cause its going to be darn near improbable for many to catch a 125lb blue, 124lb flattie, or a 59lb channel...
     
  6. Environmentor

    Environmentor New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Buffalo, Iowa
    Just a note, (as I said before, fish transport is illegal) also the DNR usually also doesn't condone stocking your private pond/lake (especially with public fish, not only are you taking fishing opportunities from others, as stated by "others" but you could spread disease and exotics to your own pond/lake thus destroying your private lake/pond). Also the ratios that your state sets is based off research to provide you with the best results possible for your state. Research says these ratios will create the best possible habitat and and largest fish and best fishing (in Iowa it is 1000 bluegill, 100, channels, 75 bass per acre of pond). Introducing a large flathead/predator could upset the balance, thus creating one starved flathead and a bunch of starved bass in your pond. DNR typically advises against adding predators (flathead, walleye, pike) unless you have stunted fish, called out the DNR, and had them advise you to add predators (they will usually have you add bass, and usually through a private vendor who will give you fingerlings or larger). Some bodies are too small to possess fish that require alot of water (flatheads, walleye, northern). These fish may die, or destroy your other fish populations. The DNR also advises against adding proliferating species such as crappie to a pond, as they can increase rapidly and destroy your next generation of bass or stunt themselves/bluegill. Research says don't add fish. However, on occassion the DNR may advise you to add fish, if you view a problem. They may have you add bass if the bluegill are stunted. If the problem is persistent, they may have you add some other predator (such as a flathead or pike) or more bass because it is likely your pond is great for bluegills. Or, they may advise you to add grass carp to remove excessive vegetation and decrease bluegill populations. In both these cases, they would probably advise that these fish be bought in small quatities and be triploid so they wouldn't reproduce. By the time this "band-aid" generation died off your problem would be hopefully fixed. Also, they may advise you to buy channel catfish because they sometimes have a problem reproducing in a pond (however, a seining by biologists would tell you if you need channel catfish). In all these cases they would likely have you buy your fish through a vendor; however, they may also allow you to restock your pond from public lakes (as long as it is legal, and only the numbers they prescribe, and only from bodies they tell you too). However, adding a few fish harboring exotics/diseases may destroy your pond, and adding excessive numbers may disrupt you pond balance - thus destroying your pond!