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Couple of weeks ago I was able to get some fantastic video of the yellow perch spawn below the spillway at Lake Waterford :yes: . I just got lucky I guess and everything seemed to come together just right, as in my timming, an abundance of spawning fish, water clarity, sunlight, water flow, everything needed, so Mother Nature gave me that one day to visit with, and video them. The following day she got a hair up her a$$, as only a woman can do, and she brought on one of her more powerful cold fronts, accompanied with freezing rains, and by the time it cleared several days later, the show was pretty much over. I made several visits last week to see if the fish would rebound, only to view a couple of straglers here and there, and few eggs to be seen anywhere. I believe the heavy water flow washed most of em out, hopefully lodging them somewhere down stream,,,,,,,,,,,,but there's another culprit too,,,,,,,,

DUCKS

As the yellows were doing their thing, these two mallards were gorging themselves :rolleyes: . Yellow perch eggs (white masses) can be seen below the surface of the water. It's only a foot or so deep there, presenting the eggs up on a silver platter to many a hungry critter. A young lady working there at the park informed me that she saw as many as a dozen ducks down there at one time. Because of terrain design the fish don't have a chance at reproduction below the dam. I have two theories for a fix in mind and I'll be visiting my friends down at the DNR for some support/gudiance/ and what ever else it takes to correct this problem. Nuff said for now.


Fresh eggs can be seen below these fish. I've learned so much while observing them as to what really takes place in nature. The pics are great, but the video is awesome. I showed up unannounced at the DNR with my tape last week and Marty and a few others watched it during their lunch hour. Marty sez there's nothing like this tape anywhere out there that he, nor his coworkers that viewed it that day, know of, He feels it would make a great training tape. When I make him a copy, Marty will take it to someone up at the Aquarium in Baltimore who will make some copies of it and I will get one in a format that I could put on line to be viewed on a computer. Maybe then I could get some clips at some point here on Tidalfish :cool2: .




One of the deeper spots where the fish did their thing, a strand of eggs towards the center of the pic has just surfaced and is floating away to the right. The ones that do float away will catch on to rocks, branches, whatever's available. Some just floated towards shore and would settle there.

Did you know that,,,,,,,just like white men, yellow perch can't jump ;-) ? OK! Well then did you know that yellow perch can,,,,,,,,,,,

swim up through a water fall as it's pouring straight down on them. Yep, a short distance anyway, as described by Tidalfisher MDHokie93 himself, as thrashing mightily back and forth against all odds to reach the other side of the wier. Many yellows did make it over this first wier of the fish ladder but none made it over the second one. The distance was to great. Actually, I never saw one even try the second wier. That in itself taught me something about these fish. If you just listen they will tell you so much.


When a female is ready the males struggle for a position next to her to fertilize the oncoming release of her eggs. It's sort of like a gang fight breaks out but nobody gets hurt. If you're watching them you'll be alerted by a sudden ruckus with males sometimes breaking the surface of the water. They seem to ball up a little tighter in a group at this point and it ain't hard to figure out what's happening.


Honestly, the pics just don't do em justice. If ya can't be there in person, the video is the only way to go :)) .

Closing point. These fish came a long way fighting strong current, maneuvering obsticles in the stream, predators, and gave it a good go to say the least. Most likely their efforts was wasted, only to have the eggs be mostly eaten by the ducks in the shallow water below the base of the dam, and to have the left overs not eaten be washed away by the heavy flow of water from the rains forced directly at them at the base of the dam. We owe it to them to help a little, to give em a fighting chance :helpsmilie: .
 

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those are some nice pictures.Nature is awesome isn't it!!!!
 

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Virgil just imagine what would happen if those ducks were not around to eat the eggs :yes:
I know a guy that loves duck soup.Thanks for putting up the pictures...pretty cool.
 

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Great work!

Thank you for sharing that with us. I read your post with much interest. Good pics. Kudos to you sir! :thumbup:
 

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Virgil great work and pics. Spring is finally here. Your right they do need a fighting chance. I say raise the toll on the bridge and put it all back in the bay.:yes:
 

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Thanks so much for the time and effort you spent on that ! That has to be one of the best posts I can remember !:rockingreport: :clapping2: I would love to see the video .
 

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Thank you virgil for this information.

I wonder how hard it is to engineer a hatchery (perhaps get some volunteers and $$$) for the YPs? Then release the young when they have a fighting chance to survive and eventually return to spawn.

Don't they have some kind of Fish-Hatchery program at University of Maryland? I wonder if they would be interested in doing something for the Yellow Perch at Lake Waterford.
 

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Great post. Even greater with the pictures.

It seems to me that the ducks aren't the problem since they've been around forever. It sounds to me like the problem is the dam/tiers (no pun intended).

If the perch had the chance to swim upstream unimpeded to where they naturally wanted to spawn, my guess is that regardless of the number of ducks around, the yellow perch would multiply just fine.

But that's merely the opinion of one that has been out way too late on a school nite.

Anyway, thanks for the lesson.
 
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