Strange Fish/Bugs?

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Joined: 2009-08-07

Almost since the Pond was first formed, there have been tiny fish like bugs,,,at least that's what I think they are, living in the pond, they survived the pond getting frozen over most all winter, and were still there as soon as the ice got melted enough to see through.

They get to be about an inch long, are dark colored (if not black), and have translucent wings/fins similar in appearance to the wings of house flies only they stick straight out.

I was going to try to take a picture today, but I had trouble finding one big enough to photograph.

I'm going to try to find a net like is used to scoop a goldfish out of it's tank and try to catch one to take to the county extension office to find out what they are.

Wish me luck, those things are awful easy to scare off.
Last summer when I was swimming in there all the time they were easier to get near, so if need be I can wait till warmer weather and get them used to me again!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I Love A Puzzle

Oooh, Larry, this is interesting!

Are they squishy like fish or have a hard shell like beetles?

County Ext. should know.

To catch them, let the net rest in the water until they get used to it, then later sprinkle a bit of bread crumb in the net to see if they'll go in.

Just like trout, make sure you're shadow isn't over the water too!

(puzzling)--- :puzzled:

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Thanks Redmink!

I haven't caught one yet to know if they are hard or squishy, they have been seeming to turn siverish on the belly, like a fish, and I think I saw tail fins when studying them other day!

I looked at Audubon field guides on both fish and insects while I was at the library.

They may be Dragonfly Nymphs, but I couldn't find much of a description of them.

They are starting to resemble Mosquito Fish a bit (2 inch or was it 2.5 inch long fish, which of course feed on Mosquito's).

I didn't see anything on the smallest fish in North America, but one fish that the description said was only the second smallest only gets 1 1/4 inch long, which is about the size of the biggest ones I've seen in the pond so far.

If they are fish, how in the world did they get in my pond when it is fed only by the spring and other groundwater, unless someone or something (perhaps a bird) stalked them there?

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I finally know!

I finally know what they are, Water Boatman!

I started my internet search looking up the Dragonfly Nymphs and after seeing that wasn't what there were, I found a site with pond life in Colorado, and easily picked out my bugs! (On page 9)

http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/bspm/extension%20and%20outreach/Water%20Garden%20Insect%20Publication.pdf

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Joined: 2009-08-07
a-HA

Puzzle solved. I was in the Montana wildlife sites and was looking at various minnows.

Water Boatman! Pond life can be mesmerizing to watch. I always appreciated the water striders and their shadows on the sand.

Once fishing, while waiting for a strike, I watched a black bug with huge claws that caught minnows ... wow. Finally got that strike too!

Mosquito fish would've been nice to have, though you're right -- how'd they get there?!?!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: a-HA

I'm glad I found out what they were!

Also I saw the I think first Water Skipper I have seen on the pond since it was formed last summer!

I think I may have seen a few Dragonfly Nymphs in the pond too,,,now that I know what they look like!

I hand pumped about 8 gallons of water out of the pond for my fall planted trees near it,,,it was a test run for the barrel pump I bought when I had trouble finding a hand pump meant for water that had a hose attachment on it.

35 pumps to run water through a 75 foot hose and fill a 5 gallon bucket,,,so I figure 7 pumps is a gallon (give a little for the 13 feet of hose per gallon that the hose threw off the experiment).

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Got It Down To A Science

That's alot of pumping! Good exercise too?

Do you also have barrels under drain spouts to help with the water load?

When the Southeast was under that awful drought a few years back, people came up with alot of water-saving techniques, especially for gray water from baths ... I forget how they got it to their plants though, but it's a good idea.

I once measured how much water I run until it gets hot ... gallons OMG :O :shock:

So I save it for house and porch plants.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
RE: Good exercise too?

You bet, but it was much easier today that it was yesterday!

I have buckets I put out under the drain spouts, often if it's not raining too hard, I go out and empty them periodically, I put the water on the trees I feel are most in need of extra water.

Another 8, or maybe even 9 gallons pumped so far today!

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Here we go again!

Small and black, 1 1/4 inch long 7/8 inch wide, is it a baby turtle or isn't it?

Well after looking at the field guide I think this may be it, but it swam away too fast to get a good look!

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/detail_ARAAD01010.aspx

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Joined: 2009-08-07
Hmmm ...

... all I've ever seen in streams are baby snapping turtles and they were 2-3" long, with the shell very evident. And were NOT inclined to move!

Too late to be somebody's tadpole?

That "somebody" being a salamander as it moved so fast???

Just for comparison, I found this:

"Eggs and Larvae: Eggs are typically laid in ponds in small clusters of 5 to 100, but eggs may be laid singly. Larvae are usually brown, have three external gills, and are relatively small (less than 1.75-inch body) and slender."

In the MT field guide: http://fieldguide.mt.gov/detail_AAAAA01080.aspx

Another Mystery!!!!! :)

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Joined: 2011-04-13
I'm excited to read this blog

I'm excited to read this blog it is very interesting for all fish lover. I never think that this kinds of fish are also in the world. And I'm surprised to read this blog, there have been the tinny fish like bugs.

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Joined: 2009-08-07
I got a dozen gold fish to add to the pond,

the should keep down the mosquitoes, and get to eat some of the Water-boatman bugs the rest of the year!

I put them in Tuesday, and by the time I saw any of them again Saturday, they were twice the size of the biggest one I had put in!

I used to be scared of the internet, it was much too confusing for me, but now I use it for finding about all kinds of things, like the fish/bugs controversy (water-boatman).

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