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A picture showing what Sk8man was explaining. Cercopagis or fishhook flea on top, Bythotrephes or spinywater flea on bottom & bigger.  Both of them seem to make alewife grow very fast. Cercopagis is usually peaking first in the season, like now, and Byth numbers climb and peak in fall, after they munch down the Cerco. We have this idea that Byth seems to allow Alewife to stay up in the water column feeding,  later in the fall than they used to before we had them. Fascinating and frustrating!


I just finished setting up 2 new Blood Run diver rods to saw through the snot. That BR wire is really nice to handle.

B2854AF6-F925-435E-99EE-550984C4E96C.jpeg

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Guess I need to prepare for the worst. Headin to Ozland first weekend of August! I wonder of the fleas haveanegtiveaffect on fish in regards to their gills etc?

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A picture showing what Sk8man was explaining. Cercopagis or fishhook flea on top, Bythotrephes or spinywater flea on bottom & bigger.  Both of them seem to make alewife grow very fast. Cercopagis is usually peaking first in the season, like now, and Byth numbers climb and peak in fall, after they munch down the Cerco. We have this idea that Byth seems to allow Alewife to stay up in the water column feeding,  later in the fall than they used to before we had them. Fascinating and frustrating!

I just finished setting up 2 new Blood Run diver rods to saw through the snot. That BR wire is really nice to handle.
B2854AF6-F925-435E-99EE-550984C4E96C.thumb.jpeg.bafa6a2d7cb8d0fc2fc2a87e61536e23.jpeg
Back when they first showed up i thought i had heard (or read) that alewives wouldn't or couldn't eat them because of the spiny features. I always thought of them as a negative because they clog your line AND compete for the same food as the alewives. I guess that info (or at least my recollection)was wrong. Thats good to know that they are a food source for alewives.

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Absolutely, all true. Like most non native species, in the beginning there can often be much doom and gloom, and predicting. Then when everything settles down and we get enough observations to look at the whole picture, the initial predictions might not necessarily be spot on.
 

 Byth spines in particular were found to “ball up” by the hundreds,  and get stuck in Alewife stomachs so there was concern that Alewife could not keep eating them, and would  starve...but no one told the Alewife and they kept eating them when they were abundant and Alew were getting bigger and bigger. They potentially extend the Alewife growing season...maybe by a month or more. We frequently find Byth spines in Alewife stomachs in April, presumably left over from fall/winter.

 

They do have a lower energy density than Daphnia as GillT notes  but they are also 50+ times heavier than the small Daphnia they eat, so even if their quality as food is not quite as good , Alewife do not work nearly as hard to eat more total food....a net gain.

 


 

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23 hours ago, Adk1 said:

Guess I need to prepare for the worst. Headin to Ozland first weekend of August! I wonder of the fleas haveanegtiveaffect on fish in regards to their gills etc?

you know the weird thing is that it seems to go off the rails for like 2 weeks in July then it is quite manageable after. 

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48 minutes ago, Fat Trout said:

you know the weird thing is that it seems to go off the rails for like 2 weeks in July then it is quite manageable after. 

I hope you are right!

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It really isn't quite that simple or easy. With some lines (e.g. Sea flee) you can usually do that with the spiny fleas but not the fishhook variety as they stay there no matter how hard you smack it against the water and you are stuck with gathering them up in a clump and pulling them off (wire is more taught and it is a little easier on it than mono or braid).

Edited by Sk8man
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You guys think they suck on a fishing rod, try treating water that is filled with them!  They chew up chlorine like crazy!  About 8 or 9 years ago, we were getting huge chlorine demands on the pretreatment in our plant.  The boss was perplexed.  I told him over and over again that it was Fleas.  He didn't believe me.  The next day I brought in a spool of 10lb power pro and dropped it in the flow coming into the plant.  After and hour, it had filled top to bottom with fleas.  

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one tactic we use that works fairly well is to lay the length of line with the fleas attached on the surface of the water as it gets a couple yards from the rod tip,then drop the tip,take up a little slack,then rip the tip upwards..this actually strips off a fairly good amount at a time..doesn't always get them all off,but much better than stripping by hand..I've done this just cleaning lines,and with a fish on the line also.. good luck out there!

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Hi all, 


I posted this a few weeks back and maybe I am crazy but I keep my boat on a trailer so before I go, I run out about 300 ft of line and coat the center of a rag with WD40 and run it down and back up the line. Then reel it back in and do the next one. I only run 4 or 5 rigger rods and a copper on the board this time of year so it's not that bad - takes me 10 mins or so before I leave and I swear it helps. It doesn't fix the problem completely but I seem to get less fleas and when I get them they are easier to come off. I absolutely love the on board spray down idea - I have a hose on the back of the boat and never thought of that one! That's super cool. I run 30# BG and 30# pink Ande - If the fleas are bad, I just don't put my wire diver out - too crazy. If the hose spray down method really is super effective, I might do WD40 on the wire and also the hose on the back of the boat. I am intrigued. 

 

Lastly, when I do the WD40, I don't do the leader, just the main 30# line - the leader is running horizontally so it shouldn't be getting many fleas on it. 

 

Thanks all for awesome info!

FLANMAN

Edited by Flanman
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