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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
(1983)

Minnow and carp family - cyprinidae,   pp. 415-605 ff. PDF (93.4 MB)


Page 417

Minnow and Carp Family-Cyprinidae 417 
$179,142 were harvested from the Wisconsin waters of the Mississippi 
River (Fernholz and Crawley 1977). They weighed over 64% of the total 
commercial catch, and were surpassed in value only by the catfish catch.
  Fish management and research biologists who have conducted sur- 
veys with shocking units in southern Wisconsin trout and bass streams 
have shown that an immense number of minnows are present in most 
streams having reasonably good habitat (C. L. Brynildson 1959). A min- 
now dealer who was given a contract to remove forage fish from Milner 
Branch, Little Grant River (Grant County) seined 174 kg/ha in 1955 and 
140 kg/ha in 1956, a high harvest. Subsequent shocking showed that 
the number of suckers remained essentially constant, and that the num- 
ber of creek chubs and common shiners increased through natural repro- 
duction and movement. Investigations strongly indicate that forage fish 
production continues to be high regardless of the intensity of the har- 
vest. 
  High-density populations of forage fish undoubtedly compete with 
trout and bass for space and food, but the degree of competition is diffi-
cult to measure. Minnows have additional value in that they serve as a 
"buffer" food for predators that would otherwise deplete trout
and bass 
more extensively. 
  In addition to the carp and the goldfish, which are well established in
Wisconsin waters, other introductions have occurred. According to 
Baughman (1947), 90 European tench, Tinca tinca Linnaeus, were stocked 
in Wisconsin during 1895-1896. This minnow, which reaches 25-30 cm 
and about 250 g in 3 to 4 years, has 95-120 small scales along the lateral
line, and the skin is thick and slimy (Muus and Dahlstrom 1971). It feeds
on the larvae of insects, mostly midges, and on small clams, and snails.
The fate of this stocking in Wisconsin is unknown. 
  In 1916, B. 0. Webster, superintendent of hatcheries with the Wiscon- 
sin Department of Natural Resources, secured "several pails" of
Euro- 
pean rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus (Linnaeus), from the New York 
Aquarium and stocked them in Oconomowoc Lake (Waukesha County) 
(Cahn 1927). Cahn reported two successful spawnings; however, no sub- 
sequent records are available. This minnow, similar in body form to the 
golden shiner, has 40-43 scales, and pelvic, anal, and caudal fins which
are bright red on the extremities. The eyes are yellow to orange. It aver-
ages 20-30 cm and 200-400 g in about 10 years, and feeds on aquatic 
vegetation, insects, snails, and occasionally fish eggs (Muus and Dahl- 
strom 1971). 
  A more recent introduction to Wisconsin has been the grass carp, 
Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes). It was imported into the United 
Grass carp 189 mm, Arkansas State Hatchery, 21 May 1976 


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