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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Why Zebra Mussels are Killer
    Well folks, I just got back from a 6 day fishing trip (work included) to Black Lake, NY.

    I've never been so disheartened in looking at a natural resource.

    Between the addition of zebra mussels, and potentially what could only be called global warming, the lake is a mess. Weeds everywhere, making it all but unfishable.

    For those of you not familiar with Zebra mussels, they are essentially pinky nail sized clams that reproduce at an incredible rate, and filter the water til it's gin clear.

    On the one hand, that's great, since for a few years, the water looks beautiful. Crystal clear even.

    But then, coupled with low water levels from lack of rain, increased temperatures, and increased sunlight penetration from water clarity and low water marks, the weeds take over.

    And they take over big time.

    On the whole of that lake, none of it was weed free. None of it. And this lake has a GIANT surface area.

    The fish are still there... thriving in fact... but good luck wrestling them out.

    It will be years before this lake rights itself, if ever. An annual trip for me is lost, at this point. We'll be looking elsewhere.

    Please do, though, ask me about the tiger musky that got away. It's a great story.
    Kevin Webster
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Ugh, when I lived on lake erie I learned to hate those things. They cover everything.

  3. #3
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    That sucks. I'm sorry to hear about it. We're fighting them down here in Lake Mead, too. I understand that they can also reproduce inside the boats water lines and totally foul up the motor....NO!
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  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    MI's got those things in the Great Lakes, and a lot of our smaller lakes, too. While I haven't seen the effects up close, our local paper has run many articles about them, not only complaining but also trying to educate boaters on how not to spread the things from lake to lake.

    For a lot of our local lakes, the people can get rid of effects like seaweed, but the filter-feeding is supposed to do some other bad stuff that won't be fixable, so they're actively trying to find some way to get rid of the zebra mussels.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    From what I understand, they do indeed "clear" the water as they devour phyto-plankton, which is a big part of the entomololgy in our lakes and rivers. From what I recall they were introduced in the great lakes region possibly on the hulls of commercial vessels coming from Europe and / or Asia. We don't have them here (thankfully) but as I mentioned before, we have whirling disease and now New Zealand mud snails to contend with on our rivers and lakes.

    Bummer to hear that it has had such an impact out there. As for taking fish out of weeds though, I often get large rainbows or browns coming out of the grass to pop a caddis or barrs emerger etc. Just have to clean the hooks more often! Hope that otherwise you enjoyed your break, now let's hear about the Muskie that got away.
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  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Knew I could count on you to ask, Alan.

    We were in a small bay, working some weed edges (ha!). I had a monstrous hit on a 7in Senko worm. I set the hook, but nothing. So as I reeled in, I turned to tell my friend about the hit.

    I stopped reeling right when the Senko got to the boat.

    I looked down, and just as I did, the the tiger muskie slowly came off the bottom, sucked the worm and 5 inches of my line into his mouth. He bit down, severing the line, and then slowly sunk down to the bottom.

    I never moved. There was nothing I could do.

    I fished that cove for 3 straight days looking for him, but no dice.
    Kevin Webster
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  7. #7
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    That was one clever critter

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Knew I could count on you to ask, Alan. I looked down, and just as I did, the the tiger muskie slowly came off the bottom, sucked the worm and 5 inches of my line into his mouth. He bit down, severing the line, and then slowly sunk down to the bottom.

    I never moved. There was nothing I could do.

    I fished that cove for 3 straight days looking for him, but no dice.
    Oh yeah, the lesson about the importance of using a 12" steel leader has been learned!! Orvis, Rio, Umqua and others make an excellent / very flexible, small diameter braided steel leader that is absolutely made for Pike and Muskie, as well as several ocean variety toothy critters.

    Awesome sight seeing him rise at the boat though eh? LOL
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  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    Muskie are amazing. At my favorite s. suburban Chicago pond, there's a small muskie and pike population. They aren't really fished there so they grow huge, and they keep the panfish population under control. i was bass fishing (about 10 years ago) and a big 'ol mother goose swam by my line. I was just saying "hi' to her when a huge muskie rose, struck her and took a bunch of feathers off. In that one moment, I developed a respect for the muskie that has been unmatched by any freshwater fish.
    Joseph Lilly
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  10. #10
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    My origianl thought was that it was a pike. It was 33 inches plus. But at looking at pictures since I've been home, the reddish fins have me leaning towards tiger muskie.

    And yes, it was quite a site. It wil be forever burned into my minds eye
    Kevin Webster
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  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    My origianl thought was that it was a pike. It was 33 inches plus. But at looking at pictures since I've been home, the reddish fins have me leaning towards tiger muskie.
    OH yeah, there are notable differences in the looks of a northern pike and a muskie so they are easy to distinguish. Tiger muskie also DO have reddish rust tinted fins and they lack the green sides with yellow and white polka dot patterns of a big Northern (pike). Sounds like you had a boatside visit from a muskie alright!

    Kevin, we have big tigers here in CO. did the fish in question look like this?

    http://wildlife.state.co.us/imagedb/images/564.jpg
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  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Yup. That's him. He didn't have a fisherman attached to him though.

    According to all I've read, I should have another chance to hook one in 10,000 casts or so
    Kevin Webster
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