Stewardship through water gardening, specifically biological control using native fish to control aquatic weeds

Normally when plant control comes into mind and it’s biological control the solution is caterpillars. Now these caterpillars still work for siding in control of a lot of species that float or emerge but does very little for submerged species. While studying lately I’ve noticed the main fish used is a grass carp. At this moment it seems they are not considered invasive and there are even sterile fishes for sale at a commercial level. But we heard the same story with dozens of introduced species. They were not invasive until they were.

Being a good steward of the land means ensuring habitats are not destroyed and that biodiversity remains good. Most ponds nowadays , as far as residential garden ponds, tend to be non vernal, labored with liner which is covered by pebbles , gravel and stones and the water is primarily oxygenated with waterfalls , air rocks or some other feature since it’s surface area is not enough to supply everything that’s required. Especially if the pond is over stocked with something like koi.

I know there is obviously 2 best candidates in this group to a set this question but I thought maybe it would be more beneficial as a public thread incase anyone sow the road wants to ever add a pond to their landscape. It’s a growing trend.

What I’m curious about is freshwater native species of fish that are generalist. Though specialist are cool as well. Looking for biological control to help maintain healthier ecosystems while also supporting native fish versus just using chemicals and manual removal. Obviously thins like good filters , keeping debris from falling in an sinking T the bottom decaying and releasing nutrients into the pond for the plants to feed off of and even things like hooking up your irrigation system , or some of the lines or a pump and hose to move that water into the garden and refill with freshwater will all help keep biomass explosion.

When looking up the dietary habitats of freshwater herbivorous fish or the plants they focus on as omnivorous fish was not resulting in much info. Anyone know of any good books that dig into this issue?

1 Like

There are some good regional guides to fish faunas. I don’t think we have many native species that are good at general grazing of plants and algae, but invasive carp are definitely a significant problem (which includes koi and other goldfish). Native snails might be a better option for general grazing, but there are some algae that hardly anything likes to eat.

2 Likes

Any favorite books on native freshwater fish and their ecosystem and diets for southeastern USA? When googling I came across
Many ID books , and tons of bait foods for fishing but could not find anything that necessarily jumped out as specialized herbivorous diets or anything focused on the overlap of fish and fauna.

There is an upcoming sci-cafe at the museum, taught via zoom, that you would just love! It’s June 8, and registration is required, but free.

Learn more and sign up here:

SciCafe: The Wisdom of the Forest

1 Like

I don’t know, and this sounds like specialized knowledge. Maybe your library or state university can help you. Or you could contact a state agency that handles fish and wildlife.

Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin: Mettee, Maurice F., O'Neil, Patrick E., Pierson, J. Malcolm: 9780848714857: Books: Amazon.com is a good reference, not as new but more affordable than Amazon - Fishes of Alabama: Herbert T. Boschung, Richard L. Mayden, Joseph R. Tomelleri, Edward O. Wilson.: 9781588340047: Books

Alabama — Native Fish Coalition might be useful as well.

1 Like

Thanks. I was actually looking at those. Seen a local library had one of them, I forget at the moment, and was going to go check it out and see if I should buy it. Sometimes if the never get checked out, like if they’ve had it for 5+ years without being checked out I can buy them for cheap. I almost end up returning them years down the road after studying them.

Just found the one for about $150 usd. I mean it says it’s only 2090元 which is about $80 usd but i don’t know the shipping and usually these kinds of markets add on a bit but it’s still probably under $200 when it’s all said and done. I did message my friend from China. She’s pretty good at finding books in their markets there for less. I trust sending her the money far more than thought the sites.

Do you by any chance know Scot Duncan or Ben Raines? Both have written some good books that have a decent focus on Alabama’s waters. I mostly know Scot from IG and talking. He’s the one that convinced me to visit Johnson Beach, Naval Oaks and get the $45 annual pass to them all. Roughly a 2 hour drive for me so I only go every now and then. But Scot’s Southern Wonder is a good book. His blog is nice also.

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.