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Author Topic: Potomac River MD Longear x Northern strain of the Longear Sunfish  (Read 2638 times)

Fat Boy

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Yesterday I went on a search for some jewels of the Potomac River with a buddy of mine, and we found some stunning male longear sunfish. The latest research seems to show that the Potomac River strain of this fish is actually a cross (genetically) between the longear and Northern sunfish. Regardless of their actual identifcation, the pics are worth sharing.





Raquettedacker

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They sure are awesome Kevin.
 And good to eat.. ;)
Hope all is well…
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own.....<br />Strangers stopping strangers just to shake there hand...<br />\"Dying is the easy part. Learning how to live is the hard part....\"

taxid

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Look 100 percent Longear (Lepomis megalottis) to me.

Are you sure they didn't mean northern and central longear?
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Fat Boy

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Thanks Dom! Yessir, they're tasty for sure! I'm doing OK. Just bought a new TM and am anxious to try it out. I have it almost fully installed...the tough part is done but I have to wire in some stuff and then figure out how it works LOL. You know it's pricy when it's not just plug and play!

How are you doin'? Looks like you had another great trip this year. Some of the LM are pigs!

Fat Boy

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Look 100 percent Longear (Lepomis megalottis) to me.

Are you sure they didn't mean northern and central longear?

Yeah, and that's what I always called them, longears. Some guys down here call them Northerns. You can't really tell much by looking at them easily, but there are subtle differences. DNA research puts these at the newest evolutionary subspecies (maybe a species someday) in the longear sunfish complex (and Northern). IMHO, they're all beautiful. Koaw in the video below discusses the findings of the latest research and shows the various strains of the longear complex. It gets really tough IDing them when ranges overlap or, even tougher, when they hybridize with other species.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzft3-Fd8RU&t=6s

rigo.shark1

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Oh man, those male longear sunfishes you've caught are real stunners, hats off to ya for such a great find – always exciting when the research starts to match with what you're pulling from the water.




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taxid

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Yeah, and that's what I always called them, longears. Some guys down here call them Northerns. You can't really tell much by looking at them easily, but there are subtle differences. DNA research puts these at the newest evolutionary subspecies (maybe a species someday) in the longear sunfish complex (and Northern). IMHO, they're all beautiful. Koaw in the video below discusses the findings of the latest research and shows the various strains of the longear complex. It gets really tough IDing them when ranges overlap or, even tougher, when they hybridize with other species.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzft3-Fd8RU&t=6s

I hear ya. Some sunfish species hybridize so easily t can be a challenge even for a biologist. I thought I had it down pat for a summer biologist assistant internship and found out it can be a challenge.

As a fish taxidermist I took in a pumkinseed or pumkinseed hybrid once that would have tied the world record or had a new IGFA category as a pumpkinseed hybrid.

Anyway, one biologist said it was pure pumpkinseed as it keyed out that way, but the ear tab was missing the red. He felt it was just because the fish was very old and it was difficult to see.  Another biologist was sure it was a hybrid but he didn't bother to key it out. In fact he just glanced at it from a distance as he came in late to work. So no record either way.
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Fat Boy

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Ah man, that's too bad. You'd think a record fish would cause some level of interest in getting the ID, or at least get credit for giving the proper ID, even from a scientific perspective. Was this before DNA testing was available (knowing that not everyone has that capability).

Fat Boy

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Here's one that my buddy Glenn caught while we were smack dab in the middle of the river, in current, smallie fishing. I didn't think that they liked current so it was a bit of a surprise to me.



Here's the area where we caught this guy (not a secret spot).

rgfixit

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Bluegill beds in my home waters.

They’re very aggressive. I’m not harassing them for a while.
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taxid

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Ah man, that's too bad. You'd think a record fish would cause some level of interest in getting the ID, or at least get credit for giving the proper ID, even from a scientific perspective. Was this before DNA testing was available (knowing that not everyone has that capability).

Interesting you brought that up. There was a biologist that worked for Illinois Natural History that was studying pumpkinseed bluegill hybrids in southern Canada. Apparently, at least in some cases, the F1 offspring can get quite large. He said he would be happy to look at the DNA, but when I contacted him to send a sample he seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. My guess is someone he worked for probably didn't want him to do it for whatever reason.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

taxid

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Here's one that my buddy Glenn caught while we were smack dab in the middle of the river, in current, smallie fishing. I didn't think that they liked current so it was a bit of a surprise to me.



Here's the area where we caught this guy (not a secret spot).


I've had bluegill swim upstream through a 6 inch culvert about 300 feet from one pond to another. Never say never with fish! From hatching and raising several species of fish I've noticed they all seem to be attracted to moving water of inlets and outlets. Maybe searching out greener pastures?
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taxid

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Bluegill beds in my home waters.

They’re very aggressive. I’m not harassing them for a while.

In my area anglers catch and keep every last one of them when they find a vulnerable colony like that. It's a shame we have no bag limits.
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fishinator

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In my area anglers catch and keep every last one of them when they find a vulnerable colony like that. It's a shame we have no bag limits.
every body of water is different.  I have several places where we hammer them off the beds, and have been every year for 20 plus years. I haven't seen any decrease in size or quality. One of them isn't even a 100 acres and it produces every year.

Fat Boy

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In my area anglers catch and keep every last one of them when they find a vulnerable colony like that. It's a shame we have no bag limits.

That's probably why Maryland has a limit, 15 sunfish in aggregate per day, 30 possession per person. There are some lakes where I wish people could keep more where the fish are stunted. Do you know anything about the causes of stunted sunnies and crappie? I know that most people think it's all overpopulation, lack of predators and lack of bait, but do you know any studies about this or other causes?  I guess it's all of the above, but I was wondering if it might also be due to things like inbred genetics... Thoughts?

 



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