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Crappie, Rock Bass, or Other?

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by SeaYoda, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    HHhhaarrr!
    It is becomming increasingly apparent that we need to go back for a better look!
    Let's add the project to the agenda for the Vortex Oktoberfest weekend the 15th-16th!
    Rick :)
     
  2. Tom Smedley

    Tom Smedley Tommy ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Well, to save Yoda some holes in his hand I just happen to have a picture of the same fish or one in his immediate family with all his fins extended.

    The black crappie would generally have seven spines on the dorsal fin and a long forked caudal with rounded lobes.

    The rock bass on the other hand would have eleven spines on the dorsal fin with a broad indented caudal.

    Looks like a rock bass to me but to be safe I would call it some sort of sunfish.
     
  3. WVDiver

    WVDiver Instructor, Scuba

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    A perfect Ambloplites rupestris (Rock Bass) specimen.
     
  4. SeaYoda

    SeaYoda Solo Diver

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    All the pictures were from springs here in Florida.

    The ones that look more like rock bass (#1 & #12) were below 40' in and around caverns at Morrison. The last picture in #12 at least has some red around the eye.

    #19 top was at 30' in an open basin surrounded by rocks at Cypress - he was a lot smaller than the others. I think he's a crappie.

    #19 bottom was at 20' open water above the cavern at Vortex. His size was between the other two. He looks like a crappie to me.
     
  5. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

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    Well, I have been gotten various state citation trophy fish certificates for catcing that very fish on rod and reel and they say "Rock Bass". So let's not rock the boat. i am out of whiteout.
     
  6. SeaYoda

    SeaYoda Solo Diver

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    Which picture did your's look like?
     
  7. SterlingDiver

    SterlingDiver Manta Ray

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    Pancho,

    A very practical solution to the mysterious fish identification. Mmm, mm.

    Best Regards,

    Dave
     
  8. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

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    SeaYoda- The picture you posted is a rock bass. I am not a biologist but a guy who has numerous trophy fish citations for this fish. Just ask me about the one that got away! All the other pics I have seen appear to be crappie. The rock bass is a hell of a good fighting panfish on ultra-light tackle but I have never eaten one as I catch and release these little bulldogs. They pull 2X as hard as a bluegill. The eyes have a reddish color. The mouth is more similar to a bass. The crappie has a more translucent mouth. I will eat the crappie as they need to be culled and are magically delicious.
     
  9. archman

    archman Marine Scientist

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    I agree, up until I found a 1971 publication from Texas Parks & Wildlife (bulletin 5-A). It's a true colour fish ID guide, done by a biological illustrator (Nancy McGowan) whom I can only view as a genius. External dimensions and minute anatomical details are as accurate as if you had the type-specimen in your hand. After I found this and checked it against some keys, I put the keys back on the shelf. It really is that good. Variability in coloration is well described in the lower margin, or even with supplemental illustrations. Man, nobody does supplemental illustrations anymore.

    Nah, all of the comments here were from post #19, in this case, what you and I are calling the bluegill. Although I'm glad to have someone with better experience support that ID. Bluegill suck.

    I want to get a rock bass for one of my teaching aquaria. Anybody know if they'll eat fish flakes?
     
  10. WVDiver

    WVDiver Instructor, Scuba

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    I'm sure it is a good tool but remember that in the lab when fish have been fixed (preserved in alcohol or formalyn) prior to id all color is gone and a good key is still your best friend.

    Fishes of Virginia by Jenkins is a good key but the pics. are drawn, which also has its advantages. Fishes of West Virginia by Stauffer is not really very good but on the up side my old boss and one of his colleaques is currently working on a new version of the Fishes of West Virginia and it will be an awesome publication complete with an atlas. His id skills are nothing short of amazing. People from all over the area come to him for answers. I was fortunate to have worked with him for about 4 years. In the past couple of years my diving has been primarily responsible for allowing me to expand my biological knowledge to include mussels. Now I am primarily a freshwater mussel biologist which is very rewarding as I get to do a lot of diving.

    They will eat flakes but they probably won't thrive on them. Throw in night crawlers, grubs, grasshoppers, mealworms, bloodworms, crayfish, guppies and other small fish if the rock bass is large enough and they will do fine. I would refrain from seining minnows for food just because they are such filthy little buggers and the tank will always need cleaning if you use them. Rock Bass are dirty enough by themselves.

    Good luck with your studies.
     

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