NANFA-L-- More Madtom Stings...

Todd D. Crail (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Thu, 10 Nov 2005 08:21:44 -0500

Hi gang,

I've been busy playing in the fall seiches, periods of standing wind from
the west/southwest that push the water of Lake Erie on over to Ontario, PA
and NY, and leave us pretty much high and dry here in the extreme western
basin. There will be some more about that, and a talk about how dreamy the
Portage River is, once everything is done and I have all the photos
compiled. I posted a link to some of them on the Unio email list the other
day since I had all my mussel stuff. If you want to look-in-them now (there
will be other additional galleries that are specific to our interests
shortly) the url is:

Yes, I had the Muddy Madness! :)

While all this is going on, it's a prime time to catch tadpole madtom
because they're very concentrated and pushed out of the logs, sunk trash and
such that their cryptic life keeps them hidden from our nets. I stupidly
envenomated myself again by trying to pick a small juvenile up instead of
floating him into my hand...

This time the tadpole sting didn't make me sick (this is my second tadpole
sting). But man they have the most potent sting I've ever experienced. It
was bad enough that when we were catching stonecat later, the first question
out of my friend Ryan's mouth was wether they stung or not too... Then he
started talking about how pretty they were lol.

Anyway, I screwed up twice that day. I decided a three pack of the tiny
specimens would make a nice "under rock" clean up crew. I usually try to
feed prior to introduction so that the new fish going in aren't "food" to
established specimens. I was in a semi-hurry during acclimation and for
some reason didn't feed yet (food was sitting there thawed and ready to go).

When I put the fish in, a longear came out and SMOKED one of the tadpole
madtoms. The madtom ended up dying (I assume from stress) but man did that
longear get a hurt put on him. He was bleeding out his gills and had his
gill flaps extended even into the next morning. Of course, I'm
anthropomorphizing what I imagine the sting felt like in its mouth... But
still. Ouch. He survived just fine though. He was back to his normal
sassy self later the following evening.

Kindofa "gee whiz" post, but I thought it might be of interest since we
probably don't usually set up situations where our aquarium fish are going
to be able to put a whole madtom in their mouth... The Reefle (tm) has its
ways of showing some of the different things that are more likely to happen
in the stream.

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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