On Sun, 7 Dec 2003, Nick Zarlinga wrote:
> Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2003 16:40:37 -0500
> From: Nick Zarlinga <njz_at_clevelandmetroparks.com>
> Reply-To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> To: "NANFA List Server (E-mail)" <nanfa_at_aquaria.net>
> Subject: NANFA-- Octopus in Lake Conway, Arkansas!
> When's the next Arkansas gathering? This could be interesting!!
> Nick Zarlinga
> Aquarium Biologist
> Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
> 216.661.6500 ext 4485
> -----Original Message-----
> From: aquaticinfo_at_neaq.org On Behalf Of
> Layher, April O.
> Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 12:51 PM
> To: Aquatic Info
> Subject: Aquaticinfo: Octopus in Lake Conway, Arkansas!
> Being a freshwater person I am curious - can octopus successfully live
> in freshwater and are there other reports of live octopus being found in
> freshwater inland lakes?
> April Layher <')}}}><
> Aquatic Resources Specialist
> Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
> Delta Rivers Nature Center
> Lake Conway takes a new twist and yields an octopus
> MAYFLOWER -- Have you heard the latest? They're stocking octopuses
> in Lake Conway. Don't believe it? John Mazurek caught a real, live,
> good-sized octopus Monday, Dec. 1, at the lake's dam.
> Yes, octopus -- the ocean creature of many myths, little knowledge
> among inlanders and several steps beyond the more familiar eye-openers like
> alligator gar and grinnel.
> No one has a solid explanation of how this octopus got in the lake,
> but a common guess is someone had it in an aquarium, but the critter grew
> too big and was dumped into the lake. It was alive when Mazurek caught it.
> He told John Harper, wildlife officer with the Arkansas Game and
> Fish Commission, that the octopus was clinging to one of the gates at the
> lake's dam when he saw it and grabbed it.
> Mazurek's fishing license should cover octopusing. And he didn't
> exceed the daily limit on this species.
> Only apparent violation was the dumping of the octopus into the lake
> by party or parties unknown. This violates rules against release of "exotic"
> or non-native wildlife into the wild, land or water, in Arkansas.
> Mazurek lives in Glen Ellyn, Ill. He may not be aware that he
> achieved a plateau that wasn't reached during Lake Conway's early days and
> the era of the Lake Conway Monster.
> In the early 1950s, numerous reports were made about a strange and
> unidentified creature seen, heard and - on one or two alleged occasions -
> smelled in and around the lake. Guesses included bear, escaped convict,
> alligator, alligator snapping turtle and - most frequently and most likely -
> alligator gar. A similar report came forth once or twice in the 1970s. But
> no one suspected octopus.
> In the 1950s, the reports came to a sudden halt by action of Frank
> Robins Jr., then the publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat. Robins simply
> ordered, "No more stories on the Lake Conway Monster unless they are
> accompanied by a photograph."
> Mazurek would have satisfied the Robins decree.
> Several species of octopuses live in oceans close to North America.
> Largest is the pacific octopus, which can grow to 30 feet and more. Some are
> so small they are sometimes washed upon shore inside sea shells. The Mazurek
> octopus may be the common octopus found in waters off Florida. At least, its
> size is appropriate for that species.
> Debi Ingrao of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., said,
> "Octopuses have the most complex brain of the invertebrates (animals without
> backbones). They have long term and short-term memories as do vertebrates.
> Octopuses learn to solve problems by trial-and-error and experience. Once
> the problem is solved, octopuses remember and are able to solve it and
> similar problems repeatedly."
> And no, stocking octopuses in Lake Conway was not a facet of the
> recently released long-term management plan for the lake drafted by the Game
> and Fish Commission and the Lake Conway Citizens Advisory Committee.
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/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
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/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org