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Is it legal

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Rod&Reel, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. I was just wondering if it is legal to take fish that you catch and keep them in a fish tank at home? I have caught a few small to medium species of fish (Pumpkinseed, rock Bass, and White Bass) that I wouldn't mind putting in a nice fish tank and seeing how they do. Also are wild fish the same as fish you buy as pet when it comes to only growing to the size of their enviroment?
     
  2. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    As long as they are of legal size, yes you can.
     

  3. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

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    Never heard a reason not to as long as you apply the same rules you would as if you were going to eat it, like flat hunter said.

    I did keep a tiny large mouth I caught when I was younger, though like most non captive bread animals I tried to keep when I was a kid it didn't last long :(

    I do think it's growth will be stunted based on your aquarium size as well.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. No they will grow as big as they are supposed to grow. That is a big misconception about aquarium fish, almost no species other than goldfish will grow the the size of their aquarium. They will grow based directly on how much you feed them. As far a quick rundown, gills and especially greensunfish are uber territorial, especially if you have more than one. Bass are as well but a little more tolerant of other species as long as they won't fit into their mouth....dont' keep more than one lm and smallies won't do as well as largemouth. Crappie and perch get along with most anything in the tank as long as its not food. Pike are super aggressive to anything that fit in the mouth and are otherwise boring as they sit in cover waiting to ambush anything that moves. Bullheads are pretty aggressive and channel cats a little less but it can vary on the individual fish. About the only game fish i've never kept was a white bass and i would probablly discourage it because they are schooling/open water and travel so much i doubt they would do well in a tank. Honestly unless you have a 125 gallon or more i would advise gettng some pymy/orangespot/longeared sunfish and some darters, daces, shiners,and madtoms instead of the actual game fish. They grow so fast and are so territorial that it's almost too much of a pain to keep them. Some people greatly overstock a tank to disperse the aggression over many fish but this is neither healthy for the fish nor an accurate representation of how they will act in a natural environment. Either way, if you keep any relatively large fish like gills, bass, cichlids, etc., you'll need a much bigger filtering system than you'll need for a standard community tank. It get's pretty expensive fast . If you do do it though, i found that one of the best methods of feeding other than keeping a separate tank of goldfish or shiners around at all times is to freeze your unused shiners in ice cube trays. Just drop the whole thing in the water and let it thaw, it makes for good entertainment as well watching the fish try to figure out how to eat the fish from a clear hard block. Finally, from what i said about the 125 gallon tank, that applies to fish over 3 inches. I've found and kept fry that are under an inch in 10 gallon tanks without a problem and simply let them go into an isolated water body once they got too big. People discourage this though as it may introduce new pathogens to a system, so keep it out of public fishing lakes and rivers.
     
  5. Not only that, but releasing them in any body of water besides what they were caught in is illegal. Read the fishing regulations and you will know that.
     
  6. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

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    I thought I read on this site that it was illegal to keep gamefish in an aquarium. If it is not, what is the legal size of smallies and lm bass to keep? I kept a small saugeye last year in my 55 gallon tank and it ate me out of house and home. That thing would eat 3 dozen feeder goldfish in a day and a half. I released him b/c I was tired of feeding him. He lived with cichlids and other aquarium fish and did fine. He even ate my algae eater! yuck. With any fish tank rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon. anything over that is overpopulated.
     
  7. That depends on the body of water you catch it from. Some lakes have the size limits and some don't. I would be very careful and know the size limits of the bodies of water you are fishing.
     
  8. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

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    I once asked Vince LaConte if it was legal to use a Walleye for bait for Muskies. Vince was Fish Mangement Supervisor at the time for District Three in Ohio. He said "you can do anything you want with them except sell them and they have to be part of your limit."
     
  9. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

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    so if I happen to have a 4" smallie and a 4" lm bass both from a local stream with no size limit I am totally legal? Not that I do (wink wink...) just wondering.
     
  10. the one inch per gallon rule of thumb only applies to community fish (tetras, guppies, mollies etc.), when you're talking about cichlids or something like bass and gills that is totally thrown out the window. A 10'' bluegill will not do well in 10 gallon tank, heck it couldn't even turn around. And yes i know that it is illegal to transport fish from one water body to another, i was referring to the same water body in which it was caught, it still may have been exposed to something in your tank and releasing it back to the same water body it was caught in can still be bad.
     
  11. brandonjh00

    brandonjh00 wannabebasspro

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    I work in a middle school, we kept a bass, catfish, and BG that were caught on the property over 2 years ago, and they're still doing great in the tank now. You have to make sure you feed them and keep plenty of oxygen in the water. It's a trip to watch them feed on goldfish, tiny bg's, and crawfish. You can learn alot about there feeding habits and many other things as well.

    p.s. this is a fairly large tank, I wouldn't use anything less than 50 gallons for one fish

    And if you really want to experiment, order some F-1 Gorilla bass fingerlings and release them in a few years. Let me know what you think.
     
  12. Boilie

    Boilie Banned

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    the best way to grow larger fish (store bought or creek caught) in an aquarium is through frequent water changes (once a week). While the books recomend no more than 30%, I was changing 50% once a week and did quite well(the fish looked great and were very peaceful too). Combining this with cleaning the glass (mostly the inner glass, but also outside) can yield a crystal clear aquarium with some large fish. Smallies tend to tear apart an aquarium. I think most caught fish are more aggressive than store bought(live plants usually get eaten/ripped out). Even with a deluxe filter, water changes are extremely impt if you want your fish to grow large (urine and poop don't just turn back into clean water).....think of it this way "dillute the urine and poop".
     
  13. Thanks for answering my question, but all I want to know was if it was legal or not. I know how to care for a tank. If I did do this. I would start with small ones and let them grow. Can't see the point in keeping a large fish thats already grown up when I can keep babys and raise them. And keep in mind I am talking about the smaller species of fish. Not catfish, smallie, largemouths, ect. ect. Thanks but no thank with those fish. I will stick with the panfish if I do this.
     
  14. brandonjh00

    brandonjh00 wannabebasspro

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    seriously look into F1 Gorilla bass. I know you want to start with panfish, but these are supposed to be pretty bada$$ bass. I'm sure you can google it and find some info. I know that the strike king website had an article with ordering info a while back. I called about getting them into ohio and it is legal and they are only 60cents/each.
     
  15. Well I looked and they get WAY bigger than what I am looking for. I don't want anything that gets over three pounds tops. Thats why I am sticking with panfish. I could see if I was stocking a pond, then yes I would be interested in the F1 Gorilla Bass.
     
  16. Whaler.....I believe you may be wrong..Game fish are not to be used as bait....Correct me if I'm wrong..
     
  17. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    correction ;)
    any fish can be used as bait if it is legally caught and of legal minimum size for the water used in,if there is a minimum size.this has been discussed many times on the site,but i know there are still many people who are not aware of it.
     
  18. Thanks Misfit........I may be wrong....However...Ethics..I do not use game fish as bait....Seems some people have a short memory..Thats O.K...
     
  19. Why would any sportsman take a game fish and keep it in an aquarium? In my mind you either eat it or catch and release. Don't want judge anyone, just want to understand what is to be gained here.........
     
  20. Just like the idea of having native fish swimming in my tank. Pumpkinseed is the one fish I am really looking at. I think they are a pretty fish, so I figure why not display it as such.