Cav

Connecticut mudpuppy

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Hello,

I hope everyone is doing well.  I am asking for some help from my fellow fisherman. I am a wildlife biologist specializing in reptiles and amphibians.  I work for Quinn Ecological and we are currently working on a mudpuppy study for the CT DEEP (further information about mudpuppies can be obtained from the CT DEEP website).  Our goals are to understand the distribution of mudpuppies in Connecticut as well as determine if they are a native or introduced species.  All research is being conducted under special permit issued by the State of Connecticut.  I am asking if any fisherman or other person has had observations of mudpuppies in CT waters.  If you are willing to share your observation, please PM me the information.  The information I am interested in is the month and year of the observation, the location, and a photograph if available.  Any question, feel free to ask.  Thanks for your time.

Jeff C.

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1 hour ago, The Rappin One said:

Found one in May 2 years back all the way up the CT River in Holyoke

Thank you for the report.  Genetic analysis of mudpuppies from that stretch of the CT River has been recently conducted.  Results indicate an origin from the mid-western U.S.  Further research is needed.  Thanks again!

Jeff C

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I had to look them to see what they were. 3 separate times on the Mumford river in Manchaug / Sutton in Ma. Must be a good 10 years since I last seen one . 

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3 hours ago, KidDkivahh said:

I had to look them to see what they were. 3 separate times on the Mumford river in Manchaug / Sutton in Ma. Must be a good 10 years since I last seen one . 

Thanks very much for the report!  

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1 hour ago, PSegnatelli said:

So other than the CT river. Where else can we expect to find them?

Any specific habitat types?

To date, we only have confirmation of them being in the CT and Housatonic Rivers and their associated drainages.  We are uncertain of their presence in the Thames.  They can inhabit many different aquatic habitats including rivers, ponds and reservoirs, drainage ditches, etc.  They can be found in all different water conditions too, from shallow to deep, fast moving to stagnant, and clear to murky water.  They are mainly nocturnal and hide under refuge during daylight.  Good places to find them are in areas where there are many large flat rocks, logs, or undercut banks.  Areas like this give them many options for refuge and foraging opportunities.  

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1 min ago, PSegnatelli said:

Good info.  I will be setting my minnow traps in the Housy and tributaries. 

 

This will be fun. :howdy:

Looking forward to your results!  Keep in mind many spots have frozen over with this recent cold.  It has been a huge pain battling the ice.  Be safe as well!

If you want more specific info on the Housy and tributaries, PM me.

Thanks

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13 mins ago, Cav said:

Looking forward to your results!  Keep in mind many spots have frozen over with this recent cold.  It has been a huge pain battling the ice.  Be safe as well!

If you want more specific info on the Housy and tributaries, PM me.

Thanks

I won't be going out just yet.  Too dang cold for me!  But definitely once the ice starts breaking up and we get those warmer early spring days.  

 

My main focus is bait procurement. Minnows & crawfish.  But looking forward to by catch! Whatever it may be.  All in all I'm just a big kid. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I caught one in the CT. River just outside the channel to the Wethersfield Cove about 15 years ago in March or early April. :howdy:

Edited by jimmy z

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7 mins ago, jimmy z said:

I caught one in the CT. River just outside the channel to the Wethersfield Cove about 15 years ago in March or early April. :howdy:

Thanks Jimmy, I appreciate you sharing your observation.  I will add it to my list.

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Been an amateur herper since I was a kid, recently sold my relatively extensive collection. Could never help myself had to turn over any rock I saw. Today I'm in my 60's, and still gotta turn over rocks to see if I find anything. In all my years, I have never found a mudpuppy. I'm in the Housy drainage area. If setting a trap what does one use for bait?

You've piqued my interest!  Although I hate being cold I may have to get out and set a trap or two.

Has there ever been any reported find in the Saugatuck River area? I have a smaller river near my house that has fairly clean bottom but has a pretty rapid flow. Should I find one I will be certain to let you know.

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4 hours ago, The TideRunner said:

Been an amateur herper since I was a kid, recently sold my relatively extensive collection. Could never help myself had to turn over any rock I saw. Today I'm in my 60's, and still gotta turn over rocks to see if I find anything. In all my years, I have never found a mudpuppy. I'm in the Housy drainage area. If setting a trap what does one use for bait?

You've piqued my interest!  Although I hate being cold I may have to get out and set a trap or two.

Has there ever been any reported find in the Saugatuck River area? I have a smaller river near my house that has fairly clean bottom but has a pretty rapid flow. Should I find one I will be certain to let you know.

TideRunner thanks for the response.  I set wire minnow traps baited with a small tin of cat food.  I punch 3-4 holes in the top of the can to allow for slow seepage into the water.  I also put meat in the traps- gizzards, chicken livers, shiners, etc.  Traps should be set nears areas of cover- rocks, logs, or undercut banks.  Make sure traps lie as flat as possible on the bottom.  I also widen the trap entrance holes to allow larger mudpuppies passage.  Although mudpuppies can be found in faster moving water, it can be difficult to get traps to hold bottom even when weighted.  I try to set in the slower moving water that is close by to areas of current.  To date no reports have come from the Saugatuck River area.  I personally have never surveyed this area for mudpuppies either.  Hope this helps!  Any more questions feel free to ask.

Jeff C

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2 hours ago, Cav said:

TideRunner thanks for the response.  I set wire minnow traps baited with a small tin of cat food.  I punch 3-4 holes in the top of the can to allow for slow seepage into the water.  I also put meat in the traps- gizzards, chicken livers, shiners, etc.  Traps should be set nears areas of cover- rocks, logs, or undercut banks.  Make sure traps lie as flat as possible on the bottom.  I also widen the trap entrance holes to allow larger mudpuppies passage.  Although mudpuppies can be found in faster moving water, it can be difficult to get traps to hold bottom even when weighted.  I try to set in the slower moving water that is close by to areas of current.  To date no reports have come from the Saugatuck River area.  I personally have never surveyed this area for mudpuppies either.  Hope this helps!  Any more questions feel free to ask.

Jeff C

Noted....

 

I usually bait my traps with menhaden oil &  any other absorbent grain/meal. Been working pretty good for minnows. 

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