11/21/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Quills (
Heptagenia Group)
3.    Needle Stoneflies
4     Great Brown Autumn Sedge
5.    Midges
6.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)

Other Fish Of The Smokies
Day before yesterday, I copied a list of the fish that are found in the streams and
lakes of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Yesterday, I wrote about lassoing
redhorse suckers, which was off my intended subject. Today, I'm back writing about
some more of the fish on the list.

By the way, the redhorse, which I call a Redhorse Sucker, is a member of the sucker
family Catostomidae. Suckers are actually carps. There are seven different species of
this family listed for the Smokies. I think most of these are warm water species,
although I'm not positive about that. For that reason, I doubt if even the small fry of
these fish are eaten by trout enough to represent a substantial part of their diet.

Listed next is the Centrarchidae family of fish. These include some gamefish such as
the Rock Bass, the Red Breast Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Warmouth, Bluegill, Longear  
Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Smallmouth Bass, White Bass and Black Crappies. Although
most of these are warm water species, I'm sure some of their small fry are eaten by
trout on occasions. They are much more inclined to be eaten by smallmouth bass,
white bass, rock bass and crappie.

Listed next is the Clupeidae family with only one species included for the park. It's the  
Gizzard Shad, or
cepedianum species. I'm sure this is a warm water species and is not
eaten by trout. It's interesting it is in a family of its own at least as it relates to the park.
It's a prime food for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

The next family listed is the Cottidae family which includes the Mottled Sculpin,
Cottus
bairdii
 and the Banded Sculpin, or Cottus carolinae. These are definitely an important
food for trout and exist in good quantities throughout the park. The thing I don't know
and should know, is how the quantities of these two species compare. I'm certain the
fishery biologist know that from their shocking studies and I will try to find out to solve
my curiosity. I'm certain Mr. Steve Moore knows more about this than anyone. We
have several Perfect Fly patterns of the sculpins because it's a very common food for
trout nationwide.

By the way, a great site to study fish from is
www.fishbase.com. The first thing I
learned is that the species of the Mottled Sculpin is the
Cottus bairdii, not bairdi as the
National Park Service has it listed. Imagine me correcting anyone on spelling. That
may be the joke of the day. Here's the specifics of the Mottled Sculpin.
www.fishbase.org/summary/Cottus-bairdii.html

The next family, the Cyprinidae family of fish, has several fish species that are
important food for the trout. I'm sure most of you are familiar with many of these fish.
I'll list them by their common names:

Stone Roller
Rosyside Dace
Whitetail Shiner
Chub
Flame Chub
Bigeyed Chub
Striped Shiner
Warpaint Shiner
River Chub
Tennessee Shiner  
Silver Shiner
Rosyface Shiner
Saffron Shiner
Mirror Shiner
Telescope Shiner  
Fatlips Minnow
Tennessee Dace
Fathead Minnow
Blacknose Dace
Longnose Dace
Creek Chub

I'll continue with this with articles in the near future and hopefully, I will acquire more
information about the quantities and importance of some of these species. Fish like
the Blacknose Dace, Creek Chub, several species of shiners, and the chubs are
commonly found in trout streams and have flies designed to imitate them.

There's also the Percidae family that I have yet to get too. These are perch species
mostly all referred to as darters. You are probably familiar with some of them.  

Copyright 2011 James Marsh