A Predator’s Grocery Store

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When you spend a lot of time on a river, you begin to feel connected with it. You may start to look at the food sources in the river and start to learn the intricacies of their habitat. The location of these food sources is the grocery store of predator fish. These images reveal fish food in their homes. A wide angle lens was used to capture the food source and surrounding environment.

Most of my time is spent on the Muskegon River system. Though the trout fishing part of the river has very few hex mayflies, the impoundments and slow stretches of the river system has heavy hatches of hexes and other burrowing mayflies such as ephorons. This is especially true as you move upstream in the system into the impoundments. Predator fish such as the bass feed heavily on these insects, as do panfish and other fish species. Above is pictured a hex on on one of the ponds. In this environment, hexes will hatch well into the late summer months and are followed by the white flies.

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Sculpins, another common bait fish, prefer clusters of rocks and will seldom be found in individual rocks. This is a sculpin in its domain. Sculpins are home bodies. I will often find a sculpin in the same cluster of rocks day after day all year long. We become friends and then he gets eaten. That’s how it goes.

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Crayfish utilize all types of habitat, such as logs, concrete, weeds, gravel, and rocks. They will hang out in isolated pieces of cover. Many of the crayfish that we have in the tailwater stretches of our rivers are invasive rusty crayfish, such as the one pictured above. The fish eat them all the same.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Kevin Feenstra