BONUS EPISODE - The Impacts of Invasive Species

FROM FISH UNTAMED

5 months ago
Transcript
Robbz

Hey, guys. Welcome to the podcast. Today is a bonus episode from another podcast. I was a guest on the podcast on episode 23 of Fish Untamed. I joined Katie on the podcast. It's traditionally a fishing podcast, but I wanted to tell people about more about invasive species of the aquarium world and educate some of her fishing listeners. Certainly. Check it out, fishuntamed.com. You can also find them on Spotify, give them a like and subscribe, guys. Also consider going to our Patreon page at guys on patreon Donate. You can listen to some of these episodes, not this one, but our original content, unfiltered. Let's kick that podcast.

Katie

You're listening to the Fish Untamed podcast, where we talk all things fishing, conservation and the outdoors. Today on the show, I'm talking to Rob Solson, host of the Aquarium Guys podcast. All right, folks, welcome to episode number 23 of the Fish Untamed podcast. Today I had a really interesting conversation with Rob's Olsen from the Aquarium Guys podcast, which seemed like an unlikely match at first, but I was talking to Rob's, and he mentioned that he was looking to have someone come on his show to do kind of an Intro to Fly Fishing episode as sort of an out of the box series. So I went on the Aquarium Guys, which if you haven't listened to it, go ahead and just search the Aquarium Guys and it should pop right up. But then we talked about maybe having him as a guest on Fish Untamed. And while I'm not as interested in the aquarium side of things, rob's mentioned that being a part of that world, he has quite a bit of experience learning about and dealing with invasive species. A lot of the invasive species we're dealing with in the US. Started because someone dumped their tank of fish into their local waterway when they were over having their pets. And my impression up until this conversation was that most of these invasive species were detrimental because they directly competed with native fish in the area. And while that is an issue, one of the big things I learned in this conversation is about all the other ways that these invasive species can have an impact. It goes way beyond just the direct competition or predation between the invasive species and the native ones. But I really enjoyed this talk. Super packed with information and just very interesting. So without further ado, here is my chat with Rob's Olsen. All right. Awesome. I usually start by asking people about their fishing background since know the theme of the podcast. So if you'd like to talk about your fishing background, absolutely, you're more than welcome to also maybe just a little background on the whole aquarium side. Because as much as I was an out of the box episode on your show, this is kind of an out of the box episode a bit for mine, talking to the aquarium guys.

Robbz

Perfect.

Katie

Maybe a little background on both sounds great.

Robbz

Well, again, I'm Rob Zolson, nice to meet everybody on the podcast. Thanks for having me again, Katie. I am part of the Aquarium guys podcast and I'm here to talk to you about different invasive species and maybe learning a little bit about my world in aquariums to dive in. You gave me a list of details to go over. So again, I'm from central northern Minnesota and my fishing experiences completely come from around the area I live in the epicenter see Perm, Minnesota, 30 miles in one direction. That whole stretch is mile per square mile. The most densely populated lakes in the entire world. If you look at the map, there's more blue than green. You drive a mile, you're seeing seven lakes. It's incredible. Some of these lakes don't even have names. There are so many. They always say that Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. It's actually 18,000 plus.

Katie

I am so jealous of that. I've looked at maps of Minnesota and parts of Canada that are the same way and it's just like a sea of blue and it just looks like a boater's paradise where you could get around via boat better than car probably.

Robbz

So some of the places that they have around here, they actually have restaurants and other businesses on the lake where you can just fish or have your house on the lake. You drive a couple of miles down the lake and you're at like a pizza Mexican joint and you park your boat on a know business. It's they even do delivery right to your boat. There's a lot of so yeah, it's absolutely as you described, the only thing that I think we could use in Minnesota is airboats. That way we can actually cross across. But that's more of a Florida thing.

Katie

Yeah. Is that just because it's kind of like could you do that if it's just like shallow between lakes or is there not that kind of set up there? Where is it more deep lakes with land in between?

Robbz

It's a lot of what they call Kettle lakes. So a lot of lakes that have in here and again we have every type of lake. The Kettle lakes look just like a perfect bowl cut out of the ground. They'll go 30, 35ft and some of them are not spring fed, so they're just rain entered. They're not even a river connected. So there's not a lot of marshlands between a lot of the lakes. Like you'd assume if you look at Everglades, you'll see the kind of the same amount of blue on the map but it's all kind of connected and it's super marsh. That's why is because they have to use an airboat to traverse. Because airboats are inherently more expensive. So these you'd have to travel a farmer's field between lakes. It's just not cohesive to have an airboat.

Katie

So I assume that's just using the standard like canoe portage between bodies of water 100%.

Robbz

And that's what, the boundary water natural area. And I think you had an expert on your podcast talk about his love and passion of the boundary waters, and he was dead on that whole portage. There's no motorized vehicles back there in a lot of sections. And yeah, there's whole masses of land where you just have to buck up and carry your canoe.

Katie

So is that where you got your fishing start in that area, not in the boundary waters.

Robbz

Again, I'm closer to Fargo. If you look up Perm, Minnesota, we're kind of north central, and yeah, ours is right between all the other houses and homes. It's not protected wilderness. There are state forests in the area, but again, it's more accessible with four wheelers and trucks and vehicles, and almost every lake has some sort of public access. But the lake I lived on was very small. It could be recognized as a pond, but it was 70ft deep, and it has its own seven springs that we counted from year to year. Some springs would plug some springs where you appear, but it was very interesting for us. But no, no portages by. We're at that's only like an up north in the dense wilderness boundary water area.

Katie

That's funny you say that, because I've gotten in this debate with people before. The difference between a pond and a lake, I think, varies based on where you are in the country. Like where I grew up, a pond was it could be pretty big and still be a pond. You had to get to the point where you really need a boat to cross it, to call it a lake. And since I've moved out to Colorado, people start calling the tiniest things lakes. There are things that you could swim across in 30 seconds that they're calling lakes. And I feel like that's just such a difference around the country with what counts as a lake and what doesn't.

Robbz

And in Minnesota, we've always had some sort of misconception of calling lakes. Lakes have fish. That's how you describe a lake. If it has fish, it's a lake. Well, that's not necessarily true, because you go down south and they have fishing ponds that are covered in fish. The difference is ours. When they freeze, can it hold oxygen and keep fish alive? Because I just had on my podcast the pond guy, and he gave us instructions on how lakes and ponds freeze. And it's not about them freezing solid. It's about them freezing and not having enough space to have oxygen. So 6ft is generally a rule of thumb if it can hold a fish in Minnesota.

Katie

Oh, okay. I didn't realize that. I always thought it was freezing solid, too.

Robbz

Yeah, it's got to be 6ft. And even then, some ten foot lakes have oxygen issues, so it varies. And the Minnesota DNR has probably the nation's largest fisheries in Minnesota, we have multiple fisheries across the country and you can go to our podcast aquariumguyspodcast.com and we have Minnesota DNR on our show and we have one that specializes in walleye farming. So they literally do walmart walleye fisheries and they have to check these lakes to make sure that they're not going to freeze out, that they're stocking for sport fishing and do a lot of research. But no, I still don't know a complete accurate definition of a lake versus pond. If someone could tell me, great. But that's always been a misconception. It has fish, it's a lake.

Katie

So is like a farm pond a thing where you are or would that be like a farm lake if it's got like bass and bluegill in it?

Robbz

You hear a bunch of people in the south, the south versus us, how they treat things are so different. They do ponds for different reasons. They either do it for their cattle, they do it to have water access close by their farmers fields. They do it because they have a hobby thing where they dig a tractor and throw bass and sunfish, as you say, blue gills in there. That is so foreign to us because the Minnesota DNR is so protective up here of our natural resources that legalities are thickened through. So if you want to dig yourself a pond, there's nothing stopping you as a farmer as long as you're not within a natural lake. There's lake variances, of course, within like a hundred yards of the lake you're allowed to dig whatever you want. So you can make yourself a pond. But putting native Minnesota fish into that pond, you have to have licenses for really that free realm. No one can just build a fishing pond like you would in the south. Like someone finds a pond, they throw bass in there on their own. Super illegal will get your fishing licenses revoked in some situations.

Katie

That is crazy. I would have never even thought to I mean I would look up the legality if I were trying to put a pond at my house, make sure that I'm whatever permitted or zoned or whatever for that. But I would have never thought to look up whether I can put fish in my own pond. I would assume that it's my pond. I can put whatever fish I want in there. I know that you're not allowed to put fish in public waterways. You can't just dump your fish in there, but you can't set up your.

Robbz

Own pond, nothing that's creating a separate resource that may create a disease, that may get into another lake or stream. They're very protective of invasive species and diseases, bar none. So to go even further into that, to even have a fish brought in, say you want to put one in an aquarium, that's definitely illegal in Minnesota as well. You have to have certain licenses to keep fish. They have to be under the bars of live well status. You can only keep them for so long in an enclosure. And if you do, again, you still have to have certain baiting licenses or farming licenses. Now, there are certain people in Minnesota that have private walleye farms, and these things know, made for food. You'll see walleye fillets in stores. They have special licenses with the DNR. They have to submit the DNR veterinarian inspections to see the health of the fish. It's very much controlled because we're the only state that has this many lakes. And where I'm at, the only place in the world will have that many lakes. They're very protective.

Katie

That makes sense. I mean, it's one thing. Like here in Colorado, most of our excluding the few handful of big rivers we've got, and the Alpine lakes, which are pretty isolated from everything else, everything else is essentially reservoirs. Like, we don't have a lot of just natural lakes around. If you want to fish a big lake, you're going to a reservoir. And if you're not fishing a big lake, you're fishing something that you hiked in a couple of miles to get to, and it's way up at 10,000ft. Not a huge risk of someone's aquarium spilling out into that. But yeah, it's a completely different world where you are where everything is water.

Robbz

Yeah, everywhere you go, there's water. Everybody has some sort of a lake home or cabin they go to, or at least if they're in the cities, they drive up to their lake home and cabin. It's a different experience. But my fishing, you asked before about my fishing background, and again, my fishing background is up here. So we live and breathe off of the walleye. Everybody loves fishing for walleye. That is the trophy fish. They have state limits, then they have individual lake limits. And that's the most farmed fish for the fisheries up here is walleye. But I've fished everything that I can in Minnesota. I've fished a lot of northern. I love large mouth bass fishing. It's probably my favorite fishing, using a popper, hitting them crisp in the morning, and the surface pan fishing. We have amazingly huge croppy, probably the biggest croppy I've ever seen. The normal panfish, perch, sunfish, things that we don't have a lot of is we have some gar, like small nose gar, we do not have alligator gar, stuff like that. I think the biggest fish that we have in the area would be a muscular lunch. We call them muskies, and those are so much fun.

Katie

Yeah. So tell me about it. Sounds like you've caught them before. So tell me a little bit about the muskie fishing up there.

Robbz

The only way I can describe it's, freshwater barracuda. They're absolutely massive. They introduce them because they used to be in many of the Minnesota lakes and streams in the late 18 hundreds. And a lot of people intentionally fished them out because they thought they were garbage fish. And it's not necessarily garbage fish but that they would destroy their precious walleyes or their panfish. They're trying to do so. DNR won't admit this, but there has been reintroduction of muscalunge to a lot of different lakes. And to be honest, it has not affected populations whatsoever. That's completely false. It's just part of the food chain. There's no way a musculine could wipe out anything in a lake. However, they're very big, they're very aggressive. 56, 60 inches is not out of question.

Katie

It's funny that well, not funny. I mean, the wiping out of a species isn't funny, but the thought of overfishing by hand muskies is just kind of funny to me, because it's like the fish of 10,000 casts. And the thought of people out there, it's not like you're fishing for large mouths that'll kind of eat whatever or sunfish that you can literally throw a bear hook out at times and get them to attack it. It's so hard to even catch a muskie that the thought of people wiping them out, essentially just with standard gear is kind of comical.

Robbz

And you got to remember that when they wipe out, they're talking about having a family reunion and filling a small lake that may be ten square that's an exaggeration, they'll say 30, 40 square acres, and just filling it with boats. And this is how some areas used to do. And then it's not like they're intentionally doing it, but that's how family reunions are done on a lot of small lakes, is they'll go fishing like the whole family does. They'll have eight boats out. It'll be incredible. And they'll spend a week's vacation fishing the same lake. And that's why the fisheries are so important. It's not that the fish can't survive on their own, it's just that some of these lakes are more popular than others, and they can get completely wiped out.

Katie

So when you said I don't want to get off on too much of a tangent, but when you say that some lakes are more popular than others, how does one even choose a lake when there are 18,000 lakes in the state? What makes some lakes popular and some lakes not?

Robbz

Public access versus private. A lot of these lakes, because the DNR can only afford to put in so many public accesses to these lakes. So they'll pick and choose, based on lake size, what type of fish are there and the population by them. So if you can get a boat in, there probably going to be more popular than something you can't get a boat in, and you have to just grab a canoe and throw it over a ditch.

Katie

Okay, fair enough.

Robbz

That's number one. Number two is where's? The tourist area? If there's a tourist attraction, they're going to go to the easiest public access lake. There's a city an hour out from Fargo called Detroit Lakes, and there's the Detroit Lake on it. They stock that lake. It is extremely popular. It has thousands of people that visit every year for their beaches and the cities right on the lake. So location and a lot of times where people are getting their secrets, where were they raised? I've always fished on these lakes. I'm never going to leave.

Katie

So basically if it's in a heavily touristed area and it's got a boat ramp or something, people are going to flock there because it's like the most convenient place for them to go versus somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Okay, that makes sense.

Robbz

In Minnesota, it really abides by no one can own water. So this goes duck hunting, any type of fly fishing, anything you're looking for. No one owns water. So if you own land all the way around a lake, as long as it's within, I think it's 100ft, you have variance to cross someone's private property to get to that lake.

Katie

I am so jealous of that because we have terrible stream access laws in Colorado. I know, like Montana's got good ones where you've got up to the high water mark on a river is public. And here it's like the private landowner owns up to the halfway point in that river. So if they own river right, they've got the whole river right, bank the whole way into the riverbed halfway through the stream. And if someone else owns the other half, or if they own the other half, you can't go there, you can't touch bottom, you can float over it. But if your boat even bumps a rock, or if you drop anchor, you are trespassing. For a state that makes so much money off of outdoor recreation, I can't fathom why our stream access law is so restrictive like that. But it is. And I'm really jealous of the states that have a little bit more lenient stream access laws.

Robbz

100%. And the big thing is there's still tons of private lakes. I mean, there's thousands of completely private lakes because they own so much property around it. It's not that much. I mean, I think it's 100ft. You have to look in the Minnesota DNR website, exactly what it is, but it's just if you can access it within a few feet, that's the variance. And that's done for duck hunting. It's done for everything.

Katie

Yeah, that's reasonable. If you own thousands of acres and have a pond in the middle of it, then yeah, people shouldn't be walking across your land to get to it. But come on, if you've got a major river running through your property, people should be able to fish on that as long as they're treating your land properly. But that's a rant that I get off on every time anyone talks about their stream access laws because it fires me up so much about Colorado and I'm jealous of all you.

Robbz

Come on to Minnesota, we'll treat you right. You might have to eat leeches, though. Apparently some people around here do that.

Katie

Really? Okay, I haven't heard of that here. So maybe we're trading off stream access laws for weird customs.

Robbz

Mike Rowe, the guy from Dirty Jobs came up here. He went for a leech baiter, right? And sure enough, they fried him up and he ate common. That's just that's just a weird redneck thing that you hear about once in a while.

Katie

I have to keep that in mind if I ever come to Minnesota, right?

Robbz

But to answer your question about musculunch, that's generally done trolling around here. There's not a lot of casting. The lures are as big as your panfish are bigger. Most people use live bait, suckers, stuff like that. And it's a trolling deal. They hit exactly like a northern pike. So it's just bigger. A lot bigger and a lot more aggressive. They use spoons, stuff like that. And when you hit them, 100 pound test has no mercy on that. You have to have a massive steel leader just to be able to have hope of landing the fish because it'll cut right through steel. It's an insane fish, and it'll take your boat for a ride. When you land one, you got to have a nice big we actually recommend seafishing poles a lot of times to hit these things. It's nothing like you have to have braces like you're doing actual deep sea fishing, but it'll pull the boat away. It's a big thing to land.

Katie

Have you caught quite a few?

Robbz

I've caught a few. I don't intentionally try to go after them often. The lures alone are $50 apiece.

Katie

Right.

Robbz

Not my too often you'll hit them, though, and then there's people that do fish them. I've got a few myself, but normally I'm going after bass or northern pike themselves.

Katie

Okay.

Robbz

That and pan.

Katie

I love panfishing. When you can catch several dozen fish a day, I don't care how small the fish is.

Robbz

Well, before we end the podcast, I have to tell you my secret recipe for frying fish.

Katie

You can go for that right now before I forget.

Robbz

Do it now before go for it. Talk about food before we talk about invasive species.

Katie

I'm down to follow any rabbit trail we go down. So go for it right now. Shoot.

Robbz

Excellent. So again, my Minnesota redneck method, there's a wonderful company called Shore Lunch. All right. If you don't have it, you can order online. You can get on Amazon. It is the best stuff. There's a couple of different varieties. Just get the original recipe. Shore Lunch. It's literally just like a flour batter with seasonings and all kinds of goodies. You mix it with egg, right. You dip the fish, your fish fillet in egg. This is all for panfish that I recommend. And you roll in the batter that they give you and fry them. You can deep fry them or you can thick pan fry them. Meaning you take just a flat pan and put a good half inch inch of liquid on the bottom. So you're still essentially deep frying them, and it works great. But my deal mix some lowry seasoning salt with that with just a splash of mountain dew for citrus.

Katie

Mountain dew.

Robbz

Mountain dew.

Katie

I have not heard that before, but I'll have to give it a whirl.

Robbz

Yeah. Who. Mountain dew. Highly recommend. That's always the way I do fish at least once every summer.

Katie

All right. I'll have to give that a try. The one downside I have at least where I live. I mean, I haven't ventured too far out, but the panfish I've caught locally have been pretty small, so I've actually eaten them whole. I gave you that recipe for trout when I was on your podcast, and I kind of do the panfish the same way. I take the whole panfish, cut the heads off, and just grill them up like whole body. But if I do get some that are big enough to fillet and bread, I'll have to give that a try.

Robbz

Yeah, we don't have a lot of people that do that. There's people from the older generation that will do that around here. Most of the time, it's take a flat fillet. We fillet it boneless, and we just leave the skin on. We just scrape skin off of the spoon.

Katie

Okay. Yeah, I kind of like the skin. Adds a little something to it.

Robbz

Absolutely. Well, instead of making your listeners hungry, you invited me on number one to expose them a little bit to the aquarium world, but to talk about invasive species, as well. Correct?

Katie

Right. So if you want to start by just doing a quick background about your podcast and your kind of aquarium hobby, then we can jump in. I'm sure that'll lead kind of into the invasive species world, but just a little background first would be great.

Robbz

Certainly. So, again, living on a lake in minnesota, I grew up on a small, private lake, and I lived I had a paddle boat from, like, age six. My mom says, you wear a life jacket, and I just had free reign to hit the lake anytime I ever wanted. There was no, like, mom, can I go in the boat? It was just she literally has binoculars to look in the lake to see if I'm wearing a life jacket. That was the rules. If there was no life jacket, she came out with the boat, got me, brought me back in, and I was grounded from the boat for a week. It wasn't like, you're grounded from the boat. They'll take the plug out of the boat and say, try it now. But no. So that's where I grew up. I grew up fishing every day during the summer and just love aquatic life. And from a very young age, my grandmother got me into aquariums. She bred all different types of betas, otherwise known as siamese fighting fish. And I just had aquarium as long back as I can remember. So that experience and getting into different ventures, growing in the hobby, like selling fish online, doing wholesaling with my neighbor and dear friend Jim. He's actually on the podcast with me. We decided that between us we have probably 50, 60 years of experience and wanted to share some way the fish hobby because 2001, aquarium fish became really difficult to distribute because of the 911, all the flights and trying to move anything live was very low on the totem pole when everybody's worried about terrorists. So since then there's been a massive decline nationwide on the fish hobby. And it's not just the logistics, but there's been a lot of, I hate to say it die off of people that are experienced from the in the aquarium hobby. So the businesses, everything's online, amazon has killed the main street mom and pop shops. Aquarium businesses have closed across the country, especially here in Minnesota and northern Minnesota. It's pretty much a metro only thing to see a pet store outside of a retail chain and just a really sad deal that all this information is being lost. So we started a podcast. It's been great. We've had a lot of guests on and we really like to experience misconceptions and all this knowledge that people have recessed because it's all went online and everybody wants to make a business out of their aquarium.

Katie

So do you focus mostly on or I guess not just focus, but do you have saltwater aquariums or freshwater aquariums or what's your passion in that world?

Robbz

There's generally four things in the world that we categorize them in. Freshwater brackish, which is 50% salt, 50% fresh. And that's kind of like in Florida. You have fresh and salt. Well, you have fish intermingling that are.

Katie

In an estuary, right?

Robbz

Climate, salt, water, and then ponds. So I've had all of the freshwater say that again.

Katie

What's the difference between pond and freshwater?

Robbz

So freshwater aquariums are generally inside. They are kept in a tank. Ponds are outside the whole decor.

Katie

That makes sense. So what's your favorite?

Robbz

I'm not going to lie to you. I'm an aquarium guy and it's going to shame me. No one's ever asked me what's my favorite, and it's bar none ponds.

Katie

Really?

Robbz

Okay, that's a shocker. But I love Koi. Koi are essentially interactable. You can have fish that you can feed. They're excited to see you. But you can't pet a fish koi. You can tell them or teach them to do tricks. You can hand feed them. They like attention. They're literally members of the family, like a cat or dog, really. There's no fish like a koi. And koi essentially is just like a common carp. They're just decorative. They're originated in Asia, generally really focus on in Japan.

Katie

So do you have a koi pond? And if so, did you have to get all the special permitting from Minnesota to have those?

Robbz

So here's the deal. Minnesota doesn't care about. Ornamental fish. They only care about native species. So you can have build your own pond and as long as it's not connected to a normal waterway, you can have any fish you want into it as long as it's not on their invasive species. So you can't have a blue gill but you can have a.

Katie

Like I'm obviously not an expert, so I'm not going to say what's reasonable and what's not. But that's so backwards of what I would have guessed. I would have guessed that if you've got fish that they have there then you'd be able to have it. But if you have fish that are completely exotic from another country, then that's when you'd have to get permitted. But it seems like it's backwards.

Robbz

I think this is the perfect segue to talk about the invasive species issues.

Katie

Yeah, for sure.

Robbz

The thing that they're worried about, and this is done with whitetailed deer as well in the state, is that they're worried about not necessarily the species getting out, but diseases starting. Okay, so if you have your own pond, for instance, let's make something up. And you bring in your own blue gills, your own bass and your maintained pond outside of nature because you're going to add food, you're going to clean it up, you're going to put chemicals in it, whatever else.

Katie

Right?

Robbz

It's pretty synthetic over absolutely could start a disease. And when that disease spreads into other lakes and then is transported with all these boats because boats again, do not just stay at the same lake, they go to hundreds of different other lakes because everybody travels around trying different lakes, all of those diseases move. And one of the examples is there's an invasive species, the common carp, which has been introduced carp have been introduced across the world. They're a big hit for European fishers. If you talk to someone in England, their biggest fish most likely is going to be some sort of carp. That's why they go fishing in Asia and introduce carp into those waters. They have Asian carp, they try to go after, they're carp enthusiasts. So in the 18 hundreds when everything's getting colonized and established, they added the common Eurasian carp.

Katie

So this might be a European carp.

Robbz

I apologize.

Katie

Okay. Comparing it to something like the deer, let's say chronic wasting disease, I know that that's a big argument for not having things like high fence hunting where all the deer concentrated or just straight up deer farming, just having deer in close proximity because they're nuzzling, they're spreading the disease. And if that gets into the wild population, then those deer are just walking around giving it to everybody else. Now if you have your own isolated pond, what is the mechanism that gets a disease that starts in your pond out into wild fish if it's not connected by any means to any rivers or lakes?

Robbz

Deer, blue herons, pelicans, moons, Canadian geese, ducks, anything it's incredible, the amount of stuff, even otters, fox, anything that can drag species out of it. And here's the example why I mentioned the carp. So the carp have been everywhere and any place that they've been introduced used to have greenery. Now, you'll see, brown water is because carp are diggers. They'll continually go to the bottom. They have barbels and they dig, dig, dig and dig. And that's their natural method. So the DNR has been trying to figure out for generations how to control these fish. Well, somebody decided to have a single goldfish. The goldfish was in someone's pond. They did not introduce the goldfish. At least this is what's acclaimed. They didn't introduce the goldfish themselves. Some predator, like a heron, like a fox, like something else, took goldfish out of the pond, ate them, and they got into a local lake. That lake had carp. So the goldfish that got introduced had a type of carp specific herpes. So the herpes got to the waterway through a piece of dead fish that someone got from a goldfish, and they found the goldfish. And in 2000, and I believe it's 18, they introduced goldfish. The herpes killed every single carp in the entire waterway. Really hundreds and thousands of carps showing up in the waterway. So that's one species that it was a good thing because carps are invasive around here and goldfish are just a decorative form of small carp. But that was a disease that's specific just a carp. It was a carp herpes wiped all the carp out and left the native fish alone. But let's take another example that you'd have some other disease, it could easily wipe out the entire lake just from one fish. Sure, that's their big concern.

Katie

So basically, just like animals, or people, I suppose, that are visiting both of these waterways and they talk about that, I think, less for diseases and more for actual the invasive species themselves. They warn if you've got like, felt sole boots on your waiters that you need to thoroughly dry them out or disinfect them before you use them between different waterways that have different sets of species. Because if something clings onto especially the felt on your boots, you can walk them into other waterways, but it's essentially the same thing. These diseases or species are riding on the backs of whoever's visiting the waterway. And then if that just walks into a different lake, then suddenly what was produced in your pond is now wherever the host carrier took it.

Robbz

It sounds like absolutely. I can't stress this enough. One message to your listeners today is that if you have something that you brought into a tank past your live well, if you have a pond, if you have an aquarium and your daughter or something wants to get rid of the aquarium, dad, I'm done with fish. You don't have anybody to give it to. Call a pet store, call the DNR, see if there's something, never put them in a lake or stream, because those fish are essentially in a petri dish. They are built to handle different environments. It's not just about them procreating, it's about the disease that's carried on.

Katie

Say, I don't want to diminish what you just said, but how much of a problem is it? And I don't mean, yes, it's a problem, because it obviously is, but what you just said, but how frequently is this happening? I guess, how often are people you hear about it in florida, where there's now boas that are living there because people have decided they don't want their snakes anymore. But how much of a problem in terms of how frequently is this happening, that people are releasing their aquarium fish, or just fish that shouldn't be there, regardless of know, tropical aquarium fish, how often are people releasing these into the water?

Robbz

It's happening literally everywhere, and there's a culture that's been around, especially in the south, that they use goldfish for know, just crazy amounts of invasive species. Florida specifically has a lot of invasive species because it's the capital for pet farming. All the major fish farmed, if you have a farmed goldfish or a farm raised guppy, it's coming from florida. They're doing less and less importing from different asian farms all the time. The majority comes from florida, and that's been that way since the 60s. Okay, so because of that, they have all the other species, and florida has the perfect climate, so anything that gets out stays there. So if you go around florida in ditches, you can find angel fish, in trees, you can find, like you mentioned, the boa. It's everywhere. That invasive species have hit florida so very hard, because they weren't very proactive at first in their rivers, they have placostomists. Those are the algae eaters you kind of see at the walmarts. They grow from, like, I'm a six foot one man, they grow from my shoulder to my fingertip and burrow themselves in riverbanks. So it's happening there more than any other place, but it's happening across the United states. There's places in michigan, there's places all across the midwest that it happens to, and no one gives it a lot of tension because they don't understand the impact from it. So if a disease hits it, you don't hear a lot of news about a disease because it wipes out the lake, and it's up to the DNR to try to fix the repercussions. Either have know chemical, the whole lake to bleach it out before they can put fish back into it, or it's just completely ignored because it wasn't a real big fishing spot.

Katie

Well, yeah, I'm glad you brought up the disease thing because what you just said kind of makes me think about how I perceived it in I've I've always thought of Florida as being like the invasive species. Like that's where people are releasing and they're able to live there because it's so warm. And so in my mind, I'm like, well, in somewhere like Minnesota or Wisconsin or Montana, it's so cold that, yeah, if someone throws a tropical fish in the water, like poor fish, it's not going to live, but it's also not going to proliferate and become a problem. But what you mentioned is the disease, which is not something I had thought of before, where I'm just like, you know what, that goldfish is not going to make it poor guy, but it's not going to take anything over. But if it's got a disease attached to it, then that's a whole different.

Robbz

Story and that's not necessarily true either. So here's a couple of examples of where it beats not just diseases, but let's just talk about the species. Okay, I'm in Minnesota, everything should freeze. There's very few fish that will live in a climate all year round underneath the ice here. So if I get angel fish, it should die. Right? Well, there's a couple examples. Example one, Montana shares a similar climate to Minnesota. They've released cichlids and guppies and other aquarium fish. One guy just took his aquarium and dumped it in a small waterway and what he didn't realize, it was connected to a fountain geyser, spring heat source from the earth. And those fish in the winter migrate to where the springs are and live all winter long and in the summer when everything unfreezes and thaws spread across. So now we have tropical species that have found a way to survive. Now in Minnesota, we don't have a lot of know geysers, a lot of heat sources through the ground, but they're still finding ways. There's an example that actually was just discovered this last year. It's the red swamp crayfish. It's a very tropical fish, tropical creature. Excuse me, it is a crayfish. And I was shocked to hear that this could possibly even survive in Minnesota. Apparently there's a waterway in Minnesota where again, somebody had it in their aquarium. They dumped it off and figured it could live the summer and then die peacefully freezing to death. Well, they lived, apparently. I don't like using the word evolved, but adapted to their surroundings. And now we have red swamp crayfish, normally a tropical variety living year round. They started in 2016 and they're still there year after year and really growing. And they have adapted to the cold climate. We're seeing fish do this and it's still a scare beyond just the disease conversation.

Katie

Wow, that is surprising to me because, yeah, it does make sense that if you do have like a hot spring or something that things could live around there. But it's never occurred to me because I've been in the same boat that you described where it's like, well, everything freezes. It's not great for the individual you put in there, but basically the environment will take care of this for us. But now I'm thinking of all the places that you know what? Yeah, Colorado gets cold, but there's places in Colorado we have warm years where things could proliferate over the winter or something like that.

Robbz

It's just amazing to think the amount of lack of common sense when people do this, I've even seen last winter, I got a call from some friends that found cayman in Prior Lake, Minnesota, this last fall.

Katie

Really?

Robbz

That's by a big casino down south, close to the metro, and they literally found cayman, black cayman, small black cayman.

Katie

So someone had a pet cayman?

Robbz

Yep, and they released it in the lake.

Katie

And for people who don't know, a cayman is kind of like an alligator.

Robbz

Type, probably same family angrier, much angrier than an alligator. It's like a small crocodile with an attitude.

Katie

Not that you want any invasive species in your area, but definitely not of all the invasive species, not the one you want in your local way.

Robbz

That's, that's, that's way too risky. But, yeah, it's really sad. There's another fish that's actually it's called a weather loach or a Dojo loach. I have a couple in my tank because I purchased them after Minnesota or before Minnesota banned them. And these guys are old. When they're gone, I'm never purchasing them again. But these guys are from the hillstreams in mountain ranges in China, and they're a delicacy because they proliferate so easy, they're so super hearty, they actually eat them. And they look like yellow, small eels. There's ones that are brown, and the brown ones got in a lake in Michigan and have completely overtaken it. So it's not that the species are there killing the other things. They're competing now for resources with fish that are way better adapted that aren't from the local area.

Katie

Okay.

Robbz

This species has grown twice the size that it normally does in captivity and has overtaken all panfish everything in the lake, and has flooded and destroyed the ecosystem.

Katie

Are people just released? I mean, what's the motivation for so many people dumping their aquariums in local waterways? Is that just is it harder to get rid of them at, like, a pet store? Is it just laziness? What's what's the driving force here?

Robbz

Well, think of it like your cat or dog. If you want to get rid of your cat or dog, you hear people that just drop a kitten off in the middle of Main street. They don't want to kill it, but they don't want to be responsible for it. So something they had, they don't feel like they want to call someone because they want to get rid of it because they feel abandonment issues. And they see water, they live in water. That seems like a really good home for them, and they just don't put a lot of thought of what it can do to that waterway. It's just lack of common sense. They're not taking the minute to think about it, and they're getting rid of the pet that they didn't want. And I have yet to see a pet store besides, like a petco or a PetSmart that won't even petco takes them in, that won't take a fish in, no matter what it is. And if it's too big, there are people like the Ohio Fish Rescue that take in massive species. They take an alligator gar, they take an arapima. Those things are 14ft.

Katie

People own these things?

Robbz

Absolutely. Those aren't the invasive species, but that's just an idea of someone that grew too big and has abandonment. There are places for it to go, is the point.

Katie

I had no idea that people owned things like alligator garria pima.

Robbz

Yeah. And if you want to see this, this is like river monsters on Discovery Channel type stuff. You can go and check out his YouTube channel, ohio Fish Rescue, and it'll blow your mind. He converted an indoor swimming pool. He has almost I believe now it's getting closer to 100,000 gallons in his home.

Katie

Okay, so my thought on this is that if you go to the trouble to get something like an alligator gar or an arapima, I wouldn't expect that you're the type of person to then be like, oh, no, I got to abandon this. That strikes me as someone who really wanted a fish tank. They'd never had one before. They get one, they realize it's too much work, and they dump their aquarium full of neons into the river. But if you got to the point where you can house an araphima, I would have expected that by that point, you're well versed in the whole aquarium world because obviously you need, like, you can't just put that in a tiny little tank in your room.

Robbz

Oh. It comes down to education. People go through a fish store, and arapima is a bad example. Arophima is very rare and hard to find. But let's take something that's normal, like an arowana, not the illegal kind either, or a massive catfish.

Katie

Okay.

Robbz

When you see them in the pet store, they're nice and small. They got great color. They look cool. Mom, I want it. And the pet store owners, he has to make a living. It's not his fault that someone didn't do the homework. But an ethical pet store will tell you, no, this grows 8ft. Do you have a 1000 gallon aquarium to go in? Well, no, I'm going to reject the sale. Well, when you put a pet store owner up to a couple of $100 salva fish, he will take the money. Ethical ones will educate you. And the biggest pet that's abused that literally most of the pet owners, broadcasters such as myself, YouTubers, try to propagate to not get is what's called a paku. A paku is easily described as a vegetarian piranha. They look like a red belly piranha, and they are extremely cheap. It's $2 at a pet store.

Katie

Are those the ones that have, like, human teeth?

Robbz

Yes, mom, I want a piranha. Oh, sorry, don't get a piranha. They might bite you. Well, we have this alternative. It's a paku, and it has human teeth. Oh, great. Let's get it. Well, they don't realize that that will never stop growing. The paku grow you can go on Ohio Fish rescue. They have one of the record ones. We're talking many feet long, really grown a disc, and they look bigger than the massive garbage can lids. These things grow absolutely huge.

Katie

Do they not grow that big in the because I think I've seen that on, like, river monsters or something, and I feel like the ones he was catching were normal piranha size. Like, do these grow garbage can lid size in the wild? And I just have not seen that in the wild.

Robbz

They don't grow quite that big because, again, they're generally weaned out by massive predatory fish.

Katie

Okay?

Robbz

They stay roughly as a large croppy to the length of a northern pike.

Katie

But when they're not being preyed upon and they're getting bottomless food, they'll just keep on going. Okay, I think someone actually caught a paku in one of the lakes that's within, I want to say, 10 miles of me. I saw an article that someone caught, like, an amazonian fish, and I'm like 99% sure it was a paku a couple of years ago, just like, down the road from me.

Robbz

So across the nation, you'll hear different stories, and you can look them a lot of these up. It is one of the most dumped individual fish that there is because they get too big, no one will take them, even pet stores, because they're just a massive wall of fish. There's no space, and it costs too much money to take care of. So those dump, we've I have long lists of people finding them in the wild. There's even a situation where someone found it in the Mississippi river in Minnesota, a record size pocket.

Katie

Now, are there any so, for example, I'm just going to use Colorado, because obviously that's what I'm familiar with. But there are places in Colorado that northern pike are considered to be invasive, and they'll give you, like, a bounty on them. Like, if you catch northern pike out of whatever body of water, they'll give you $20 a fish to kill them. But that's just Colorado. Is there any sort of overarching law or recommendation or something for these fish that may be across the nation, but that says if you catch this, you need to keep it and you're not allowed to return it back to the waterway? Or is that a state by state thing?

Robbz

State by state thing. County by county thing. And sometimes body of water by body of water thing. Okay, so I'll give you two of the worst examples. One, in Brownsville County, florida, there is probably the most invasive fish that I've ever heard of. It's called a snakehead. There are three varieties of snakehead in the world. And they happen to have one of the most, not the biggest, but certainly the most vivacious variety there. I think it's the red spotted. I have to look it up. But the snakehead come from, I believe it's Taiwan. They have a very different ecology over there and different amount of predators. The snakehead is extremely hearty. It can live in almost any condition. It is called the snakehead because it has actually an arrow snake like head that can actually wriggle on land and cross from body of water to body of water, walking on land, essentially. And these things have the worst aggression of almost any fish in nature. So if you're going to try to fish for these things or fish for anything, they have a vivacious appetite, they're extremely territorial, and if they have babies, anything that swims by will be bitten and hit, including wild animals or your legs. So these fish have been introduced by an Asian market. They sell snakehead because snakehead are used for Asian soups and believe they have a lot of medicinal benefits. So they wanted to not pay so much for importing, so they released it into Florida's waters. And it's one of the worst invasive species that have blown apart waterways in Florida. And they're trying to find any ways bleaching, out lakes, anything they can do to stop the spread of this horrible invasive species. These things grow massive. And just to give you an example, when you take a frog or some top water lure, the fish don't hit it because they're hungry. The fish do it because they're protecting their territory and are angry at your lure. It's one of the most unique fishing experiences of your life. I highly recommend going there's thousands of YouTube videos, but Florida specifically, you asked, they have a law where if you catch one, it's illegal to put it back in the water. You have to kill it or get rid of it.

Katie

Okay? And I've heard that snakeheads are particularly hard to kill. There have been people who pulled them out and left them on land thinking like, oh, just like all the other fish I've caught today, it'll just suffocate. And side note, I support people just killing their fish when they catch them, instead of just leaving them to suffocate if they're going to catch them and eat them. But you can't just do that with a snakehead because it can just live out there and just basically live on land for I don't want to say indefinitely, because it obviously will eventually, but.

Robbz

It does have a clock. They do get back in, they'll dry out, they don't breathe oxygen, but they do last a long, long time on land.

Katie

Right? It's not going to be like the blue gills.

Robbz

They've tried to do anything they can with them, and you have to kill the creature. And they're not like bad tasting. But another example is the Asian carp that you hear and this is I think the most worrying of any in space species that we have in the nation currently that I can think of the Asian carp again, a big carp works like the Louisiana paddlefish are you familiar with those?

Katie

Is that different from the where I grew up, there were paddlefish, but I only ever heard them called paddlefish. Just like the blackish grayish fish with the big nose.

Robbz

So paddlefish are very beautiful, and they're being endangered by this other species and how they feed. They're filter feeders, kind of like you expect whales to be. They open their mouth, plank go in. So they're filter feeders, getting all the remnants from the water. And they're big fish. They have these enormous paddles that they are supposed to be spread across the Midwest. There's some in Minnesota, Iowa, but they're in dire risk because they're following river waterways. So down south, someone introduced another Asian market. Introduced the asian carp. It does the same thing, but on steroids. They grow bigger. They are mass populators. Their breeding cycles are insane. And again, they came from a different area with different predatory, different predators, different cycle. And they're exploding. They're taking over lakes and completely wiping any beneficial nutrients out of the water because they're filter feeding. And these things are coming up in the hundreds of thousands. They're going out. And it's getting so invasive in southern states. That they actually have competitions to go out and electrocute them. Slap the water, anything to get these, because the Asian carp has a knack to whenever they're scared or anything, instead of like a fainting sheep, they shoot out. Of the water like a rocket. Oh, yeah. You're driving with a boat. You can have thousands of these. Hundreds of these fly out at you. People have been killed by these, actually in a boat, but knocked out and anything else. So they try to take in big festivals, trying to wean down the numbers and go out with nets, dress up in football gear, anything that they can find. They electrocute them out of rivers, anything, because they're completely devastating all the native species. And they're following up the Mississippi River.

Katie

So are they just out competing? The paddlefish? They're not like directly preying on the paddlefish they're just out competing it they're.

Robbz

Out competing everything because there's so much think of it like the tree, right? The ant feeds the gecko, the gecko feeds the bird, the bird feeds the human, that whole tree of life thing. So in the water, the base thing is the micronutrients in the water that feeds the bugs which feed the blue gills, which feed the bass, which feed the muskie that whole tree of life. So because they're completely devastating the waterways of all nutrients it's decimating any population of any other fish across the river and the paddlefish is most affected because they're slow breeders and they literally are the first fish to feed off of the direct nutrients.

Katie

So they're basically like getting in at the ground level and stop. Okay, so I think that's an important point to make because we've already talked about the diseases. And something like the snakehead, which is just super aggressive, and then something like the Asian carp, which are just basically outcompeting everything that invasive species aren't just something that it's not just cut and dry, that they eat other fish or something like that. There's so many different mechanisms of how they can be a detriment to whatever body of water they're in. It's not just straight up. If the fish has a lot of teeth and is big, it'll be bad. But if it's not, then it's fine because there's so many different ways for these species to affect the other native species that are in the water.

Robbz

You don't know whenever a fish isn't introduced that's never been there, you don't know what now it's going to compete with its food. The dojo loach or the weather loach I mentioned before ate all of the small bugs and creatures. Anything it could find in the water compete out the panfish. This is getting the micronutrients to feed everything else in the water, and the whole tree is affected. Whereas I mentioned before my podcast that over the last decade, freshwater jellyfish have been showing up in all these lakes and streams across the entire United States. They're not taking the nutrients out of the water. They're not showing up as a real threat to other fish. In fact, you probably see a couple of fish even try to nip at them. They're not invasive. They're a foreign species that aren't invasive. That almost never happens. That is the probably one fluke I can ever find of any fish being introduced into a waterway that doesn't affect another species.

Katie

That's so crazy that you bring that up right now because my next question was going to be, where do you draw the line between invasive and non native?

Robbz

Yeah, it comes to a ton of research, probably multiple decades of seeing it happen. There's almost never a case where something's introduced that hasn't been there before, where it doesn't affect the other species in a negative way. The only thing I can ever think of is maybe some plants, and that's even rare. And the freshwater jellyfish, which it's not even on most states of DNR list, that they even exist because they're just not a threat. They don't sting people. They're not in effective waterways in any way that they can find. But almost always it's always labeled as invasive species.

Katie

So would something like the common carp be considered invasive because it can multiply pretty quickly, but people aren't trying to exterminate it, I guess is the difference.

Robbz

I'll give an example. So when the carp were introduced in the 18 hundreds, right, we had a lot of pristine waterways with a lot of vegetation. The vegetation supported different creatures above and below. The surface. Carp were introduced, and they were introduced Only In some waterways. So it's not that they were affected everywhere, but the waterways that they were affected ripped out tons of plant life, and because of that, completely changed the ecology of the waterway, pushing out trout, pushing out Certain other species. There used to be a species in minnesota. The last confirmed sighting Was 1984 of a blue walleye. Blue walleye. Because of other Competing species, carp, other things have been extinct now. And unless someone has Some rare reporting of potentially finding one, they're.

Katie

Guess I guess my question here is kind of the same thing as, like, pheasants. So, pheasants Aren't native to the US. But we've decided that we like hunting them. So now there's things like pheasants forever, where people want to keep them around because they want to hunt them. And now carp fishing Is becoming A popular activity. So is there just kind of like A balancing act between yes, this is an invasive species. The population has grown More Than it should have, but also there's now a group of people that probably would fight for having carp around because they value having it. And it's not having as detrimental as an effect as something like the snakehead, because the carp can at least coexist with something like bass without completely destroying the population.

Robbz

That's on a case by case scenario. I'm pretty sure every invasive species that's really proliferated to those points have different ways that humans are interacting. Having at least a positive reaction like snakehead fishing attracts Thousands of people now to florida because they don't believe that these fish that jump out of the water at your lure exist. They have these tournaments to try to see who can catch as many asian carp and win a grand trophy. They don't like the carp being there, but they make the best of it. Carp fishing is, again, A real reaction because we have the species. They're not going away, and there's no limits on them. They're not a controlled species. They smoke them. They'll do what they can with them. And what's really common in minnesota Is they do. I'm trying to figure out how to explain this. Bow fishing is the best way to yeah, okay.

Katie

Yep.

Robbz

They have a flat bottom boat. They put Hologen lamps across the entire front bay and sides of the boat. And they drive this around at night and wait for bright yellow carp to swim by, and they shoot a bow to try to catch these fish. I know there's other states in the south that do it. It's becoming More and more popular up here. And if there is some way that they could eradicate a species, it really comes down to a lot of the lake societies. If there's people Living on a lake, generally, you can go a coalition and work with the DNR to talk about what happens to your lake in a voting manner.

Katie

So it basically comes down to are people going to want it there or not? And at the end of the day, we can't necessarily control whether something's eliminated, I think at that point sorry, not grass. Asian carp would have been eliminated a long time ago if we had the ability to just wave a wand and get rid of it. But because it's not that simple, there are certain species that you can cohabitate with for a little bit longer without much of a problem. And since something like common carp is not as detrimental as some of these other species, people are kind of just making the best of it for the time being because what are you going to do?

Robbz

They're here and with zoologists and other scientists DNR regulations, there have been cases where there's been a single body of water that have been completely eradicated, everything living in it to stop some horrible species or some horrible disease from spreading to other waterways. That's happened quite a few times across the United States. Same with the chronic wasting disease you were mentioning earlier in Europe. I believe they made a decision, I believe it was in the Scandinavian countries, to wipe out the entire existence of caribou and then bring in some after the chronic wasting disease was done to make sure that chronic wasting disease was never there again. And that's very successful. But they had time research behind it to see what's the impact of us deleting the body of water or deleting that species from the area and reintroducing it. There's impact and pros and cons, but it's not out of the question if they'll find a wand but for the entire Mississippi River to be done for Asian carp, it's pretty impossible, right?

Katie

And you're also fighting with the public know if you just said that you're going to wipe out every fish in whatever body of know people are going to be angry regardless of whether it's in their best interest. Overall, it's hard to convince a giant group of people anything like that.

Robbz

If I told someone that I'm starting a new podcast, there's going to be someone that doesn't like it.

Katie

But right.

Robbz

Just hope that the collective at least make their opinions known and everybody's doing their best not to dump their aquariums in the water.

Katie

Yeah. So that kind of leads me to my last point. Apart from just don't dump your aquariums, what is the solution to this? I'm not asking you to again wave your magic wad and fix all this, but are there any obvious steps to at least help the problem? Like I mentioned earlier, if you got waiters with felt sole boots, you need to dry those out or disinfect them before you carry organisms from one body of water to an unconnected body of water elsewhere. But are there any other steps that people can take?

Robbz

The best things that you can do besides don't dump your aquarium in the water is essentially for boaters. Boaters do the biggest hitchhiking, and it's not necessarily fish species. It's plants or mollusks. We have a big crisis across minnesota for eurasian millfoil. Millfoil can completely choke out water from the top to bottom, no matter how real deep it is. And they have to use churning machines to rip out millfoil to essentially just even open up the water at all. It's a plant that grows every inch in the water. They have zebra mussels. Zebra mussels, again, take beneficial bacteria out of the water, and frankly, when you step on them, cut your feet open. So those are the most prolific species that a lot of waterways are concerned about. And always, whenever you take your boat in and out of a water, clean your boat, drain your water, and if you can let it dry five days. That will take care of most of the invasion species a bit. Always inspect and clean your boat.

Katie

Yeah, I know. A lot of waterways also have, like, a boat inspection. I'm not sure what all they're looking for, but I assume some of it has to do with asking you about where you've been using your boat recently and what steps you've taken in between then and now.

Robbz

Before you 4 july weekend and some of the most popular lakes in minnesota, we have DNR that go to the boat entrances. And before you launch your boat, they'll ask you where you've been, did you clean your boat out? They'll check the back of the ballast of the boat to make sure you drained it before going into the new waterway. They'll do it as much as they can, but with 18,000 lakes in minnesota, it's impossible. But you just got to remember to be ethical and do what you can.

Katie

Right. And don't dub your aquarium in the water.

Robbz

Don't dump your aquarium into the water. If you have a fish that you need to get rid of and you don't find a home, talk to your pet store if they can't take it. I got a man named big rich that will easily take whatever big fish you a he's a friend of mine from the ohio fish rescue. Certainly contact me. Contact him. There are people. Don't put it in your river.

Katie

I think I saw recently a placostomus was found in the animus river here. And whoever pulled it out, I think it was dead on the side of the river bank. But that was a fish. I had an aquarium when I was a kid, and I remember I saw the picture of it, even though it was, like, half decomposed, I recognized it as something that shouldn't be not. I know it's easy to think this is a florida problem, but like I said, someone caught a paku a couple miles from my house. The placostomus was found, I want to say, a couple of weeks ago in the animus. So this isn't just a florida thing. This is all over the country, and like you said, it's more of a problem than I thought. You taught me a lot here today about the diseases and everything, because in my mind, it's kind of like the placostomist that was watching up on the side of the river. I'm like, well, it's sad, but that fish died. But who knows if it was carrying something or something like that. It just something that I hadn't thought about before.

Robbz

Absolutely. It's our responsibility to do what we can, and it's amazing how many people just really don't care or don't just think before they do it.

Katie

Right. Well, do you just want to share where people can find you if they want to reach out or subscribe to your podcast or where's the best place for people to reach out?

Robbz

Absolutely. So Aquariumguyspodcast.com is where our website is. You can find us on any of the major stores and minor stores. I've yet to find a store we're not on. We try to put out a podcast each week. And again, we're trying to do evergreen episodes about the aquarium hobby, whether it's salt water we just had the pond guy on. But we also do what we call the out of the Tank series. And the out of the Tank series really goes into what I believe the aquarium hobby should know about fishing, because our pets come from the natural environment. If you love fish in your tank, you're going to love fish more on your hook. So I've been going through showing them DNR specialists, the baiting industry. We just had you on for fly fishing, and it's been a great series. Certainly. Come give us a try. Subscribe and again, shout out to the Ohio Fish Rescue. If you want to donate a fish that you need to get rid of, we'll make sure it finds a home.

Katie

Awesome. Well, I hope everyone comes and listens to a couple of your episodes, regardless of whether they like aquarium fish or just fishing, but really appreciate you coming on today. I had a lot of fun and learned quite a bit.

Robbz

Well, it's my pleasure.

Katie

All right. And that'll do it. As always, if you liked what you heard, I'd love for you to go over to Apple podcasts or wherever else you listen to podcasts and subscribe to the show. There you can also find my episodes on Fishuntamed.com. In addition to articles about fly fishing every two weeks. You can also find me on Instagram at fishuntamed or on Go Wild under my name, Katie Berger. And I will be back here in two weeks. So until then, bye, everyone.

Episode Notes

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