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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A buddy and I were out fishing the other day, and the conversation led to Central Washington Lakes. This is a subject Sparse Grey Hackle and I have discussed quite a bit, and I've never been able to come up with a reasonable answer. Maybe someone on the board might know or have some ideas?

To provide a bit of background, before the Grand Coulee Dam was built, Central Washington was generally a wasteland. Aside from the Columbia River, Crab Creek was the only flowing water, and most of the lakes and ponds that are there now didn't exist. When the dam was built, however, this raised the water table by some incredible amount, and all the depressions and ancient coulees filled with water, creating the features, lakes, ponds, springs, and creeks we know today. The WDFW then proceeded to stock many of these places, including quite a few lakes that are far off the beaten path.

Sparse has been to many of these places, off the beaten path, and caught some nice fish. The large fish size in many of these lakes and ponds can be largely attributed to the presence of scuds. The question I propose, is where did the scuds come from? There are two major theories on the subject, both of which, in my humble opinion, don't make sense.

The first theory is that the scuds are in the soil, and when the water rose, the scuds filled the lakes. That seems a bit unlikely to me, I mean, instant scuds just add water? I am not aware of a crystalisis stage of the scud life form that allows it to live for hundred of thousands of years in the soil, although I may be wrong. It has happened once or twice.

The second theory is that once the lakes came into being, people went around and stocked all the lakes with scuds. How, might you ask, does one stock scuds? Take a five gallon bucket, fill it with water and weeds, and add scuds. Transport to location, dump into lake. This is a likely theory, however, if you've ever been to some of the lakes in the desert that have trout, you'd have to wonder a bit about who in the heck is crazy enough to carry scuds that far into the desert? Then again, who in the heck is crazy enough to stock these lakes in the desert with trout? Perhaps the WDFW biologists planted scuds in these lakes as a food supplement for the trout? I haven't had the opportunity, unfortunately, to ask one about it. Or perhaps it was Johnny Appleseed?

I'm interested on everyone's opinions and theories on this subject….

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

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Mother Nature's Son
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It very well may be possible that eggs from the shrimp were deposited and laid dormant for years. One example that I know of occurs at the Great Salt Lake, where little "shrimp" are known to deposit eggs during high water years and may lay dormant for many many years before the rain or high water comes and they come back to life.

Another similar option would be the eggs being transported through the feces or the castings of birds. I could imagine gulls or herons consuming the flesh of various fish or crayfish in a body of water that had good populations of scuds and/or their eggs, then traveling to the newly created ponds and regurgitating or passing the skeletons of their victims on or near the new lakes.

The water itself may also have contributed as there could have been small streams that connected the pieces of water from time to time and allowing a direct connection.

Boats could also be to blame, although from your description, it sounds like that is probably not an option.

I'm sure there are other options...

Skinny
 

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I won't claim to know the history of folks stocking those lakes in the former 'wasteland' but I do know of several subalpine lakes in the state which have been purposefully stocked with scuds. It has long been known that lots of scuds = big fish and back in the day when conservation wasn't really a management protocol and increasing fishing opportunities was the norm, I doubt it was uncommon. Some of these lakes, by the way, are known within small circles to produce exceptional fish!
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all

Well if they thrive so well why don't they plant some in the lakes in Western Washington. Can't
be that it's too cold as it's colder over on the East side in the winter time than on the West side.

Jim
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

I thought that would be the answer,but I just had to ask. I understand that some lakes over on the wet side have some freshwater shrimp in them but they are so tiny you would need alot of them to work. They are about as big as Daphina,and that ain't to big.

Jim
 

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Remember when you were a kid?,did you ever have sea monkeys?These incredible little animals that come in a dry powder that you add to water and in 1-2 days you have animals(brine shrimp)I feel that that is the most probable answer that the eggs weree always in the soil then when water was added *voila* scuds ?
 

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Scuds

The scuds did not come from dormant eggs in the soil. With many amphipods eggs are carried and brooded by the female, so if there's no chicken there's no egg The theory that the scuds were stocked holds water, but in many cases it is more likely they were always there. Most natural springs (even tiny, little insignificant springs) host at least one amphipod species (and many are terrrestrial).:professor
 

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My vote goes with the bird theory; Merganzers come immediately to mind, although I suppose all ducks and other birds could be involved as well. The mergies wade around a lot in outlets and inlets of lakes, hoping to snatch one or more of the trout that really belong to you and me. Stuff (read eggs, bugs, debris, etc.) gets caught in their feathers. Now they land on a new seep lake, probably just after the WDFW truck pulls out. Dinnerbucket time! In their haste to eat the fish that belong to you and me, the eggs, bugs, scuds, etc. get deposited and c'est une faite accompli, mes amis.:thumb
Monsieur Robert
 

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Fish Recycler
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I was talking to an older guy today who was a 1950's trailblazer. He worked mostly in eastern King County. According to him, they didn't stock scuds, but they were there back in the 50's. He said, "nobody knows where they came from."

Personally, I like the birds/animals theory as well.

I was very glad to have this icebreaker question for this guy though, because he brought out an old, yellowed map with all of his old notes on it. It showed a lot of tiny little puddles hidden away where he put fish a long, long time ago. :thumb

I'm looking forward to finding out if their great-great grandfishes are still there. :D

tgs
 

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This is just a guess, but they may have been in the the water when the fish were originally stocked. I had a little pond in my back yard, and I stocked with trout, and all of a sudden scuds started appearing in the water, so that is my best guess.:dunno :dunno
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The problem is, there was no water there before they built the dam!

I'm starting to lean towards the theory that if the WDFW went all the way back to these lakes to plant them, why wouldn't they plant some food source for the trout? Would be a good question to ask a biologist...

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

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"And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day" Gen 1:19 . Here is where the scuds came from ;-)

If I had to guess, I would say the govt did not plant them (there is no conspiracy fellas :p LOL), but that the scuds more than likely hitched a ride on/in an animal of some nature....maybe even the fish, or the transplanted fishes belly :dunno ???

Good topic...I like these kind because they make you think about something instead of arguing about something and this is how your knowledge and respect in regards to our passion increases....thus a better fisherman in the long run.....boy I sound like a westsider...BAD PAT!!!! }( }( ..... of course im jokin around about the westsider..good topic though :thumb

~Patrick ><>
 

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Sheesh! Crab Creek has a population of scuds and the Lenice-Nunnally chain drains into it. It's a very short trip for any wandering scud. There are many ways that invertebrate populations can spread; I don't really think there's any reason to postulate anyone planting them and, to the best of my knowledge, the WDFW has never had any such program. In terms of geological time, lakes come into and go out of existence continually; how does any lake acquire a population of invertebrates? In most cases either by airborne migration, as in the case of aquatic insects, or by aquatic migration or deposition by birds in the case of scuds.
 

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Your theory on how the lakes in the Central Grand Coulee are partially true. Being a novice Geology enthusiast, I was curious myself and did some looking into it. Before the Grand Coulee dam was built, everything South of there was pretty much a barren desert. Then after the dam was done they started pumping water out of the new lake and redistributed it to create what is now Banks Lake, which is used as storage for irrigation water too. Here is where everything gets interesting. As we all know, water travels on the path of least resistance. If you carefully look at a map of the area South of the lake, the water basically trickled down and filled up all the depressions and pockets that were created by the geological events that happened to the area thousands of years ago. The same thing happened when they created the Potholes Resevoir. Thats how the Seep Lakes got thier name.
As for your original question about how the Scuds got here, I agree with some of the other readers theorys that it's possible they were redistributed by other animals. It's possible too that they originally came from the Columbia River and they followed along with wherever the water went. That's my 2 cents worth.


:beer2
 
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