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Old 12-28-2004, 06:26 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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If you dig a hole in soil and fill it with water, will fish eventually appear?

I think i read something about this in National Geographic years ago, but I am unsure. Any links would be great as I searched Google and couldn't find anything about this. I searched evything from Underground living organisims, evolution, ecology, and even geothermal rivers.

I had an argument with someone who said i was lying! I just said i was unsure.

can someone clarify this , I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:42 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancientmariner
I think i read something about this in National Geographic years ago, but I am unsure. Any links would be great as I searched Google and couldn't find anything about this. I searched evything from Underground living organisims, evolution, ecology, and even geothermal rivers.

I had an argument with someone who said i was lying! I just said i was unsure.

can someone clarify this , I would appreciate it. Thanks
There are, In Death Valley I think, fish that hibernate in dried up pond mud until it rains. Also frogs, but they're somewhere else.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:45 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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I know someone who had a moderately sized private pond built (I'd say it was probably around 3 acres in size or so) and without any action on his part he found some small fish in it after time.

He eventually stocked it with some fish himself, but there was no connection to a stream or any tributary around the pond and fish did appear in it without his doing. So unless we have people who do drive by fish stockings then yes, it does happen.

I'm not sure how, fish eggs are very small and it's not inconceivable for them to cross land to water via certain means (say maybe they stick to a frog, or something.)
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:45 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Huh?

Only in three cases can I imagine that you could have apparently spontaneous fish generation in your impromptu pond.

1. You happened to dig right above where some African lungfish have capsulized.

2. Somehow some fish eggs got into your hole.

3. Some sort of Fortean fish-carrying weather pattern dumped them there.


Where did you ever get the idea that fish could spontaneously generate in water?
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:46 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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If you dig it, they will come? Usually, when a man-made pond grows fish that the owner did not install, it's the work of a trespasser. Either it's a prank, or the interloper hopes to come back when the fish are fat and sassy. Everybody has heard of an office building or apartment complex where the runoff pond gets stocked by some volunteer.

One man I know had bass and bluegill in his pond, and the flooding of the Blue River brought in a few catfish. The frogs and snapping turtles probably walked in.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:46 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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Well like I said Jayjay, I've seen it happen. And I can't speak for the OP but I had *heard* of this sort of thing before.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:47 PM
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Perhaps if some errant coyote in your yard were to drop his bottle of Acme Instant Fish Tablets...
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:48 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
If you dig it, they will come? Usually, when a man-made pond grows fish that the owner did not install, it's the work of a trespasser. Either it's a prank, or the interloper hopes to come back when the fish are fat and sassy. Everybody has heard of an office building or apartment complex where the runoff pond gets stocked by some volunteer.

One man I know had bass and bluegill in his pond, and the flooding of the Blue River brought in a few catfish. The frogs and snapping turtles probably walked in.
That's entirely possible. My friend in question lives in a fairly secluded part of western Virginia, so maybe someone stocked the pond thinking he'd come back later and fish it. Doesn't make much sense though as there is a river within 1.5m and several streams that are stocked by the DNR so I don't see how logical it would be for someone to do that and not instead just fish the river.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:52 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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hi,

yes I found those fish on Google during my search, they are called Killfish. But, they lay thier eggs in the mud, so that means those type of fish must already be present in an area where there is water.

I could swear i read in NG that scientists dug a hole and some time later, fish appeared. however, I don't remember much else of the article, so maybe like you said they dug the hole where there were already fish eggs.

My question is, if i dug the hole in my backyard, would they eventually appear, of course someone told me to try it out, and i think from what i remember the hole had to be 8 feet deep, but again, i don't even remember the article, just something about scientists being perplexed by it and was wondering if maybe someone had some information about this, or some truth.

~wondering away
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:53 PM
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I was taught in my biology class that in an exceptionally large rainfall, so large that water traverses where it normally does not, even in very small sheets, small fish can move from pond to pond. Perhaps this method doesn't occur as often as the other methods already mentioned, but on non-mountainous land I can see this happening once a decade or so.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:55 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Hyde
That's entirely possible. My friend in question lives in a fairly secluded part of western Virginia, so maybe someone stocked the pond thinking he'd come back later and fish it. Doesn't make much sense though as there is a river within 1.5m and several streams that are stocked by the DNR so I don't see how logical it would be for someone to do that and not instead just fish the river.
1 1/2 miles isn't all that horribly far for an otter or a beaver or a duck to happen to inadvertently pick up and carry fish eggs or small fish in its fur or feathers and saunter over, depositing same in the new pond.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:02 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Don't let jayjay scare you. He just learned the word "spontaneously", and has been dying for a chance to use it.
And it was killifish I was referring to in Death Valley. I'm unclear on their life cycle, though.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:07 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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Where is Darwin when you need him? j/k

Thats ok, i'd like to hear everyones opinion if possible, some people belive it is impossible while others do not. It's a very skeptical (and kinda stupid) question, but i thought it would be worth asking since i got a 50/50 response from alot of people at work. It's all just fun.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:11 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
Don't let jayjay scare you. He just learned the word "spontaneously", and has been dying for a chance to use it.
And it was killifish I was referring to in Death Valley. I'm unclear on their life cycle, though.


I'll have you know that I've known the meaning of "spontaneously" for going on 28 years now, thank you very much!

Although I have been told I'm scary, but that has more to do with the 5'11", 350 lb, bearded, scowly thing than my ninja mastery of the word "spontaneously".
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:15 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Don't feel bad. There are some people on another (mercifully buried) thread who believe that fat can spontaneously (thanks, jj. ) appear on your body.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:18 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
Huh?

Only in three cases can I imagine that you could have apparently spontaneous fish generation in your impromptu pond.

1. You happened to dig right above where some African lungfish have capsulized.

2. Somehow some fish eggs got into your hole.

3. Some sort of Fortean fish-carrying weather pattern dumped them there.


Where did you ever get the idea that fish could spontaneously generate in water?

I never said the fish would "spontaneously" appear, i should have been more clear, i belive they were referring to micro-organisims in the ground that may have did a little "hanky-panky" with some other micro-organisims.

but, I'm going to have to agree with #2 or 3. I just couldn't see that happening, at least not in that period of time, i was thinking more like a billion years then they would appear. But given the theory of evolution...

oh and i got the idea from National Geographic, actually it was thier (scientists)idea, i just happened to remember it today
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:20 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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And I apologize to you, ancientmariner, for misreading your OP in a manner that gave me the impression that you thought that fish would just appear (SPONTANEOUSLY! ) in a hole dug and filled with water.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:21 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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So...how's that albatross hangin' today, anyway?
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:25 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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...stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea...
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:31 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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What was that guy's name, A scientist on PBS? He had a series, and once he gathered all the stuff that makes up the human body and put it a tank. Nobody appeared, but the point was made.
He, the scientist, died a while back. Not Sagan . Somebody else.
Anyway, what the OP talks about sounds like something he'd be involved with.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:35 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
There are, In Death Valley I think, fish that hibernate in dried up pond mud until it rains. Also frogs, but they're somewhere else.
Technically, dormancy in summertime is called "estivation" not "hibarnation." That is the usual term applied to animals who behave as you've described.

Yes, if you dig a hole in soil and fill it with water... as long as the water has sufficient oxygenation, the odds are quite high that eventually an ecosystem will develop. Sooner or later a fish or fish egg will find its way into it via flooding or another animal.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:35 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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I can only imagine the stench emanating from that tank must have been massive! lol
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:38 PM
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I'd say it's inevitable. As others noted, birds can carry fish eggs. It can also rain fish.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:42 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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All I remember is;

Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Oh, yeah. And be careful with crossbows. You can put an eye out. Or something.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:43 PM
ancientmariner ancientmariner is offline
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thanks guys, i think that pretty much sums it up!
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:48 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Originally Posted by levdrakon
I'd say it's inevitable. As others noted, birds can carry fish eggs. It can also rain fish.
I saw it rain frogs (tree frogs, I was told) near Shafter, CA about 25 yrs ago.
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:01 PM
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Regarding NattoGuy's observation about oxygenation, without any inlet our outlet for flowing water in this discrete pond, wouldn't you have to at least have some aquatic plantlife for fish to survive?
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:27 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
Don't feel bad. There are some people on another (mercifully buried) thread who believe that fat can spontaneously (thanks, jj. ) appear on your body.
That's probably just those Fadkin's dieters-- it's ok, they're special.
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:34 PM
Adoptamom_II Adoptamom_II is offline
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Our neighbor dug a small pond and did not stock it. Within a year, he had fingerling size catfish "appear", although he had not added any fish to his pond yet. Curious, he phoned LSU's agriculture department and was told that almost all ponds in our neck of the woods have catfish because birds eat the catfish eggs, then fly to another pond and poop them in or near the pond, where they hatch and thrive. Same goes for bream and bass.

Interesting side note - once he discovered the catfish he trained them to come to the top and side of the pond where he stood when he clapped rapidly. He did this by clapping and then putting feed for them into the water. Neat trick that used to thrill the kids
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:53 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoptamom_II
Our neighbor dug a small pond and did not stock it. Within a year, he had fingerling size catfish "appear", although he had not added any fish to his pond yet. Curious, he phoned LSU's agriculture department and was told that almost all ponds in our neck of the woods have catfish because birds eat the catfish eggs, then fly to another pond and poop them in or near the pond, where they hatch and thrive. Same goes for bream and bass.

Interesting side note - once he discovered the catfish he trained them to come to the top and side of the pond where he stood when he clapped rapidly. He did this by clapping and then putting feed for them into the water. Neat trick that used to thrill the kids
I am from Lousiana too and this has been exactly my experience. We had a pond dug on our property and it didn't even take a year for it to be fully stocked with bream and catfish. Nobody stocks bream as far as I know so they definetly got there by natural means.

I am finding it hard to believe that people doubt that fish appear in ponds without being stocked. Almost any pond or lake deep in the woods will have fish in it as long as it is habitable even if they are not connected to any other water sources. You can argue about the timescale or the size of the hold needed but it is inevitable.
  #31  
Old 12-29-2004, 09:25 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Another thing I've heard from "old people" is that some birds carry fish eggs on their feet. Don't know if that's plausible, but I have heard old people who believe it.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:39 AM
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This only lends credence to the theory that the stork brings human babies. Thanks very much.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:48 AM
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Maybe I need to check that box of old rags I left in the basement to see if any rats have spontaneously appeared yet....
  #34  
Old 12-29-2004, 10:54 AM
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How long will it take for bluefin tuna to appear? Do I need to add salt first?
  #35  
Old 12-29-2004, 11:40 AM
Padeye Padeye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrorcotta
Maybe I need to check that box of old rags I left in the basement to see if any rats have spontaneously appeared yet....
That's not so far from the old belief that rotting meat generated maggots and flies.
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Old 12-29-2004, 01:04 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo
Regarding NattoGuy's observation about oxygenation, without any inlet our outlet for flowing water in this discrete pond, wouldn't you have to at least have some aquatic plantlife for fish to survive?
Depends on the total surface area of the pond compared to the total mass of fish in it. There is some gas exchange with the air. In a stagnant pond, you're also likely to get moss and/or algae, both of which generate oxygen.
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  #37  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Hyde
I know someone who had a moderately sized private pond built (I'd say it was probably around 3 acres in size or so) and without any action on his part he found some small fish in it after time.

He eventually stocked it with some fish himself, but there was no connection to a stream or any tributary around the pond and fish did appear in it without his doing.
I suspect you might be mistaken about whether there is a tributary or stream attached. Even an overflow runoff ditch would suffice to allow small fish to reach the pond in wet weather.

My dad, a country boy who built many ponds over his lifetime, always claimed that fish would find their way into a pond without human assistance. But then I noticed that two ponds on our property which were disconnected from tributaries and had no outlets grew stagnant and did not seem to support any life. On the other hand, ponds that were created in the path of preexisting tributaries (even tributaries which were only wet-weather ditches) somehow managed to become infected with life. My conclusion was that the fry were swimming upstream to these ponds when the weather allowed.
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Old 12-29-2004, 03:25 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
Another thing I've heard from "old people" is that some birds carry fish eggs on their feet. Don't know if that's plausible, but I have heard old people who believe it.
Yeah, my dad subscribed to the "birds carrying fish eggs on their feet" school of rural wisdom. I never bought it, though. Otherwise, fish would have appeared in all of our ponds, not just the ones attached to tributaries/ditches.
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padeye
That's not so far from the old belief that rotting meat generated maggots and flies.
Are you implying that it isn't true?

Down here in Florida, run-off ponds usually contain fish that have not been planted, or stocked, or what have you. I buy the egss on birds, eggs in birds, whatever theory. A plentitude of these ponds also contain at least one alligator, but no one ever sees them arive. I doubt birds bring them.
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:15 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisB
Are you implying that it isn't true?

Down here in Florida, run-off ponds usually contain fish that have not been planted, or stocked, or what have you. I buy the egss on birds, eggs in birds, whatever theory. A plentitude of these ponds also contain at least one alligator, but no one ever sees them arive. I doubt birds bring them.
Except, you know, that alligators are perfectly capable of going overland to the next pond. Even in the middle of the night when nobody's around TO see them arrive.
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:33 PM
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Well, my neighbor has a small pond in his yard and he is continually restocking it with koi because they continually disappear.

Perhaps they're all migrating to the ponds described in the OP.

Aided by our local raccoon population, of course.

And don't forget about Chinese Snakeheads... I'm shocked no one mentioned Snakeheads yet!

And of course, the ultimate answer to the OP's question is "It depends on how big a hole, and how long you wait."
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:33 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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You know, the OP didn't actually come right out and say anything about "spontaneous comefishin". "Appear" simply means "show up".
All you cynics are too ready to jump bad at the first chance you get.
I have no trouble with the idea that those fish could somehow just show up. Either by birds, or simply falling from the sky. Which possibility has already been well cited. What if frogs bring them, huh? Or gators. Especially in locales where there are a lot of fish.
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:43 PM
The Asbestos Mango The Asbestos Mango is offline
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When I first saw the thread title, my first thought was "walking catfish". My second thought was, it's fairly common for people to release goldfish (among other critters) they have gotten tired of into a nearby river, stream, lake, whatever. I suppose that someone seeking to turn loose a coupla goldfish they don't want to feed anymore might find a hole full of water an attractive place to put them.
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  #44  
Old 12-29-2004, 08:49 PM
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Well, I dug a 1/2 acre pond on my property and within a year it was teeming with tadpoles and bugs!
Within another year there were minnows!
Minnows is fish!
Fact,Jack!
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:18 PM
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Bear poop, beaver poop, bird poop, etc. Anything that might eat a fish and poop in a lake.

My WAG is that it's not unusual for a fish egg to survive passage through an animal's digestive tract. We all know that corn kernels remain intact passing through us, why not a fish egg?
  #46  
Old 12-31-2004, 06:05 AM
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Except, you know, that alligators are perfectly capable of going overland to the next pond. Even in the middle of the night when nobody's around TO see them arrive.
I was attempting to point out that IF alligators can arrive unseen, so can fish, the method of arriving notwithstanding. Even so, it is remarkable how far gators will travel to find water during the dry season.
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:49 AM
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Seemingly spontaneous fish appearances often occur when flying fish migrate for the seasons.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:28 PM
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Sorry to burst some bubbles of skeptics... I have a pond, about 300 gallons or so. just a little thing for decoration. i had three gold fish which got eaten by a racoon or possum. 3 months and all i have done is clean the filter and lights. today I found about 10 fry of some sort. not guppies or gold fish as i know those. I have no idea where they came from. no one would "stock" my pond. most neighbors fear my dogs so not a pranker. you cant fish a bath tub. and i dont think coons or possum would stock it eother. "Spontaneous Generation" seems almost plausible. its a plastic pond so not "encapsulated" lung fish, they arent tad poles, and i rarely have birds in the pond as the dogs love raw sparrow. there is no reason for these fish to exist. i thought maybe suspended animation of eggs... but i only ever had 3 gold fish....... try and explain it - i cant.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kanaka View Post
Sorry to burst some bubbles of skeptics... I have a pond, about 300 gallons or so. just a little thing for decoration. i had three gold fish which got eaten by a racoon or possum. 3 months and all i have done is clean the filter and lights. today I found about 10 fry of some sort. not guppies or gold fish as i know those. I have no idea where they came from. no one would "stock" my pond. most neighbors fear my dogs so not a pranker. you cant fish a bath tub. and i dont think coons or possum would stock it eother. "Spontaneous Generation" seems almost plausible. its a plastic pond so not "encapsulated" lung fish, they arent tad poles, and i rarely have birds in the pond as the dogs love raw sparrow. there is no reason for these fish to exist. i thought maybe suspended animation of eggs... but i only ever had 3 gold fish....... try and explain it - i cant.
Funny...I see an awful lot of explanations (from 8 years ago, given, but...) up above. But obviously William of Occam could shave smooth as a baby's bottom with a claim of spontaneous generation...
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Grendel's Father Grendel's Father is offline
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i dont think coons or possum would stock it eother.
Why not? Both of those animals regularly forage near water and it would be easy to get some microscopic fish eggs stuck to their fur.
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