Posts Tagged ‘peacock bass’

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September 29, 2011

Stay on top of everything Acute Angling and Amazon peacock bass fishing by signing up for our free e-newsletter. We’ll keep you updated on company news, fishing trends and cool things we’ve come across in the Amazon.

 

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Jenny Schools “The Fish Finder!”

September 22, 2011

World champion peacock bass angler Steve Townson joins Jenny Reiss of Acute Angling on a Blackwater Explorer trip. In this episode Steve gives Jenny some pointers on peacock bass fishing and Jenny thanks him by catching the bigger fish. To learn more about peacock bass fishing, visit http://www.acuteangling.com.

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Peacock Bass Science and Conservation – Peacock Bass pH Tolerance

September 16, 2011
The more anglers know about their quarry, the better they are able to successfully pursue it and manage its conservation. The giant peacock bass (Cichla temensis) roams a blackwater environment that is so significantly different from that of temperate zone freshwater sportfish, that it is worthwhile for peacock bass anglers visiting the Amazon to gain an understanding of the peacock’s home waters. The following article attempts to provide some insights via a research project assessing fishes’ acid tolerance in blackwater environments Throughout North America, Europe and Asia, pollution has caused serious damage to aquatic ecosystems. One of the worst culprits is acid rain. Resulting mostly from sulfur emitted by power plant smokestacks, this toxic acidification has been shown to cause massive fish kills and a serious loss of biodiversity in our lakes, rivers and streams.
On the other hand, in the Amazon basin, highly acidic “blackwater” regions exist that support a huge diversity of fishes in spite of being far more acidic than even our most damaged waters. In fact, this is the preferred home of the giant peacock bass. The most powerful freshwater gamefish in the world, lives in water with enough acid content to kill most species! The obvious question you might ask is, “How is this possible?” Many researchers have asked the same question. The answer may lie in the tea-colored material that gives blackwater its name.

Blackwater is formed when wet, oxygen-poor soils permit the slow decay of matter from vascular plant material. Runoff delivers a constant supply of this mixture of dissolved organic matter (mostly made up of tannic and humic acids). Not only does this material deliver blackwater’s characteristic coloration, but scientists have found convincing evidence that it actually protects fishes against the poisonous effects of acidic environments.

Acid water causes fishes to lose their body salts. Freshwater species have a biological pumping system in the cells of their gills that keeps the salt in their bodies from leaking out into the salt-free freshwater that surrounds them. Acid conditions attack these cells and cause them to stop working. The material in blackwater, however, appears to provide a protective effect for these cells, enabling them to continue to work normally. The peacock’s own ecosystem may be what protects it from environmental toxicity that kills fish elsewhere.

The Amazon is a giant enigma, with thousands of interlocking puzzles waiting to be solved. We haven’t even begun to understand how they fit together. Here is just one more reason why it must be protected at all costs. With more study, we might learn how to use Amazon-based knowledge to protect fishes in each of our various backyards. Perhaps we’ll find that reducing the constant deforestation in our countryside might put more of these blackwater materials into our waters and help slow the rate of environmental degradation and fish loss.

Note – The following unpublished paper is the result of an experiment performed on non-Amazon fishes, with an eye toward understanding more about the nature of Amazon Blackwater systems. The reference materials cited in this paper can provide additional information regarding this subject matter from peer-reviewed sources.

Laboratory Analysis of the Effects of Blackwater on Low pH Tolerance in Fishes

PAUL REISS; Rutgers University, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA
Rutgers University Marine Field Station, Tuckerton, NJ

Abstract

The unusually high level of fish biodiversity found in acidic “blackwater” systems in the Amazon basin suggests that the humic and fulvic acids in blackwater may provide some form of protection against the toxic effects of low pH, or that fishes endemic to this environment may be more tolerant of those effects. These ideas were tested by two experiments in a laboratory study. In the first experiment, seven fish species from three water types were subjected to a treatment regime of reduced pH to compare the species’ tolerance to pH toxicity. Species examined included: Enneacanthus obesus, Micropterus salmoides and Aphredoderus sayanus from blackwater; Fundulus heteroclitus, Menidia menidia and Cyprinodon variegatus from brackish water and Lepomis macrochirus from clear freshwater. The results demonstrated markedly different resistance to mortality in low pH among the species, as measured by the cumulative concentration of excess H+ ion over time. For example, Enneacanthus was able to tolerate almost three times as much exposure as Lepomis, a member of the same family, and over eight times the exposure of Cyprinodon, a brackish water fish. The results also demonstrated that fishes from blackwater are more resistant to low pH toxicity, as a group, than fishes from other source waters.

In a second experiment, the effect of water type on tolerance to low pH was measured among a subset of species selected from the first experiment, i.e., Fundulus heteroclitus, Cyprinodon variegatus and Lepomis macrochirus. Resistance to mortality ranged from 20% to 100% greater in both blackwater and brackish water than in clear freshwater for each species. These results indicate that there are effects inherent in both blackwater and brackish water that protect fishes against low pH and which are lacking in clear freshwater. The study examines the physiological aspects of pH toxicity in various water types, considers differences in innate or acquired tolerance to low pH among species and analyzes the relevance of ecosystem management strategies in relation to the toxic effects of acidification.

To read the full report, please click here.

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Photo – Ron Kiley With A Beauty

September 13, 2011

Ron Kiley caught this beauty on a backwater of the Rio Matupiri on a Fall Yacht trip.

Ron Kiley - Peacock Bass

Ron Kiley - Peacock Bass

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Paul Heading Back Down To The Amazon!

September 2, 2011

Paul Reiss, our owner and expert host, will be back down in the Amazon a week from today leading fishing trips for big peacock bass (and other fish like the Bicuda in this shot!). Paul would love to have you join him – check out http://www.acuteangling.com/ for available trips.

Paul Reiss With A Big Bicuda

Paul Reiss With A Big Bicuda

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The Blackwater Explorer – Amazon Peacock Bass Fishing

September 1, 2011

In this episode, World Champion peacock bass angler Steve Townson joins Jenny Reiss of Acute Angling on a Blackwater Explorer yacht trip.

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Take A Trip With Us!

August 31, 2011

Most of our September trips are booked, but we’ve got plenty of availability for October and would love for you to catch some big peacock bass with us! Use our Trip Finder to see what trips are available.

Angler with a Big Peacock

Angler with a Big Peacock

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Photo – With A Little Help From My Friends!

August 30, 2011

Erica Butters needs help lifting this 20 pound Rio Xeriuini peacock, caught on our winter Lodge trip to Macaroca Lodge. (You too can catch a big peacock like this – Paul, our owner and expert host, will be back in the Amazon in a few days and is eager for you to join him! Check out available trips at http://www.acuteangling.com/)

Erica Butters with a Peacock Bass

Erica Butters with a Peacock Bass

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Photo – Steve Brody With A Big Peacock

August 23, 2011

Steve Brody shows off a trophy peacock caught in the black water lagoons of the Rio Unini on our Fly-in Safari Camp trip.

Steve Brody with Peacock Bass

Steve Brody with Peacock Bass

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Photo – Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock

August 18, 2011

Barbara Bunge holds a beautiful Rio Urubaxi peacock. This western tributary of the Rio Negro holds giant peacock bass.

Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock Bass

Barbara Bunge With A Big Peacock Bass

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