Free Mosquitofish Available to Control Mosquito Population

The tiny mosquitofish is effective in combating mosquito proliferation

A male Gambusia affinis (mosquitofish) pictured above. Mosquitofish are small and grey, with a large abdomen and upturned mouths. Females are easy to distinguish from males by their larger size.

Yuba County, CA (MPG) – Mosquitofish are available to residents of the district from April 1st through October 1st each year, free of charge, for stocking mosquito sources. The fish can be picked up at 701 Bogue Road in Yuba City between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. A small ice chest with a tight fitting lid or a similar container is necessary for transportation, or call at (530) 674-5456. We may be able to arrange for a technician to deliver fish to your mosquito source when in your area.

Our district makes use of mosquitofish in thousands of mosquito sources annually. Technicians evaluate a mosquito source based on how long they believe the particular water source will last and if the water source looks as if it will support fish life. Some typical sites where mosquitofish are used include: stock troughs, ditches, ornamental ponds, rice fields, sewage oxidation ponds, barrow pits, sumps, agricultural or irrigation seepage, and other areas where water will produce mosquito larvae for a long period of time.

Mosquitofish will eat whatever food is available to them. They consume both plant and animal life. They are also surface feeders and are attracted to motion, much like a cat is. Studies have shown that a single mosquitofish can eat up to 50 mosquito larvae in a 30 minute period and a maximum of 168 in an eight hour period.

Mosquitofish are live bearers. They can give birth to just a few fry on up to a couple of hundred baby fish. This process can reoccur three to five times during a season, typically in the warmer months. Some female mosquitofish born early in a reproductive season may themselves produce one or two broods of fish that same season. So a mosquitofish population in a particular environment can radically increase its population in a short period of time.

Mosquitofish are currently the best choice for mosquito larvae control in our area. There are other species of larvae-eating fish; however, mosquitofish not only tolerate poor environments, but they can proliferate. Mosquitofish will survive in highly organic water. They do well in sewer ponds and other waters high in particulates and contaminants. They are able to survive in waters with low levels of dissolved oxygen where other fish species will suffocate. They have an extremely wide range of tolerance to temperature variation. Mosquitofish stocks in Utah have been documented to have survived water temperatures as low as 32.9°F. In Arizona the fish have been observed living in hot springs with temperatures in excess of 107°F. Also, mosquitofish are used in brackish waters.

Source: Sutter-Yuba Mosquito Vector Control District

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