Hello Timmcollins. Yes cichlids are invasive but so are Peacocks. There is just way too many of them to even make a slight dent but if we do, we will than start taking away the Peacocks food source. Snakeheads on the other end don't have any predators so they should be taken out of the water when caught. Cichlids at least have predators that the Snook, Tarpon, Bass, Peacocks and other gamefish use as a food source.
I disagree. I've witnessed first-hand the damage those mayans can do to a system. They eat the largemouth and peacock spawn and compete with them for food. My backyard lake has completely been overtaken by these cichlids, and I've seen firsthand how the bass population has been affected. It's not pretty. I can't tell you the last time I caught a decent sized largemouth out of my lake. They simply don't survive because they can't compete with the mayans for food, and the mayans literally raid their beds and eat the eggs, as well as the hatched spawn. Please join me in an effort to eradicate these pests. There is more than enough natural prey for largemouths and peacocks, and the rate at which the mayan cichlid population is growing is simply unsustainable.
Please, if you catch a mayan cichlid (or any pesky exotic, really), use it as tarpon bait or dispose of it! We will all benefit from this in 5-10 years.
I remember catching them in the early 80's in the C-9 canal (Snake Creek.) We tried to use them for bass/ tarpon/ snook bait, but they would have none of it. So it seemed to me they didn't have any natural predators swimming around and you know what that means. From there on if I caught one, I'd stick it with a knife and send it back in. Don't think it made a difference though.
Hm I've had a decent amount of success using exotics as bait. Size is key. They make really great bait in my experience because they are so hardy. They live a lot longer and are more eager to move around than shiners, anyways.