A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish

Posted by: snrub

A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/15/16 08:57 PM

Been debating if I "need" another pond. One more thing to chase geese away from, more to mow, yada, yada, yada. I needed some dirt to raise the level on my old pond so I used a ravine to get some good clay. Well that pretty well destroyed it for any other use............... so why not build a pond?

Pictures below of the start of construction. This was actually done several days ago (internet has been out here). I'm a lot further along than these pictures but will get some more tomorrow.

The plan is to create a RES only pond. Will be stocking only FHM and RES. If they over populate two or three years down the road, will consider a predator at that point. Maybe some HSB. Or if I could find a commercial source for fingerlings some spotted bass. But that will be later only if needed.

Thought I would shoot for about a half acre to maybe up to an acre. After laying it out with the laser level and flagging the water line where I could make maximum use of the ravine, I think it will be closer to 1.5 acres. Which means a lot more dirt to move than I originally anticipated. Since all my help is out actually making a living harvesting soybeans, it will all be up to me to get it completed.

Pictures below of the beginning showing building the core of the dam.

Thread with RES information and links to many other RES threads
Posted by: highflyer

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/15/16 10:45 PM

John,
How deep are you planning for? Length? Width?

I would consider seining out extra RES in a year or two to control the population. Adding predators is hard to undo. I would want to control with a net if at all possible.

Love the clay.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/15/16 11:53 PM

Seining would be difficult. 9' depth in several places and numerous underwater humps coming up to within 3 feet of the surface. My main pond I put a LOT of man made structure. Knowing I would not have the time to do that for this pond this late in the season I instead made it look like a motocross track on the bottom. Has a tremendous amount of interior shore line that way.

Don't know the dimensions. Just estimating the size based on the 1 acre old pond that sits adjacent to it. This one is significantly bigger.

One thing about HSB is whatever a person puts in that is what they end up with. No reproduction at least.

So far my little 1/20th acre forage pond with RES only has not stunted but it is only a couple years old. Also it is small enough I can and do pull out a lot of fingerlings via minnow traps. Caught a couple 10" ones by hook and line. Not bad for a tiny two year old pond.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/16 07:35 AM

John, looks like some fun when building your own pond smile So, if you go with an Res and HSB pond, are you going to feed the hsb or add something like GSH for the hsb and res to feed on? Good looking clay.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/16 09:08 AM

Current idea is there will only be predators as needed. Preferably none. So if I do eventually need a predator to control recruitment of the RES it will be viewed mostly as a trash fish to reach a resolution, not managed for the benefit of the predator.

Sometimes my plans change though. laugh

I have been enjoying the build. About 2 days from finishing. Installed overflow pipe yesterday. Will get some more pictures today.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/16 10:25 AM

Your RES should do a pretty good job on keeping YOY in check so long as there is not a lot of cover for YOY to hide in. Even 3" RES like eating newly hatched YOY fry. One of these days I will post about about my aquarium and how quickly three small RES consumed most of my one week old bristlenose pleco fry when the RES were introduced.



Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/17/16 08:09 AM

From what I have read here on PBF over the last few years it seems RES are not excessively prone to overpopulation like BG or GSF. That said I likely will still have to remain vigilant of the potential.

Thanks for that comment. I was just considering what to put in for cover. I'm going to run out of time to do anything in short order but I may try to put a couple of cribs in made out of old hedge posts. Kind of like the cribs made out of 2x3's Ewest linked to the other day but I have a whole pile of hedge (osage orange) posts that were taken out of fence lines from this place that will last multiple times longer and have a much better surface than what cut boards would have. But maybe it is best my time is limited so not too much artificial structure will be introduced.

This pond has been a piece of cake compared to my big pond. The clay foundation was within a foot of the surface where the dam went so no 6' deep trench to dig like I had to do on the big pond for the core. Wide open area so no moving dirt around more than needed. Excellent material to work with for the dam at the proper moisture level for easy, good compaction. Not putting a "bench" in like in my big pond so about a third less material needed relatively for the dam. Only tall part of the dam is the east side and the wrap around on north and south very slight due to the existing ravine. All in all an easy build this time.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/17/16 08:16 AM

More pictures with descriptions.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/17/16 09:55 AM

Looking good snrub, I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses. One other predator option to think about might be smallmouth bass.

http://www.sdstate.edu/sites/default/fil...ul-Aug-2004.pdf
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 10:03 AM

What a great article. Thanks! That is something I had not considered but sounds like I should.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 10:41 AM

Here are some pictures of the bowl area of the pond. I said earlier that it would be shaped like a motocross track and after it settles down with some weather it would actually work for one. Except for the fact it will be filled with water. grin

Descriptions with pictures.

Did I compact the basin? No. Unless we run into sandstone outcrops, coal seams, shale seams, or gravel beds from an ancient stream bed we simply do not have problems with ponds not holding water. Compaction will make them hold tighter, but compacting the bottom would not let me have the underwater structure diversity you see in these pictures. The clay pan soils we have in this area are a blessing for making ponds and a curse for our farming operation. Very little water soaks down, it has to evaporate away (something like a few one hundredths of an inch per hour water percolation in our subsoil). So a wet spring for us is a real problem. And it happens regularly.

Plus by not having to compact allows me to "cheat" on the depth. An explanation is in order. The scraper is the best tool to move the clay from the bowl to the dam. It serves dual purpose by not only moving the dirt but also compacting the dam in the process (with additional compaction only passes). The problem with a scraper is that it takes some distance to "load". Once I get to about a 6' depth in that size pond it gets hard to get a full load on a single pass for two reasons. The clay moisture increases so the tractors tires are on "greasy" footing so not as good for traction. And half the distance is now trying to load up hill, which is much less efficient. By putting these "underwater humps" out in the middle it allows me to use the scraper to move most of the dirt down to about a 6 or 7 foot depth, then as the dozer creates the humps I can create deep pockets with it. Where you see the water in the pictures most of these areas are about 9' deep with one hole at 10'. That is what I meant by cheating. It allows me to get the bulk of the material out with the scraper, then dig some deep holes with a short push of the dozer. The loose clay humps will eventually settle down a foot or so from their current height.

Edit: Warning! This only works with soils/clays that seal themselves well. Most people likely do not want to go without compacting the bowl of their pond because there is a good chance they will end up with a leaking pond. It could even happen to me here if there happens to be a gravel bed just below where I am digging and I do not discover it. So pond builder beware. I am taking a calculated risk that other potential pond owners might not want to take for fear of having a pond that will not hold water. I am not a professional pond building contractor. I'm a retired farmer with too much time on my hands. grin Do as I say, not as I do! laugh If I screw it up, I'm the one that has to fix it!
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 07:07 PM

Dang Snrub! I have come down with a bad case of "pond envy!" smile Well done Sir!

Bill D.

BTW all your posted pics appear sideways to me. Is it just my computer? Any chance you are taking the pics with a smart phone and holding it vertically instead of horizontally?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 11:01 PM

I use a dumb phone and yes I probably hold it wrong. Then I rotate the picture later when on the computer.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 11:14 PM

There has been a lot of talk over the years of getting proper compaction and that a dozer does not really work that well as a compaction device. I have a picture below that shows the difference between compacting with a dozer and a filled 12 yard rubber tire scraper.

I had made a few passes with the dozer on the top of the dam to level things up a bit and finish working for the day. This was a layer of fresh clay leveled and run over with the dozer. The next morning on the first scraper load across the top of the dam to start packing in the clay deposited earlier. I noticed the track left and decided to take a picture so I could show the difference between the compaction of the dozer and the scraper.

That is the first picture. The second picture shows another factor that comes into play during compaction. A round rubber tire will find the voids and pack them down. A dozer by its nature will compact only the peaks and will bridge over the valleys, not compacting them properly. This is shown in the second picture.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/18/16 11:23 PM

Some dam pictures. Close to full height.
Posted by: teehjaeh57

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/19/16 12:11 AM

I wish you traveled with your equipment, we'd have a blast out on my farm!

Looking good amigo, keep posting pics. Love your RES fishery project - Steve's right, SMB might be a good predator to help population management, but your KSB sound interesting too. HSB too would do the trick. I like your plan of wait and see.

Will you be feeding your RES? I've not had luck getting them trained on Optimal, but many others have. All too common theme in my fishery annals...but I digress.

If you need SMB, you're due for a visit, anyhow. wink
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/19/16 12:19 AM

Thanks TJ. I had never really considered SMB because there did not seem to be a fit in my main pond where it already had LMB. That and they are not such an easy thing to source as LMB fingerlings are.

But they may prove to be a good fit for this pond. Time will tell if I need them. Or maybe even if I decide I just want them. grin

Edit: when adding this thread to my list of RES info and links I noticed NEDOCS thread link about his RES trophy pond that is stocked with RES and SMB. I have read it but kind of forgot. I'll have to read that thread again.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/19/16 08:19 AM

One thing I have both read about and noticed from personal observation is how easy it is for tiny fish to swim upstream or get flushed downstream in the shallowest of water during big rain events. I have seen inch long BG swimming around in inch deep water overflowing from my pre-sediment pond to my sediment pond. I've seen hundreds of small fish flow out my emergency overflow in the big pond during a big rain event.

One concern I have with this new pond is that my old pond is adjacent to it only maybe 150 feet south and share the same water shed. The old pond has both GSF and BH, neither of which I want in this pond and either of which would totally screw up my plans. Especially if they got in the pond early before the RES are established. Not quite as big of deal if it happened a few years down the road when the RES had filled the pond to capacity. But it would definitely change my need for having a predator fish in the pond.

With that in mind I ran a diversion finger or type of terrace up the hill a couple feed in elevation. It should divide the water far enough up the hill that only the very largest of rains might provide deep enough water for fish to swim up and get around the finger. I suspect some day they will, but I hope to put that day off as long as possible.

Pictures below of the ponds proximity and the diversion finger extending into the field.

Edit: Now that I write this post and think about the problems BH and GSF would cause for my "plan", I think I will get on the dozer this morning and extend a double channel terrace a lot further out into the field. Better safe than sorry. smirk
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/19/16 08:58 PM

Pics of the overflow tube installation. The clods at the inlet and outlet are only on the outer foot or so. The rest of the tube is well compacted.

I tried something different for anti-seep collars. Dug a foot or so below the pipe, stacked up dirt around it to make a form, put premix concrete dry so it would be at least 6" all around the pipe, covered it and compacted. We have set posts before with dry concrete and it sets up fine. Probably not an approved way of creating an anti-seep, but will see if it fails. Did four collars total. I have read mixed reviews in some publications in the past and some do not even use anti seep collars. The clay was a good moisture content to get good compaction around the tube. Took 4-14' sections of 8" sewer pipe.

Compaction was done with a TLB with the loader bucket loaded then the front tires used as a rubber tire compactor. Run down each side and over the top multiple times in layers. The clay seemed to work down good.

After everything settles in over the winter, next summer I will form up the inlet and outlet and cover the ends with concrete to protect them from the sun and mowers.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/19/16 09:15 PM

Finishing up. While the rubber tire scraper makes a good compaction device, it does not leave the surface level. The dozer tracks make a good final leveling and working device. They mash down the high spots and the grousers slightly work the soil surface.

When going over center on top of the dam, the added pressure of only about the middle half of the tracks making contact compress the edges of the dam and make a nice rounded finish.

I will leave this surface rough just as it appears in the pictures till next spring or summer. I may get a little erosion, depending on the rain we get over winter, but the grouser marks will help minimize it. The clay right now works about like Play Dough. Any attempt to work it with a disc or box blade and it just ends up a chunky nasty mess. So I will let mother nature do my work for me and the weathering process will make the top inch or two work very nicely by next summer.

Then I will box blade and harrow the surface and prepare it for seeding. Hopefully will get some lime on both the dam and in the pond sometime this winter.

I'm done with the pond construction process for now. Building a couple terraces in the adjacent field to direct water to it, but the pond itself is DONE and ready for rain to fill it.
Posted by: teehjaeh57

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/20/16 02:18 AM

Awesome work and great project photos!
Posted by: tubguy

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/20/16 08:47 AM

Snrub, You look like you are making great progress.I love seeing pictures and reading about your pond building projects! I would guess these projects are quite therapeutic.Keep up the good work.
Posted by: Tbar

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/20/16 01:59 PM

Very nice!!!

Nothing like having the right tools for the job........
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/21/16 09:17 AM

Therapeutic for everything except my bad back. It is about done for project wise for a while.

But I did enjoy doing it.

Finished the two field terraces yesterday and harvest completed Friday so all ready for rains to fill it.
Posted by: highflyer

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/21/16 11:52 AM

John,
Is this a runoff only pond? Will it stay full enough during dry summers?

Any guess on total capacity? Would you ever consider pumping water out of that pond for crops or to fill another pond?

All in all, it looks great. Can't wait to see it full.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/21/16 03:51 PM

It is a watershed pond Brian. It should stay full as well as any of my other ponds.

I actually built two terraces to direct water into the pond, but it was not really needed. It would have filled adequately without them, but it does provide some additional watershed as well as protect that corner of the field that I was having some minor issues with erosion anyway. So a win win. Probably about 12-15 acre watershed that will run into it.

I think it will be about an acre and a quarter. Maybe an acre and a half at most. 9 ft. max depth but lots of underwater humps but little additional shallow water. I would guess average depth of 5' with all the humps taken out. Probably six had I not put the humps in.

Not enough capacity to do much as far as irrigation. For irrigation the ponds are made very deep and shaped like a bath tub. No intentions other than enjoying it.

Thanks.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/22/16 12:29 AM

View of one of the two terraces leading into the pond.
Posted by: Snakebite

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/22/16 12:59 PM

Thoughts on adding crawfish, grass shrimp and scuds to widen your food base for your RES.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/22/16 01:57 PM

Good ideas.

But no, I had not thought that far ahead yet.

It is late enough this year and looks like colder temperatures will finally be arriving so I figured it would be next spring before I introduced anything. Just some puddles in the bottom so far from an earlier rain.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/22/16 03:58 PM

You could stock a few snails in the puddle now. grin
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/22/16 04:00 PM

I think in Snrub's location, near a natural stream watershed, that crawfish, snails, etc, will stock themselves over time.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/23/16 12:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Shorty
You could stock a few snails in the puddle now. grin


Shorty I seriously considered getting a strand of water primrose out of my sediment pond and put it in. It would likely have snails or eggs on it.

Since I had the fish kill in it from the chicken litter runoff, the primrose has turned a dark green/reddish healthy look to it like I have never seen it in other ponds. It really likes those nutrients. And snails galore. The RES I restocked should be well fed for a while. I think if I took some primrose from this pond and put it in the new one, the biological process would definitely start.

I actually did put snails and algae from my main pond into my forage pond which has RES only when it was new.

A person has to be a die hard RES fan to stock snails. grin
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/14/17 09:50 PM

Some pictures of the pond as it is filling. Figured it would be full by now, but we have had a very dry winter. That is not all bad. I may have time to get a fish structure or two built and installed before it fills completely.

This level of fill really shows how I put a LOT of earthen structure features in the pond. Also shows some of the rock/gravel beds I added around the edge.

As soon as it warms after this cold spell and I get an algae bloom going, will trap some FHM out of my sediment pond and add to this pond to get the food chain going.

The guys got it limed while I was gone. Will try to get some temporary cover started on the ground as soon as possible. Then probably try to plant permanent grass this fall.

Guessing it has about 4' more to go to full pool. You can see the overflow pipe in some of the pictures.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 04/26/17 05:33 PM

With these pictures pond is about 18" below full pool.

Caught 5 RES 3" to 6" size out of my forage pond and put them in this pond. Then trapped 5 more 2-3" and also added them. The pond does not have much of an algae bloom yet so hope the fish do not starve. My intention is to get a couple hundred RES from the fish truck along with a few pounds of FHM but it will not be around for another month. I'll put a few I catch of my own in the mean time. Hopefully get a couple different age/size classes going at once that way.

Put about 5# of 13-13-13 fertilizer to aid in getting a bloom. Last fall I had put several scoops of cow manure compost in the empty pond basin for the same purpose. Pond was previously limed.

A few update pictures with descriptions.

Edit: raining now, likely next pictures posted will be at full pool.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 04/29/17 10:38 PM

Pictures of pond at full pool from a couple days ago. Raining cats and dogs right now and overflow and emergency overflow flowing water. Small creek flooding so hope I do not get GSF or BG either from the creek (swimming up the overflow pipe) or adjacent old refurbished pond (by water backing up into field and fish swimming around from pond to pond).

Also added clumps of FA and water primrose that were infested with snails to get a snail population started in this pond for the RES. I put crushed limestone around the pond for spawning substrate and also as good substrate for algae and snail growth.

You gotta be a dedicated RES lover to inoculate a pond with snails......on purpose.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 05/31/17 04:13 PM

Yesterday was Dunn's route day and I had fish ordered for this pond. Cool drizzly day so good for the half hour ride home for the fish.

Stocked 200 2" RES and 2# of FHM Tuesday.

Also Monday I had caught 2 more larger RES from my forage pond and transferred them to this pond. That brings the number of advanced size RES to 12 in this pond.

So the pond is stocked with all all I intend for the time being. In a couple years if the RES get to numerous and chance stunting I will put either a few HSB or SMB or maybe some of both to control recruitment.

The pond is still muddy and so it does not have the algae bloom I would have liked to see. Hope there is enough food for the RES in there. I will throw out a small amount of Optimal JR and/or AM400 each day for the FHM and just in case any of the RES take to it.
Posted by: BrianL

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 06/01/17 12:33 PM

I'm trying to figure out how to handle my terrace needs. When my pond was built they put in a terrace that catches about 25 acres of watershed for my 2 acre pond. The terrace is about 600 yards long and the pond filled very quickly! I cut a ditch in the terrace about 100 yards from the pond due to heavy rain events, and pond has been able to stay full with watershed reduced to about 5 acres. In my area evaporation and rainfall are about equal, but averaging a little more rain than evap. 44" evaporation to 47"rainfall.

How are you going to deal with you terrace now that it is full?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 06/01/17 02:56 PM

I have not done anything. I have only about 15 acres maybe (have never took the time to measure it) for 3+ acres of ponds.

I was not planning on doing anything but thinking of your situation and how to solve it, if got me to thinking of mine.

What you could do (and I could also) is put a culvert through your terrace at some strategic point (I could dump mine into another terrace that I built recently that goes south to the creek). Then in normal times just cap the culvert or have a welding shop make a metal slide valve and leave it shut. If the pond was at full pool and large rains were being predicted, a person could open the slide gate and let the water bypass the pond. If it were in an accessible location, a person could even regulate the flow during or in the middle of a rain event. Pond full, go open the gate.

Normally I want all the water I can get as I want some flow through during the spring after a dry summer or fall to get rid of some excess nutrients. But once in a while like now there has already been plenty of flow through, the ponds are full, and do not need any additional water. So the gated culvert through the terrace would divert flow.

A person could even put the culvert 6" or a foot off the bottom of the terrace so some of the water would still flow to the pond but excessively hard rains that had the terrace running fuller could bypass some of the water.

Just an idea. Doubt if I do it, but I think something like that would work for ponds with excessive watershed.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 06/01/17 03:15 PM

This also made me think of a neighbor farmer that has a couple fields that are parallel terraced.

Parallel terraces can be used in fields that the slope is such that the terraces "almost" run in a parallel. The advantage of farming parallel is that all farming practices can be farmed with the terraces (like contour farming) without the hassle of point rows like contour farming. By not farming across terraces they last a lot longer....... but I digress.

The reason they are important to this discussion is that rarely do parallel terraces end up draining perfectly to the end of the field. To rectify this, pipes are buried in strategic locations to carry the low point of one terrace to the next down slope terrace. These are essentially underground culverts that have risers (and trash shields similar to trash risers built for pond overflow pipes) that the water drains out of the bottom of the terrace and discharge to where ever the water is desired to go.

A person could do this with a terrace going into a pond. It might not drain all the water in a big rain event, but a riser in the bottom of a terrace that could be capped (or slide gate) then under ground drainage to take the water down hill to an exit point. You can do a search for parallel field terraces for some pictures of the risers and construction.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 08/01/17 02:31 AM

Originally Posted By: snrub
Yesterday was Dunn's route day and I had fish ordered for this pond. Cool drizzly day so good for the half hour ride home for the fish.

Stocked 200 2' RES and 2# of FHM Tuesday.

Also Monday I had caught 2 more larger RES from my forage pond and transferred them to this pond. That brings the number of advanced size RES to 12 in this pond.

So the pond is stocked with all all I intend for the time being. In a couple years if the RES get to numerous and chance stunting I will put either a few HSB or SMB or maybe some of both to control recruitment.

The pond is still muddy and so it does not have the algae bloom I would have liked to see. Hope there is enough food for the RES in there. I will throw out a small amount of Optimal JR and/or AM400 each day for the FHM and just in case any of the RES take to it.


Update: Have been feeding a small amount of feed for the last couple months mostly for the FHM but hopefully at least a few of the RES get the idea and eat. Thousands and thousands of FHM fry from half inch long to about an inch long attack the pellets all around the shoreline. So the FHM are doing fine.

May take a very small jig and try to catch a few of the RES fingerlings that were stocked and see how big they are getting.
Posted by: farmallsc

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 08/01/17 09:11 AM

Glad to see you update. I'm holding off till September to fish my pond. The Catfish keep my pond stirred up so all we can see is them. They are fat and happy though. That's not to say the whole pond is muddy, just where we stand to feed.

I do know I've have Sunfish offspring cause Wife has seen small ones on occasion. My pond is dropping and by the end of August, it will be about where it was when we stocked it. That is unless we see some rain.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 08/02/17 09:35 AM

Just an update on my RES/SMB at the year 3 mark.... my RES have reached 1.5 lb and SMB (which haven't been in 2 yrs yet) are at 120-130 relative weight. I love it. I don't anticipate any over recruitment that I need to deal with in the coming years. Shorty has fished it, and I've sought his advice on occasion, and as far as I can tell he doesn't foresee any issues either.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 08/02/17 10:02 AM

That's some serious growth. Congrats
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 08/02/17 11:31 AM

I'm a big believer in what Optimal has done for my pond. I also stocked the heck out of FHM a year before stocking RES and I still have clouds of them. Year one I stocked FHM, year two I stocked RES and year three I stocked SMB. So far I can't complain at all, but all ponds seem to do great their first 5-8 years. So we will see how long it can continue.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 11/02/17 10:10 PM

[quote NEDOC]Just an update on my RES/SMB at the year 3 mark.... my RES have reached 1.5 lb and SMB (which haven't been in 2 yrs yet) are at 120-130 relative weight. I love it. I don't anticipate any over recruitment that I need to deal with in the coming years. Shorty has fished it, and I've sought his advice on occasion, and as far as I can tell he doesn't foresee any issues either. [/quote]

That sounds like a great mix. When Bob Lusk was here he suggested I get some SMB and put in this RES pond. He suggested getting them ordered a year ahead as sometimes they are hard to come by.

Wow! Pound and a half RES. That is really something.

I finally got around to seeding my dam on this pond. Been kind of dragging my feet. Lazy I guess. smile

I've fished this pond several times with nary a bite. Nothing. I hope I have some RES in there. I have found 4 abandoned nests, so I either have some fish in there or maybe alien circles instead. crazy The picture of the RES is from my main pond, but I would think my spring stocked fingerlings should be that size by now. Sure wish I could catch a few just to see how they are doing.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - stocking - 11/10/17 09:21 PM

I originally was not going to put rock lining around the bank in this pond. But it was already starting to get a little bench around the water edge from wave erosion so I thought, what the heck, just as well.

should help limit turbidity and bank erosion

Descriptions on pictures.
Posted by: snrub

Recruitment success! - 11/13/17 07:55 PM

I had seen 4 nests around the circumference of this pond, likely from the first ten adult RES I stocked this spring. The 200 small fingerlings additionally stocked likely would not have been big enough to have spawned yet and the other two adults I put in likely after spawn was over.

But till today I had no knowledge of recruitment.

I was catching 3" fingerlings out of my forage pond with a cast net to bring down to this pond for additional stocking. Caught 71 fingerlings in about ten throws of the net. The first pictures are of these RES that I put in this RES pond from my forage pond.

Then it dawned on me (I'm a little slow at times) after releasing them into the pond. If I can catch RES fingerlings in my forage pond with the cast net, maybe I can see if I can catch anything in this RES pond. So I gave it a try. Well at least one pair must have had success because out of four throws of the net in the shallow west end of the pond I got three 2" RES. I know they were not any of the ones I had just released because they were in a different part of the pond and the ones I got were smaller than any I had transferred from the forage pond.

So eureka! It was a good RES day. Not only do I have good fingerling production from my forage pond, but I also got at least some reproduction from the small number of adult RES I had put in this RES only pond. This should give me four distinct age/size classes of RES in this pond. Success.

Now I'm thinking I should get some SMB ordered for next year to put in here.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 12:11 PM

I'm Pumped!

Called Hartley's Fish Farm in Kingman, Kansas to see if they would have any SMB available next year. Thought I would inquire and see what it would take to get some next spring. It so happens they have some now and they will be having a delivery truck coming my direction after Thanksgiving.

So my RES only pond is going to become a RES/SMB pond sometime after Thanksgiving. grin

Exciting times.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 12:27 PM

cool
Posted by: KapHn8d

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 02:46 PM

That is awesome!! I'm looking forward to the updates!

/c


Originally Posted By: snrub
So my RES only pond is going to become a RES/SMB pond sometime after Thanksgiving. grin
Posted by: Bocomo

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 03:57 PM

This sounds awesome!

I'd love to hear from an expert on whether RES alone will suffice for SMB or if you also need GSH or something.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 04:24 PM

In my case the SMB will be mostly there to control the RES population. If the SMB do well that is just a bonus.

Just got done with the throw net and caught another 83 3" fingerling RES that went in this pond. If I am getting predators I am not so worried about getting too many in there. My forage pond did well producing RES fingerlings this year.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 05:08 PM

snrub, coming late to this but when I look at your pictures of the RES taken out of the forage pond and the RES you captured in your main pond they look the same to me. How can you tell that the ones you netted out of your main pond where not the forage ones that you put into the main pond? Just because they were in a different location then where you bucket stocked them?

It really doesn't matter so much right? You can keep adding from your forage pond whether you are getting recruitment or not in the main pond?
Posted by: Matzilla

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 05:17 PM

Very awesome! How many and what size for the SMB initial stocking?
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/14/17 06:10 PM

Too cool! I predict you will be posting pics of some really nice SMB in a couple 3 years! smile
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 07:05 PM

Bob Lusk recomended about 50 so that is what I am going with. It is around an acre in size. I will also get ten extra and put in my 1/10th acre sediment pond just for kicks. Maybe transfer them over to my main pond if they get some size. They have 6-9" size right now so they should have a pretty good start on something catchable.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 07:27 PM

Iím 2 years into a SMB/RES pong and so far itís been great. Keep us updated.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 09:23 PM

NEDOC, do you know the answer to BOCOMO's question above?

"I'd love to hear from an expert on whether RES alone will suffice for SMB or if you also need GSH or something."
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 09:50 PM

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
snrub, coming late to this but when I look at your pictures of the RES taken out of the forage pond and the RES you captured in your main pond they look the same to me. How can you tell that the ones you netted out of your main pond where not the forage ones that you put into the main pond? Just because they were in a different location then where you bucket stocked them?

It really doesn't matter so much right? You can keep adding from your forage pond whether you are getting recruitment or not in the main pond?


I had captured the ones in my forage pond, transported them to the RES dedicated pond, released them, then immediately went to the other side of the RES pond to see if I could catch anything with the cast net. I did catch some indicating I had recruitment in the RES pond. I knew they were not the ones I had just put in because they were smaller than any of the fingerlings I introduced. Had they been the same size I might have just figured they swam fast to the other side of the pond. But they were significantly smaller than the ones I just dumped in.

The recruitment in the RES pond would have been from adult size RES that originally came from my forage pond. So the source of all the genetics came from the RES in my forage pond. The difference being the fingerlings I introduced came directly from the forage pond and the other ones came from recruitment in the RES pond that came from parents that came from the forage pond.

The only other possibility is I also stocked 200 fingerlings this spring from Dunn's fish farm. But they were only 2" long in the spring and I doubt they spawned, although it is possible. It is more likely the fingerlings from the RES pond came from the adult RES that were stocked also this spring.....that came from the forage pond. And even the RES in the forage pond originally came from Dunn's a couple years ago.

The only other RES genetics I have are in my main pond (not the forage pond or the RES pond) and they came from Wallace Fish Farm in Kansas. And I had caught and put a couple of those original RES in my forage pond along with the original RES stocked from Dunn's. So there is potentially some additional genetics introduced.

When my main 3 acre pond was originally stocked by Wallace, there were a few RES mixed in with the BG. He showed me a few as they were being stocked. But the numbers were very small. I would guess under 5% but that is just a guess. So when I built the forage pond I stocked only FHM and RES, thinking I would raise RES fingerlings and add to what was very small numbers of RES in my main pond. And I have done that for a couple years now. Except the forage pond has never produced the number of RES I expected. The culprit? GSF contamination. I got lots and lots of RESxGSF hybrids out of the forage pond and a smaller number of pure RES. Till this year.

I have been throwing the cast net and discovered that is the way to harvest the RES fingerlings out of the forage pond. Trapping them I only had marginal luck. But in the last three sessions of cast netting I have harvested well over 200 mostly 3" RES fingerlings, a few smaller and a few larger. To date I have put a little over 150 of these fingerlings into the RES pond, about 40 in my sediment pond and 75 or so into my main 3 acre pond (53 just tonight).

Next year I should have RES out the wazoo, with the one acre RES pond dedicated to only RES with FHM and SMB in the pond additionally to support the growth and control of the RES.

Why do I like RES so much? Don't have a clue. They just fascinate me. Now I am finally getting some success in raising them.

Clear as mud?

I have 5 ponds that I designate with names. Main pond (3 acres), forage pond (1/20th acre), sediment pond (1/10th acre), old pond (1 acre), and RES pond (also 1 acre). Not confusing to me, but may be to others if they are not familiar with my naming convention.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/14/17 10:10 PM

My ponds for clarification of naming convention.

Main 3 acre pond with some additional information about my old refurbished 1 acre pond

Forage pond This is the third pond I built, after my main pond and old refurbished pond above. It is about 1/20 th acre

Sediment pond This sediment is the fourth pond I built to manage sediment and nutrients entering the main pond from an agricultural field. It is about 1/10th of an acre.

RES pond This fifth pond I built specifically for raising RES. I did it after my forage pond (that also was for raising RES) was contaminated with GSF and was too small to really raise many RES. It was more for raising fingerling RES for my other ponds. Plus there was a wash in a corner of a field that would make a good pond spot. Plus I stole some dirt from the area to complete raising the dam and water level in my old refurbished pond. Plus by stealing the dirt and clay there it screwed up that portion of the field even worse for raising crops. Plus I got bored and had a dozer and scraper being unused and I had time on my hands. So it made perfect sense that I "needed" another pond. Presto...... the RES pond was born. It is my latest "baby".
Posted by: snrub

Stocking summary - 11/14/17 10:34 PM

The information about what I have stocked in this pond is kind of scattered, so here is a summary of all the fish that went in.

4-26-17.....5.. 3-6"... from my forage pond
..............5.. 2-3"... from my forage pond

5-??-17.......2.. 5-7"... from my forage pond

5-31-17...200.. 2"... Dunns Fish Farm, Oklahoma
.......................... Plus 2# of FHM

11-13-17...71.. 3"+... from my forage pond

11-14-17...83.. 3"+... from my forage pond - three were 4-5"
11-20-17...50.. 3".... from my forage pond

Total to date 416 RES stocked along with 2# FHM

plus at least some recruitment from those original 12 larger fish stocked early.
Good crop of gambusia in and around the water primrose that I have no idea where they came from Edit: maybe from those strands of water primrose I transplanted from my sediment pond. Have gams there....hmmmm

Edit: 12-6-2017 SMB added. 50 6-9" and 40 4-6"
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Stocking summary - 11/15/17 07:52 AM

I like all of your ponds. The smallies are a win win I think.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
NEDOC, do you know the answer to BOCOMO's question above?

"I'd love to hear from an expert on whether RES alone will suffice for SMB or if you also need GSH or something."


I'm afraid I can't answer that yet. I had stocked FHM in my pond a year before my RES, and two years prior to my SMB, so the FHM were very abundant and had just started to decrease in numbers this fall. But my gut tells me that the pond is going to balance itself out fairly well, or about as well as you can hope for a pond and the amount of culling I'll have to do will be minimal.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 12:14 PM

SNRUB, So you will be putting 50 SMB in a 1.5 acre pond? And NEDOC how many SMB in what size is your pond?
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 12:30 PM

50 in a one acre pond.

Bob Lusk happened by this way a while back on the way to a paying job smile and when I showed him the RES pond he suggested adding SMB to control the RES recruitment to keep them from getting too numerous and stunting.

So I do not know if the 50 in one acre was particularly a recommendation for the benefit of the SMB. In other words he might have recommended a different number if SMB was the goal.

My goal is RES so the SMB are a means to an end, not the specific goal. So I do not know that 50 in one acre is a proper amount if SMB is the goal. I definitely will not be putting GS in this pond (I do have them in my forage pond and main pond) because the GS quickly get too big to benefit the RES and would just take up biomass space in the pond.

I think it was also assumed it was unlikely the SMB would reproduce as no special provisions have been made for them to do so. I likely would have to restock the SMB at some future point.

My goal of RES with SMB as a control measure is quite likely different than if SMB was the main goal. Of course I will not turn down some good SMB fishing if it happens. wink Who knows? It might even cause me to change my goal for this pond at some point down the road. But a RES pond is still my main goal at this time.
Posted by: Bocomo

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 12:55 PM

Originally Posted By: snrub
50 in a one acre pond.

Bob Lusk happened by this way a while back on the way to a paying job smile and when I showed him the RES pond he suggested adding SMB to control the RES recruitment to keep them from getting too numerous and stunting.

So I do not know if the 50 in one acre was particularly a recommendation for the benefit of the SMB. In other words he might have recommended a different number if SMB was the goal.

My goal is RES so the SMB are a means to an end, not the specific goal. So I do not know that 50 in one acre is a proper amount if SMB is the goal. I definitely will not be putting GS in this pond (I do have them in my forage pond and main pond) because the GS quickly get too big to benefit the RES and would just take up biomass space in the pond.

I think it was also assumed it was unlikely the SMB would reproduce as no special provisions have been made for them to do so. I likely would have to restock the SMB at some future point.

My goal of RES with SMB as a control measure is quite likely different than if SMB was the main goal. Of course I will not turn down some good SMB fishing if it happens. wink Who knows? It might even cause me to change my goal for this pond at some point down the road. But a RES pond is still my main goal at this time.


It just makes me wonder if anyone has compared RES-SMB to RES-LMB population dynamics head-to-head in a controlled setting. Anything in the scientific literature?
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 12:56 PM

Great, thanks for the update. I have barely a 1/4 acre pond and have plenty of GSH and YP, and have mainly RES as my 'panfish' I stocked 25 and had very limited spawn in 2016 and only saw 3-4 spawning beds in 2017. I think the other fish are keeping YOY numbers low. But the GSH numbers are going great guns.

I was thinking 1/4th of 50 would be about 10-15. I can get pellet trained SMB and they would help keep the young YP and GSH plus young RES in control and would serve as my apex predator. I too would not expect smb reproduction and would be replaced as needed. My thought was to see how the YP numbers look after I remove ribbons this spring (you never can get them all) and then possibly stock SMB in spring or fall next year. I would have to split my order as I have to pick up 100 at a time.

Since you probably could catch the SMB too, you could always move them to another pond and control numbers that way.

You are a lucky man to have so many options and so many ponds!! smile smile
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 01:29 PM

I have a .65 acre pond and put in about 30 SMB. It certainly doesn't seem like too many at this point. Discussing it with Shorty this spring and he thought it wouldn't hurt my pond to have several more SMB. I haven't seen sign of SMB recruitment yet. Not sure if I will or not.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 07:21 PM

Yes I am lucky or at least fortunate. I have been blessed in so many ways.

This discussion has got me to thinking (which can be a dangerous thing). Getting SMB here is a rather expensive proposition. The fish are not cheap to begin with, but what makes it even more expensive is the transport cost from Kingman, Kansas. I am sharing that cost with another customer, but it still amounts to as much or more than the fish themselves cost.

If I order more fish, the total cost goes up but the cost per fish actually goes down. So I was thinking of maybe getting 100 SMB and putting all of them in the RES pond, then when they reach size of about 14" start catching them and moving them to my main pond by the time they reach 16" or so and remove 50 so there would then be 50 left.

My question is, would the RES (along with a pond full of FHM initially) be enough forage to get 100 fish initially big enough to move half of them? Putting 6-9" (what I am getting) SMB in my main pond would only result in very expensive LMB snacks for the 4-5# LMB I have. So I would need to grow them to a size the LMB would not eat them before transferring.

I am short on LMB recruitment in my main pond anyway, so some additional predators would be welcome to help control the BG.

Good idea? Bad idea? Not enough forage?

Open for ideas.

Caught another 105 RES fingerlings with the cast net out of my forage pond today. Moved half of them to the RES pond and the other half went in my main pond. Caught a couple bigger ones, one being almost 6" but most were right around 3" give or take a little.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 07:53 PM

Did you say your RES only pond is one acre? If so I believe thatís plenty big to grow out your SMB. The only negative would be they will make quick work of your FHM. And they will certainly limit your RES recruitment. Which I believe you are hoping for. My GUESS is that the positives would outweigh the negatives for your goals.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 08:45 PM

I would get the 100.

Food for thought....I see you have GSH in your forage pond. If it turns out you don't have enough forage for the SMB in the RES only pond you could always transfer in some GSH. IMO GSH are great appropriate size forage for SMB. One problem though might be the SMB target the GSH and neglect your RES....

You also seem to have a good supply of small RES in the forage pond that you could feed the RES only pond if required.

I think you will love the SMB. Lots of work arounds if you think you have too many.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 09:24 PM

My forage pond has done really well producing RES fingerlings this year. Just in the last week I have taken out over 300 3" nominal fingerlings with the cast net and it still only takes me about 30 minutes to get a batch of 50. I keep thinking it will slow down but so far if I let the pond sit for a day and come back and cast the net, there still seems to be plenty of fingerlings. I get an average of 6 or 8 per cast. Sometimes as few as one or as many as 15. I get the best casts right next to the shore line in a couple feet of water.

I have also been getting just a few 1" long fish. I'm pretty sure they are also RES but I do not put them into my RES pond because I don't want to take the chance on anything I can not positively identify. They are actually too small to stay in the cast net (they could swim right through the mesh) so the fact that I'm accidentally dragging a few up tells me I had a late RES spawn or perhaps a spawn from young, newly mature RES adults and there are likely lots more of them in the pond.

I've decided to catch all I can and remove them to reduce the biomass in the tiny 1/20th acre pond. All the excess I will put in my main pond which only has a very small population of RES. If some of them get eaten, so be it. But some will likely survive beings I have so many BG for my LMB to eat.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/15/17 10:47 PM

can you give details on mesh size, and diameter of your cast net or pictures?

I can't catch a RES out of my pond (with hook and line except on very rare occasion) but it would be a good skill to have to learn how to fold, unfold and throw a cast net. They are illegal in MI except in a very few areas of exception but I feel comfortable casting and catching things out of my own private pond (from a legal standpoint).
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/16/17 06:57 AM

From my limited experience with fish ponds I would say add the larger amount of smb or at least 50 per acre. From all your post I believe you have the numbers of smb forage for good smb growth. After you catch one smb in the 3# range I think you will be the one who is hooked. smile I recently talked to someone here that can get me some smb for a pond but it will be next spring. Talking to my dirt contractor, we may get started next week on another pond. And if I could come up with some of the sized smb u mentioned snrub, I would put them in my daughters pond now, along with some Hsb of course. I stock cnbg there last spring.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/16/17 10:59 AM

The cast net I have is probably not the best in the world. I think I saw it on the shelf and picked it up at one of the big outdoor sporting goods places.

I would guess the mesh at about a half inch but will try to measure it today. I know the finer the mesh the slower the sink rate for a given amount of lead weight.

Mine is about 6' in diameter when spread out so I think it is called a 3'. It is about the smallest you can buy. I screwed mine up early on when I tried using it in my main pond and got into some structure. Cast nets do not do well with hard objects that can snag them. Mine has about a 6" poorly executed patch now.

There really is no "folding" to it. You just pick it up by the ring that pulls the draw strings and the weights and net just drop naturally below your hand. That part is very easy about a cast net. I find it easiest to store it in a 5 gallon bucket as I can just drop it right in weights first, then the net, then the retrieval rope on top of that. A bucket with a top would be good as mice love to chew on plastic stuff.

I find the harder I "try" the worse I throw. It is very easy to throw a good pattern right next to shore. Just a slow gentle rotation at the waist and an easy toss and it spreads out great.

It gets trickier the longer the throw as the retrieval rope can catch the net as it rotates turning your perfectly executed throw into a taco throw. Handling the retrieval rope in such a way that it stays away from the net rotation then becomes the trick.

I watched a good video on YouTube that helped me learn to throw. A video is worth a thousand words (or something like that).

I think I have gotten lucky and just decided to try the cast net at the right time of the year. I have used it in past years with marginal success, but this year it is working outstanding. I think the difference is the water temperature. It is probably in the 50-55 degree range in this small pond and the RES are pretty sluggish. I'm guessing the small RES are basking in the shallow warm water and are just sluggish enough the net gets them easily whereas if the water were warmer and they were more active I might not have as good of luck.

I had kind of completely forgotten about having the cast net or using it. I had been catching and removing GSF with the occasional RES caught in minnow traps and modified minnow traps. I just thought I had lots of GSF and hardly any RES fingerlings. Turns out I have lots of RES fingerlings but they just do not have the propensity to go into a baited trap. The GSF on the other hand are chow hounds and go into the traps readily. But of all the cast I have made and all the RES I have got with the cast net I have got a total of only 2 GSF. One fingerling and one about 6" (that I had undoubtedly missed with my intense fishing for them). So either I have a lot fewer GSF than I thought I had in that pond OR........ they are just a lot faster and better in escaping the net. Which is possible. But I really now think my GSF mostly hug the banks (the small ones at least) and I get them in the traps and I really have lots of RES but they just do not trap easily.

I'm feeling a lot better about my GSF levels in that that forage pond now. I was thinking I was going to have to drain and nuke it next year, but after recent successes I think it will be fine to go ahead as it is. I have removed a dozen 6" GSF and hundreds of fingerling GSF and it is getting hard to catch many in the traps now. So I think I have them thinned down to manageable levels again for another year. Now I am removing as many fingerling RES as I can to give enough resources to the remaining ones so they can get some growth.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/17 11:29 AM

I've watched a lot of videos about this and all seem to have the net all draped over them or around them and a complicated folding system. This one was interesting. It starts at the 7 min mark.

So the 12' cast net means 12' radius or 24' net.




or saw this. This technique seems pretty easy to master:

Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/17 01:13 PM

Those are big nets. They are way beyond my needs or skill level. I will get a picture of my small one later today.

I am sure as the size increases, the skill level to deploy them increases significantly.

I can't remember for sure but I thought a 6' net threw a 12' circle. I knew at one time but memory is suspect. I know there are guys on here that know a lot about them so maybe they will chime in.

I personally for my needs would not want to go more than a 4' (8' circle). I think they would get a lot harder to throw above that.

Edit: I throw my small net with the same technique as the second video but since it is smaller it is much simpler. First I do not have to fold the net over in my hand as he does. I just grasp it below the ring like he does but do not fold any of the net back over in my hand. Second I only have to spread the net out like he does right before he throws. I do not have to gather up the weights five or six times. Otherwise the throw is about the same but my rope is also much shorter.

One thing he is having to cope with is waves. So he is the equivalent of throwing on his knees if he was on dry land. I suspect this is part of the multiple gathering up the weights. Getting the throw started up higher so the waves do not catch it. My net is small enough that if I hold it out from my chest the weights are off the ground. Then I just grab the skirt like he does and place one weight in my right hand like he does. Then I skip all the other gathering up of weights but reach down and grab at arms length the leading edge of the skirt. Then throw pretty much as he did, swinging the weights in an arc and letting the weights do the work. Clear as mud?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/17 03:32 PM

My net is 4' with overall 8 feet diameter and 3/8" net mesh.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/17 08:01 PM

What I think is an interesting observation concerning using the cast net.

Went out after lunch and decided to try for some RES fingerlings. Bright sunny day. In three casts only got 3 fish so gave up. Thought hmmmm. Maybe I am getting the fingerlings thinned out. But I had not really used the net on a bright sunny mid day. It has either been late afternoon before dark or on a cloudy cold day if done mid day.

So I went out at early dark tonight. Had to leave the 4 wheeler running with lights on to see what I was getting but there was just enough light left in the sky I could see where I was throwing. Got 23 RES fingerlings in three casts and a few GS. About the same catch rate as I have been getting all along.

So just an observation for anyone thinking about trying a cast net. Just like fishing with a hook and line. Time of day, temperature and probably many other factors determine where the fish will be. Mid day on a sunny day they were not where I had been catching them. But as the day was ending they were back in the shallow water concentrated where I could catch them.
Posted by: Tbar

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/16/17 10:20 PM

I just acquired a cast net recently. Marking this thread for future reference.
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/18/17 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: TGW1
...I recently talked to someone here that can get me some smb for a pond but it will be next spring. Talking to my dirt contractor, we may get started next week on another pond. And if I could come up with some of the sized smb u mentioned snrub, I would put them in my daughters pond now, along with some Hsb of course. I stock cnbg there last spring.


Tracy, let us know if you do the SMB thing this next spring. I'm rolling a winter yellow perch/SMB brood pond combo around in my head.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/19/17 09:17 AM

Originally Posted By: FireIsHot
Originally Posted By: TGW1
...I recently talked to someone here that can get me some smb for a pond but it will be next spring. Talking to my dirt contractor, we may get started next week on another pond. And if I could come up with some of the sized smb u mentioned snrub, I would put them in my daughters pond now, along with some Hsb of course. I stock cnbg there last spring.


Tracy, let us know if you do the SMB thing this next spring. I'm rolling a winter yellow perch/SMB brood pond combo around in my head.


Will do Allen, One might think TJ might make a drive down here this spring just so he could spread his wings, so to speak. Truth is, if his wife is like mine, she would be most likely happy to get him out of her hair for a week while he brought down some of those smb he catches through the ice. Now tell me about those yp u speak of? I was thinking the same but don't those come out of Florida for us southern guys? And how cool would it be to have some nice Yp, smb down here in Texas? Those Yankee's would have nothing on us then but ice fishing smile
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/19/17 10:44 AM

Tracy, I actually talked to TJ several years ago about getting some of his SMB. If we ever get another drought here, I'll put in a silt/hatchery pond, and have my small pond available for Pinky and the Brain stuff. I've done the seasonal forage fish thing several times now, and I'm really liking it. IF, the pond is void of other fish, the short term results can be exceptional. I'd probably have to add aeration of some type for the SMB, but that's the long term plan anyway.

Yellow perch are as pretty a fish as I've ever seen, and their shape is very LMB friendly, so that's a win/win for me. If I could get them to 6"-8" by spring, then I would consider that a success.
Posted by: ewest

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/19/17 11:49 AM

If you guys are serious about SMB then source them from as far south as you can , same for YP.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/19/17 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: ewest
If you guys are serious about SMB then source them from as far south as you can , same for YP.


Interesting how it seems "it depends" always comes into play. In this case it's where you live. Here in N. Illinois I would do the opposite and try to source SMB and YP grown as far North as possible. I do the same thing if buying trees, plants, etc.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/20/17 07:15 AM

Al, if we ever get another drought here? frown You must be in the right place because I have been in a drought here for the past two yrs. This year and last year has been the driest fall's I have seen in a long time. That is the only reason I can build another pond right now, because of the lack of rain at my place. Oh well, it will rain again someday. Ewest, I would love to have a smb, hsb, pond designed to grow some nice ones. Just how big? I don't know but there are some large ones in Texhoma and that is not that far away. But would not be apples to apples I am sure. If I could get some of those southern yp, that would be a plus. Like Al said, they are a pretty fish. I'm looking at a half acre pond being dug soon, I hope. My neighbor is a dirt contractor who stay's busy and will work me in when the timing is right. Al, I can get air and have planed on doing so but I think I will run only nights during hot summer time after seeing what my water temps have been in the big pond. Do you know of a southern Yp supplier?
Posted by: snrub

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/20/17 10:17 AM

USGS shows some YP distribution in east Texas.

Yellow Perch distribution
Posted by: ewest

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/20/17 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: ewest
If you guys are serious about SMB then source them from as far south as you can , same for YP.


Interesting how it seems "it depends" always comes into play. In this case it's where you live. Here in N. Illinois I would do the opposite and try to source SMB and YP grown as far North as possible. I do the same thing if buying trees, plants, etc.


Bill you would be doing the same thing. Sourcing your fish from as close to you as possible. Those guys are in TX and would likely get best results from fish showing adaptation to their climate. You getting fish from N Ill. for your Ill lake is the same concept. All other things being equal buy fish from a similar adaptation.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/20/17 07:42 PM

Texans will have a very hard time finding a southern fish farm that grows and sells yellow perch and smallmouth.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/20/17 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: ewest


Bill you would be doing the same thing. Sourcing your fish from as close to you as possible. Those guys are in TX and would likely get best results from fish showing adaptation to their climate. You getting fish from N Ill. for your Ill lake is the same concept. All other things being equal buy fish from a similar adaptation.


Ewest,

I understand you rationale and it makes sense. I was just thinking, right or wrong, that when living in a cold climate, you want fish, plants, etc. that have been raised with as much cold tolerance as possible or grown further north. When living in a hot climate like Texas, you want to source as far south as possible to have maximum heat tolerance.

Maybe it depends on species? Maybe I would want RES from north of me but WE from my area or maybe even south of me?
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/23/17 07:34 AM

Bill Cody and Ewest, I think you are both right. There was or is a guy that has posted in the past of smb in his East Texas pond. I have not seen an update on where things stand now with his pond. Maybe someone here knows him and could persuade him to come back a tell his story. Success or failure, it would be good information to have. As far as the Yellow Perch, I have seen nothing on these nice fish in E Texas, so maybe the Florida species might be adaptable to our waters? It can get really hot in Florida.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/23/17 08:00 AM

FWIW...maybe some more info....I seem to remember reading an old post about a member in Arizona, AaronM from Phoenix, with Mean Mouth Bass (MMB) in his pond. I assume that means he has a SMB population.
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/23/17 09:04 AM

Tracy, I think it was Chris that had SMB. I know they're in public lakes and streams as far south as San Antonio, but that Canyon Lake water is very clear, and very cold.

YP would probably be seasonal at best around here. Snrub posted a TX stocking chart, and IIRC it's been 20 years since TPWD stocked them anywhere. That leads me to believe successful recruitment was limited, to nonexistent.

The logistics of sourcing and transport of either fish would probably be the most difficult part of all this. Once they're stocked, they'll either make it or not.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/24/17 08:10 AM

Al, I think you are correct even though I would like to try the smallies out. I may never get there but ! And I like what you have done with your forage pond, like RBT, Tp and Todd's Texas Legacy bass etc. I am still waiting on my next pond. A new ripple has come into play so not sure if it will come any time soon. My dirt contracting neighbor is down sizing and has offered some adjacent land for sale. My new pond money may go there, we will see.
Posted by: FireIsHot

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/24/17 12:10 PM

New dirt's a tough option to pass on.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/24/17 01:44 PM

I can see why people downsize. Acreages take a lot of time to properly maintain.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Recruitment success! - 11/25/17 08:18 AM

John, you took the words right out of my neighbors mouth. He is down sizing and will be selling some of his land in 10 acre sections and his present home. He plans on rebuilding a new home on a smaller portion of the land. On a hill next to his 2 acre pond smile. I will be watching to see how long it takes to sell his or where my land prices are after he sells. Smaller sections sell for higher prices. I wished he was selling 20 acre lots instead of 10 acre lots.


Al, so true, they are not making more dirt around me.
Posted by: snrub

Thar be SMB in my RES pond! - 12/06/17 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Matzilla
Very awesome! How many and what size for the SMB initial stocking?


Exciting day today!

Hartley Fish Farm of Kingman Kansas delivered my SMB today for this pond. 50 6"-9" and 40 4"-6" SMB were put in this RES pond.

Jerry Hartley told me the different size fish (I got all the larger size he had available) I was getting were all the same age. The larger fish were just in a different environment with a lot more minnows available for them to eat. Pictures below, but I did not get many pictures. I figured there would be several minutes for fish acclimation but they were just dumped right into the pond. He said this time of year when it is cold it was not needed. The fish swam away. So things went quicker than I anticipated.

After we placed them I came back in about an hour to feed the FHM's (likely the last day of the year feeding - going to get really cold tonight). I commonly see FHM swirls as I drive around the pond in my UTV and it casts a shadow over the water. You can see the minnows being spooked by the shadow. I think the FHM realized there is "a new sheriff in town". While I still noticed the usual scattered swirls from the UTV shadow, there were two complete schools jammed together swimming at the surface making a full school wake. One along side me going the same direction I was at the shallow west side of the pond and another headed right toward the first school from the opposite direction. Never saw this before in this pond. I surmise the newly introduced SMB were cruising their new home and the minnows were taking notice. Kind of cool.

Bob Lusk had suggested 50 SMB for control of my RES recruitment. My plan is to let these get enough size so my LMB in my main 3 acre pond can't eat them, then catch about 40 and transfer them to my main pond. Hopefully I can do that about next fall. I think they should have enough FHM and new RES fingerlings next spring to support the 90 till I get 40 removed.

Posted by: Fatih

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/07/17 04:44 AM

Forgive my curiosity, but why would someone want an only-RES pond. I just don't have any experience raising or catching them, and would like to know what makes them special for you.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/07/17 06:40 PM

That is a good question that I have asked myself. I have no good answer.

For some unknown reason I just like raising RES. Go figure.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/07/17 07:03 PM

I like the challenge of catching RES and the size potential of RES. I do think that a RES only pond makes figuring out how to catch them a little easier. Having SMB in the mix is a definite bonus.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 09:01 AM

Res are a challenge when trying to catch them at my place and when I do catch one it is always a small one. Makes me wonder if I overstocked my 3+ acre pond. My first stocking was 3 yrs ago in Nov and the second stocking as in Feb. Total stocked was 1850 in the 2 to 3" size with no predators in the pond at that time. I would think they would be in the 8" range by now.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 09:19 AM

He he he Tracy they are a challenge everywhere from what I can see.
Red worm fished on a sandy area works most of the time more in 18"- 3' deep
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 10:26 AM

I tend to agree with Shorty that having them in a pond by themselves tends to make catching them easier.

I have given a fair amount of thought to RES and why they are difficult to catch in the normal LMB/BG pond. Does not mean my thoughts are correct, just that I have given it consideration. grin

First just consider the sheer number differences. Say a person starts out with the normal 10-20% of RES stocked compared to BG. That already lowers the odds of catching one to one in 5 or 10. Then consider the difference in fecundity. We know BG produce lots more eggs and fry than RES. So it would be entirely possible that after four or five years the numbers of BG compared to RES in the pond might be 100 to 1 or greater. So everything else being equal (which it is not of course, but humor me) the odds favor catching a hundred BG for every single RES caught. Then add in the catch-ability factor that BG are more aggressive then drop a line and hook in an area where there are a hundred hungry BG and a lone RES competing for that bait.

Of course that is a simplified view of the situation as the fish may seek out different environments and an angler can take advantage of the differences in fish behavior.

But I think just looking at the potential differences in population between the number of RES vs BG in a pond makes it evident why so many people wonder where their RES went because they either never or rarely catch one.

I catch a hand full a year out of my main 3 acre pond but I catch hundreds and hundreds of BG. I suspect I may be catching the RES not too different than what their population ratio suggests the odds of catching them are.

Meanwhile I am trying to modify that population so that my odds of catching RES goes up.
Posted by: Fatih

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 11:13 AM

John when you look in the water do you also spot only 1 RES per 100 BG?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 11:22 AM

In my water most of the time I can not tell. It usually is pretty turbid from algae growth.

That said, I do occasionally see a fish that I can identify as a RES from the bright red opercular tab border. But that is rare to see one.

I do notice GSF or hybrids thereof compared to BG because of the tipping on the fins. They stand out in contrast enough when they are up in shallow water that they are pretty easy to differentiate. But get out to a couple feed depth and I usually can only see shadows of fish or nothing at all.
Posted by: Lovnlivin

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 03:48 PM

Invite Shorty to fish your pond, they're attracted to his hook! smile

He brought over a very cool micro-jig system with just a small piece of plastic (cut from a plastic bait) threaded on the hook (there's a little more but I'll let him share the rest). I think by the time the jig settled on the bottom of the pond, he had a strike!

Don't ever think you know your pond better than anyone else when it comes to catching a "target" fish. I always felt if I wanted to know how big the fish were in my pond I just needed to invite someone else over to fish it.

Okay, that's a cop-out and they're likely just better at fishing than I, but it never failed that a guest would cast some crazy lure/bait out in the middle of nowhere and, BAM they'd hit a 4 lb LMB or HSB! lol

I sure miss that pond frown

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all!
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: snrub
I tend to agree with Shorty that having them in a pond by themselves tends to make catching them easier.

I have given a fair amount of thought to RES and why they are difficult to catch in the normal LMB/BG pond. Does not mean my thoughts are correct, just that I have given it consideration. grin

First just consider the sheer number differences. Say a person starts out with the normal 10-20% of RES stocked compared to BG. That already lowers the odds of catching one to one in 5 or 10. Then consider the difference in fecundity. We know BG produce lots more eggs and fry than RES. So it would be entirely possible that after four or five years the numbers of BG compared to RES in the pond might be 100 to 1 or greater. So everything else being equal (which it is not of course, but humor me) the odds favor catching a hundred BG for every single RES caught. Then add in the catch-ability factor that BG are more aggressive then drop a line and hook in an area where there are a hundred hungry BG and a lone RES competing for that bait.

Of course that is a simplified view of the situation as the fish may seek out different environments and an angler can take advantage of the differences in fish behavior.

But I think just looking at the potential differences in population between the number of RES vs BG in a pond makes it evident why so many people wonder where their RES went because they either never or rarely catch one.

I catch a hand full a year out of my main 3 acre pond but I catch hundreds and hundreds of BG. I suspect I may be catching the RES not too different than what their population ratio suggests the odds of catching them are.

Meanwhile I am trying to modify that population so that my odds of catching RES goes up.


I think you're on to something here. I see the same thing with my PS. We rarely catch one. The catch rate is probably close to population ratio of BG to PS though.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/08/17 06:58 PM

Lovnlivin I would be happy for Shorty to catch some RES in my pond. You too for that matter. I hope you both are able to make it to my PBF get together at my place September 22, 2018.

Since I just stocked my SMB in my RES pond, they should be of a size by then I would be able to transfer some of them (going to transfer up to 40) to my main pond (big enough so my LMB could not eat them - maybe 12" or more). So if anyone wants to fish for SMB and RES in this pond that day I could take advantage of it and do the transfers. Ponds are only a few hundred yards apart. There would be nothing very big by that time, but it might be fun just to see what could be caught.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/11/17 03:25 PM

I've stocked them several times in my ponds. Don't recall ever catching one
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/28/17 07:58 AM

Wanted to add these links so I can find them again later. Thought others might be interested.

Since I have added SMB to this pond, it is now a RES and SMB pond.

A really good (old) article by the late Dr. Dave Willis. Glad I found it. Stocking Small Mouth Bass It talks like a SMB and RES combination works very well. Music to my ears!

The SMB archives where I found the above article. Unfortunately a bunch of the other links do not work. I looked at them and they seem to be ok, but no work. NOTE: Cody fixed them. SMB discussions from the archives Going to take me a while to wade through the ones that work.

An old thread but very good discussion on SMB. SMB in farm ponds
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/28/17 02:35 PM

snrub - I am working to fix the links in the SMB Archives thread (SMB discussions from the archives). Hopefully I can get them all working properly.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/28/17 05:01 PM

Thank you! I used to be able to correct some of the ones directed to a wrong folder, but these appeared to be ok.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/30/17 09:24 PM

Bill, got through most of the archive threads that the links were fixed. Still run into a few that do not work. Some were ones Theo added.

Here is one I found with a search engine. Wow! It sounds like my 9" SMB put in early this month could potentially spawn next spring. At least in this thread he stocked small fingerlings in spring and they spawned the next spring. Another member from Overland Park, Kansas (100 mi. North of me) stocked 4-6" in October and they spawned the next spring.

SMB thread from 2008

I did create ledges around about a third of the pond with rock dumped in ranging from 4" all the way down to fines. Did it for RES spawning. I did not figure originally on SMB reproduction, but looks like it is a real possibility.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/30/17 10:42 PM

That is just too cool! My favorite fish used to be YP. Now that I have SMB in the pond, they are awesome. I see a trophy SMB pond in your future!
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 12/31/17 07:44 AM

Thanks! I'll be happy if they control the RES properly and provide some fast action fishing.

I'm more excited about them than I thouht I would be. Something new.
Posted by: ColdSpringsFarm

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 02/01/18 05:38 PM

Just got done reading through this post and just wanted to say congrats on the progress. I think you have inspired me to start a thread to follow my new pond's progress rather than posting here and there in the different forum categories. After reading this thread I'm considering taking a harder look at RES for my new pond. I'm not sure why I haven't seriously considered them already. They've always been one of my favorite fish to catch.

I know there has been some discussion on the challenges of catching RES so I'll share a tip that I stumbled on many years ago. I was fishing a well stocked 2 acre pond and stumbled on a technique while going for the plentiful bullhead cats. I was fishing from the dam area in 6-8 ft water with chicken livers on a carolina rig. Believe it or not, we caught more RES slabs than cats. I wouldn't have known they were in the pond at all were it not for that experience. Worth a try if you are having trouble with the RES bite.

Excited to see your spring progress! Keep us updated.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 02/02/18 07:14 AM

Thanks for the tip.

I am anxious to get started back on it in the spring and regularly think about the pond and what I want to do.

I have several threads that I have kept up on my own ponds but also post around on many others. Another tip is to keep any threads your are particularly interested in (yours and others) on your "watch list". Early on in my forum use I would spend an inordinate amount of time looking for an old thread I had read that I was interested in after it had became inactive. Then I found the watch list feature and it makes the task much easier.

Good luck with your new pond.
Posted by: snrub

RES pond - I got a problem - 03/18/18 11:17 PM

I've got a problem. And the problem is me.

This pond has been from the beginning of digging it to stocking it dedicated to raising RES. It originally was stocked with RES and FHM. Those two were going to be the only two fish.

Then some of the guys from Nebraska have been reporting great results from RES/SMB ponds and it got me interested. Then Lusk stops by and suggests to put SMB in to control RES recruitment.

So I stock some SMB. So far so good.

But every time I cast the cast net in my forage pond and like tonight come up with about a dozen and a half of beautiful 4" GS I have this tremendous urge to put GS in this RES pond. I have not done it (yet), but I sure have the urge.

So my question is, if I put in some GS and they reproduce will they take away from my RES goal? I am satisfied that they would be a great addition as far as the SMB are concerned. They seem like a perfect sized and shape fish to feed SMB. But will they take away from my primary goal of RES production? Or would they maybe even help it?

So do I give in to the "urge" and stock some GS in this RES primary SMB secondary goal pond? Or leave it as it is with only FHM as the only fish forage (along with snails and stuff) for the RES?
Posted by: Rainman

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/18/18 11:23 PM

Shiners will eat RES eggs.....Resist the dark side....
Posted by: snrub

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/18/18 11:37 PM

So I've heard. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?

On one hand I envision the SMB eating more shiners and less RES fry. But the whole purpose of the SMB IS to eat the RES fry to limit their reproduction (and prevent stunting).

The question I ponder is, if the GS eat the RES eggs, will they eat too many? In reality in a one acre pond I probably only need for maybe a hundred or two hundred of the RES fry per year make it to a size larger than the SMB can eat. So I NEED for the RES to not populate too much. I want a nice supply of 8 to 10" RES to catch. But I do need some reproduction. Or restock RES out of my forage pond which has raised RES fry like crazy this year.

Thanks for the reply. Trying to ponder the available outcomes. In my forage pond the GS are about thick enough to walk on right now. Yet I can still cast a cast net and get several RES fry per throw if done at the correct time of day and in the right location. So in the tiny 1/10th acre forage pond (that has lacked predators other than a hand full of adult GSF till I put 10 6-9" SMB in last December) I have both huge GS reproduction yet still have taken hundreds of 3" RES fry out of the pond. So at least to date, the GS have not been able to wipe out the RES reproduction. Now that could change this year. Who knows. But last year I had great reproduction of both GS and RES in that forage pond.

Picture of recent cast net catch of RES from my forage pond

I guess I am trying to have my cake and eat it too. RES is the primary goal of the pond. But can I enhance the growth of the SMB (secondary goal) by adding GS without diminishing the primary goal? Rainman votes no, and I value his expertise.

I'll be interested to hear from some that have GS in with their RES and SMB.

It will also be interesting to observe my forage pond this year now that 10 SMB have been added to that 1/10th acre pond thick with GS and RES. I am really curious how much the SMB can "whoop up" on those thick GS as the SMB get some size.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 08:07 AM

You can always add GS later, GS will also limit your SMB recruitment, I would hold off for now and stick with FHM.
Posted by: Rainman

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 09:49 AM

I like GS, especially for added SMB growth. If your RES production with lots of GS present is adequate, then I would add the GS....you can always nuke it and save a few of what you like to start over if things go crazy....
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 10:04 AM

You are contemplating relatively new, unproven, stocking territory. Not a lot of experimentation has been reported with growing SMB in ponds. I vote with Shorty. Watch the development of the SMB in this pond so you get a relatively good idea of how the SMB will perform in the combination. 10 smb in 1/10ac is equivalent to 100/ac. This is a lot of potential for predatory pressure. Be watchful and learn. Then after a year or two make a decision on adding the GS. Be patient grasshopper and use this time as a learning experience of what the SMB addition can do in this small pond for regulating the RES.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 10:37 AM

I currently have GS, SMB, RES, and a limited number of YP. GS seem to limit recruitment of everything except RES, they have also left my pond devoid of any aquatic vegetation and FA and I would like to have some aquatic vegetation. I have tried to get some vegetation established over the last couple of years and have been unsuccessful.
Posted by: RAH

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 10:53 AM

Which species is eating plants and FA?
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 11:22 AM

Golden shiners.
Posted by: RAH

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 12:45 PM

I have lots of these in my YP/SMB pond and have a lot of plants and some algae. I wonder if your pond has less alternative food for them, or maybe your strain likes plant material more than mine?
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 01:23 PM

I had some gully washers a few years ago that muddied up the water and it was hard on the vegetation, probably reached a tipping point where it became hard for the vegetation to recover. I can't even get eurasion milfoil growing in the pond now. Water is very green.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 01:38 PM

You sure it isn't the crayfish doing the deforestation? I have GSH but never thought they would be eating plants! I wish I had some vegetation too (my scuds can't hide anywhere!) but I attributed the grazing of the veggies down to nothing to the crayfish?
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 01:48 PM

No crayfish present, I can grow FA in a bucket on the dock then toss it in the water and watch the GS eat it.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 02:01 PM

That blows me away! So many people come to this forum asking how to control FA and we spent days debating chemicals and tilapia, why is it never mentioned that all they need to do is stock GSH? They are very easy to come by and reproduce like bunnies. Would that not be the automatic recommendation for anyone with a FA problem?
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 02:04 PM

Here's a link to an article that supports GSH eat FA

http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/aquaculture/documents/goldenshinerflorida.pdf
Posted by: Shorty

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 02:27 PM

As Cody would say, it depends. GSH density likely plays a role in how well FA is controlled. Think of it like a small number of cows grazing on a pasture, they are not likely going to graze it down to dirt, but if you continually increase the density of cows grazing the pasture then there will likely be a tipping point where the vegetation will become decimated.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 02:31 PM

Ok, I get that, but then why don't we recommend stocking a high poundage of GSH per acre to keep up with the FA? Most people can buy wholesale from their local bait shop or bait hauler and stock for dirt cheap, certainly way cheaper than continually paying to put chemicals in their pond and not keep up with the FA.

I'm going to have to rethink my strategy now....

Shorty, if you want vegetation you will need to significantly cut the number of GSH then. What is the gameplan for that? Can predators keep up with the prolific spawning of the adult GSH that you have? How do you target the biggest of the big adult GSH?
Posted by: snrub

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 03:13 PM

Great discussion guys.

Canyoncreek, I think in most ponds the predators likely keep the GS numbers in check where there are not enough of them to control FA??? This is a very interesting observation to me because I have never had FA problems in my 1/10th acre forage pond where the GS are thick. I have it like crazy in my 1/20th acre sediment pond that has had FHM stocked as the only minnow species. Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

My new RES pond has extremely limited plant life (some water primrose I transplanted) and I do not want to denude it, that is for sure.

Thanks for all the replies and I think after reading Bill C and Shorty's replies I am going to hold off. After giving it more thought, I already have a SMB/RES/GS experiment going in my 10th acre forage pond. I will wait and see how that turns out.

My main concern is if the FHM and RES fry in this 1 acre RES pond will sustain the 90 SMB at least long enough to grow them to 12" or so. I was afraid I had more predators than the prey could support. When the SMB get to 12" or so I want to remove 30-40 of them and transfer to my main 3 acre pond as a bonus fish. With 50 or 60 SMB in an acre I am more comfortable with that final stocking rate.

Riht now I have 10 SMB in the 1/10th acre forage pond at a rate of 100 per acre and 90 in the 1 acre RES pond. So both ponds similar stocked with SBM rates but lots more relative forage in the smaller pond with the thick GS and RES.

As a side note, the GS completely obliterated the FHM population that originally was thick in my forage pond. I put a dozen GS in about 3 years ago and they completely extripated the FHM population. I put some more FHM in last year but to no avail. They just can not compete with the GS in that environment.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: RES pond - I got a problem - 03/19/18 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
....
I'm going to have to rethink my strategy now....

....


Me too. I'm now strongly considering making a quick trip over to Keystone Hatchery and picking up a bunch of GSH. It makes sense to me that the GSH stand more chance of controlling FA if I get them in now instead of waiting until the FA really gets going for this year. They will also make great forage for my SMB, WE, YP and LMB....or should I wait until after the first BG spawn to protect those eggs from the GSH?

With the variety and number of predators I have, I doubt the GSH will establish a sustaining population. Maybe have to stock every year like TP to help control the FA?

Any thoughts or opinions????
Posted by: azteca

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/19/18 05:23 PM

Hello.

I would like to put GSH in my pond, but I am afraid they eat the Yellow perch eggs.

A+
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/19/18 08:17 PM

snrub,
this is the beauty of the folks who instead of one 5 acre pond have 5 smaller ponds. You can do all kinds of experiments in real time, and it is easier to drain, nuke, and start over with a new experiment.

Do GSH root in the bottom? My pond water is very brown and I always blamed goldfish first (down to about 30 or less), crayfish second (never can trap a one so there can't be that many), and now maybe the GSH?

When I had very few GSH I had lots of vegetation and FA, Tilapia were OK but not that spectacular. Once the GSH adults were 6-8" and several years of young GSH no vegetation and no FA. Hmm... now it looks like I might need a predator smile

One question, you said GSH decimated FHM? I can't see how that works. THe GSH mouth is small even on a 6+ inch size adult. How do they eat FHM? I stocked FHM in a couple of occasions and they never survived but I always assumed that my YP were chowing on the FHM. My goal was to try to get vegetation going again so the FHM had a place to hide and then try to stock again. Or, try to have a grow out area in the pond or a grow out tank or pond to make stocking cheaper by raising them on site.

Check prices at the fish farm, otherwise the local bait shop may be able to put in a order for you of a large bag of adult GSH and you might get them at just a fuzz above the bait shop price if you can be a good customer to the bait shop too smile
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/19/18 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By: azteca
Hello.

I would like to put GSH in my pond, but I am afraid they eat the Yellow perch eggs.

A+


I don't think they will eat the eggs but I suspect they will eat the new hatched frye. Hopefully, Bill C. will see this and provide a definitive answer.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/19/18 09:55 PM

Yes GSH and other small fish will eat the yellow perch fry until the fry get too big to fit into the mouth of the predator. However depending on the number of fry, number of shiners, and amount of cover all will govern the survival rate of the YP fry. A large number of adult shiners could easily and significantly reduce the recruitment of YP. This is the situation of Dono from Ontario who has lots of shiners (common and emerald) and his YP recruitment is quite low. I have common numbers of spotfin shiners and I have good recruitment of YP.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/19/18 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
snrub,

Do GSH root in the bottom? My pond water is very brown and I always blamed goldfish first (down to about 30 or less), crayfish second (never can trap a one so there can't be that many), and now maybe the GSH?

One question, you said GSH decimated FHM? I can't see how that works. THe GSH mouth is small even on a 6+ inch size adult. How do they eat FHM?


I have never had turbidity in my 1/10th acre forage pond where the GS are thick, so I would say they do not root in the bottom from my experience.

I stated that poorly about the GS extirpating the FHM. I really don't know for sure what did the FHM in, but I do know the GS population thrived as the FHM population went down. Three things that I can think of likely had to do with the FHM being extirpated. 1. I had several unwanted adult GSF in that pond. Over the last two years I have removed probably 20 in the 5-6" range. 2. Numerous RES breeding size adults in this pond. RES eat FHM. 3. If GS eat fish eggs, I can see where the GS numbers went up and became dense it may have prevented the FHM from having successful broods. Also adult GS likely could eat FHM in the larval or small fry stage. The GS go after the pellets I feed like gangbusters.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/20/18 08:32 AM

In my small sediment pond I started out with several pounds of FHM's and a lot of them were the orange ones. It wasn't long before the numbers started going down. And then I counted 14 Bull Frogs had taken up a home in that little pond. I figured they were the reason why my fhm's numbers were dropping. Funny thing was I might see 6 or so big bull frogs in the large pond and almost 3 times that in the little one. Not sure if it was because of the fhm's or the frogs knew they had less chance of survival in the big pond considering it had lmb.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/20/18 10:55 AM

I think the frogs know their and their offspring survival is better where large predator fish are less likely. In other words small bodies of water.

Pictures from my main pond summer of 2015 (before LMB were very big)

Bullfrog with fish tail hanging out of mouth

second bullfrog just a little ways further down the bank
Posted by: teehjaeh57

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 03/20/18 03:20 PM

Shorty I had a similar issue occur in my main pond - treated coontail a wee bit too much and nuked beneficial macrophytes [American Pondweed, Sago, etc.] and corresponding algae bloom was dense and perpetual even through Winter. Then the GC started rooting and experienced turbidity which exacerbated the water quality issues. I finally needed a Alum/Lime/Cutrine treatment via Rex to set things back in balance. Clarity restored, beneficial macrophytes returned, and so far no sign of the coontail returning. A cutrine treatment to knock down you bloom this spring in order to get vegetation established again may be helpful?
Posted by: snrub

dedicated to Redear Sunfish - some FHM substrate - 04/06/18 11:30 PM

Built a FHM spawning substrate condo today. Would have put it in the pond but 20 mph north winds and very cold discouraged me. Will wait for a better day but want to get it in the pond ASAP because the next warm spell I'm sure the FHM will be in spawning mode.

When I put FHM in this pond they were there only for a RES population. I did not worry too much about their reproduction because even a modest amount would be enough. Now that I have added 90 SMB I wish I would have put in spawning substrate earlier for them and I wish I would have put in more FHM initially. But that is hind sight. I'm worrying a little now that the SMB have put the hurt to the FHM population over the winter as all I am seeing are very small schools of very small fish. No adult FHM have come to feed that I know of. I may put some additional FHM in this spring when the fish truck comes around if I do not see more activity in the next month.

But back to the build of the FHM condo. If it looks a little crude it is because all of it is from scraps laying around except the screws. They were new. The wood panel came from a 1970 build of a hog farrowing house my dad and I did when I was in high school. It has been stored in that shed the last 30 years thinking it would be good for something some day. Today was the day. The blue insulation came from a tear down of our old turkey grow out barns (gosh I'm glad we no longer have livestock). The PVC pipe I had laying around from previous projects. The blue foam will be on top for flotation for when the boards water log (which they will - been there done that). The pictures with the PVC pipe will obviously be under water for the FHM to spawn in. I cut two holes in one end of the panel the right size to drive two T posts through into the bank. So it will lay lengthwise out into the water from the banks edge, attached to the bank by the posts and allowed to float up and down on the posts to accommodate different water levels, much like a floating dock held by posts. This is quite a bit different from my earlier FHM condo's that I built.
Another FHM condo of different design
earlier versions I mostly depended on boards spaced a couple inches apart whereas this mostly uses PVC pipes for FHM protection although they can still use any part of the underside. Also before I used ropes to keep the condo's from drifting around but was never completely happy with that. They would still move some with the wind and when water levels raised they would come close to the bank and when water receded wedge partially up on the bank. I hope the T post tethering will both keep the condo in place better and allow it to follow water levels better.

Pictures of the build below and explanations with the pictures. The extra holes drilled in the PVC is to give good water flow for good O2 levels. If it floats a little high I will add some rock to the top. Had to do that on some others I previously built.
Posted by: ColdSpringsFarm

Re: dedicated to Redear Sunfish - some FHM substrate - 04/07/18 12:09 AM

Looks nice! Bet you were bored with drilling pvc before that project was done.
Posted by: snrub

Re: dedicated to Redear Sunfish - some FHM substrate - 04/07/18 12:55 AM

Thanks.

With that step drill (in the first picture at the front on one of the drills) it goes really fast. If you have any large hole thin sheet plastic to drill, they are a must for your toolbox. Just a cheap Harbor Freight one does fine for plastic. If I was drilling lots of sheet metal I would probably invest in an expensive good one.

Step drill
Posted by: snrub

Re: dedicated to Redear Sunfish - some FHM substrate - 04/08/18 11:38 AM

I was thinking of building a second FHM condo like the one above but after reading some more in the archives on FHM spawning decided to put some more natural spawning material in instead. I figured putting in some piles of larger rock would be good for the FHM, SMB and the RES.

Being a cold day, the idea of working inside a cab tractor seemed like a good idea too so moving the rock was pretty pleasant. The first picture shows what one nearby quarry calls 3 by 5 rock. I believe that refers to "everything that will pass through a 5" screen then everything removed that will pass through a 3" screen". In other words it leaves mostly rocks in the 3-5" range although some larger oval ones slip through. I put a glove in the picture to get an idea of the size of rock.

Most places I put a full 72" bucket full dumped on one spot. Where there was no ledge to dump it on I sprinkled it out as far as I could reach with the loader then backed up while dumping creating a cascade of rock down the bank.

This should work good for FHM spawning and refuge for tiny fingerling SMB and RES. I have previously put in slightly smaller lateral rock and AB3 for spawning areas.

An interesting thing is after the muddy water cleared (from dumping the rock in the mud) I was driving the tractor around the dam looking at the piles. I spotted one school of young adult size FHM that must have numbered at least a hundred hovering over one of the new piles in about 6" of water. That was comforting to know I still likely have a good population of FHM that can spawn this spring and provide food for my new SMB. I was worried the SMB had already mostly wiped them out. Whew!

I put at least a dozen of these piles around the circumference of this one acre RES/SMB pond.
Posted by: snrub

Re: dedicated to Redear Sunfish - some FHM substrate - 04/22/18 06:20 PM

Finally got the FHM condo in the water. Last picture shows some natural FHM spawning material right next to it. Will be interesting if I can ever tell if the have a preference of one over the other.

I was kind of concerned I might not have many FHM left. But a few warm days of feeding and I am seeing large schools of them and they are feeding on the pellets I feed. Still no sign of SMB or RES but I am not too surprised at that. Will try fishing for some later in the year.
Posted by: ewest

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 04/23/18 10:49 AM

That should work well. See pic for proof.

Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 04/23/18 11:17 AM

That is a lot of FHM in one pipe!

When we first built our main pond and stocked it, the wife set up an aquarium in our living room. We put I think 4 short pipes about the same size as the one in your picture in the bottom and put a dozen or so FHM in. It was funny to watch them dart from pipe to pipe, the more dominant ones chasing out the others positioning and creating their "pecking order".

We did not keep them long enough for them to spawn in the aquarium but we did see some pre spawning behavior in the pipes with dominant males staking out their territories.
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 04/23/18 12:05 PM

What size pvc pipe is in the condo in the pond? Are the multiple drilled holes in the PVC pipe important or can the hole on each end of the pipe be sufficient?

Ewest, what size pvc pipe is in your picture you attached?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/19/18 08:49 PM

Sorry for the tardy reply. Been busy and missed reading some posts for a few days. The pipe is mostly 2" because that is what scrap I had laying around. Had one piece of 3" in there too.

The holes were drilled with a step drill and drilled to a size I thought was "about right". They are all different sizes. I doubt if they are "important" but my line of thinking was to allow more water flow for better O2 levels and to give the FHM escape routes from predators. It is probably more about my imagination than anything really useful.

I did try to point the pipes in directions so the competing males would have some privacy and be less likely spending their time fighting for turf from other males. The 2x4 up the middle blocks the view of tubes on the other side row.

In reality I suspect the FHM will use the rock piles more than the condo but I likely will never know for sure. I have spotted one male protecting a nest in one of the rock piles.

They are successfully spawning because I have noted lots of 1/4 to 1/2" FHM fry in small pools around the edge of the pond.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/19/18 08:54 PM

Good news on the SMB in this pond. I had concerns a flock of cormorants had wiped them and the RES out.

Fished for about a half hour trying to sample the RES and caught no RES. But I did catch two SMB both in very good condition. Those fish have some spunk! So much so that one fought its way out of my hand and flopped on the ground unfortunately. Then is when I decided best to leave them alone and quit fishing for them.

Both were about the same size, 9-10". One is pictured below.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/27/18 03:40 PM

Did a little more fishing in this pond to try and sample the RES to see their progress. Still no RES but I did catch another SMB, this one right at 10" and seemed fat and healthy other than quite a few of the parasites that look like black pepper flakes (forget the name). Can not see them too well in the picture but if you look at the pectoral fin they show up as black dots.

Appear to have good FHM recruitment. At least I think they are FHM. They could be gambusia fry as I did have some gams in this pond last year but I have not seen anything of the adults this year and have seen a number of the adult FHM, so hopefully they are FHM fry. When I put rock around this pond the bank was soft near the water edge and the loader tractor front tires sank in and made some places that held shallow water a number of places around the edge. In every one of these shallow water areas the fry pictured are there. One day I found the fry, the next day went back and found bird tracks (likely Killdeer) and no fry, now they are filled with fry again.

Maybe if I remember when I feed will try to get an aquarium dip net and net some of them. Put them in a glass jar and see if you all can identify them.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/27/18 09:35 PM

Hey John,

You know I'm not a pro but it looks like black spot disease to me which IIRC is part of a flat worm life cycle. As you haven't had the SMB that long and have RES for snail control, I suspect it came in with your SMB stockers. I had it on a small YP I caught a couple years ago in my pond. My PS must be doing the job on snail control because I haven't seen a fish with it since. As long as you have a healthy RES population, IMO it is nothing to worry about.

Bill D.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/30/18 12:25 AM

Lots and lots of snails in this pond. I actually inoculated it with snails specifically to feed the RES. But so far I have not been able to catch a RES by hook and line. I'm a little concerned they survived the winter but not terribly concerned. I have taken a few RES from my forage pond and put them in this pond "just in case" I lost a lot over winter.

I need to try the cast net in this pond and see if I can pull some RES fingerlings out. Then I will know I've had a spawn. I guess seeing a lot of snails adds to my concern of having all the RES I originally stocked. There is lots of algae on the rocks and FA on the bottom though so ideal conditions for snail production.
Posted by: snrub

Fish ID - 06/10/18 03:02 PM

Tried the cast net in this pond today at high noon with almost no results. I get lots better results near sundown with the cast net.

But I did actually drag one very small fish ashore (it actually fell through the cast net mesh on the way out of the water) that I would very much like an ID on. If it is what I think it is, it will be a great surprise.

The fish stocked in this pond are RES. FHM and SMB with some gambusia that likely came from some plants I transplanted although I have not seen any of the gams this year. I hope the fish in the pictures is at least one of those stocked and my guess is a SMB. If that is the case I already have SMB recruitment which is a big surprise. I did not figure there would be any before next year. I have caught some SMB in this pond at 10" though.

I wish I had taken time to spread its dorsal and tail fins out for a better picture. If it is not a SMB it also is not a RES or FHM so I have something in there I don't want.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: Fish ID - 06/10/18 03:36 PM

I think it might be a SMB, not for sure though.

Here is a fingerling SMB from my pond.



Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish ID - 06/10/18 04:36 PM

One thing I noticed right away was the black arc band on the inner part of the tail fin that is both on your and my fish. That stood out different than any of the fingerling fish I am used to seeing.

I need to start carrying a jar or clear plastic bag in my UTV so I could put the small fish in it to get a better picture.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Fish ID - 06/10/18 08:35 PM

snrub your fingerling is SMB due to the pattern of the caudal (tail) fin. Your SMbass are successfully doing their "thing".
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish ID - 06/11/18 12:11 AM

Thanks Bill!

I had no idea they would reproduce that quickly.

I have no problem with them producing excess SMB numbers as I have at least a couple other ponds I can angle catch and move some SMB to add as bonus fish to the other ponds should they become too numerous in this pond.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 06/26/18 05:38 PM

Threw the cast net in this RES pond trying to see if I have any RES recruitment. As the pond has dropped a few inches from dry weather I am seeing some abandoned nest sites.

After a dozen throws nothing except the two fish pictured below. Water is too clear and the fish too fast and widely dispersed. No RES.

But near some water primrose in shallow water I did snag a couple more SMB recruits with the cast net. They have grown enough since the last one I caught they would actually stay in the net. Well the bigger one anyway. The smaller second one was half way through the mesh when I picked it up.

Nice to know I have SMB and recruitment. I would really like to raise enough SMB in this pond to be able to transfer quite a few to my main pond and grow them out as bonus fish there. With LMB in the main pond they will not thrive like I hope they will here in the RES pond but they could still be fun to catch and might do ok there.

I took these two and put in my forage pond which also has SMB stocked.

Bad looking clouds came my way in a hurry so I headed for the house. Hope we get some much needed rain.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 06/26/18 07:08 PM

Good looking baby bronzes.

Sure wish my pond got that kind of wave action occassionally. I can have 40mph wind and the water barely ripples.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 07/06/18 12:39 AM

Been having some fun observing this pond.

Tossed in a minnow trap in shallow water over night and had two to three dozen intermediate size FHM along with a couple of SMB fingerlings. Good to know I still have FHM.

Watched a school of nervous FHM mid day today when the sun was direct over head in clear water. They were acting a little spooky when I noticed a few slightly larger fish in around them then noticed they were SMB fingerlings. The SMB were maybe 4" and not big enough to eat the FHM I saw but they were sure making the minnows nervous. Don't know if they were just herding the minnows around, picking off small ones that I could not see, or if they were just schooling with other fish but it was an observation I had not seen before.

The fingerling SMB are kind of funny to watch. I have lots of them. They often run in small groups of a pair to a half dozen. I'll throw my jig out in shallow water and watch them chase it right up to within 6" of the bank. If I let it set on the bottom then jiggle it or move it slightly they act like a bunch of kittens stalking a ball on a string. If I drag it through the water sometimes they will strike at it but their mouth is not big enough to get around the hook I was using. With a tiny hook I know I could catch one after another. I did actually catch one slightly over 4" and landed it to look at.

No luck catching any RES fingerlings with the cast net but I really have not tried at the correct time of day. Right before sunset in shallow water is best but I have tried it mid day. Have also not been able to catch any RES by hook and line after a few different days trying.

But I know the RES are there. Now that the summer water has cleared I can see a half dozen male RES on really large nests. The fish only look like 5 or 6" RES and the nests look huge for the fish size. I suspect the large nests were made by bigger RES males early during the first spawn. I'm guessing these guys are just maturing and getting big/old enough to nest. Every year I have seen late spawn RES relatively small males in shallow water.

Been tossing out some Optimal #2 starter around the edge of this pond along with some regular size feed too. Today I specifically did the starter separate so I could see if I could get any of the numerous SMB fingerlings to take it. I was able to witness a half dozen strikes by the fingerlings getting the small pellets. They do not go after it like FHM will but at least they are getting the idea.

I would encourage anyone to get a little bit of starter pellets and toss it in 6" to foot deep water around their ponds just to see what comes up to eat it. You can crush large pellets, but the small nice round starter pellets float for ages and they are just bite size for small fingerling fish.

I tried the same thing around my old pond because this year for the first time I am seeing LMB fingerlings in good numbers around it. Still none in the main pond but at least I am getting recruitment in my old pond. But the slightly larger LMB fingerlings just ignored the starter pellets. But the fingerling BG woofed it up.

Just some fun observing what is going on around my ponds.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 07/06/18 07:51 AM

Great report. Thanks.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 07/29/18 11:54 PM

Been gone a couple weeks so was a little concerned my SMB recruitment fingerlings would be off feed as they have not been fed in that time. Threw a mixture of Optimal Starter #4 and Optimal BG Jr out and the fingerlings were hitting it right and left. Kind of fun watching them as they seemed to be picky about the size and or shape of pellet they hit. Best I could tell they have grown enough they were preferring the BG jr pellet size over the starter. I could see sometimes they would start for a pellet, veer off course only to choose a different one.

They seem to be relatively easy to catch. The fingerlings at least. They seem to be hungry and they seemed to have grown in the two weeks since I saw them last. Pictures below.

The largest fish I am unsure if it is a YOY that is a jumper and has really grown well or if it is one of the original stockers that is a runt (about 6"). All seemed to be healthy. I caught about ten and moved to my forage pond to be sure I still have some there. There seems to be an abundance of SMB recruitments but no sign of RES fingerlings. They may be there and I am just not seeing them. Need to try the cast net again.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/01/18 04:35 PM

This spring I ask advice on adding GSH to this RES pond since it now also has SMB. A couple of you advised against it and I took that advice and did not add any at that time.

Till yesterday. I added about a dozen GSH raised in my forage pond ranging in size from 3" to 5". I'll probably add that many more in the next few days or maybe twice that many.

I have had GSH in my small 1/20th acre forage pond now for two or three years. The other fish in that pond are RES and some unwanted GSF along with some SMB that were added just last fall. I have seen no ill effects from the rather thick population of GSH that has been in that pond other than the FHM that were originally stocked are pretty much gone. But I expect they would have been gone even without the GSH addition. I had stocked a dozen GS from a bait store and they had reproduced like gangbusters. Have moved thousands of GS to other ponds from the small forage pond. So I have had what I consider success with GSH in with my RES and the RES still produce all the RES fingerlings I need (have also taken hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands by now, of RES fingerlings out for other ponds).

I couldn't stand it any more. I wanted GSH in my RES pond. Here is my thinking.

The FHM are likely almost gone or will soon be. I no longer see schools of them along the banks or feeding on pellets like I did earlier in the year. The likely cause are the gangs of 4-5" SMB recruits I see cruising the shore lines. Pictures of some of them in the previous post. So while I am unsure of the reproduction and growth of the RES, the SMB have been doing great as far as reproduction. So with that many new SMB to feed I figure they need an additional forage source once the FHM are gone and a large SMB should be able to eat an adult GSH. If the GS work out as well in this one acre RES/SMB pond as they have in my 1/20th acre forage pond, I think they will be fine. With only a small number stocked and predation from the SMB and RES it should take a year or two for numbers to build so my thinking is the RES and SMB will be very well established before GSH numbers could get big enough to cause problems.

Just returned from the pond and saw several RES on beds again and dozens of SMG 4-6" long hitting the pellets well.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/01/18 06:14 PM

John,
I had missed all your pics of the SMB fry. Wow! Mine have been in for a few years. They are getting up around 14Ē, but I donít think they are reproducing. Iíll maybe have to try a throw net one of these days. Do you throw it when your feeding?
Also you just mentioned stocking GS. I had to go to the acronym page because GS stumped me. Help a novice to understand. Iíve got schools and schools of GSH in my pond. I think the SMB are working them, but not knocking them numbers down much.
My FHM have become pretty scarce though.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/01/18 10:17 PM

I had the acronym wrong. I went back and edited my post and replaced GS with GSH. Thanks for pointing that out. Did not realize I had it wrong.

I have mostly been catching the SMB on hook and line with a 1/64 oz jig. Same as I use a lot for BG. I just have the rod set up for BG and decided to try it on the small SMB and it works pretty good. Not the right bait for larger ones likely.

Cast net performance is always best if you can concentrate the fish somehow. If the fish are attracted to feed it will get them more concentrated.

My SMB fingerlings are eating feed but they sure do it differently than BG. BG just keep going till the feed is gone. They will stuff themselves. My SMB are picky and finicky. They will eat a pellet or two or three, then just move on leaving pellets floating. Or at least at this stage in their life.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/07/18 01:03 PM

Been waiting for the pond level to decrease and my energy level to increase to do a water level improvement to this pond. With rain a few days away in the forecast and the pond level a good foot below full pool because of the exceptionally hot dry weather the time had come. After watching the pond a year and considering the watershed area that fills the pond I decided I could safely maintain a higher water level on the existing dam (less freeboard space). I have done a similar exercise to three of my other ponds.

This pond has an 8" PVF overflow pipe. First step was to take the laser level and establish full pool level, dam height and emergency overflow height. I determined I could safely add 9" to the depth of the pond by installing a 90 degree elbo on the 8" overflow pipe. The vertical part of the elbo was cut down to about an inch above the top of the 8" pipe. This will give me about 9" additional water depth. I left the emergency overflow at the same level and at the new full pool level the water will be running about 4" over full pool through the overflow pipe when the emergency overflow is reached. So during heavy rain events under soil saturated conditions, the emergency overflow will really become more like just a normal earthen overflow and flow water. So the emergency overflow will likely get used once or twice a year. More normal rains will simply pass through the overflow pipe. I did cut the dam down in the emergency overflow area to make sure the flow area width was very wide and could handle the water coming out of both field terraces that flow into this pond from adjacent crop field. Wanted to make sure the dam would not breech during an exceptional rain event.

Pictures with descriptions below.

No one would hire me as a concrete contractor. But what I did will work. I dug down about two feet to where the clay was very hard and solid to form a base to hold the concrete block and then drove two T posts down into the bank an additional couple feed and embedded them into the concrete. Added some rebar also.
Posted by: ColdSpringsFarm

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/07/18 01:09 PM

You going to try to retrieve all your shoreline gravel before the rains come or let the fish have it? ;-)
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/07/18 01:54 PM

I actually have a pile sitting beside the pond to add more. That was put in to stop shore line erosion and I will add quite a bit more even higher up the bank now that the water will be higher. I have added piles of that size rock, some rock piles of fist size to half football size rock, and some road rock (ab3 we call it, 1" with fines all the way to ag lime) piles in the water for the fish.

So the rock you see will be for the fish and crawdads if any ever establish or if I can get some bought to add. They say crayfish are really good for SMB ponds and rock piles are really good for crayfish.

The fish nest pictured (with a RES on the nest) is made in some ab3 and larger rocks are just to the left in the picture.

I like rock piles and have added quite a few in both this pond and in my main 3 acre pond recently. Probably about 50 ton worth.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/07/18 02:06 PM

Snrub, smb like rock piles that have the larger sized half football sized rock you speek of. we call it chunk rock and look for it along shorelines. It wont be long now, maybe 3 or 4 yrs when your smallies are good fighting sized fish. I don't care for eating them, or at least eating the size I normally catch in the 2 to 3 lb size, there is just not enough meat on them. But I sure do enjoy catching them. Wishing you the best. Oh! I would also like to have an excavator at my place. I might be like Bob L and wind up with 8 or ponds. smile
Posted by: ewest

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/07/18 03:37 PM

SMB on bed


Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/07/18 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: TGW1
Snrub, smb like rock piles that have the larger sized half football sized rock you speek of. we call it chunk rock and look for it along shorelines. It wont be long now, maybe 3 or 4 yrs when your smallies are good fighting sized fish. I don't care for eating them, or at least eating the size I normally catch in the 2 to 3 lb size, there is just not enough meat on them. But I sure do enjoy catching them. Wishing you the best. Oh! I would also like to have an excavator at my place. I might be like Bob L and wind up with 8 or ponds. smile


I caught about ten SMB today. Moved 4 to my forage pond and put a half dozen in my sediment pond. Biggest one was 7" and the smallest about 4". All kinds of SMB recruitment. I put about 16 ton of the larger size rock in scattered around the edges. Some of it this spring and a lot more recently. I had read that the SMB liked rock piles.

SMB are crazy fighters. I use a barbless 1/32 oz jig head and the small 4-5" fish don't load the rod to keep the line tight very well. They shake so violently they shake the hook out a lot. I have learned when I hook a small one I pull it right out and towards the bank because about half the time it will shake the hook and land on the ground. If I tarry too much they shake the hook and I loose them. I thought BG were fighters but these tiny SMB are just crazy fighters and are as aggressive as HBG to bite the hook. The 4" fish can barely get the hook of the jig head in their mouth.

Have not really tried any crank bait or worms or anything to catch the original stockers. I have so much recruitment I figure the larger SMB will eliminate a lot of them so I might as well catch a few and start them in my sediment pond.

The picture below I would guess is an original stocked fish. I stocked some 6-9" fish and also 4-6" so I suppose this could be one of the original 4" fish.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/07/18 11:54 PM

Eric I may be seeing SMB on nests. I just assume they are RES but can't really get close enough to tell for sure. And looking down on top of fish doesn't help with the ID.

I did catch one SMB today that was about 6" that looked like it had swallowed a golf ball. I don't know enough about fish to know if it was a female ripe with eggs (I would think it is too small/young) or if it had just gorged itself on pellets. It was sure fat. Wish I had taken a picture of it.

Edit: added two pictures of the same nest. One with fish on it and one without. This potentially could be a SMB nest as it is kind of by itself and a little larger than most of the other RES nests. I just could not get close enough to see the fish well enough to tell for sure. If you look close you can see nest is dug in the 1" and finer limestone gravel that I had dumped in numerous places along the bank.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/08/18 12:22 AM

Originally Posted By: snrub
Been waiting for the pond level to decrease and my energy level to increase to do a water level improvement to this pond. With rain a few days away in the forecast and the pond level a good foot below full pool because of the exceptionally hot dry weather the time had come. After watching the pond a year and considering the watershed area that fills the pond I decided I could safely maintain a higher water level on the existing dam (less freeboard space). I have done a similar exercise to three of my other ponds.

This pond has an 8" PVF overflow pipe. First step was to take the laser level and establish full pool level, dam height and emergency overflow height. I determined I could safely add 9" to the depth of the pond by installing a 90 degree elbo on the 8" overflow pipe. The vertical part of the elbo was cut down to about an inch above the top of the 8" pipe. This will give me about 9" additional water depth. I left the emergency overflow at the same level and at the new full pool level the water will be running about 4" over full pool through the overflow pipe when the emergency overflow is reached. So during heavy rain events under soil saturated conditions, the emergency overflow will really become more like just a normal earthen overflow and flow water. So the emergency overflow will likely get used once or twice a year. More normal rains will simply pass through the overflow pipe. I did cut the dam down in the emergency overflow area to make sure the flow area width was very wide and could handle the water coming out of both field terraces that flow into this pond from adjacent crop field. Wanted to make sure the dam would not breech during an exceptional rain event.

Pictures with descriptions below.

No one would hire me as a concrete contractor. But what I did will work. I dug down about two feet to where the clay was very hard and solid to form a base to hold the concrete block and then drove two T posts down into the bank an additional couple feed and embedded them into the concrete. Added some rebar also.


And now the "rest of the story". I started out with the intention of raising the water level 9". But while marking where the new full pool water line would be I realized on the west end of the pond the ground was relatively flat and would make more 0 to 9" deep water than what I wanted.

So I thought I would just go get the scraper and dozer and make that small area two or three feet deep. So the small project of making the pond deeper turned into expanding the pond size with some earth moving. So I got started on that project and come to the realization that I would have dirt to do something with. No problem as there were a couple spots that additional dirt would make the slope easier mowing and some erosion had made the dam peak kind of rounded. Plus it would not hurt to make it a little wider and add a few more inches of freeboard just for safety in case of heavy rain. But to do what I wanted to do would take more dirt than just 2 or 3 feet deep. So the little dirt project turned into a bigger dirt project and the deepest part ended up closer to 8' deep from the new full pool level.

What was the west end of the pond will now be an under water hump coming within about 9" under water at the shallowest parts. Added some new rock piles at the edge so will now be rock piles along the new "hump".

These "projects" always take on a life of their own. But two days after starting it was all done and I think it turned out nice. Don't think I will regret any of it. Pictures below.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Fish IDMore SB recruitment - 08/08/18 12:39 AM

Caught my first RES by hook and line today out of this RES/SMB pond and lo and behold I'm pretty sure it is a hybrid. I moved it to my old pond.

I have been very careful with the RES I stocked from my forage pond to only use specimens large enough that I could positively identify them. But I also stocked 200 2" fingerlings from Dunn's Fish Farm and they were too small for me to be positive about all of them.

I don't think I have many hybrids or I would be catching lots of them as they tend to be easy to catch.

My other issue with this pond is I had a flock of cormorants that may have wiped out a bunch of fish. Plus I could have had some winter kill. So not even sure how many RES survived. But I have been seeing them on nests so I know I have some and I have added some more since the cormorants from my forage pond. But the reality is I just don't know what my RES population currently is.

I know the fish pictured below has RES in it. But I would call it a hybrid with some GSF genes in it.

Edit 10-27-18 the fish is definitely a hybrid. I have caught several since this one along with a number of pure RES also. I have a few of these hybrids but I think not all that many. The ones I do have are just more aggressive to bite a hook so I catch them easier. I remove the hybrids I catch.
Posted by: Quarter Acre

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/08/18 01:11 PM

Here John...I turned your fish over. Call me picky, but I just couldn't look at it upside down. I realize the photo was right side up, but the fish was just not right!

I'd say your are right about the mix. Had I not ever found PB, I would not have noticed any RES traits at all, only GSF. Heck, I'd probably called it a bluegill!

Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/08/18 01:44 PM

Hmmmmm. Must be certain browsers. Mine shows the fish right side up. I did turn the picture differently than the camera shot it so you must be viewing it like I saw it originally.

At any rate, thanks. Others probably see it upside down also.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/08/18 08:48 PM

Looked fine to me, definitely a hybrid.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/08/18 09:25 PM

Nice work on that pond, John. During low water, will it become two separate ponds, or did you add a connecting ditch?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/08/18 09:49 PM

It could as it currently is, although starting out 9" more full it will have to drop 9 more inches than what it currently has this year.

When the new part fills I may take the backhoe and connect each end as deep as I can dig then it will always stay one pool. I'm not going to do it till we get some rain because if I did it right now it would lower the pond even more by a couple inches and I have fish on nests right now that are already really shallow.

Once we get just a little runoff, enough to fill the new part, then I could connect it without dropping the old part.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/09/18 02:16 PM

Have been keeping an eye on the RES on nests in this pond for a few days. Up till now I would see some on the nests but they did not seem too "committed". That changed today. Every nest in a colony had a RES male on it and they were actively guarding. Once in a while would see a squable between nests and I saw one male drive away a couple 4" SMB that wandered too close to the colony. Water is low enough and nests shallow that I can see the red ear tab on some of them.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/09/18 08:53 PM

Picture of some very shallow nests with RES on them.

The spike rush in the lower left corner of the first picture would normally be under water.
Posted by: snrub

can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/14/18 10:51 PM

I just can't get over these SMB recruitment's YOY. They are voracious.

In just slightly over 5 minutes I caught these five fish. I moved them to my forage pond. My thinking is most of these are going to become food for the 10" and larger SMB in this pond, so since there are so many of them I might as well move a few to another pond where they stand a better chance of getting bigger.

I find it interesting that at under 4" (the smallest one pictured was about 3.25") the SMB fingerlings have a distinctive black band on the tail. It is easy to ID them swimming from other shiners or FHM by the tail band. Somewhere around 5 or 6" this black tail band fades away and the tail color matches the rest of the fish.
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/14/18 10:54 PM

You can tell the ones that are pellet hogs. This SMB looks like it is about to pop it is so full of pellets.
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/15/18 08:08 AM

Those SMB are incredible. Congrats on that.
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/15/18 10:48 PM

Thanks.

FINALLY caught a RES out of this RES pond. Nice 7" female that has the classic RES snout and look.

The fingerling YOY SMB just kill me. Got to thinking maybe I was catching too many. But then I set in one spot on the pond and caught about 10 in a row. Ended up getting 20 in that bucket before taking them to my sediment and forage ponds then came back and got about 15 more. About 2/3 of them 3 to 4" and the rest 5-6". I'm thinking maybe the larger ones are from the smallest of the 4" stocked late last fall but I am unsure. I am sure the small ones are YOY.

I can catch the 4" ones one right after another. I figure many of the small ones will end up the same fate as a FHM and get eaten so I see little harm in removing a bunch and growing them out in another pond. I been putting the 4" ones in my forage pond where there are few predators and the 6" ones in my sediment pond where I do have some 10-11" LMB that were stocked as fingerlings last fall also. I caught one today at 11" and have been moving them to my main pond.

Everything caught today on a 1/64 oz jig with a pinch of Gulp Alive fake earthworm or green waxie
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/17/18 07:31 AM

So that's what a RES looks like. I know what they look like at stocking time but...ÖÖ..
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/17/18 08:21 AM

Healthy looking RES!!
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/20/18 11:52 PM

I would guess the SMB in the first picture is probably the size that is responsible for all my SMB recruitment's. I've caught several this size but none any larger. Of course I have actually been trying to avoid catching fish this size by using a small hook and bait. But I get one once in a while anyway. This one was caught on a 1/32 oz jig tipped with a Gulp Alive Chartreuse Waxie. I switched to a 1/64 oz jig to try and not tempt my original stocked fish as I only want to catch the recruitment's to move some more to another pond for grow out.

Second picture shows the water added in the new addition with the last rain. If we get another rain to bring the water level up to where the original pond is I will take a backhoe and "marry" the adjoining water together. When the pond is full the area between the two waters will all be submerged. I'm in no hurry for the waters to become one because as you can see the new water doesn't look too good for fish life. I did hand toss some ag lime out into the water today.

Third picture shows how I put some limestone around the existing water line (will be submerged when the pond is full) and how wave action washes the lime into the water. I did some of this around my main pond recently also.

Last picture is of a nice little RES I caught the other day. Hopefully it is making some babies for the SMB to eat.

PBF get together in September
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/21/18 11:39 PM

Ran across this Dave Willis article concerning SMB.

Smallmouth Bass in pond management

And an old thread. SMB in farm ponds

Smallmouth bass in ponds article

Stocking scenarios by Dave Willis (PDF download)

Smallmouth bass in farm pond - Nebraska You tube
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 08/30/18 10:17 AM

Been messing with this pond quite a bit lately. Had an explosion of bullfrog tadpoles. Been trying to sample some RES fingerlings by trapping them and the trap fills up with bullfrog tadpoles in first picture. It was taken a few days ago (you can see the back legs but no front legs yet) and now I see small bullfrogs with a 1" long tail all around the pond. I would guess there are a hundred of more. Maybe my larger SMB will thin them out.

Second picture is of a RES I caught last night which got put back and the third is a hybrid which I removed.

Fourth picture is showing the new addition water and how it has improved. If you look back at an earlier post you will see the new water in it looks like chocolate milk. Can't see anything at all in it. Now a little while later the water has cleared a little (can see a few inches into it) and has got a green cast so algae is getting started. I had put a few buckets of the pond water in it to get the algae kick started and it appears to have worked. Water is starting to look like fish could actually live in it now. The lime I added also helped. Took a couple loader bucket full and hand tossed it out into the water with a shovel. I think this helped the clay settle out better.

Last picture shows how the pond is near two feet below where it will ultimately be when the rains come and the pond fills to the new overflow level (previous post adding 9" to pond depth). And harvest is in full swing as you can see in the background.
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 09/06/18 12:14 PM

SMB are coming along nicely. The first picture fish was just a hair over 12". Did not measure the second one but it was similar. Maybe a bit smaller. The second and third pictures are of the same fish but one taken when I caught it and the next taken a few minutes later after being in a white bucket. Notice the bland look in second picture and the pattern in the third.

Both of these fish got transferred to my main 3 acre pond. I really debated what to do but I purposely overstocked SMB in this RES pond specifically to move some fish to my main pond when big enough to escape predation. Thing of it is, I'm not sure how many of the original stockers survived. I think a flock of cormorants did a number on them. BUT..... one thing I do know it that I have a tremendous amount of recruitment as I am still catching lots of 3.5"-4" SMB by hook and line as well as quite a number of 5-6". So I really have no fear of removing "too many" and my final thought before transferring these two 12" fish was that many of the 4" SMB would just be food for these larger fish if left in. So I now have SMB in my main pond.

Talk about fighters! The first 12" SMB did a tail stand/Michael Jackson moon walk on top of the water and the second fish cleared the water by nearly two feet twice before I landed it. Lucky it didn't shake the hook as I am using barbless jigs. I really was not wanting to "fight" either one much and get them landed quickly because the water is still pretty hot (but has cooled significantly with recent rains). So I was not wanting to stress them but they had other ideas. SMB are feisty fish!

Some additional pictures with descriptions

Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/06/18 12:43 PM

SMB are very special fish!! Definitely my favorite of any freshwater fish. I landed a 7 pounder in mid Feb years ago on Ft. Loudon Lake, Tn, in 40* water. She jumped and cut flips 4 times before I got a net under her. One more and she would have gotten away. My rattletrap had one hook left in the skin of her bottom lip. I was trembling for an hour afterward.

A 7 foot hollow fiberglass medium action rod is the only way I'll throw a trap now.

I'll take one SMB over 10 LMB ANY DAY!!!
Posted by: snrub

Re: can't get over these SMB fingerlings - 09/08/18 10:44 PM

Finally some more water to fill the pond a little more. The new addition is muddy again but is now full enough to join the main BOW.

Still about a foot below the new full pool level though.

Hundreds and hundreds of small, new tailless bullfrogs. The tadpoles have transformed. Maybe the larger SMB will feast on them.
Posted by: snrub

SMB really hitting feed - 09/15/18 09:28 PM

The SMB recruits are really hitting the feed now. Almost as aggressive as BG in my main pond. The water has really cleared up. As clear as I have ever seen it. Fish are easily seen and seem to be hungry. A number of RES are also now taking the pellets. They probably were before but today I clearly seen them feeding.

Wow there is a lot of the SMB recruits. A lot of 5" and 6" fish but still lots of 3-4" fish also. A larger one once in a while but they tend to stay out further from the bank so harder to see. When a bigger one does come closer to shore the 3-4" fish scatter.

Either there was a later spawn or the smallest fish just never got to eating pellets and are slow growers. I can see some of the small fish hitting pellets but some of them clearly are not. They will act agitated when the other fish are feeding but they never go to the top and take a pellet. At least while I am watching.

I'm feeding these a mixture of Optimal starter #4 (which few appear to be utilizing while I am watching), Optimal BG Jr, Optimal BG and Optimal Bass. Occasionally I will also feed them some AM MVP but use mostly Optimal in this pond. The Optimal Starter is utilized very well by my small BG fingerlings in my main pond but the SMB seem to prefer the larger pellets. They also seem to have preference to size. That is why I am feeding the mixture, to give the various size fish whatever they prefer.

If you do not go out to your pond at different times of day I suggest you do so. When the sun is overhead and the water clear it is amazing what a person can see. I think I took the pictures around 11am.

PB Forum get together SE Ks Sept 22,2018
Posted by: NEDOC

Re: SMB really hitting feed - 09/15/18 09:45 PM

Awesome update
Posted by: 4CornersPuddle

Re: SMB really hitting feed - 09/15/18 10:39 PM

snrub, thanks for the continued updates. Pics are wonderful.
I'm right with you on the value of visiting the pond at all times of the day, in different lighting.
As you do, I hand feed. Morning and evening feeding responses are most consistent, but mid-day sometimes brings up fish I don't normally get to see.
Sorry I can't drive over to your farm next week. I'm traveling to the Seattle area to join in the wedding festivities of a young gal I've known, fished, and hunted with since she was born. I missed both her high school and college graduations, so I'd better show up for her wedding!
Posted by: snrub

Re: SMB really hitting feed - 09/15/18 11:13 PM

Thanks. Enjoy the wedding.

Well you know where I am at now so if you are out this way some time, give me a shout. We will have a private PBF get together.
Posted by: 4CornersPuddle

Re: SMB really hitting feed - 09/15/18 11:50 PM

You got it my friend!
Posted by: snrub

weed identification - 09/16/18 02:47 PM

Should I keep it or pull it out? That is the question.

I noticed this pond weed a while back but did not think too much about it till the discussion about curly leaf pond weed and how it is an invasive. Got me worried so I pulled some out and took pictures. It is not curly leaf pond weed (or at least it does not look like the pictures posted) but I am not sure what it is.

There is maybe a dozen "clumps" of it around this one year old pond. Can't recall I have seen it in any of my other ponds so I assume birds or other animals brought it in. It would be fairly easy at this stage to take a rake and get most of the clumps pulled out. Thing of it is, this pond could really use some cover as right now all I have is rock piles and some water primrose. But I do not want it if it is going to be a management nightmare down the road a ways.

So I would like an ID as well as opinions on what if anything I should do with it. Probably could never get it all out but an hours work would get 90% or more at this stage.

Leave it or take it out?
Posted by: snrub

Re: weed identification - 09/16/18 02:50 PM

Is it Sago pond weed?

Sago pond weed

pond weed identification
Posted by: snrub

Re: weed identification - 09/16/18 10:42 PM

An old thread on Sago. If that is what it is.

Old thread on Sago pond weed

The more I think about it, I believe this is the same weed that is in my small seasonal creek. I think I posted pictures of it asking what it was three or four years ago. Have not seen it in any of my other ponds though. Only this one.
Posted by: snrub

Re: weed identification - 09/17/18 03:21 PM

Bump.

Any opinions on if this (post above) is sago pond weed? And any advice to keep or get rid of it?
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: weed identification - 09/17/18 09:05 PM

I think this is one of the several species of narrow leaf pondweeds Potomogeton species.
Posted by: snrub

Re: weed identification - 09/17/18 10:28 PM

Thanks Bill. How do you rate them as far as causing problems in a pond? If it will stay at the level it currently is or even gets twice to three times as much it appears to be very good cover for small fish.

The main thing I do not want is something that takes over the pond and makes fishing impossible.
Posted by: snrub

Re: weed identification - 09/24/18 11:05 AM

Bill at the PBF get together at my place Bob Lusk ID'd it and called it Bushy Pondweed, which if I recall what he said correctly is one of the Potomogeton species as you said. Here is a picture he took as the group was around looking at it and discussing it.

We looked at a couple different bunches and Bob explained the difference in that one had a covering of FA and was not doing very good and the other was healthy. He explained how the FA and Bushy pond weed were competing for the nutrients in the pond and if I remove one the other would likely flourish and might become a problem.

So I decided leave it in to compete with the FA. It looks like decent cover for tiny fish. He said if it became a problem it would not get into very deep water and I could spot treat it along the bank to gain fishing access.

Bushy pond weed
Posted by: snrub

RES pond update - 09/27/18 11:26 PM

An update on how this pond is going. The RES situation has not been particularly encouraging. I have some but they are not overly large. The pond is not very fertile so they may just be growing slow because of lack of food. Many of the SMB are feeding on pellets and the ones that are on feed are doing very well. But likely very few RES are feeding on pellets so they have to depend on natural forage. The FHM are long gone from what I can observe or trap so the RES are down to bugs and snails.

Also I have made some mistakes on RES identification because I have ended up with some hybrids. Either I have transferred some hybrids from my forage pond (the most likely) or the purchased RES fingerlings had some hybrids in them. Now that I have SMB in good numbers in the pond I am not terribly worried about the hybrids. I just remove them as they are caught and move them to my old pond.

Below are pictures of a few of the fish caught from this pond in the last couple days. I have moved quite a few SMB from this pond to my main 3 acre pond.

Bob Lusk helped me with my hybrid identification during my PBF get together. I think I did ok as long as I stuck with 3"+ fish. But later I was transferring some 2" fish from my forage pond to this RES/SMB pond and I think that is where I mis-ID'd the hybrids and moved some of them also.

The hybrids take to the pellets easily so they are fat and sassy. I really like the RESxGSF hybrids. Just not in this pond. mad
Posted by: TGW1

Re: RES pond update - 09/28/18 05:49 AM

snrub, all of your smb look really good, I bet they would be at a 100% rw or more. With all your res,bg and gsf I bet they do really well at your place.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: RES pond update - 09/28/18 06:06 AM

Those RES/GSF mutts are neat looking fish.
Posted by: snrub

Re: RES pond update - 09/28/18 11:48 AM

I think so too Dave. I think they are really pretty fish.

And they are much, MUCH easier to catch than RES.

Bob talked like the RESxGSF crosses are mostly male and the reciprocal GSFxRES cross eggs are not very viable (or I could have got those reversed) so along with the SMB predation in this pond I am not really worried too much about any reproduction and if I keep every one I catch they are unlikely to spoil my plans for my RES/SMB pond.

I do transfer them to my old pond a hundred feet away though because I really do like the hybrid.

At my PBF get together a couple guys caught a bunch of my HBG and put them in my holding pen for me. Carolynn and I filleted them the next day. The hybrids, be it HBG or the RESxGSF cross grow fast, fillet out nice and are fun and easy to catch. I really like them a lot.

For purists or trophy hunters they are probably a dirty word. But for a poor angler with a mutt pond, I get along fine with them.
Posted by: ewest

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/28/18 01:28 PM

Here are the sex ratios (percent male) that Childers got with various hybrid crosses. The male parent is listed first. There is some variation in the numbers from other studies

Redear X Bluegill 97 (3)
Bluegill X Redear 97
Redear X Green 69
Green X Redear 48

Bluegill X Green 97
Green X Bluegill 68 (2)
Redear X Warmouth 55
Bluegill X Warmouth 69 (2)
Green X Warmouth 16
Warmouth X Green 84
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/28/18 10:39 PM

That's interesting. Not that far off from 50-50.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/29/18 11:43 PM

Couple of RES from this pond. I would assume these are from the 200 two inch fingerlings stocked 5-31-2017, although could have been from other stocking out of my forage pond.

post with summary of RES and other stocking

If these are from those original 200 2" fingerlings, I'm satisfied with the growth considering this pond is not overly fertile.
Posted by: ewest

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/30/18 10:22 AM

Really nice RES. Large red ear tab edge on one and look at the fins - very RESish.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 09/30/18 11:48 AM

I was very pleased with those two fish. I have been removing any hybrids I catch or any RES that do not quite look like I want. I hope to have a pond full of ones that look like those two and hope to raise some up to around 11 inches and a couple pounds.

With the SMB in there to keep the recruitment in check, I think I have a shot.

Those two were caught on a curly tail jig while cast and retrieve trying to catch small SMB. They hit it on the move.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/07/18 12:10 AM

I just do not understand these fingerling SMB that are 3.5" long this time of year. Was it a late spawn? My understanding is SMB only spawn one time a year and that is in the spring. Are they just runts that were spawned this spring and have not grown? I do not think so because they seem to be healthy. I caught 5 tonight just before sunset that all looked like the two pictured below within 5 minutes in the same area. I think they must have been running together. Saw several others chase my bait. I have lots of this size as well as larger YOY.

Also a picture of one of two 13" SMB, likely the size that spawned the small ones. And a 7" RES also caught tonight just before dark.

Edit: The two 13" SMB were caught on a circle hook under a bobber with a live 4" GSH hooked through the back and all the other stuff was caught on the small jig tipped with Gulp Alive bait as pictured in the first picture.
Posted by: TGW1

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/07/18 06:30 AM

snrub, seems like u been catching quite a few smallies lately. So, it looks to me like you are going to have a nice small mouth lake in about 4 yrs because the ones pictured should be a nice size by then. Now, if your weather was anywhere like ours this past winter and spring then look for different sized yoy, I think. Do you have plenty of cover for the smaller ones to hide from your largemouth bass?
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/07/18 11:04 AM

No LMB to hide from in the RES/SMB pond and only transferring larger sizes to main pond. The 6" could potentially get eaten but most are 8" and bigger so unlikely.

Getting a fair amount of cover in RES/SMB pond via bushy pond weed and water primrose so the 4" do have some cover.
Posted by: Shorty

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/07/18 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: snrub
I just do not understand these fingerling SMB that are 3.5" long this time of year. Was it a late spawn?


We had a cold spring here and it took a while for water temps to warm up, I am guessing your pond was the same. Keeping mind that the spawn is a rolling spawn, some will go early and some will go late. Your SMB spawn may have been spread out over a 4 to 5 week time frame.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/07/18 12:25 PM

That makes sense to me, but I thought only BG and possibly RES did that. I would think that would have to be the explanation.

Also since all of the spawn would have been the first spawn, since all were fingerlings the year before, I wonder if some sexually mature later and that causes a later than normal spawn.

I do not know that, just speculating.

The 4" SMB I move to my forage pond where they grow up to about 6-8" then if/when I catch them again (caught a couple with cast net recently) move them to my main pond. So the small 3-4" SMB I catch get moved twice. First from RES/SMB pond to my 1/20th acre forage pond to grow up a little so they will not get eaten, then over to my main pond to grow out on plenty of BG and become a bonus fish along side my LMB.

Raining cats and dogs right now outside and I had a dozen fish to clean and was going fishing. Maybe I will wait a little while. grin
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/09/18 09:35 PM

Couple of RES caught right before dark from this pond. I think they are coming along ok. They just need to grow and spawn next year.

Also removed three RES hybrids. Glad to get any hybrids out of this pond. They go into my adjacent old pond where I enjoy fishing for hybrids.
Posted by: Pat Williamson

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/10/18 11:35 AM

Sure are pretty fish John, they are one of my favorites
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/20/18 01:35 PM

The water in this pond has been unbelievably clear lately. FA growing on the bottom in some spots like gangbusters so maybe that is the reason (FA taking up all the nutrients maybe?).

Earlier this summer I could catch 3.5-6" SMB YOY one after another easily. Now I put a lure in the water, can see them and move the lure so it almost hits them, and they just ignore it. I did get them to play with a curly tail jig just a little bit last night. They would ignore it as long as it was around them but if I let it drop to the bottom in a clear patch a couple would nip at the tail a couple times before loosing interest. Did not catch a thing in this pond last night and only a couple strikes. That is one nice thing about having multiple ponds with different species. The BG were still biting reasonably well in my main 3 acre pond and the HBG and GSF in my other ponds are always good for a bite (only RES and SMB in this pond).

Since the water was so clear some big beds that I assume are my SMB beds are very visible. The reason I think they may be SMB beds are because of the size. The largest one is probably about 2' in diameter (the most distant in the picture). The RES I have seen on beds earlier in the season the beds were only about half or a little more in size. In this pond I made several finger mounds jutting out from the dam toward the middle of the pond. All of these structural fingers have beds on them similar to the one pictured only this has the largest beds on it. I also have some mounds out in the middle of the pond I can barely see from the bank with the water being so low but I can not see if they have beds on them or not. I suspect they do. I need to buy a small boat so I can go out there some time. I have not seen any fish on the beds for quite a while.

The pond has never completely refilled yet since I raised the full pool level by 9" this summer (pictures and description earlier in this thread). I would like to see what it would look like full but rains all summer and so far this fall have been such that only a small amount has run off into the ponds. Not enough to fill this one completely yet. The beds pictured will have another 12-14" of water over them once the pond is full to the new water level.

Bushy pond weed pictured closest to the shore in first picture with some slightly further out covered in FA. The FA seems to kind of keep the bushy pond weed in check by competing with it.
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/20/18 07:50 PM

Interesting. I don't recall ever seeing SMB nests in a colony before but the ones I've seen are in a stream or river.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/20/18 08:23 PM

I don't know for sure they are. They just seem to be larger than the other beds I was able to see RES on so i was making an assumption. Could be wrong.

During the spring when the SMB woukd have spawned I could not see these beds because water was not so clear and it was a bit deeper.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/20/18 08:47 PM

I suspect the larger bed was originally a SMB bed that was likely reused by a RES and then other RES made a couple beds near the large bed.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 10/20/18 10:59 PM

Well the sun came out and the fish were biting in this RES/SMB pond for a few minutes. Then they started ignoring me again. Caught three in a few minutes then nothing for the next hour. Oh well.

Water is so clear I can see lots and lots of 4-6" SMB

Moved the smaller one to my forage pond and the larger one to my sediment pond to grow them out big enough to put in my main 3 acre pond. They will probably get moved to the main pond next summer or next fall. The RES went back in this same pond to grow.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 11/03/18 04:14 PM

The SMB went back to avoiding my hook again. So I changed tactics. Got the cast net out. I could see them in the clear water, but they just would not bite a hook.

I wanted a few more of the 3-4" size to transfer to my forage pond to grow out over the winter and next spring. Ended up with 18 to transfer. A couple looked a little light weight and a couple of tubbies that were very fat. But most just looked to be in very good shape. Most were in the 3.5-4" range with a couple slightly larger. I was a little surprised I didn't get any 6-8" ones because I see them from the bank regularly. They may have been out in deeper water. Or just quicker to escape the net.

Some pictures below.

FA is terrible in this pond. Brought up blobs of it along with some bushy pond weed, but still got a few fish most casts.

Also got one RES hybrid in the cast net. frown Fat little bugger. Moved it to my old pond.
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 05/15/19 02:33 PM

Took the wife down to this RES/SMB pond around noon today so she could see the RES on the nests clearly. The water is clear and with the sun overhead it is easy to see the RES on the shallow nests. Maybe 12-18" deep water.

Several scattered nests around the edge of the dam where there is a shallow ledge. On another side 7 grouped tightly together getting into squabbles at times over turf.

When we fed last night saw one pair actually spawning in that group of 7. Did see one hybrid on a lone nest as it has some yellow tipping on the fins. Need to catch him and remove.

Lots and lots of SMB from 4" up to about 10" readily visible all around the pond. With the warmer water the larger ones are really starting to hit the feed and come swimming towards the bank when I come up on the pond with the 4 wheeler. Feeding has been persnickety and off and on this spring with the SMB. But they are getting with the program now, finally.

Bill Cody 5 part series on raising SMB. Part 5 with the links at the bottom
Posted by: snrub

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish - 08/03/19 10:25 AM

Some of the SMB I have been catching and transferring to my main 3 acre pond and my old pond. I target 6-12" sizes specifically for transfer by using small curly tail jig or a jig head with some tiny Gulp Alive waxies or maggots. Once in a while I will catch a bigger one on the small jigs.

Have transferred about 25 of this size of SMB so far this year. I have a BUNCH in this pond that come up to feed. Need to thin the herd. grin

While I was away a friend fished my main pond and among the catch was a SMB that weighed in over 4#. That would have been one that originally came from this pond and was transferred in a previous year. (I transferred some larger ones back then)