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#55868 - 07/08/05 04:43 PM Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Question for all Pond Boss frequenters.

What do you get when you combine the following:

Fat pellet fed male BG about ten inches

Big healthy 10.5 inch female pellet hog bluegill

New little pond

Lots of food

and 11 months of growth

Drum roll, please.........

BUBBA


BUBBA'S BIG BROTHER


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#55869 - 07/08/05 05:04 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Dave Willis Offline

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Bruce -- did you happen to weigh them?? We need to start calculating some relative weight values on your fish!! :-)
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#55870 - 07/08/05 05:06 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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I didn't weigh them but the lengths were 4.5 inches and 5.75 inches. It looks like their tails are having trouble keeping up with the rest of the body. \:D

I was also suprised, and a little frightened that the male has characteristics of sexual maturity. 11 months is a little young, don't you think?

The parents were stocked into a brand new 1/10 acre pond second week of July 2004 so they can't be any older than that.

I actually caught about fifteen more before I made myself stop.
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#55871 - 07/08/05 05:16 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Here's one more.

BRENDA (BUBBA'S BIG SISTER) 5 inches


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#55872 - 07/08/05 08:26 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bill Cody Offline
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Bruce - Dave, Maybe the research about delayed maturation and culkolder behavior does not apply to every bluegill population. The development of your young 11 month old male raises some questions in my mind. Hopefully you can follow the age & growth of these young males especially if a few of just the males are separated.
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#55873 - 07/08/05 08:31 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Theo Gallus Offline
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Bruce:

How many adults did you put in the 1/10 acre last year?

The 2004 YOY certainly show great growth even for a new pond - perhaps there was so little pressure on the bigger 2004 males from Bull 'Gills for breeding space that they went ahead & matured???
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#55874 - 07/08/05 08:45 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Bill,

You can bet I'll follow development closely. My goal is to separate the bigger fish into three groups. Tail clipped and added to my recreation pond, placed into new reproduction pond for 2006 and some left in existing pond. This way if I have a catastrophy of some kind I won't lose them all.

Theo,

These fish came from approximately 60 adults that were carefully chosen for the program. I currently have 930 of this year class. What makes the maturation of an 11-month-old male even more remarkable is that it is in a lined pond. There are steep sides and no spawning substrate of any kind. Why did he mature? The other eleven BG that I caught were unremarkable in size. They were quite healthy, but no longer than a typical age-1 BG. At the end of the year I hope a couple hundred of these fish will distinguish themselves for second generation production next year.
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#55875 - 07/08/05 09:40 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bill Cody Offline
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Bruce - Were you ever able to get some stomach contents for the first phase of the feeding study?
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#55876 - 07/08/05 10:07 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
burgermeister Offline
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the tail is not keeping up, neither is the head(mouth to flap), I think it is deformed, but deformed in a good way(lots of meat). Very nice!
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#55877 - 07/08/05 10:14 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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You're right about the head size being too small. This is one of the ways that we distinguish body condition on first glance. The head to body ratio is usually smaller when the fish are in good condition. Stunted panfish usually have big looking heads--especially the eye.
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#55878 - 07/08/05 10:17 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Bill, I just bought some Bacardi's 151 rum for the study but my wife is worried about me suddenly switching from Jack Daniels after knowing me for 20 years.
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#55879 - 07/09/05 12:19 AM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Well guys I'm a little concerned about the all males I put in my 1/10th acre pond. I've had high hopes as they are 7 inchers that are only 2 years of age! Many of them still are lined up facing the bank in very shallow water and although I can get some of them to suck up pellets most are not interested in pellets. Many are so shallow their backs are almost out of the water. Thank goodness a passing heron as not keyed in on this yet. During the day during bright sunny weather there are many suspending near the surface farther out. I can get some of them to suck in pellets if I throw them to them.

Possible explanations are:

1.) Low grade disease problems or parasites. However only one mortality in a couple months and I see no signs of fungus or bacteria on their bodies. But I haven't removed any of them to examine them closely. I thinking of send a few to a disease lab and see if they come up with anything. Fish are directly from an RAS and it is possible they have a low resistence to pathogens due to not being exposed to them or building up an immunity. Kind of like breast fed babies vs. all bottle fed. However these fish were pond fish initially. I had one fish farmer in PA tell me he did not think RAS fish were as adaptable to ponds as pond raised fish. But one sign that it may NOT be a pathogenic thing is the fish do scoot off rapidly when approached and are impossible to net. Also the fish have been doing this for a couple of months now with no appreciable mortality or obvious disease signs.

2.) Being it is a new pond the fish are forgoing pellets to feed on natural feed items. However the fish in shallow water don't seem to be actively feeding. They just appear to be sitting their facing the bank. There was a prolific amount of tadpoles earlier and some very very small frogs which the fish sucked in as soon as I threw them to them. Maybe there are smaller food Items I am not seeing. I suspose I could open one up or suck out some stomach contents.

3.) Fish are just having a hard time adapting to the wild environment coming out of stainless steel tanks. It's like putting someone from NYC into the wild. LOL

Thank you all for your previous comments and more would be greatly appreciated.

BTW Bruce. Nice fish! They look similar to the bluegills I planted out of the RAS. Only difference was the RAS fish were a little pale with a purple sheen.
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#55880 - 07/09/05 12:28 AM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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One more thing. Some of them will eat the Japanese beetles that are now showing up now if I throw them into the pond. Maybe they're Japanese bluegills? \:D

Seriously this seems to back up the theory that they may prefer natural items at this point in time. Hope so!

Could be terrestrial bugs are falling off the burlap that goes to the edge of the water and that is why they are facing the bank?

I'm going to set up my bugcatcher light/fan(forget the brandname) and see if they key in on the bugs at night. If they go bonzo over the bugs at night I'll know it's they are more interested in natural food items and it's not a pathogen issue. I'll keep you posted.
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#55881 - 07/09/05 09:45 AM Re: Question about raising bluegills
NEDOC Offline
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Registered: 08/20/04
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Bruce - all I can say is WOW!!!

ps I have one wiper that is up to 17" that was stocked at less than 10 last fall. Does that seem possible?

Cecil - let us know how the bugcatcher works. I have been thinking of experimenting with one of those as well.
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#55882 - 07/09/05 04:23 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bill Cody Offline
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Cecil - This is one more reason to persue raising your own quality stock similar to what Bruce is doing. How is the outline for our bgill article coming? Bruce & I have quite a few pictures now.

Bruce - Isn't biology fun. You can use the same stuff to preserve bugs and charge up your mixed drinks. Tell the kids it is for bug pickling only and you are monitoring the liquid level. Be careful if the bugs quit dying; someone is diluting the preservative.
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#55883 - 06/10/06 04:09 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Here's a bluegill just caught from the all-male pond. Sorry about the atrocious quality, but I got a new digital camera for my birthday this week and I'm still not understanding the settings.

I thought you'd enjoy what I call the "helmet". Bluegill that have unlimited foraging get this crazy apparatus on the top of their dome. This one was pretty good.



Here's another bad photo that maybe gives a little better size perspective.



I need comments!!! \:\) \:\)
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#55884 - 06/10/06 04:39 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
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Oh my goodness, what a fish! You cracked 11 inches, which is truly an accomplishment! Have you shown this picture to Gabelhouse? I'm pretty sure his biggest from Pelican Lake is still 10 15/16 inches. We wouldn't let him have that last sixteenth of an inch!
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#55885 - 06/10/06 08:54 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Theo Gallus Offline
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Bruce:

Did you weigh him? He's huge.

I need to get my second pond dug so I can stop hating you (as much).
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#55886 - 06/10/06 09:12 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Eastland Offline
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Bruce, you are on the leading edge, that is a beautiful fish...I sure would like to get broodstock from your high end breeding pairs, you're not shipping fish out of State yet are you \:\)

I have done my best to only stock genetically superior fish...but I did have to buy standard coppernose, I'm betting there's a huge market for pure BG with your growth potential. It's great to see the results of selective breeding, do you know the age of the 11+" ?

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#55887 - 06/10/06 09:25 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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That fish is (one of) my broodstock fish. He wasn't born on my farm, but can't be higher than age-6.

Some of my age-3's are his progeny likely.

I didn't weigh him. I was having so many problems figuring out the camera settings that I was worried I might be stressing him, so he was measured and quickly released.

I'll catch another one better than him soon that I'll get higher quality photos. By my estimation that fish wouldn't crack my top 40.

Excellent fight, by the way. ;\)
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#55888 - 06/10/06 09:45 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Eastland:
Bruce, you are on the leading edge, that is a beautiful fish...I sure would like to get broodstock from your high end breeding pairs, you're not shipping fish out of State yet are you \:\)

I have done my best to only stock genetically superior fish...but I did have to buy standard coppernose, I'm betting there's a huge market for pure BG with your growth potential. It's great to see the results of selective breeding, do you know the age of the 11+" ?
This is the first year that I'll have more than a handful of fish from these breeding pairs. I may have as many as five thousand.

Ultimately, if I keep them all alive maybe five hundred will be worth a darn. There will even be some really slow growers in the bunch. I'll run a seine in September and get rid of at least 80% of them.
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Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#55889 - 06/10/06 09:49 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
Bruce:

Did you weigh him? He's huge.

I need to get my second pond dug so I can stop hating you (as much).
Maybe for your second pond you could get me a couple dozen of your best feed trained males from your pond and I'll breed them with the best F-2 females from my program and we'll end up with a "Gallello" strain.
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#55890 - 06/10/06 09:52 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
burgermeister Offline
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Bruce has just the technique and camera angles to make that little 11 incher look large. :p
Bruce, you are so sadistic to subject us with this, and the poor fish to 99 degree heat. ;\)
Awesome fish, my man.
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#55891 - 06/10/06 09:54 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by burgermeister:
Bruce has just the technique and camera angles to make that little 11 incher look large. :p
Bruce, you are so sadistic to subject us with this, and the poor fish to 99 degree heat. ;\)
Awesome fish, my man.
Thanks! The best thing about these bigger bluegill is that if you use them for bait you can catch a twenty pound catfish instead of a fifteen pounder. \:\)
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Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

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#55892 - 06/10/06 10:22 PM Re: Question about raising bluegills
Bruce Condello Offline
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Cecil, what do you do about that hump/helmet thingie when you're creating a mount? Are you able to duplicate that very well?
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