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#16288 - 01/02/07 09:33 PM initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
i have read other posts till my eyes are crossed---few posts on this topic in southeast or ga. ponds---i would like some suggestions for stocking forage and sport fish for my new pond in middle georgia---theo i sent you a personal email--to others (mr. lusk and greg grimes esp) please give your opinions on the following -- app 1.4 to 1.6 acre pond estimate--will measure soon--pond average depth should be 7 to 8 feet--most of it in the 10 to 12 foot range (will that average depth help in producing a few more fish than say a 5ft average depth pond? i have read it will not--we created some holes and mounds and i am putting in 6 porcupines-3 in place already as water was filling the deep end (not much rain from june thru mid-december but we are getting some now guess after a long dry spell the ground takes up the first few rains pretty much--the last rain seemed to add more water than the firs two) --i want to stock this pond to be used more as enjoyment fishing (not for lunker fish)--i would like to be able to catch fish readily and all stocked species in decent size--i have seen suggested 500 BG/RES per acre + 50 CC/acre and later 50 LMB/acre-- i was wondering about increasing the catfish to 75/acre and reducing the bass to 25/acre to maybe increase bream population without it getting out of control--i have found over the years that large bream/midsize cats and bass are lots of fun to catch and are good eating size as well. i enjoy catching these fish on light tackle--with pond beginning to fill now at what stage would you add what forage species in what amount and what fish species to produce such a pond---i limed the pond bottom (right at 8 tons spread) but don't think i want to fertilize it as i don't want to start and then stop. the pond will not be heavily fished anyway. i don't care what i catch as long as i'm catching lots of fish. thanks for your info.

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#16289 - 01/02/07 10:01 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Bruce Condello Offline
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If you want to catch lots of fish, it may be beneficial to consider some artificial feeding regimen. My main question would be to find out what sort of water turnover you are expecting annually. If you have a large watershed, I have found that you can feed with less risk to having too many nutrients and consequently will be able to support more biomass to achieve your goal of lots of pounds of fish to catch and harvest. Ponds that don't have much "flow through" are much more limited in this respect.
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#16290 - 01/02/07 10:40 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ewest Offline
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GPR :
Tell us about your pond/area. Hills or lowlands?
I am thinking about fertility. If you are in a non-fertile area and you don't fertilize you may be limited in the amount of fish you can support. A feeder may be even more important if so. Many non-fertile SE ponds only grow 100 lbs of fish per acre with 75% forage , 25% predators. That will have a bearing on how you stock and manage.
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#16291 - 01/03/07 08:34 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Greg Grimes Offline
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GPR, have I already spoke with you? Or another guy who emailed with similiar situation. The stocking you mentioend is traditional and works just fine for ok, "bream" fishing, ok catfish and ok bass. If you want more catfish and will eat more catfish then you can stock more catfish. You just want to limit the amount of catfish over 2-3 lbs. So stock 100/acre if you want several good fish frys.

Your part of the state is typical unfertilie soil, so what BC said does not apply. ( sorry Bruce I wish we could get blooms just from excess waste)However what he said does apply on waht is rention time how long does water stay in the pond? If you have too much flow fertilization is out the door and feeding is much more important. It is much easier btw than with old style granular so you might consider since you did a good job on lime addition. If not then what Ewest describes is true and very limited on predator growth. Also 6 attrators is not enough habitat if that is all you put in, need more diversity, etc.

You might consider if you do a supplemental feeding program stocking hybrid striped bass in addition to largemouth. Also if you want to maximize fishing sucess immediately double to 800 bluegill and 200 redear/AC. Also add 2,000 fathead minnows/ac, again depends on goals.

Believe it or not you can stock trout in the winter for fun, in fact guys on taking some down your way right now. I suggest once the pond is 1/2-3/4 full sometime prior to spring just stocking smaller bluegill, you can if impatience supplement with larger (4-5")and reduce numbers by 2-1 vs. smaller (1-2"). Lots of good advice here, feel free to email with questions or to order fish , fish habitats or feeder. Good luck!
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#16292 - 01/03/07 08:45 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Theo Gallus Offline
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GPR's pond is projected to be about 1.5 acre when full, with an estimated 40 acre watershed. It's a long, narrow pond in between a hill and the creek in the bottoms which it parallels.

Without being able to give Georgia-specific advice (How 'bout them Dawgs), I think going with the standard BG/RES/LMB + CC mix for a first pond is a good thing. This proven species mix can be as easy or as challenging to manage as you want to make it, with more information available for handling these particular fish than other possible combinations.

If you plan on a pond "used more as enjoyment fishing (not for lunker fish)" and feel "large bream/midsize cats and bass are lots of fun to catch and are good eating size as well" (incidently, I happen to agree with you on those sentiments), I would not drop the LMB numbers below 50/acre. Keeping the bass number moderate to high will head you towards a balanced-to-slightly-bass-heavy condition; this should provide bigger bream and numberous mid-sized bass to catch.

I'd say increase the CC numbers to 75/acre if you really like catfish. I don't think that's an excessive number. (I also don't think 25 CC are worth 25 LMB as far as bream predation, so the bass stocking should stay at 50/acre IMHO).

You should not have any problems stocking FHM (and Gambusia, if you wish - read the threads on Gambusia/"Mosquito Fish" and see what you think) as startup-forage next Spring. GPR is considering getting his BG/RES/CC/LMB fingerlings from the state of Georgia and thinks the BG/RES/CC will be available in Fall 2007 and the LMB available Spring 2008. (I assume being state-provided fish, they will be small fingerlings). These stocking dates are perhaps later than many of us would prefer, but letting the startup forage and volunteer invertebrates multiply and grow next Summer will result in rapid growth of the other fish when they are added. It will work.

If the FHM have a whole Summer head start, I'd stock 10 lbs of them in the Spring. If using Gambusia also, maybe 500 or 1000 (?) of them.

P.S. I see Greg has posted. His advice is probably worth as much as the rest of us so far put together, if not more.
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#16293 - 01/03/07 08:54 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Bruce Condello Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Grimes:
...sorry Bruce I wish we could get blooms just from excess waste
Good point. I forgot that not everyone lives in Nebraska. \:D
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#16294 - 01/03/07 10:32 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
thanks for the replies--ewest--pond is as described by theo above--iwould really prefer not to have to fertilize but will if necessary also the pond will not be heavily fished--greg yes we talked/emailed and i followed your recommendations on liming---am willing to feed catfish once a week or so to supplement them but that's about it-- would prefer not to start a fertilization program unless i have to--may want to swim in pond some--if i find i have to fertilize i will---and will discuss this more with you --will get with you on ordering some fatheads and bream and a few CC as soon as pond is 1/2 full--there should not be much flow thru problems--what flow thru there will be will be via siphon system from 5 or 6 ft below surface--so this may make fertilization easier and more economical? (greg do you have an estimate on what it would cost me to keep this fertilized?) i may go with 750bg/res/acre total 75cc/acre and later 50lmb/acre based on what ya'll tell me here--have 3 good size holes/3 mounds/6 fish attractors--what else would ya'll recommend structure wise? dang this is sorta very much like work. thanks again very much.

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#16295 - 01/03/07 11:44 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ewest Offline
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GPR :

A pond can be as much or as little work as you want to do or have done. Make a note of this as you read and think about what you want. While the basics of ponds are similar every pond is different with its own characteristics and reactions. I have never seen or heard anyone say they were happy with the results of a stock - occasionally fish - and forget (management) pond with LMB , BG/RES, FH and CC. They will get out of balance (in the south usually to many small LMB ) over time without management.

Fertilizer and/or feeding are tools to increase the capacity of a pond to carry/produce more fish. You don't have to do either and can do either on a scale from 0 to 100 %. It is not an all or nothing choice and they can be used in combination. The management of the process is the key to making it work. We have a pond that has limited fertilization and feeding that has a sand beach and is great for swimming.

Its all about what you want and how to get there. Start by deciding what you want from the pond and how you will manage the situation either yourself or by having someone help.

With all that you said the most telling thing was "the pond will not be heavily fished". Tell us what that means and how many of what type of fish you want to harvest (not catch and release) each year? With a pond goal of not being subject to heavy harvest many ponds are better off not having their capacity raised by fertilization or supplemental feeding.

With that we can help you get where you want to go.

On the cover question see this link to lots about cover and pond ideas. Some woody cover (xmas trees etc) in shallow water ( 2-5 ft) is good .

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=22;t=000022
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#16296 - 01/03/07 01:57 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
ewest--this pond will not be your basic farm pond --think of it as "my back yard" pond (house will be about 50 to 75 yards up the hill overlooking it)--i anticipate having a friend or two over from time to time to fish with me but don't plan of stocking their freezers nor mine (i'm from the eat what you kill or catch school" otherwise don't kill it.---i enjoy fly fishing for bream, top water fishing for bass, and some fishing for catfish. so i will harvest some of all and enough to have a couple meals of fish per week off of it and a fish fry once or twice a summer. your pond with limited fertilization and beach sounds like basically what i have in mind--i plan on adding a dock and maybe some sand around it once i figure best location/etc/etc. my thoughts are if i add anymore structure that i have a blown over midsize cedar that i may try and cut the trunk off where i can move it and pull it to the pond, tie a block and put it in about 5 ft water--plus maybe make a stake bed from pvc pipe just driving them in the pond basin. i like the idea of no "hang-ups"---i had sorta thought the porcupines took the place of trees but would be a shame to let that cedar go to waste after it is blown over anyway. i also had read that if you weren't going to "heavy harvest" you didn't always need to fertilize. i'm guessing i will fall in the fertilize "sometimes" category--when you do that on your pond --how, when , and why do you do it? do you make gravel beds for spawning?--i've read a bunch on that too but the ponds i used to fish in the fish spawned without them. greg--see my previous post describing out-flow and existing structure. theo--i will read the gambusia thread--i'm not familar with them but i take it they are good to have for forage. thanks all

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#16297 - 01/03/07 02:47 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12394
Loc: Central Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by ga pond rookie:
theo--i will read the gambusia thread--i'm not familar with them but i take it they are good to have for forage.
Some say yes, some say no. I plan an trying them in my next pond, in the hope they have more staying power over time than slow FHM.
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#16298 - 01/03/07 06:20 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Greg Grimes Offline
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GPR I got your email but wil respond here so other can see my comments. Ewest great points about 0-100%.

On fertilization to me it is all or nothing, halfa..will lead to filamentous algae issues. You can change visibility goals in other words instead of 18-24 inches your goal is 24-36 inches, but you have to make sure you have deeper edges and keep at it to maintin this visilibilty goal. Having said all this with you saying a few times you really don't want to plus 40 acres of watershed, DO NOT FERTILIZE!

I do think your a good candidatate for feeder it will just make thigns easier and provide many beneftis IMHO. I'm not in your area ll that often maybe once per month. Just happen to be that employee took trout to Gray, GA today.

Biggest thing I noticed in Theo post was desire to get GA DNR fish. It is cheap I think $50/acre, if timed right go for it. However I think you just missed them. No way in the world I would wait a full year just to get fish a little cheaper that are much much smaller than private supplied 1-2 inch bluegill. In other words I feel with 40 acre watershed you will have 3/4 full by this spring. You mentioned in email get FH now and some fish later when 1/2 full. No reason to do that they will not grow in winter anyway but if it is indeed 1/2-3/4 full by late March get all the forage (Fh, BG, RES) then. Then followup with the bass in June. This is diff than some northern folks are used to. It works just fine (actually better than state supplied 1/2 inch fish stocked in Nov.)b/c a 1-2" bluegill stocked in March will be sexualy mature by June. bass will start to eat tiny baby fish about JUly or when bass is 4 inches. Everything is quicker down here b/c of temp. Hope this makes sense kinda rushed it b/c heading home to see the little fella. GPR let me know your thoughts.
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#16299 - 01/03/07 09:05 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
greg---i think you and i read ewest comments differently---i took it to mean he both fertilized and fed some but limited both--my pond slopes are good to prevent weed growth-- i have contacted dnr to see when i could get some fish---really had planned on getting some from you and them both if it worked out--like you suggest i plan on stocking soon after 2/3 to 3/4 full--maybe sooner on the fatheads (what are your thoughts on the gambusia theo mentioned?) i'll go to that thread now and read it--greg i'm pretty patient on things so when i order from you i can wait until you some more deliveries in the area--i may feed some once i move down there but it would be an added burden i don't need till then--much on my plate right now. i was thinking of getting some bg/res,fh from you when pond is ready--then the amt dnr would supply when available as i thought you said the pond should support more than 500/acre which is their supply. i don't mind waiting till next spring for bass if need be or water down-- but may change my mind depending on what i learn--water conditions--we had pretty severe dry conditions this summer and fall in that area--- do you ever have gambusia or coppernose?--also is coppernose more aggressive than bg or regular bg the best way to go--i've read too many bad things on hbg to fool with them. am curious--if you fertilized what would you use--how often-- cost? i realize there are variables just best guess. thanks

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#16300 - 01/03/07 10:22 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Frank Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 369
Loc: Macon Georgia
Hey ga pond rookie

Glad to see you are making progress. My pond is in Haddock a few miles from you.

I want to point out that the stocker fish are the cheapest part of a pond so don't skimp on these. You will never have another opportunity to stock so start out right.

I got my bass from Greg. I also bought three feeders from him. He is a good guy to know.

Good luck. Since we are so close, let's plan to get together.

Frank
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#16301 - 01/03/07 11:19 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Ga Rookie, Get to know Frank well. He, Greg and Ewest will be able to guide you.

Greg is a Pro, Ewest is an expert and Frank is a thinking mans pond junkie. Go by and see Frank.
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#16302 - 01/04/07 07:51 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Greg Grimes Offline
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Loc: Ball Ground, GA
GPR, get Frank to tell you about fertilzing a pond with "too much" watershed. With 40 acres into a 1.5 acre pond 27 acres watershed/surface acre of pond, that is in my opinion too high to get good returns on fertilizer time and cost invesment. To answer we sell a water soluble powder 10-52-4 that in most situations works out to be cheaper and much easier to apply thant either granular, or liquid and much cheaper than time release.

On DNR fish I thought you could not ge them until fall of 2007? They will provide them if you have bass and a waste if you have bas, so my plan was to stock enough now to get bass theis spring. If you do not get the water I think you will get then yes buy a few from us if you like then get the state cheaper fish and then by 2008 the bass will grow like wildfire. Of course keep in mind you lost a year of growth on them this way. We mostly sell coppernose not native bluegill. They seem to feed better and are more agressive biting as well. Not a huge fan of gambusia b/c I only stock the FH anyway for initial growth of bass, what good is a 1 inch fish to a 3 lb bass, very little, but feel free to get some it will not hurt that is for sure.
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#16303 - 01/04/07 10:18 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
greg---a whole new debate--would a 1 inch fish to a 3 lb bass be more value than a 2 lb fish to a 200lb person --i don't have any cover for gambusia at present so no hurry on that---frank i'd like much to show you my place and look at yours--we have communicated in the past--it will have to be on a weekend right now if possible---478-445-6266 let's see if we can find a good day for both of us------- greg not nearly enough water to stock anything yet but will be in touch with you when i think we can and we'll discuss what/how much---am curious though why do you think 40 acre/1.5ac is too much for fertilizing--do you think enough nutrients will already come from that or outflow will be too much?--boy if i see outflow this year i will jump for joy. also keep in mind my pond has siphon system so water leaving will be from 6-7 ft deep range --would that make any difference on your thinking?
ewest--how do you go about your limited fertilization/feeding on your beach pond? thanks again all.

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#16304 - 01/04/07 11:31 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
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Loc: Central Ohio
I'm figuring on the 1" Gambusia feeding 8"+ bream and baby bass.
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#16305 - 01/04/07 11:31 AM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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I am starting here an answer to archive about fertilization , feeing and effects on carrying capacity wrt management choices. The links below are a good start if you read Bob and Bill's comments in these links. I am looking for one post where Bob posted about the life history of a plankton bloom from bright green to duller green to brown to clear water. If someone finds it let me know and link it here. Also looking for a post by Bill about what fertilization does wrt # of fish and not adding size to fish absent management (taking out fish) i.e. not bigger fish but more pounds of small fish.

Greg based on my experience and Bob's comments a fertilization program resulting in a plankton bloom is not an all or none proposition. It depends , first on the pond in question and second what you hope to achieve. What does that mean. It means you can have a limited bloom that serves its purpose and is limited in time and intensity. It would serve the purpose of feeding the new hatch fish and with them over time turn from phyto-plankton (green) to zoo ( brown) to clear as that yoy class grows. Start the bloom at the right time and let it progress with the yoy and let it die out. Every pond is different and the management can be tricky until you learn about that pond (and it may change from year to year) . The basic premise is to start the bloom just before the spawn let it run its course from bright green to dull green to brown to clear over a 3 mth period + - but don't feed it much once it starts, so that it progresses naturally to die off (clear). You noted the intensity part as reflected by visibility and it to can be managed as well.

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=002061 *

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=000002

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=000055#000001
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#16306 - 01/04/07 01:06 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
thanks for that info ewest--will read those threads tonight. i wouldn't mind following along your type guidelines on fertilization if it works on my pond---certainly i'm sure all ponds are different. theo--i was teasing greg about the gambusia --i would think even a 3lb fish with a belly full of 1 inch fish would still be full and growing--i'm pretty big myself and several plates of small all you can eat catfish does the job on me. ha.
Off topic: i would really like to thank the moderators of this site and the people who have responded to my questions---i have read and learned much over the past 6 months. i am reminded of an old friend who has passed on now that i used to fish with--he had a degree in ichthyology (also raised catfish)and he had 8 ponds on his property--- there wasn't much he couldn't tell you about fish and ponds. i regret i didn't ask and learn more from him while he was alive and also regret he didn't have the opportunity to enjoy and contribute to this web site as he could have been much help to many people and i'm sure he would have loved debating some of the topics here with you folks. this is a truly great site with much to learn from. thank you all.

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#16307 - 01/04/07 02:05 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Frank Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 369
Loc: Macon Georgia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Grimes:
GPR, get Frank to tell you about fertilzing a pond with "too much" watershed.
Ga Pond Rookie
I have a 3 acre pond with approx 200 acre watershed. I also have the same syphon system you have. I tried fertilizing and never could get a bloom cause the water never stayed in the pond long enough.

I will call you and find a weekend we can meet.

Frank
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#16308 - 01/04/07 04:45 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
frank--WOW--my ratio of 40 to 45 acre for a 1.5 acre pond is much smaller than your ratio--i actually cut a drainage ditch to increase my watershed by 15 or so acres to it's present size because i was scared of drought like this summer---i could have built mine on the creek which flows nearby but it would have had a watershed as big or bigger than you describe and i was scared to try that due to possibly blowing out the dam, possibly extending the pond onto other property and water constantly feeding thru it---also scared of what all species of everything would end up in mine--beaverpond upstream as well. look foward to meeting you and us looking at each others ponds. thanks

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#16309 - 01/04/07 05:31 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
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GPR funny I'm the one saying maybe not fertilize, (ML you out there) but, here are my thoughts, try it out, you have a siphon that helps by leaps and bounds and you limed in proper amounts. So let me know if you want to try out some of our water soluble fertilizer come spring time. I will wait on your update on pond fillling to see what sotkcing is in order.

Ewest I understand in theory what you're saying. However for most clients that will not fly. What will happen if we try to get a bloom ealry then let it ride etc is in most cases cause a massive filamentsou algae bloom. Now realize we are talking about shallow metro ATL ponds, not properly consturcted fishing ponds.

GPR still want to know your plans in regards to state fish your talking about getting them next fall, right? I had a typo earlier you can not get these fish if bass go in this summer.

GPR realize one other point you said "i would think even a 3lb fish with a belly full of 1 inch fish would still be full and growing-"

this is not really true, a 3 lb bass has to expand too much energy catching enough of the 1 inch guys. Ex. you said "i'm pretty big myself and several plates of small all you can eat catfish does the job on me. ha. " I bet it would not if you had to work reallly hard to catch those small catfish instead of sitting back and waiting on that big ole fat 18 lb cat to bite back on your pole, get my point? Its all about energy dynamics but that is another topic.

Theo had good point on gambusia feeding large BG and baby bass.
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#16310 - 01/04/07 05:34 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
Frank Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 369
Loc: Macon Georgia
GPR

I could have established a bloom this past year what with the drought. I did not have ANY water flowing out from April till last week! But I have always heard if you cannot keep the bloom going, its better not to start.

Frank
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Book Owner and Magazine Subscriber 3 acre pond central GA

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#16311 - 01/04/07 09:36 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
ga pond rookie Offline
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Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 94
Loc: milledgeville, georgia
greg---was just being lighthearted with my comments on gambusia. for example neither do i visualize a bass chasing one gambusia all over the pond then losing weight while chasing another all over the pond. after reading all the gambusia threads i just think i would agree with ML and theo that having a small fish in your pond that reproduces well and doesn't need replacing quite so often would be a great benefit. now where to find them i will have to research that as well. should i decide to try ewest fertilizer plan i have some prety steep slopes as i paid close attention to the advice here and uga + msu pond info. while being a pond rookie (especially on building/managing one) i am by no means a fishing rookie and have fished with people who knew tremendous amounts about ponds and fish and helped them with their ponds. i really have tried to do all of this the correct way. if i can find the gambusia i will add them and fatheads to help the bream out when i order from you and then later stock what bream/cats i get from state. waiting till spring 2008 to stock the bass is not a problem for me as i have many roads to travel between now and then. i'll call or email you with an order soon as my water permits. thanks for your assistance and sorry if my picking at you offended you---it's just my nature to tease folks.

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#16312 - 01/04/07 10:25 PM Re: initial stocking of georgia pond
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
GPR and Greg :

I am not recommending that you fertilize only that it is a tool to be used in the proper circumstances. If you can grow the right number and size of fish you want without it then by all means don't. I would rather use supp. feeding to add some weight to my adult fish than grow a bunch of small fish that I did not want to manage. Remember that well conditioned adult fish do reproduce more yoy to manage and keep in balance. It is about managing for your goals not just growing as many fish as possible to manage. Get Greg to give you an assessment of whether your pond will produce what you are looking for in terms of # and lbs of fish and how to manage to get to that goal. If it requires adding carrying capacity then use supp. feeding first and if more is needed then use fertilization. If it requires neither then don't.
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