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#17139 - 05/31/07 09:13 AM Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
_____________

EDIT: Here is a link to the Rehabbing Mr. H\'s small pond thread. It will be an attempt at a trophy GSF pond. I made that thread to deal with the general process of fixing the pond, while this thread can deal with specific strategies for managing trophy GSF.

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EDIT: After this thread got to be about 10 pages long I learned that Green Sunfish are not naturally found in my immediate area. The main goal of this pond is good catching/eating fish, but if possible I would rather use local types of fish. Luckily Warmouth (Lepomis Gulosus) is native to Grady county and is very similar to GSF.

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ORIGINAL POST:

I'm aware that to most people GSF are a trash fish. They overpopulate, stunt, compete with "good" fish for forage, etc.

On the other hand, they are very aggressive, taste good (I hear), and can get pretty big in the right environment. The current record in Georgia is 1lb - 7oz. That came from a private pond and it isn't likely that the pond was managed for large GSF. What's possible if you do manage for them? I wouldn't mind having a little pond inhabited with GSF upwards of 2lbs.

What I hope is that some of you can switch gears from repeating the common wisdom about GSF and give a thought to how you might manage for trophy Greenies.

DIED, was that you who has the big Greens? Did you get them by managing for them?
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#17140 - 05/31/07 09:30 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4231
Loc: Raymond, NE
GW - the key would be to stock enough LMB to keep their numbers in check so they don't stunt. One of the most impressive big LMB lakes I have fished in our local area had a GSF for a forage base, the GSF did an excellent job of keeping the LMB fry/population under control until aquatic vegetation got out of hand. Prespawn LMB at 18" were always over 5 lbs sometimes pushing 6 lbs.
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#17141 - 05/31/07 09:43 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
I was wondering if they (LMB and GSF) might keep each others populations in check.

By subbing GSF for BG can you avoid the stunted LMB you end up with when you manage for large lepomis?
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#17142 - 05/31/07 09:49 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Shorty:
the GSF did an excellent job of keeping the LMB fry/population under control until aquatic vegetation got out of hand.
Could Talapia and/or GC help avoid that without causing a bigger problem of some kind?
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#17143 - 05/31/07 09:54 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4231
Loc: Raymond, NE
 Quote:
I was wondering if they (LMB and GSF) might keep each others populations in check.
Yes, so long as there is very little cover for young of the year to hide in. Those 18" LMB were regulary eating 6-7" GSF and the GSF kept LMB reproduction to a minumum. This lake changed dramitically when curlyleaf pond weed and chara showed up giving the YOY of both species places to avoid predation.
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#17144 - 05/31/07 10:00 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Thanks for the feedback Shorty.

Do you have any info on the sizes of GSF in that good bass lake?
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#17145 - 05/31/07 10:10 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4231
Loc: Raymond, NE
Lot's of 6-9" GSF which made the LMB fishing tough at times even when throwing big baits, you just couldn't keep the GSF from hitting just about anything you were throwing for the LMB.

GC controling aquatic vegetaion is really dependent on the type of vegetation and the stocking densities of GC. If the vegetation is low on the GC "preference list" and there are not enough of them, they won't keep the vegetation under control.
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#17146 - 05/31/07 11:30 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by GW:
What I hope is that some of you can switch gears from repeating the common wisdom about GSF and give a thought to how you might manage for trophy Greenies.
GW,

I'm not one of those "common wisdom" folks who abhore GSF. In fact, I love the aggressiveness of the GSF. On little rivers and oxbows in this part of the world, they provide some extreme excitement on the right tackle. They can be a great fish...

Having said that, I've never had much of any success with them in ponds. They simply can not withstand the pressure from LMB in my ponds. On occasion, I've had GSF introduced to a pond by unwanted hatchery stocking when stocking other fish. The GSF always disappear completely after a couple of years.

I think if I were to try for a trophy greenie pond, I might choose the HSB as the predator. They are an inferior predator to the LMB on sunfish and as we've discussed in other threads, without artificial feeding, it would seem they would have a good chance at controlling the greenies and giving you a shot at trophy ones. Its an interesting thought, a trophy greenie pond...hmmm I like the thought of that...what do you think of the HSB/GSF combo? One downside would be the catchability of the HSB in a small pond over time, but the greenies would probably more than make up for that with their aggressiveness. Throw in some Gams and you might just have an interesting pond.

I just don't know if the HSB would keep the numbers of small fish down sufficiently....they didn't in my GG pond, but maybe GSF would be different...and again, success may depend on how tolerant you are of also catching small fish.

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#17147 - 05/31/07 11:36 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4231
Loc: Raymond, NE
GW - one thing I need to mention about this lake, it was well established with GSF before the LMB were ever put in. ;\)
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#17148 - 05/31/07 01:41 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
cheyenne19 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Arkansas
I had a biologist from LSU tell me that the most successful trophy LMB lakes he's ever seen all had GSF in them. Maybe they're not as bad as everyone thinks. I think it all depends on what you are looking for.

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#17149 - 05/31/07 02:00 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Larry Bozka Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Seabrook, TX
Though the GSF population in my ponds hasn't gained much in numbers or size, for whatever reason, the coppernose bluegulls are not only holding their own but are also growing. Every time I go down there I take either some small earthworms or Berkley Power Nuggets to toss in the largest of the ponds, and the coppernose seem to be on a steady growth trend.
They've been in there for a little over two years. As for spawning, I really don't know at this point.
_________________________
Larry Bozka
Bozka Outdoor Media/CoastalAnglers.com
Director of Sales & Marketing
I.F. Anderson Farms, Inc.
Black Salty Baitfish

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#17150 - 05/31/07 02:01 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
In the "TGG Experiment: Summary and Conclusions" thread I mentioned an interest in stocking my small pond with GG/HSB. I'm equally as interested in trying GSF/HSB instead of the GG.

I'm really not too excited about stunted LMB. I was half hoping that someone would say that the LMB and GSF would each control the other resulting in good sizes of both. Shorty's observation that a good LMB lake had lots of 6 - 9 inch GSF gives some hope maybe.

I will most likely stock the larger pond which is Cindy's (girlfriend), with CNBG/RES, LMB and maybe CC. That pond will be roughly 5 acres. In my 1/2 - 3/4 acre pond I would like to be more experimental.
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#17151 - 05/31/07 02:05 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Hi Larry, how long have the Greenies been in there and were they stocked on purpose?

If they were intentionally stocked, what was the goal?
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#17152 - 05/31/07 02:08 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
cheyenne19 did he happen to say what else was in those lakes ?
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#17153 - 05/31/07 04:02 PM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Larry Bozka, Larry Hartley here. Its a small world. I've really enjoyed reading some of your saltwater articles over the years and look forward to reading your views on ponds and the Black Salty in particular....maybe once in awhile you can slip in any hot info on the lower coast south of the Land Cut. ;\) I'm trying to find time to learn that area for fly fishing.

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#17154 - 06/01/07 05:00 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Rad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/06/05
Posts: 957
Loc: Chumpon Thailand
GW,
If you follow along Meadowlarks suggestion and forget catching the hsb, comcentrate on the greenies and introduce tilapia as soon each year as you can you might have a manageable population. Watch your balance and stock each species as needed.
Sounds workable.
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1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam

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#17155 - 06/01/07 07:36 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Thanks Rad. What would be the reason to not catch the HSB? Is it to focus more on controlling the Greens? I sure would like to have HSB available for the deep fryer...
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#17156 - 06/01/07 08:30 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
cheyenne19 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Arkansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by ewest:
cheyenne19 did he happen to say what else was in those lakes ?
No, he didn't. He did say that he thought they helped the LMB as far as forage goes. I just mentioned wanting to remove them, and those were his comments about them. SE Pond Mgt said that the GSF that are in my pond would make great forage, but didn't comment on the lasting affects on recruitment of LMB.

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#17157 - 06/01/07 08:44 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13600
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I like GSF and don't really see a problem on LMB recruitment. The GSF only spawns once per year and most of them get eaten when small. Actually, if the eat some of the small LMB, that ain't always bad.
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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#17158 - 06/01/07 08:58 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Could it be that the GSF are considered a problem because folks are managing for other Sunfish, but could work fine if you were managing for them? By fine I mean decent numbers of easy to catch 1 pounders.

I wonder what would happen if Dr. Condello were to apply his methods to Greenies...
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#17159 - 06/01/07 08:58 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
cheyenne19 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Arkansas
That's exactly what I think about them. They might help to stop avoid LMB overcrowding.

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#17160 - 06/01/07 10:28 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
It all depends. You should hear that a lot here. Every pond is different as are fish populations. There is some commonality based on biology and mother nature's rules don't change. Every pond has a carrying capacity limit which studies have shown usually fills to its "normal capacity" in 2-3 years. That is why stocking fish happens once in a new pond. For example in a BG/LMB pond you don't stock 1000BG and 100LMB pre acre every year you do it once. Absent a biologic change in the system ( like starting a feeding program or a fertility increase) from that point on it is about managing the populations to get to your goals. You may add some fish and take some out and some will die and others will be born and grow but the lbs of fish per acre carrying capacity stays rather constant.

If you want a balanced LMB/lepomis pond GSF are not the best choice. GSF take up carrying capacity like a BG (size/weight) but are much less productive as forage. By far in the south the most common problem in pond fish populations is stunted LMB (8-12 in) due partly to not enough forage even when stocked with BG. The BG simply can't alone reproduce enough to sustain the LMB. Given that even BG are often not productive enough to sustain a balanced LMB pond why take up carrying capacity with a less productive alternative in GSF. It is contrary to the goal.

Further lepomis and their hybrids are born and grow quickly until they reach the point where energy is diverted to reproductive activity at which point growth slows to a low rate. They are genetically wired to reproduce ASAP to preserve the species absent a suppresser (like a pond at carrying capacity or in BG the presence of large male BG). What does this mean ? Because in a new pond GSF don't produce enough offspring to sustain the LMB few if any get big (they are eaten), therefore the remaining GSF are wired to become active as reproducers quicker and thus they exhibit very low growth. That is why most LMB ponds with GSF have GSF populations made up of mostly small (less than 5in)GSF which are struggling to survive as a population and are reproducing as fast as they can and not getting bigger. That goes on for a while until the GSF population can't withstand the pressure and you end up with some small GSF and a lot of skinny LMB eating everything in sight. In addition studies show that LMB will eat GSF first over BG because of their shape and the gape limit of the LMB. So even larger GSF(say 6 in) are eaten by LMB before smaller BG (say 4in ). The GSF remain subject to predation much longer than the BG due to shape and size. Generally speaking because this scenario has gone on for millennia GSF have survived and adapted and genetic selection has selected for small size and quick reproduction in most populations. DIED may have a GSF population which has not been subject to the normal genetic selection process or they may have some other genes mixed in. One other point - some Fisheries Scientists who do research on lepomis believe it is getting harder to find pure GSF and thus they see wider variation in test results on growth and fecundity. The point being you may not be able to find a hatchery with them or they may not be quality GSF. Most hatcheries don't carry GSF.

That is what is the most common outcome. Can there be exceptions - yes. Can you count on being an exception or manage to that outcome. I don't know. I generally don't bet against mother nature unless I am willing to suffer the loss. Most pond owners don't want to take that risk and therefore it is not recommended by fisheries managers. If you want to take that risk with your pond with the information available, I say go for it - we will try to help- keep us updated so we can learn along with you.
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#17161 - 06/01/07 10:28 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Here's a post by Dave in El Dorado from his Sunfish pond thread . Dave, did you do anything particular to get those fat Greenies?

 Quote:
Originally posted by dave in el dorado ca:
i wish i had time to let a few of you chime in on my last question, but beings how times not on my side.....i'll let these do the talking....











bill cody.....gape measurements on the 10-incher are 2" lateral by 1.5" vertical.

edit, forgot to mention the 9.5 and 10 incher respectively tipped the boga scale at a pound and a pound plus (not quite 1.25)

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#17162 - 06/01/07 10:55 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2287
Loc: Central florida
Thanks ewest. It will helpful to use your post to fine tune this idea.

"If you want a balanced LMB/lepomis pond GSF are not the best choice."

I don't care about LMB for this pond. In fact I don't like the idea of relying on stunted LMB to manage for large Lepomis, though I understand the reasoning. The question of using HSB as a predator has come up. What do you think of that?

"Generally speaking because this scenario has gone on for millennia GSF have survived and adapted and genetic selection has selected for small size and quick reproduction in most populations. DIED may have a GSF population which has not been subject to the normal genetic selection process or they may have some other genes mixed in. One other point - some Fisheries Scientists who do research on lepomis believe it is getting harder to find pure GSF and thus they see wider variation in test results on growth and fecundity. The point being you may not be able to find a hatchery with them or they may not be quality GSF. Most hatcheries don't carry GSF."

What about collecting from other ponds and wild populations?

What if I applied all of the techniques that Bruce has used to raise his trophy BG?

What are options for having the GSF be the apex predator?

I'm probably showing my ignorance, but what would a GSF/Talapia pond be like? I'm only a few miles from the Florida/Georgia line.
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#17163 - 06/01/07 11:26 AM Re: Green Sunfish/Warmouth pond
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12394
Loc: Central Ohio
 Quote:
What if I applied all of the techniques that Bruce has used to raise his trophy BG?
Some would work to help manage for large GSF; some would not. Perhaps the manner in which GSF are most like their cousins the BG is in appearance; in many behavioral aspects (spawning, mouth size and the closely related eating preferences) they are as different as any two Lepomis can be. For example I don't believe we have much idea, if any, whether the presence of large males delays maturation in GSF as it does in BG.

Maybe it is possible to "dial in" the management formula for a trophy GSF pond and produce such a fishery, maybe not. The known examples could be due to local phenomena making them unreproducible exceptions. My favorite example of an exception is Lusk's story of the unfished, unmanaged pond that produce huge trophy LMB - becuase cormorants regularly came through and wiped out most of the bass population, leaving a few surviviors with beau coup forage.

There is a huge opportunity for someone who loves the idea of a trophy GSF pond to work out the rules and publish "the book" on such a pond. If you say to yourself "It might as well be me," give it a shot!
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"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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