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#18902 - 02/10/06 10:11 PM Golden Shiners
TopH2O Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 64
Loc: Duluth, Ga
I know this has been discussed some previously, and at the Ga meeting we talked about it some, but I wanted to get as many different opinions as I could prior to making a decision.

BACKGROUND: The lake in question is ~15 acres in a residential neighborhood, is 13 years old, and currently contains LMB, CBG, RES, Threadfins, and grass carp. When I took over management of the lakes, this one was typically bass heavy with bass stunting in the 10-12" range. Since then we've removed a lot of those smaller bass, implemented a slot limit (remove LMB 8-14"), and improved the food chain by stocking ~5000 4"+ CBG (over 2 years), 2500+ 2-3" RES (last year), and threadfin shad (2 years ago). The shad have taken hold pretty well, but I'm concerned that a bad winter will wipe them out, being as I'm towards the northern edge of where threadfins can safely be stocked. Also, like many folks, we have a hard time harvesting enough bass to keep things in balance and losing all the shad at once would probably set our progress back quite a bit.

With all this in mind, I'm considering stocking Golden Shiners, for several reasons:
- First, they'd give me an additional forage source, and one that will be slightly larger and meatier than threadfins as my average bass size gets up closer to 3 lbs.
- Secondly, they'd be winter resistant.
- Third, while I discovered at the Ga meeting that Golden Shiners are nest robbers, further research has led me to several people who said that the majority of the nest robbing is of LMB nests not bluegill/redear nests, and if that's true then I'm fine with that.

So, does anyone have any experience along these lines? Any evidence of whether Golden Shiners can reduce LMB recruitment, and/or whether they influence CBG/RES recruitment? What about recommended stocking rates?

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#18903 - 02/10/06 11:36 PM Re: Golden Shiners
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20010
Loc: Miss.
TopH2O :

Theo has GS and has some reservation in stocking them. I don't have them but think they are a good option. They have a med. doubbling time for population 1.4-4 yrs. Here is repod. data.

Reproductive Habits:
Mature at age 1-3
Spawning occurs April to October in water at 15-21C
Eggs are adhesive and laid over vegetation, gravel, and nests of other fish
Fecundity is 200,000 eggs per female

They will eat both BG and LMB and other eggs and anything else they can fit in a small mouth. This should help keep the LMB rect. down (good) and in one study a cousin shiner was not near the biggest predator of BG eggs ,it was 3-4in. BG which by far ate the most BG eggs. GS do get big at 12in. They spawn often and eat plants (FA and zooplk.) as well as pellets.
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#18904 - 02/11/06 08:28 AM Re: Golden Shiners
Theo Gallus Online   content
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12472
Loc: Central Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by ewest:
TopH2O :

Theo has GS and has some reservation in stocking them. I don't have them but think they are a good option. They have a med. doubbling time for population 1.4-4 yrs. Here is repod. data.

Reproductive Habits:
Mature at age 1-3
Spawning occurs April to October in water at 15-21C
Eggs are adhesive and laid over vegetation, gravel, and nests of other fish
Fecundity is 200,000 eggs per female

They will eat both BG and LMB and other eggs and anything else they can fit in a small mouth. This should help keep the LMB rect. down (good) and in one study a cousin shiner was not near the biggest predator of BG eggs ,it was 3-4in. BG which by far ate the most BG eggs. GS do get big at 12in. They spawn often and eat plants (FA and zooplk.) as well as pellets.
To delineate my GShiner reservations, especially wrt TopH2O's contemplated plans:

1) If you are interested in a big bass fishery, I think GShiners are a good forage fish.

2) If you are interested in a balanced, mixed bass fishery, I think GShiners would probably be OK and would likely be of benefit by utilizing different food resources than BG and RES.

3) Where I have reservations and questions about GShiners is in a big bream pond. I definitely warn anyone with this particular goal NOT to stock GShiners far in advance of their BG, as they have demonstrated to me the ability to lock up a great deal of the available biomass in a pond for a period of years if allowed to do so. As to the wisdom of "co-stocking" Gshiners at the same time as BG in a big bream pond, I once would have said "no" but am currently evaluating data (see FA consumption info below).

GSHiners have definitely NOT demonstrated a negative affect on BG/RES spawning numbers to me. In my pond where GShiners had a year headstart and outmassed all other fish originally (it is still probably a close contest), observation, seining, and catches have shown that BG and too a lesser extent RES have done very well at reproducing - there's lots of sunfish fingerlings, juveniles, and young adults. On the contrary, GShiner recruitment now appears to be very limited.

GShiners have shown themselves to be increasingly enthusiastic FA eaters as higher BG numbers have limited other sources of food available to them. I strongly suspect my numerous, hungry GShiners were the reason my pond had virtually NO FA last Summer, during a period when almost every pond around me was blanketed with the stuff. Examining the gastro-intestinal contents of about a dozen GShiners I caught this Winter confirmed that they were eating FA and apparently relatively little else.

In a closing note on GSHiners being a plus for large bass production, I think they have helped my LMBs stay rather fat looking dispite being what would normally be considered overstocked (200/acre) from a large bass perspective. See New Year's Day LMB photos and fat fish expert CB1's comments here.
_________________________
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

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#18905 - 02/11/06 09:11 AM Re: Golden Shiners
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20010
Loc: Miss.
To add to Theo's outstanding post Greg G. at one time indicated he had a hard time establishing a viable sustaining population of GS in ponds where LMB already were established. He can likely provide the #s needed in your situation. Good luck and please report back on what you do , why and the results.
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#18906 - 02/11/06 01:42 PM Re: Golden Shiners
TopH2O Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 64
Loc: Duluth, Ga
ewest: Greg's company has been managing my lakes for 3 years now, and in several cases I've volunteered as his "guinea pig" for various ideas. He was actually the first to talk to me about GS consuming more LMB eggs than BG eggs in part due to the way BG aggressively circle above their nests while protecting them.

Two things in Theo's list stuck out to me:

Spawning occurs April to October in water at 15-21C

15-21C is 59-70F. Does this mean they don't spawn at >70F water temps? If that's the case, do they spawn again in the fall when temps get back down below 70F?

Eggs are adhesive and laid over vegetation, gravel, and nests of other fish

Eggs laid over nests of other fish is interesting, not sure if this indicates previous nests or active nests, but intriguing either way.

Anyone have any experience with GS and Threadfin interaction?

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#18907 - 02/11/06 03:41 PM Re: Golden Shiners
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20010
Loc: Miss.
From the SRAC fact sheet for southern ponds :

Golden shiners spawn in the
spring when water temperatures
rise above 68 oF (20 oC). They quit
spawning when temperatures
exceed 81 oF (27 oC). Once spawning
begins, fish will continue to
spawn even when temperatures
drop below 68 oF. Golden shiners
spawn frequently, attaching their
adhesive eggs to aquatic vegetation
or spawning mats. No care is
given to the young. Eggs are
about 4/100ths of an inch (1 mm)
in diameter and hatch in 3 to 4
days, depending on water temperature.

http://srac.tamu.edu/tmppdfs/7107322-120fs.pdf

http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/fish/other/minnow/shiner/golden/

HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The golden shiner is a cultured bait species, which accounts for its wide distribution in the United States. It is commonly found in quiet backwaters, and it thrives in isolated areas of impoundments. Spawning occurs from April to July, with the females laying adhesive eggs over aquatic plants or the nests of other fish species. DeMont (1982) reports golden shiners spawning over nests of bluegill, while Kramer and Smith (1960) describe schools of 25 to 100 golden shiners depositing eggs over largemouth bass nests about one or two days after the bass had spawned. In July, in backwater pools of the lower Cahaba River, thousands of golden shiner juveniles have been collected in just a few net hauls. Crustaceans, filamentous algae, and stream drift consisting of adult and immature insects composes the diet of this species.

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: Mitchill described the golden shiner in 1814.

ETYMOLOGY:
Notemigonus means angled back.
Crysoleucas means golden white, referring to body color.

The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.

Golden shiners often eat the eggs of spawning bass and bream. This characteristic should be considered before golden shiners are allowed to be used for bait in ponds.
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#18908 - 02/11/06 05:20 PM Re: Golden Shiners
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3163
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Here's something important to know about golden shiner spawning habits. They start somewhere near 68 degrees, F. Even though spawning may continue for several weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean it happens that way all the time, in every pond. Individual females spawn one set of eggs each year, as they mature, based on available males and available spawning substrate. If the spawn does drag out over several months, it's because something is missing. Not all eggs mature at the same time, so she may lay the mature ones, wait a few days, lay some more, and so on, until finished. While fathead minnows and threadfin shad females develop more eggs in their ovaries, and spawn several times because of that, shiners don't. Shiners go until done, in the spring. Commercial growers use artificial substrate for broodfish to spawn, then move the eggs to grow out ponds, where they hatch and are fed and/or kept in fertile water.
One more important factoid. Commercial producers change broodfish yearly, using young broodfish, because of an ovarian parasite common in golden shiner females.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#18909 - 02/12/06 07:06 PM Re: Golden Shiners
Greg Grimes Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
I have not had internet access for a few days but wanted other opinions on this subject. Thanks for that. Troy knows my thoughts and I'm by no means an expert. With all else being equal it appears when you have golden shiners bass growth is better than without.

However as mentioned we are still in learning stage of stocking size and numbers. So if there is anyone who has got them established in existing bass pond please tell. Troy's Wr have went went up quite a bit over the last few years but wants one more boost and being a community pond still not ready for gizzard shad.
_________________________
Greg Grimes
www.lakework.com

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#18910 - 02/12/06 09:29 PM Re: Golden Shiners
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20010
Loc: Miss.
Greg :

You are experiencing exactly what H. Swingle described in his work on LMB and various forage species. G Shiners work well for LMB growth (better than BG even) for 2 years but can't maintain a sufficient population over time.
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