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#201295 - 01/27/10 10:56 PM Pond carrying capacity
esshup Offline
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I read the thread in the archives (and all the links) about a ponds' carrying capacity. But I must have skipped over any hard numbers that were given. With that in mind, here are my questions:

What is the dynamic carrying capacity of a 1 acre pond (expressed in pounds per ac. ft.), that is described below; and how can I determine that I am staying near (say between 80 and 90%) carrying capacity?

The pond has a surface acreage of 1 ac. Average depth is 10'. Pond is aerated, both summer and winter, and the aeration duties are shared by two Vertex Membrane diffusers, one for 50* and above water temps, one for 50* and below water temps. The pond location is USDA Zone 5. The pond is a multi-species (fish) pond.

The fish are fed AquaMax twice daily at a rate that corresponds to the "feed only what they can eat in a 15 minute time span."

Regarding sunlight: Water clarity varies from 24" when a bloom is present to over 60" during winter.

Regarding water quality and nutrient build-up. The pond is a ground water/surface water pond (terminology may vary). Approximately 40% of the water volume is below the water table level, and there is some water exchange due to the porus, sandy soil.

Now how much would that carrying capacity change if there was no supplemental feeding? (again expressed in pounds per ac. ft.)

How much would the carrying capacity change if both supplemental feeding and aeration were not present?

Am I correct in my understanding that carrying capacity means total biomass?

If that is true, then how do I figure what percentage of the total biomass should be fish?
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#201399 - 01/28/10 11:58 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: esshup]
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<--- impatiently awaiting a response. 'Sperts?
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#201413 - 01/28/10 01:40 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: jeffhasapond]
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Wow! Ess those are some deep questions! I have always read that on an average you can carry about 50 lbs of bass in a one acre pond. Which would not be hard to manage that part as you could tag about 20 to 25 bass or so and have some nice bass in your pond and cull the rest if they had no tag, but you can't go around tagging every dang fish in your pond to keep up with it. Your questions are good ones and I am interested in the answers you will get as my pond is 1 acre.
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#201415 - 01/28/10 01:53 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: esshup]
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 Originally Posted By: esshup
I read the thread in the archives (and all the links) about a ponds' carrying capacity. But I must have skipped over any hard numbers that were given. With that in mind, here are my questions:

What is the dynamic carrying capacity of a 1 acre pond (expressed in pounds per ac. ft.), that is described below; and how can I determine that I am staying near (say between 80 and 90%) carrying capacity?

The pond has a surface acreage of 1 ac. Average depth is 10'. Pond is aerated, both summer and winter, and the aeration duties are shared by two Vertex Membrane diffusers, one for 50* and above water temps, one for 50* and below water temps. The pond location is USDA Zone 5. The pond is a multi-species (fish) pond.

The fish are fed AquaMax twice daily at a rate that corresponds to the "feed only what they can eat in a 15 minute time span."

Regarding sunlight: Water clarity varies from 24" when a bloom is present to over 60" during winter.

Regarding water quality and nutrient build-up. The pond is a ground water/surface water pond (terminology may vary). Approximately 40% of the water volume is below the water table level, and there is some water exchange due to the porus, sandy soil.

Now how much would that carrying capacity change if there was no supplemental feeding? (again expressed in pounds per ac. ft.)

How much would the carrying capacity change if both supplemental feeding and aeration were not present?

Am I correct in my understanding that carrying capacity means total biomass?

If that is true, then how do I figure what percentage of the total biomass should be fish?


The answer is 3

Thank you - and goodnight.
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#201425 - 01/28/10 03:04 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: teehjaeh57]
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^ Hmm, you didnt show your work? ;\)

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#201433 - 01/28/10 03:33 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: s_montgomery]
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 Originally Posted By: s_montgomery
^ Hmm, you didnt show your work? ;\)


I was considering deleting this post until I had a nibble. Making light of this question is simply to convey the following:

1. This is a great question and I want to know how it's addressed

2. It's FAR beyond my intellectual/experience reach.

Carry on!
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#201434 - 01/28/10 03:37 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: teehjaeh57]
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It's not beyond my experience/educational/intellectual reach. I just don't know the answer.
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#201436 - 01/28/10 03:38 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: s_montgomery]
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montgomery now that was funny!!
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#201456 - 01/28/10 05:49 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: RC51]
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High fertility ponds without supplemental feed should not have a carrying capacity over 400 pounds per acre. If you feed and aerate I wouldn't go above 500 pounds per acre. Aquaculture ponds with serious surface aeration can go much higher but it can be really tricky and is usually far above what a recreational pond person wants to deal with.

Another problem with too many fish besides the danger of algae bloom crashes etc., is the excessive weeds and filamentous algae you may be feeding. Been there done that.




Edited by Cecil Baird1 (01/28/10 06:47 PM)
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#201485 - 01/28/10 09:13 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Bill Cody Offline
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Cecil provided some numbers.
As I recall carrying capacity has been discussd in previous posts several years ago. Eric or someone with search savvy?

I will provide some definitions.
In terms of fish pond populations carrying capacity is usu defined as the maximum weight of a given speices of fish that a pond will support during a time period or interval - often a year. This is different than standing crop which is the actual weight of species or group of species (community) present in a pond at a given moment. Standing crop is always changing due to additions (recruitment stockings) and losses (predation, mortality and harvest). I had to go to the book to verify this info (Bennett 1970 Management of Lakes and Ponds).

There is usually an increase in standing crop with an increase in the number of species present because of a greater use of the available food resources - different species feeding or utilizing different niches. Although simple species combinations are more managable in producing a fishery where all species are thriving i.e. reproducing and growing optimally.

Carrying capacity of a pond can be increased by fertilization, feeding and or stocking different species. Aeration that increases the volume of water available for producing fish food and fish biomass can also increase carrying capacity.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/28/10 10:22 PM)
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#201488 - 01/28/10 09:38 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Bill Cody]
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Bill:

Thanks for the terminology and clarification. Since I have a somewhat diversified pond (LMB, BG, RES, CC, GSH, maybe some FHM and for now RBT) would Cecil's numbers still hold true?

Cody says Cecil's numbers may not be real accurate for multi-species but the trend he indicates is reliable. How does one determine their fish crop weight anyway? Cecil has a fairly good estimate for single species because he reguarly drains his ponds and harvests all fish. But for us, we only can just do a big wild GUESS and or dream. See my post below.




Edited by Bill Cody (01/28/10 10:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Added comment
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#201494 - 01/28/10 10:08 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: esshup]
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Great info here...
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#201498 - 01/28/10 10:21 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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To work on some of the questions.
IMO Cecil's numbers are safe estimates for sport fish ponds which most here desire.

IMO A lot of this carrying capacity stuff is speculation (theory) since it is normally hard to measure.

Specific numbers in our normal ponds are variable at best due to "it all depends".

Since fishes rarely can be seen easily or observed how many are actually present, it is hard to determine total numbers or crop weight unless a draining and census occurs. Standardized sampling can provide just educated guesses/estimates.
1. Now how much would that carrying capacity change if there was no supplemental feeding? (again expressed in pounds per ac. ft.). Hard to say specificaly. "It all depends" and it depends primarily on fertility of the ecosystem. I think in general feeding pellets sensibly can easily boost capacity by 50-100 lbs per acre. Amount of food added and number of locations would also be factors. Fish will generally only travel a certain distance to the feeding area. Maybe 50-100ft? Others my have experience with this. Thus more feeding stations will increase carrying capacity.

For natural unfertilized ponds c.capacity could be as low as 80-100bs/ac or as high as 300-350lbs/ac. Type of species present would also be factors. Different species can utilize different niches and their numbers will add to the total capacity or fish weight. Natural carp/trash fish populations have been measured at 1000 or more pounds per acre.

2. How much would the carrying capacity change if both supplemental feeding and aeration were not present? Since carrying capacity has a fair amount of theory involved in it, exact numbers are hard to provide. How does one readily measure it? Estimates can give ball park ideas. IMO feeding will boost carrying capacity more than aeration. How much more??? Maybe 20%-35%? My guess is aeration alone will usually only boost carrying capacity by a maximum of 10%, usually 5%? or less. In some cases aeration will cause little increase in carrying capacity. Those cases are for ponds that do not stratify and those where there is only a small percentge of the benthic zone that is anoxic (without oxygen in summer).

However with feeding and without aeration the increased c.capacity may not be maintained for long periods due to deteriorated water quality at certain times -summer/winter kills.

Some species of fish could develop higher carrying capacities than other fish species. Generally fish that feed lower on the food chain and/or those species that tolerate crowding and lower water quality would develop the highest carrying capacities. One can grow more carp per acre compared to LMB or BG.

I would guess that regular feeding of a high protein fish food in a low fertility pond (100-200 lbs /ac) could just about double the carrying capacity for a "normal BG-LMB pond. This number might be less (15-30%) of an increase in c.capacity for the pond that was in fertile alkaline soil/watershed and more naturally fertile because the pond already had a higher standing crop to begin with due to an enhanced food chain (productivity). This concept may be debatable.

These of course are just my opinions. Others with experience or access to information may be able to provide more info.





Edited by Bill Cody (01/28/10 11:03 PM)
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#201502 - 01/28/10 10:34 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Bill Cody]
ewest Offline
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My view is a little different than Bill's conceptually but not factually.

Standing crop is a fixed in time measurement (what is there) while carrying capacity is a theoretical limit for a given habitat (set of facts).

The facts (habitat) include all of the physical ,chemical and biological features of the environment needed to sustain life (Fisheries Techniques 2nd). There are a lot of factors all included in the energetics concept of total energy input into a habitat.

See the archive http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92440#Post92440

I have pasted Bruce's excellent listing of some factors :

1. Water clarity/lack of suspended sediment--Lack of suspended sediment allows for better sunlight penetration into the water column, which in turn increases simple and complex plant growth, which in turn enhances micro and macro-invertebrate populations, yielding more fish.

2. Fertility--Nutrients are necessary for the above mentioned phytoplankton growth to occur. Increased fertility can occur naturally or be helped along artificially when necessary by fertilization.

3. Competition--Predator carrying capacity is directly impacted by competition from other predators, even in the form of so called "prey" species early in life, i.e. bass YOY need abundant zooplankton for several weeks before they can prey on larval fish. Carrying capacity for any one species needs to account for other species in the fish community.

4. Weather/Environment--Does warm water have a greater "carrying capacity" than cool water? I'm not so sure. Fish in a cooler pond require less oxygen, and may therefore be able to push the envelope, so to speak, as far as pounds per acre. I would guess that a warmer pond may get to carrying capacity quicker, but may not ultimately support more weight of fish. I'd be interested in comments in regards to this.

5. Feeding--This may simply be a subgroup of fertility, but experience tells me that at least for short periods of time, I can support more pounds of fish per acre in a fed pond. In the long run, however, I may be more prone to crashes. Perhaps the fed pond has a higher "carrying capacity", but implies more risk.

6. Waste removal/flow through--As nutrients build up in the form of waste products, a pond's carrying capacity decreases if it is unable to rid itself of waste. Ponds with efficient bacterial communities process waste better, thereby probably have higher "carrying capacity". Ponds with high natural flow through, such as those with a large watershed/volume ratio, have better ability to support more fish per acre.

7. Aeration--Maybe a subgroup of #6, enhance a pond's ability to rid itself of waste, thereby increasing carrying capacity. Perhaps more importantly, aeration makes "usable" water more plentiful within a pond by bringing oxygen throughout the water column. Obviously a pond that only has oxygen in the top five feet, but has seven feet of anoxic water has less net carrying capacity per acre.

8. Forage diversity--If a pond has species diversity that is appropriate to the goals of that particular ecosystem, it allows for more efficient movement of biomass up the food chain. In other words, if there is plentiful invertebrate life available that is utilizable by gizzard shad, then the presence of gizzard shad allows biomass to "flow" more efficiently up to a top end predator such as largemouth. This means a higher carrying capacity for the predator, although the carrying capacity could simultaneously decrease for species that would compete directly with the gizzard shad, such as bluegill.

9. pH--Another way that carrying capcity can be increased would be to have pH levels that minimize the presence of unionized ammonia. In water, ammonia occurs in two forms, which together are called the Total Ammonia Nitrogen, or TAN. Chemically, these two forms are represented as NH4+ and NH3. NH4+ is called Ionized Ammonia because it has a positive electrical charge, and NH3 is called Unionized Ammonia since it has no charge. This is important to know, since NH3, unionized ammonia (abbreviated as UIA), is the form which is toxic to fish. Water temperature and pH will affect which form of ammonia is predominant at any given time in an aquatic system. At high pH there is more UIA because of the OH- groups readily available in basic water. The OH- groups attract the H+ ion to form water (H2O). By stripping this ion away from NH4+ it leaves the unionized, or toxic form in the water. Toxic water means fewer fish, and less carrying capacity.

10. Social interaction--The carrying capacity is lower in a pond amongst species that spend large amounts of energy fighting over cover territory, and spawning substrate. A limited expample would be an aquarium that might be able to hold three pounds of green sunfish biomass, but ultimately never reaches that carrying capacity because the GS spend most of their time attacking and killing each other. Ponds ecosystems can behave in a similar manner if a particularly agressive species, like bluegill fight over territory during late spring and summer.


In summary, all of these factors need to be considered to evaluate "carrying capacity". It might also be more useful to think of this in terms of pounds of fish per unit of water volume instead of surface area, since one surface acre could mean anywhere from one to twenty acre feet of water.

As you can see with all these factors which are variable it is next to impossible to say X pond has Y carrying capacity. I have seen natural ponds and small lakes have CC as little as 100 lbs of fish per acre and as high as 3500 lbs (estimated based on standing crop). The problem is that for any given pond the only way to find that point is to push the limits to the crash point.

That leads us to this thread : Trophic Continuum - natural to aquaculture http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthread...ite_id=1#import which has a good discussion of some factors.

A very generally used number is 400 lbs of fish per acre in a fertile pond . That is a conservative number as most people and FS writers are cautious about pushing the limit. An example is in aquaculture operations there are studies where from 13,000 lbs to 22,000 lbs per acre of tilapia were commonly grown in SE Asia.


Edited by ewest (01/28/10 10:41 PM)
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#201504 - 01/28/10 10:46 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: ewest]
Bill Cody Offline
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Eric & Bruce point out how complex this topic is. Eric's references are those I was trying to remember. Eric does good work providing past topic information for us. Thanks from all of us.

I think one of the main points we should get from this discussion is to not manage as much for quantity as quality. Keep the densities below high numbers and strive for managing to produce healthy fish that have a good percentage of quality or memorable size. This means put more focus on proper harvest and balance rather on just high numbers.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/28/10 10:56 PM)
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#201507 - 01/28/10 10:53 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Bill Cody]
ewest Offline
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Bill first it takes people like you , Bob , Dave and Bruce to write and review the material. Its not hard to remember how to find it. When you put all of us together we can come up with some good info.
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#201508 - 01/28/10 10:58 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Bill Cody]
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Scott, is your head still spinning? HAHA Lot's to take in, but it is all great info. Moral of the story, at least how I see it is, IT ALL DEPENDS!
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#201511 - 01/29/10 12:16 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: CJBS2003]
esshup Offline
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First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone for taking the time to set those words to print. I see stocking numbers thrown about as fish per acre, but the size of the fish is usually left out of the equasion.

I agree, quality better than quantity. I'm trying to change the BG genetics in my pond, and I think I have a slightly better chance than a snowball in he** in accomplishing that.

While I like catching large BG, I am not willing to go to the extents necessary to transform the BOW to a trophy BG pond - I like diversity as well.

I think I need to stock Tilapia during the summer to help combat algae growth without having to rely on chemicals. The pond has historically had algae problems before it was renovated, and last year I spot treated about 1/4 of the shoreline out 4' or so due to floating mats. Last year I added 135 or so Blue Tilapia, but they were 4" at time of stocking, and I don't know how many the LMB had for lunch. I only saw a total of 4 Tilapia the rest of the year. I'll be consulting with Rex on the amount to stock in 2010.

I stocked RBT this Fall, and like having that fishery available for the cool weather when the BG/LMB don't bite readily.

While having CC in the pond for a fish fry with the neighbors is nice, not being able to catch them isn't. I think the majority of CC will be slowly weaned out of the pond. The 100 CC that were stocked Spring '09 were fin clipped, so I can sorta keep track of the CC in the pond. There were 4 CC that should be over 15# now, one was caught and tagged last Spring at 28" and 14.5#. The other 3 are the same age and in August '08 they were all the same size.

My goals right now is to get the forage base built up with Bordello's and Condello BG, RES, and GSH. I know that I have some large BG in the pond (I know there are a few 10" in there), most are 7"-9" and are males. Eventually, I would like to get the forage built up to sustain a light stocking of HSB to go along with the LMB.

I think the 100' distance for fish to travel to feed is a pretty good number. I've caught RBT right around that distance from the feeder that were noticeably thinner than the RBT that were hanging around the feeder.

My pond bounces around in size from 1 3/4 ac in the Spring to 1 ac in the late Fall/Winter, and I think the average depth is right around 9' or so. I'll use the 9 ac/ft of water figure in my standing crop calculations.

The biggest problem is figuring out what the standing crop is at any given time. With the fish that die out at certain water temps, those carrying capacity numbers are easy.

Right now, January 2010, my goals are to eventually have HSB, LMB, BG, RES, GSH in the pond, with RBT and Tilapia as transient residents. The numbers of LMB, BG, and RES in the pond now are really unknown, but I think I have a good idea of the fish numbers and size. The pond is very light with regards to LMB over 12" long. I'll bet that there are less than 20 over 12" long. But, all the LMB are over 1.0 WR, probably due to the minimal structure in the pond. I am not overrun with BG because I stocked sexually mature BG, and when stocked, it was very close to a 90%/10% mix of males to females. Plus the lack of cover let the LMB have their way with the YOY BG.

This pond was roughly 1/3 ac until the renovation that was completed in mid August 2008.

So, given those facts/figures, and using the esteemed Mr. Cody's definitions, what carrying capacity should I shoot for, with the answer expressed in % of standing crop figuring on 0% CC in the standing crop in an aerated, 9 ac/ft, supplementally fed BOW in Zone 5? (HSB, LMB, BG, RES, GSH) To make it easier, shoot for 100% standing crop and I'll reduce the numbers by 20% to make room for the tilapia and RBT.
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#201525 - 01/29/10 06:49 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: esshup]
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This thread is a full semester, maybe more, of college work. I've now read everything 3 times and it confirms that "It all depends".

Let one thing get out of whack and it is a sure bet that it will affect at least one other factor. When that affected factor is water quality evidenced by decreased oxygen, all other factors will be changing faster than most of us can respond.

Maximum carrying capacity, to me, is that number I reach right before the fish kill. Been there/done that, more than once.
And, it's not the numbers of fish but what I have done by over fertilization either chemically or by the fish themselves. Cody once said that fish swim/live in their own toilet and I've disregarded that a couple of times. The fish always pay for my mistakes.
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Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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#201553 - 01/29/10 10:15 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Dave Davidson1]
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WOW. Great thread. This sounds like a great Pond Boss article.
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#201554 - 01/29/10 10:17 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: Dave Davidson1]
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Here is one point to consider before I take a WAG later on your blue text question.

In southern ponds a normal new pond will reach carrying capicity (max natural standing crop), meaning no feeding or fertilization but as is, in 2 yrs or less (18 mths is used also). From that point on you are managing the factors noted above in an effort to get the quality/type of fish population (#s and sizes). The amount in poundage remains about the same just the makeup of the population changes. Maybe Bill can provide the amout of time needed to reach carrying capacity up north. I bet it is about the same time but have not seen that info in studies.

Why do I provide this info ? You have fish in the pond now. Even though it is bigger now those fish will fill up the carrying capacity fast.
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#201562 - 01/29/10 11:11 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: ewest]
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I'm not a Dr. of Perchology, but I would say three growing seasons for a pond here to fill up with fish.
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#201566 - 01/29/10 11:33 AM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: ewest]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Eric:

Thanks. I realize that the standing crop will be relatively static (in pounds) if everything else in the pond never changes. We all know that will only happen under labratory conditions, never in my BOW! That's why I was asking for a % ratio of fish species of the standing crop.

I would rather think in pounds of fish species, rather than numbers of fish because pounds of fish will give a more accurate answer.

For instance, I ran across this as a stocking rcommendation for a new 1 ac pond: (no mention of acre ft. of water)


Fathead Minnows 1-3"
20 lbs.
Golden Shiners 2-5"
15 lbs.
Largemouth Bass 3-4"
200
Hybrid Striped Bass 3-4"
50
Bluegill Sunfish 2-4"
400
Hybrid Bluegill 2-4"
200
Channel Catfish 3-5"
100
White Amur (Grass Carp) 10-12"
8
Bullfrog Tadpoles 1-3"
250
Redear Sunfish 2-4"
200

If all those fish were adults, the pond would be overloaded. But, in say 3 years without any interference from the pond owner, what would that pond look like, in terms of standing crop and carrying capacity?

I'll be looking forward to your posts later on today.

Thanks!

DD1:

It's a steep learning curve for sure! I'd like to approach maximum standing crop in the pond, but never go over it. When you really think about it and put numbers on paper, we all have a significant amount of $ tied up in the pond, and a tremendous amount of time. If I were to crash everything and kill a bunch of fish, just think what it would cost in both time and $ to get it back to say 10% below the crash level? One of my friends told me about his boss who has a nice pond at home. He went on vacation and had his father watch the house while he was on vacation. His father thought that it was a waste of electricity to run the aerator in the winter, and pulled the plug. The next spring I was told that an order was placed with Jones for ovr $10K of fish.....
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#201655 - 01/29/10 08:34 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: esshup]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
That is very hard to say due to all the variables. Let me explain. If all (or a high %) of those fish reached adult status and reproduced in less than 3 years you may have 0. A gigantic fish kill. You could also have a balanced population.

I can say I would not make that stocking plan. That does not mean its wrong. It just has to much risk for me as its to many fish and not balanced with forage. But that is just my opinion.


My WAG assuming a fertile pond with some supplemental feeding would be 400 lbs of fish. No FH , a few GShainers , some big BG , a few big HBG , a balanced RES population but small #s , to many large grass carp , small LMB and a few HSB plus some (to many) large CC. A common suggestion is to shoot for 4 to 1 poundage of forage to top end predators. Irrespective it would, absent a fish kill , be at carrying capacity. The question would be the quality and make up of the population. I hope this helps some. If I did not answer your question ask it again as I may not understand.
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#201676 - 01/29/10 10:08 PM Re: Pond carrying capacity [Re: ewest]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Eric:

I just threw out that stocking plan because I found it on the 'net from a supplier in Ohio. That's not what I have in the pond.

In my pond I have LMB, BG, RES, CC and GSH (along with whatever FHM are left from the Fall) and a buttload of small Bardello BG's in a cage. Currently there are 75 RBT as well.

Right now, January 2010, my goals are to eventually have HSB, LMB, BG, RES, GSH in the pond, with RBT and Tilapia as transient residents. The numbers of LMB, BG, and RES in the pond now are unknown, but I think I have a good SWAG of the fish numbers and size. The pond is very light with regards to LMB over 12" long. 10 were stocked between 2004 and 2006 that were between 14" and 16", and 4 were stocked last Spring that were around 12" long. Those last 4 were pellet trained. But, all the LMB are over 1.0 WR, probably due to the minimal structure in the pond, (juvenile recruitement as well). I am not overrun with BG because I stocked sexually mature BG, and when stocked, it was very close to a 90%/10% mix of males to females. Plus the lack of cover let the LMB have their way with the YOY BG. I think there are a couple hundred BG left, most are between 6" and 9" long. I catch very few less than 4" long. I put right around 200 GSH in the pond this summer, as adults. They were caught with hook and line and transferred from a local BOW. As for the CC, I stocked 100 6"-9" last Spring, there should be 4 that are around 15#, and around 20 that are 2 YO, going on 3. There is a handful of RES, probably < 30; again 6"-9".

The numbers of fish in the pond are pretty close because 1) I had a severe winterkill in 2004 and I restocked by transferring fish from another BOW 2) when the pond was renovated in the summer of 2008, all the fish were sequestered in a small area of the pond and were observed when they were released into the newly renovated pond. Due to the pond renovation in 2008, I highly doubt that I have any fish from that year class.

I plan on taking out the CC, and not adding more. I want to try and change the BG genetics in the pond to Condello/Bardello BG. I'd like to get to a point where I could add some HSB to the mix as well.

This pond bounces around in size, from 1 3/4 surface acres (22-23 acre foot of water) in the Spring to 1 surface acre (9 acre foot of water) in the Winter.

Keeping in mind that I am removing the CC as they are caught and won't be re-stocking them, what do you suggest that I remove/add to the pond? I have virtually no submerged weeds, so GC aren't needed, nor wanted. I think I can keep the FA under control with Blue Tilapia.

On another note, can you point me to where I can find out the number of small sunfish that are in a pound? Say sunfish that are 2"-3" long.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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