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#208416 - 03/16/10 09:38 PM Reducing RES with YP
Conejo Offline
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Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 12
Loc: New Bavaria, OH
Hi all,

First time poster, long time reader. I'm a noob to giving advice to others about their ponds, but we all have to learn somewhere, and I didn't see anything with the search tool that seemed to help, so sorry if this is a repost.

I have a small YP fishery, and was contacted by a pond-owner about a dilemma--feels RES have overcrowded LMB and CC.

THE POND...ellipse/oval 15 yr old/1 acre, about 15' avg depth in NW OH. Has proper aeration, uses Aqua-shade and a small bit of copper sulfate. Very little to no cover.

THE FISH....has no noticeable LMB of any size (under 6",) caught CC about 35lbs last year, and several hundred, possibly thousand, 1-3" RES. No minnows have been introduced to his knowledge, but has some tadpoles/frogs

He would like to introduce YP to control the RES. I offer fingerlings up to over 8". He also asked about more LMB fingerlings, which I can trap out of my personal pond.

Am I correct in thinking that the corrective measures would be:

1. Add artificial cover (Xmas trees, etc) to protect existing LMB fry/fingerlings and future YP perch immediately (placement in relation to shallows/deep?) Wind primarily

2. Add 10# FHM for base

3. 20-25 8"-10" Perch as opposed to 200 1"-3" fingerlings (Based on his budget)

I'm not opposed to giving him some 10"-12" LMB or LMB fingerlings out of my personal pond on top of all b/c he's a retired cop on disability, but I can't afford to give away my YP

If there is a better way that doesn't involve YP, I most certainly would rather steer him in the right direction than take somebody's money, so feel free to throw your 2 cents in.

Thanks to any and all for advice,

Steve

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#208434 - 03/16/10 10:14 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Conejo]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7885
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Steve - good to hear from you! I have never read of RES overpopulating in a BOW with LMB, so I'm interested in hearing what experienced pond managers here have to say. Stay tuned!
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#208435 - 03/16/10 10:15 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Conejo]
ewest Offline
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Welcome to PB posting.

Several of us have ask many Fisheries Science professors and practicing fishery biologists if they have ever seen or heard of RES stunting/overpopulating. All answer that they have not. If he has a stunted RES population we need to document the situation. Could they be PS ?

YP do eat small lepomis (BG , RES , PS etc)but are not proficient enough to alone stop stunting. If LMB are not controlling the situation then YP and SMB will not either.

We need to be sure of the facts first.
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#208439 - 03/16/10 10:23 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
Conejo Offline
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Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 12
Loc: New Bavaria, OH
 Originally Posted By: ewest
Several of us have ask many Fisheries Science professors and practicing fishery biologists if they have ever seen or heard of RES stunting/overpopulating. All answer that they have not. If he has a stunted RES population we need to document the situation. Could they be PS ?


Thanks for the answers, I guess this explains why after 4 hours searching the web I haven't found anything about controlling RES. I guess I'm going to have to make a drive up there with my net and seine, maybe I can get Bill Cody to ride along since he lives about 15 minutes from me, or anyone relatively close to Toledo for that matter.

From what the owner conveyed to me, would it be possible that the RES were initially stocked with the CC in the very beginning, and then the LMB were added as fingerlings too late to grow out, and the RES are out-foraging them? Don't know much about RES.

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#208441 - 03/16/10 10:26 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Conejo]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Hey Conejo,

Welcome!

If his main goal is to reduce his 1 to 3 inch RES he can do that with just the LMB if they are 12 inches or better. If he could get a few 15 inch plus LMB in there that would really help. Between the LMB and culling them by fishing would be 2 ways you could go. You could saine the pond if possible and take out a bunch of the smaller RES. There are more qualified folks here though that may have better ideas than me. So hang in there for some more advise!!
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#208444 - 03/16/10 10:35 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: RC51]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Lincoln, NE

Can your friend provide a pic of said sunfish?
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#208448 - 03/16/10 10:43 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Conejo]
Omaha Offline
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Wow, what an interesting scenario. First time I've ever heard or read of overpopulated RES. As some have mentioned, it doesn't sound like YP is the answer for this pond. But I think it's very important, before doing anything, that you get a real idea of what you're dealing with. Get up there and do a good seining. And give us the details. ;\)
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#208452 - 03/16/10 10:56 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Omaha]
Conejo Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 12
Loc: New Bavaria, OH
OK, weather is supposed to be 60's and sunny this week, so maybe the fish will get active. I'm going to head up there tomorrow or Thursday with the net and camera, and see what I can establish...I do not expect any earth-shattering discoveries, probably a mis-identification, but we shall see.

Thanks, y'all

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#208500 - 03/17/10 09:14 AM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Conejo]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Steve -- like everyone else, I'm very interested in this pond with potential overpopulation of redears. Now, here's a thought, just for discussion. Most sunfish species will stunt at say 3 to 6 inches. A stunted sunfish population of any type at 1-3 inches seems like very young fish, perhaps? What is the chance that the pond just had a good spawn (a good year class) of redears the previous year? Are there some adult redears in there to be the spawners? As I said, I'm just sort of trying to brainstorm with you here. Very interesting.
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#208502 - 03/17/10 09:21 AM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Dave Willis]
Yolk Sac Offline

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Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 1255
Loc: Nashville
Steve-you mentioned channel cats-how many and how big? Could there be enough large cats that, in a pond with little to no cover, they're consuming most of the larger RES and LMB? I'd think you'd have to have a very heavy density of CC to have that much predation...but occasionally missing classes of medium fish are due to overpredation rather than stunting.



Edited by Yolk Sac (03/17/10 09:22 AM)
Edit Reason: Or, perish the thought, could there be some other predator that some "helpful" party has introduced, but is unknown to the owner, such as NP?

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#208647 - 03/17/10 09:08 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Yolk Sac]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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I would be very suprised if the stunted fish were RES. IMO very likely they are GSF or PS. Overpopulaton of any form of sunfish indicates lack of LMB of an appropriate size to eat the size group causing the problem. If the CC that was caught was 35 lbs it could likely be the pond has a few flathead catfish that are eating the 10"-14" LMB. A couple flathead catfish in a small pond are problematic. Flathead catfish are commonly caught in the Maumee River near the pond in question. "Know it all" pond managing anglers often dump them into ponds.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/17/10 09:55 PM)
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#208656 - 03/17/10 09:47 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Bill Cody]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19539
Loc: Miss.
Big Flathead Cats also eat a lot of 6-8 inch BG etc.
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#208658 - 03/17/10 09:52 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
Bill Cody Offline
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""Big Flathead Cats also eat a lot of 6-8 inch BG etc"", which might exlain why there is also a shortage of larger "RES" in the pond - selective predation at work. The "rest of the story" will be interesting.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/17/10 09:55 PM)
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#208663 - 03/17/10 10:01 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Bill Cody]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
I'd love to see a few photos of the RES and even better yet, electroshock survey results for this pond. Lot's of interesting things being brought up here...
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#208664 - 03/17/10 10:05 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Bill Cody]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19539
Loc: Miss.
 Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
""Big Flathead Cats also eat a lot of 6-8 inch BG etc"", which might exlain why there is also a shortage of larger "RES" in the pond - selective predation at work. The "rest of the story" will be interesting.


Yes plus RES also often feed near the bottom and deeper water and guess who is down there waiting - Mr. Flathead.
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#208666 - 03/17/10 10:08 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
Bill Cody Offline
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I think in a pond of 1-10 acres Mr Flathead is also very comfortable foraging up 3-10 ft off the bottom especially in low light or dark conditions. Even if there are no flatheads in the pond and the pond contains large CC 5-20 lbs, those nightime predators are a real big threat to all existing larger panfish and bass less than 13"-15" long.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/17/10 10:13 PM)
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#208772 - 03/18/10 12:06 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Loc: northern VA
 Originally Posted By: ewest
Yes plus RES also often feed near the bottom and deeper water and guess who is down there waiting - Mr. Flathead.


Interesting you mention that Eric. This maybe completely anecdotal, but in the mid 90's a reservoir I fished in was overrun with brown bullheads. The reservoir also had a nice population of RES. The VDGIF electroshocked a couple dozen flatheads out of a nearby bigger reservoir with a naturally reproducing population. They transferred these flatheads over to the reservoir with the overpopulation of brown bullheads. Well, the flatheads did their work, turning piles of 6" bullheads into less numerous but good numbers of 12"-14" bullheads. However, the RES nearly disappeared. The flathead catfish couldn't reproduce in the reservoir and I believe the vast majority of the flatheads in there either died of old age or were fished out. I have noticed the RES have made a come back recently...
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#208798 - 03/18/10 02:21 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Flatheads are eating machines. They will eat anything that will fit in that big old maw. Ducks , rats , frogs , fish , snakes , turtles , yoy gators , small toy poodles out for a swim - if it swims it is food. Like all predators they will start with what is easiest to catch in their home area and move out from there.
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#210008 - 03/25/10 10:15 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
txelen Offline
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Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 271
Loc: Orange County, CA
This could be a poaching problem. In a 1 acre pond, a poacher keeping everything caught could take out much of the LMB population very quickly, and make a nice dent in the larger panfish. This might have allowed a few remaining RES to spawn prolifically with high fry survival, generating massive numbers of juvenile RES.

The good news is that if this is the case and the pond just has a bunch of small RES and not much else in it, the solution is simple and relatively inexpensive: put in BG and LMB. Sounds as if forage won't be a problem for the first year.

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#210024 - 03/25/10 10:40 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: ewest]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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 Originally Posted By: ewest
Flatheads are eating machines. They will eat anything that will fit in that big old maw. Ducks , rats , frogs , fish , snakes , turtles , yoy gators , small toy poodles out for a swim - if it swims it is food. Like all predators they will start with what is easiest to catch in their home area and move out from there.


Don't forget 8" dia. balls!

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#210026 - 03/25/10 11:22 PM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: esshup]
Bill Cody Offline
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txelen - good point. Have we ever established yet if the small fish in question are RES or some other species / hybrid?
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#210054 - 03/26/10 09:54 AM Re: Reducing RES with YP [Re: Bill Cody]
Conejo Offline
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Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 12
Loc: New Bavaria, OH
Not yet, trying to synch schedule with the homeowner.
I doubt we'll be able to do anything this week, but
Hopefully next week we can get it straightened out.

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