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#214624 - 04/27/10 10:20 PM New member about to order fish for my pond.
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
Great site here. Just found it tonight.
I have a 5 acre Pond in Southern Wisconsin. 3 acres are 5' to 8' deep, and the other two acres are about 3' deep. Theres also a 15x15 area thats about 12' deep. This pond has been here since the early 1960s. It is spring and creek fed with a small dam. mostly mud bottom, fair amount of weeds, and some nice timbers for structure. I know its a little shallow, but the moving water keeps it from freezing out or overheating in the summer. It has always supported a healthy Bass and Bluegill population and an ocassional crappie.
2 years ago the dam broke partially, and the pond mostly froze out over winter. The dam has been repaired and water level is back to normal. Now its time to get some new fish in there. It will be used for fishing for adults and kids.
I'm leaning towards Hybrid Bluegills. but still not sure.
As of right now I'm thinking 1200 Hybrid Bluegills, 800 Perch, 300 Largemouth, and 10 gallons of Fathead minnows.
what do you guys think?

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#214626 - 04/27/10 10:28 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Welcome to the forum mkling! Glad you found us and decided to post...

Do you know if there are any fish still present in the pond or due to the recent dam failure, you lost them all? That is an important thing to consider.

Second, what are the goals for your pond? You mentioned kids and adults will be fishing it. 5 acres is a great size and opens up a lot of possibilities. Usually those looking for good fishing for both adults and kids look for a more balanced pond where both the largemouth bass(LMB) and bluegill/sunfish(BG) get to nice sizes, but no giants. Or, they lean towards growing larger BG. In a 5 acre pond, I would go with pure BG as opposed to hybrid BG(HBG). HBG are typically 95% males and only 5% females. This means they don't make a good forage base for bass and the bass tend not to grow so well. There are times when HBG make good options, but I do not think this is one of them. HBG will outgrow pure BG for the first couple years at best, but then the pure BG catch up and out surpass them. You will see many members dealing with replacing their HBG with BG and dealing with Fx generation crosses that can be a real mess. Let us know what your goals are and we can look at a stocking plan to meet those goals. I'll say this, irregardless of your goals, getting some fathead minnows(FHM) in there now won't hurt a thing. The sooner they are in, the quicker they'll be spawning and make more food for your other fish to eat.

The pond is a little shallow, but I wouldn't stress over it. If you have electricity near by, an aeration system could really help...
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#214647 - 04/27/10 11:54 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
esshup Offline
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Welcome! I second what CJ said, and want to add that you will be money ahead in the long run if you stock BG. The HBG need to be restocked periodically to keep the population up, and they won't spawn enough to keep a good forage base going for the LMB.

When they get restocked with the larger LMB in the pond, some of them will become very expensive LMB food.

I think the jury is still out on the YP in smaller ponds. It used to be thought that they would overpopulate in smaller ponds without heavy fishing pressure, but they might be kept in check with predatory 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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#214664 - 04/28/10 01:59 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: esshup]
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
Thanks for the quick responses. My head has been spinning on what to stock and how much, hopefully you guys can help. The Hatcheries all seem to want me to get Hybrids, but I'm thinking its because they want the repeat business. I'll stick with the normal BGs as you suggest and my gut feeling talls me to go that way too. I like the idea of the pond keeping the population up without stocking every couple years. I can just see myself with every Hybrid I keep, thinking theres another $.55 haha.
My goal is to have a good fishery for family and slect friends. I'd like trophy bass for myself, but a huge bluegill makes me just as happy. So maybe a pond geared towards growing large BGs and decent bass. Most everyone else in the family just fishes panfish. I like the idea of perch also, but I'm unsure how that would work out. I know we could fish them enough to keep numbers down.
Really not sure whats in there right now. I used to be able to catch about 30 12"-14" LMB in about an hour and BGs everytime the worm hit the water. I've tried it a number of times in the last year and havent had a bite. I'm an avid fisherman (about 3 times a week) so I do know what I'm doing. I did see some minnows today though.
I also treated the water with copper Sulfate today to hopefully kill off the snails. We had that black spot parassite pretty bad, so I'm hoping this helps. I did treat it pretty heavy, so I may have killed some fish if theres any left. Now was the time to do it though. I will wait about 3 more weeks before stocking so I know the water is safe.
so basicly I'm looking for good numbers of decent size bluegills and some LMB numbers and/or size.
Some channel cats may be fun also if you think they would work. Maybe Perch if they can fit into the equation also.

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#214675 - 04/28/10 04:12 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
CJBS2003 Offline
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5 acres gives you some room to work with. I think you can obtain your stated goals. My one concern is what fish are in the pond now? If they're undesirable species like bullheads, green sunfish or carp they can possibly cause serious issues early on or down the road depending on the species. The "minnows" you saw, it would be nice to see if you could identify them if they did survive the copper sulfate treatment. Assuming you don't have any problem causing species present I would stock the pond similar to this to obtain your goals...

Patience will be needed for this plan to come fruition... A little patience now will pay off big later!

Stocking plans vary greatly depending on the size of the fish when stocked(and a bunch of other factors) but let's assume the fish you are stocking are in the 2"-4" range as that is usually the most commonly available size at the most reasonable price.

This spring I would stock 25 pounds of fathead minnows.(5 pounds per acre)

I would also consider stocking 10 pounds of golden shiners(GSH)(2 pounds per acre) if you want to lean more towards growing larger bass and slightly smaller BG. The GSH will compete with your BG for food some, but if you feed your fish, this competition will be mitigated a bit. GSH grow to 8"-10" in northern waters and can provide excellent forage for bass, but like I said they can compete with BG for food and IMO an even bigger factor is they take the predatory bass pressure off the BG which means more BG survive to compete with each other leading to slower growth rates in that aspect as well. So keep this in mind before you stock GSH... If I was doing the stocking for your goals, I'd stock them.

This late summer I would stock 375 largemouth bass.(75 per acre) I say to stock the LMB now before you stock the BG is this. In southern waters, most guys stock the BG a good period of time before the bass. This is OK for southern waters as the bass are able to keep up with the BG reproduction and growth rates. However in northern waters, stocking BG before the bass will lead to BG stunting in all likelihood. What you want is your bass to feed on the FHM you stocked in the spring by the time they begin to exhaust their FHM food source the BG you stock later will be just starting to spawn and the bass will be there to quickly keep their numbers under control and also grow well themselves leading to a balanced pond.

Originally Posted By: mkling
I also treated the water with copper Sulfate today to hopefully kill off the snails. We had that black spot parassite pretty bad, so I'm hoping this helps.

Redear sunfish(RES) include snails quite heavily in their diet when available as they have crushing teeth in their throats known as pharyngeal teeth. This enables them them to crush their shells and readily feed on them. There is anecdotal evidence that a healthy population of RES will keep the snail population low and help reduce the presense of black spot and other parasites that use snails as a host.

RES are fairly warm water fish, but can survive in perhaps the southern third of Wisconsin. You can consider stocking some if you are in that part of the state. If you do stock them, I would stock them in the later summer with your bass at 250.(50 per acre)

If you are too far north or cannot source RES, which is possible you can consider pumpkinseed sunfish(PSS). PSS are native to Wisc and can handle cold northern waters very well. They are closely related to RES and will also feed heavily on snails. However, they do not grow nearly as big as RES, compete more with BG for food resources and reproduce more readily than RES. If you decide to stock them, I would wait on stocking them when you stock your BG at 50 per acre.

The following spring, I would then stock 1750 BG.(350 per acre) These fish should grow fast in their first spring and early summer and will be spawning by mid summer in your pond if stocked in the 2"-4" range and maybe sooner if more are near the 4" range. This timing should fit well for when your bass will be getting close to complete removal of your FHM.

Originally Posted By: mkling
Maybe Perch if they can fit into the equation also.

That spring I would also stock 750 yellow perch(YP).(150 per acre). I think you have a good chance of your perch not over populating because of LMB predation, but also not being completely removed as often happens in smaller 2> acre ponds.

Originally Posted By: mkling
Some channel cats may be fun also if you think they would work.

Channel catfish(CC) can certainly be added to this pond. CC rarely naturally reproduce in ponds, so you'll have to stock them annually. However a word of caution. They will compete with your bass when over 2 pounds and particularly 5+ pounds as they will actively prey on living fish. Also, they are total feed hogs, so if you plan on feeding, they will be sucking down lots of food. Last, they are extremely smart and once caught once on hook and line, they become VERY difficult to catch again. Most forum members are either leaving them out of their ponds altogether or only putting numbers in they can eat in a year and keeping the fish rather than practicing catch and release. If you do decide to stock them, I would only stock the number you think you, your family and friends will want to eat each year. Otherwise you end up with a lot of 8-12 pound CC taking up piles of biomass in your pond and heavily competing with your bass to the bass's detriment. Then you'll be doing lots of fishing trying to remove the darn things! Somewhere between 25-50 per acre would probably be more than enough CC to keep you busy...

In the future you can consider adding a handful of advanced sized(10"+) fingerling walleye(WE) for added bonus fish. They will not reproduce in your pond, so they would have to be stocked every year or every other year, but they could provide a bonus fish(that's great eating) without affecting the overall balance of your pond much.

You can also consider stocking advanced sized(10"+) smallmouth bass(SMB) to your pond as well. Although, they will not reproduce and be out competed by the LMB, when stocked at that size they will survive and do fairly well, again adding a bonus catch to your pond. If you do this, make sure to remove some LMB to make room for them...

Fish to avoid:
common carp
black/white crappie
northern pike(except single sex under certain circumstances)
bulllheads
gizzard shad
green sunfish(yes, the GSA will hate me)they aren't that bad in an established fishery as they usually get out competed.

These are just my opinions on the subject. I am sure others will have their ideas and what you will find is, there is lots of variance with ponds and nature in general and it all depends!
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#214695 - 04/28/10 09:32 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
esshup Offline
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That's a plan that I'd go with CJ, except I'd put in more BG, getting towards the 750 - 1,000 per acre of Lepomis. With the numbers of snails, I'd definately search hard for a supplier of RES or PSS. While I haven't fished a lot of BOW's in the upper Midwest, I quickly run out of fingers and toes counting them. I have yet to see one with stunted BG that has LMB in it as well. I'd be more concerned with having enough food for the LMB to eat if there wasn't good spawning habitat for the GSH. I put slightly over 200 7"-10" GSH in my pond last year, and although I have low numbers of LMB and the largest should be close to 18", I have yet to see any adult GSH.
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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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#214696 - 04/28/10 09:34 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Welcome to PB. Learn as much as you can and manage to your goals. There are usually several ways to get to a stated goal. Some good advice above to consider. Unless you really want CC I would skip them. I would consider YP as a bonus fish in the mix instead and possibly WE.
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#214703 - 04/28/10 10:08 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: ewest]
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
We had a healthy population of Pumpkinseeds in there before, I dont mind them as they did get large enough to eat and they are a cool looking little fish. We are very borderline for Redear, but I may try them if I can find em.
Luckily we have never had a Carp in problem in the pond. There may be some Bullheads. I really dont think there is much of anything in there though.
I would prefer to do one large stocking this spring of LMB, BG, and Fatheads. Then consider adding Perch, CC, or Walleye, or? next year.
If the BGs are stocked in June (about when they spawn here) I wouldnt think they would spawn until next year. Besides, wouldnt you want to have a good spawn to get the numbers up right away?
I would like to spend about $1500 this year maybe up to $2000. BGs or most panfish for that matter here are $.45 to $.55 . LMB amd larger fish are about $1.25.

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#214710 - 04/28/10 10:46 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
Looks like Redear are not an option. Wisconsin DNR does not allow them here.

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#214711 - 04/28/10 10:51 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
The Pond Frog Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
Pretty good advice so far. I would avoid hybrids like the plague. Hatcheries push them because they have to be made, they die off and you are back for more.

I'd start with little fish, many more for the $ and FHM and shiners. Maybe shiner fry. I would hold off on the LMB. Maybe a month, maybe a year. I am doing a pond from scratch right now, and I am putting no lmb in yet.

My ratio per acre is 600 bg, 300 res. 2-4" FHM 1,000. Just under jumbo shiners 4-5", 400. No yp. Maybe a couple of albino cc for laughs. When available for free I'm dumping loads up crawfish in. Then next Spring, a full one year later I'm going 9-12 lmb, FLA.

I also just wrapped a pond where I started about the same, no shiners, 1000 fhm 1000 gambusia and a 800 bg 200 res ratio and one month later fingerling LMB 150. 80 3-5" cc.

Like the guys say, depends on what type of fishing you want out of it. Pumpkinseeds are neat, I'd put them in my panfish ratio but can't get them out here. Good luck, sounds like fun.

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#214732 - 04/28/10 12:47 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: The Pond Frog]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Patience... Stocking all the fish together usually doesn't work to getting a balanced fishery. I would stock in stages. You've come this far, another year to get all your fish you want into your pond correctly won't hurt. But, it's your pond... Stock it as you see fit.
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#214760 - 04/28/10 02:31 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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One option that is compatible with the northern strategy which CJ described is to stock all the fish over the summer using 2 in BG etc , adult FH and GShiners first (May/June) and stocking 8 inch LMB at the end of summer in reduced #s. If you were going to use 300 2 inch LMB stockers as first noted then instead use 75-100 8 inch LMB. Next spring that should put you in the same place as with CJs plan. PF and others are describing a southern/central stocking plan using BG first then LMB. I know that plan has also worked in northern areas but IMO has a greater risk profile in your area. The further north you go the more risk to using that stocking plan.
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#214775 - 04/28/10 04:01 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: ewest]
CJBS2003 Offline
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One thing you have to ask is what is your budget? Fish are expensive in the numbers you need to properly stock a 5 acre pond...
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Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#214803 - 04/28/10 06:40 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
I mentioned earlier... I would like to spend between $1500 and $2000 on fish including minnows.
What would happen if I just put in 1500 regular BGs, 400 Perch, 10 Gallon fatheads, and 250 Bass all at once this spring? would add some pumpkinseeds when I find them also.

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#214917 - 04/29/10 05:33 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Loc: northern VA
When small bass and bluegills of the
same age were stocked simultaneously in
Alabama, balanced populations always
resulted. When this stocking strategy
was followed in the North, the result
nearly always was a stunted bluegill
population and a bass population
unable to spawn successfully. Research
at Cornell University showed that to
achieve successful bass-bluegill populations
in northern states, the initial
stocking must consist of bass that are at
least 1 year older than the bluegills. This
can be achieved by stocking yearling
bass 1 year ahead of yearling bluegills or
combining 2-year-old bass (over 6
inches) with yearling bluegills less than
2 inches long. Researchers currently
believe that the proper number of
fingerling fish to stock is 100 bass and
200 to 500 bluegills per surface acre.

That is what fisheries biologists recommend... If you stock it your way, please let us now how it turns out so we can all learn.
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Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#214937 - 04/29/10 10:17 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

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CJ do you have a source for that quote. I have read it before but can't recall where. Is it from Penn F&W ?
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#214962 - 04/30/10 05:41 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: ewest]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the study was done by Cornell University. http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/uh137.pdf It's been my experience those numbers are more accurate for successful pond stocking in PA and even northern VA as well.
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Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#214987 - 04/30/10 09:57 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

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Thanks that is what I thought.
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#214990 - 04/30/10 10:13 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: ewest]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
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CJ and Ewest -- we're saying essentially the same thing for SD stockings, too. Our bluegill will spawn at age 1, but the LMB rarely spawn at age 1 and usually at age 2, after fingerling (2 inch) stockings.
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#214998 - 04/30/10 11:28 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: Dave Willis]
CJBS2003 Offline
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I have seen some really screwed up ponds above the Mason-Dixon Line when BG are given a head start or stocked at the same time as bass that are the same size. For those who just can't resist and just have to stock everything all at once, stocking adult fish may be a better option and I have seen that work out quite well.
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#215003 - 04/30/10 11:56 AM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: CJBS2003]
mkling Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
I get so much conflicting info from all the hatcheries I have talked to. Most of them around here have been telling me to do my Panfish and minnows now, and wait till fall to stock LMB.
Basicly your thinking I should do Fatheads and bass this spring. and Bluegills, Perch and pumpkinseeds next spring. I do want to do perch in here somehow. The couple hatcheries I want to do business with, will not stock in mid summer because of the heat. They finish stocking in the first week of June and then start again in fall.
Could I stock bass with Fatheads at the same time? then do Panfish in the spring? I put a couple minnow traps out and am not getting anything. There is some nonfish sources of food though. Helgramites, leaches...
I'm trying to understand this. You want the bass established before the bluegills so the bluegills dont overpopulate right away or what?
If Bluegills went in now, they would spawn next spring. If I have 6-7" bass going in with the BGs they may spawn next spring also. So I would have the original 350 LMB to feed on the fry from the spawning BGs. Just trying to make sense of this. my heads spinning LOL

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#215005 - 04/30/10 12:02 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: mkling]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19290
Loc: Miss.
I think you have it. You can do FH first (now) then in June GShiners (adults) LMB and YP leaving the BG and PS until spring.
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#215011 - 04/30/10 01:15 PM Re: New member about to order fish for my pond. [Re: ewest]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Mkling -- I'm with Ewest. I think you have it. In the north, we have to take these extra measures to make sure the bluegills (or other panfish species) don't overpopulate and get ahead of the bass. I don't blame the hatcheries for the conflicting advice -- they're giving good advice for southern waters! Even in Iowa and Nebraska, the LMB are much more likely to be able to spawn at age 1, so they want the bluegills to be reproducing to give a food source for the young LMB.
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