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#266275 - 07/30/11 07:47 AM Pond Bugs
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
I have a new pond that I stocked with FHM and GSH this spring. I have a gazillion FHMs and quite a few GSH fry. But I also have hundreds of water bugs/ spiders. How do I get rid of these pests? Also, should I introduce some RES and BG/HBG about now?

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#266276 - 07/30/11 07:51 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4241
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
That's what the fish eat

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#266279 - 07/30/11 08:12 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: RAH]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
OK. What kind of fish do I need to introduce and what size? I'm not sure I want LMB at this point or at all. My pond is about 1 1/3 acres, 14 ft deep.

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#266280 - 07/30/11 08:17 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4241
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
The fish experts will no doubt join in soon. A new pond will often go through periods of invertibrate "explosions" until the ecosystem becomes more balanced. Once the species at each trophic level become established, things will be more stable.

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#266282 - 07/30/11 08:51 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: RAH]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5686
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Uncle Walt,

Welcome to Pond Boss.

Now would be a great time to introduce bluegill and redear sunfish. I would let them get established before introducing a predator fish, such as large mouth bass.

Once you have an established population of bluegill and redear you will need a top predator such as largemouth bass to keep the BG and RES from overpopulating and stunting. You could also use small mouth bass. Hybrid striped bass are also an excellent choice for introduction to the pond.

Many of us have channel catfish, but they must be managed so that they too don't become problems. I expect that within the next few hours you will get a lot of good stocking advice, especially from close-by Pond Bosses in Indiana and Illinois. We have a number of active members from your area who have very successful ponds.

Regards,
Ken
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#266284 - 07/30/11 09:01 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: catmandoo]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
Thanks for the feedback, Ken. Will the BG and RES feast on these damn bugs I have all over the place?

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#266285 - 07/30/11 09:25 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Uncle Walt
I have a new pond that I stocked with FHM and GSH this spring. I have a gazillion FHMs and quite a few GSH fry. But I also have hundreds of water bugs/ spiders. How do I get rid of these pests? Also, should I introduce some RES and BG/HBG about now?


Uncle Walt

First, welcome.

What are you expecting, (hoping for), out of your pond? A typical midwestern LMB, BG, possibly CC pond? Or something different? Do you want an emphasis on one particular fish to catch, or are you looking for a more balanced pond?

Ken is absolutely correct in that , depending on the numbers and types of BG/RES you introduce, you will certainly need some type of predatory fish to help keep things from getting out of hand. No one wants a pond full of stunted BG.

Are you planning on an aeration, or feeding program?

As far as the bugs go, I find my fish will eat some varieties while leaving others alone. They will not touch those little black "water skimmers" that make the crazy circles on top of the water.

But hey, I don't like pasta either. Could be just a case of discriminating palates......
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#266289 - 07/30/11 09:51 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: sprkplug]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
I've done some reading on here and I am following the establish the minnow first mantra to be followed by RES and maybe HBG. I certainly want a balanced system, who wouldn't? However, I don't want to buy FHMs twice a year just to feed the LMB. I am looking at establishing some Eel grass as well as hardy lillies for cover. I love to eat CC but, based on opinions on here, I am not convinced I want them in my small pond. I have a bit of a turbidity issue that I am afraid will only worsen with CC. Maybe once I get a good stand of grass and can deal with the turbidity I will change my mind.

However, I have hundreds of those little spinners and I would like to find a way to deal with them. Thanks for the feedback.

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#266291 - 07/30/11 10:01 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5686
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Walt,

One more minor thought (opinion). I am not a fan of hybrid bluegill. They too can cause as many problems. They are fine for total put-and-take. Although they are hybrids, they can reproduce. When they do, you get fish that are neither quite green sunfish or bluegill. I'd stick with straight strain northern bluegill. You are too far north for coppernose bluegill.

As for feeding. With a proper bluegill and RES population, the bass will feed on them. Feeding the bluegill will really help. Many people hand feed. Some, like me, have an inexpensive automatic feeder that cost me about $50. It goes off twice a day, and puts about a pound of feed in each time.

Maybe Bill Cody will see this thread, and he can give you some good ideas on what to plant.

Ken
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#266292 - 07/30/11 10:25 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Hey Walt welcome from NW OH.
The "little spinners" are likely whirligig beetles. Numerous species; the most common ones in our region belong to the genus Gyrinus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirligig_beetle

Why do you think the "bugs" are a problem? These surface dwelling bugs feed on "stuff" in the surface film of the pond thus often cleaning the surface waters of debris- usually a good thing. It takes a pretty large BG - HBG (5"-7") to eat one of the larger whirligigs. RES likely will not eat many of the adults but RES will feed on the aquatic larval stage. Fingerling bass (2"-4") often are not able to eat these surface beetles. It usually takes bass 6"-8" long to begin eating them. If lots of small minnows are present the LMB will tend to eat the minnows first; leaving the surface bugs till later when minnnows become scarse or harder to catch.

There are numerous fish stocking possibilities for the smaller pond of less than 1 acre. If you want LMB in the pond then BG are often the better forage fish to naturally grow bass to larger sizes. Larger LMB can be easily grown in smaller ponds without BG if you buy pellet trained LMB or any other type of bass. As you have hopefully read HBG produce very liminted numbers of fry each year thus they are not good forage producers to feed LMB. I assume you have read this from the Archives about HBG - http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256325#Post256325.
Many of the HBG are pellet trained - ask the seller if interested about this. HBG in proper conditions I have seen work okay with YP, HSB, or SMB and/or walleye (WE). There are pellet trained yellow perch (YP) and occassionally SMB available. All HSB are pellet trained. A few WE can be an option in with special forage conditions in smaller ponds. I often use WE and/or HSB with a YP. Some pond owners go to the extreme and stock single sex panfish and or predators. I know of one 14 acre lake with forage and ONLY female LMB! So unusual fish stockings can be done.

IMO you should decide on the type of predator you prefer then stock the appropriate forage fish to feed that predator. Occassionally a mixed species of predator can work with some additional management efforts such as supplimental feeding, adding forage, heavy harvest of predators. Generally the fewer predators you have the larger they will grow in the pond and vice versa. More predators the smaller and slower growing they tend to be. That is why I prefer non or low reproducing predators for smaller ponds. Then one has much better control of the number of predators; essentially a put and take predator fishery. Often SMB produce limited numbers of fingerlings each year compared to LMB who are usually quite prolific. A Prolific predator can be good or bad depending on ones goals.


Edited by Bill Cody (07/30/11 02:36 PM)
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#266293 - 07/30/11 10:54 AM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Excellent advice from folks more knowledgeable than myself. I'll throw out an amateur's viewpoint....

For a balanced, self-sustaining, fish population, I'm not sure I would go with the RES/HBG combination you mentioned. The redear usually spawn once a year in my ponds, and the HBG (F1's) are primarily male.... not much offspring will be produced. Probably not enough to feed your Bass, IF you want a balanced pond, native, northern BG would be a better choice.

On the other hand, If you're willing to take a more involved approach with your fish, and primarily want panfish for the table, then HBG can be a good choice. Just remember that they will require replenishment from you, by way of purchasing more fish every so often.
You will still need LMB, or another predator, to control their numbers. On a feeding program, the HBG growth rate can be astounding the first couple of years. As far as reproductive degradation goes, I'm of the opinion that the whole story is not yet known. Proper management may play a part here. Time will tell if it is an absolute certainty or not. I still wouldn't stock HBG without a predator in place.

To summarize, I feel that HBG are best suited to a non-balanced fishery, where the LMB quality will probably suffer.

I think of it like a vegetable garden. If HBG are the plants, then LMB must be the hoes used to cultivate around them. Just a tool.

Yeah, I know. It's harsh......
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#266312 - 07/30/11 01:10 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: sprkplug]
loretta Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 561
Loc: MI
I'm a little frustrated with most of the answers given here. From what Bill Cody wrote I assume mature minnows are too small to eat these bugs. What about perch, will they eat these water bugs?
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#266313 - 07/30/11 01:52 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: loretta]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4241
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Loretta - I think we are just adjusting to your aversion to wirligig beetles. Most of us find them entertaining or at least of no concern. I personally do not like spiders, although I realize that they are beneficial. I think the insect and spider populations will drop naturally as the food chain develops. Using chemical controls may actually delay the establishment of critters that eat the insects and turn a short-term population boom into a longer term problem. One can manage and tweek a pond (or any other wildlife habitat), but attempting to control each species that one finds less than desirable with a quick fix will often lead to frustration. Think of the pond as a child that you can influence and help develop in a positive manner, but cannot control absolutly (without disastrous results).

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#266319 - 07/30/11 02:33 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Large minnows even larger (6"-8") golden shiners (GS) will not eat the adult whirligigs. Adult YP do not do a very good job eating them either primarily due to YP are generally deep water oriented, not surface feeders and the adult whirligig have fairly strong biting mouth parts that deter the smaller predators (<6"). Pick one up and handle it and see what I mean by biting mouth parts on these beetles. Adults fly so this is how they colonize new waters. Larger minnows and YP will eat the aquatic larval stages.
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#266322 - 07/30/11 03:14 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Bill Cody]
loretta Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 561
Loc: MI
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Large minnows even larger (6"-8") golden shiners (GS) will not eat the adult whirligigs. Adult YP do not do a very good job eating them either primarily due to YP are generally deep water oriented, not surface feeders and the adult whirligig have fairly strong biting mouth parts that deter the smaller predators (<6"). Pick one up and handle it and see what I mean by biting mouth parts on these beetles. Adults fly so this is how they colonize new waters. Larger minnows and YP will eat the aquatic larval stages.


Thank you for your reply! I don't have an aversion to the bugs but my puppy tries to catch them instead of paying attention to retrieving training. grin She will eventually outgrow this but their numbers are somewhat increasing and it's good to know something will eventually keep them in check. I'm not a fan of chemicals and I would never consider spraying them. I did wonder how they got there the first place, interesting to hear they fly and also bite.
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#266347 - 07/30/11 09:18 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Bill Cody]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
Bill, et. al. - Thanks for the informative replies. I was not so concerned about the whirligig beetles until they seemed to overrun the pond. I have hundreds, if not thousands, in a 1 1/3 acre pond. It just seems like too many. I appreciate the advice on HBG. I'll do the northern BG with RES instead. Maybe I should try HSB and WE as predators since they probably won't overrun the pond.

Thanks again for the great advice.

Walt.




Edited by Uncle Walt (07/30/11 09:18 PM)

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#266356 - 07/30/11 10:42 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Uncle Walt:

WE in ponds grow slowly, and are a put 'n take fishery. HSB do very well if you feed.

Where 'bouts in N. Indiana?
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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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#266368 - 07/30/11 11:23 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: esshup]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
IMO you can always later add the LMB if the BG start becoming abundant and exhibiting slow growth due to predators not eating enough small sunfish. If you start with just WE and or HSB, stock at higher densities (similar to LMB numbers) to maintain stronger predatory pressure on the BG. Also I would not stock over 300-400 BG per acre; maybe only 200-300/ac. Once they as adults start spawning you should get lots of BG offspring; maybe too many. Keep a close eye on the BG numbers. Consider adding RES first then later (3-4 months) add the BG to give the RES a head start. BG will soon easily overpopulate the numbers of RES. Remember LMB are always the very best predator of BG and sunfish. My big concern is BG over-running the pond with WE and or HSB as the main predators.


Edited by Bill Cody (07/30/11 11:29 PM)
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#266412 - 07/31/11 12:09 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: esshup]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
Esshup - I live just outside of Leo, NE of Fort Wayne. I thought I read that WE don't reproduce in a pond unless it is spring fed. A buddy of mine put way too many fish in his pond and I'm trying to be a bit more conservative.

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#266413 - 07/31/11 12:16 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Bill Cody]
Uncle Walt Offline


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Northern Indiana
Bill - If I stock RES now, should I wait until next spring to stock BG? When should I stock whatever predator I end up deciding on?

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#266418 - 07/31/11 12:51 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Uncle Walt]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1455
Loc: Central Kansas
Traditionally, BG and RES are stocked together in a pond.

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#266433 - 07/31/11 04:46 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: jludwig]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Walt, Yes I would stock RES now or as soon as you can get them. Then next spring stock the BG. This assumes that you want more emphasis on RES than BG which may not be the case for you. IMO stocking RES first will result in the RES initially having a stronger presence compared to if RES and BG were stocked together. Another option with similar results would be to stock larger sized RES 4"-6" and more of them per acre than the BG 2"-3". In this case RES should spawn one year before the BG. This, at least initially, gives the RES a stronger presence. Why more emphasis of RES. They produce fewer offspring thus less of a tendency of overpopulating with predators such as WE, SMB or HSB that are not well known for their strong predatory tendencies for the sunfish types.

Another option is to not stock BG until you see a real need for more small panfish to feed the predators due to slow predator growth. Although if the non-reproducing predators are growing too slow due to food shortages, just remove some of them so more foods are available for remaining predators. If you don't have too many or very predators then it takes fewer forage fish to feed them. With non-reproducing predators (HSB-WE) one has more control of the numbers of predators and it becomes somewhat easier to manage the fishery so forage fish are usually abundant but not too abundant and all are "doing well' or growing good.

Not using LMB with BG is IMO 'risky business' and experimental due to the tendency of other non-LMB predators not being ideal predators of BG. If you do this stocking plan, please keep us informed as to your experiences and the pond's progress so others can learn more about the success of non-traditional fish combinations.

No matter what stocking plan you use, IMO when the BG are added you will eventually see a need to add LMB to exert enough predatory pressure on the everincreasing numbers or abundant BG to control them and get good growth rates of the BG population to produce common harvestable sizes of BG.

There is a fish farm not too far from you that supposedly sells larger sized pellet raised RES (5"-6"). Feeding the RES pellets will result in faster growing RES, at least the pellet eaters and the pond will be able to grow more numbers of RES due to some eating pellets and less natural foods resulting in more natural foods for other RES. Keep in mind that the RES offspring will NOT eat pellets very well, and to maintain pellet eating RES you will need to periodically restock pellet trained, larger sized 4-6" RES. Larger sized ones to insure better survival. PM me for contact of the fish farm with pellet trained RES.

Also remember if you use this non-BG-LMB stocking combination it will be relatively easy to convert your pond into a LMB-BG pond by simply stocking BG and LMB. Over time (4-6yrs) they will become the dominant fishes in the pond. This is not the case if you start with BG-LMB. Changing the predominant fishes in the initial BG-LMB pond is almost impossible without renovating and starting over.


Edited by Bill Cody (07/31/11 05:26 PM)
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#266435 - 07/31/11 05:19 PM Re: Pond Bugs [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Quote:
When should I stock whatever predator I end up deciding on?


This IMO really depends on what forage species including panfish are in the pond, how long they have been in the pond, and what predators you decide to initially stock. The options are too numerous to fully describe here until you make some definate decisions on what the initial forage species will be.

To complicate this whole stocking combination thing, yellow perch will also do well (grow and reproduce) in midwest ponds as small as 1/4 ac and shallow as 7ft. Just something to consider before you make the initial sport fish stocking.

WE reproduction. Don't plan on them reproducing in a pond or smaller lake even spring fed one. In rare cases some ideal habitat ponds occassionally see a very few naturally produced WE. Bassically all WE populations inponds have to be supplimentally stocked to maintain populations. Lack of WE reproduction unless in ideal conditions is why all the midwestern states stock millions of WE each year into their BOWs. And some of these lakes are good habitat for WE, but still very low or no recruitment.


Edited by Bill Cody (07/31/11 05:34 PM)
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