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#273910 - 11/18/11 01:13 PM Habitat for bream and minnows
kingfish Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 67
Loc: Birmingham
We want to create habitat for our smaller fishes. Our bass have plenty of places to hide but with out shelter for our smaller bream and minnows I'm afraid they are being consumed before their time.

So here goes, realizing there are a million ways to do this, tell me what you think of this. Take two plastic laundry baskets and with galvanized wire, wire the two baskets mouth to mouth and sink in 5 to 10' of water with concrete block. The holes in the baskets with let the small fish in and keep the big fish out. Set up say 10 "reefs" in our 80 acre lake with four sets of baskets per reef. If successful build another ten in the Spring etc.

What do you think?

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#273911 - 11/18/11 01:29 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
frigginchi Offline


Registered: 01/28/11
Posts: 62
Loc: CA
That would work.

construction safety fencing like this will also work if it is scrunched up into a ball or bowtie and weighted down.



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#273912 - 11/18/11 01:54 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: frigginchi]
roadwarriorsvt Offline


Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 621
Loc: Wahiawa, HI
I've had galvanized straps rust through in about 6 months when continuously submerged in water. I'd spring for copper or stainless steel wire.

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#273915 - 11/18/11 03:31 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: roadwarriorsvt]
kingfish Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 67
Loc: Birmingham
How about quality small diameter nylon rope?

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#273919 - 11/18/11 05:20 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
Peepaw Offline


Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 389
Loc: Illinois
I think it will work fine. How about adding some fine brush or material inside as well?

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#273943 - 11/18/11 10:32 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
Bing Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 1603
Loc: Fayette County Illinois
Originally Posted By: kingfish
How about quality small diameter nylon rope?

Or zip ties
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#274014 - 11/20/11 11:05 AM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: Bing]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12412
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
The plastic laundry baskets are not near enough quantity of habitat to protect any amount of forage fish. Plus you are placing them in too deep of water. Small fish typically find refuge and long term survival in shallow water were brush and weed beds occur. Good refuge areas for small fish should be near the concept and extent of submerged weed beds- relatively expansive areas, i.e. a sizable percentage of the shoreline length; 5%-20%. Consider establishing natural habitat; beneficial vegetation that does not become rampant nor invasive.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/20/11 11:07 AM)
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#274470 - 11/28/11 01:02 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: Bill Cody]
HoneyHole Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 100
Loc: AL
Anything can become structure if it will last under water. I use a lot of cedar when available for habitat that will be fished through. For sanctuary for forage You can literally use anything, just think of dense cover for small fish to hide in. If your lake has none you need to plan on adding enough in different areas to cover 10% of the surface acreage. Place it in 2-4 ft water. I use stainless steel or heavy duty UV protected zip ties to secure weights; the galvanized stuff rusts through.

-HH
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#274473 - 11/28/11 01:30 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: HoneyHole]
deadwood Offline


Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 89
Loc: Va
I worry about adding a lot of artificial plastic cover to a lake. In the short run, I'm sure it is a good way to provide some cover. In the long run however, it seems bound to affect water quality. Am I wrong to worry about this?

It also seems like natural cover, such as trees, will be partially broken down by aquatic insects and the like, and probably wind up making some organic contribution to a body of water's forage base.

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#274492 - 11/28/11 07:50 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: deadwood]
Peepaw Offline


Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 389
Loc: Illinois
Great question Deadwood, we spent many hours looking into this very question. Seems pvc is standing the test of time with it's endless use's in and around the water table. Pro's and con's to both. All natural, decaying habitat which needs to be maintained/added to over time is no doubt, nature's intended way to provide habitat for fish. However, to much decaying wood can also cause adverse effects, though rarely the case. The overall concept of artificial habitat In my opinion, is to create a base for natural growth to adhere and grow onto. The framework of any given structure type simply provide the structural framework to let nature take over. While pvc is a widely acceptable and currently approved material to provide humans drinking water, I trust our small additions to habitat restoration in lakes and ponds have far more positive effects than negative. As always, we support a variety of structure types used together to create the best options for your fish.

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#274497 - 11/28/11 08:29 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: Peepaw]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19409
Loc: Miss.
Deadwood see this from the archives - outstanding thread with lots of pics on structure. I like natural structure. Think about picking up lots of xmas trees after Christmas and putting them in in various ways.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463

Nice post Peepaw.
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#274530 - 11/29/11 09:14 AM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
kingfish Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 67
Loc: Birmingham
Thanks ewest for your help. After discussions with our landowners we have backed off putting plastics in the lake. We are going to use Christmas trees and some of the many Virginia Pines that grow on our properties. As for bass cover we may go to the cement blocks in a bit deeper waters. There is just something that's not right about seeing a hunk of plastic in the water, much less what effects it might have on our environment.

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#274542 - 11/29/11 01:16 PM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1928
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
I would assume you have to be careful with some of that structure or your neighbors will think you are inventing an alien landing craft or trying to intercept signals from outer space ;-).

Lots of great ideas in that thread! I think I will stick with Christmas trees and buckets as for appearance they seem most natural for the aesthetics.

I have been trying to think of a way to accomplish another goal:
Protecting frogs and tadpoles from larger fish in the same pond. I am not so certain it can be done and still have things look nice. Only thing I am coming up with is putting in mesh galvanized fence which may not last very long, or the plastic snow fence to form a long barrier. The fence would have to come up above the water line, but the fish still may jump it. Trying to use brush will invariably wind up with enough holes for the big fish to get through so I don't see that as being effective.

Any ideas out there for this? I know some of you have "feeder" ponds which I am considering, but I will probably get the veto from the rest of the family.

Thanks
Mark W.
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#278494 - 01/23/12 08:53 AM Re: Habitat for bream and minnows [Re: kingfish]
Peepaw Offline


Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 389
Loc: Illinois
Can understand your asthetic concerns. Remember, after the PVC "tree" is in the drink awhile, it will be full of algae and un-recognizable as anything "artificial", same as anything put in.

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