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#7706 - 01/22/06 07:44 PM Fathead minnow spawning site?
gregWV Offline
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Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 17
Loc: Huntington WV
I have read many posts about fathead spawning sites and creating them but in a small pond (1/10 acre), would a 4ftx8ft peice of plywood be a good choice? They are about $20 and could be placed 1-2 feet underwater on top of blocks so it would create a 4x8 underwater surface on both sides of the board? What do you all think about this?

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#7707 - 01/22/06 07:53 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12451
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Cut the plywood into small pieces (approx 12"x12") and place them in separate locations. Fathead males are territorial and chase other fish away from the nest. So isolated or smaller separate spots are much more productive than one big open area. Some fathead raisers will take the smaller boards (cedar shingles) and put or pound them into the pond bank under water at a fairly close angle (30-45 deg)to the bottom. One fish will use each board for spawning.
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#7708 - 01/23/06 08:21 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
Mr. Cody
At what depths would one place these? Could they be as deep as 4-5'? Would 6-8' spacing down a shoreline be enough? I'm thinking of using surveyor's stakes (wooden) and stapling some cedar shingles to them to hammer into side of new pond. Not sure of water level other than "full" level as flagged. I appreciate your time and all you have shared...taught on this forum.

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#7709 - 01/23/06 01:23 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19497
Loc: Miss.
ahvasta :

If I recall your pond has a number of pallet structures (and others)in shallow water. Those are good for FH spawning sites as they provide multiple slats for spawning and a place (inside the pallet) for them to seek protection. I use pallets placed flat for that purpose. If you have extra pallets you could put them out. They will also use the underside of limbs etc. but I dont know if they will use your hay bales or tires.

What is your plan for the FH ? Are they just to start you forage base or will you try to keep an ongoing population in the pond ? I have been thinking about methods to keep a viable population going in a pond with existing predators.

Links :

http://aquaticpath.umd.edu/fhm/intro.html

http://www.uaex.edu/aquaculture2/FSA/FSA9003.htm
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#7710 - 01/23/06 08:24 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
ewest
Yes that pond is ready. I have also added a pier\boathouse. I made some deep water mounds...ah la Meadowlark. I will try and add pictures soon! This drought has me thinking some 16-20' water in places, so I've added some channels (approx. 1700 yds. of clay removed). The questions, in above post, are for #2 and #3 ponds. We have taken full advantage of this dry spell. lol
My plan is also a viable population. I have made some changes on my catfish pond, cuts, channels, a 200'x 50' 6-7' deep canal, and am still trying to match Theo's "thick enough to walk on".
Gainesjs's pictures of his dock were an inspiration so I did a close duplication. Again hope to post pics soon.

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#7711 - 01/23/06 09:16 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ewest Offline
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ahvasta :

Are the FH for pond 1 ,2 and 3 or what combo? In one article today I saw some FH breeding structures that looked like what Bill described but they were attached to up right poles at all depths and angles on 3-4' poles. All the info I saw said near shore for spawning areas ( 1-4' of water). If I find it again I will post the link.
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#7712 - 01/23/06 10:21 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Ric Swaim Offline
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Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
I had fatheads spawing on boards just floating on the surface with one end stuck in the bank.
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#7713 - 01/23/06 10:25 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
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Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
Hope you find link. I want FHs in all the ponds.
Here's a Pier slideshow:
http://photobucket.com/albums/b165/ahvatsa/Catfish%20pond/Pier/

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#7714 - 01/23/06 11:25 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Bill Cody Offline
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
For board placement shallow seems to be best. Six ft may be a little deep but usable. As Ric said they will use floating boards which may be able to, with some adjustment, rise and fall with water levels.

One foot spacing is usually adequate to minimize territorial behavior. Visual barriers work good for close quarters of breeding situations.
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#7715 - 01/24/06 07:02 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Russ Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 1011
Loc: Ulster Park, NY

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#7716 - 01/24/06 11:42 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19497
Loc: Miss.
Great link Russ. Thanks Ahvatsa for asking the questions as it encouraged me to learn more about FH. There is more to learn about them and I will start a thread tonight called " Towards Understanding Fatheads" with some info on them and maybe some surprises.

Here is what I found about FH spawning structure from the articles. The PB link by Russ was on the money. That is what you get (and expect) when Bill , Bob , Dave W , DD and the other posters on that thread are involved.

Here are the results from the articles relative to artificial spawning structure for FH , in no order of preference :

1. Small boards tied/stapled to ropes/wires submerged in shallow water near shore. The boards after a while sink and are held suspended underwater by the rope. This is the most mentioned method for use in FH aquaculture as most of the articles are about that and not regular ponds.

2. Pallets submerged in shallow water near shore. This and 6 below offer the most protection to spawning FH as they are not as subject to attack from below while inside the pallet/pvc.

3. Boards stuck in the pond bank near shore part submerged part floating at 60 to 90 degree angle to the pond bank.

4. Old style wood soda cases in shallow near shore water as per Bob"s post. I am sure this method would be mentioned much more if the soda cases were not so hard to find.

5. Fish spawning fabric submerged often attached between sticks/stakes but not on bottom in shallow near shore waters.

6. Various pvc structures from trees to just stuck in the bank to platforms/condos some with fabric attached.

7. FH trees -- poles with dowels and small board attached at all depths, angles and directions about 4 ft. tall and placed upright in shallow less than 4ft of water near shore.

The articles also mention natural structures like limbs, rocks, weeds (most mentioned and stressed), and brush. Here is the link to the FH trees :

http://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/sallen/Fathead/FHMwebsite.html

http://aquanic.org/publicat/state/ga/baitfish.htm
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#7717 - 01/24/06 05:30 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN Offline
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Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 969
Loc: NA
GregWV, If you looking to make something simple that a changing water depth will not be a factor,Go to the PondBoss "photo" link on the home page >(upper left) go to page 4 >look in the last row 3rd pic from the left.This is a system (1 of 3) that I installed last winter.I used cedar from discarded telephone poles.Works great, Drape a poly fence on the outside row to keep the bass out but you will find the FH will swim out and become dinner every time !!Good Luck

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#7718 - 04/06/06 10:17 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
Bill Cody
I made the FH lollipops out of stakes and cedar shingles and
" Fathead males are territorial"
is unreal! Even when an oak twig or leaf would float near shingles they would attack it. The males are almost black and FAT. The activity just started in the structure area. I was so intrigued I watched them for an hour. Thanks for the info, you have been extremely helpful. This was easy and precut stakes are available at Lowes with shingles. I believe this should help the spawn and is fun to observe.
al

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#7719 - 04/06/06 10:24 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19497
Loc: Miss.
Al I bet if you check back in a couple weeks if they are in your pond with the pallets they will be there also. Let us know how it works as I am going to do the same behind a blocking net along with 2in BG and RES with feed in about 10 days.
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#7720 - 04/06/06 10:34 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
ewest
Sad to report the pallet pond is dry! This is a small pond below a windmill I just finished in Ja. I ran a 2" overflow line down to pond and have about 6' of water. I am splashing the water on rocks to try and add some oxygen to it.
In all the recent rains I've had .20...sad...

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#7721 - 04/07/06 07:15 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13539
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I tried pallets in shallow water. It was a brushy, rocky area and the fatheads ignored them. I never stopped to think that they might have been made of some wood that the minnows didn't like. They reproduced and I guess they preferred the natural stuff.

As a humorous aside, my wife asked who tossed the junk into the water. I explained why I did it and got "the look". It was followed by silence which is not, altogether, a bad thing.
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#7722 - 04/07/06 07:38 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by ahvatsa:
I want FHs in all the ponds.
ahvatsa,

Have you considered trying some Gambusia? I have found that Gambusia will sustain a vibrant population if you have any kind of vegetation close to water for them to hide in and spawn. Fatheads are really a waste of time, in my opinion , as far as being a reliable sustaining source of forage. (edit....my efforts to establish them have been a waste of time is what I meant to say, sorry). They are great for kick-starting your pond, but do not survive predation or sustain a population. Gambusia, on the other hand, while smaller, can sustain themselves for the life of the pond. I have one 75 year old pond that is crawling with Gambusia year-around. Small bass love them as do larger BG. The TGG's absolutely devour them....and best of all Gambusia are virtually free. You can find them ocurring naturally in just about any body of water in East Texas. They are under rated and under utilized IMHO as a small fish forage base.

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#7723 - 04/07/06 08:27 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
ahvatsa Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 352
Loc: Poth/McCoy, Texas
ML
Do you net or trap the Gambusias? Are they sold commercially? Lake or creeks best? Haven't had much experience with them. I have a 1600 gal. open storage near windmill and "feeder" goldfish have cleaned the alge wonderfully. I called 2 local dealers for RES and none were available. I also wanted some all female bass (only 25 or so) and neither "sexes" fish. The storeage has snales. I was thinking of GGs or same sex BGs for small pond. The catfish pond is below 4' and I may have to rescue some albinos. I don't want to lose them. Some may end up in the new small pond.
al
ps Didn't want to bother Todd with a small order. I should see if he has a truck coming my way. I offered one man $10.00 for mature RES only...he insisted they didn't seperate BGs and RES. I pass bait stands at Calaveras lake, wonder what kind of minnows they sell?

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#7724 - 04/07/06 09:30 AM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Matt Clark Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 822
Loc: S.E. Iowa
Dave Davidson1:

I have also received that same "look", and have been told that there is to be no more "structure" added to the east pond. I'm OK if the water level doesn't drop too much this summer. If it does, I'll be found guilty by a jury of 1... 8^)
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#7725 - 04/07/06 01:34 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Brettski Online   content
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6901
Loc: Illinois
 Quote:
I have found that Gambusia will sustain a vibrant population if you have any kind of vegetation close to water for them to hide in and spawn. Fatheads are really a waste of time, in my opinion , as far as being a reliable sustaining source of forage. They are great for kick-starting your pond, but do not survive predation or sustain a population. Gambusia, on the other hand, while smaller, can sustain themselves for the life of the pond.
Interesting angle proposed by ML. Is this a serious consideration for my upcoming project? I have not seriously considered my stocking plan, but I foresee the standard BG/LMB/CC combo. About 1/4 ac of the pond will be dedicated to a wetland zone with shallower water. It is in this area that I planned the "wooden skid" technique. I never was crazy about the thought, but willing to give it a try. If I could avoid more "stuff", I too might be able to evade "the look" (besides, having a bunch of skids in this special nature zone just doesn't seem right ). I have a few months to decide. Is Gambusia a reasonable forage alternative in a midwest pond?
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#7726 - 04/07/06 04:13 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Brettski,

I said that very poorly...what I meant, and didn't say, was that my efforts at establishing fatheads have been a waste...a failure. I've tried pallets and pvc cuts but nothing has helped establish a sustaining population. Fatheads are a great starter for your pond, but as for a reccurring source of forage, it is very questionable....at least for me.

Gambusia, on the other hand, show up in our ponds whether we want them or not. I happen to feel they are a great low end forage fish, for small bass and medium and up BG.

As to whether they would survive in your winters, I'm not sure...seems like Theo has some?

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#7727 - 04/07/06 04:20 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by ahvatsa:
ML
Do you net or trap the Gambusias? Are they sold commercially? Lake or creeks best?
ahavatsa,

Really it is one of those fish mysteries, but they just show up in just about every body of water in East Texas. I don't know of anyone specifically in Texas selling them, but someone will probably chime in. When I started the TGG experiment, I bought 1000 of them from Deb to get things off to a good start...and a good start happened.

It may be because they are so prolific and self starting that not many people sell them in Texas.

A combination Gambusia/fathead program really gets a pond going...they both serve a good function, in my opinion.

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#7728 - 04/07/06 09:13 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site?
Theo Gallus Online   content
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12385
Loc: Central Ohio
We got Gambusia one year, but they were only in watering troughs. They did not survive the water quality crunch that occurs when the leaves drop into the troughs in the Fall (the troughs can get pretty gross), so I don't know if they would Winter here or not. I think they would.
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#283581 - 03/10/12 09:41 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site? [Re: Theo Gallus]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5681
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Yesterday, I put a pound of fatheads in a small sediment catch-pond (about 20 x 25, and about 5-6 foot deep). It is one of my "Mongo" ponds used to catch debris before the water flows into my main pond.

This is mostly just inexpensive entertainment ($10 for 1 lb. of fatheads) to see if they will prosper. I'd also kind of like to have some for bait.

If the fatheads reproduce, I plan to move some to all the other small water holes I have dug, and I plan to use some in my aquaponics tanks.

I've got a bunch of damaged/scrap 4-inch corrugated drain pipe.


If I were to cut this in small lengths and weight it so it sinks, would this work for fathead spawning?? What would be a good length?

Many different kinds of frogs and other amphibians seem to thrive and grow fat in these small ponds without my intervention. Do I need to feed the fatheads?

Thanks,
Ken
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#283610 - 03/10/12 10:46 PM Re: Fathead minnow spawning site? [Re: catmandoo]
fishm_n Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 732
Loc: Sturgis, SD
Greg. To your origianal post, I think 4x8 may be too big.

I would at lest cut it inhalf.

And as some of the other post mention, it might depend on the wood, hope it isnt treated with some thing that they dont like.

Good luck, let us know what it is yo do??
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