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#250131 - 03/02/11 07:14 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Stockin Offline


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
Add some HSB to your pond? Or maybe a couple of pike to slow down BG production?

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#265047 - 07/17/11 11:05 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Stockin]
F-H Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
Bluegill production still seems under control 3+ years in. This year we have established weed growth in the shallows - and possibly more BG yoy might make it through from here on out as a result.

The SMB had another successful spawn - not all of them are old enough to spawn but next year all the orginal 2008 stocked fish will be able to spawn. I see LOTs of YoY SMB this year - more the BG YoY at this point.



this is the standard size of the 2008 stocked fish as of June 2011.



No doubt I need to cull out some BG -
But the pond still seems to have a lot of capacity at this point.

FH
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#265054 - 07/18/11 01:35 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
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Loc: northern VA
Very nice! Keep us posted... May have to start thinning out some of the SMB if too many of the YOY make it as well.
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#265070 - 07/18/11 06:51 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: CJBS2003]
adirondack pond Offline
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Loc: big moose ny
Looks good F-H, grow some big ones.
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#265079 - 07/18/11 08:04 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: adirondack pond]
Sunil Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
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Love it!!
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#265089 - 07/18/11 09:53 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Sunil]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
Nice job. How big is that 2008 fish ? I would have expected 3 yr old SMB to be bigger than that by now. I will check on growth rates and post what I find.
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#265254 - 07/19/11 11:55 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: ewest]
F-H Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
He was about 11"

Some are an inch or two more - but they seem light to me too. So far the perch, smallmouth and 2 dozen or so trout have kept the BG masses at bay, maybe too much so.

There were about 50 SMB stocked in 2008. This year with weeds in the 2-4ft depths - I expect more BG to make it - I see LOTs of SMB 2=3". 6-7" and 11-13" - three year classes now. I will no doubt have to cull some SMB soon, but wanted to make sure the BG were in check 1st.
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#265271 - 07/20/11 08:52 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
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Loc: Somerset, PA
Are any of the SMB pellet trained?
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#265376 - 07/20/11 11:38 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Sunil]
F-H Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
no - not pellet trained. I gave it a shot last summer - and the BG became regular users - but the SMB and Perch were no shows. I'm there once a week at best - never could give it a real go with my set up.

I'm really happy with 2 years of reproduction from the SMB - as of now - the BG are not out of control and some are getting some size to them -


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#265397 - 07/21/11 08:08 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
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Loc: Somerset, PA
I've found that my Yellow Perch do come and take feed. I'm sure these YP are born in my pond as my last YP stocking was over 5 years back.
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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#270131 - 09/14/11 10:51 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Sunil]
F-H Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
This year - Lots of last year and this years SMB fry have done well.
More than ever. This is the 4th year of the pond.



Unfortunatley - so far it looks like the Bluegill also had an exceptional year and for the 1st time - I'm worried that the SMB (now 4 year classes) will not be able to keep up. I see very very few perch and I had schools of 2 year classes of young perch this spring after spawning.

Now the water is murky - and I cann see everything - but I'm concerned I might have to get LMB involved.
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#270145 - 09/15/11 07:24 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
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Loc: Somerset, PA
Putting LMB in could lead to a steady decline in the SMB population unless you plan on continuing to stock SMB as the years go on.
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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#270277 - 09/16/11 07:31 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Sunil]
F-H Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
Yea Sunil -I understand that. I like LMB - and figured at some point they would have to go in. I wanted several years of SMB spawning and establishment beforehand and so far I've got Two years. I'll give an honest evaluation next spring - and if I've got 1000s of young 2" BG, I'll have to make the decision. There is quite a few SMB 10-14" in the pond now - they migh do a number on the BG this fall/winter - We'll see. If I get 3 good spawn years from the SMB - I'll consider it a success. We have LMB in the neighbors pond and it will be easy to transplant a dozen 12" LMB or so if I need to. I'll keep everyone updated.




Edited by F-H (09/16/11 07:33 PM)
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#270278 - 09/16/11 08:43 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
adirondack pond Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 3135
Loc: big moose ny
F-H looks like a real successful SMB pond, have you considered adding tiger trout in the fall to cut down on the population of smaller fish, they're very aggressive and even though not as efficient as LMB you wouldn't be stuck with another problem as they probably wouldn't make it through the summer.
Cobleskill college raises them and their also for sale, just a suggestion.
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#270289 - 09/17/11 01:16 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: adirondack pond]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
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Loc: northern VA
Perhaps some chan pickerel could be an option as well. They won't out compete the SMB like the LMB would. Should be fairly easy to find a dozen in your area to transplant.
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#270295 - 09/17/11 07:19 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: CJBS2003]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Are there chain pickerel in Indiana? It would be cool to add them to my pond.

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#270299 - 09/17/11 09:20 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: RAH]
Sunil Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 09/03/03
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Can you try to add single sex LMB? It seems that might be a close-to-perfect solution.
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#270302 - 09/17/11 10:22 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Sunil]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
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The SMB appear thin bodied which can be verified with standard weight or a Wr. Low SW suggests not ideal conditions and usually points to lack of food. In your case I think it is not a lack of food but lack of proper sized or shaped food. Again IMO, a good example that SMB don't do well with BG. Do well in this case is plump rapidly growing SMB. Although SMB growth rate in your pond is acceptable it is just SW is a little low; not bad just a little low. On the positive side, abundant small SMB can make for high catch rates and some fast action fun angling.

Your comment of "I see very very few perch...." is a sign to me that the SMB are targeting YP harder than they are preying on BG. YP in most ponds can be almost as prolific as BG. Low numbers of YP in your pond is probably not due to poor spawning conditions. The other factor here is when BG become very common or abundant with food shortages they will exert a pretty strong predatory force on hatchling YP and fry up to 0.7-1" long which will result in lower year classes of YP. YP hatch is at 50F, when invertebrates are not heavily emerging nor peaking thus all 2 yr+ BG who are able to eat fish fry are coming out of winter thin bodied and hungry. It would not suprise me if lots of small BG are not gathered around exposed, hatching YP egg strands and consuming lots and lots of newly hatching YP fry. YP do not provide any protection to their egg strands. Lack of adult YP who in winter reportedly eat quite a few 1" BG, is another factor for higher numbers of surviving BG contributing to BG over abundance.

I don't think you want to do any thinning of the SMB. Keep them thin, hungry and aggressive as possible on the small BG. IMO and experience you want them to be slightly on the stunted side to exert all the predatory pressure possible on the prolific BG population.

I think you should annually when you are at the pond for a long weekend or an extended stay make a concerted effort to remove 3-5" BG. This can be effectively done in a 3/4 ac pond with a few large traps, targeted angling if possible some seining. Although trapping and angling will do a lot to annually remove 300-500 small BG from a 3/4 ac pond; it is 'doable' in a few days time. If you can assist the SMB esp until the SMB get to be 16"-18", then it should take a little less effort to make this fishery work a little more successfully before other species of predators are introduced. IMO help the smallies a little, let them get to 16"-18" for a few years and then decide if the fishery needs stocking adjustment.

Regarding other predators in this pond, IMO most of them will eat a significant number of small SMB compared to the same percentage of small BG primmarily because smb are more fusiform than BG. Granted predators are to a large extent opportunistic in feeding habits oftreneating what is most abundant or vulnerable. But this topic does need much more good research. Small BG will be eaten by chain pickerel or other predator, but relatively speaking losing 50 small (1.5"-3") smb from this fishery has much more impact that loosing 200-300 2"-3" BG.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/17/11 10:52 AM)
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#270439 - 09/19/11 11:42 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: Bill Cody]
F-H Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
I'm right there with you Bill - and thanks everyone for your input. I notice the SW of the SMB as well - and the thinning perch poplulation - so it seems at this date. I'll reserve any further judgement until Spring 2012. We will be removing some BG this fall during our Annual Bowhunter - Bluegill fish fry weekend. Probably not a lot of 3-4" fish this fall though.

One good thing about a small pond - is that corrections can be made with some effort. LMB won't be going in this fall - but come June - I'll have to make a decision.
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#295713 - 06/14/12 12:11 AM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
F-H Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NY State
Had some great BG fish frys - they could be a little heavier all the way around - but the mature BG averaged about 8" and looked about like this this spring.



I can catch plenty of SMB - but I think they are undersized - the 4 year olds are about 12-14" and skinny. got lots of 3"- 8" 2 year class SMB as well. I think they cannot use the BG for full growth. The last 2 years I had lots of young perch - but this year - I see none. I haven't seen a fathead minnow in 3 years.

Here's an orignal stocked SMB - caught a couple weeks ago -



pond is about 3/4 acre - not lots of weed cover.

I'm considering adding LMB - to help me manage the BG going forward, even if its at the cost of the SMB ultimatley. I always knew this was a possiblity - and I think I could have gone longer had I gone perch only and not bluegill as well.

My question to all of you - is - do I add 20 or so year old LMB or a few 12"+ LMB and let them do their thing?
Maybe I let it be as it is one more year? whats the worst that can happen?

Thanks!!




Edited by F-H (06/14/12 12:34 AM)
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#299596 - 07/17/12 04:26 PM Re: SMB Pond Update [Re: F-H]
RockvilleMDAngler Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 236
Loc: Rockville, MD
I think you should add golden shiners. Go to http://www.andersonminnows.com/ and order 100 adult golden shiners. Next April order one of their boxes of golden shiner fry and stock them. If you get a good GSH population established it will really help your smb. I would look into adding 10 adult (15+") female LMB to help keep the bluegill in check, this way you won't have to worry about LMB taking over the pond.
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