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#302782 - 08/11/12 08:49 PM Harvesting a small pond with unknown populations
IowaNate Offline
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Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa, USA
About a year ago I was granted fishing access to a small 1/4 acre circular pond that was stocked about 8 years ago. The owner's estimation of maximum depth is about 10 feet in the middle and it's basically a featureless bowl shape with a large fountain in the middle. The shoreline is riprapped with softball sized rocks out to a depth of about 3 feet, and there is no other structure in it that the owner knows of.
My buddy and I fished the pond three times last year and had no problems catching many bluegill with an average size of 6". We also caught 8 largemouth bass that averaged 12" and one bass that was a solid 2.5 pounds. We released all the bass and kept 30 bluegill on one of our trips.
Given this limited knowledge of the pond, can you give me any suggestions on what would be a sustainable harvest of bluegills a few times a year?

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#302788 - 08/11/12 09:08 PM Re: Harvesting a small pond with unknown populations [Re: IowaNate]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
WAG - 8-12 lbs / yr if blue dye is not used. With blue dye 4-5 lbs. A 6" BG will weigh close to 2.5 oz ea, thus 6/lb.


Edited by Bill Cody (08/11/12 09:17 PM)
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#302789 - 08/11/12 09:31 PM Re: Harvesting a small pond with unknown populations [Re: IowaNate]
IowaNate Offline
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Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa, USA
I kinda figured somewhere around 60-80 bluegill in the 6" range per year, thanks Bill. And there is no dye in the pond. We have caught some nice 8" bluegills as well, and most of the fish including the bass seem to have healthy body weight for thier size.

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#302792 - 08/11/12 09:49 PM Re: Harvesting a small pond with unknown populations [Re: IowaNate]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Maintaining that harvest rate could result in a corresponding reshaping of the size structure or body condition of BG and or bass. I suggest that you keep catch records of exact sizes and relative body condition (skinny, average, plump) of every fish that you catch. The records will tell you to maintain the catch rate or adjust it. You may have to harvest 1-2 bass per year to maintain the current size structure of the fishery. I would harvest close to the largest bass caught each year or every other year and maybe just the gut hooked ones.

Keep in mind that for skewing the BG population toward larger individuals we suggest that you harvest primarily the females and release mostly larger males.


Edited by Bill Cody (08/11/12 09:56 PM)
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