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#306580 - 09/14/12 10:31 PM Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass???
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
Do tilapia have any place in a smallmouth bass pond?

I know that they are of great benefit in a largemouth bass pond, but would they be an asset in a smallmouth pond?

Bluegill aren't good with smallmouth, because they would overpopulate. However, tilapia would die off every year.

What is everyone's opinions on the subject?
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#306593 - 09/15/12 07:43 AM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
gallop Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 396
Loc: Gainesville, Fl
Don't c y not. I think that b/c SMB tend to be viewed as cooler
Wtr fish and tilapia die off when temps drop this is not often discussed

SMB it would seem would benefit, and moreso in warmer waters

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#306595 - 09/15/12 07:57 AM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3668
Loc: Emory TX
Probably somebody that lives that far North would need to answer your question. I love my annual Tilapia stocking, but we also get around 7 to 8 months of use out of them.

Not sure NJ water temps would give you that long. Mine are still spawning as we speak.

I'd be curious to find out that answer also.
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#306612 - 09/15/12 01:06 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
FireIsHot. It was more of a hypothetical question. It doesn't necessarily have to do with just New Jersey. Quite frankly, I hate New Jersey and plan on getting out of here as soon as possible. Not that anyone needed to know my opinion on it, but I'm in a bad mood. I just got stung by a bee and dropped my cell phone and annihilated it.
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#306617 - 09/15/12 02:46 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3668
Loc: Emory TX
Gotcha, that was a bad pair.
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#306622 - 09/15/12 04:25 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12185
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I've stocked blue tilapia two consecutive years in a small 0.2 ac pond that contained only SMB. I did not notice any negative influnence on the SMB and they did produce a spawn prior to introducing the tilapia. I did notice that the SMB were feeding on small tilapia. Algae control was good also.
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#306639 - 09/15/12 10:03 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
Well, if the tilapia do what tilapia do and they put a bunch of small food into the system, and they die off in the winter for a full out buffet for the smallmouth, then I think that they are a worthy experiment! I don't think that enough people work with smallmouth.
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#306643 - 09/15/12 10:10 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12185
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
greatwhite says: ""I don't think that enough people work with smallmouth."" I agree, especially by those in the southern states south of the Ohio River with decent water quality. Smallies have a reputation of needing cool water and that is not true, however they do probably require a little higher DO than LMB. Smallies will thrive in warm water as long as the water has decent oxygen concentrations. One big disadvantage to smallies is they are not real good at controlling BG. LMB are king when in comes to controlling BG numbers. The main disadvantage to raising smallies is locating stockable sizes since they are not as prolific and as plentiful as LMB (aka by some here as "green carp").


Edited by Bill Cody (09/16/12 03:27 PM)
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#306648 - 09/16/12 12:06 AM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
Yeah Bill, but that is an advantage too. You don't have to stock bluegills! In a southern pond you can stock FHM, GSH, Grass Shrimp, Crayfish, TFS, RES, and SMB. That's it! Obviously LCS will be a great addition. Tilapia and Rainbows will probably push things over the top.

I just look at a species that doesn't require quite the same amount of culling that LMB bass do and I see something that can be pretty enjoyable.

I know that I wouldn't cry if I had a pond full of two, three, four, and five pound smallies. That would be terrible LOL.
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#306831 - 09/18/12 10:17 AM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
RockvilleMDAngler Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 236
Loc: Rockville, MD
I would be very interested to see if this makes a noticeable dofference in the growth rate and size of the smallmouth bass. I could easily stock a few hundred tilapia each year to help get the smallies up to and over the 3lb mark. I think it would probably be prudent to wait until your smallies are already 10-12" so they are able to consume the tilapia, otherwise they would die off before making much of an impact on the smallies.
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#306835 - 09/18/12 10:44 AM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19123
Loc: Miss.
Should be interesting. I would say it depends. Tilapia can , if not controlled, take up to much of a pond's available carrying capacity. While that may not be a problem in the warm season it can result in not enough food/room to support an ongoing forage population (of other species)when the tilapia are gone (cold water). Also if there are large amounts of tilapia that die off and are not consumed (large tilapia that a SMB can't eat) that can lead to excess nutrient overload if the clean-up crew is overwhelmed. I would be concerned if the tilapia could overwinter as that could be a big problem.

So it depends on the pond (location , goals , water quality). In the right situation stocking of small numbers of tilapia could be a big plus but so could annual stockings of GShiners , TShad or a host of other non-BG forage. As a source of nutrients (quality not quantity) for predator fish tilapia fall in the middle range of forages.
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#307123 - 09/21/12 03:33 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
Tilapia overwintering seems to be a problem no matter what the apex predator is. They just breed some damned fast that they need to die every year.

I do believe that an abundance of dead tilapia decaying in your pond could be potential bad news.

Initial stocking numbers would have to be correct in order to be certain that tilapia did not overpopulate during the summer months, mowing through all of your vegetation and adding too much waste to the pond.

If you could figure out a way to get the tilapia that were too large for your smallies to eat OUT of the pond before they died you could really have a good system going.

You could keep some indoors in tanks until spring, restock the pond with your own brood stock to keep costs down, and you could eat the rest.
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#307125 - 09/21/12 03:41 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
How efficient do you think that a heavy population of crayfish would be at cleaning up the winterkill tilapia?
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#307126 - 09/21/12 03:46 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
RER Offline


Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 1889
Loc: N FL
Crayfish to a good job, turtles too. Rember they slow down when temps drop too. Also depends on what type of crays you have. Rusties tend to eat more than most, if you have them.
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#307134 - 09/21/12 05:29 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1403
Loc: Central Kansas
Crayfish are preferred snack of SMB so I would imagine it would be easy pickings for the SMB while they are eating tilapia.

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#307214 - 09/22/12 04:47 PM Re: Tilapia and Smallmouth Bass??? [Re: greatwhiteape]
greatwhiteape Offline


Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 151
Loc: New Jersey
Stocking your pond is like the ultimate game of chess.
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