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#313139 - 11/27/12 10:00 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11990
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I think the type of weed community (species compositon) and amount of weeds complicate the fishery and how many pounds of fish per acre that the BOW can support (carrying capacity, standing crop, harvest, mortality, etc) and the size structure of the fishes present. The more diverse the habitat, the more complex the food web becomes, both leading more and more to "It all depends", and trending towards fewer absolutes. A lot of the previous fisheries research regarding carrying capacity and population dynamics have been in larger habitat complex systems or in weed free smaller ponds. As far as I know, not a lot of research has been done with numerous species in smaller weedy habitats 20 ac or less. Ewest, with his literature access, may be able to add some info on this topic.

Above comments by Shorty regarding how in his experiences the fishery will significantly change when the weed community is heavily impacted, suggests the weeds play a big role how a fishery functions as far as size structure, numbers, standing crop, and the productivity of the pond.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/27/12 10:07 AM)
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#313143 - 11/27/12 10:19 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Shorty -- here is a submergent plant summary for the Valentine Refuge lakes. The report was written by Robert F. Steinauer. If you send me your email address, I can send the entire report to you (david.willis@sdstate.edu).

The most common species include: sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus), flat-stalk pondweed (P. friesii), flat-stem pondweed (P. zosteriformis), clasping-leaf pondweed (P. richardsonii), small pondweed (P. pusillus), coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), and Siberian water milfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum). White-stem pondweed (Potamogeton praelongus) is fairly common in the highest quality examples of this community. Other regularly represented species include: slender naiad (Najas flexilis), southern naiad (N. guadalupensis), common waterweed (Elodea canadensis), and slender waterweed (E. nuttallii). Variable pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus), Illinois pondweed (P. illinoensis), floating leaf pondweed (P. natans), yellow pond lily (Nuphar variegata), white water-crowfoot (Ranunculus longirostris) and the duckweeds and watermeals (Lemna trisulca, L. minor, Spirodela polyrrhiza, and Wolffia columbiana) are locally common to abundant in shallow waters.
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#313145 - 11/27/12 10:34 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: Dave Willis]
Shorty Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4056
Loc: Raymond, NE
Dr. Willis, that is quite a diverse list of aquatic vegetation. Thanks!

One thing unique to the Sandhills region is that there is a lot more ranching rather than farming in the area. I suspect there are a lot fewer herbicides and fertilizers making its way into the Sandhill lakes than most other areas of Nebraska.

Here is what my dad's old pond had: Eurasion milfoil, coontail, chara, sago, duckweed, watermeal, some type of arrowhead, and cattails. There may have been other narrow leaf pond weed types present but I am terrible at telling them apart. The milfoil tended to dominate the pond in most years and grow all the way to the surface in 6-8 FOW. Estimates of the LMB population were 200+ fish/acre in the 9.9 acre pond. Keep in mind that our intial stocking was LMB heavy, 1800 LMB fingerlings, someone was a no show and we ended up with and extra 800 LMB fingerlings.




Edited by Shorty (11/27/12 05:38 PM)
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#313146 - 11/27/12 10:55 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Thanks Dave - wow I could only identify probably 3-4 of those species.

I have a question - I've fished the refuge lakes for many years and have always loved the emergent grass growing out to about 2' depths. You recall how easy it is to fish a buzzbait or spinnerbait for big NP through that vegetation, and I thought it might make a great shoreline buffer for my ponds. Any clue what type of grass that might be? Not a huge deal, just thought you might know - it might be left off this list as it is not a submergent vegetation type, though.
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#313160 - 11/27/12 01:10 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
Dave Willis Offline

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Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
TJ, the report has separate sections for the emergent and upland plants. I emailed a copy of that report to the email address listed in your PB profile. Let me know if you don't get it.
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#313161 - 11/27/12 01:10 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
Dave Willis Offline

Lunker

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2587
Loc: South Dakota State University
Shorty -- I really think we know very little about the herbicide effects in watersheds. You are right on target.
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#313190 - 11/27/12 05:22 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18957
Loc: Miss.
I sent Shorty a study on BG and weeds/plants a long time ago at his request.

Dynamics of Quality Bluegill Populations in
Two Michigan Lakes with Dense Vegetation
JAMES C. SCHNEIDER

Abstract.—Population characteristics of bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and associated species
were studied intensively to determine why many large bluegills were present at two Michigan
lakes—Dead Lake and Blueberry Pond—in which macrophytes covered 41–83% of the surface.
Both lakes contained unusually high proportions and densities of bluegills greater than 203 mm
in total length due to high survival of adults, low fishing mortality, a favorable growth pattern,
and low recruitment to age 2 or 3. Growth was rapid from 75 to 200 mm, then growth slowed
and condition deteriorated among older fish. Rapid growth was stimulated by consistently low
recruitment and consumption of limnetic Daphnia spp. and littoral benthos for food. Low recruitment
was partially due to predation; a diet study at one lake estimated 303,300 juvenile bluegills
per year were consumed by piscivores, mostly largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides. Each lake
contained dense populations of slow-growing piscivores, but these fish constituted less than 20%
of the total fish biomass. Observations indicated that few adult bluegills attempted to spawn in
Blueberry Pond, and this lack of spawning was probably more important than predation in controlling
bluegill abundance. A supplemental pond study demonstrated that young and old adults
of varying condition had normal reproductive potential. The triggering of spawning behavior may
be linked to adult density, and perhaps adult growth, by behavioral or bioenergetic mechanisms.
The implication for fisheries management is that weedy lakes need not be dominated by small,
stunted bluegills but are capable of producing large bluegills if fishing harvest is restricted and a
favorable food chain is present.


Edited by ewest (11/27/12 05:24 PM)
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#313191 - 11/27/12 05:28 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: ewest]
Shorty Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4056
Loc: Raymond, NE
I remember that. smile
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#313192 - 11/27/12 06:08 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: ewest]
Shorty Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4056
Loc: Raymond, NE
Here is another study ewest. I can scan it and send it to you if you want. Just to warn you, the edges are a little fuzzy from when I originally photocopied it.

Behavioral interations between fish predators and their prey: effects of plant density.

Jacqueline F. Savino* & Roy A. Stein
Ohio Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Zoology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Animal Behaviour
Volume 37, Part 2, February 1989, Pages 311–321

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0003347289901206
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#313207 - 11/27/12 08:52 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: esshup]
mohan15 Offline


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 11
Loc: northwest indiana
okay so if there is any chance of putting another game fish in the lake LMB will have to be removed. but im not in the mood to eat or kill any bass so would it be logical just to dump them in a nearby creek or a swamp thats walking distance from my pond? and if i were to keep these bass in check what would be a fish that would control BG and maybe take some work off my hands with the little LMB? Does this even sound logical

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#313220 - 11/28/12 12:04 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24012
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
It sounds logical, but before dumping the LMB into another BOW, I'd ask around if anyone else in the area wanted them for their ponds, or wanted them to eat. Ask at some of the food banks and churches. Some will take fish/game.

While HSB aren't a large predator of BG like LMB are, that'd be another option. They normally won't spawn in a pond, so you wouldn't have to worry about them overeating the forage base.

But, and that's a big BUT, do some fish sampling and check the relative weights before adding anything to the pond.

I'd especially keep an eye on the Crappie size and numbers. They can throw a pond out of balance too.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#313222 - 11/28/12 12:18 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Thanks Dave...appreciate the email!
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#313281 - 11/28/12 06:23 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: esshup]
mohan15 Offline


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 11
Loc: northwest indiana
northern pike are my favorite fish and it would absolutley make my day the days i would catch one if they were stocked in my pond. i really dont see any faults in this. as thier young they can eat some of the bluegill and when they everntually get big enough they can take out some of the little bass so i dont have to get rid of any myself????? need help

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#313343 - 11/29/12 01:39 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24012
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Before you go stocking NP I'd do more research into the pros and cons. The problem with stocking a top line predator is that you cannot tell them what fish you want them to eat. If you will continue with the C&R only in the pond, then I'd look into stocking Tiger Muskies instead of NP. They won't spawn and possibly over eat your LMB. Check into the spawning habitat requirements of NP and see if they would spawn in your pond.

Baby steps first, before you do any stocking of different fish species you have to get a good sampling of the Relative Weights of the LMB and BG in the pond. In a pond that size, making a mistake in stocking fish will be a very expensive one to correct.
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#313374 - 11/29/12 10:51 AM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11990
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
mohan above says""okay so if there is any chance of putting another game fish in the lake LMB will have to be removed. but im not in the mood to eat or kill any bass..""
I'm not following (understanding) the concept that if you add another predator, LMB will have to be removed. Where did that idea (theory) come from? Most other species of fish predators will co-habitate to varying degrees in your existing fishery, but what ever new species you add, expect there to be changes in balance or percentage of numbers of existing fishes. The average sizes of existing fishes could and will likely change. Fisheries are dynamic and constantly changing. Individuals growing, getting eaten, dying and new ones hatched each year - changes, always changes. Who lives and dies creates the balance.

Adding pike or muskie will likely result in more annual bass and BG mortality. The amount of mortality of each species will depend on several things, mainly how many new and existing predators(LMB) survive and how well all predators are able to successfully capture food. IMO if you add a reasonable number of musky/pike /acre (1-3/ac), expect to have fewer LMB per acre and not a lot of noticable change in the BG numbers/ac or a significant change in BG population size structure. This is because the pond has significant weed coverage and BG are more prolific compared to LMB. Weeds will allow quite a few hatchlings to survive to compensate for annual mortality. IMO basically the pike or muskie would be primarily a bonus fish and would not solve your problem or poor size structure of the BG population. It is very possible that you may see more smaller BG because fewer bass are present/ac due to predation which would result in more BG recruitment. Also when the pike-muskie are large 30"+ and they eat a BG it will be a larger one 7"-9".

IMO the best solution to your problem is significantly fewer submerged weeds and more smaller bass who consume primarily 1"-4" BG.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/29/12 01:51 PM)
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#314214 - 12/07/12 12:31 PM Re: bluegill control 15 acre pond [Re: mohan15]
RockvilleMDAngler Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 236
Loc: Rockville, MD
Perhaps adding some larger smallmouth bass would give you the diverse fishery you desire. If you have stunted bluegill and 15 acres I think there is a good chance the smallies will do well, especially if there is a deeper area and/or rock cover in your pond. The largemouth will always dominate the pond but you could end up with a nice population of smallies in the deeper water. As long as the bluegill are small the smallies should be able to feed on them, adding an additional forage fish like golden shiners would only help. You could catch 10-20 12"+ smallies in a local body of water or try to buy some 6-8" smallies in the summer. If you stock wild fish you run the risk of introducing disease so be careful and don't stock any fish with rashes or open sores.
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