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#326099 - 03/18/13 05:03 PM New SMB Reproduction Pond
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Lincoln, NE
Had a new SMB reproduction pond built last Fall - it's .05 ac maxium depth of 8'. I built the pond with 3 goals in mind:

1. Reduced size to allow for easier concentration of brood fish for removal and maximize my YOY population. In my larger SMB repro pond it was difficult to target all brood fish for removal, and they hammered my YOY population regardless of how many times I fed them. In my experience they develop a preference for cannibalism rather quickly and refused pellets as the Summer progressed. Eventually I removed all but 1 adult fish, but I know my YOY numbers suffered greatly.

2. Reduced size allows for easier concentration of YOY and feed training efforts. In the larger pond, the YOY SMB were scattered, and getting them to train on AM 400 was difficult as they were never concentrated and I had a lot of wasted food sink. The additional nutrients from wasted pellets lead to vegetation issues as the season progressed, forcing me to treat with Whitecap. I'm hopeful with a pond 80% smaller I'll have less wasted food, and will successfully pellet train more YOY SMB.

3. Simplified collection efforts. Seining ponds requires recruiting friends every Fall, and it's a lot of hard work for everyone involved pulling seines all day. Thanks to Omaha, Shorty, Bullhead and Bruce this last year was our most effective collection - but asking for a team of five to give up an afternoon every year makes me feel guilty. With the guidance of Cecil, Lusk and Otto, the new SMB pond was designed to allow me to collect YOY SMB solo with no seines required.

Here's a shot of the new pond to be:



Installing the 8" drain:





I didn't glue the 90 or the standpipe in order to allow me to use it to gradually fluctuate the depth by shifting the standpipe incrementally below the surface, maybe a foot at a time. The entire pond is sloped so the lowest point in the pond is located at the drain to facilitate easy draining and fish collection. More on this later.







On the backside I had a 10x10x5 hole dug to serve as my collection basin. I also installed a gate valve to enable me to control the flow or use in an emergency to stop the water. I can collect fish here in a couple ways. First, I can install netting on the backside of the basin to allow water to flow through, but prevent SMB from escaping and collect from the basin with nets when it's drained. I can also put a 45 elbow at the end of the drain and have it flow into a 5' diameter horse tank which I'd install in the basin. I'd cover the top with some heavy metal mesh, and on the backside of the horse tank screen a 8" drain to allow the water to flow through. The first method is cheaper, but I worry about trying to collect fish in a muddy and turbid collection basin full of water. I'll likely opt for the second option - I think 500-1,000 4-6" SMB will fit nicely in a 5' diameter x 3' deep horse tank without issues.





Here's the pond's first breath of water - I filled it so could check for leaks - she appears to hold tight all Fall.





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#326100 - 03/18/13 05:03 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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New SMB Reproduction Pond continued...

Collection effort thought process:

I chose to install an 8" pipe, which may seem overkill, but wanted to ensure all fish could easily fit without injury, and also allow for fast draining.

Originally I thought I'd simply pull the standpipe and allow the pond to drain, water and SMB together. After speaking with Bob and Cecil, they both harbored concerns with the head pressure blasting the SMB into the holding tank or collection basin and causing injury. So, it seemed a good idea to control the head pressure by being able to adjust the draining with an adjustable standpipe. I left the 90 elbow and standpipe well greased and unglued to allow me to swing the standpipe incrementally beneath the pond surface, maybe 1 - 2 feet at a time. With this in mind, at draining time I'll close the gate valve, top the standpipe with a perferated cap to prevent any SMB from flowing through, swing the standpipe until it's 1-2 feet below the surface, then open the gate. I'll leave my extension on the backside to allow all that water to flow down into the draw of my main pond.



I'll repeat this process, 1-2 feet at a time, until I'm down to about 2' depth. At this point I'll shut the gate valve, remove the extension outflow pipe, and attach the 45 elbow to flow into my collection horse tank. I'll attach the extension flow pipe to the backside of the horse tank to allow overflow, then head back and remove the standpipe and 90 elbow from the pond bottom. All that's left to do at this point is open the gate valve and let it rip. The head pressure should be relieved and much less stress on the SMB headed to the collection tank. I'll go back topside with a net to collect any stranded SMB until the pond is drained. I'll leave the SMB YOY in the collection tank aerated until point of transfer with minimal handling stress as I will not have touched these fish 3-4x as in the past [seining, into buckets, sorted, then into tanks].





So far I've tested draining the pond and all has worked well. The only issues I'm anticipating are:

Standpipe removal - Drilling a 2" hole through the top of the pipe and gluing a 24" piece of 2" PCV to act as handles to allow me a grip to twist and remove.

Elbow removal - This could prove muddy and messy job - going to have to wrestle it until she's free - will be easier with the 90 to grab onto than the standpipe which allows no leverage without handles.

Collection tank - I was worried about pressing fish against the top net and outlet net, but I'm hopeful they'll keep low and out of current and suffer as little damage possible in the tank. I think the 8" drain pipe will prevent them from being pressed against the top netting, just worried about the outflow. I can control the flow with my gate valve and slow it down as much as necessary, however.

Josh, Steve, Bruce and Richard you're still free to come out during collection time, but you won't need your waders! Beers are on me. Feedback?
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#326101 - 03/18/13 05:13 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Omaha Offline
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How new is this? Is this the one just above your others or is this even newer? Doesn't look like the one I saw, but maybe that's because it was a different time.

And don't you be feeling guilty. I know I won't when I'm cracking the whip at my place.
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#326103 - 03/18/13 05:25 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
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Loc: Emory TX
Very nice! The shallower pond makes perfect sense.
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#326106 - 03/18/13 05:43 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Shorty Offline
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Registered: 07/28/05
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Loc: Raymond, NE
Have you thought about adding some easily removable type of structure in the pond so your YOY SMB can escape and hide from your brood fish?

From Brettski's pond project.


Edited by Shorty (03/18/13 05:46 PM)
Edit Reason: added picture
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#326109 - 03/18/13 05:53 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: Omaha]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Omaha
How new is this? Is this the one just above your others or is this even newer? Doesn't look like the one I saw, but maybe that's because it was a different time.

And don't you be feeling guilty. I know I won't when I'm cracking the whip at my place.


Last Fall. Right next to the former SMB pond - to the West.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#326113 - 03/18/13 06:00 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
blair5002 Offline
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What about using a longer flexible pipe for your stand pipe on a float and weighted. Or you could even bring it right to the bank. My concern is that you start draining and your unglued pvc pipe slips out and drains your whole pond.
Other then that I like it.


Edited by blair5002 (03/18/13 06:01 PM)
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#326114 - 03/18/13 06:01 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
sprkplug Offline
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It looks good to me. The only thing that would make me nervous is the unglued elbow and standpipe.....although I can't imagine any scenario that would cause them to come off without your direct intervention.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
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#326115 - 03/18/13 06:16 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Yolk Sac Offline

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Loc: Nashville
Originally Posted By: sparkie
The only thing that would make me nervous is the unglued elbow and standpipe[

You and me both, sparkie.
TJ, I had a similar design on a larger scale with nearly disastrous results. I wasn't even intending to have an unsealed pipe, pond guy missed one seal. As the wall settled, it spread a bit laterally, putting pressure on the base of the standpipe, and eventually pushed it off the drain pipe. Ever try to push a telephone pole into a 12" drainpipe against a 15' head with a tractor in 34 degree water? I'm here to tell you it can be done-but I wouldn't want to do it again!!

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#326117 - 03/18/13 06:33 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Yolk, did that situation require the use of motivational language? And if so, did the grass on the backside of the dam ever grow back??
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#326119 - 03/18/13 06:43 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7863
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Yes, that's what I thought, too - but the tight fit plus water pressure prevents the pipe from being separated without a heculean effort. Even greased thoroughly it's nearly impossible to get the sections to separate - 8" pipe is a lot harder to manipulate than 1, 2, 4, etc. Combine that with the fact I have the gate valve which will remain shut whenever the pond is filled as extra insurance and I think I've addressed that with the backup in case of emergency. Getting the pipe to separate is actually my greatest concern at this point...the standpipe remained perpendicular the entire winter despite 50 mph winds and shifting ice. I left it in all winter with the pond filled to make sure it didn't need to be secured somehow with ropes anchored to the sides of the pond. Funny thing is, you can't get it underwater when it's filled with air if you wanted to, too bouyant. I have to run a hose to fill the standpipe first, then it's heavy enough to tip beneath the water surface. You should have seen me straddle the pipe trying to get it to sink the first few times...total frustrating, muddy and ice cold wader filled mystery until I figured out it needed to be filled with water first before it would sink below the surface.
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#326121 - 03/18/13 06:52 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: Shorty]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7863
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Have you thought about adding some easily removable type of structure in the pond so your YOY SMB can escape and hide from your brood fish?

From Brettski's pond project.


I need to fish harder for the SMB to remove the brood fish, and also and going to stock fewer brood fish and take my chances. I only need one pair to nest to provide all the YOY I need, so I'm thinking about limiting numbers to 8 confirmed sex SMB to ease in removal.

I'll post photos of my beds - the pallets, rocks, and PVC provide tons of places for the SMB YOY to escape - so I should be ok. Still, adding some removable structure is added security while the brood fish are still present. Good idea.
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#326124 - 03/18/13 07:00 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Yolk Sac Offline

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Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 1255
Loc: Nashville
Originally Posted By: sparkie
Yolk, did that situation require the use of motivational language?

I can honestly report that I used words and phrases previously directed only at green sunfish and the IRS.

TJ, sounds like you've thought this through, and experimented with it....my experience requires me to be a little skeptical, but since this is a growout pond rather than a several acre BOW, there's not much to lose, even if something does go wrong. Especially since the phrase "I told you so" has been outlawed amongst the bretheren and is legal only when deployed by spouses.

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#326125 - 03/18/13 07:02 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3814
Loc: Emory TX
TJ, with all the focus on brood/grow out ponds lately, we need a sticky with different methods, goals, and if the results worked.

Yours is interesting to me because it's almost verbatim what I was wanting to do this fall. I was planning to drain it a little differently, but the same pipe and sliding gate valves as yours.

Keep us in the loop on the results, because my seining helper still isn't very happy with me right now. I'm looking for a more marriage friendly method of getting fish from one pond to another.

Good job.
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#326137 - 03/18/13 07:47 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Lincoln, NE
Not fair to keep relying on the backs of my buddies...although many thanks to them, especially Josh who has never missed a seining event yet, come hell or high water. And Bruce hasn't missed many either, and they're his seines! Thanks dudes! It's a very round world...can't wait to get rolling on your place.
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#326144 - 03/18/13 08:17 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Omaha Offline
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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
high water


Interesting choice of words.

I'm a glutton for punishment I guess. But now I have fancy new waders I need to justify buying.
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#326148 - 03/18/13 08:47 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Bill Cody Offline
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A local hatchery near me uses that type of drain, only his are 6". He tethers his with ropes to keep them upright. They seem to work okay for him for the last 7 years.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/18/13 08:47 PM)
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#326158 - 03/18/13 09:32 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: Shorty]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Have you thought about adding some easily removable type of structure in the pond so your YOY SMB can escape and hide from your brood fish?

From Brettski's pond project.


Not sure if that would make much difference. From my limited experience with smallmouth production they didn't have any fear of the brood fish. In fact they seemed pretty stupid.
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#326159 - 03/18/13 09:39 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
[quote=Shorty]I only need one pair to nest to provide all the YOY I need, so I'm thinking about limiting numbers to 8 confirmed sex SMB to ease in removal.


If that's the case have you ever considered allowing them to do their thing sequestered from the smaller fish via a blocking net or even a cage with a tub of gravel in it? I know bass have been spawned in a raceway so...

Then once the fry hatch and move out of the net or cage that keeps the brood fish in, it's an easy matter of removing the broodfish.

I plan on doing this with bluegill this year and as you know have been doing it with yellow perch for a couple of years now.


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (03/18/13 09:41 PM)
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#326172 - 03/18/13 10:22 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Shorty Offline
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Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4180
Loc: Raymond, NE
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
If that's the case have you ever considered allowing them to do their thing sequestered from the smaller fish via a blocking net or even a cage with a tub of gravel in it? I know bass have been spawned in a raceway so...

Then once the fry hatch and move out of the net or cage that keeps the brood fish in, it's an easy matter of removing the broodfish.

I plan on doing this with bluegill this year and as you know have been doing it with yellow perch for a couple of years now.


Very good idea Cecil! smile
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#326185 - 03/19/13 02:29 AM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: Shorty]
esshup Offline
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What about seining out the brood fish with a larger mesh seine?
Drop the water level below the SMB beds, seine the broodstock out and top off the pond?
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#326515 - 03/20/13 09:29 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Awesome project TJ... Can't wait to see the results!
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#326518 - 03/20/13 09:48 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: esshup]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: esshup
What about seining out the brood fish with a larger mesh seine?
Drop the water level below the SMB beds, seine the broodstock out and top off the pond?


Another good idea!

Reminds me of how they harvest paddle fish in small lakes. Use a mesh that is too big for all other fish. But in this case they harvest for keeps with a large mesh gill net.
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#326531 - 03/20/13 11:03 PM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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No thank you to seining. Never again, unless it's for entertainment purposes!

I love the cage idea for SMB, but the pond is so small already, not sure how it would work. Area caged around the beds would have to be awfully small.
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#326539 - 03/21/13 03:09 AM Re: New SMB Reproduction Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
esshup Offline
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TJ,seining doesn't have to be a 3 ringed circus. Take it easy and slow, have the correct size seine, and if the pond is designed properly, it's easy to do.
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