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#336781 - 05/29/13 12:39 PM New pond stocking in Virginia
Bassdge Offline


Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 19
Loc: Fluvanna county, Virginia
First off, thank you to pond boss for a great site with a wealth of information.
I recently finished construction on my pond. I live in Fluvanna county , VA in between Richmond and Charlotesville. It is approx 1/2 acre L shaped pond. I started in September of 2012, but we ran into a large amount of rock so my pond size was cut by more than in half. I added a small 90' X 45' section this spring to catch runoff from another direction. The main section was full by December 2012. We cut the 3 ft deep 12 ft wide ditch to the addition in April 2013 and I added 18 inches to the drain pipe. I am now at 6 inches below full pool. Due to heavy spring rains and some additional land clearing, the pond is muddy at this time. Runoff from the additional land clearing should be under control with grass coming in. Depth at the damn is about 12' ft, tapering to the top of the pond at about 3 ft. The main section is about 65 yards long. The addition is 8' ft in middle with shallow flat on one side plus where we connected the addition. I put in several small rock piles and plan to add some brush or other structures based upon other threads. There were thousands of tadpoles in the pond this spring. High mineral content in the soil in this area. I do have 4 mallards for my little girl

I was planning on a standard lmb / bg pond. Based upon research, I understand I can not have what we all want.....a pond full of trophy bass and dinner plate sizes bg. I would like to be able to be able to walk down to the pond and catch a few 2 to 3 lb lmb with one 5+ on occasion. We started a family very late, so I would like to be able to take my soon to be 5 yr old daughter down to catch some bg with an opportunity of a few hand size to make it exciting for dad as well. I tournament bass fished for 20 yrs so I am just looking for a small "fix" every now and then without having to hook up the glitter boat and head to the lake/ river.

Any recommendations on hatcheries ? I have seen the list on the VDGIF website, but only see a few in the area and only zetts's appears to have a website. I would want BG or CNBG, FHM, and LMB. Is there a strain of lmb I should seek out for my area? Zetts's mentions Oswego bass, a bass from Oswego lake crossed with Florida bass

Given we are basically at the beginning of June 2013, I would appreciate some suggestions on a stocking schedule for the FHM, BG, and LMB.

Any other forage I should consider adding?

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#336789 - 05/29/13 01:48 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Bass --

It sounds like you are in pretty good shape with the new pond. I've spent a lot of time in Fluvanna County. I was crazy enough to buy property next door in Louisa County before Lake Anna was completed -- but sold it before it became valuable.

Anyway, you may have just missed the FishWagon truck. I got fish from them in Winchester, VA this morning. You might call to see if they will be in your area tomorrow or the next day. He was headed down I-81 when he left here this morning. They come through about every 30-45 days, and have pretty healthy fish stock. They mainly stop at the Southern States Co-ops in this area.

One of the best is Southeast Pond Stockers. They mostly stop at the Tractor Supply stores. Check their website for delivery dates in your area.

Driving up to Zetts is certainly another possibility. You should have no problem with their bluegill and FHMs or Rosey Reds. In any case, I'd check all bags for off-breeds that may be mixed in. Before leaving, examine the bags closely for anything that doesn't looks exactly right.

I'd suggest putting the bluegill and minnows in the pond first, maybe with a few channel cats (about 25). I'd wait on the bass until the bluegill and minnows have had time to spawn more than once. Probably wait at least until next spring -- maybe mid-summer next year. Then the bass will have a lot to feed on.

In this area, I'd go with just straight northern-strain large mouth bass. You are right on the transitional zone for coppernose bluegill. Instead, I'd go with straight-strain bluegill. I'd also add some red ear sunfish to control black spot and yellow grub parasites, which are very common in the area. Get the red ear from a good reputable fish dealer.

My fish and I live just west of Winchester, across the border in WV.

Even as a trophy bass fisherman, I think you would greatly enjoy 1-2 lb., bluegill, which can easily be grown in this area with proper feeding and management. At the same time, you can grow some trophy size channel cats in a pond like yours.

Welcome to Pond Boss. Ask lots of questions.

Ken
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#336790 - 05/29/13 01:55 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
Welcome from Chesterfield, Carolina Hat. has a web site and come to BPS at Ashland several times a year. They are good people to deal with. Good luck.
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Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#336816 - 05/29/13 04:30 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
Bassdge Offline


Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 19
Loc: Fluvanna county, Virginia
Thank you both for the hatchery suggestions. Looks like all three will have a truck in the area mid to late June.
Any concerns with fish riding in the truck all day in June?

Cat,
I am not opposed to a fat BG on the line. A fly rod and a bg brings back good memories.
Were you suggesting cats along with bg and lmb, or saying a combo of the bg and Channel cats would create opportunity for good growth rates on both species?

I took my daughter to a neighbors pond last weekend. He stocked channel cats, lmb. And bg 2 1/2 yrs ago. The cats were more than a 4 yr old would want to fight and broke us off a few times. I was surprised at how big they were already. I had to use a small spinner to get the bg as the cats would pounce on a worm.

I was thinking 300 bg, 100 red ear, FHM, and then 40 lmb next spring. I see many hatcheries are selling FHM by the pound. Is there a point when extra FHM becomes pointless?

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#336817 - 05/29/13 04:30 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
19dave68 Offline


Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 37
Loc: Jamestown, New York
I have dealt with Zetts for 15+ years. They can also mail fish to your post office, etc. I have channel cats since 97 in a 3/4 acre pond. The only thing is when they start to become bigger they prey on everything. Stocked LMB, perch, etc., 3 years after them. Took me a while to figure out why none of my fish were growing, and the CC kept getting bigger. Took some CC out, and all species started to grow.

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#336824 - 05/29/13 05:26 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Bass--

There are good points and bad points to most everything, especially in ponds.

Your stocking plan is a good one. The bluegill and redear sunfish will get a chance to get adjusted, and will probably spawn next year -- but it is possible they could still spawn this year. The FHM will start to spawn almost immediately. They should be densely populating your pond before winter sets in. In any case, your bass should have a good forage base when they are added next year.

I just recently read, either here on the forum, or in Pond Boss Magazine, about how many of each type of fish, and how many pounds of each type of fish, a pond can support. Catfish numbers are pretty high on that list compared to large mouth bass.

I'm sure the old timer Pond Boss members are tired of hearing that I have a love-hate relationship with channel cats. They are inexpensive. They are very hardy. They grow extremely fast, especially when fed. They are fun to catch. They are great eating, and can substitute for many other kinds of fish, especially saltwater species.

I just added about another twenty-five 5-8 inch CC to my 1/3 acre put-and-take pond this morning, along with another 150 hybrid bluegill. This pond is a little over a year old and was stocked with 100 hybrid bluegill, 25 channel catfish, 50 red ear, two koi, and two pounds of fatheads at this time last year. I added the fish about two weeks after this pond reached full pool, which was about a month after we built it. Based on their present sizes, and based on how much food they eat, we (grandkids, relatives, and neighbors with fishing rods) expect to begin harvesting hybrid bluegill and channel cats before Labor Day this year.

My original 0.7 acre pond will no longer be stocked with any catfish. It will become a bass/bluegill/redear pond -- although it does have our monstrous friend "Koi George", two torpedo size grass carp, and a small number of black crappie. Over the last couple of weeks, I also discovered that the RES and BG have apparently been co-mingling, as I now have quite a few extremely aggressive 6-7 inch BG/RES hybrids that are taking a lot of feed, growing like crazy, and attacking worm-baited hooks as soon as they hit the water.

Channel cats must be managed closely. If they are ignored, they will grow into monstrous pests that will dig caves in the sides of your pond. They will suck feed pellets like industrial vacuum cleaners. They become top-line predators as they get bigger (at about 18 inches), and will eat your smaller-to-medium size fish. They may also muddy your pond as they dig around the bottom.

Other than that, what can I say?

Caveat Emptor,
Ken
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#336830 - 05/29/13 07:27 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: catmandoo]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Bassdge:

Welcome to the forum. Here's some cliff notes:

FHM are there in the pond in the beginning to help the LMB get going. Once they are larger than 9"-10", the FHM will be decimated and the LMB will grow quicker feeding on larger prey. You can never have too many FHM for the young LMB. It takes 10# of fish to put 1# on ONE LMB.

With that said, going the 40 LMB to 300 BG will probably result in large BG, and maybe 2# LMB. Typcially the stocking ratio was 10:1 BG/LMB, but lately for quicker growth on LMB that ratio has been increased to somewhere between 20:1 - 30:1, depending on your goals.

Another fish that you might be able to get established is Yellow Perch. If you feed the fish and aerate the pond (both will grow the fish quicker than not doing both) you could have YP in the pond that get to 12"-13".
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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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#336853 - 05/29/13 09:00 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: esshup]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: esshup
It takes 10# of fish to put 1# on ONE LMB.


Scott - thanks for reminding us of that.

I always have to bite my tongue when I buy fish, whether from a local hatchery or from a truck. This morning was no exception. This is certainly a pet peeve I've posted about before.

I like the particular fish truck dude who sold me fish this morning. But, we've had some very uncomfortable moments and discussions over what people buy for their ponds.

He is there to sell fish. I'm there to buy fish. He always has good healthy stock at a reasonable price. I always wear Pond Boss and WV Aquaculture Association clothing/caps/etc., when I buy fish. Sometimes I feel like I should have a picketing sign that says "ask me what you need before you buy."

The guy in front of me was getting 10 lbs. of fatheads, and the guy behind me was getting 20 lbs. of fatheads. I didn't check the actual price, but the normal bulk rate in this area is $12 to $14 per pound for fatheads or rosey reds.

High quality pond feed has a conversion ratio of about 2:1 -- that is, two pounds of feed results in one pound of fish. That is a major difference compared to feeding minnows, as ESSHUP stated, that have a 10:1 conversion ratio and a much higher price per pound.

The fish truck was in the parking lot of the local farm co-op that sells 40 lbs., of 38% protein fish feed for about $18.

I asked them both what they were going to do with that many fatheads. They both said they were to grow the large mouth bass in their ponds. I smiled, shook my head in agreement, and didn't say anymore.

The fish I bought today gobbled up quite a bit of the co-op food when the feeders went off tonight.

Oh well. As I said above -- caveat emptor.

Ken
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#336869 - 05/29/13 10:17 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
Yolk Sac Offline

Lunker

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 1255
Loc: Nashville
Originally Posted By: catmandoo
I'm sure the old timer Pond Boss members are tired of hearing that I have a love-hate relationship with channel cats.

We never get tired of a good "man against fish" saga. I'm only sorry that it was a massive inflow event that ultimately brought about the demise of your cats [if memory serves me correct], instead of a final epic confrontation of man against beast.
In fact, in honor of your longstanding feud, I think you should change your tag line to "Caveat Silurus". Kind of a nice ode to Theo as well.

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#336927 - 05/30/13 08:23 AM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
Ken, do you count the fish that Larry sells you? I have quit dealing with him over this. He always brings them to my ponds free but twice he has cut the amount of minnows big time. I now get my minnows from Smith Bait out of Lunenberg Co. I am going to try another fathead pond next month.
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Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#336936 - 05/30/13 09:12 AM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
catmandoo Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
I've never really counted or weighed the fish I've bought. In general, I have felt that all of the dealers have given me more, rather than less. I've had other problems with getting fish that were not what they should have been. Like white catfish mixed in with channel cats, red ear sunfish that weren't red ears, etc.
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#336939 - 05/30/13 09:28 AM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
vamaz Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 222
Loc: Virginia
Bassdge, who'd you use to build your pond? I'm in Greene County, so not too far away and am always curious who's building ponds around here and how pleased people are with the end result.

Congrats on the new pond, though. One of the best times I had when I built mine was when we released those fish! But as said by others above, be carefull what they're putting in the bags. I drove all the way to Zetts to get northern BG, but later realized they'd sold me HBG instead. HBG won't produce enough offspring to keep your LMB fed, so that was a problem I had to correct.

Funny thing is, now that those HBG are growing, everybody is having a great time catching them. Kids love 'em. got a bunch of neighborhood kids coming over this weekend and there's no question they're going to have a blast.

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#336947 - 05/30/13 09:54 AM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
Bassdge Offline


Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 19
Loc: Fluvanna county, Virginia
Vmaz, I have a neighbor that does commercial construction. We had one of the equipment operators on one of his jobs come over and do some work for each of us with rented equipment. I had a local excavating service do the addition and the other land clearing.
He is in Zion's crossroads but does a lot of work in the Cville and culpepper area. He was slow but meticulous. Happy to give you his name.

Essup, given the 1/2 acre pond size, I was trying to balance the numbers to give me an opportunity to be able to catch several bass when I walk down to the pond. As much as I would love to have several trophies swimming around, it does not sound fun to chase the same 3 few fish until they are hook shy. I am happy to catch 2 to 3 lb bass with one larger on occasion with lighter tackle. Given limited capacity, if I went to 20:1 or 30:1,
What size bg should I expect? How much do you think I would be limiting myself on lmb numbers? I am happy to feed. Closest power source is my barn about 100 meters up hill.

Thanks again for everyone's input. I appreciate the ability to learn from past experience and knowledge vs expensive experiments

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#336952 - 05/30/13 10:18 AM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
You'd only need power for aeration, and can easily run buried air line that distance. The feeders are solar powered.

I have probably 60 or so adult LMB in my pond. Most are 17"-18" long and run between 3.25 to 4.5 pounds. BG are 4" to 10", and the larger ones are over a pound (gotta catch one and weigh it). Most 8" BG are running .6 - .7 lb. I have roughly 35 tagged LMB in the pond, and I'm removing every LMB caught that is NOT tagged. The tagged LMB are feed trained, the non-tagged ones are not, but some have learned to eat pellets from the others. Not many, but some. I was BG light, due to highly fluctuating water levels and not enough cover for small fish to hide in, so I stocked probably 2-3,000 BG in the past few years from 1" to 8", either excess fish from Cecil Baird or stunted BG that were removed from some clients ponds. The LMB responded by putting on a LOT of weight, even if not feed trained. 17.5" 4 lb. 4 oz.


If you stock feed trained fish, I think you could keep 20-30 LMB in the pond, and have 10" BG. BUT, if a half acre pond, if you will feed, I would give some serious thought to HBG and HSB, maybe with some feed trained SMB thrown in there for diversity. If you wanted fish for the kids to catch during the cooler months, look at feed trained YP. In a smaller pond, the HBG/HSB mix is easier to manage than LMB/BG.
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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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#336962 - 05/30/13 12:09 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
Bassdge Offline


Registered: 05/29/13
Posts: 19
Loc: Fluvanna county, Virginia
I had briefly looked at pumping air, but not made any serious consideration. I have seen a few posts on the topic. I have two deer feeders sitting dormant in the barn as I no longer hunt in SC where it is legal to hunt over broadcast feed. I will modify a deer feeder with a directional plate.

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#336967 - 05/30/13 01:27 PM Re: New pond stocking in Virginia [Re: Bassdge]
vamaz Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 03/16/10
Posts: 222
Loc: Virginia
After re-reading my last post, I'm not sure I was fair in regard to my comments on Zetts. I should mention that number-wise, they gave me more fish than I ordered, they were all in good shape only a couple floaters even after a few days, and when I called them on the mixup, they appologized and offered to make good on the BGs.

I would have no problem buying fish from them again, I'd just be more carefull.

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