Pond Boss Magazine
http://www.pondboss.com/images/userfiles/image/20130301193901_6_150by50orangewhyshouldsubscribejpeg.jpg
Advertisment
Newest Members
DIEuFOOL, Gopego, khigh, Ari Rak, Mel-
16184 Registered Users
Forum Stats
16184 Members
36 Forums
37060 Topics
504199 Posts

Max Online: 1679 @ 09/17/19 10:01 PM
Top Posters
esshup 24033
Cecil Baird1 20043
ewest 19959
Dave Davidson1 14030
Bill Cody 12926
Who's Online
12 registered (Homewaters, 5444, snrub, Funky, Joey Quarry, Redonthehead, RStringer, John Fitzgerald, Vortex 4, SSF, Bill Cody, NEDOC), 624 Guests and 359 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#366066 - 02/12/14 02:12 PM Fathead Minnow Spawning
beehiveUT Offline


Registered: 01/01/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Utah
I've done plenty of reading on structures and the areas that fathead minnows will choose to spawn. One thing I'm curious about though is when placing structures how far off the bottom do fatheads prefer they be for spawning?

I will be using structures similar to these...

Fathead Spawning Structures

Another question is what sort of items can I use to created the upside down spawning situations that fatheads seem to like. Just turn a shallow bowl upside down on a stake? Gold pans? Looking for something cheap.

My structures will be placed in less than 4' of water near other artificial structure that will provide habitat for the FHM to hide out.

Top
#366069 - 02/12/14 02:37 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
I've only been through one spawning season with FHM and am not an expert. The experts will be along with specifics. But I will pass along what I think will be helpful.

Keep in mind the early spawns will be in the warmest water. The first warm water you will have in your pond will be in shallow water. Thus the early spawners will be in fairly shallow water, assuming bird predation is not keeping them out of the shallows.

I have read of FHM using a Red Solo Cup to spawn in. They like to spawn over head so they need structure with an underside. One guy that raised them commercially said he floated waxed card board (cardboard boxes like butchered meat would come in) on the surface and that was the best FHM spawning material he ever found. So we are talking ultra shallow in this instance. But they also spawn deeper.

I'm thinking in my reading 1-3 feet but the experts should have more specific details.

The structure I made used various boards I had laying around with one or two inch wood slat spacers between them and stacked as many boards as I had placed so the stack would be in the 2-3' depth. In shallow water I used old plastic waterers for turkeys and drilled a lot of holes in them with a step drill and placed them in shallow water. Also they are territorial. They will run away other minnows and fish from their spawning area best they can. In other words they will not be "group" spawning an inch or two apart. What I have read is 24" area they try to protect.

Here is a video that will give you an idea of how they spawn. It is the video I kept in my mind as I created spawning habitat for them.

Fatheads breeding like crazy

A little supplemental feeding will increase spawn. At least that is what I was told by the guy that sold them to me, and they reproduced great for me.


Edited by snrub (02/12/14 02:39 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366070 - 02/12/14 02:50 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hi Beehive

FHM are prolific spawners and will use the underside of literally anything to attach eggs. Vegetation and any structure [trees, stumps, pvc, rock, ect.] present in the pond allows them plenty of opportunities to spawn. I also placed shallow tires [1-3'] in my trophy panfish fishery and the FHM are ubiquitous. You can add structure specifically targeted towards FHM spawning, but my experience dictates it's not necessary provided the BOW is devoid of predatory species - they will do just fine if you allow them a few months to reproduce and have some vegetation, rock, tires...but if you're looking for projects, adding specific structure certainly won't hurt.

Snrub is correct - think shallow 1-3' depths, they are territorial, and feeding helps increase reproduction. Well done, rub!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#366071 - 02/12/14 03:01 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Jakeroo Offline


Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 190
Loc: Quincy, IL
Last year I relied on natural habitat in our pond for the Fatheads to breed on. They did very well using what they could find. There were plenty of flooded logs, stumps and brush available to the 3 or 4 lbs that I put in to use for romantic encounters. By the fall they were everywhere. This year I am going to add some structure for them. I am saving milk jugs that I am going to tie together every couple of feet to make a string with. I am thinking I will partially fill them with water to keep a portion of the jug underwater. I am also looking for wax coated cardboard. I have heard you can just float it and recover the trash at the end of the breading season. Just some thoughts.

Top
#366075 - 02/12/14 03:14 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Jakeroo]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
I also saved two liter pop (soda for you'all in the south) bottles. Used a 1 3/8" step drill to drill multiple holes in sides and ends, then removed cap. Then took a knife and slit a 4" long slice in the side (not connecting with any of the previous drilled holes. Through this "slot" I could stuff a 2 or 3" rock through and the rock will not come out and is also big enough it will not come out any of the drilled holes. Then at the edge of the bank, give a calculated toss into desired water depth, and presto, you have recycled small fish habitat, FHM or whatever wishes to enjoy.

The bottles are visible until enough algae grows on them, then they are hardly noticeable.

Gator-Aide bottles work good also and they are more substantial than the pop bottles. Other bottles would work also.

I started doing this, with no good way to weight them. Put gravel in them and if they landed wrong, the gravel would run out the holes. The holes are needed for water flow. Don't want stagnant water in there or no fish will use it. Then I thought about the slot method. Larger rock goes in but does not come back out. Worked great.

Step drill These things are invaluable for drilling holes in plastic pipe, etc. for making fish habitat. Get one if you need big holes through thin stuff.


Edited by snrub (02/12/14 03:19 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366081 - 02/12/14 04:00 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
LOL...some projects are brewing I see. Long Winter...
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#366100 - 02/12/14 06:15 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 4083
Loc: Emory TX
Snrub, that music made the video.

I've had very good luck with hardy water lillies and plastic pallets floated with pool noodles for spawning areas.
_________________________
AL

Top
#366113 - 02/12/14 07:24 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame
Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10458
Loc: northern VA
It's my opinion that spending a lot of effort on creating FHM spawning sites is a waste of energy and time in most circumstances... Unless you have an unusual pond stocking scenario, FHM are eradicated in short order after stocking reproducing predators. They did not evolve to live in habitat where predators are found. So they are easy pickings. Spending time on placing spawning structure is mute. FHM are resourceful and will have plenty of places to spawn in a normal pond without any extra effort. Just my 2 cents.
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Top
#366125 - 02/12/14 08:32 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: CJBS2003]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
I think you are probably right.

That is what I have been told many times so it is probably right.

I have a neighbor that put FHM in a pond with established bass that shoould have been wiped out. Because of grass and weeds along the shore line they were not. He has maintained a population of FHM in his pond with LMB present. This is what I am trying to re-create, sufficient cover so a population can be maintained.

My pond is too new to have any significant natural cover, so all I can really try for is artificial cover till the natural cover devleops.

I'll probably fail.

But only one way to find out.

I'll report back in a couple more years on how it worked out. But I suspect you are right.

The small BG should enjoy it. Till enough natural cover develops, then again it will probably be moot.

Wasted energy is just another description for having fun. Most of the fun I have is wasted time and energy.


Edited by snrub (02/12/14 08:43 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366126 - 02/12/14 08:33 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Travis...I was trying to gently convey that point also - but maybe they have ponds where FHM will develop a self sustaining population? I guess a panfish pond has a shot at that.

A very easy solution for FHM spawning is using scrap pieces of PVC if your pond is devoid of vegetation or other spawning surfaces/edges. In my BG/YP pond I have a resident population of BNM and FHM and they use the pvc scraps from 2"-8" very well in addition to the few tires I have placed. Just lay them perpendicular to the shore in 1-3' depths. Free and easy installation - just toss them in and they sink.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#366133 - 02/12/14 08:48 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: teehjaeh57]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
Did that too. As well as attach a bunch of it to the various wooden structures.

My wife would probably agree with Travis. Wasted time and energy. Of course she knits, which I think is a tremendous waste of time. And some people fish when they could use fish traps or more efficient methods of harvest like shocking. Come to think of it, my entire pond is designed to waste my time and energy. sick

Weird thing is, I like it. laugh
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366139 - 02/12/14 09:21 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: snrub]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame
Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10458
Loc: northern VA
I am very curious about the pond with LMB that are reproducing that also has a self sustaining FHM population. I guess if LMB are not over populated and the pond has extensive shallow weedy areas, it is possible.

I doubt adding spawning areas would lead to this.

If you enjoy doing it, do it. In the end, pond management is about enjoying it. If you are not enjoying being a pond owner, by be one?
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Top
#366141 - 02/12/14 09:36 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: CJBS2003]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
I'll have to ask the guy again about it when we get back in that part of the world. He works at a place we buy welding supplies and had commented about our pond when building it. It had filled about half way and we got to talking about stocking and I told him that we had already added the BG and FHM.

During the conversation I mentioned the guy that sold me the fish had said the FHM would be gone in a couple of years, but under the right conditions with enough cover he had seen ponds maintain FHM populations. Then this guy told me that he had put FHM in his pond a few years back that already had a fish population and he had been able to keep a population of FHM. He could see them in the grass and weeds along the shore line as him and his wife walked around the pond for exercise.

They had noticed LMB would follow them around the pond. As they observed the LMB after a while they figured out that them walking around would scare the FHM and frogs out of hiding and the Bass were following the source of the food production. The LMB learned to associate people walking around the pond with a meal.

It will be a while, but when I get a chance will see if I can find out more about the pond and the conditions. Thousands of miles away from there right now and will not be back for a while yet.

It was that conversation as well as what my fish guy said (Wallace Fish Farms - Charles Wallace) about ponds with adequate cover that led me to create quite a bit of habitat for FHM. But later when Charles brought out the LMB and CC he still did not give me much hope of my efforts paying off. So it is still doubtful from about everyone that I can maintain a population of FHM. Doesn't mean I can't try. I have done things before people said I couldn't do. I'm kind of stuborn that way. One of the reasons I could semi-retire at 55 was at least partially because I did what some people told me I couldn't do.


Edited by snrub (02/12/14 09:46 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366148 - 02/12/14 10:33 PM by the way................... [Re: snrub]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
All the habitat I tried to create for FHM spawning and cover was done after hearing an off hand comment from my fish guy that he had seen some ponds with adequate cover maintain a population of FHM AND I had accidentally had a conversation with a pond owner that had stocked FHM in a pond with existing LMB population and had maintained a population of FHM.

My fish guy had not told me I could create enough cover for FHM. In fact after finding out later that I had tried to create enough cover, he had doubts I would be successful. I had not bothered to call him and inquire about doing it. It was my own initiative (likely naive) that I decided to try and create enough cover to maintain a FHM population in my own pond.

I had not discovered PBF yet. I had not bothered to further inquire about it from my fish guy. I just did lots of reading on the internet (how I eventually discovered PBF and PBM) about ponds and fish cover and habitat and decided to try. Did lots of reading about FHM's. Gave me something to do with my new pond along with the "normal" structure projects before and while it was filling.

Had I discovered PBM or called my fish guy to get his advice BEFORE deciding to create FHM cover, I likely would have never tried. Because everyone would have told me it most likely would be a waste of time and effort. But, due to lack of knowledge and anything better to do (at least better that was interesting enough for me to peruse at the time), I did it.

So it is something that is supposed to fail, at least according to conventional wisdom. It probably will fail. But if it does not, maybe we all can learn something from it. Even if it does fail, we will have learned something. That everybody was right in that it is difficult to provide enough cover for FHM to exist in the same pond as LMB.

So my pond is an experiment with FHM, one experiment that likely will fail. But either way, we have the opportunity to learn from it on my dime of time and energy. That is the way I see it. And like any other hobby, the time and energy will only be wasted if I did not enjoy what I was doing. But I sure did not do it to make money or because I hated doing it. So I must have enjoyed it. In fact, I'm pretty certain I did enjoy it.
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366151 - 02/13/14 12:18 AM Re: by the way................... [Re: beehiveUT]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame
Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10458
Loc: northern VA
I am just curious if the little fish swimming around that your neighbor thinks are FHM aren't really YOY BG. So many people see little fish and think they are "minnows".

If you create habitat that is so thick to protect FHM, it will also over protect BG and other panfish. This may cause them to overpopulate and stunt as well.

FHM evolved to live in poor water quality conditions. Such as bodies of water that are shallow and prone to winter killing. They are capable of tolerating the low DO levels, however predators like bass aren't. They certainly can and will live in high water quality bodies of water, but these places can support predators and that is their demise.
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Top
#366155 - 02/13/14 07:11 AM Re: by the way................... [Re: CJBS2003]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
I suspect you are right and my FHM specific habitat will turn into small BG habitat, which was my fallback plan.

Sorry if I came across a little protective of my FHM's

You mess with my FHM's man, you mess with me. Don't mess with my FHM's.

mad smirk laugh smirk laugh laugh crazy
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366160 - 02/13/14 08:52 AM Re: by the way................... [Re: snrub]
Shorty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4395
Loc: Raymond, NE
Are you aware that RES will mess with your FHM's? laugh

My five indoor RES ate 25-30 two inch fathead minnows last night. grin
_________________________


Top
#366175 - 02/13/14 10:25 AM Re: by the way................... [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Rub

Sorry if you took offense to our input - I assure you we're merely trying to provide the benefit of our collective experience using FHM as a forage item to temper your expectations. Their role in a fishery serves as a good kickstart for predator fish - but beyond that establishing a self sustaining population is rarely documented. There exist alternate forage sources once the FHM has been extirpated, however - and some fisheries might actually sustain a population of FHM depending on the species and population density of the predators in the fishery. I don't know your goals for this fishery so I couldn't venture to guess if your FHM project will meet your expectations.

Your spawning habitat efforts are great - the forum was merely suggesting your creative efforts might be for naught which is our collective duty as a forum of mentors. Most guys, like myself, rely on that direction which only 1000's of years of fishery/pond management can provide and makes this forum truly unique and invaluable.

Certainly creating different types of spawning structure is a worthwhile endeavor and I'm personally interested in your results - it will add to the library of knowledge for the forum.

Lastly - I enjoyed the experience you related about LMB following someone walking on the shoreline...it makes sense now that I think about it. Smart fish - indirectly using humans as a quail dog!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#366179 - 02/13/14 10:38 AM Re: by the way................... [Re: beehiveUT]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19959
Loc: Miss.
In my opinion it is worth the effort to help FHM reproduce. It does help , may not be sustaining in LMB pond but helps none the less. If it does not work you still have structure that other fish will use.




Edited by ewest (02/13/14 10:50 AM)
_________________________















Top
#366210 - 02/13/14 03:05 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: ewest]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
The ones we kept for a while in our aquarium sure liked to stay in holes just like the picture you have.

We took a half height concrete block (as opposed to the big standard ones)that has the three holes through it (same size as a cap block but with holes). We sawed it in half with a tile saw and put one half in the aquarium. They practically lived in those holes. One would stake one hole out as his own and run the others off. There were three holes and four FHM so it was kind of musical chairs. Funny to watch. They will hit the surface with gusto for floating food.


Edited by snrub (02/13/14 03:06 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366211 - 02/13/14 03:10 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: Shorty]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: Shorty
Are you aware that RES will mess with your FHM's? laugh

My five indoor RES ate 25-30 two inch fathead minnows last night. grin


Yes. The upside to that is, the only fish that is more favorite to me than FHM is RES. shocked
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366212 - 02/13/14 03:16 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: teehjaeh57]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Rub

Sorry if you took offense to our input - I assure you we're merely trying to provide the benefit of our collective experience using FHM as a forage item to temper your expectations.


No offense taken and thank you for your input. Notice the smiley faces at the end of my post. Just having some fun and I assure you there was no sleep lost.

I know most people don't give a second thought about a lowly FHM. I for some reason took a shine to them. I may make a small forage pond to raise some, not that my fishery needs them, but just for the heck of it. Kind of like some people like to raise Koi, guess I just like FHM.

What I am thinking of trying, is a forage pond with FHM as the main goal, but put in about ten adult RES just to keep the FHM from getting lazy and maybe produce some additional RES stock. I know the RES will eat the FHM and that is fine, but if I do not put too many RES and let the FHM get a head start, there should be plenty of both. At least that is what I am thinking about trying. Why? Who knows. Don't really like Koi I guess.

Hobbies don't always need to have a reason.

If anyone has input on a FHM-RES .2 acre forage pond stocking ratios or other advice, I'm all ears.


Edited by snrub (02/13/14 03:19 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366219 - 02/13/14 04:20 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I have a pond I raise SMB in and could easily lend itself to a grow out or forage pond. If you want details PM me and we can chat I am happy to help with what worked/failed during construction process...too much to relate here. You can probably find it in the archives, however, if you want a good laugh. Everything worked out in the end, just took a circuitous route there.

You might want to consider BNM also - they avoid predation better than FHM otherwise look and behave very similarly. I'm not sure I could tell the difference, personally.

Hey, we all love FHM here, we just wish they weren't so damned slow!
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#366224 - 02/13/14 05:20 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: teehjaeh57]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5479
Loc: SE Kansas
Is this the thread? If it is, will read it later tonight or tomorrow.

New SMB Rproduction Pond Project

Edit: Read it. I had read it a while back but read it again last night. Interesting. Seems like I remember at some time you posting a video showing the fish coming out into the net also.


Edited by snrub (02/14/14 01:52 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

Top
#366279 - 02/14/14 04:58 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: beehiveUT]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8175
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Yep - what I like best after several seasons of PITA seining is the gate valve/auto collection effort. It only takes an hour to drain completely, and collecting fish is simple. If one has their forage pond adjacent to the main pond obviously there's zero labor involved other than netting/saving a few adults for brood stock and lifting the gate valve. Then you refill, replace your brood fish, and start again. I would love to have a series of forage/growout ponds around my main pond. If I ever sell my place and start again, this is my plan. Love the auto stocking process...simple and easy.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Today's Birthdays
Alabama Woody, R&R, TheWayISeeIt
Recent Posts
How many times a day do you feed your BG
by snrub
24 minutes 38 seconds ago
To Aerate OR Not To Aerate?
by Joey Quarry
42 minutes 13 seconds ago
Design
by RStringer
Today at 07:50 PM
How long does it last (treatment) ?
by RStringer
Today at 06:12 PM
These HSB are getting the best of me! RANT
by anthropic
Today at 05:16 PM
.25 ppm Ammonia, concern?
by Joey Quarry
Today at 04:05 PM
What did you do at your pond today?
by Vortex 4
Today at 03:48 PM
Forage pond
by Dave Davidson1
Today at 03:27 PM
A Pond Log by QA
by RStringer
Today at 11:32 AM
How many times can you catch...?
by jgr
Today at 09:05 AM
Newly Uploaded Images
Personal Record BGxRES
Harry's Pond
pond view
Fishing Colorado...finally
Releasing a quick snack
Tadpoles

2014 POND BOSS INC. all rights reserved USA and Worldwide