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#36670 - 07/05/06 04:53 PM Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
lafishaholic Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 10
We have a a pond located in north central Louisiana that is about 35 acres but is real shallow. It is located on WRP land so much of it is a foot or less of water with the deeper parts being a few channels and willow breaks. Average depth of the pond is about 3 to 4 feet. The bass fishing is unbelievable and the fish are extremely healthy. Catching 10 to 20 bass 3.5 to 4.5 pounds in one trip is not uncommon. We think the reason for the great fishing in this shallow of water is the vegitation, however much of the pond is covered in coontail, lilly pads (which i do not know which kind but they are spreading rapidly), cattails, and duck weed. There is also some kind of maroon stuff floating with the duck weed. These areas are impossible to fish. Will grass carp control most of these plants? If so how many? I'll have to admit i hate carp. I"ve personally seen area lakes devestated by carp so I'm a little skeptical about them. Is there anything that we can spray or add to the water to control the vegitation? If so please let me know. Thanks

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#36671 - 07/05/06 10:05 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
Mostly a bump.

IIRC GC will usually control lily pads, and will usually not control cattails or duckweed. WRT coontail, I do not remember, but someone here will know. If you can post a picture of the maroon stuff, perhaps one of the plant experts can give an I.D.

When you say you hate carp, do you mean you hate Common/German Carp (with their barbels, bottom-sucking mouths, and ability to reproduce large numbers of large fish), or do you mean you hate Grass Carp (with no barbels, forward-facing almost human looking mouths, available in 100% gauranteed triploid form that will not reproduce)? They are of course two very different kinds of fish. Lots of people dislike plain Carp for pretty good reasons. A much smaller number hate GC, although there are a fair number of people who have found that GC do not solve the particular aquatic plant problems that they have.

For preventaitve measures, numbers of GC as low as 2 to 5 per acre are often recommended. For remedial measures in ponds with real plant problems (which are plant species GC are likely to eat), we often start talking stocking numbers at about 10 per acre and discuss up or down from there depending on the severity of the plant problem.

I am not an aquatic herbicide user, but there a several products which can probably control the plants you want to reduce. Let's hear from the herbicide users and experts.
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#36672 - 07/05/06 10:31 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18953
Loc: Miss.
Go to this site below - pick out a plant and go to Mgt. options. It will tell you if GC will eat them.

http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/database/index.htm

For example :

There is no known biological control for white water lily.

Grass carp will seldom control aquatic vegetation the first year they are stocked. Young grass carp will consume duckweeds but are usually not effective control as large fish (over 10 pounds). Grass carp stocking rates to control duckweeds are usually in the range of 7 to 15 per surface acre or higher. In Texas, only triploid grass carp are legal and a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is required before they can be purchased from a certified dealer.
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#36673 - 07/06/06 09:50 AM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
lafishaholic Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 10
Thanks for your responses. I did some research on the plants with the website that was given and found that we have lily pads, duck weed, mosquito fern and coon tail. The site did say that the carp will eat all of these plants, some more than others. I read that fertilization will keep aquatic plants from coming back from a thick alga bloom, is this true. I would think it to be the opposite.

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#36674 - 07/06/06 11:10 AM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
Fertilizing to prevent unwanted plants can be pretty tricky. It is quite possible to end up fertilizing the very same plants you don't want. Or you might encourage a nice thick growth of filamentous algae, aka pond scum. I believe to have any chance of this working, you need to time things just right in the Spring to get planktonic algae to grow before the plants get started, so that the plankton bloom blocks light to the pond bottom. Definitely not a technique to adopt without careful study (and probably trying something else first, IMHO).
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#36675 - 07/06/06 11:56 AM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18953
Loc: Miss.
Ditto Theo's comments and add most importantly only if your pond is infertile (no or little plankton bloom). If you have a fertile pond and add fertilizer to it you could end up with a DO (oxygen) crash and kill your fish.
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#36676 - 07/06/06 12:39 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
lafishaholic Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 10
Thank's for your very helpful responses. The water is very clear so we know that we need the plankton, but also know that fertilizing could boom the plant growth. We are kind of concerned about the mosquito fern. Can this plant pose a problem when it is like a blanket across the water along with duck weed? At this time would you try the grass carp? Can I stock them this time of year and where can I get them?

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#36677 - 07/06/06 12:57 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
Fertilizing to prevent unwanted plants can be pretty tricky.
Well said Theo! My thoughts are probably even stronger, from personal first hand experience, using fertilizer to prevent unwanted plants can be much like throwing gasoline on an existing fire.

My experience would say to get the vegetation under control first before using fertilizer as an aid in prevention.

I've had good luck using Reward to get vegetation under control (after disasterious results with fertilizer) to the point where relatively small numbers of GC can maintain a good equilibrium.

With lots of acres of shallow water, vegetation control is probably going to be a recurring problem, but with your great bass fishing maybe that problem can be viewed as also somewhat of a blessing.

Maybe you've heard the story of Lake Conroe? Lake Conroe is a very nice lake north of Houston that at one time had fabulous LMB fishing. They developed a problem with hydrilla and the property owners convinced authorities to kill off the hydrilla with chemicals and mostly with huge numbers of grass carp. The result was a hydrilla free lake and terrible LMB fishing.

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#36678 - 07/06/06 01:14 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by lafishaholic:
At this time would you try the grass carp? Can I stock them this time of year and where can I get them?
The question of hot summer stocking of GC has generated some past discussions/disagreements on here. I did some research, on my own in the past, by calling several Texas fish suppliers. Many will not even sell GC in the summer months and caution against handling them during that time. I did find one dealer who was running a "special" on GC during August....but you had to provide all transportation and of course, they would not offer any gurantees under those circumstances.

We are only three months or so away from the time where safer stocking of GC is available. My approach, and I'm not in your shoes obviously, would be to use something like Reward to get on top of some of the worst infestations and then come back with the GC this fall when temps are a little lower.

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#36679 - 07/06/06 01:49 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18953
Loc: Miss.
If your water is clear with no plankton bloom you should find out why by way of soil and water tests. My guess given your location is acid soils and low alkalinity. If so then that can effect the water's buffering ability wrt some chemical treatments and O2.
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#36680 - 07/06/06 01:57 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
lafishaholic Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 10
Thank you for your helpful response Meadowlark. I have also heard of many area lakes that was devestated by killing the vegetation so thats why i am a little skeptical about the controling of the grass. However, i am also concerned about the mosquito fern. With so much mosquito fern and duck weed im worried about oxygen depletion and a fish kill. Should i be worried?

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#36681 - 07/06/06 02:27 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Lafishaholic,

I haven't had any direct experience with mosquito fern...hopefully Kelly or one of the other pros will weigh in.

Just based on reading about it, yes I would be concerned and worried that it may take over if left untreated.

The TAMU site has a good discussion of treatments which include Reward as I mentioned above. They also say Tilapia get after the stuff. As I said I don't have first hand knowledge of that fern but if Tilapia will get it, then I would seriously consider stocking them. Even if they don't work, they will help provide forage for even better LMB fishing.

That discussion is here:

http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/database/floating_plants/mosquito_fern_mgmt.htm

p.s. if you decide on any chemical treatment this time of year, go slowly and only do a little at a time to reduce risks of DO crashes. One of the pros can advise on how much to do at once. I recommend you talk directly to

Kelly Duffie - IVM Manager
Email: kduffie@estesinc.com

Toll Free: 800-234-9790

Kelly is A-1, outstanding.

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#36682 - 07/06/06 04:12 PM Re: Grass Carp: Good or Bad?
lafishaholic Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 10
Thanks for all of ya'lls responses. At least I have some kind of a plan in my head on what i need to do. I will get the water and soil tests and try some moderate spraying of the duck weed and mosquito fern. I'm guessing that 25 square feet out of 5 acres affected is not too much? Again I do not want to depleet the oxygen in already shallow water. I will possibly get some tilapia. Any help on where I can get the tilapia somewhat close?

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