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#392364 - 11/12/14 10:24 AM Yellow Perch Pond
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Have been thinking about my upcoming stocking this spring and the more I read/research on this site I have realized that patience is best when adding reproducing predator fish. That said, I was wondering if any of you have attempted to have a fishery with good numbers of large YP and RES as the main goal, then adding non-reproducing predator fish like HSB and WE later? Initially, I was thinking about trying to maintain a good SMB fishery, but I figured I could always add them later once I get more $ for rip rap and establish a good forage base. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this and glean some wisdom from them.

Thanks
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#392370 - 11/12/14 12:03 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
Bill Cody Offline
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Don't expect to grow high numbers of large RES due to most ponds not being able to produce enough natural foods for them since they eat primarily mollusks usually snails. A pond can have a lot of snails but after RES get some size and are established food for them becomes limiting. They easily over graze the snail production. In most cases think of RES as the occasional bonus fish unless you can train them to eat high protein pellets.
There quite a bit of past topics where YP & RES have been stocked and growing them discussed. Do a search for yellow perch redear sunfish pond boss forum on Google and you should get a lot of topics to read. Someone should create a topic in the Common Question & Answer Archive section about yellow perch.

Getting YP & RES established and spawn first before adding predators is often recommended, similar to BG before LMbass. However I do not suggest that you allow the YP to spawn for two years before adding some predators. It will often result in too many small YP and not enough larger perch in later years for a good annual harvest of YP.
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#392373 - 11/12/14 12:15 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Bill,

What would be the most ideal cold water mix for producing plenty of fish for the kids to catch, good table fare, and something sizeable with a bad attitude for me and my friends to hook into? I was thinking that the following mix might work, but am open to better options:

YP- Fun for kids and great table fare. Base of pond.
RES- Same as YP. Bonus Fish
WE- Great table fare. Control YP YOY. Put and take.
HSB- Fun to fight with. Control YP YOY. Put and take.

Does this seem viable or is there a better way?

Thanks again.
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#392376 - 11/12/14 01:17 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Here's my unsolicited take: I like these choices, I'm a cool water fan myself and have a few fisheries on my farm where I manage these species.

Describe the BOW for us. Size, depth, watershed, irrigation, etc. This will help us understand how to direct your efforts better. Will you have significant seasonal drawdown? Will you aerate? Will you establish supplemental feeding program?

Depending on characteristics of your pond like amount of shallow vegetation will dictate on how you manage the YP including harvest slots and qty, and potential supplemental stocking. QTY of WE and HSB will also impact the YP population dynamics. You can tinker/adjust accordingly to achieve your YP goals.

I suggest ladder stocking WE and HSB as discussed in many previous threads - qty will be dictated by size of BOW and goals and whether you will be feeding. I suggest you do feed your HSB and YP with high protein diet to help relieve pressure from your forage base.

What is your proposed forage base? YOY RES and YP alone? A small shiner species would be a good addition - maybe red shiner or spotfin. In my experience GSH compete directly with YP for pellets and YP lose and get shy.
Red shiner info:
http://ninnescahlife.wichita.edu/node/367

You may want to consider an additional panfish species - RBS and HBG have been proposed as cool water species companion panfish which may find a successful niche/role. Your RES and YP will not always be readily available for kids to fish for like other panfish species. Tony [Sparkplug] can guide you on management and stocking strategies for HBG best. Travis [CJBS] probably has the most experience with RBS. I think HBG can work if managed appropriately, but hybridization may occur with RES. I have those hybrids in my largest pond and they grow large and are pretty cool. I think with proper angling pressure/harvest you could keep your HBG population managed and it would add another species for kids to catch and for you to harvest. They will readily pellet train, but competition with your YP may occur.

Will you be adding SMB to the fishery down the road? They coexist well with HSB, and WE well in my experience - but again, they will impact your fishery by predation on YP, HBS, and RES and also need to consider pressure on your forage base [shiners]. All these factors come into play when developing a stocking strategy as they need to be balanced so each species can thrive. If stocking SMB, I'd purchase them pellet trained to help alleviate pressure on the forage base.

Also - be sure you have reliable. affordable, quality/reputable sources for HSB, YP, pellet trained SMB, and WE before you launch the project. If fish aren't available for your ladder stocking program the fishery goals take a quick turn you may not like.

I think we need more information from you before more specific direction can be provided.



Edited by Bill Cody (11/12/14 02:55 PM)
Edit Reason: changed red horse shiner to red shiner
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#392377 - 11/12/14 01:27 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Copies and Pasted from a thread I started when trophy SMB were my first goal.

Pond specifics- location: North Central Illinois

1. 2 acre, kidney shaped pond. 18 feet at deepest, most of it is 10-12 feet deep, with the shallower end at 8 or so feet.

2. From the peninsula in the middle part of the kidney, I have constructed and earthen under-water ridge all the way from it to the adjacent shoreline. It is appx. 5 feet high and will be appx. 6-8 feet underwater at full pool. Adjacent to the ridge will be various types of structure. Was trying to create the "fish highway" frequently talked about here.

3. A 20' x 60' Beach is currently being constructed at the southeast point of the pond. We will also add a dock with a 125-200 sq. ft. platform adjacent to the beach in the same SE part of the pond.

4. We will aerate the pond. Might pellet feed, not sure yet.
Depends on $.

5. Pond is fed by agricultural tiles and also by water gathered by a field waterway and settled out in a 1/4 acre silt basin that I just constructed last week. (Thanks PB posters for that idea).
Acreage for tiled water is appx. 30 acres. Runoff from waterway is the same 30 acres. Also 9 acres around property will drain toward pond.
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#392378 - 11/12/14 01:34 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Glad to hear that we may need another panfish besides YP and RES. More fun for the kids. HBG would be an interesting choice especially if they cross with the RES. I like it. In regard to other forage fish, I'm open to whatever makes the most sense. I certainly do not currently have the knowledge base or experience to have a worthwhile opinion. I figured I would add SMB later if I feel I needed them. That said, the mix even without them seems pretty awesome to me. I caught some big, fat yellow perch in Lake Gogebic, (Upper Peninsula) last summer and can't wait to have them in my pond.
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#392379 - 11/12/14 02:10 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Well, I was about to provide a stocking strategy, but see I already spent some time compiling it for you in another post. Only change I'd make here would be to substitute alternative shiner species as previously mentioned:

Congrats on the pond construction, Deerman - here's how I would advise a client regarding stocking strategy based on your goals as I understand them:

Spring 2015:

GSH 250-1000/ac Couple gallons of 3-4" fish with maybe a few larger to pull spawns in Summer would be ideal.

FHM - Be very careful here do not stock more than you can hand verify species ID. I've ruined two fisheries based on FHM stockings...two BG or BH or LMB and your fishery will be altered permanently. Try buying 1000 at a time throughout Summer - smaller batches help you remain focused easier. Try for majority small FHM [1.5-2.5"] as these are likely females or young males. Bull FHM are old males with maybe only a few months of life left - won't do you much good. BE CAREFUL WITH FHM STOCKING!!!!! Do not trust a hatchery/supplier when they say there is zero chance of contamination!!!! In a cool water species pond the balance is too delicate to sustain mistakes.

Grass Shrimp 250-1000/ac Once you get some vegetation established stock some Grass Shrimp. I recommend 250-1000/acre depending on existing fishery and density of vegetation in order to get them established.

Crayfish - I've seen recommendations as high as 1000/ac. I personally have had great success stocking 100/acre to establish population. Crays will help clean the pond, help graze vegetation, and adults will feed YP, SMB, WE, HSB and YOY will help feed your YOY fish population. Be sure to stock a non burrowing species like Papershell.

RES 250-500/ac - Since this will be your only panfish [for now] you can nudge stocking numbers upward. Since you are planning a cool water species pond, consider researching RBS per Travis recommendation.

Fall 2015

YP - 250-500/ac Consider getting them feed trained as I'm not convinced the amount of forage in your fishery for YP will be enough to have them thrive. Your FHM won't last, GSH grow fast and will be out of the gape range for YP fairly quickly, leaving the balance of the year YP relying on invertabrates and YOY RES, which are far less fecund than BG. I think feeding YP will help ensure they perform the way you need them to.

SMB - 25-100/acre Depending on your goals, trophy SMB or plentiful action, you can adjust your stocking rates accordingly. I'd also get these feed trained to help relieve pressure off your forage base. Depending on whether you see recruitment or not, you may need to supplementally stock these fish periodically.

WE - 25-50 I worry a bit about available forage for the WE as I do the YP, but at least trained YP are available which will relieve pressure from forage base for fish that will have to rely on it like the WE. Consider supplementally stocking annually so you have several year classes represented - adjust stocking rates based on annual harvest. My guess is your pond should be able to support a standing population of 100-200 adult WE with 4-6 year classes represented. Your WE will tell the story - if they are slow growing and low WR, you need to cut down on stocking qty or skip a year until things improve. Again, let your fishery dictate your strategy here.

HSB - 10-25/acre HSB are great fighters, good eating, aggressive, and can subsist primarily on feed which helps reduce their impact on a pond. I'd choose HSB over CC in nearly every instance given the option. They taste better IMO, won't reproduce and create a management issue, and can grow fast and large on pellets. I find my SMB and HSB coexist well and hunt/congregate in the same schools and play nicely together. SMB aren't shy about competing for pellets with HSB and get their fare share. HSB also aren't notoriously hookshy like CC - you can catch HSB multiple times unlike CC who should be removed once caught or you run the risk of never catching them again.
I would supplementally stock HSB so you have several year classes represented like the WE. I think 100 HSB would be the maximum your fishery could support and not run into feed $ issues or water quality concerns. Once your females reach 24"+ range in their 5th-6th year, you'll want to start harvesting them as the end is nearing and start supplementally stocking again. Fish body condition and harvest will dictate this schedule, just like with all your species.

Fall 2016

Supplementally stock WE, HSB according to strategy - might need to add some GSH depending on their success.

Fall 2017

Same as above - see how WE and HSB are doing - might need to pause a season, adjust stocking numbers, or adjust feeding if not performing well. GSH stocking?

Fall 2018

Same as above, simmer for a few seasons and listen to your fishery. If you have harvested a lot of YP, you may need to stock again. If you have no SMB recruitment, might want to consider stocking a few annually [15-25] to keep year classes/sizes represented.

Many variables - there's no "right" way, it all depends on your goals, harvest impact, recruitment, fish body condition, angling pressure, etc.

I know you are a CC fan, me too, but consider replacing CC with HSB. CC will be pellet hogs and the chance of reproduction could become management issue. Without LMB I fear there won't exist an efficient predator to manage population. If you must have CC, consider stocking them in the small silt pond as a put and take fishery.

HBCP - I stocked these and so far have not experienced a population management issue although they will reproduce. They will add pressure to your forage base, but do add another species for angling fun and harvest. Largest caught so far in my pond is 15"+.

Hope some of this helps - ask questions for additional details. I think your fishery sounds very exciting!

Finally - if you are going to invest so much time and effort to develop your cool water species fishery, research cost of popping a well to help provide supplemental irrigation. If your water table is high, depth cost will be lower as will pump size needed which reduces cost on pump plus power to run it. You only need 25 GPM to keep up with drought for a pond that size.
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#392386 - 11/12/14 02:55 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
TJ,

If I take SMB out of the mix, do I need more of the other predatory fish to take their place to control the YP?
Will the grass shrimp and crayfish still be important forage without the SMB?
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#392390 - 11/12/14 03:10 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
Bill Cody Offline
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HSB effectively control YP in most situations esp if weed beds are minimal. It is easy to add more HSB when more predation is needed or reduce amount of pellet fed to the fish and HSB convert to eating more fish.

Grass shrimp and crayfish are not essential for a good YP population. Getting pellet trained fish is far more important.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/12/14 03:12 PM)
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#392392 - 11/12/14 03:26 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Bill and TJ,

Thanks again for the info. Sounds like I am purchasing an automatic feeder. I was leaning that way, but it certainly seems like a must do in my scenario.

Does the standard 20% bottom structure rule apply in a Perch first pond, or do the HSB need more open water to hunt?
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#392395 - 11/12/14 04:28 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
The reason I'm asking about bottom structure is that I have access to a large pile of brick/broken up concrete that I will have to load by hand into the back of my truck then unload it by hand at the pond. Not much fun, but I will be willing to go through the pain of moving the stuff if it's really needed. I've got some (10 ton) of broken concrete on my property already and another guy bringing me another 15 ton from a broken up crib foundation.
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#392398 - 11/12/14 05:09 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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IMO the concrete is more valuable serving as shoreline riprap on windward shores than structure on the bottom. Protect against erosion on N, NE, S, SE, E sides of pond is my recommendation if you have access to enough of it.
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#392399 - 11/12/14 05:21 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Good to know... The amount of concrete I already have on site/committed will be a perfect amount to use as rip-rap for my peninsula. That is the area I'm worried most about in regard to erosion. If I have extra I'll use it on the E and NE ends.

Can you add rip/rap once the pond is full? I'd like to chip away at that larger pile over the next couple of years, but I'm wondering how to place it properly. Perhaps break it up into small enough pieces to place by hand as opposed to just dumping it in with a loader tractor?
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#392402 - 11/12/14 06:14 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Yes, you can add it anytime, just a bit trickier to place it. I contacted my local concrete guys and rolloff dumpster rental places and they were all more than eager to dump their concrete at my farm. I have had a few deliveries - it saves them a ton of money in dump fees unless they sell it to a concrete crushing company already. Sometimes it's simply easier to dump I think. You should have no problems sourcing broken concrete, just use ingenuity and be resourceful.
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#392404 - 11/12/14 06:26 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
esshup Offline
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Last year a client had rip-rap added to his pond edges. It was placed from about water level down to about 3' water depth. The dump truck backed up close to the pond, and the excavator scooped it out of the dump bed. It was pretty easy to place in the pond, just shake the bucket a bit until it was a 2 rock thick layer and keep moving along the edge of the pond.

If using concrete, try and cut off all the wire mesh and rebar that is sticking out. Too many points to get impaled on, and the metal seems to attract lures.
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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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#392405 - 11/12/14 06:33 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
This is kind of what we have done and I had the same thoughts as you. If the yellow perch and walleye can't be managed over a 10 year period small mouth bass will be added to the mix. Maybe even later anyways for some diversity.

We stocked our one acre pond with 400 yellow perch. There was some sun fish high bred added too but they didn't handle the winter and all died. Only predator fish in our pond is the yellow perch. Fat head minnows, emerald shiners, and common shiner are the forage and are doing very very well. Perch are pellet trained and are feeding on the pellets leaving the minnows alone. Crayfish are doing very well with a full spawn of them this summer. This is our second full year feeding the perch and they have gone from 4-6" to 10-12" on average.

I have seen some but very very few spawned in pond perch. I am waiting to see a full spawn that is expect to see this spring. I am hoping to see this years spawn as minnows this spring in our minnow trap. We have not been able to find any young perch this year at all.

As soon as I am sure there has been a good spawn of perch in the pond I will add 10-15 8" walleye to the mix.

This is my experience with a perch pond. They are very very tasty too.

Cheers Don.
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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.

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#392409 - 11/12/14 08:29 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DonoBBD]
esshup Offline
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Don, do the perch have spawning habitat in the pond, or do you add it in the spring and remove it after they skeins hatch?
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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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#392413 - 11/12/14 08:47 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
Bill Cody Offline
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TJ provided ample advice for amount of concrete and placement. Concrete riprap is good habitat for crayfish, small fish and minnows such as FHM, bluntnose minnows and crevice spawning shiners that use that type of habitat for spawning surfaces.

Consider placing the automatic feeder at more remote part of the pond and using hand feeding closest to the house or dock. both methods of applying pellets have benefits.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/12/14 08:50 PM)
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#392426 - 11/12/14 10:21 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DonoBBD]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Dono,

Glad to hear from you. After I caught a couple big Yellow's up at Lake Gogebic in the Upper Peninsula I knew they had to be in the mix at my pond. Not much beats a fresh fried perch sandwich.
I would love to hear any growth/spawning updates you've got as time goes on...
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#392433 - 11/12/14 10:40 PM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
DeermanJ Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Illinois
Good to hear that a slow and steady approach can work for placing this stuff even after full pool. I wasn't looking forward to moving all that concrete by hand in the next couple months. Thanks again everyone...
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#392437 - 11/13/14 01:28 AM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: esshup]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: esshup
Last year a client had rip-rap added to his pond edges. It was placed from about water level down to about 3' water depth. The dump truck backed up close to the pond, and the excavator scooped it out of the dump bed. It was pretty easy to place in the pond, just shake the bucket a bit until it was a 2 rock thick layer and keep moving along the edge of the pond.

If using concrete, try and cut off all the wire mesh and rebar that is sticking out. Too many points to get impaled on, and the metal seems to attract lures.


Good point Scott - I will only accept rebar/mesh free concrete from my guys. So far they haven't broken the rule. I would not have the time or gumption to sledgehammer that rebar and would never add it to the pond for fear of someone slipping and impaling themselves. In hindsight, a little wouldn't be bad to catch some illegal treble hooks some guys insist on throwing, however. wink
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#392447 - 11/13/14 08:13 AM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: esshup]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: esshup
Don, do the perch have spawning habitat in the pond, or do you add it in the spring and remove it after they skeins hatch?


I have a large stick bed made from apple trees and some spruce trees that were placed in the pond from day one for protection and for spawning.

The first year of having perch my wife and I were walking about the pond and noticed... who the heck would throw toilet paper into our pond.. so weird. Then I learned that this would have been perch egg ribbons.

This year we didn't see any that were obvious. Until we have a large problem I was going to let them spawn on their own with out removing eggs yet. As far as I know we have placed 400 in and removed about 30 hoping males. Some recruitment from the first year because we caught a few 4" perch this year.

Worried that this year the shiners have eaten the perch eggs or the perch with such a long cold winter didn't spawn this spring and did this late summer Aug-sept. We have been building a new home here and have not had allot of time down at the pond in Sept. I would like to be able to catch the young perch in the minnow trap with ease before I add the walleye to the mix. Not sure it this is do late by then or the right way to go about this.

Hope to be moving in in about two weeks. Lot of work being the general contractor my self.

Cheers Don.


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#392458 - 11/13/14 11:02 AM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24001
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
In hindsight, a little wouldn't be bad to catch some illegal treble hooks some guys insist on throwing, however. wink


Illegal treble hooks? Since when are they illegal? When I was there I didn't see any "rules of the road" poasted! And neither did the other person that was fishing with me! All I heard was barbless.....;) grin

"I can't catch fish on lures" my butt. They bite on crankbaits just fine!!!! grin

What's the master angler threshold for HSB on 2# test line????
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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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#392464 - 11/13/14 11:47 AM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: DeermanJ]
Bill Cody Offline
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This will be a nice house over looking the pond. If you harvest any females from starting in September until April you should find eggs in the females. This will give you at least an idea if the eggs are present and developing for the next year's spawn.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/14/14 11:08 AM)
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#392536 - 11/14/14 10:00 AM Re: Yellow Perch Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
This will be a nice house over looking the pond. If you harvest any female from starting in September until April you should find eggs in the females. This will give you at least an idea if the eggs are present and developing for the next year's spawn.


I will try to find the time this week end to harvest some for dinner. I was going a month ago so show you their fat content.

Here is the view from our bed room. Nice to wake up to this everyday for the rest of our life. Facing directly west for the sun sets are not to shabby ether. My office in the house is a mirror to this room next to the garage.

Cheers Don.


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Edited by DonoBBD (11/14/14 10:34 AM)
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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.

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