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#426560 - 10/13/15 05:40 PM looking for forage
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
Hello everyone
i am looking for forage, there is not much in my lake. i would like to start by stocking a large amount of zooplankton/insects, FHM crayfish and any other forage species that will survive in the cold climate of northern michigan.

i have looked into smith creek farms in new york, they carry the paper shell crayfish, fhm and i think its a zooplankton called daphnia. i have a read a ton about the crayfish and FHM but have never seen the daphnia mentioned on here. are they any good? how much should i get for a 6 or 7 acre lake? i have looked at nearly every fish farm within 250 miles of my lake and am unable to find any forage other than FHM. are there other companies i can look into for other zooplankton or insects to stock my lake with that will tolerate the cold winters? thanks
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426564 - 10/13/15 06:15 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
CMM Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 545
Loc: West Central MO
What are the forage going to be feeding? Lm, sm, shark? Lol.

Bg are used for forage for some species of predator, yp are another popular one. Don't know what to use for the shark, obnoxious neighbors maybe?

Cmm
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CMM


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#426565 - 10/13/15 06:23 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: CMM]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
oops, I have YP right now in the lake and plan to add either SMB or trout in the spring. Im not sure what other predators i will add yet i have not set a plan yet id just like to get the forage started especially the zooplankton/insects
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426567 - 10/13/15 06:51 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
If I understand correctly, your lake is a mature BOW. IMHO The plankton should be there all on it's own if the water will support it. FWIW My first step would be a thorough water test and go from there. You may have PH, alkalinity, fertility, etc. issues that you will need to identify and correct if you are sure you have a problem at the very base of the food chain, i.e. plankton.

Just my 2 cents. Please keep us posted.

Bill D.


Edited by Bill D. (10/13/15 08:23 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#426575 - 10/13/15 08:29 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: Bill D.]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
If I understand correctly, your lake is a mature BOW. IMHO The plankton should be there all on it's own if the water will support it. FWIW My first step would be a thorough water test and go from there. You may have PH, alkalinity, fertility issues that you will need to identify and correct if you are sure you have a problem at the very base of the food chain, i.e. plankton.

Just my 2 cents. Please keep us posted.

Bill D.


your right, im going to look into get some qualities done. i just emailed a lab in my area and we will work on it. any information i should know about taking samples? time of day, location (surface, near bottom in deeper part, near the bank?) or even time of year? (winter since i may be dealing with winter-kill?)
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426588 - 10/13/15 09:45 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I am definitely not a pro but, if my internet was down so I could not get to PBF and the real pros, I would go out in my puddle, away from shore a good bit, take my sample bottle upside down and stick it down as far as I could reach (a couple of feet if long arms), turn it over to fill and put the cap on, then bring it up. I would think that would be a good place to start.


Edited by Bill D. (10/13/15 09:48 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#426590 - 10/13/15 10:03 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13093
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Yep, that'll work. But I generally just do it at the shore. No idea whether it makes a difference.
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#426595 - 10/13/15 11:14 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24012
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Richard, like was said, if you first focus on water quality, the rest of the things will come a lot easier.

Like trying to grow a nice lawn without fertilizer or water. Without having the basic needs of the lawn taken care of, it won't grow very well.
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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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#426601 - 10/14/15 12:16 AM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hi Richard

What are your goals for your fishery? Are there species present? What is the age of your bow? Maximum depth? Is there aquatic vegetation present - if so, how much? If you can provide these details, we can help direct you on forage base establishment.

Ponds have phytoplankton blooms. Zooplankton graze on plankton. You do not need to buy daphnia. We can focus instead on minnow, shiner, maybe crayfish and shrimp.

Let us know, we'll help you get there.
_________________________
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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#426640 - 10/14/15 12:39 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: teehjaeh57]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
There are yellow perch and white suckers currently with small minnow sized fish that sit on on the bottom in shallow water around the banks. Back in June I caught a Crayfish in my creek and let it go in my lake when I did I saw 3 more in the shallows of the lake I'm not sure if they were crayfish or shrimp. The lake was dug from a swamp in 1994 which is the year I was born so I'm as old as the lake haha. The deepest part is 23 feet which I believe they dug 25 so I must not have a huge problem with muck. As for vegetation there is a good amount, I have never seen FA even considering there's a swamp 20 ft away with it. I'm not sure the weeds I'm kicking myself for not getting pictures. I will be there next weekend so I will document all them. Last weekend I flew my rc plane over the lake with a camera and you can make out where the plants are

https://youtu.be/iPyAJqeT6QE
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426662 - 10/14/15 04:07 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
What are your goals for the fishery? What species are you interested in establishing? Do you know the population of the YP and sizes present?

Beautiful looking BOW, congrats.
_________________________
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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#426671 - 10/14/15 07:09 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: teehjaeh57]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
hmm, personally my goal would have less than 10 pike all male so they cant reproduce and buy new ones when needed. But i understand the lake is on the smaller side for pike and i need to first establish a larger forage fish population, i am considering SMB or Trout. My uncle spends nearly every weekend at the cabin doing other stuff at the property and has agreed to finance it and he agreed he would like to see SMB or trout and even went far enough to say we could build a makeshift creek with a pump so the trout spawn.... short term goals consist of setting up aeration for the winter months, getting water quality tested, and getting some minnows in there. My uncle says we stocked them 20 years ago and im guessing one winter may have killed them all off because i have seen no sign of them. the YP are alright in population, i really should get into charting them but id say anywhere in the lake you drop a line within 2 or 3 minutes youll have one. mostly stunted with a few pushing 7 or 8 inches. i caught 6 last weekend that were about that size hanging around the christmas trees that i placed back in June.
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426672 - 10/14/15 07:34 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Richard,

I want to make sure I have this right. You have a pond heavily populated with YP and nothing much else, no predator for those perch and no minnows that you can see. Correct?
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#426673 - 10/14/15 07:54 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: Bill D.]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
Correct Bill. We once had trout and minnows but i believe the winter killed the minnows and the trout never reproduced with no creek running to it.
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426674 - 10/14/15 08:01 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I am not a pro but I suspect the YP ate all the minnows over time and are now living off their own spawn and whatever other aquatic life than can find. My 2 cents...I would make water testing and addressing the YP over population my top priorities.

IMHO How you address the YP issue has several paths...how deep is your uncle willing to dig in his pockets and how quick you want it solved will determine which path you take.


Edited by Bill D. (10/14/15 08:04 PM)
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#426676 - 10/14/15 08:19 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Don't know if you have seen this, but here is a link to the PDF list of licensed aquaculture facilities in Michigan. You need to go down to where it says List of Licensed Aquaculture Facilities in Michigan. A PDF will open.

Michigan Aquaculture

The bait companies may be able to get you anything they have on their list for feeder fish, but you have to call first and see what is available. Otherwise, some fish farms may have what you are looking for.

Hope this helps.

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#426677 - 10/14/15 08:30 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: Bill D.]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
you know im not sure which way im going to go. i have heard that lime will kill off all of the fish from this website and my uncle does spend a lot of time liming his farm fields so im sure it will not be hard to pull that off. but on the other hand if we decide on a predator for the perch i feel it would be better to leave them alive. it all boils down to what my family decides on together and like you guys have mentioned how much money they are willing to spend. i have been fishing the lake hard while i have been there the few times and all the smaller perch i kill while leaving the big ones in there while adding structure other than weeds. which next weekend i plan on adding more structure i would like to build some type of structure with a couple bricks and logs around 6-10 inches wide and about 8 feet long so i will definitely update on that along with the water test.
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426690 - 10/14/15 09:51 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24012
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
The lime that is put on the fields is completely different from the lime that is used to sterilize ponds.

If you want the Yellow Perch in there, you can stock predators on top of them.

I would do research on aeration systems. No sense spending any $$ stocking more fish if they will winterkill. Yellow Perch can survive lower levels of O2 than many other fish, that could be the reason why they are in there too, and not the trout.
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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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#426746 - 10/15/15 11:34 AM Re: looking for forage [Re: esshup]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
Well good thing I mentioned it and got corrected before I messed something up haha. I have been coordinating with my 3 uncles and apparently our old aerator is in our barn so hopefully next weekend when I'm up there I can get it running and hook it up for winter time. I believe they left the diffuser in the lake so I'm probably going to end up replacing that it's been sitting there I would think over 10 years. I also plan to add some more structure next weekend so I will update with pictures on my progress as I go.
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426769 - 10/15/15 03:56 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11990
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I'm glad you are not the pilot on my air trips. When at the lake get some actual depth measurements. Go to this link and measure the size of the pond. We need to know the acres.
http://www.acme.com/planimeter/

Buy some minnow traps and bait them with bread and or cat/dog food. Find out what the small "minnows" are. "There are yellow perch and white suckers currently with small minnow sized fish that sit on on the bottom in shallow water around the banks."
Suckers do not spawn in a pond; they are stream spawners. Are there small suckers and is the creek connected to the pond???. Use the minnow traps to check what fish are in the adjacent creek. Your uncle's may know of other local creeks or beaver ponds to trap to collect your own minnow broodstock as forage fish. You just need to know which ones to keep and restock that will spawn in the pond. We can help with that info.

IMO don't focus on trying to get trout to spawn. Consider them put and take. Stocker trout are pretty cheap and you would only need to add $50-$110 (6"-10") periodically to keep a good trout fishery going in that pond. Crashing your RC plane probably cost more than $50 for fixes. A few predators in that pond will make it into a very good fishery with the clear water situation especially if you install an automatic feed and use trout food. Imlay City fish farm should have pellet trained perch and maybe a few other species. A few walleye (4-8/ac initially) would help thin out the smaller perch. Walleye will not spawn which is good so you don't get too many predators that stunt to be slow growing. With winter kill you may need to periodically add more walleye & trout. SMB will reproduce to possibly overeat the forage fish (YP&minnows). You don't want that to happen. Adding fish is always easier than getting too many of them out.


Edited by Bill Cody (10/15/15 04:02 PM)
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#426771 - 10/15/15 04:55 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1582
Loc: West Michigan
Richard,
if you have time, use this tool to zoom in and plot points around the perimeter of your pond. See what the result is using a zoomed in view (as big as fits in screen you have to get all the points in on the screen) and then compare to Bill's tool (acme link above)
I'm curious how well they correlate?

Google Area calculator tool

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#426772 - 10/15/15 05:38 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: Bill Cody]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
I was actually working on getting my pilots license I took a break because my mom was sick and I had a few other problems going on but I plan to start back up in January.

As for the measurements I have a removable sonar/fish finder I attach to my Jon boat to get depths. And for size I use Google Earth to measure which I believe is pretty accurate.

I uploaded the picture of the white sucker back in March to here and the group consensus was it was a sucker. I still have the picture but it won't upload from my phone so when I get to a computer I will upload it.

I have the standard minnow trap and these minnows that sit on the bottom are definitely to small to catch in one I was catching them in dip nets and I will take pictures when I am there next weekend.

The creek head is about 1000 feet from the pond. The same underground creek feeds the lake, up before the property starts the creek forks like a Y with one going to the lake (underground) and one going to the east of the lake (the 1000 ft) and surfaces. It runs into a wetland directly off the north property line which goes back underground, comes back up into another wetland then forms a creek running to burt lake.

In the creek, I have caughten 1 large cray fish, maybe 120 minnows, unknown number of tadpoles, and another minnow I'm not sure the species. As with the white sucker I will add a picture of the minnow when I get home from work. I also believe the 120 minnows are fat heads. I don't have pictures but will be trapping the creek again next weekend so I will get pictures

_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426777 - 10/15/15 06:12 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: canyoncreek]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Richard,
if you have time, use this tool to zoom in and plot points around the perimeter of your pond. See what the result is using a zoomed in view (as big as fits in screen you have to get all the points in on the screen) and then compare to Bill's tool (acme link above)
I'm curious how well they correlate?

Google Area calculator tool



I am heading home now should be an hour drive hate the south Florida traffic but I Definitely will use it tonight
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426783 - 10/15/15 07:57 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: canyoncreek]
RichardMancini Offline


Registered: 01/25/15
Posts: 56
Loc: FL/MI
so i just measured it and the difference was about 1/10 an acre. my first measure was actually 6.666 acres, second measure was 6.544 acres. I feel operator error is to blame

I have attached the "white sucker" i caught back in february, havent seen any of them since. I tried getting my mystery creek minnow to upload but its a .jpeg and I dont know how to change it to .jpg, anyone know?

Hocus Pocus:


Attachments
white sucker.jpg (162 downloads)
Description: this is what i believe to be a white sucker




Edited by esshup (10/15/15 11:50 PM)
Edit Reason: added image
_________________________
6.5 acre
YP mainly
Northern LP Michigan

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#426784 - 10/15/15 08:14 PM Re: looking for forage [Re: RichardMancini]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5311
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: RichardMancini
....I tried getting my mystery creek minnow to upload but its a .jpeg and I dont know how to change it to .jpg, anyone know?


It depends...open it on your desktop and then click "save as" depending on the software, it may allow you several choices for format to save the image. If it does .jpg may be one of them.
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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