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#444695 - 04/20/16 04:41 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: DrLuke]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: DrLuke
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
The nice thing about apex predators is that in a smaller pond you can control the numbers. It is to your advantage that your apex predator NOT reproduce. LMB tend to like reproducing in ponds and thus hundreds of stunted LMB and a management struggle. Walleye can be stocked in a put and take scenario where you can keep your total number in check. If you go into it knowing you will have to add a few stocker fish from time to time then you don't worry about natural reproduction. This also controls growth, the amount of forage available and gives you trophy fish.

This could apply to other apex predators that you would stock on an as needed basis (pike, pickerel, musky, etc)

If you did use SMB as your apex predator it would be to your advantage again if there was limited natural reproduction. This is why many gravitate to HSB as they don't reproduce in most ponds (although there is a link recently on this site that showed reproduction in action). Check if HSB are legal in your state and they can give thrills to anglers better than any walleye ever caught. (think cranking in a underwater tornado (HSB) vs dragging in a slow moving logpile (larger walleye))

a crappie, YP, HSB only pond would be an awesome experiment in a 3-5 acre pond. I would think there would be plenty of forage (even without FHM or GSH) but if you wanted the option for a little extra forage and some built in algae control, think about throwing in some tilapia as well (if legal in your state).




Canyon-
Our pond is 2.5 acres, ave 8 feet deep, heavy silt bottom, 40 years old (highly eutrophied) and is BCP pond primarily. Forage is BG based. I have no minnow production that I've found or seen. I have crawdads as well (re: bull frog volcano thread from last year). I have caught a single LMB in past year (11 inches, didn't get a weight). I have been planning to shift the fishery to something other than BCP, and the idea of YP and HSB sounds intriguing. I have air in the pond now, to help offset a higher biomass as well. And despite many threads discussing BCP needing larger BOW to do well, ours seem to thrive in this 2.5 acre BOW. We can easily catch 11-13 inch fish, with largest 14.25 inches to date. I may be crazy to contemplate fiddling with the fishery, but more species is appealing. Any thoughts?


You likely have a dense population of 8-12" LMB which are hammering all YOY BCP before they have the opportunity to overpopulate and stunt. The BG you catch should also probably be on the larger size, as few make it through the LMB gauntlet. Are these findings consistent with your collection efforts/data?

If this is the case, your fishery is skewed towards trophy panfish at the expense of the LMB. This is not a bad thing, depending on your goals, you've [perhaps unintentionally] created a remarkable fishery. If you want to try and get YP established, bear in mind the front line of LMB you'll need to circumnavigate. If you were my client, I'd recommend caging small YP and growing them to 8"+ and releasing. This is probably the cheapest route, but also time consuming and requires some effort building cages and feeding them daily. The shortest route is the most expensive - that would be purchasing advanced YP 8"+. Those will cost a lot, and sourcing them won't be easy, but it's an immediate course of action. I purchased 400 YP from 6-10" this Spring but also paid dearly for them.

Remember, then, recruitment of YP will be very low due to high predation rates from your LMB, just like for your BG and BCP, so if you want to harvest YP and maintain a population you may need to supplementally stock adult YP annually to make up for harvest and predation. Good news is you are ultimately in control of YP populations, though, considering recruitment would likely be very low. This at least avoids any overpopulation issues down the road.

IMO, you actually have a better chance of establishing YP than a fishery featuring larger but fewer LMB as the existing LMB may find it difficult to hammer adult YP due to gape issues. A few 5# LMB could significantly impact YP populations even those larger in size in a hurry. While you may have a few exceptional LMB that made it through the gauntlet, they're probably low in number.

Stocking HSB will add additional biomass to the fishery, however, provided you feed them they may not impact the fishery to a significant degree. I would not go higher than 10-15/acre as a bonus fish if you are set on YP stocking, and I'd ladder stock those. Bear in mind you'll need to stock advanced fish here, too, as in the case with the YP, LMB will impact stocking unless you are using 8"+ fish. Further, I would ladder stock the HSB so you have multiple year classes present - so you're looking at stocking 5-8 fish annually or every other year for 4-5 years.

This population of HSB would be my recommendation keeping in mind your highly eutrophic pond - don't want to push carrying capacity too much or water quality issues could result in Summer/Winter leading to a partial or complete kill event. Larger/trophy fish are more susceptible to water quality issues than smaller fish - HSB would be vulnerable. We don't want kill events, not even small ones.

Hope some of this helps.
_________________________
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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#444696 - 04/20/16 04:54 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: West Michigan
Listen to TJ!!!!

Actually if TJ is right and you have a fair amount of LMB then that makes perfect sense what TJ said. I was kind of hoping that you didn't have so many LMB (you said you only ever caught 1) and that you would have a chance through angling of gradually lowering LMB numbers and slowly transitioning over to a different apex predator. Maybe the LMB are too far ahead of the game for that to work.

Any way of knowing how many LMB are truly there and of what sizes?

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#444707 - 04/20/16 07:13 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: Urmetz]
esshup Offline
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Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Urmetz
Also I wanted to ask why can't AR-Tenner not have a pond that could last up to 100 years? I know that's a very long time and lets say you build the dam in very good condition and you you put aeration to prevent muck and perhaps put bacteria to control perhaps any excess muck. Idk I feel like if you have the ambition you could make it work but I could be wrong.


You possibly could make it work, but the pond would have to be first constructed with that in mind. Would the extra construction costs, etc., etc., be more or less $$ than draining, dredging and pushing the reset button?

Look up and understand the Eutrophication Process if you don't completely understand it now. The minute you stop removing dirt from the pond and fill it with water, the process starts.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
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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#444708 - 04/20/16 07:36 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: teehjaeh57]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 353
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Originally Posted By: DrLuke
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
The nice thing about apex predators is that in a smaller pond you can control the numbers. It is to your advantage that your apex predator NOT reproduce. LMB tend to like reproducing in ponds and thus hundreds of stunted LMB and a management struggle. Walleye can be stocked in a put and take scenario where you can keep your total number in check. If you go into it knowing you will have to add a few stocker fish from time to time then you don't worry about natural reproduction. This also controls growth, the amount of forage available and gives you trophy fish.

This could apply to other apex predators that you would stock on an as needed basis (pike, pickerel, musky, etc)

If you did use SMB as your apex predator it would be to your advantage again if there was limited natural reproduction. This is why many gravitate to HSB as they don't reproduce in most ponds (although there is a link recently on this site that showed reproduction in action). Check if HSB are legal in your state and they can give thrills to anglers better than any walleye ever caught. (think cranking in a underwater tornado (HSB) vs dragging in a slow moving logpile (larger walleye))

a crappie, YP, HSB only pond would be an awesome experiment in a 3-5 acre pond. I would think there would be plenty of forage (even without FHM or GSH) but if you wanted the option for a little extra forage and some built in algae control, think about throwing in some tilapia as well (if legal in your state).




Canyon-
Our pond is 2.5 acres, ave 8 feet deep, heavy silt bottom, 40 years old (highly eutrophied) and is BCP pond primarily. Forage is BG based. I have no minnow production that I've found or seen. I have crawdads as well (re: bull frog volcano thread from last year). I have caught a single LMB in past year (11 inches, didn't get a weight). I have been planning to shift the fishery to something other than BCP, and the idea of YP and HSB sounds intriguing. I have air in the pond now, to help offset a higher biomass as well. And despite many threads discussing BCP needing larger BOW to do well, ours seem to thrive in this 2.5 acre BOW. We can easily catch 11-13 inch fish, with largest 14.25 inches to date. I may be crazy to contemplate fiddling with the fishery, but more species is appealing. Any thoughts?


You likely have a dense population of 8-12" LMB which are hammering all YOY BCP before they have the opportunity to overpopulate and stunt. The BG you catch should also probably be on the larger size, as few make it through the LMB gauntlet. Are these findings consistent with your collection efforts/data?

If this is the case, your fishery is skewed towards trophy panfish at the expense of the LMB. This is not a bad thing, depending on your goals, you've [perhaps unintentionally] created a remarkable fishery. If you want to try and get YP established, bear in mind the front line of LMB you'll need to circumnavigate. If you were my client, I'd recommend caging small YP and growing them to 8"+ and releasing. This is probably the cheapest route, but also time consuming and requires some effort building cages and feeding them daily. The shortest route is the most expensive - that would be purchasing advanced YP 8"+. Those will cost a lot, and sourcing them won't be easy, but it's an immediate course of action. I purchased 400 YP from 6-10" this Spring but also paid dearly for them.

Remember, then, recruitment of YP will be very low due to high predation rates from your LMB, just like for your BG and BCP, so if you want to harvest YP and maintain a population you may need to supplementally stock adult YP annually to make up for harvest and predation. Good news is you are ultimately in control of YP populations, though, considering recruitment would likely be very low. This at least avoids any overpopulation issues down the road.

IMO, you actually have a better chance of establishing YP than a fishery featuring larger but fewer LMB as the existing LMB may find it difficult to hammer adult YP due to gape issues. A few 5# LMB could significantly impact YP populations even those larger in size in a hurry. While you may have a few exceptional LMB that made it through the gauntlet, they're probably low in number.

Stocking HSB will add additional biomass to the fishery, however, provided you feed them they may not impact the fishery to a significant degree. I would not go higher than 10-15/acre as a bonus fish if you are set on YP stocking, and I'd ladder stock those. Bear in mind you'll need to stock advanced fish here, too, as in the case with the YP, LMB will impact stocking unless you are using 8"+ fish. Further, I would ladder stock the HSB so you have multiple year classes present - so you're looking at stocking 5-8 fish annually or every other year for 4-5 years.

This population of HSB would be my recommendation keeping in mind your highly eutrophic pond - don't want to push carrying capacity too much or water quality issues could result in Summer/Winter leading to a partial or complete kill event. Larger/trophy fish are more susceptible to water quality issues than smaller fish - HSB would be vulnerable. We don't want kill events, not even small ones.

Hope some of this helps.


TJ-
First of all, thank you! The amount of detail and expertise in your response is fantastic, and I really appreciate it! I will have to continue to re-read it to fully digest all that you've touched on here, but here is some feedback:

- I can't take any credit for the status of this fishery, as I have only begun efforts at water quality improvement since we purchased this acreage in May 2015.

- I am unsatisfied with my knowledge of the numbers and sizes, WR, et al, of the existing species. From my regular fishing (at 4 days/week from June to Aug, then every other week or so till December, then ice fishing twice in January and once in Feb) I would catch BG and BCP; the one LMB was caught under the dock on my first day fishing! I fished with more of a bass presentation throughout the summer, hoping for some top action with warmer water, but caught no more LMB. I am now leaning toward some seining or possibly hiring electrofishing. It seems to be a critical piece of knowledge, regarding species, forage base, and relative class sizes, before actually beginning stocking.

- I am very receptive to the suggestions regarding YP and HSB, pending filling in my knowledge gaps as noted.

- as I've noted before, it has been surprising to me to continue to catch NON stunted BCP in good numbers, but never catch ANY LMB. And I do occasionally catch 5-7 inch BCP, but it's the exception, not the rule. 11-13 inch BCP is very common. I began getting weights in July for about 10 days, and then lost my scale (fell in the pond, of course). I don't feel I had enough data to get a good feel for WR yet, but bought a new scale and will commence with data collection this season again. Of the 15 or so weights I collected, WR varied a lot (from 80-105%). Sample size was so small I hate to draw any conclusions yet.

Thanks again!
- Luke


Edited by DrLuke (04/20/16 07:43 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling errors
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
-------

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#444709 - 04/20/16 07:41 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: canyoncreek]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 353
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Listen to TJ!!!!

Actually if TJ is right and you have a fair amount of LMB then that makes perfect sense what TJ said. I was kind of hoping that you didn't have so many LMB (you said you only ever caught 1) and that you would have a chance through angling of gradually lowering LMB numbers and slowly transitioning over to a different apex predator. Maybe the LMB are too far ahead of the game for that to work.

Any way of knowing how many LMB are truly there and of what sizes?


I have a long post below to TJ, but as I noted, I really DON'T know my LMB population stats very well, and that's not good. While I did spend some dedicated time bass fishing, I could easily just be a poor bass fisherman vs low bass numbers. Seining or electrofishing would probably be the correct route to get some solid data on that. It does seem to make the most sense, regarding not having a stunted BCP population, having LMB as the apex predator. Perhaps they (the LMB) are mopping up so many BCP YOY and any others they can fit in their gape, that they don't lend to being caught easily on hook and line? No need for more aggressive feeding if you're belly is full?
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
-------

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#444711 - 04/20/16 08:10 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Luke,

Something sounds "fishy" to me about your situation. smile IMO, with as much fishing as you have done, it seems really strange you've only caught 1 LMB. Makes me think you might have a predator you haven't fished for yet lurking in the depths. You might want to bait up a line with a 3 inch BG, big night crawler or chunk of chicken liver and try tossing it out in a few locations on the bottom and let it sit there a bit. A couple of trot lines baited with a mix of the baits suggested might prove even more interesting.

Just my 1 cent....

Good luck!

Bill D.


Edited by Bill D. (04/20/16 08:21 PM)
_________________________

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

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#444712 - 04/20/16 08:19 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: Bill D.]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 353
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Hey Luke,

Something sounds "fishy" to me about your situation. smile IMO, with as much fishing as you have done, it seems really strange you've only caught 1 LMB. Makes me think you might have a predator you haven't fished for yet lurking in the depths. You might want to bait up a line with a 3 inch BG, big night crawler or chunk of chicken liver and try tossing it out in a few locations on the bottom and let it sit there a bit.


I totally agree! Would CC fit the mold, as far as being my secret apex predator? Could they mop enough YOY BCP to prevent stunting? Hmmm....
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
-------

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#444713 - 04/20/16 08:24 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
You beat me to the post. LOL. I just updated my post to say a trot line or two might be very revealing if you bait them with a mix of BG, crawler and chicken liver.

Yes, large CC, 3 pound+, are an apex predator IMO. Blues or Hybrid Blues are also possibilities.


Edited by Bill D. (04/20/16 08:31 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
_________________________

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

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#444715 - 04/20/16 08:38 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 353
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Great idea! I will give it a go and keep you posted..
_________________________
"You get what you earn." - Terry Brands, state champ, National champ, Olympic silver medalist in wrestling
-------

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#444717 - 04/20/16 08:50 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
If you have cats, they will be more active once the water warms up more, maybe 70, but you might tempt some now.
_________________________

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

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#444793 - 04/21/16 10:52 AM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
If LMB see a lot of fishing pressure, and are smart, maybe an electroshock survey is in order.

Doing that, it doesn't matter if they want to open their mouths to bite a hook or not.............
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
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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#444825 - 04/21/16 01:54 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I would use jig and crawler or jig and minnow combo and sample for LMB. The crawler rig will also enable you to sample BG, which I'd like to see. Minnow combo will also catch BCP, which I'd also like to see. Record all lengths and weights and we can help you determine WR. A good tray digital scale is available from WalMart for $15. I use a colander on top of the tray in order to weigh longer fish. I also enclose the scale in a ziplock freezer bag to help render it waterproof. If you are serious about introducing YP, we need to first understand the fishery dynamics and LMB density and performance is key here. You don't want to waste your project $. If you have a dense population of stunted LMB, you should be catching one every 10-20 casts or even more frequently. I would recommend recording weight and length for all fish sampled. Evenings or mornings are best, otherwise try for a warm but overcast day. Based on your BCP sizes, my GUESS is you also have few but large BG [8"+], and a dense population of bottlenecked and underweight LMB [8-12"].
_________________________
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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#444833 - 04/21/16 03:10 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: West Michigan
AR-Tenner,
In our enthusiasm about non-traditional ponds and stocking we kind of drifted away from your thread. If you have more questions, please allow us to finish up your thread.

Then we can't wait to hear how many LMB Dr. Luke truly has or whether he has a Loch Ness, Bass-eating machine that is cleaning up on his bass population.

smile


Edited by canyoncreek (04/22/16 02:27 PM)

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#444943 - 04/22/16 12:25 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: canyoncreek]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
I have a single species pond of YP that is holding it's own as far as balance in my opinion. I excavated in 2008 and put fatheads minnows in the still muddy water in august of that year. In May of 2009 I put 200 yellow perch in I purchased as well as 90 or so fish I moved from another pond of mine, all were less than 5-6 inches. I hand feed usually twice a day weather and wind permitting. I had ten inch fish the following year. The only management I do is kill every fish caught under 5 inches, release any perch 12 inches or larger to keep my YOY predation at it's highest possible rate, and I eat 8-11 inch fish which are the nicest sized to clean anyway in my humble opinion. I still have minnows that can be observed in schools around the edge of the pond if you look hard enough, and I haven't had my pond stunt yet. I do find some floating fish annually that I cannot explain, found a dandy one pushing 16 inches this morning. I got a picture of it but been so long since I posted here I can't recall how to put it up here
_________________________
The world contains a finite amount of facts, but there are infinite ways to put them to use.

Be a fountain in life, not a drain....

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#444967 - 04/22/16 05:35 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
A YP only fishery is unique, I'm glad to hear it's working for you. I like your harvest selection, sounds perfect. I'm impressed by your 16" fish, how large is your pond? I'll wager those larger YP are likely morts due to age...are you seeing any signs of stress or predation from GBH?

We would all benefit learning the science your project is creating - would you mind creating a post and take us from start to current condition, with details on forage qty stocked, habitat, challenges, results, etc? Your direction and experience would be very helpful for us as a community.
_________________________
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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#445040 - 04/23/16 07:06 AM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
I wouldn't mind at all, I'll have to spend a little time scratching my head to remember the details. To be fair and give credit, Bill Cody's writings helped me plan a strategy to try and gracious man that he is, he even took the time to mail me copies of his articles on perch and walleye in ponds. I was never convinced I needed to feed until I read his work. This site has a chemistry that is much more amazing than any science my pond is creating but I will try to make some notes to write a more detailed history, would benefit me as well as I am planning a couple other ponds one with a similar purpose and one very different purpose.
_________________________
The world contains a finite amount of facts, but there are infinite ways to put them to use.

Be a fountain in life, not a drain....

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#445042 - 04/23/16 07:21 AM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
I haven't found any GBH damage on any of my dead fish, but I do have some pressure from them and I strongly discourage their presence on my pond.
_________________________
The world contains a finite amount of facts, but there are infinite ways to put them to use.

Be a fountain in life, not a drain....

Top
#445068 - 04/23/16 12:43 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Thanks joe your post could be a great article for pond boss.
_________________________
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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#445132 - 04/24/16 10:40 AM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
I agree an article would be great. There are lots of us here that could help with answering any question you might have about writing. Bob's advice is " just tell your pond story ".
_________________________















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#446374 - 05/04/16 02:59 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: ewest]
AR-Tenner Offline


Registered: 04/19/16
Posts: 36
Loc: Virginia, USA
I keep learning a ton here, thanks! I am leaning more and more towards going for it on a single-species Black Crappie pond, and I have read some literature suggesting that if one can build up a sufficient forage base, this will help keep the crappie from stunting. What I read suggested a pretty dense stocking of a combination (at least six months before introducing crappie) of fathead minnows, golden shiners, and threadfin shad. Critical in this is setting up shallows with underwater vegetation, wood, man-made structures, and flat rocks to give the fatheads in particular a refuge to spawn and stay viable in the pond so that the crappie don't gobble them all up immediately.

I also plan to have something like two smaller ponds uphill from the main lake in which I would raise fathead minnows and golden shiners (along with crawfish with the shiners, which seem to coexist really well and stimulate one another's numbers), which I would then transfer to the main BOW for supplemental food for the crappie and to replenish the breeding population of forage.

I have since learned that threadfin shad would not likely survive in the North Carolina mountains, so there goes the pelagic prey species. I wouldn't dare add gizzard shad, as they get as big as crappie easily, and I am wondering what other types of forage minnows might I introduce. First, is my thinking correct that more species of forage is better because the fish will ignore the others when chasing one species? I have read about common shiners, emerald shiners, spottail shiners, different types of dace, and am wondering what y'all recommend?

From my other post I am discovering that crawfish are great, and perhaps this will help for the crappie.

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#446411 - 05/04/16 06:32 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Think about fishing for crappie. Do you want to present the bait to them above them, at the same level or below them?

That will give you an indicator of what type of forage to stock, i.e. the forage should inhabit an area that is common to the feeding habits of crappie.

With a single species pond, you are the apex predator and will have to remove a LOT of crappie just to keep enough forage in there for the remainders to grow. Not just removing large Crappie, but of all sizes. The less mouths to feed, the larger (and faster) the survivors will grow.

I would minimize spawning habitat for Crappie and concentrate on making spawning and hiding cover for the various types of forage fish in the pond.

Yes, I agree, the more diversified the forage base, the better off you will be.
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#446489 - 05/05/16 01:21 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: esshup]
AR-Tenner Offline


Registered: 04/19/16
Posts: 36
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: esshup
Think about fishing for crappie. Do you want to present the bait to them above them, at the same level or below them?

That will give you an indicator of what type of forage to stock, i.e. the forage should inhabit an area that is common to the feeding habits of crappie.

With a single species pond, you are the apex predator and will have to remove a LOT of crappie just to keep enough forage in there for the remainders to grow. Not just removing large Crappie, but of all sizes. The less mouths to feed, the larger (and faster) the survivors will grow.

I would minimize spawning habitat for Crappie and concentrate on making spawning and hiding cover for the various types of forage fish in the pond.

Yes, I agree, the more diversified the forage base, the better off you will be.


Thanks, good thinking! May I ask how one can minimize crappie spawning habitat? What differentiates their spawning habitat from the usual refuges of fathead minnows and other forage species?

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#446491 - 05/05/16 01:49 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: AR-Tenner]
ewest Offline
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FHM spawn shallow while crappie usually spawn deep.

IMO the reason crappie don't work in ponds is not forage related but is rather because of their spawning traits. With the potential of over one hundred thousand crappie yoy per pair of spawning adults I am not sure one can keep enough forage of the right size supplied.


Edited by ewest (05/05/16 02:00 PM)
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#446532 - 05/05/16 11:35 PM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: ewest]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Originally Posted By: ewest
FHM spawn shallow while crappie usually spawn deep.

IMO the reason crappie don't work in ponds is not forage related but is rather because of their spawning traits. With the potential of over one hundred thousand crappie yoy per pair of spawning adults I am not sure one can keep enough forage of the right size supplied.


Also FHM spawn on the underside of things in shallow water. I have seen them spawning on the underside of lily pads in a retention pond that didn't have predators.
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#446540 - 05/06/16 01:22 AM Re: Single Species Crappie Pond/Lake, Yellow Perch [Re: esshup]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Condello once found a male FHM guarding eggs on the bottom of a Styrofoam cup!
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