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#327586 - 03/26/13 11:33 PM Good genetics!
Roadside Offline


Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Alabam
Hey guys! I've just inherited 7 established ponds and who knows what's in them. I am looking to grow some monster BG, but don't want to buy the old run of the mill CNBG from local fisheries guy. I want some proven genetics. I live in south central alabama. Any suggestions?

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#327588 - 03/26/13 11:46 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
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Registered: 09/08/09
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Loc: Illinois, St. louis area
Contact Greg Grimes. He can get you pointed in the right direction.
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BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.


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#327590 - 03/27/13 12:06 AM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
esshup Offline
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You also need to know what is already in the pond that you want to grow them in, and make sure that if there are LMB in there, that the stocked fish are larger than they can eat.
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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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#327869 - 03/28/13 06:51 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Roadside Offline


Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Alabam
Thanks for your help! Actually I have a 1/4acre pond that I killed last year and raised tilapia in for the freezer. So there is nothing in that pond other than what tilapia that made it through the sein and the winter. So my plans are to raise the CNBG in that pond and stock my other ponds with mature fish the following year.

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#461605 - 01/07/17 08:49 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Picking up and old thread with what is probably an old question but I couldn't find an answer when I researched ....

I think pretty much all Pondmiesters want to stock fish with the best possible genetics. Some folks are fortunate to have access to fish farms with great reputations of providing top quality fish. A lot of us (like me) though don't have access to those farms with great reps and are at the mercy of what ever fish farm/truck that is either near us or will ship to us. How do we know if we are getting good quality stockers or stunted/runts of the litter? Maybe this is really not an issue... do most fish farms/trucks that have been in business for a number of years provide top quality fish?


Edited by Bill D. (01/07/17 09:03 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#461615 - 01/08/17 11:34 AM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
A good start to get good quality fish is to Know Your Fish by doing some homework.

IMO one of the several main things to know is, can you trust what the fish guy tells you????

The 2nd or maybe even the 1st thing to know is for the fish you plan to purchase is - how big should your best growing fish species be as a YOY(Fall), 1 yr old(spring) or 2 yr old. Know the slow, medium and fast growth rates for each species you are interested in. Obviously the fast growing fish will be your 1st choice, followed by the medium and lastly the slow growers. Usually in spring at about 1 yr old any fish other than minnows, at 2"-3" long is a slow grower. IMO usually you don't really want them.
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#461616 - 01/08/17 01:25 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Bill Cody]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Bill - How would you rate getting the right genetics compared with just getting the right species, in the right numbers, and at the right time in a pond? I ask because I have not focused on genetics.

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#461619 - 01/08/17 02:20 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill Cody Offline
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Growing and selling fish has numerous options. This is why I think it is important to know this if one is interested in raising big fast growing fish - trophies. RAH says: "How would you rate getting the right genetics compared with just getting the right species, in the right numbers, and at the right time in a pond? I ask because I have not focused on genetics."

Most general run fish from a fish farm will grow WELL to nice sizes once they receive an abundant supply of food. So,,, many times you will get good growing fish from fish farms if those stocker fish get ample food. Ample or abundant food is important. At fish farms the YOY fish are often crowded into a growing pond. Natural foods are often limiting due to over crowding especially if the fish are not fed pellets. Fish are often over crowded in the ponds because each one has a sale value. Each fish sold adds up to total sales and the year end profits for the farm.

The answer is how important are numerous or fairly common trophies for your fishery? Are big, dandy fish for the species okay or do you want trophies? Your answer then will determine how important enhanced genetics are for your needs or goals. Most fish farms use fish with pretty good genetics. This assumes the fish farm is reputable, grows many of their own fish, and does not use wild caught or pond-lake clean out fish for their sales to customers. It benefits each fish farm's reputation to sell good quality fish.

Reproduction or offspring from good quality fish spawns result in a wide range of growth ability of each spawn. Often the growth rate of each spawn or YOY crop will be something like this: 30-40% slower growers, 30%-40% medium average growers, 10%-15% above average growers, and 3-5% fastest growers (sometimes called shooters or jumpers). Some or many fish farms buy most of their fish that are previously size graded when they buy them. the best fish farms that use the top 3%-5% fastest growers to produce fish with better or optimum genetics. This depends on methods used by the fish farm. IF the farm buys most of the fish they sell,, the fish they get are often size graded buy the seller or again by themselves for resale.

NOW -- what many fish farms do is size sort their in-house-grown YOY fish. NOTE some fish farms will not sort the YOY fish and you are sold a size mixture of that year class. This why it is important to KNOW the practices of your fish farm.

When sorting the YOY fish: smallest ones are the lower price, mid-size are medium price and the largest ones of above average size are the higher price - all the same age. This ASSUMES all are YOY yearling fish spawned that year. Know this when buying fish. Be able to TRUST your fish supplier to tell you the truth about how old the fish are and any questions you ask. Dishonest fish farmers will lie and say the 2nd yr old fish are 1 yr old. See the caution you need to have when buying fish?

IMO Top grade genetics are mostly for those that have lofty goals of growing numerous trophy class braggin size fish.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/08/17 03:26 PM)
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#461627 - 01/08/17 04:56 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
As a frame of reference, how big will average LMB grow in a pond with good conditions for growth?

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#461628 - 01/08/17 05:09 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: RAH]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
RAH it seems this discussion would go right along with the idea of leave your biggest and best fish in the pond to transfer the best genetics to subsequent generations.

In other words, a pondmeister that takes out and eats all his largest fish, may unwittingly be selecting for sub par future growth by leaving the poorest genetics to reproduce.
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#461630 - 01/08/17 05:15 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I agree 100%. I do harvest nice mature bucks, but hope they bred earlier. So far, so good.

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#461631 - 01/08/17 05:16 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill Cody Offline
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
In our northern pond settings above the Ohio River, very good top end size of bass in my opinion would be 7-8 lbs. Commonly expect 5-6lbs as your better sized bass in one acre or less ponds. Keep in mind that ponds 1 acre or less will only have a couple to a few bass this big unless you are doing very good management and proper harvesting to produce more numbers of these larger bass. Often in the smaller ponds it is only one bass that is the biggest and "the top dog". It is due to some of nature's basic rules.

Note that these larger bass have seen anglers lures and have been Jaw Jerked many times and this/these wise old fish are pretty difficult to catch. See them but catching them is quite a different story unless the pond is rarely fished. If rarely fishing for the bass,,, how can one adequately harvest smaller bass to promote more bigger bass other than electroshocking?. I wish some expert would provide this need to know answer.

Myself since having a BG-LMB pond for 35 years with various types of bass size categories at different times, I prefer the more numbers, relatively easy to catch bass of the 2.5-4 pound aggressive bass grouping as a good high quality bass fishery. Lusk or some other 'expert' needs to write about how to produce these various size groupings of LMbass for different types of goals. It is not always about trophy 10 lb bass.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/08/17 05:27 PM)
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#461633 - 01/08/17 05:41 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
My ponds is rarely fished for bass, so this is good to know. Maybe I'll wet a line this year and see what's swimming around. My neighbor and freind has been harvesting a lot of nice eater BG. Maybe the YP in my other pond are ready for a small harvest. Hoping the 10 SMB in this pond will breed. I would love to hook into a 6 lb LMB. I wonder how big the 25 RES have gotten in the YP/SMB pond. My neighbor will see this year.

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#461635 - 01/08/17 05:51 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
If you want a few big whopping sized, race car pullin fish, stock a few hybrid stripped bass and keep them well fed. Expect top end size to be a minimum 10-12 pounds! State Record HSB: Ohio 18lbs, Indiana 22lbs, Illinois 20lb, Wisconsin 13lb 14 oz, Iowa 19lb 10oz, Kentucky 20 lb 9oz, Tennessee 23lb 3oz.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/08/17 06:06 PM)
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#461636 - 01/08/17 05:56 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
For no good reason, I want fish that reproduce.

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#461640 - 01/08/17 06:28 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Great discussion. Bill C's description of percentages of the different fish sizes that can be expected in YOY fish hits home. When I fall stocked my PS in 2014, I bought 100 "2 to 3" inch fish. What I received was probably 150 fish ranging in size from 1.5 to 3+ inches. The percentages of each size seemed to be in line with Bill's numbers so I think it might be a good assumption that the fish farm sold me that year's YOY unsorted and the count was determined by weight. Judging by what we caught by hook survey in 2016, most/all of the smaller and medium growth PS stockers went as predator snacks and only the biggest and best survived.

As I'm not looking for trophies, this discussion makes me feel more comfortable with just stocking from a reputable farm and doing the best you can to make sure the fish have sufficient forage (pellet or natural).


Edited by Bill D. (01/08/17 07:00 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#461647 - 01/08/17 07:21 PM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
BillD - good informative testimony.

RAH with reproducing fish it makes it more and more difficult especially after the initial stocking to grow trophy fish due to the crowding and accumulating fish biomass as the pond ages. Best growth and biggest number of big fish almost always occurs with the initially stocked fish until they reach end of life.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/08/17 07:22 PM)
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#461654 - 01/09/17 05:57 AM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Roadside]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13600
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
In my area, I know of very few actual fish farms, just fish stockers. Very few carry fish over from year to year to assure quality. That's why it is wise to sight check stocker fish. The much maligned fish trucks, IN MY AREA, are getting small fish from Arkansas producers. It's almost a cottage industry in some parts of the State.

My first stocking of BG's was a whole lot of years ago from a pay to fish catfish place that also sold stockers. I wound up with some GSF and didn't know the difference. Since I have become a GSF fan, it is now OK with me.

I recommend only buying 2 to 3 inch or longer BG's, CNBG's and RES. It takes a well trained eye to discern the difference in 1 inch stockers. And, as Dave Willis once told me, well trained isn't always good enough. Another reason, per Lusk, is that handling of 1 inch fish can cause a lot of mortalities.

Ever wonder how that bullhead got into the catfish pond? The stork or other bird didn't bring it.

I figured out years ago that building, stocking and maintaining a hole in the ground with water and fish is expensive. It takes the place of Corvettes, race horses, expensive whiskey and other questionable choices. And a well thought out stocking plan is the cheapest, but most overlooked, part of the process.

Another train wreck is the friend that catches nice fish in another pond and helps you with the stocking of your new pond.
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#461655 - 01/09/17 06:49 AM Re: Good genetics! [Re: Bill Cody]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Having my neighbor remove 50 to 60 BG from my 1 acre pond each year seems to be keeping their numbers under control, and the pond producing nice BG. I need to evaluate my LMB in that pond since it has been a few years since a winter fish kill. I have seen a few small ones when hand feeding BG. I understand that managing a perennial and diverse ecosystem is more difficult than a single crop of fish, just like managing a multi-species fruit orchard is more difficult than managing a corn field. For me, this is the fun of it. Getting things to a good spot in the YP/SMB pond will be another welcome challenge and learning experience. Hopefully my 10 SMB stockers reproduced on the rock piles I constructed before the pond filled. The YP have reproduced, but I saw only a few egg ribbons. I will sample that pond once a month next year as suggested earlier. BTW - We (my wife) farm annual vegetable crops as a business, but the wildlife habitat and ponds are a hobby.

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