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#462443 - 01/22/17 04:28 PM Tilapia or Threadfin Shad?
Fishman Dan Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Plano, Texas
If you could only stock one to complement an existing CNBG base, which would you choose?

Pond is about 10-12 acres, located in NE Texas, native and FL LMB, crappie as well...

Just curious what people think. Gets a bit pricey stocking both! frown
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#462447 - 01/22/17 06:10 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Zep Offline
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Registered: 07/27/10
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Loc: Dallas & Wills Point, Tx
Threadfins won't help on FA...but the threadfins will probably survive a winter or two or three....

I wonder if an "every other year rotation" might work well?
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#462449 - 01/22/17 06:18 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: East Texas
Tilapia for me.
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#462451 - 01/22/17 07:00 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill Cody Offline
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"Gets a bit pricey stocking both!" How bad you want trophy bass? Big ponds cost more money and require more man hours of management.

Reduce your current density of bass by good, dedicated, proper, selective harvest and you will not need more forage. Reduce the number of foxes eating chickens and there will be more chickens for feeding each fox. Then each one will get big and fat. It is a numbers and balance game. Know how to play it to win and reach your goals.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/22/17 07:01 PM)
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#462474 - 01/23/17 09:04 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2884
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I am fairly new at ponds with only a 2.5 yr's of experience. My pond has TFS and Tp during certain times of the year. I spend much of my free time reading. I have read many times, ALL trophy bass ponds have shad. The problem with TFS in our area of E Texas is they will most likely die off every 3 to 5 years due to cold weather events. And it might happen a couple of years back to back. So TFS is a gamble with good results when the gamble works out. Also stocking them might be expensive but if the cost is spread out over 5 years then not so much. Tp is another plus for lmb ponds but they need to be restocked every year, so maybe the cost of stocking may be more expensive in the long run. So for me, for now, I stock both.
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#462475 - 01/23/17 09:27 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Snakebite Offline


Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 525
Loc: TN, Lakeland
I would like to see the results of a study showing Tilapia vs TFS which obtain better growth results. That alone would be my determining factor weather to stock which ever species.
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#462504 - 01/23/17 12:17 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
ewest Offline
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They are different tools for owners to consider. A comparison would not work . It is key to learning the plus and minus for each as they apply to your goals and water.
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#462526 - 01/23/17 07:34 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Fishman Dan Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Plano, Texas
Thanks for the replies!
I've owned the lake for ten years now. When we bought it, my three girls were young (10, 8, 6) and we were more interested in quantity than quality. The girls would bring friends out and we would always catch a mess of 1-2 pound bass, with the occasional 4-5 pounder mixed in every now and then. Now, the two older daughters are in college and the third will be heading out next year. As such, my focus has switched to trophy bass. I've stocked TFS a few times over the years, and tilapia a couple times as well -- including last year, after I noticed that some TFS had made it through the winter. I suppose I'll try the same thing this year -- see if the TFS make it. It has been pretty mild, with the exception of two cold snaps that lasted a few days each. The last one, a couple weeks ago, caused about 20% of the lake to freeze over about 1/2 inch thick. I guess we'll see...
BTW: I run three feeders for the CNBG and have a VERY healthy population!
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#462528 - 01/23/17 07:58 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill Cody Offline
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Your answer is not in adding more forage fish!! For growing larger bass you need to be removing bass not adding more forage fish.

The 'general' rule for how many bass to remove per acre when large bass are the goal and bass smaller than 14" are predominate, is to start by removing at least 15 lbs to 20lbs of bass per acre for all bass less than 14"-15". KEEP GOOD RECORDS. So you have your work 'cut out' for you this year. 150-200 lbs of LMB is a lot of bass. Who said larger ponds are easy to manage??

Expert advice is then if you find it easy to near the end to take out 150-200 lbs/10 acres it is probably not enough. The you need to work toward 25-30 lbs per acre. AT this point you should start to see the average size of bass caught is getting larger.

Once you start seeing larger bass in the catch, you need to maintain the effort to annually be removing bass less than 12" to amount to at least 10 lbs/acre. You know you are removing enough bass when the largest bass of this year get larger the next year (Catch records verify this). When largest size bass your are seeing limits out at any weight less than 9-10 lbs you are not harvesting enough bass each year.

Selectively removing male bass can be helpful but this is difficult during most of the year. Male bass do not get as big as the females - protect them when you can to have more bigger faster growing potential. You can tell females easily for about three months, look for red swollen urogential opening. You may not get it 100% correct but try to target males vs females during the spring spawn.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/23/17 08:04 PM)
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#462530 - 01/23/17 08:22 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: TGW1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: TGW1
...ALL trophy bass ponds have shad. ...


I've seen that as well. Another current thread I've been involved in cautions about making Absolute statements when it comes to pond management so.....I would revise that to say

ALL trophy LMB ponds have shad, except for the ones that don't. smile


Edited by Bill D. (01/24/17 03:09 PM)
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#462531 - 01/23/17 08:26 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Fishman Dan Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Plano, Texas
Thanks, Bill! Should have also mentioned that I've been culling bass (under 14") over the years with a goal of 200 per year. I haven't reached that goal, but I've gotten in the 150-175 range a few times. In 2016 I only culled about 100 pounds, but I've made a New Year's resolution to hit my goal this year and in the future. Each year had produced a new lake record, with the biggest being an 8.5 pounder caught last June. I'm hoping 2017 or 2018 is the year we catch a double digit bass, which led to my original query.
Appreciate the info on telling the males from the females -- I'll give that a shot as well.


Edited by Fishman Dan (01/23/17 08:27 PM)
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#462539 - 01/24/17 07:41 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
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Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Hey Dan, how is Big Red?
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#462547 - 01/24/17 09:41 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
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Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3145
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Think I'll chime in on this one.
Here's our experiences, based on 35+ years of using threadfin shad in client lakes and ten years using tilapia, in Texas.
I was hesitant to use tilapia because of what I believed to be true. What I thought was that people would stock them into existing, overcrowded bass lakes. Tilapia would reproduce prolifically, then die off every fall and leave an overcrowded bass lake with more mass, with even less food than when they started. Then, there'd be a mess to clean up in the fall. That's not what happens. We've learned that when we stock ten pounds per surface acre into a bass-crowded lake, we see an increase in survival rates of young of the year bluegills every fall. When we stock 20 pounds per surface acre, we see algae control, and we see increased survival rates of young of the year bluegill, going into the fall. As the water temperature begins to decrease in the fall, tilapia become sluggish and game fish gorge themselves on those tilapia. The few big ones which die are quickly cleaned up by buzzards, and on some client lakes, bald eagles eat them. Stomach contents of bass studied in lakes with tilapia suggest larger bass don't necessarily feed on small tilapia. I believe small tilapia feed the smaller bass and simply by sheer numbers allow bluegill survival rates to rise. This management strategy certainly doesn't preclude bass harvest. That has to happen for long term growth rates.
Threadfin shad live in a totally different niche than tilapia. They live in open water and are filter feeders. They need plankton in order to have reasonable survival rates and to become enough mass to be substantial. Threadfins are primarily preyed on by intermediate-sized bass.
So, I see them as two completely different tools. I've not seen any evidence that threadfins assist in survival rates of young bluegills.
But, every trophy bass lake we manage has threadfin shad.
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#462555 - 01/24/17 11:41 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Here is one study finding to think about. No tilapia in this study as IIRC AL did not allow them.


PRIVATELY-OWNED SMALL IMPOUNDMENTS OF CENTRAL ALABAMA: A SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES AND ENHANCEMENTS
Norman Victor Haley, III

Auburn University

Bluegill
Negative interaction between bluegill and threadfin shad has been a concern when stocking threadfin shad into small impoundments; in particular, the effects of interspecific competition between bluegill and threadfin shad for zooplankton and its potential to reduce bluegill recruitment, adult condition, and density have been of interest (Tharatt 1966; Miller 1971; DeVries and Stein 1990; DeVries et al. 1991). I found that ponds that contained threadfin shad had some of the lowest zooplankton densities when compared to other management strategies. If threadfin shad were negatively affecting bluegill, I would have expected to see length-frequency distributions skewed towards shorter lengths, lower CPUE of stock-size bluegill, lower Wr, higher probability of occurring in quadrant 2 or 4 (i.e. bluegill PSD ≥20), and higher bluegill PSD in ponds where threadfin shad were stocked. Because bluegill size structure, CPUE, Wr, and PSDs, and quadrant probabilities were similar across all fertilized and threadfin shad enhanced ponds, I conclude that threadfin shad did not negatively affect bluegill in fertilized small impoundments.


Edited by ewest (01/24/17 11:44 AM)
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#462559 - 01/24/17 12:18 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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IMO the study that ewest provided above produced those results because the test ponds were fertilized. Fertilization is very important here. Proper fertilization allows a lot more plankton, sometimes to excess, to be produced which is why fertilizer is used. However, if the study was conducted in unfertilized ponds the outcome would be different and IMO the opposite due to BG and TFS both having to compete for a now limiting, not an excess plankton resource.

For understanding a research study's results it is very important to know all the methods used and the implications of what effects those methods are capable of causing.


Here is my 2 cents on this talking point:
Forage is forage. TFS and another species such as tilapia will diversify the food base. As noted TFS feed in a different niche than the BG and many of the other common forage items. Tilapia are also adaptable to feed on various types of foods. Each type of forage item can serve a purpose which generally enhances the food base as the diversity increases. As the BG and other forage tends to get depleted the TFS are hopefully abundant. TFS can get to 7" and maximum reported is 8". Each of those even at 4.5"-6" make a good meal when a few are eaten each day. Plus TFS are high in food value more than BG. LMB are very adaptable when it comes to feeding so they will easily figure out and switch to the pelagic feeding opportunity. I haven't read Lusks post yet. But your question or my answer may be appropriate for the thread. I will decide when I read Lusk's input. Lusk says he is going to make more time to post on the forum.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/24/17 12:36 PM)
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#462588 - 01/24/17 07:05 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19973
Loc: Miss.
Bill I will send you the study.

I agree in principal. This area has some very low productivity ponds. I think a better term than fertilized would be fertile as many normal fertile ponds (no fertilizer) would still do ok and fall under his results. The unfertile ponds studied had poor results for all species. Small ponds have to be fertile to support tshad.
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#462596 - 01/24/17 08:08 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Just when I think I am getting my arms around this subject just a little bit, I run across this reprint of a PBM article providing that GSD are the "best" forage in a trophy bass pond and explains why TFS are not.

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/gizzard_shad.html

I am very confused at this point and very thankful the goal for my pond is not trophy bass. All the inputs seem credible but appear to provide conflicting conclusions.


Edited by Bill D. (01/24/17 08:16 PM)
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#462597 - 01/24/17 08:22 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill Cody Offline
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Seemingly conflicting conclusions because the ecosystem is very complex and interconnected. Every forage species has its pros & cons and how it performs with the other species in the pond/lake. Pond ecosystems are very complex systems. The more species that are present the more complex the pond becomes because everyone and most everything present interacts with each other.

A very similar complexity is all the components of the human body from chemicals, cells, organs to behavior which is why there are so many specialist doctors for humans. One has to carefully analyze or know someone to analyze all the options and the repercussions of using each species in a pond and how everything interacts. In many cases the average pond person and some 'experts' are not well capable of knowing all the consequences of every management action. Usually it amounts to GUESS WORK as in 'practicing' Medicine of using the best guess option.

One of the big negatives that I have seen with the gizzard shad(GSD) is when plankton becomes limiting, the GSD will begin foraging in the sediments for benthic algae, detritus and organic based sediment as food sources. Depending on specifics and morphometry of the pond/like basin, the bottom GSD foraging often leads to turbid water. Muddy, turbid water to the point of it strongly suppressing light penetration for plankton growth. Cloudy water then perpetuates due to bottom foraging shad, lack of plankton to properly feed shad, and this then impacts all the other pond members including the biggest bass in pond food web that directly and indirectly depend on phyto and zooplankton as the basis for productivity.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/24/17 08:45 PM)
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#462601 - 01/24/17 09:09 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
FishmanDan,

I apologize for the slight hijack but maybe it will provide some benefit to you as well.

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
....One of the big negatives that I have seen with the gizzard shad(GSD) is when plankton becomes limiting, the GSD will begin foraging in the sediments for benthic algae, detritus and organic based sediment as food sources. Depending on specifics and morphometry of the pond/like basin, the bottom GSD foraging often leads to turbid water. Muddy, turbid water to the point of it strongly suppressing light penetration for plankton growth. Cloudy water then perpetuates due to bottom foraging shad, lack of plankton to properly feed shad, and this then impacts all the other pond members including the biggest bass in pond food web that directly and indirectly depend on phyto and zooplankton as the basis for productivity.


As always, thanks for educating me Bill.

Guys, Last questions I promise.

I understand now the GSD stir up the bottom if the plankton becomes limited and the possible downsides of that event. What do the TFS do for chow when the plankton is limited?

From an "appropriate size forage" standpoint, it seems to me it is better to have a double digit bass expend energy to catch 1 large GSD than the energy required to catch several TFS. Is that an incorrect assumption? Is it maybe TFS are easier to catch?

Is there a time when GSD are appropriate in a stocking plan?

Thanks,

Bill D.



Edited by Bill D. (01/24/17 09:26 PM)
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#462606 - 01/24/17 10:32 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
ewest Offline
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Gshad are a different story. They effect a system in a much different way. Gshad often will take up a very large part of the biomass 60 to 70 % harming all other species in one fashion or another. They often get to big to be forage. Many threads here on the subject.
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#462616 - 01/25/17 08:51 AM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bob Lusk Offline
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Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3145
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Gizzard shad, as adults, mostly forage shallow, muddy lake bottoms. The reason they are called "gizzard shad" is because they have a gizzard. They can break up small mussels, tiny crustaceans and bottom-dwelling insects and worms. They have a subterminal mouth, which is a clue how they behave. Threadfin shad are filter feeders. When they run out of food, they starve. If gizzard shad can access shallow muddy areas, they thrive.

There are many differences between those two species. Although they look similar, they are completely different. Here are a few differences. Understanding those differences help up understand the roles they play in our lakes and ponds.

Threadfin shad:
1) Grow to 7", I've handled millions of them (literally) and have not seen one larger than that.
2) Average lifespan is about 18 months.
3) Because their lifespan is so short, they spawn often, every 45-90 days when the temperature is right.
4) They lay their eggs on grassy substrate, along the shore, starting about an hour before daylight, until shortly after the sun comes up.
5) Threadfins have a huge spawning run in spring, subsequent spawns are made of smaller runs.
6) They are filter feeders, preferring more pelagic waters.
7) Threadfins die when water temperatures drop into the low 40's.
8) Since they prefer mostly open water, and are fairly small, their biggest predator in managed ponds are intermediate-sized largemouth bass. Big bass tend to not pursue threadfins.

Gizzard shad:
1) Grow beyond 17" and can weigh more than two pounds.
2) Average lifespan is 4 years, can live up to 5 or 6.
3) They spawn once yearly, dumping upwards of 250,000 eggs at once into the water column.
4) Young gizzard shad, like many fish, glean their food from the water column, preferring plankton and tiny insects.
5) Grow really fast. I've seen gizzard shad go from egg to 10" in one growing season.
6) I've seen many muddy ponds and lakes where gizzard shad are the cause.
7) With huge numbers and fast growth rates, they can become the dominant species in a pond, if there aren't enough top end predators.
8) This next is an opinion, based on sparse research and many years experience. Gizzard shad, once they reach a certain density, inhibit reproduction, not only of their species, but limit recruitment of other species in that system. I believe (heavy on the word "believe") they give off a pheromone that disrupts spawning. When that happens, nature often makes a correction via a winterkill of aging adult gizzard shad.

General knowledge about each species.
1) When my company manages a lake for trophy bass, we always stock threadfin shad to boost growth of young bass.
2) Once we can estimate that 20-25% of our bass population has reach 2.5 pounds, we'll stock gizzard shad. We don't want gizzard shad to become the dominant species, so we want enough bass large enough to prey on fast growing gizzard shad. Big bass prefer big meals, and gizzard shad provide that.

Those are my shad thoughts for today.
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#462636 - 01/25/17 12:24 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
Bill Cody Offline
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Now that we have some good information about shad (TFS & GSD) this thread is now stored in the archives.
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#462638 - 01/25/17 12:32 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
FireIsHot Offline
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What Bill said!!
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#462643 - 01/25/17 01:02 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Fishman Dan]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19973
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Here is a thread on gizzard shad with tons of links with info.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=417321&page=1

Adult gizzard shad pic source SDSU- Dave Willis.






Edited by ewest (01/25/17 01:10 PM)
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#462677 - 01/25/17 06:59 PM Re: Tilapia or Threadfin Shad? [Re: Bob Lusk]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5919
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bob Lusk
.....
Those are my shad thoughts for today.


Thanks for your shad thoughts Bob! Really helped me "connect the dots" by showing the connections between a lot info that had previously seemed in conflict to me.
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