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#464266 - 02/17/17 11:45 AM Here goes nothing!!
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
So, I am not a patient person (probably not good for pond management) and got tired of no progress with the pond. I am going on vacation soon and want to wait until after that to stock any fish so I will be around to feed them (too cheap for a feeder). So, in the meantime I figured I could try to slowly develop a little crawfish population. I found out our local grocery store (HEB) gets a shipment of crawfish in every Friday and Saturday. I went down and purchased a 15# sack. As far as I know this is the first thing ever "stocked" in this pond. At least we are getting the ball rolling. I am going to try to put in a few pounds of FHM as soon as I can find some close at a decent price. Overton's is a little far to run down for just FHM. Anybody closer in the Fort Worth area? I tried a local bait shop but they were selling them per fish and not per pound. I'll pass. Pictures of my crawfish below.


Attachments
2-17-17 Crawfish (2).jpg (132 downloads)
2-17-17 Crawfish (5).jpg (97 downloads)

_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464267 - 02/17/17 11:57 AM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
oh no! the infamous RED SWAMP CRAYFISH!!

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#464268 - 02/17/17 12:02 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 363
Loc: Paris, TX
HEB grocery and bait shop.....
_________________________
2.1 acre pond with FHM, CNBG, RES, HSB(pending), and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#464270 - 02/17/17 12:13 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
Is this a bad thing?
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464273 - 02/17/17 12:52 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
'It depends' on your goals. They are good at surviving, some consider them as being bad or 'invasive'. They are a cash crop in the south for human consumption. If your goal is to have lots of crayfish then you are all set.

There is some concern about the effects of 'burrowing' but I have not researched this or had personal experience. It matters less in groundwater ponds vs ponds that have a dam.

IF they have no place to hide (rocks, rip rap,) and you have predators that can fit them in their mouths the population control will reach a 'balance' If they have lots of places to hide then a few stocked will turn into a mountain of crayfish which again can be a good or bad thing.

Good if you want to feed large predators or want to harvest for crawfish boils, bad if they overtake the pond and eat every aquatic plant and eventually keep the bottom stirred up lowering visibility and fertility of your pond.

I'm sure others from the south can speak to this. However we don't really want to analyze it to much as I doubt you can get them back in those gunny sacks and back to the grocery store.

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#464274 - 02/17/17 12:53 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
Snakebite Online   content


Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 489
Loc: TN, Lakeland
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
oh no! the infamous RED SWAMP CRAYFISH!!


Thats what I was thinking too. Red swamp are known for burrowing deep holes and possibly causing leaking pond issues.
_________________________
Forced to work born to Fish

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#464275 - 02/17/17 12:59 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
there have been several good posts lately of folks lucky enough to have an empty pond (clean slate) and are getting ready to put the first things in. Some are finding out that they get their mind made up and then learn something else and everything goes back into confused/planning mode all over again.

once something is in, usually it never comes back out.

I get the sense now when I drop something in the water that I must know how someone feels when they just backed up all their computer files, pictures of their kids from childhood, all their financial records, etc and they are getting ready to wipe their computer clean to do a fresh install. The little blinking cursor, a message that says, ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DELETE ALL YOUR FILES? THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE!! and you sit there for a few minutes, sweat on your brow and your mouse hovering over the yes, and you just can't get the courage up to hit yes....

That is how we should feel when we get ready to bucket stock something we found in the culvert nearby, or caught in a nearby creek. smile smile

There always is a backup plan (backup on multiple devices with computers and stress goes away) and for pond plans that go awry, you can always nuke, drain, dig out, let it dry out, refill, and start over.


Edited by canyoncreek (02/17/17 01:00 PM)

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#464278 - 02/17/17 01:21 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
Count me in on one of those with a "clean slate" (well maybe not anymore) that is confused and nervous. My original plan and the one I am currently still on was to try to get a FHM and crawfish population built up as inexpensively as possible (thus the grocery store stocking of crawfish) and then introduce BG, LMB and HSB later this spring. My pond is a water shed only that catches a lot of water when it rains. Unless we are in a drought I don't have any problem keeping it full. There is no soil dam for the crawfish to destroy. I have a rock wall dam/spillway in one corner of the pond that leads down stream. The main reason for the crawfish was for 1) future bass forage, 2) give my kids the fun of playing with and catching the "baby lobsters" that I grew up catching in nearby creeks and ponds. From my reading on PB the survival rate of grocery store stocked crawfish is slim to none anyway, so it was probably just a waste of money. I guess we will find out.
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464280 - 02/17/17 01:38 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
I am a volunteer youth pastor and me putting in crawfish and FHM now to me would be the equivalent of me calling CiCi's pizza ahead of time and letting them know I will be bringing 25 hungry teenage boys by in about an hour. They need to get as much pizza (forage) prepared as possible. That is my plan. I would love it if the bottom of my pond is covered with crawfish and the top of my pond is covered with FHM when I introduce the meat eaters. Is that not a good plan?
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464282 - 02/17/17 02:53 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
Yep, I think you are going to be good. Your don't have a dam to worry about, you have some rocks and natural places for crayfish to hide and thrive, and you can learn about how well they do for a year or so till you are ready to plan the next stocking event.

Getting your FHM and crays in early is wise. Then think about your predators eliminating your FHM rapidly, what is the other forage going to be then? Can you source other forage?

It might be fun for you and your youth that you pastor to put some tilapia in. tilapia by themselves are fun since they don't interfere with crayfish or FHM, they keep the pond clean for you, and they are fun to watch. They cruise around in packs, they are not shy to be watched, they bask in the sun, you can hand feed them for fun with pellets and train them to come at feeding time.

Then they die off in the fall so next year you have a clean slate again. You can also use tilapia the next year as a headstart forage for your bass.

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#464286 - 02/17/17 03:08 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
CC,

I just found out the local mobile "fish truck" is going to be about an hour away tomorrow. While I would not want to get my fish from the sketchy fish truck I don't mind getting my FHM from them. So, I plan to go get 6-8 pounds of FHM tomorrow. I will give them a month or so (don't think I can wait a year) before going to Overton's and getting CNBG, RES, LMB and HSB. If I can bring myself to wait on the predator fish I may just do the CNBG and RES this spring, let them spawn through the spring/summer and introduce the LMB and HSB this Fall. But Overton's is quite the distance away and as I said before I am not very patient. Overton's suggested going with bigger stockers (3-4" CNBG and RES and 6-8" LMB and HSB) which will get things going sooner than later. Hopefully the plan works out. How does it sound? Would you tweak it in any way?
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464287 - 02/17/17 04:05 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
If you get FHM be sure you are ready with buckets to divide them up and sort through them EACH ONE by hand. Be sure they are all FHM and nothing but FHM before they go in the pond.

Texas ponds can sometimes stock predators and forage together since they have warmer and longer growing seasons. The higher and longer reproduction time of the CNBG can keep up with the hungry predators.

I can't speak to that as our MI pond planning process is way different.

Look into and dabble with tilapia if you can.

Also you have a plan with 2 predators. Lots of texas ponds do have LMB and HSB but HSB are tricky with the texas heat.

I would ask other TX pond meisters about other strategies that you could try now that your pond is a blank slate that they wish they could have tried but could not because they already had LMB in their pond.

For example, how about a Tilapia, RES, HSB only pond?

Another interesting thing would be to research the forum here for the 2 folks who are trying to get southern yellow perch established in their ponds (I think they were Georgia and Florida ponds). It would be cool to have a warm tolerant YP strain, plus RES (low reproduction rates), and HSB pond. Tilapia could be added for algae control.

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#464289 - 02/17/17 04:14 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
CC,

All of those ideas would be cool, but I don't have much time to do experimenting. My best bet is just to be a traditional Texas pond and just go based on the years of experience that people on PB can provide. My fish stocker (Overton's is who I plan to use) said I would be fine stocking the BG and LMB at the same time based on the reasoning you provided. He suggested 10# FHM, 250 BG, 100 RES, 50 LMB, and whatever HSB I wanted within reason all at the same time. I was going to stick to that plan except for giving the FHM a month or so head start to find hiding places and possibly start reproducing. Several people on here from Texas said HSB are great but you basically have to stop fishing them in the heat of the summer and start back up in the fall/winter unless I plan on harvesting them when I catch them.
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464290 - 02/17/17 04:16 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1320
Loc: West Michigan
oops, went back and read your last posts in a different thread. You already have bluegill in your pond. You don't have a blank slate. Forget what I said.

You will need a bluegill eating machine to keep up with your bluegill.

FHM, adding other forage, TP, is still OK, since you already have BG I'm not sure why you want to stock more. You could add RES just for diversity and fun fishing.

I don't know now how to advise on LMB vs HSB or how many LMB as I don't know the current BG population.

I would go back to the original advice of getting some nets/traps and get an idea of what is in your pond first. Then plan the next steps after forage.


Edited by canyoncreek (02/17/17 04:16 PM)

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#464292 - 02/17/17 04:22 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
I have fished the pond heavily and only caught 2 tiny stunted BG. I believe there are very few in there and the one's that are in there are starving to death with no minnows or anything to eat. I was hoping to just introduce good genetic BG from Overton's and let the LMB wipe out the old, stunted leftover BG.
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



Top
#464293 - 02/17/17 04:23 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: canyoncreek]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
I am also buying a minnow trap this evening to do more verification.
_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464295 - 02/17/17 04:54 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 363
Loc: Paris, TX
Heck no. I just never thought of going to a HEB for stocking crays. I wonder how fast they will multiply before you stock your LMB. Might be able to catch some back for a crawfish boil!
_________________________
2.1 acre pond with FHM, CNBG, RES, HSB(pending), and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#464296 - 02/17/17 04:55 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 363
Loc: Paris, TX
Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
Is this a bad thing?


Forgot to quote that blush
_________________________
2.1 acre pond with FHM, CNBG, RES, HSB(pending), and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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#464299 - 02/17/17 06:54 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
dg84s Offline


Registered: 10/20/13
Posts: 83
Loc: North Central Texas
I have bought FHM from
Arms Bait Company & Fish
2020 Fm 1476, Dublin, TX 76446
(254) 879-2797

I believe I paid $10/lb

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#464300 - 02/17/17 07:11 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 4880
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
....So, in the meantime I figured I could try to slowly develop a little crawfish population. I found out our local grocery store (HEB) gets a shipment of crawfish in every Friday and Saturday. I went down and purchased a 15# sack. ...


Exciting time for you!

Did you happen to notice if any of the craws were carrying babies or eggs (looks like a raspberry) under their tails? IMO that will help you know whether your craw population will increase anytime soon.


Edited by Bill D. (02/17/17 07:24 PM)
_________________________

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

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#464301 - 02/17/17 07:16 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 4880
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
I have fished the pond heavily and only caught 2 tiny stunted BG. I believe there are very few in there and the one's that are in there are starving to death ....


IMO I think I might be concerned if you actually just have a few tiny BG and they are starving. I would think, if the pond is fertile, there should be an abundance of natural forage like aquatic insects, zooplankton, etc. in a half acre for just a few tiny BG. Just curious, have you had your water tested? It will be interesting to see your minnow trap results.

EDIT: I recommend Gee minnow traps if you find one while shopping. IMO they are superior to the cheaper traps.


Edited by Bill D. (02/17/17 07:48 PM)
_________________________

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

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#464306 - 02/17/17 08:15 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 3649
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: N.TexasHalfAcre
I have fished the pond heavily and only caught 2 tiny stunted BG. I believe there are very few in there and the one's that are in there are starving to death with no minnows or anything to eat. I was hoping to just introduce good genetic BG from Overton's and let the LMB wipe out the old, stunted leftover BG.


What are you fishing with? To sample BG I would recomend no bigger than a #10 hook or similar size jig head with a pinch of worm or Gulp Alive waxies or some similar very tiny bait.
_________________________
snrub

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#464384 - 02/18/17 11:51 PM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
N.TexasHalfAcre Online   content


Registered: 02/07/17
Posts: 85
Loc: North Texas
Put 8# of FHM in the pond this morning. Going to give them and the 15# of crawfish a month or so to get settled in. I couldn't let the FHM go homeless so I built them a FHM hotel. I am actually pretty impressed with myself. My wife thought I was crazy when I took a couple of tubs out of the attic and told her I was going to make a barge out of them. She came out to see me make a fool of myself. She went away disappointed. Worked like a charm. Floated the pallets out to 5' of water and tilted them up and slid right off. Couple of pictures below.


Attachments
2-18-17 Habitat (1).JPG (64 downloads)
2-18-17 Habitat (3).JPG (61 downloads)

_________________________
North Texas Half Acre
1/2 acre stocked 3/11/17 - CNBG, RES, LMB, HSB, FHM



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#464389 - 02/19/17 07:02 AM Re: Here goes nothing!! [Re: N.TexasHalfAcre]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 3649
Loc: SE Kansas
That will work!
_________________________
snrub

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