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#467742 - 03/26/17 09:40 PM Raising bluegill
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
I will probably be building a 2 acre pond this summer, and my land has a couple of really old small ponds which cattle used. I am wondering if it would make sense to try to raise my own bluegill to stock in the new pond this fall.

The larger of the two old ponds is about 1/3 acre and perhaps only 3-4 feet deep max. Quite a bit of the pond is very shallow. It gets mostly covered by lotus in the summer. I have tossed in leftover minnows from fishing in the past, and some recently fishing proves it has green sunfish in it.

I am thinking:
1) drain the pond and kill off all the fish. probably kill at least half of the lotus too
2) I have a track hoe coming to dig test holes for the new pond, I would have him dig out a trench/build a peninsula jutting out into the old pond for trapping fish.
3) after it starts filling back up, bucket stock it with 20-30? large adult bluegill from ponds I have access to.

Would it be in reason to expect to be able to seine out 1000 young bluegill this fall? The pond does not have large watershed - there is a risk of it taking too long to re-fill to stock the breeder BG.

After raising BG, I would start over again and raise FHM for annual occasionally feeding fish in the new pond.

pic of the pond as of this weekend:



Edited by Redonthehead (03/26/17 09:45 PM)

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#467744 - 03/26/17 09:52 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Here's the smaller pond. Its really silted in bad, with the max depth maybe 1-2 feet. I don't think there is any fish in it as I have not seen any and it might have gone dry in the drought of 2012. I could have the track hoe dip out a bit of it, but it would be a long trip to the back of the farm to get there. Perhaps it could be a FHM pond?



Edited by Redonthehead (03/26/17 09:54 PM)

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#467745 - 03/26/17 09:57 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5296
Loc: Boone County Illinois
If you kill off the pond and it refills in time for the adult BG stocking, IMO you will have no problem having well over 1000 small BG available. With all the vegetation I see in the pics, I would worry that trying to seine will be a tough road unless you remove almost all of it, not just some, during your drain down/renovation..


Edited by Bill D. (03/26/17 10:02 PM)
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#467757 - 03/27/17 05:25 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13088
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
One concern. Stocking anything without a predator can cause over population and resulting O2 problems. I've learned that the hard way.
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#467790 - 03/27/17 10:51 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Thanks Gents!

Bill - any thoughts on what digging the track hoe could do to facilitate seining or trapping bluegill? Perhaps and "L" shape to run the fish into then seine?

Dave - are you thinking the bluegill could overpopulate the pond in 6 months to the point of a DO issue? I can't justify an aeration system - this is only a short term project to stock a larger pond to be built.

Another question; using a siphon to drain the pond, I understand the ball valve at the outlet behind the dam, and the cleanout on top of the dam to fill the pipe with water. What are people using to hold the water in the pond side of the dam? A one way valve seems reasonable, but I wonder if it hurts the flow rate, or is prone to clogging. I'll have a homemade screen over the inlet.

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#467855 - 03/27/17 07:03 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13088
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
1/3 acre might not be a problem if you manage it by periodic seining. I have a 1/4 acre pond that I once ignored for a couple of years. I did get an O2 crash in it. Now I lightly seine it every spring.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#467860 - 03/27/17 07:23 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
John Fitzgerald Online   content


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1545
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Originally Posted By: Redonthehead
Thanks Gents!

Bill - any thoughts on what digging the track hoe could do to facilitate seining or trapping bluegill? Perhaps and "L" shape to run the fish into then seine?

Dave - are you thinking the bluegill could overpopulate the pond in 6 months to the point of a DO issue? I can't justify an aeration system - this is only a short term project to stock a larger pond to be built.

Another question; using a siphon to drain the pond, I understand the ball valve at the outlet behind the dam, and the cleanout on top of the dam to fill the pipe with water. What are people using to hold the water in the pond side of the dam? A one way valve seems reasonable, but I wonder if it hurts the flow rate, or is prone to clogging. I'll have a homemade screen over the inlet.


You don't need a cap over the inlet pipe, or a one way valve. The siphon will start ok if the outlet side is nearly twice as long as the inlet side or longer, and lower than the pond level. The water running out the outlet when you open the valve will create suction and draw water up and out of the pond.
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#467869 - 03/27/17 08:52 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: John Fitzgerald]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Thanks John!

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#468615 - 04/03/17 04:15 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
After a trip to HD for pipe and supplies, I set up a 2" siphon and managed lower the water level by 13" in 44 hours. Only 2" pipe since cost escalated rapidly the larger you go. I'm a 1.5 hour drive away so it can just run till she sucks air. If you look close you can see the white PVC going into the pond.



Edited by Redonthehead (04/03/17 04:16 PM)

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#468617 - 04/03/17 04:20 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
As John noted, I did not need to worry about having a one-way valve on the inlet. I had plenty of down-slope pipe to pull all the air on out.

Here's a picture of the inlet I rigged up. Sanded a radius on the pipe for smooth flow, covered with a wire mesh and a top plate to keep the air from getting sucked down a vortex.
[img]http://i.imgur.com/EyBy04p.jpg?1[/img]

doh! not sure why its not displaying the photo...


Edited by Redonthehead (04/03/17 04:26 PM)

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#469141 - 04/10/17 10:45 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Made a trip to the farm and the siphon had done its job. However there was a bit more water than I wanted - should have had another 10' going into the pond. But I was there and so I built a trail of pallets to get to the water and flung 50 lbs of hydrated lime into it. Was a bit disappointed I didn't see dead fish floating with an hour. So may need to re-do the liming.

How long does getting the pH to 11 take to kill fish? Or what can I expect to see? gasping fish withing xx hours? There were plenty of GBH tracks in the mud so I expect they will eat the dead fish and I wont see anything on the next trip up.


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#471889 - 05/15/17 11:07 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
After killing the WCP, GSF, and GSH in the pond I was bit concerned it would take a long time to re-fill since is has a very small watershed. Well a 6" rain over a weekend took care of that!

Yesterday I caught and "bucket stocked" 15 male and 17 female adult bluegill from my in-laws lake. We'll see if they can do what bluegill do and give me a thousand or so little ones this fall:



Edited by Redonthehead (05/15/17 11:08 AM)

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#471897 - 05/15/17 12:23 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
CMM Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 545
Loc: West Central MO
Keep us posted on how this goes. My bet is lots more than 1000 baby bg. Good luck.
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#474379 - 06/18/17 09:02 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Dinsmoreoutdoors Offline


Registered: 01/22/15
Posts: 204
Loc: Hilliard, FL
I put 18 adult BG in my pond and by Sept I had easy 600, or so. who knows how many where in open water that I didnt see!

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#474407 - 06/18/17 08:04 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
DisplacedGill Offline


Registered: 06/18/17
Posts: 15
Loc: Oklahoma by way of Missouri. C...
A little late to ask, but did you analyze each bucket-stocked gill to make sure it wasn't a covert GSF waiting to "breed-out?"

I only ask because my family pond in southeast Missouri was bucket stocked a good while back and we fight the good fight of GSF control on a yearly basis. No one knew we stocked a hybrid or two until GSF started being caught.
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#474620 - 06/21/17 02:10 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: DisplacedGill]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: DisplacedGill
A little late to ask, but did you analyze each bucket-stocked gill to make sure it wasn't a covert GSF waiting to "breed-out?"


Absolutely. I spent some effort at eradicating the GSF from this pond and sure didn't want to restock them or a hybrid. The "bucket stock" bluegill came from a 3 acre family pond about an hour north that was never stocked with hybrids nor have I ever caught a GSF from. All 55 stocked fish were 8+ inch adults. Over half were male from what I could tell. The American Lotus is up and its time to start spraying some of it.

That said, GSF can find their way into about any pond, so I would not be surprised if they eventually get back into this pond. I will not blame my stocking.

Just ordered 8" PCV pipe for the spillway of a new pond last night, so the wheels are in motion for construction in August.

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#476226 - 07/17/17 10:38 AM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Update:

Its been two months since adult bluegill were place in the pond. I have not be able to spot any nests or little fish yet, but the pond is mostly covered with lotus. I had sprayed a little as a test but decided I did not want a herbicide to effect the bluegill spawn as it is priority.

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#477060 - 07/26/17 12:55 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Centrarchid Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 98
Loc: .
I am doing similar although starting late as filling a couple ponds now. My ponds are either 0.25 acre or 0.10 acre. Broodstock density also lower with on average only to pairs per pond. By late October I expect at least a couple thousand bluegill pushing 2" per pond. Stocking this late increases odds only one cohort produced per pond thus reducing size variation at harvest. Need only one spawn per pond to make that happen.

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#477065 - 07/26/17 01:48 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Here's a recent pic of the bluegill pond, with the clearing started in the background for my new pond.


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#477068 - 07/26/17 01:57 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
peachgrower Offline


Registered: 07/02/16
Posts: 352
Loc: Nashville, AR
Quote:
Its been two months since adult bluegill were place in the pond. I have not be able to spot any nests or little fish yet, but the pond is mostly covered with lotus. I had sprayed a little as a test but decided I did not want a herbicide to effect the bluegill spawn as it is priority.


After seeing your pic, why not take a garden rake and push some of your cover back and look under it? I bet you'll see them. What does the bottom look like in that pond? Mine is gravely so its pretty easy to see the places where they clean. Just a thought
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#477070 - 07/26/17 02:14 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Centrarchid Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 98
Loc: .
Minnow trap would also work, especially a night set. In clearish water I put down a piece of white plastic to bottom and watch for fish to swim over it. When serious and looking for larvae it works to get in with goggles and move the white plastic in front of your face at arm's reach. Sometimes you have to look closer to bottom when water really clear.

@Redonthehead, where in Missouri are you located.

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#477071 - 07/26/17 02:22 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Centrarchid]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: Centrarchid

@Redonthehead, where in Missouri are you located.


I live in Springfield, but land is up in Henry county. The white plastic background is a good idea, but doubt I'll try the goggles!

If I do get a good hatch, I'll have to build a number of cloverleaf minnow traps - a net is not gonna work in this jungle.

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#477072 - 07/26/17 02:24 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: peachgrower]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 91
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: peachgrower

After seeing your pic, why not take a garden rake and push some of your cover back and look under it? I bet you'll see them. What does the bottom look like in that pond? Mine is gravely so its pretty easy to see the places where they clean. Just a thought


some little rock, but mostly mud bottom. I suspect it had cattle in it for 50+ years.

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#477073 - 07/26/17 03:08 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Redonthehead]
Centrarchid Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 98
Loc: .
Originally Posted By: Redonthehead
Originally Posted By: Centrarchid

@Redonthehead, where in Missouri are you located.


I live in Springfield, but land is up in Henry county. The white plastic background is a good idea, but doubt I'll try the goggles!

If I do get a good hatch, I'll have to build a number of cloverleaf minnow traps - a net is not gonna work in this jungle.


By now your first spawns should be pushing 1.5".

I am near Jefferson City (Lincoln University Aquaculture Facility).

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#477224 - 07/28/17 06:50 PM Re: Raising bluegill [Re: Centrarchid]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24001
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Centrarchid
I am doing similar although starting late as filling a couple ponds now. My ponds are either 0.25 acre or 0.10 acre. Broodstock density also lower with on average only to pairs per pond. By late October I expect at least a couple thousand bluegill pushing 2" per pond. Stocking this late increases odds only one cohort produced per pond thus reducing size variation at harvest. Need only one spawn per pond to make that happen.


To get the YOY bluegill to 2" by late October, what and how much are you feeding? What length are the Bluegills when you change feed size (and possibly feed recipe/ingredients)?

I'm assuming hatching around Aug. 1st, that's approximately 90 days of growth.
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