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#454517 - 08/21/16 12:05 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: crashadp
So now I got turned away from HBG, explained I had all predators and HBG will be green sungish in 6 years. Now stocking 500 BG 1-3", 600 YP 2-3", 100 RES, 100 CC, hopefully 100 SMB later if I can get them. I am a little concerned the BG will spawn next year and YP and SMB not for a couple years. Should I be concerned with BG management? There is a lot of tall weed cover.


I'm on year 8 with no GSF.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#454550 - 08/21/16 11:15 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: Bill Cody]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
I'm told different things everytime I talk to someone. I agree that bluegill control will be my concern. The aquaculturist I got the fish from told me I should just establish bluegill for forage this year and add predators ( smallmouth and perch next year.) He also said I should stock a 5:1 bluegill to predator ratio. This didn't sound right since i dont have LMB so I asked to get more perch than he suggested. He also said my smallmouth won't reproduce so I'm concerned with that now. I'm hoping I can get smallmouth since he said they are hard to come by. I don't want to add LMB, so thinking about getting a few HSB which he advised against saying they would clean everthing out. In which case I could just catch them and take them out if that did happen in my opinion. The weed cover I'm referring to and that is in the pic may be temporary once they are under water I'm guessing that will kill a lot off, I just don't know. I will probably contact TJ if he doesn't chime in but what is stocked is stocked. I probably just should of talked to only him but this guy had most of the fish and was pretty adamant to do things a certain way. Last resort I can always add LMB later prob losing my perch ending up with what I have in all our smaller ponds. I still feel I can manage the pond somewhat, I love to fish and move fish to ponds that need them and so does family so if there are to many bluegill or perch I will catch them and eat or move them. I'm not looking for a pond that just 100% manages itself, that's what I love doing. I was just hoping to have a pond I can catch fish I don't have everywhere.

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#454555 - 08/22/16 12:15 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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If you put some spawning habitat in there for the Smallies, they will spawn and reproduce. No worries. A client had some excavator buckets of 2"-3" river rock spread in 5-6 areas around one of the ponds, and while it isn't the best habitat, the SMB are reproducing in that pond.

Talk to TJ. He can set you on the correct path. If you want SMB and haven't stocked the BG yet, don't stock the BG. I think you can accomplish a lot by having the proper habitat and cover in the pond for the forage fish (YP included) and have SMB/HSB.

If you talk to the guy that said SMB wouldn't reproduce, ask him why they won't reproduce and ask for specifics.
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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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#454556 - 08/22/16 01:45 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Lincoln, NE
SMB can reproduce even in absence of rock/gravel for beds - I have beds fanned on clay in my main pond every year. Myself and several others have documented SMB beds on clay on the forum in the past.

HSB will not "clean everything out", depending on stocking density, they are an apex predator but pelagic in nature and limited by a fairly small gape. Feeding HSB is a great way to ensure fast growth and also to help relieve pressure on the forage base.

HBG will not revert to GSF in 6 years - still a good idea as insurance to add HBG genetics every few years however.

The fishery advice you received, in my opinion, was not based on direct fishery management experience of these specific species.

Spent an hour providing consultation plus sent a detailed stocking strategy based on personal experience in addition to 8 years of forum research derived from fishery biologists nationwide in an effort to help. Not sure what else I can do at this point. I tried my best to help.


_________________________
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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#454559 - 08/22/16 07:07 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: teehjaeh57]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
I am just going to throw this comment out there, more or less to remind ALL those that may be reading this that are thinking/planning stocking. The main contributors to this forum that have been doing this for years rarely get any benefit back from their years of knowledge. They aren't trying to sell you fish. Those that stock fish are doing the opposite, they want/need to sell fish, sometimes even selling you more than you need. Then if you have a stocking plan that is a bit "out of the box" thinking, your regular fish stocker won't have a clue to long term success. Again, the folks here are trying a lot of the different scenarios and know first hand what things work and don't, and what they would do differently if re-doing it.

Having said that, I bet a lot of the folks here that are pioneers in different stocking strategies where looked upon as "not listening". Because of them, we all know so much more of what works and what don't, and it also brings forth new ideas that someone may try.

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#454562 - 08/22/16 07:37 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
RAH Online   content
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I sure appreciate all the high quality advice that I have benefited from on this forum, and the folks that take the time to share their expertise. My SMB/YP pond is still too young to evaluate, and I stocked very very lightly. I think the most "successful" pond bosses are those that enjoy the process and their ponds (as measured in "smile-days").

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#454563 - 08/22/16 08:18 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for the advice as it is appreciated. I added a couple loads of gravel already and am going to add some bigger rocks to try to make a few beds to aid in SMB spawning. I will look at adding a few HSB also if I can get them as they will be an exciting addition.

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#454571 - 08/22/16 08:41 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: West Michigan
I too concur that TJ and a host of other fishery biologists, algae experts, stocking experts, water quality experts, and pond bosses in general can tell you everything you need to know if one takes the time to push away the pre-conceived notions and just listen. I too was confused with the state DNR advice being so different from advice here.

The state still has one mantra, stock channel cats, BG, HBG and hundreds of bass. That would have been terrible advice for most people on this forum.

Patience, patience! I'm in my third year of managing my puddle and the learning curve still is steep. I'm thrilled with the advice I got here. I was going to put predators in during the end of year 2 but in comparing notes with others on the forum, they had piles of forage, clouds of minnows and I did not see that yet. Fast forward to summer of the 3rd year and now I'm starting to see clouds of shiner minnows, my perch have had a tiny hatch the first year and a bigger hatch the 2nd year, my RES did not spawn till this year and now seeing tiny RES. Things are shaping up. None and I mean NONE of this would have happened if I took the advice of the state and put channel cats and 150 LMB in last year or even (horrors) the year before as they advised.

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#454581 - 08/22/16 09:22 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
fish n chips Offline


Registered: 09/06/11
Posts: 2315
Loc: Northeast Ohio
It is very hard to go to a fish hatchery/seller and not go overboard. Why is that?... Like a kid in a candy shop who wants everything and knows that it will make you sick in the end. You go to the hatchery with a very set plan, and they start talking about this way or that and I get so lured in that it is very hard to resist. It takes a lot of restrain (at least for me). If I only had an unlimited amount of ponds.......

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#454585 - 08/22/16 09:46 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: teehjaeh57]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
SMB can reproduce even in absence of rock/gravel for beds - I have beds fanned on clay in my main pond every year. Myself and several others have documented SMB beds on clay on the forum in the past.


TJ, in your experience, what is the reproduction success of the SMB that bedded on the clay substrate vs. the rocky substrate?

RAH, I have a client that stocked his ponds at a lighter than normal stocking rate, and those ponds don't seem to be doing as well as the ponds that were stocked at the rate that is recommended here for forage and predators. I don't know if it is the predators in there not allowing the forage to grow large enough to reproduce in sufficient numbers or what the problem is. The predator fish just don't seem to have the growth rate (even though they were stocked light too) that I typically see in other ponds.
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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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#454602 - 08/22/16 11:18 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
crashadp - you will get numerous opinions of what to do for stocking. Decide on your goals then seek advice that will dependably produce those goals. Be very leery of advice from fish hatchery farmers whose business is to grow & SELL primarily small fish and have little experience managing communities of adult fish. Seek second opinions, and when two or three opinions match, the the info is likely sound. We here specialize in managing adult fish as sport fish.

Do not stock BG initially with the SMB as the main predator. YOU can readily grow tremendous reproducing SMB if they are trained to eat fish pellets. First try other combinations. You can always very easily add BG later if needed, but you can't get them out if needed short of pond renovation.

It is hard to keep SMB from reproducing in a pond when LMB are absent. LMB strongly suppress success of Smallies in ponds. Too many predators of the SMB fry including aggressive sunfish will significantly suppress SMB recruitment into juvenile smallies.


Edited by Bill Cody (08/22/16 11:23 AM)
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#454629 - 08/22/16 03:25 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: esshup]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
SMB can reproduce even in absence of rock/gravel for beds - I have beds fanned on clay in my main pond every year. Myself and several others have documented SMB beds on clay on the forum in the past.


TJ, in your experience, what is the reproduction success of the SMB that bedded on the clay substrate vs. the rocky substrate?

RAH, I have a client that stocked his ponds at a lighter than normal stocking rate, and those ponds don't seem to be doing as well as the ponds that were stocked at the rate that is recommended here for forage and predators. I don't know if it is the predators in there not allowing the forage to grow large enough to reproduce in sufficient numbers or what the problem is. The predator fish just don't seem to have the growth rate (even though they were stocked light too) that I typically see in other ponds.


I have two ponds with SMB recruitment - my main pond and the SMB reproduction pond. In the main pond there are a few areas of limestone cobble and SMB spawn there annually, but I also see 1-2 beds on fanned clay. The YOY stick relatively close to the Male guarding the bed, so I can determine if eggs made it or not, and do witness larval schools on/near the clay beds.

In the repro pond I never had a SMB pair try to bed on clay, only used my designed rock beds - which suggests they prefer rock to clay.

What I suspect is that SMB prefer rock substrate, but are willing to utilize clay if necessary. I strongly suspect hatching success is also improved on rock substrate due to oxygenation and reduced siltation, yet have evidence of successful hatching on clay as well.

Fisheries depending on SMB recruitment should create rocky areas minimally, or create beds based on design I created or similar to increase odds of SMB recruitment.

However, lack of rock does not mean one will never see SMB recruitment. The reason I raise this issue is to help educate those who would otherwise believe the lack of rock means zero SMB recruitment. If they are basing their fishery management strategy on this detail, important to understand SMB recruitment is possible, regardless of presence of rock. Might alter their game plan somewhat.
_________________________
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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#454631 - 08/22/16 03:36 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Per my initial consultation, BG management with limited gape predators will be difficult and ongoing, day after day, month after month, season after season. This is why I recommended RES [and possibly HBG if you really wanted an aggressive panfish to target]. RES far less fecund than BG, and 97% of HBG are male...what this means is both species are far easier to manage, if management is needed at all aside from removing female HBG and introducing some new HBG genetics from time to time. Also per my previous post, RES/HBG hybridization may occur, but I have them myself and they do not present an issue in any way - rather they grow quite large and are cool looking fish. Scott you remember that behemoth we sampled in the fyke net?

_________________________
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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#454646 - 08/22/16 06:43 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: teehjaeh57]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
I will work on creating some beds with larger rocks on the gravel that is already there to help with SMB spawning. I will do some at various depths as I don't know where the water level will sustain itself yet.

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#454658 - 08/22/16 09:08 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: esshup]
RAH Online   content
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I have a lot of small GSH in my pond based on numbers of small fish seen and on minnow trap catches. I caught fewer small YP and FHM. I am guessing that 10 SMB in an acre pond with vegetation will not be too hard on the forage until they spawn.

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#454670 - 08/23/16 01:34 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Beds should be placed in varying depths 2-6' depths. I like elevating mine off the pond bottom to help reduce siltation process using cinder blocks and pallets. My design is somewhere on the forum archives - work very well keeping beds clean and SMB love them.
_________________________
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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#454671 - 08/23/16 02:26 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: teehjaeh57]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Thank you, I saw that post earlier and will try to create a similar setup for the SMB. I have access to a bunch of rocks 6-12" diameter so will use those for the outside. BTW, what size will they spawn? My thought of getting smaller SMB this year was financial related, expecting them to be the 4-6" next year, which was recommended to stock next fall. I do realize they will eat some FHM until they get to next fall but there are a ton of FHM and figured 100 2-4" SMB wouldn't consume that many before next fall since all the fish being stocked are really small and FHM will continue reproducing until the fish get a little bigger (next fall hopefully).

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#454674 - 08/23/16 07:35 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1313
Loc: NE Missouri
I can't tell if my SMB spawned or not. Too many tadpoles to use any fish traps. They just fill every type of trap up immediately. Lots of large schools of tiny fish swimming around. A lot of feeding going on also. From the surface I see little fish jumping out of the water, followed by the swirls of the larger fish. I'm hoping the GSH, FHM, YP, and RES have been productive. The HBG, not so much. I built SMB beds when the pond was filling, but I do not think they were used. I have 2" gravel above 4-6" rock, and I think I need another layer of even smaller rock.
I certainly love catching the SMB and eating the YP.. The action at the feeder is amazing. Food is all consumed in seconds. (Might all be the HBG, I don't know.)
I still haven't caught a HSB yet, but I've had a few strikes that are very strong.. Just haven't got one in yet.
I really recommend this stocking scenario. I've fished many ponds with BG, LMB, and CC. They are great too, it's just fun having something different. YP especially if you like eating fish. I do..
_________________________
4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#454779 - 08/25/16 12:26 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: Bill Cody]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Not expecting to recieve a response in time, but if I do, great. I dug out a bunch of rocks today at our old farm house about 1/4 mile away from the dam. Moving them tomorrow. Wondering if I should use them all to make the perimeter of SMB beds, adding gravel inside, or put them on the dam for minnows, etc. I'm thinking making 6 or so beds and rest on the dam from water edge to 10' deep. I'm guessing there will be about 5 loader buckets full if we could haul full bucket loads. Not a whole lot but I'm not using them for anything else. Rocks are 6" to 24" diameter.

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#454780 - 08/25/16 12:40 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Been raising SMB for several years, here's what I've learned:

Would not create beds on pond bottom of NE clay pond, they will work at first but after a few seasons they will silt in over time and become buried under silt/muck/organic material and become lost/useless. Elevate beds using pallets and cinderblocks on front end [if you have a steep slope] per my post/photos somewhere in the forum. Ring with cinderblocks horseshoe shape keeping front open. On pallet place plastic mesh 1/2" - 1" [wider the better allowing silt to flow through and not accumulate] and add 1-3" rock for bed 2"+ thick - not gravel. I do not recommend gravel, it will become very compact and does not allow silt to flow through beds, silt will accumulate on beds. Further, per Cody coarse rock allows eggs to remain oxygenated and prevents siltation which can smother them. Suggest using 1-3" rock for beds and cinderblocks for bed ring.

Blocks are better suited for bed ring as they won't roll/move. I would identify the area of the pond receiving most wave action and place the rocks on shoreline to help prevent erosion. Better suited for that IMO than making bed ring.

Learned this the hard way through trial and error over 8 seasons of SMB reproduction - elevated beds in NE clay ponds is the way to go.
_________________________
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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#454784 - 08/25/16 01:25 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: teehjaeh57]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Thanks for the input, I was going to put these on the 20' x 100' gravel we put on top of the clay. I have pallets at the dam already but was going to keep the nails out of the pond for possibility of future swimming but I can do that. I have some cinder blocks but thought these might serve same purpose. I will just put these rocks on the shoreline. I will just need to get some mesh and 1-3" rock quick since water is getting close to where I need to put them.

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#454805 - 08/25/16 04:58 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Gravel placed on clay bottom without benefit of landscape fabric will integrate into the pond bottom and disappear into muck in a few seasons, just fyi. Just a fact of pond life in NE. I have several 3-6" limestone "fields" in my pond, and after 8 years they are entirely buried in organic material/silt. I receive very little runoff in the pond, also. Just trying to manage your expectations. The large rock [8-12"+] placed deeper is still free of silt and isn't buried nearly as much. Building a beach in a clay pond is somewhat of an undertaking, several posts on forum discussing the process. Bottom line, it's not as easy as we'd like it to be. If you want gravel/rock to remain separate form pond bottom in NE one needs to elevate it, use larger rock, or employ landscape fabric.
_________________________
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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#466334 - 03/10/17 02:50 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Since I'm going against the tried and true methods with some of my management, I will send updates on how things are going. Last fall I created about 12 spawning beds for SMB. I made about 2-3' circles with 12"-24" boulders and filled them with about 8" of 2-4" rock because that is what I had easily available. I had previously stocked FHM earlier and there were millions of them. In Sept-Nov I stocked 500 2-3" BG, 600 2-3" YP, 100 3-4" RES, 100 2" CC, and 200 5-7" SMB. I don't expect anything to spawn this season except the BG probably but I will be fishing anyway so I can watch the progress. I plan on managing BG populations heavily, and don't have a problem with that. I will look into HSB possibly in the near future. The pond just started running through the tube this week so it filled a year or 2 faster than I expected. We dug a few different holes and piles with the excavator to create additional contour throughout the pond. I also have hardwood and cedar trees placed throughout. I have been taking pictures throughout so will upload some pics at some point.

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#466336 - 03/10/17 03:02 PM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12520
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Good update and good progress. At 2 years old, I suspect the RES and YP might spawn in 2017. I'm guessing somewhere in the group of 600 small perch there were some larger ones of +/-4". I've seem 4"YP have eggs. You will be surprised at how much those stocked fish will grow in 2017.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/10/17 03:05 PM)
_________________________
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#477332 - 07/31/17 10:44 AM Re: New Pond Recommendation Smallmouth [Re: crashadp]
crashadp Offline


Registered: 07/01/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Nebraska
Went fishing a couple times the past few weeks and first time fished with crawlers and caught 9 perch, 7-8". They were 2-3" last fall! Last time just used rubber worm and caught 8 SMB 10-11", they were 5-7" last fall. Everything is really fat and still seeing millions of minnows. Those SMB were a blast to catch. Haven't caught any BG or RES yet, but saw a couple BG, guessing they are only 5-6". No catfish but they were about 1" last fall. After a couple years, still may throw in some HBCP and/or HSB.

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