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#48155 - 06/05/04 02:13 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Thanks, just so were on the same page, the bloom does come and go and it does effect clarity but the water never gets anywhere near the recomended 18-24 clarity level. Probably 7-10 inches at best.

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#48156 - 06/05/04 02:28 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Mike
I'm not a graduate of fish-stocking school - nor fishery management in general. However, after reviewing your original post, I would question the stocking of that many LMB in a 3/4 ac pond.

LMB are better utilized in larger ponds. Catfish are probably a better bet for your situation.
Also, did you frequently and regularly visit your pond after the original stockings? Every couple of days? Weekly? Monthly? Depending on the regularity of your visits, fish kills could have occured and gone unnoticed due the the efficiency in which nature can clean up the mess.

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#48157 - 06/05/04 03:23 PM Re: Pond Questions
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
Kelly, would it be of any benifit it he moved the difuser to the deepest part of the pond?
_________________________
Pond Boss Subscriber & Books Owner


If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
Ric

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#48158 - 06/05/04 04:02 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Ric - without any further information, I'd be hesitant to make that call.

If non-oxygenated water from the deeper areas is rapidly mixed with questionably-oxygenated surface water, the entire pond could be rendered into a homogenous mixture of insufficiently-oxygenated water (below the tolerance of fish).

I received four calls from clients this week reporting fish-kills - each asking "why?". The kills all appeared to be oxygen-related, but there were too many variables involved to absolutely determine the triggers. However, I believe that phytoplankton-crashes played a role in each case (along with water temps).

NOTE: none of the ponds were aerated.... two had been treated for vegetation control, but not enough time had lapsed for the herbicide to cause ANY plant mortality.... one pond had a lake dye (of unknown type) added to it the day before the fish-kill.... we had a very calm and VERY HOT Memorial Day down here.

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#48159 - 06/05/04 04:56 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
I was out fishing for a while. During the summer months were out there quite a bit. during the winter, not so much, Anything is possible there but I must say Im doubting whether a major kill went unnoticed.
I dont see it in the jar sample I took this morning but when you look in the pond it looks as though there is clouds in the water, this is what is limiting the visibility. Dont know how to explain it better.
As I said in an earlier post my son hooked onto a bass last weekend, he lost it at shore but he says it was in the 2lb range. This afternoon he was out in his chest waders and says he saw a baby LMB at the top along the shore. He probably knows more about fishing at this point than I do and theres not much bs too him so I do believe him. What that means I dont know.
As I was bobber fishing the shallow north end (2-4ft) I hooked onto 4-5 more baby cats and one more small blue gill. I think they are using this end as a spawning bed.
Without a dought this pond is full of cat fish and they have spawned. About your question on too many fish for the pond, The initial stocking was done by my hatcheries recomendation. The second stocking last year was done because we couldnt catch the BG and LMB, (sound familiar) If they are all in there,
we are over stocked for sure, but that gets us back to where we started. Are the fish gone and I need to re-stock or are they in there and were not catching them due too drastically reduced visibility??? Thats the million dollar question??
Thanks, Mike

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#48160 - 06/05/04 06:43 PM Re: Pond Questions
Don Stuart Offline
Member

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 39
Loc: Bellaire, Texas
Mike

What do you think the chances that someone might be fishing your lake while you are not out there to keep watch? It wouldnt take much fishing to put a large dent in a small fishing pond! I found someone was helping themselves to my fish during the week. (I was only there on weekends). Just a thought.

Don Stuart

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#48161 - 06/05/04 08:50 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
No chance of that, The pond is 250 ft. from my home and I have 3 great danes that would have a fit if somone was out here during the night. At least they would let us know.

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#48162 - 06/05/04 09:10 PM Re: Pond Questions
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
Mike,
In 2002 you stocked 350 bg 70 cats & 70 lmb.
For some reason you thought the fish were no longer there & in 2003 you again stocked 350 bg 100 lmb & 100 cats. Now you are wondering if they are all gone. (at least all but the cats & possibly 1, 2 lb bass & baby bass )
You had pea soup last year.
You have pea soup this year.
Pea soup is bad .. causes fish kills. This point is not speculation it is fact.
Now, some of your fish may have survived, but if most had you should be bass heavy & bg heavy & both should be easy to catch.
If you do not do whatever it takes to increase vis. in your pond to a min. of 12" & do whatever it takes to keep it above 12" it is very likely you will continue this pattern next year. IMHO your fish are already gone.
_________________________
Pond Boss Subscriber & Books Owner


If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
Ric

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#48163 - 06/05/04 10:57 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Mike - I removed a nasty insinuation from my earlier post, which asked where the stocking recommendation orginated (though I already knew).
For future reference, would you dare post the name of the hatchery?

Now, I'll step out on a concept that I never encounter down here: winter ice-overs. Has your pond iced-over during the past two winters (since fish stocking)? If so, I think that could be part of the mystery - but would prefer that someone from the northern regions comment on my speculation.

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#48164 - 06/05/04 11:51 PM Re: Pond Questions
ken Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
you would think if you had a fish kill , you would find dead fish floating , either winter or summer time. i,m back at the pond couple times a day , when a fish dies , i find it floating. sure few die you don't see , a few.
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i only wanted to have some fun

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#48165 - 06/06/04 12:07 AM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
What if the dead fish were floating under ice, but sank before the ice thawed?

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#48166 - 06/06/04 01:30 AM Re: Pond Questions
ken Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
i never had winter fish kill , but my neighbor did. he lost alot big bass and cats , after ice out they where floating. maybe the ice and cold water plays into it. they don't decompose.
_________________________
i only wanted to have some fun

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#48167 - 06/06/04 09:31 AM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
We are in south central nebraska, ponds do freeze over here, however this pond has always had an aerator in it to keep 20ft diameter hole in it. Thinking back, it was late fall of 2002 and I walked down to the pond in the early am. I saw lots of fish coming to the surface and appeared to be trying to breathe. I checked with the hatchery, (willow lake) And He instantly had an aerator shipped directly too me. I monitored the pond closely during this time.
This aereator has run ever since with the exception of a few times when I forgot to pull the cord down there after mowing (2-4 days)
Kelly when your questioning the stocking rate, Do you feel I was overstocked both times or are you looking at the total over the 2yrs?

Onto the clarity,... Yes I have too find a way to clear up this pond. The quart sample I took yesterday morning is in front of me again. I would say it is only slightly clearer, There is a small amount of grean speckles at the bottom of the jar, No where near enough to cover the bottom, just some around the bottom edge??
I hope this sheds more light, I greatly appreciate all your help!!!!!

PS. I was out there last nite bobber fishing in the shallows (bass fishing is no good and I know theres plenty of big cats) so im trying to get an idea of what the small ones are. I easily caught several more baby cats and one more very small blue gill (about 3-4in.)

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#48168 - 06/06/04 09:49 AM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Ken, I also have assumed if there was a fish kill you would find them floating and since I have not since the fall of 2002 when I found 20-30 cats and BGs and one blue gill shortly after the 2003 stocking I assumed they are in there. So I have been asking around for 2 yrs whether all dead fish will float, sink or a combination and I dont think I have ever recieved an absolute answar? If I have had a major fish kill and the dead fish indead all float then I dont think I had one but thats the million dollar question?
I have also thought about prediters eating the dead fish but with the pond semi close to the house we get very little wild birds landing on the pond. I have seen a blue heron I believe once or twice a year for the last 2yrs. you can see most of the pond from the house and I always scare them off.
Is there a way to post a picture here? Would that be helpfull??

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#48169 - 06/06/04 12:20 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Here’s one way to post pictures on this site, though there may be other methods available. Go to http://www.photobucket.com/ ; which is a free site upon which to store photos that will be made available to web-viewers. After registering, you will be shown how to upload photos into the site’s “bucket” – which is unique to the registered user. Each photo will be assigned a URL address. That URL address may then be referenced (pasted) into your posts on public boards, which readers can click to view the specifically targeted photo.

If you saw fish hitting the surface in search of O2, I don’t think you’d have 1 or 2 days to get an aerator going. As for the jar-sample, it probably isn’t replicating or paralleling what is currently occurring in your pond’s larger environment (temperature, sunlight and O2 variables).

I don’t know the answer to whether all dead fish float. Certainly, the ones that we usually see are floating – usually caused by distended swim-bladders or due to internal gases that form when decomposition occurs (or during digestive processes – I hate it when that happens!!)

Again, I have no direct experience with this theory, but I'd question whether dead/floating fish would remain isolated to a 20’ opening in the ice created by bottom-diffusers. My theory is that the mushroom-effect of water-movement could push them along, under the ice, to the outer perimeter of the pond – where their buoyancy would prevent them from following the under-current back to the central area of the pond. If so, what happens to them at the pond’s perimeter is still a mystery. Would they decompose and sink over time? Would scavengers get them immediately when the ice thawed? I don’t know.

Hey, I may be way off-base here (which is often the case when folks speculate about matters outside of their geographical or personal experience). But, everything you described sounded like a classic recipe for an oxygen crash. Now, the question is, IF an O2 crash occurred, what happened to the fish?

I don’t think you mentioned the sizes for the LMB that were stocked – on either occasion. Assuming the first round of bass died, yet some or most of the cats (1.5 lb.) survived – is it possible that the surviving cats might have made a meal out of the second stocking of bass?

That’s a lot of guessing and theories on my part. Bottom line: you need to find out if there are any/many bass still in the pond – somehow. What about doing a gill-net survey, temporarily, to see if any bass are collected? I’ve never gill-netted bass, but assume they can be collected in such manner – and returned unharmed if the net is checked frequently. Maybe the hatchery might provide some accurate guidance on this question - ??.

Speaking of: I’d do some more checking around on LMB stocking recommendations for ponds of your size. Due to their inherent nature, and relatively inefficient forage-to-body-weight conversion capabilities, bass are not considered well suited for small ponds – especially at high stocking densities. What are high stocking rates? Again, check with other qualified sources. But, 100-170 LMB in a ¾ acre pond sounds very excessive to me – particularly when the pond is co-inhabited by that many catfish.

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#48170 - 06/06/04 12:41 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Kelly, Im with you I dont think dead fish would find there way to the 20 ft hole during the winter. So upon thaw they will either be floating on the edge or have sunk.
Is there testing labs that are used for checking for pond water problems (clarity) that could advise based on fact and not speculation?? I know that there is a wards lab nearby that tested our soil core samples before pond construction.
I monitored the pond closely after I found the fish sucking for air till the time the pump was installed and I dont believe we lost any at that time. As soon as the sun would come up they would seem fine again, it was just at day break after no sun for several hours.
Are you speaking of some sort of net? Can these be purchased at cabelas?? Thanks

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#48171 - 06/06/04 12:57 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Forgot to talk about the sizes. Most of my reciepts dont tell the sizes but I will tell you what I know. The first stocking was on 5-20-02, 70 cats 350 BG and minnows. sizes are not listed but they were of the very small size 1-2in on the BG and 3-4 on the cats.
Second stocking was on 8-27-02 , 70 bass, again no size listed but we waited till august to allow the forage fish to have a chance to grow at the hatcheries advise.
The following year after finding some dead fish after a partial kill (no dead bass were found) in the late fall of 02 we waited and did some fishing the next spring and summer and came to the conclusion that the bass and BG were gone and I know we lost some cats. So on 8-18-03 we stocked 350 3-4in BG, 100 3-4in LMB and 100 4-6 in cats. He said these sizes would keep them from being eated by whats left in there.
My final reciept shows the 10 Carp that were put in on 6-3-04

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#48172 - 06/06/04 01:22 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Sorry, I don't know of anyone in your area to test pond water chemistry/nutrients. But, I did a quick search and found this dept at the UNL ( http://waterscience.unl.edu/ ). They may be able to offer some suggestions or testing labs.

As for the LMB stocking-sizes: if they can fit in a catfish's mouth, they will be eaten. Even if they won't fit, a cat may still try to eat 'em. I've found dead catfish with forage fish lodged in their mouths. Their confidence sometimes overloads their throat.

In my opinion, the 3-4" LMB were too small to stock in a pond that had 1 - 1.5 lb. cats.

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#48173 - 06/06/04 04:24 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Found a bookmarked website today showing what I used last year in an attempt to clear my water. Brand name is Crystal blue, product I used was 3 gallons of crytal plex,(chelated copper) I dont recall any significant results.
The other algae product they offer is copper sulfate crystols, would this be any better.
Using there algae identifier, I no doubt have Planktonic algea in a bad way.
Anyone have any experience with these products and know how to apply them, they talk about using a boat which we dont have.
I have to get this pond clear but I believe these products are also harmful to fish eggs, any recomendations???......Thanks

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#48174 - 06/06/04 05:30 PM Re: Pond Questions
Kelly Duffie Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 1483
Loc: Cypress, TX (Helena A-E LLC))
Crystal-Plex is the product to which I refered earlier (~TSC). Not as good as CUTRINE, in my opinion.

Stay away from copper sulfate. It does work, if only temporarily, as an algaecide. But, the short duration of algaecidal activity and the fate of the excess copper in your pond are two big strikes against it. Stick with a chelated copper algaecide - if one is used at all.

I would come closer to suggesting a microbial treatment for your pond, to help reduce the availability of nutrients that are fueling the excessive algae (instead of simply recycling the nutrients with repeated copper treatments). However, regardless of the method used to reduce the algae population, you'll need to be ever mindful of your pond's DO level.

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#48175 - 06/06/04 09:38 PM Re: Pond Questions
Inland Island Offline
Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 36
Loc: SW Ohio
Mike, you might check back with TSC--they do carry Cutrine here, now, but didn't for a year or so.

When you say you used three gallons of CP, it sounds like you are just glugging it out of the bottle into the water. I don't wonder that you didn't see much results. I dilute it and spray it on the algae, which I think is the recommended method; it is (almost) fun because it kills filamentous algae almost on contact and paddling around with a kayak the next day just dissolves it; of course, as Kelly points out, that does not eliminate the nutrient load in the water. In terms of spray methods, if things aren't too intense I use a backpack sprayer but sometimes I use a 12-volt sprayer on the tractor. If that doesn't have enough reach to cover your pond, you might consider a small, gas-powered pump (Homelite makes a decent one which TSC used to sell, and Honda makes a terrific 4-cycle model). You still have to have a stock tank or some such to use for diluting the product; TSC sells a 100-gallon one for about $80 or so. Finally, if you have a ton of algae to kill you must do the pond in sections, a week or so at a time, or you will add so much decaying mass to the water that it will deplete oxygen. Finally, I don't think that Cutrine will kill fish eggs or fry, but I don't know that for sure. I am pretty sure you can find the MSDS sheet on the web.

Also like Kelly, we use beneficial microbes to soak up nutrient load; you can actually watch 'em work on the surface stuff, and they do an amazing geometric population explosion which results consumption of considerable nutrient.

I also have several of a product called Aqua Mats, which are a sort of manufactured algae magnet--go to aquamats.com if you're interested. I am hesitant to recommend them because they are expensive and are not a silver bullet, but I do think that they help if you can stomach the expense.

We use our pond for swimming, and so I push the algae all the way back a time or two a year with Cutrine. We add microbes weekly and I also wad the stuff up if I run into it while swimming, and then add it to the compost bin or, sometimes, use it for mulch.

You've certainly gotten a passel of advice; I hope your head doesn't explode before you figure out some strategies which work for you. Good luck and best wishes!!

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#48176 - 06/07/04 03:29 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Thanks for the replies, anyone one know if the fish net kelly was talking about are available through sporting goods stores, like cabelas? something special too them.
I have an atv mounted 12 volt sprayer along with a hand pump, (that sounds time consuming) Do you need to mist onto every square inch of the pond? Niether one of these will even come close to the middle.
Last year I had a great idea and brought out my 3200 psi 4gpm power washer, when you set it to low pressure it will suck the chemical out of the jug mixing it automaticly but that still did not reach far so I drove around in the paddle boat dumping a little here and there. Guess that was wrong.
Do I want the areator on or off during this application? If so how long?
Speaking of areators, mine just crashed (not good with what I have going on) Upon checking the amp draw I pulled the manual for it to see if I could just buy the motor portion of it and saw in the blow-up that there is a part missing, THE COOLING FAN was left off in the factory! Its out of warranty but I sent it into them anyway. I predict a long wait, so has anyone ever tried a regular shop type commpressor to get them by. It would probably start and stop and the pressure would vary, thats if it would even keep up???

I was just on an old post in another forum and they mentioned cultine in a granular form. This sounds easier to apply to me? Keep in mind that my algea is planktonic, I have very litte surface algea, just algea suspended in the water?

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#48177 - 06/11/04 08:08 AM Re: Pond Questions
Inland Island Offline
Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 36
Loc: SW Ohio
Mike--I realized I gave some bad, or at least incomplete, advice--when you stand jars of water to determine whether you have clay in suspension, you need to add some alum, available at drugstores, to the water in one of the jars to see if it clarifies at a different rate than the other. If it does, you have suspension and could benefit from aluminum sulfate. I'm sorry, and I hope you're making progress on your various battle fronts!!

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#48178 - 06/11/04 06:24 PM Re: Pond Questions
Ed Richter Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 253
Loc: Houston/Brenham
I have a feeder on one pond, and I feed the fish in front of my house by hand every morning. But it takes some time for them to get used to the time and place (couple of weeks?). The ponds get muddy during the rainy seasons, but I can tell the kind of fish by the way they hit the pellets.

When I was worried about my fish being gone, I bought a minnow trap and 3'x3' seine from Academy. I never cought many minnows in the trap, but I cought plenty of mosquito fish, green sunfish and bluegill up to 2". I always seem to have better luck with the seine, with some bread tied to the mesh in the middle. I have better luck closer to the shore, with shorter, stiffer stick, when I can pull it out faster.

I hope this helps. I am going to try the flashlite at night method this weekend.

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#48179 - 06/17/04 05:28 PM Re: Pond Questions
Mike Ingram Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: NE
Talked to a gal at the USDA office the other day, she couldnt help me in the area I need and refered me to a person at the game and parks office. After having a long talk with him im convinced that I have suspended clay causing the bulk of my very low visibility problems and he said my LMB and blue gill would not do good in those conditions.
Unfortanatly, he cant help farther as he cant do private waters. He referred me on to someone at the university that could help with the water clarity issues but this person doesnt look like he is going to return my call.
I dont really know where to turn. The water issues need to be resolved before I worry about where my bass and bg are. I wish there were somebody local that could be hired to come look at the pond ,test the water and tell me what to do. Im going to call a local lab next but I was told that without being able to tell them what to test for I would be shooting in the dark. Any Ideas?

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