This small 1/20th acre pond takes a new direction today.
The only fish stocked have been RES, FHM and GS. Somewhere along the line GSF got into the pond and I have been managing them by removal, both hook and line (for the ones that make it to larger size) and minnow traps.
I was afraid the GSF had gotten the upper hand and were on the verge of taking over. I was ready to throw in the towel next year, pump it down, seine it, and nuke it. I had removed ten or twelve 5-6" GSF and had been trapping lots of GSF fingerlings and only a few RES. But then I got out the cast net and removed over 400 3" nominal RES fingerlings over a couple weeks and was still getting quite a few with the net when I quit. And rarely a GSF in the cast net.
So I learned something. Minnow traps and fishing are not reliable ways to evaluate a RES vs GSF population, because the GSF are much more aggressive toward hook and line and are much more likely to go into a minnow trap for fish food. The reality turned out to be I had lots of RES in the pond and a much smaller population of GSF and have been able to reduce the GSF population down to the point I can no longer catch them by line and am only getting the occasional one in the minnow trap.
So change of plans. No nuking the pond next summer.
Instead I put 10 6"-9" SMB in this small pond. This is the first time this pond has had an apex predator.
Where will I go from here with this tiny pond? Not sure. Originally its purpose was to raise FHM and RES fingerlings to supplement RES stocking in my main pond. Once I introduced the GS, between the RES and GS the FHM pretty well went by the wayside. Now I have lots of GS and rarely catch a FHM. I have managed to put several hundred RES fingerlings from this pond into both my main pond and also more recently my RES only pond.
But now with the one acre RES only pond, I should in the future have all the RES fingerlings I need from it. So raising RES fingerlings in this tiny pond would be redundant.
So I am not sure what direction I will head with it. I may fish the SMB out after they get enough size to avoid predation in my main pond and put them there. Or I might just leave the SMB in this tiny pond and see how they perform. They have enough GS in this pond to almost walk on. At least for the first 6 months or maybe a year they should be well fed. Maybe I will see if I can get some SMB recruitment in this pond. The pond is almost entirely lined with crushed rock so maybe they would find suitable spawning sites.
Don't know. No specific goals yet. Think I will just observe for a while and see what shakes out. I know "no goals" is kind of anathema to this forum. But maybe specifically "no goal" is a goal in this case???
Whatever the case, I think I will have some more fun with this 1/20th acre pond.