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#484711 - 12/30/17 09:25 AM adjusting the game plan as needed
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Will, it's going to get pretty cold here in E Texas in the next day or so. Weather guys are talking in the teens. So, it got me to thinking about pond forage adjustments in about 60 days or so. And in order to think things out, I thought I would throw this out there for some discussion. First off, I found a 2 to 3 lb Tp dead and floating yesterday. I thought they had been gone for a couple of weeks, guess not. I also found a 1" tfs dead and floating next to the Tp. I think that was a fluke and not that all the tfs are dead. Its not that cold yet, but it might be in a few days after this cold weather passes. I will be checking temps after this cold spell. So, here is where my thoughts are this morning. With a little history, last March we did an e-shock survey and found out I was short of 2 to 3" cnbg. I expect the same this coming March 1st. Hay, they have been feed on all winter with no reproduction. I did see a 2"er about two weeks ago, dead and floating, so I know I had a late spawn of cnbg. Anyway, low numbers of small cnbg expected and if my tfs don't make it? Last year the tfs help me get through the low cnbg numbers. But if no Tfs, then where to start with inserting more forage into the pond? If I wait till April for Tp, that is a month or more with a low forage count and my lmb will or may be coming up short on Wr. And that is not the desired path I want. I have been thinking of restocking the Tfs and will do it if suppliers don't lose their breeders due to cold weather. I have also been looking at Gshad, I think most of my lmb(15 to 17") are in the size range needed for gizzards and some of my Hsb are getting close to being big enough to help in control of the gshad. But I have also given some Gsh some serious thought, instead of Gshad. I am thinking I can get one or so of the forage fish into the pond by mid Feb. Just thinking outloud here guys. Where to go from here?
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#484722 - 12/30/17 12:55 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2334
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Tracy I think the overnight temps are made worse by the daytime temperature staying low with lots of clouds. It don't look any better for the week coming up. I had a small school of tfs this summer but probably will lose them . I have golden shiners - I think- that will help fill the void . I guess we will have to wait until spring to see who survived...... fun ain't it.

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#484737 - 12/31/17 07:15 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Pat, Fun, I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong, I love the pond but it has made me a Worry Wort frown I never worried about much before the pond. But to reach my goals I worry about this and worry about that. You know, things like when to stop feeding, water to cold or water to green. Is there the right amount of forage and is the forage the kind of forage to grow Big lmb and big Hsb? Soft rays or spiny rays, can they get it in their mouths without choking? Are they burning too much energy with too small of forage? And what about how many pounds of predators per acres are in the darn pond? I have yet to figure that one out. And oh yea! How cold is the water, are my TFS going to make it? lol Ok, Pat, how do you like the Golden shiners? I have some in my forage pond and I have seen one in the big pond(from bucket stocking 3 yrs ago). But I was thinking if the TFS go by the wayside, then what about heavy stocking of GSH and in doing research, the Gshad may not be a bad deal considering my goals. I feel like a flip flop, not knowing which way I want to take the pond when it comes to forage.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#484739 - 12/31/17 07:41 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4842
Loc: SE Kansas
LOL

Tracy......

Deep breath, take two issues of Pond Boss Magazine, and call Dr Bill Cody in the morning if conditions do not improve. laugh

I don't think your conditions are serious, but you may need professional help. grin
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John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#484742 - 12/31/17 08:02 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
It's funny and I am glad I can laugh at it all smile I wished I was down in the Carib with ya. We used to make a lot of trips down there. And it's cold here. I told my wife I was ready to go back, I love wade fishing for Bones and I snorkel now, much easier than all the tanks etc. She told me we have done enough traveling lol. She does not want to leave the Great grand baby. I love the kid but it was not in my plans to raise another. I would much rather be where u r at snrub.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#484743 - 12/31/17 09:38 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4842
Loc: SE Kansas
I miss going out to my own pond each day, but not when there is weather at home like there is now.

Only ice I want to see is the cubes in my drink! grin

I see a school of bonefish out here in the shallows every once in a while.

Daughter just came down today so will be diving with her for a couple weeks.


Attachments
rsz_pc210222-1.jpg (96 downloads)
Description: Two Red Hind in a turf discussion

rsz_pc210219-2.jpg (93 downloads)
Description: Invasive Lionfish




Edited by snrub (12/31/17 09:50 AM)
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#484745 - 12/31/17 10:01 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: snrub]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2334
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Tracy, I don't see the shiners unless the pond overflows, then I scoop them up downstream. Sometimes I see small fish jumping out in open water with a larger fish after it, really not sure what they are but guessing that since it's a single fish and fairly fast it's a shiner but I might be wrong. Agree that you should take a deep breath and look to the east in the morning -- the sun will come up-- meaning don't make this work , have fun and see what happens and then make adjustments. Mother Nature is purdy sharp.... just needs a little tweaking now and again. IMO (not very Valuable)

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#484753 - 12/31/17 04:42 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
Great pics ! TGW take time to smell the roses and don't worry so much.
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#484760 - 12/31/17 07:02 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5580
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Tracy,

What to do for sustainable supplemental forage is always an interesting discussion to me. Up here, the easiest to source are GSH. You guys have TFS, GSH or GSD to choose from. I understand the GSH have the ovarian parasite issue after their second year but besides that they seem to be an easily maintained forage. Is having GSH 2 years+ that put their energy into growing larger for your LMB instead of spawning a bad thing? My understanding is TFS can be difficult to maintain, move, source, etc. so what is the attraction of TFS over GSH?

Snrub,

Great pics! My compliments to your bride!
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#484769 - 01/01/18 07:29 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Ewest, "smelling the roses" I do take that time smile but when we have hard freeze cold weather warnings here it gives me time to set back and plan ahead "just in case" lol. Hay, do u guys north of here get winter weather warnings? Snrub, never seen a lion fish in the wild, Tell the wifey nice pics. And what size or weight are the bones u see, if u had to guess? Bill D, I ask the same question when it comes to the GSH and the TFS. I expect to lose my TFS every 3 or 4 yrs and so I am looking at the Gsh and maybe next year the Gshad. I did have or I do have around a thousand GSH in my forage pond, not sure how they are doing right now.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

Top
#484774 - 01/01/18 10:03 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4842
Loc: SE Kansas
The bonefish schools I see are working the 10'-20' deep water sand/rubble from the shore line to the reef drop off. I think it is probably one or two schools that work this area of the island. Usually in groups of 10-15. They will spread out some to feed on the bottom but stay within close proximity. If you spook then they will gather up and leave. A very wary fish. Most in the 18" size range give or take. No good on guessing their weights.

Fifteen years ago lionfish were rare to non existant in the Caribbean. Now I see one on virtually every dive and often several. Lionfish hunters regularly spearfish them and keep the numbers relatively low to keep them from getting out of hand, but there is no getting rid of them. They have been spotted around Bonaire to almost 600' depths by submarine survey. Have friends that will come out to this house reef and thin them if I start seeing too many. He likes to make ceveche with them but I prefer my fish cooked. grin They are very tasty with a light flaky flesh. They are served on the menu on the island at several places. To clean them you simply use a pair of scissors to clip off the poisionious spines, then they clean like an ordinary fish. Get hit, even scratched, by one of the spines and it is very painful for quite a while. Something similar to what a bumble bee sting might be. Super sharp solid spines surrounded by a skin tube with the poision rising up around the spine via the tube. They are very docile because of their lack of fear of predation. If they have not been shot at by a spear gun (they learn quickly if missed) you can get within a couple inches of their spines. They just watch you and flare their spines out like in the picture. They also use their fins (only a few of the fins have poisionous spines) flared to herd small fish into ambush. They suck their prey in like a LMB. Pretty fish though.


Edited by snrub (01/01/18 10:13 AM)
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#484775 - 01/01/18 10:06 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Eric and others, It's cold outside so I'm inside and thinking things over and wanted an opinion. Look see what u think. My pond will be 3.5 yrs old this coming April. A little over 3 acres. And I was just wondering what u thought about adding a good number of GSH along with Tp to the pond this spring (April 1st)? As of right now, I see the pond like this. Good numbers of 5" to 8" cnbg along with some res( I see 5" size on occasion but never any larger ones). HSB in the 10" to 17" range guessing somewhere between 30 to 40 maybe. The HSB count is based on 2 and a half yrs of stocking around 20 each spring and fall along with counting the dead ones I find floating over the last couple of yrs. The LMB, I am pretty sure I am at or around 30 to 40 lmb per acre at a 2.5 pound average. I am pretty sure I have around 3 or 5 lmb in the 5 to 6 pound range. Pond has a lot of small TFS and not many breeders, and after this cold spell I may not have any. One thing I have noticed with the TFS is they seem to run pretty small and that tells me the larger ones are getting hit pretty hard. Larger size, I'm talking 3 to 4" range. I would like to see some 4 to 6" sized TFS or GSH in the pond. So, looking at this I might be predator heavy but HSB and LMB look really healthy. So, I was thinking of getting some larger sized GSH along with some 2" sized and adding them to the pond. If I can find some larger sized GSH. I also plan to reduce lmb numbers through fishing and removing males, starting late February.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

Top
#484783 - 01/01/18 11:18 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
With using normal stocking numbers (which you likely don't have - you have more) you are at the point where initial growth is maxed out. The fish will still grow but pond has reached carrying capacity. So harvest and population mgt is now critical. Watch the results of RW , catch results and electroshock closely and harvest accordingly. I think you are on point with adding or improving forage size. TFS are great for small to med sized LMB but not for big (5+ lb) LMB. TFS don't live long 2 yrs max and 6 in is about the max and only for a %. You might want to drop back on HSB #s to 10 for a year or two and assess #s and mortality. IMO 100 HSB or less is enough in your situation. Remember that the status of your forage is a good indicator of what the predators look like. If larger forage declines it likely means those 4-5 lb LMB don't have enough to eat to grow bigger. They need 6 to 8 inch forage. Do not remove your initial LMB and harvest from gen 2 and 3 etc. That becomes harder to do (id original stockers) as the 2 and 3 yr olds get to 4-5 lbs. You will likely need larger GSH and tilapia as you move forward.
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#484811 - 01/02/18 07:32 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Thank you Eric. I agree with your forage recommendations. I feel like I need to increase the size of the forage fish, with the exception of the CNBG. I am watching CNBG size and their numbers for any indication of reduced numbers.

Here is a little more background information. Pond was originally stocked Fall of 2014 with 1,000 cnbg per acre and 600 res per acre along with 90 lbs of fhm. Followed by spring stocking of Camelot Bell fingerlings. Ten months later in March 2016, we shocked pond and discovered low lmb numbers, We shocked up 5 lmb, two had crazy growth at 3.5 lbs in 10 months. We restocked with 100 lbs of yoy Texas Lonestar Legacy LMB, (10 to 14"). We followed up with another shock a year later(last March) and returned 25 lmb back into the pond. We did not have lmb reproduction in 2016. We added another 100 lbs of yoy lmb in the 10 to 14
" size with the plan to monitor and remove males or low performing lmb.

I hope this gives a better picture of the lmb in the pond. And as far as additional forage, I went with 12 lbs per acre of Tp last April. It seemed to work out, any recommendation on stocking numbers this next April? And what about numbers of GSH, any suggestions?
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#484813 - 01/02/18 08:00 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4842
Loc: SE Kansas
That is some serious amount of forage stocked!
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John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#484818 - 01/02/18 08:42 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: snrub]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Originally Posted By: snrub
That is some serious amount of forage stocked!


Snrub, We went with around 40 cnbg for each lmb fingerling stocked. Greg Grimes numbers so to speak. And then we had low survival of lmb fingerlings for the next 10 months and that gave up more cnbg forage. And with 3 TH feeders going the cnbg stayed pretty healthy.

When we did the shock last March our WR average on the lmb was 120. But like Eric said, we are maxed out(most likely) right now and will need to do some culling as soon as the water warms up on mid to late Feb. But here is something I learned from Al(fireishot). Al and I met at the PBC in Dallas on lake Ray Hubbard. While visiting on the patio area, he told me when forage numbers are high the lmb are harder to catch. He was right on! I don't know if it is due to high forage rates or because the lmb are 100% Florida but they can be hard to catch most of the time.


Edited by TGW1 (01/02/18 08:44 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

Top
#484835 - 01/02/18 01:27 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4842
Loc: SE Kansas
Well it stands to reason, if a LMB is well fed and not hungry, it is less likely to strike for hungar reasons at least. We know they strike for other reasons also, like territorial. But if I were surrounded by smorgasboard all day, it would be hard for someone to tempt me with another piece of food.
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I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#484839 - 01/02/18 02:07 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1432
Loc: Central Kansas
Originally Posted By: TGW1
Ewest, "smelling the roses" I do take that time smile but when we have hard freeze cold weather warnings here it gives me time to set back and plan ahead "just in case" lol. Hay, do u guys north of here get winter weather warnings? Snrub, never seen a lion fish in the wild, Tell the wifey nice pics. And what size or weight are the bones u see, if u had to guess? Bill D, I ask the same question when it comes to the GSH and the TFS. I expect to lose my TFS every 3 or 4 yrs and so I am looking at the Gsh and maybe next year the Gshad. I did have or I do have around a thousand GSH in my forage pond, not sure how they are doing right now.


We get the hard freeze warnings for the very first hard freeze here in KS.

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#484840 - 01/02/18 02:10 PM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
The reason F-1s were first started by hatcheries was because they had clients with Fla LMB stocked for several years and could not catch them. They called and told the hatcheries that they had no LMB and when the electroshock survey was done there were hundreds of large very healthy Fla LMB that no one could catch.
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#484867 - 01/03/18 07:57 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Western Kansas can get cold when adding the wind chill up there. Whew!
And Eric, I may add some Northerns to the pond in the future but for right now the path I chose may be working out, it's just to early to tell. I think the Texas Lonestar Legacies from Todd Overton would be more catchable if there were not so much forage. It' kinda of like shooting myself in the foot so to speak. In order to have extra large lmb in the shortest possible time, it takes high forage count of the correct size forage. And when doing that, it may make the lmb harder to catch on artificial baits. At the PBC on Ray Hubbard they spoke of Couch potato bass, never have to get off the couch to eat. I was new to all this and did not realize they might be harder to catch. Hay! So I might not be the sharpest pencil in the box. smile So, the purpose of the Hsb was to add additional, fast growing, hard fighting catchable fish to the pond. But, as I take this path I come to a part of the road I need assistance or support in my game plan, it is sure nice to have you and others here to help. Like Bill D asked, what is the attraction of TFS over GSH? I had or have the TFS but now I think I need the larger GSH. And if I go with the GSH and add them to a pond that has had no reproduction of lmb in the last two springs, how is that going to play out?
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#484870 - 01/03/18 08:07 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 795
Loc: in the mountains
Originally Posted By: TGW1
And if I go with the GSH and add them to a pond that has had no reproduction of lmb in the last two springs, how is that going to play out?


I may have missed it, but why has there been no LMB reproduction in the last two Springs? Just curios.
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#484872 - 01/03/18 08:27 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2347
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
A couple of possibilities as I understand it for no reproduction. Too many cnbg in a new pond that has no vegetation for the fry to survive. Cnbg are eating the fry. 2nd, when there are high numbers of bg the lmb will not nest, knowing there will be no reproduction. Sounds crazy doesn't it?
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

Top
#484874 - 01/03/18 08:53 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 795
Loc: in the mountains
Wow! That does sound pretty crazy!
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#484883 - 01/03/18 10:00 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3804
Loc: Emory TX
Originally Posted By: TGW1
A couple of possibilities as I understand it for no reproduction. Too many cnbg in a new pond that has no vegetation for the fry to survive. Cnbg are eating the fry. 2nd, when there are high numbers of bg the lmb will not nest, knowing there will be no reproduction. Sounds crazy doesn't it?

Tracy, you know this is the same scenario as the almost mythical female only LMB pond. I hate this for you, but I am interested to see how this all plays out.

Are you getting another electroshocking this spring?
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AL

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#484886 - 01/03/18 10:15 AM Re: adjusting the game plan as needed [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
TFS are good for small to medium sized LMB but big LMB don't tend to focus on that size forage. GSH get much bigger than TFS but they are not easy to establish in an existing LMB/BG situation. Also hatchery raised GSH can have reproduction problems. Tilapia may be your best option.
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