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#485203 - 01/13/18 08:47 AM YP management in SMB pond
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Wanting advice on YP removal. My 1 acre SMP/YP/GSH pond seems to have many small YP. The pond was stocked in consecutive years with 10 SMB per year and I tried fishing last summer for a very short time and caught a 14"+ SMB and then stopped fishing to prevent any injury to my few stockers. I also caught a 6-7" GSH (on a small hard bait). I saw/see many small fish (1-3") along the banks so assumed their was plenty of food for everything (good amount of plant and brush cover). A couple heavy rain events pushed a couple hundred 4-6" YP out the tube last spring/summer as well (I returned what survived to pond). My neighbor just ice fished and caught about a half dozen small YP. I have a breeding population of YP and wonder if there is any harm in removing as many as I can fishing to help prevent stunting? I know this is limited information, but I am lucky to have a neighbor who will follow directions so if I give him a maximum number or size instructions, he will follow them. Would adding 10 HSB cause any problems for the SMB or help by limiting egg stealing? Recommendations are appreciated.


Edited by RAH (01/13/18 09:15 AM)

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#485206 - 01/13/18 10:41 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
One option would be to feed the YP to add size and harvest accordingly. Another is to harvest some YP by net to sell as advanced size YP are often in demand. Be sure of all the populations status before implementing a plan. Also YP are more active in winter than many species.
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#485209 - 01/13/18 11:50 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1893
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
How would one recommend netting yellow perch?

They tend to be in deep water suspended or on the bottom.

I have tried to trap them but with little luck.
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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.

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#485215 - 01/13/18 05:10 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
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Loc: Miss.
Feed the fish. Once they are accustomed to eating put out the net as shown. Let them eat for a few days feeding between the net and shore. Then feed and pull in the rope net ends and sort.





Attachments
net .GIF (571 downloads)



Edited by ewest (01/13/18 05:13 PM)
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#485218 - 01/13/18 07:10 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Back to the original question - should I harvest all the YP caught or add HSB?

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#485224 - 01/13/18 09:50 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I need more information before I provide advice.
How old is the pond?
When was it stocked and with how many & what size fish added each time?
What was the neighbor using for bait? What size hook? How long did he fish?
What part and what depth was he fishing in the pond? Depth of the bait and depth of water under the ice hole?
Maximum depth of the pond?
"Catching 1/2 dozen small perch" What length range is a 'small perch'?
Did neighbor catch any large shiners?
Have the SMbass spawned?
How many times (springs) have the perch spawned?
Do you feed pellets? How many pounds each year so far?
What do you see eating the pellets?
What is the usual / most common water clarity during summer and now mid-winter?
You say "I saw/see many small fish (1-3") along the banks..." Are these all minnows / shiners?
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#485226 - 01/14/18 06:41 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: Bill Cody]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
How old is the pond? Built summer of 2012
When was it stocked and with how many & what size fish added each time? Best Guess
2013: 5lbs FHM
2014: 25 3-4” RES, 25 6-7” YP, 25 3” GSH, 12 3-4” LCS
2015: 100 3-4” YP, 100 papershell crayfish
2016: 10 6-7” SMB
2017 10 6-7” SMB
What was the neighbor using for bait? What size hook? How long did he fish? Using “bee worms” and he and his wife fished an hour or two through multiple holes targeting being just off the bottom (water very clear). Don't know hook size.
What part and what depth was he fishing in the pond? Depth of the bait and depth of water under the ice hole?
Could not find deep hole but fished in 7-10’ of water with bait a foot off bottom. Fished from dam back to other side of the pond and near and far from banks. Said that when he first lowered just a lead weight to determine depth, something large took it sideways (must have had large mouth (SMB?).
Maximum depth of the pond? Originally a 14-16’ hole with most of the bottom depth 8-10 feet sloping up to edges (plenty of deep water but also good plant life in shallows (lily pads and curly-leaf pondweed + lots of emergent plants).
"Catching 1/2 dozen small perch" What length range is a 'small perch'? 6” and not yet flattening out (very fusiform).
Did neighbor catch any large shiners? Yes – A couple 6"
Have the SMbass spawned? I have not seen any small SMB but I originally placed rock structures. Afraid all the YP and GSH are stealing eggs.
How many times (springs) have the perch spawned? Saw egg ribbons in 2015 and 2016 but not 2017
Do you feed pellets? How many pounds each year so far? No feeding
What do you see eating the pellets? Actually threw some out once in 2016 but nothing came.
What is the usual / most common water clarity during summer and now mid-winter? Very Very clear now but maybe 18” to 30 inches otherwise.
You say "I saw/see many small fish (1-3") along the banks..." Are these all minnows / shiners? I have seen FHM, GSH, and YP. There may be other fish but nothing that has the classic sunfish bass shape. Small fish have a lot of plant cover.

Comment/question: Instead of HSB, maybe add another 10 SMB since a breeding population is what I want? Maybe just wait and see? Things may change if the snow-covered ice holds. This pond is far from electric. Hope to add winter aeration to my oldest pond this year.


Edited by RAH (01/14/18 08:11 AM)

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#485240 - 01/14/18 07:32 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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I'm not sure of the pond size, but will assume 0.5 -0.7 ac. Firstly it was initially under stocked with too few YP and too long before predators were added and not enough of them. This assumes a goal of large YP is desired, but we learn below the goal is BIG smallmouth bass. All this will lead to the current status of the pond. The bass should be growing well and getting big and fat. IMO some bass or HSB should have been added in 2014 with the 25 YP for growing harvestable YP. Waiting 2.5 & 3.5 years before 10 (2016) and 10 (2017) SMB were added was not enough predation to adequately reduce the numbers of small fish esp good reproducing YP. However the 20 SMB present should be big and growing very well because of an overabundance of small fish. But only 20 SMB can only eat 'just so much food' if you want effective control of small perch.

Are you trap sampling to see the ratio of fatheads to shiners? With only 20 SMB there should still be very good numbers of FHM four years after stocking. A high FHM to GSH ratio means too few predators and or too many weeds, maybe both in your case.

Now it does not surprise me about the poor ice fishing angling success. Using bee worms when trying to catch bigger perch is not the best method especially when lots of small YP & larger shiners are present. It is normally a good ice fishing method, but I would be using dead or live FHM when targeting larger YP and SMB. Fishing around 10"-12" off the bottom is normally a good ice fishing location esp in the deepest part of the pond, BUT if you have curly leaf pond weed it is very likely growing well now (Nov-Mar),,, up to around 10"-18" tall. Thus the bait was hanging in the weed tops and not readily visible by most of the larger fish who were likely hanging out in the lower parts of the weeds. I never knew this until I got an Aqua-Vu underwater camera and used it ice fishing. I've had this poor ice fishing catch success problem in my pond until I started killing the curly leaf in the fall. Lack of a 16"-18" high weed carpet during ice cover makes a big difference for the winter YP catch success.

IMO you should get some more predators in the pond and or harvest lot of small perch 4"-6" using traps or angling. Adding more predators in spring will not do much to remove the 4"-6" over crowded YP. Newly stocked predators will probably / likely first target FHM and other small (2"-3") fish. If you stock more predators you will still probably need to help the predators reduce the current over crowded 'small' YP. Number of predators to stock will depend on size of added predators, specie/s of predator, and size of the pond.

Also if you had been feeding pellets the new in-pond spawned perch would not have grown so slowly and stayed thin bodied. So instead of them being mostly 6" now they would likely be 2"-4" bigger now at 8"-10" depending on year hatched. Pellet feeding for good growth is very important to keep perch fat and growing when perch tend to be crowded and predator pressure is light to low.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/15/18 04:32 PM)
Edit Reason: Mentioned goals
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#485245 - 01/15/18 06:34 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Thank you for the info. The pond is 1 acre. My main goal is trophy SMB and based on the one I caught last summer, at least one is growing faster than I thought possible. For this goal, it seems like adding 10 5-7" SMB per year could work and that removing all the small YP caught could help encourage some to grow larger. I'll let my neighbor know that he can use these small YP for raccoon and mink bait as he is a trapper. I'll try minnow trapping again when the ice gets out and see what I catch. I'll also pass on the fishing tips. I understand that I stocked light and was trying to use reproduction to increase numbers. At least my main goal of large SMB might happen. If the YP stay small, but too big for SMB, maybe adding HSB later will be required to eat up some of the stunted fish? I could add 5 of these next spring too if they will help the SMB grow better? I am not in a hurry. Can well-fed full-grown SMB eat stunted 6" YP? FYI - My neighbor thought the 6" YP were fat?


Edited by RAH (01/15/18 06:35 AM)

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#485251 - 01/15/18 10:14 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
hmmm I'll have to see if my curly leaf is growing already in my pond!

If you use a fish finder or flasher while ice fishing you should be able to find and target some active schools of fish by drilling several holes and surveying the water column with it.

It is interesting, we have the same amount of YP stocking in similar sized ponds but mine is much more predator heavy.
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Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#485253 - 01/15/18 10:37 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: Matzilla]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Are your YP being kept in check?

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#485258 - 01/15/18 10:59 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 323
Loc: Iowa
They were just stocked in October but I think over time our ponds might be a fair comparison to one another based on size and initial stocking numbers
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Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#485259 - 01/15/18 11:14 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: Matzilla]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
The wildcard is also cover which affects predation efficiency. When are YP too big for a full-grown SMB to target?


Edited by RAH (01/15/18 11:14 AM)

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#485262 - 01/15/18 04:01 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
RAH asks - "Can well-fed full-grown SMB eat stunted 6" YP? When are yellow perch too big for a full grown SMB to target?"
It depends on your definition of full grown SMB. I would start buy looking at the mouth gape of smallies and the body depth of 6" long YP. What then is the shortest SMB that could eat a 6" YP?

From my personal data: a 10" SMB died eating a 5.5"; YP average body depth (1.2”). Thus I conclude that 12" smallies can eat a 6" YP. Let's look at some numbers. My body depth measurements for 6" YP are from numerous direct measurements. Some of my gape sizes for smallies are calculated estimates. We on the PB Forum need those with SMB to provide more gape sizes or measurements for smallmouth bass. Get busy you guys with smallies and make some body length and mouth width measurements for your smallmouth bass. Your measurements will help us verify how close my numbers are for the mouth size of pond raised smallmouth bass. This has been done for largemoth bass by thoughtful PB forum members in this link.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=453084

Here are my data for gape width of smallmouth bass. The body depth of 6” Yellow perch ranges from 34-38mm (1.4”). Note there is some natural variability (size width) in the gape for each length of SMB. For example the gape for a 10” SMB could be 30-34mm (1.25’”).
10” SMB Gape 32mm (1.25”)
12” SMB Gape 36mm (1.4”)
14” SMB Gape 46mm (1.8”)
15” SMB Gape 49mm (1.9”)
16” SMB Gape 53mm (2.0”)
18” SMB Gape 59mm (2.3”)
Thus IMO a 14” to 15” smallmouth could easily eat a 6” long yellow perch. When yellow perch grow to 9.5" long their body depth is 55 to 60mm (2.26").

Smallmouth bass were studied; 214 smallmouth bass ranging from 48 mm (1.9”) to 486 mm (19”) were measured for the study. A graph in this research paper shows the relationship between total body length and mouth gape for smallmouth bass in Lake Sharpe, South Dakota.
In this research: “For all smallmouth bass collected, we measured total bodylength TL and maximum horizontal gape GW to the nearest mm. Maximum horizontal GW was measured by stretching the mouth open and measuring the distance between the outside edges of the maxillary bone (Lawrence 1958, Hill et al. 2004, Slaughter and Jacobson 2008).”
https://openprairie.sdstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1112&context=nrm_pubs

Based on your goals for growing big SMB, I think your pond's current conditions and management are very good to achieve that goal, but not necessarily a goal for growing big yellow perch. Adding more predators will reduce the abundance or numbers of good optimum forage items for the smallies. As the pond ages the fishery will naturally change by having more SMB. Thus expect the growth rate of the SMB to gradually slow down as the pond ages and more predators are present. You could counteract this by not allowing too many bass to survive, cull the smaller bass, and do your best to maintain a high density of smaller fish. As yellow perch become larger and more numerous they too will be predatious on the smaller fish. I've caught 10"-12" YP using 4" YP as bait.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/15/18 04:34 PM)
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#485264 - 01/15/18 04:53 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Thank you once again Bill! I did find the SD study after my last post, but could not translate that into the size YP they might eat. If all of the original 10 SMB survived and grew like the one I caught last summer, then at least 10 fish are chowing down on the crop of 6" YP, but may be targeting smaller ones. The next crop of 10 SMB should get there next summer. Do you think adding 10 more SMB next year would help or hurt eventual SMB recruitment or hurt the eventual size of the SMB? If I catch any SMB in the minnow trap, I would probably hold off. BTW - Bill (and the other dedicated experts here) make the pond development experience so much more fun! Thank You! If you are passing west of Indianapolis and want to have a beer on the dock and tour the place, please let me know (especially when its warmer!).

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#485268 - 01/15/18 06:22 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7855
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Based on my experience and on Bill's comments above, increased SMB density will lead to increased forage competition and result in slower SMB growth, but the increased YP predation will yield fewer, but larger YP. It's a trade off either way. Since your goal is trophy SMB, I would be cautious introducing more SMB, especially since you could have SMB recruitment already you just haven't witnessed yet. HSB will hammer YP, so do WE, but both will also hammer your GSH population. Consider your micro pond's limited carrying capacity - be wary of carrying too much biomass, can lead to major stress issues in Summer or Winter.

If you want to manage YP populations, 3 HSB and/or 5 WE ladder stocked over 5 years could add angling diversity and also help manage the YP population dynamic. However, stocking additional apex predators will likely also impact your SMB growth rates to an extent. The trick here is to find the perfect balance - this can only be determined through experimentation. Good news is WE and HSB won't recruit, so if your SMB show signs of losing WR you can easily reduce competition by harvesting some WE or HSB.

My advice would be to stay your course and wait to see if you have SMB recruitment before adding additional SMB or other species if trophy SMB are your goal.
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#485269 - 01/15/18 07:05 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Thank you for your input. I am good waiting to see what I catch in minnow traps. This is all just fun for me, so I am happy to wait and see. The prolonged snow over ice may change things up also.

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#485288 - 01/16/18 01:21 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7855
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Age 0-1 SMB rarely sample in minnow traps in my experience - your best method for sampling would be seine or cast nets if you're looking for SMB recruitment evidence.

Great thread...got me engaged in the forum again. Back to hibernation until the next Northern Fishery topic pops up.
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#485289 - 01/16/18 02:18 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Too cold right now anyway. I am hoping that if the SMB spawned, some escaped predation. If they are not going to spawn in the pond, I will probably look for a different apex predator that will reproduce. Just not sure if the high population of YP and GSH will decimate any SMB eggs and fry? I am also wondering if the presence of small fish indicates that the YP are still well fed? Not sure where the RES fit in either. They must be getting pretty big?

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#485299 - 01/16/18 06:54 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7855
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Just not sure if the high population of YP and GSH will decimate any SMB eggs and fry?

Yes, but this is what you want in a trophy SMB fishery...if 99% suffer predation this limits recruitment for you and you avoid the SMB population management down the road.

I am also wondering if the presence of small fish indicates that the YP are still well fed?

Not sure I understand this statement - you mean the high population of small YP? Anytime you have an overpopulated species forage for that bottleneck size [4-6" YP] is limited - too many fish for the appropriate sized forage item - no forage = slow growth.

Not sure where the RES fit in either. They must be getting pretty big?

RES in your fishery IMO are not impacting anything negatively but carrying capacity, and I imagine their recruitment is pretty low due to density of YP population. They'll continue cleaning up your snail population and the fish that make it to age 3+ should end up being nice fish [8-10"+]. You probably have some trophy RES swimming as we speak. I treat RES as a zero negative impact fish with nothing but upside, generally.

You can probably answer a lot of your questions with more frequent sampling of the fishery either through angling, seining, or trapping and keeping good WR records. In summary - if your goal is to grow trophy SMB I would resist changing the dynamics of the fishery until you learn more - I think a strong albeit stunted population of YP will enable your SMB to continue to grow towards trophy status and keep SMB recruitment very low which also works in your favor. Hope some of my experience is helpful for you.
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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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#485308 - 01/17/18 06:44 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: teehjaeh57]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Thank you very much. What you say makes sense to me. I was just thinking that too many 6" YP should slam 1-3" fish, but I see lots of them near the shore and out past the plants in open water. Maybe they hang out there but can dart back into the plants before larger fish can eat them? The 6-7" GSH that caught was on a hard bait bigger than these small fish. As you say, there is probably no substitute for sampling. I also need to get my aquatic kids to do some snorkeling this summer if the water clarity allows.


Edited by RAH (01/17/18 07:30 AM)

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#485312 - 01/17/18 09:49 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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In your size pond of 1 acre, I would not be concerned about lack of recruitment from the SMB. Ideally you would only need 8-12 new SMB each year/ac when trying to produce a trophy class SMB fishery. You want the fish community to always have high numbers of 4"-6" forage fish and ideally some crayfish as diversity. Large fingerling or juvenile SMB are not that expensive to periodically add to the pond considering the total cost of having a 1 acre pond and a population of big superb smallies. Keep the underwater vegetation well managed so the bass can better catch food and keep growing.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/17/18 09:51 AM)
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#485322 - 01/17/18 11:20 AM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19382
Loc: Miss.
I agree with Bill !!! In most 1 acre +- pond situations it is much easier to manage with no or very limited LMB or SMB recruitment. Here is why. If you are short LMB or SMB it is easy to control the number by adding or subtracting a few adult/advanced fingerling SMB/LMB. What you can't manage for well if at all is the rate of survival of spawning LMB or SMB. If recruitment is low for a couple years then you are ok. However it is very hard to manage when the SMB/LMB have a big recruitment year and you have 50 times more young LMB/SMB survive than you need. That happens more than most people think.
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#485326 - 01/17/18 01:10 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4133
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Great advice! I'll stay the course. I must say that catching that SMB, the one and only time that I fished the pond, was a hoot. Can't wait to try again this spring.


Edited by RAH (01/17/18 01:34 PM)

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#485327 - 01/17/18 01:42 PM Re: YP management in SMB pond [Re: RAH]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
When you catch one of those original smallies try to get a picture of it so others can see what a fishery like yours produces. Carlender indicates those originally stocked smallies should live 15-18 years. Keep in mind they could become harder to catch as they get old and more conditioned to angler's baits. Please keep us advised as to their progress with pictures or body measurements in this thread. If those bass only gain 1/2 pound a year they could weigh 8-9 pounds near the end of their life. The Indiana state record angler smallmouth was 7 lb 4 oz. Current conditions of your pond are ideal for growing trophy smallies. I put this thread in the archives under the SMB Discussions - Northern Ponds topic.

More Reading Material - Here is a link to a good discussion about amount of forage needed to produce high quality and/or trophy fish:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=369585#Post369585

The pond of RAH as decsribed appears to be on the path to growing big smallmouth bass: few predators and numerous appropriate sized forage fish - a high ratio of Forage to Predator. Keep in mind that RAH does not feed pellets to his fish so the forage:predator should be a high ratio when the goal is trophy sizes.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/17/18 05:38 PM)
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