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#485566 - 01/25/18 07:16 PM Re: Plastic kid pool for beds filled with pea gravel [Re: c.j.]
Bill Cody Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12178
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I wonder if the young adult & normal adult BG will be able to create bowl shapes as spawning beds in gravel that large. As the BG get large they should be able to better move the gravel into depression shapes. Initially I think some of the BG will use the beds made by the bass who spawn before BG. BG may not need to have much of a depression shape for a successful nest?

This thread of spawning bed info went into the Archives in the topic Growing Some Big Bluegill.

Edited by Bill Cody (01/27/18 09:07 PM)
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#485568 - 01/25/18 08:29 PM Re: Plastic kid pool for beds filled with pea gravel [Re: c.j.]
Vortex 4 Offline

Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 39
Loc: Texas
Scholarly works are lacking, but 8 - 32mm and half dollar sized (30+mm), are the sizes considered optimal. There was a paper that provided the 8-32mm number out here, but the link seems to have gone dead.

I don't think the BG will have a problem pushing these around.

The key to spawning success seems to be to provide shelter between the stones for eggs and yolk-attached fry.
3+ acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17.

#485609 - 01/27/18 05:51 PM Re: Plastic kid pool for beds filled with pea gravel [Re: c.j.]
ewest Offline
Hall of Fame 2014


Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19117
Loc: Miss.
Role of Male Parental Care in Survival of
Larval Bluegills
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Science•
Virginia Polytechinc Institute and State U niversity
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Mortality of larval bluegills Lepomis macrochirus from predation was measured in 56 nests
guarded by males and 21 nests from which the male guard was removed. Mortality was s ignificantly greater in unguarded nests(median= 68%)than in guardian nests (median= 14%).Fish
traps placed in unguarded nests captured significantly more predators than traps placed in
guarded nests. Bluegills( 3-12 cm total length)w ere the most abundant nest predators Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus (7• -11 cm),largemouth bass M icropterus salmoides(4- 5 cm),and whitefin
shiners Notropis niveus(5 -6 cm) also were nest predators. Nest preparation by male bluegills
exposed coarse gravel( 8-32 mm diameter)and pebbles(3 2-64 mm) in nest substrate and removed particles smaller than 2 mm. Particles larger than 8 mm provided suitable interstitial
space to accommodate bluegill larvae. Survival of larvae was directly correlated with the proportion
of coarse substrate in the nest.

Some points of interest:

Our data from
Virginia implicated juvenile bluegills as the major
predators on bluegill larvae, followed in importance
by pumpkinseed. Dominey (1981)
drew the same conclusions from a New York....

In addition to direct protection afforded larval
bluegills by nest-guarding males, nest preparation
by the male parent influenced survival
of larvae in Lake Caroline. The availability of
suitable nesting substrate has been recognized
as a major factor affecting reproductive success
of centrarchid fishes (Breder 1936; Kramer and
Smith 1962; Muncy et al. 1979).

In laboratory observationss,
coarse particles provided suitable interstitial
space to accommodate yolk-sac bluegill larvae.
That coarse substrate may function as protective
shelter for larvae was supported by field
data: ....

other factors undoubtedly influence
mortality of tested larvae, our data suggest that
predation, particularly intraspecific predation
(cannibalism), can be a major cause of early
bluegill mortality.

Junior Member

Registered: 20/03/06
Posts: 4
Loc: Ackerman, MS New to this forum, but let me put my 2 cents in. Have been placing gravel to enhance spawning for warmwater fish, mostly Bream/Bass for 25 years and this is what I have observed: A. Bream prefer gravel as a spawning substrate. Why gravel?? Gravel allows for water to circulate throughout the egg mass as the guardian male fans the nest. This in turn carries the oxygen necessary for the survival of the individual eggs. Better circulation = better hatch from each nest = better fisheries dynamics. Washed pea gravel is probably best, but also the most expensive. Washed river rock #57 grade is also good and less costly. Washed rounded rock allows for better circulation. Sand, "white" rock, lime rock all tend to "lock up" and restrict the circulation of water/oxygen to the bottom of the egg mass necessary for egg survival in that part of the egg mass.
B. Thickness of the layer of spawning gravel will thin or "pancake" out after several years and eventually becomes useless. The mechanical action of fanning the beds makes the gravel migrate out over time. Counter this by boxing in the gravel with 1x12 inch cypress boards, filling in the outside of the boards with dirt. Looks like a shaved off pitcher's mound with gravel recessed in the ground. Dirt shoulders keep the hooks from snagging as easily.
C. Avoid sloping ground, level sites have the greatest use.
D. Dispurse the sites according to depth and aspect to allow for greater overall use throughout the spawning season.
E. Avoid locating sites adjacent to incoming streams, or tribs, they end up being silted in.

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