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#485581 - 01/26/18 01:28 PM Prepping new pond
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Hi,

My new 1/4 acre pond in the midlands area of South Carolina has finally been full for a few weeks and I'm anxious to get the party started. I know spring is probably the recommended stocking time but I want to start doing some things now. I have a few ideas and I'm hoping to get some thoughts from the group as you guys seem very knowledgeable.

1) Bluegill: If I can find a supplier, would it be ok to stock bluegill now rather than wait until march/april when fish are readily available?

2) Bass: Should I give the bluegill/food chain a season before introducting bass? I know I can't have many of these in such a small pond but I figure if I jumpstart the foodchain now I could have 8 or 10 bass to keep things interesting.

3) Tadpoles: I have another tiny pond/mudhole that is absolutely loaded with bullfrog tadpoles. Would it be beneficial to net a bunch of these and move them over?

4) Crawfish: I have a crawfish trap being delivered today. Should I trap and stock the pond with as many crawfish as possible?

5) Golden Shiners: I've seen in my smaller mudhole that they reproduce rapidly. Should I also stock these? This is the standard bait fish in this area so I think I could get them easily/cheaply.



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Edited by ColdSpringsFarm (01/26/18 01:31 PM)
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#485583 - 01/26/18 02:04 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
beastman Offline


Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Congrats, what are your goals for the pond?
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#485584 - 01/26/18 02:16 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: beastman]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: beastman
Congrats, what are your goals for the pond?


Easy/fun fishing for the kids is the goal with this one. I'm thinking mainly a bluegill pond. I may eventually introduce a few bass and channel cats. I'll be managing pretty intensively...fertilizing, feeding, etc...
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#485585 - 01/26/18 02:57 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
I called a local place that was listed on the SC DNR fish supplier list. Sounds like they are not actively running the business right now but she is a biologist. She recommended transplanting some pond muck from her established ponds, and said I could trap all the bluegill and mosquito fish I need from one of her ponds. Sounds like I may have hit the jackpot!
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#485586 - 01/26/18 02:57 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Bill Cody Offline
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If it is a kids fishing pond I would leave out the shiners (GSH) for now. Adult shiners are a notorious pest for panfish anglers especially when using live bait and bobbers. It looks like you have a bite but it is just shiners always pecking at the bait.
FYI when you add 6 - 8 bass as soon as they are mature and a spawn you will now have numerous bass. This can be good and bad. Good in that numerous small bass will allow BG to average larger sizes. Bad in that too many bass often overeat the food supply, not grow much more than 10"12" and could even suppress the BG numbers. With reproducing bass numbers they will need to be well managed to get the best BG fishery.

With just 0.25ac consider doing homework and using hybrid BG instead of pure BG. HBG are very aggressive quick biters for anglers and fast growers when fed pellets (3"-4" to 8" in one full summer). HBG need a good number of small body size bass as a partner to keep their offspring very low density and the remaining HBG growing fast. Various offspring of HBG loose some of the hybrid growth vigor as the years pass. There is a lot of info about HBG in this link from our Archives.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256325#Post256325

Some have suggested HBG with channel catfish (CC). CC will reproduce in a small pond so to get the best fishery their numbers need to be reduced. Reduction is most often using LMB. If it were my kids pond I would use HBG with hybrid striped bass (HSB). Other species can always be easily added later when the need arises to improve the fishery. Not really true once a pond has BG & LMB both very hard to remove all to prevent reproduction.
Info on HSB -
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92629#Post92629

The BIG benefit to using the small pond is it can relatively be renovated and start over with a completely new fish combination when things become a serious problem.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/26/18 03:20 PM)
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#485587 - 01/26/18 06:05 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Daniel Powell Offline


Registered: 12/19/17
Posts: 49
Loc: Maxton, NC
What do you guys think about stocking CNBG for a year and then adding only 4+ pound LMB? 4+ pounds almost guarantees you are stocking only females so you get no reproduction of LMB. Stock 2 or 3 on year 2 and watch your CNBG size and density to determine if more are needed. In 1/4 acre I would think it should only take a couple to keep the CNBG in check.

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#485608 - 01/27/18 05:43 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ewest Offline
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It only takes 1 male to upend that plan. Even experts miss on this and they don't base it on size. Depending on goals the idea is to maintain (keep alive) your original stocker fish.
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#485611 - 01/27/18 07:48 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Thanks for the suggestions. Today I was able to get about 25 bluegill from the lady's pond I mentioned above. It was warm enough that they came up for feed so I was able to castnet them. We also put out a trap to hopefully catch more over the next few days. The hybrid bass idea is interesting. Any thoughts on stocking densities to keep bluegill in check?
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#485699 - 01/30/18 03:42 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ewest]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: ewest
It only takes 1 male to upend that plan. Even experts miss on this and they don't base it on size. Depending on goals the idea is to maintain (keep alive) your original stocker fish.


Apologies. I missed that one of the links provided above has a ton of HSB information. I'll take a look at that and follow up if I have other questions.
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#485831 - 02/04/18 08:47 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Can anyone help me ID this fish? I suspect it to be a GSF because the pond was stocked with Hybrid Bluegill at some point in the past.



Edited by ColdSpringsFarm (02/04/18 08:52 PM)
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#485847 - 02/05/18 10:35 AM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Bill Cody Offline
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I think it is a hybrid sunfish and likely not from the F1 generation (first generation hybrid); probably reproduction from other hybrids.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/05/18 03:42 PM)
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#485864 - 02/05/18 05:57 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: Bill Cody]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I think it is a hybrid sunfish and likely not from the F1 generation (first generation hybrid); probably reproduction from other hybrids.


Yea, I think you might be right about that. I found a site with a fairly thorough description/visual of the various pure strain panfish and it doesn't quite match any of them. At this point I've stocked 37 fish from this pond and I would estimate that 10 of them looked similar to this. The rest looked like your typical bluegill. I may regret this "bucket stocking" approach. The lady said she knows of 3 species that have been stocked, pure BG, native RBS, and the HBG I mentioned earlier, so no telling what kind of crazies I have. Sounds like the pond has been stocked for 20+ years so these may be generation F82. shocked

Based on my reading I got the impression that the hybridization would eventually revert back to the original species. Is that not the case?
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#485866 - 02/05/18 06:43 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4927
Loc: SE Kansas
No they can never "revert back" althouh they can exhibit characteristics more of one parent than another.

The good news about hybrids is they are pretty agressive to bite a hook. If you decide you don't like them you can fish them out over time. You will never get all of them, but your catch rate will favor HBG over regular BG proportion wise to the numbers in the pond.

That has been my experience anyway. They have not been a problem for me, but my goals are for a panfish pond and not a trophy pond. They might not meet the forage needs for a LMB trophy pond if there are too many of them.


Edited by snrub (02/05/18 06:45 PM)
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#485871 - 02/05/18 09:55 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Do you know if the sex ratio stays heavily male with all hybrids? I see that GSFxBG hybrids are 80% male.

Edit: Nevermind, sounds like the ratios stay skewed toward males based on information in the links provided above. This site is full of information if you can manage to ever find it. ;-)


Edited by ColdSpringsFarm (02/06/18 08:02 AM)
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#485881 - 02/06/18 08:55 AM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
My girls(and donkeys) helped me catch around 100 bullfrog tadpoles from a watering hole to move to the new pond. The crawfish trap caught a few but I think it has been too cold for them to move around much.





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#485889 - 02/06/18 12:29 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4927
Loc: SE Kansas
I don't know specifically what happens after the F1's, but my gut (no research there) tells me mothor nature provides preference to maintaining specific species. If that were not so, in mixed fish BOW's everything that could cross would eventually blend into a big mongrel mess.

So I think for numerous reasons, hybrids simply do not have the fecundity of pure lines of fish. They are the exception in nature rather than the rule (as opposed to man made crosses by special circumstances).


Edited by snrub (02/06/18 12:32 PM)
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#485896 - 02/06/18 04:41 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19409
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: ColdSpringsFarm
Do you know if the sex ratio stays heavily male with all hybrids?


It stays high % male for BG X GSF hybrids. 70 to 98%. All sunfish hybrids do not exhibit high male %.

Here are the sex ratios (percent male) that Childers got with various hybrid crosses. The male parent is listed first. There is some variation in the numbers from other studies

Redear X Bluegill 97 (3)
Bluegill X Redear 97
Redear X Green 69
Green X Redear 48
Bluegill X Green 97
Green X Bluegill 68 (2)
Redear X Warmouth 55
Bluegill X Warmouth 69 (2)
Green X Warmouth 16
Warmouth X Green 84


Edited by ewest (03/04/18 11:57 AM)
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#485979 - 02/08/18 07:44 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Sooo...after more research I am leaning more toward going for trophy sized bluegill. I realize HBG might be lower maintenance but I actually think I will enjoy trying to keep the predator/prey balance in check. I am considering LMB, HSB, or a combination as the predators of choice. I am also not above yearly netting to keep tabs on populations as this pond lends itself to easy netting. All that said, any recommendations on initial stocking densities?
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#487645 - 03/23/18 02:00 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
DRG Offline


Registered: 02/23/18
Posts: 31
Loc: Texas
I was leaning towards using only HSB in my 3/4 acre pond to control CNBG and the consensus was that nobody was sure if that would be enough predation. It was a recent post in types of fish to choose titled is one predator species enough. I would copy the link but I would probably screw it up!!! Lots of good info that may help you. I went with a mix of both... Time will tell how good of a decision that was eek

David


Edited by DRG (03/23/18 02:38 PM)

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#487655 - 03/23/18 04:59 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: DRG]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: DRG
I was leaning towards using only HSB in my 3/4 acre pond to control CNBG and the consensus was that nobody was sure if that would be enough predation. It was a recent post in types of fish to choose titled is one predator species enough. I would copy the link but I would probably screw it up!!! Lots of good info that may help you. I went with a mix of both... Time will tell how good of a decision that was eek

David


I'll take a look. My pond is going to be almost completely featureless so it seems with the correct predator stocking I could ensure almost zero recruitment of CNBG. I've seen some concern about using the LMB/HSB solution to population control in small ponds. I'm not exactly sure why the smaller pond gives reason for pause unless you run the risk of starving the bass. I'm not going to worry about it too much. Its all a fun experiment and I can invest in a sein if things get rough!
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#487670 - 03/24/18 11:10 AM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
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Originally Posted By: ColdSpringsFarm
Originally Posted By: DRG
I was leaning towards using only HSB in my 3/4 acre pond to control CNBG and the consensus was that nobody was sure if that would be enough predation. It was a recent post in types of fish to choose titled is one predator species enough. I would copy the link but I would probably screw it up!!! Lots of good info that may help you. I went with a mix of both... Time will tell how good of a decision that was eek

David


I'll take a look. My pond is going to be almost completely featureless so it seems with the correct predator stocking I could ensure almost zero recruitment of CNBG. I've seen some concern about using the LMB/HSB solution to population control in small ponds. I'm not exactly sure why the smaller pond gives reason for pause unless you run the risk of starving the bass. I'm not going to worry about it too much. Its all a fun experiment and I can invest in a sein if things get rough!


Cold, I'm a little confused on your goals now...If you want zero, or near zero recruitment of the forage species, in this case, CNBG, the predator(s) will always be near starving.

Transversely, if you wanted really large Bass, the forage species has to be really abundant, and it is the forage species that has many at or near starvation...
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#487706 - 03/25/18 09:34 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: Rainman]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
Originally Posted By: Rainman
Originally Posted By: ColdSpringsFarm
Originally Posted By: DRG
I was leaning towards using only HSB in my 3/4 acre pond to control CNBG and the consensus was that nobody was sure if that would be enough predation. It was a recent post in types of fish to choose titled is one predator species enough. I would copy the link but I would probably screw it up!!! Lots of good info that may help you. I went with a mix of both... Time will tell how good of a decision that was eek

David


I'll take a look. My pond is going to be almost completely featureless so it seems with the correct predator stocking I could ensure almost zero recruitment of CNBG. I've seen some concern about using the LMB/HSB solution to population control in small ponds. I'm not exactly sure why the smaller pond gives reason for pause unless you run the risk of starving the bass. I'm not going to worry about it too much. Its all a fun experiment and I can invest in a sein if things get rough!


Cold, I'm a little confused on your goals now...If you want zero, or near zero recruitment of the forage species, in this case, CNBG, the predator(s) will always be near starving.

Transversely, if you wanted really large Bass, the forage species has to be really abundant, and it is the forage species that has many at or near starvation...


The goal is a trophy bluegill pond, so I assume I want a bunch of starved bass eating up all bluegill that aren't the original stock.
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#487709 - 03/26/18 12:38 AM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Rainman Offline
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Originally Posted By: ColdSpringsFarm
Originally Posted By: Rainman
Originally Posted By: ColdSpringsFarm
Originally Posted By: DRG
I was leaning towards using only HSB in my 3/4 acre pond to control CNBG and the consensus was that nobody was sure if that would be enough predation. It was a recent post in types of fish to choose titled is one predator species enough. I would copy the link but I would probably screw it up!!! Lots of good info that may help you. I went with a mix of both... Time will tell how good of a decision that was eek

David


I'll take a look. My pond is going to be almost completely featureless so it seems with the correct predator stocking I could ensure almost zero recruitment of CNBG. I've seen some concern about using the LMB/HSB solution to population control in small ponds. I'm not exactly sure why the smaller pond gives reason for pause unless you run the risk of starving the bass. I'm not going to worry about it too much. Its all a fun experiment and I can invest in a sein if things get rough!


Cold, I'm a little confused on your goals now...If you want zero, or near zero recruitment of the forage species, in this case, CNBG, the predator(s) will always be near starving.

Transversely, if you wanted really large Bass, the forage species has to be really abundant, and it is the forage species that has many at or near starvation...


The goal is a trophy bluegill pond, so I assume I want a bunch of starved bass eating up all bluegill that aren't the original stock.


That is the general rule of thumb, yes. You will want few to no large bass (over 3 pounds), and lots of bass in the 1 pound and under range to take out most BG young of year.... that way only the smartest, fastest growing BG survive. A 2:1 BG:LMB ratio is a good start, especially if you feed pellets.
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#487719 - 03/26/18 12:13 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
ColdSpringsFarm Offline


Registered: 02/14/17
Posts: 90
Loc: Edgefield, SC
I'm making good progress on the 1/3 acre destination pond. I drained it down to a puddle and applied Hydrated lime to kill off any of the undesirable hybrid bream I stocked earlier in the year. The following morning I went to check for floaters and, although there weren't any, there was a 5" fish barely hanging on in shallow water. I scooped him by hand and through him on the bank. The high PH definitely was taking its toll. His eyes were glazed over an the tips of his fins irritated. I tested PH with my strips and it was reading as high as it would read (above 9). Interestingly, the tadpoles didn't seem to be adversely affected although I imagine a few more days of PH at that level will have an impact.

I also put out around 6 tons of lime over essentially the entire 3 or 4 acre drainage basin. This is future pastureland that came back with a soil test PH of 4.6. I imagine this will help with my struggles of getting pond alkalinity/PH to acceptable levels. I had already put around 1300 lbs of lime in the pond 3 or 4 weeks ago.
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#487743 - 03/26/18 09:54 PM Re: Prepping new pond [Re: ColdSpringsFarm]
Rainman Offline
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Did you mix the hydrated lime in water and then spray the pond? I'm guessing the Hydrated lime was just spread out. Hydrated lime when mixed, dissolved and sprayed will kill all things in minutes. The water will also turn gin clear from the milky white in about 45 minutes when the concentration is high enough
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