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#496182 - 09/11/18 10:34 AM At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 49
Loc: Central Illinois
I'm in a quandary on what stocking plan I should go with, LMB-BG or YP pond. I've trying to be honest with myself about how much work I'm willing to do long-term to manage the pond. History has shown I tend to burn myself out after a few years and don't pay as much attention to my "pet projects" as I did when first started. My goals for the pond are:
Fun fishing as opposed to trophy fishing. We just like to catch fish and fry'em up!
Family recreation area with dock, picnic area, and swimming.
Property is about 30 miles away and the plan is to hold for long-term family use, not resale.
Not really interested in a feeding or aeration program, nearest electric 1/2 mile from the property.
Installed an 8" bottom draw siphon system for water control.
So far have stocked 5# FHM, 5# GSM, and few hundred softshell crayfish.
Filling has been a problem this past year but terracing and diverting another draw seems to have solved that problem. As per this thread:
What a difference a year makes
water has been fairly muddy all last year, with a few cattails and mossy clumps forming before the water starting rising. Other ponds in the area seem to have normal water appearance, so I'm not too concerned at this point. Just have to see how it does when pond reaches full pool.
I understand the pond will need management, I'm just looking for monthly rather than daily or weekly.
The pond should be about two acres and fairly deep with mostly steep sides. There are two water inlet areas that will be shallower and will be set up as nursery areas with brush piles and water plants.
So what stocking plan would meet most of those goals?
_________________________
2 acres, still filling. FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP

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#496183 - 09/11/18 12:15 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Based on your goals, in my opinion you can easily have your "cake and eat it too'. You have the opportunity to experience two types of great fish combinations.

Firstly stock YP and smallmouth bass. It is best to initially stock SMB and LMB to get the best benefit of growing yellow perch. Best to stock YP in the spring as 4"-6" allow them to grow and add fingerling SMB in fall. If you are in more of a hurry to get fishing then you can stock YP (4"-6" 250-300/ac) and fingerling SMB (50-60/ac) in the fall. This fishery will develop and mature in 5-6 years. In that time span if you don't like how that YP-SMB fishery is developing add any number of BG and LMB, then the BG and LMB will soon develop to dominate the fishery. Timeline of BG-Bass dominance will depend on how many of them you stock. This plan will not work the other way as BG-LMB stocked first.

If at any time you want a few exciting bonus fish, add 10-20/ac hybrid striped bass at any time.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/12/18 10:18 AM)
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#496184 - 09/11/18 12:37 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19586
Loc: Miss.
I would follow Bill's advice.
_________________________















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#496189 - 09/11/18 02:54 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 49
Loc: Central Illinois
Thanks for the reply.
I've always leaned towards the YP-SMB pond, I was just concerned how much management it might take. There isn't many if any ponds in the immediate area that have YP. Is it compatible to add RES and HBG this fall and then YP in the spring? If so what type of numbers per acre?
_________________________
2 acres, still filling. FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP

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#496210 - 09/11/18 10:05 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1452
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: roundy
I'm in a quandary on what stocking plan I should go with, LMB-BG or YP pond. I've trying to be honest with myself about how much work I'm willing to do long-term to manage the pond. History has shown I tend to burn myself out after a few years and don't pay as much attention to my "pet projects" as I did when first started. My goals for the pond are:
Fun fishing as opposed to trophy fishing. We just like to catch fish and fry'em up!
Family recreation area with dock, picnic area, and swimming.
Property is about 30 miles away and the plan is to hold for long-term family use, not resale.
Not really interested in a feeding or aeration program, nearest electric 1/2 mile from the property.
Installed an 8" bottom draw siphon system for water control.
So far have stocked 5# FHM, 5# GSM, and few hundred softshell crayfish.
Filling has been a problem this past year but terracing and diverting another draw seems to have solved that problem. As per this thread:
What a difference a year makes
water has been fairly muddy all last year, with a few cattails and mossy clumps forming before the water starting rising. Other ponds in the area seem to have normal water appearance, so I'm not too concerned at this point. Just have to see how it does when pond reaches full pool.
I understand the pond will need management, I'm just looking for monthly rather than daily or weekly.
The pond should be about two acres and fairly deep with mostly steep sides. There are two water inlet areas that will be shallower and will be set up as nursery areas with brush piles and water plants.
So what stocking plan would meet most of those goals?


Mud issues may clear up as pond gets full and erosion down the sides diminishes. At least, that was my experience
_________________________
8 acre E Texas, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12 inch N LMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18

There are only 10 types of people; those who understand binary and those who don't




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#496214 - 09/11/18 10:22 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6976
Loc: St Louis, MO area
I third Bill's suggestion of a YP/SMB pond...plus 200 RES for snail/parasitic reduction. Bluegill are swimmer nippers, and Larger BG can sometimes bite swimmers and floaters pretty hard. Most people don't care, but eventually, bluegill become very annoying to all swimmers.

Along with Hybrid Stripers, Walleye can be a fun, tasty bonus fish as well.

Personally, I like adding double or more YP, but I love both catching and eating them a lot, so lots get removed, and it doesn't seem to slow SMB growth from what I've experienced.
_________________________
Rainman

www.TilapiaStockers.com


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#496245 - 09/12/18 10:22 AM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Revision. Above I wrote - "Firstly stock YP and smallmouth bass. It is best to initially stock SMB and LMB to get the best benefit of growing yellow perch." I should have said It is best to initially stock SMB and NOT LMB to get the best benefit of growing yellow perch. LMB will eat too many smaller YP and keep their numbers too low for producing lots of harvestable 8"-12" YP. LMB can always be added later when needed. I have never seen a pond where SMB cannot control the numbers of YP unless the pond is very weedy.

If you want a hands on lesson of how to grow trophy YP and SMB take time to visit and stay at Giant Goose Lake Ranch in Illinois.
https://giantgooseranch.com/


Edited by Bill Cody (09/12/18 10:27 AM)
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Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#496259 - 09/12/18 02:42 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: Bill Cody]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 49
Loc: Central Illinois
I ordered some RES, HBG, and YP from Nemo Fisheries in Perry MO. I pick them up on 10-13-2018. Looking forward to getting this show on the road. We'll see how they do over the summer and then decide how to proceed next fall.
_________________________
2 acres, still filling. FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP

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#496268 - 09/12/18 07:55 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1887
Loc: West Michigan
I think the vote was to skip the HBG and use a non-reproducing predator. How do you plan to keep the bluegill and green sunfish in check come next year?

Or did Nemo not have what you needed?

How about forage for the HBG, what are your thoughts there?

Do you happen to know if the YP will eat pellets?

---
sorry, just went back and reread and see that you did stock some forage.

Hint, if you buy the YP at the right size (see if they can get you a few 5-6" size) they will be females ready to lay eggs at ice out. that will pay big dividends in the spring even if you have to pay more for a few egg layers now.

I understand you are at a distance and it isn't easy to manage it but a solar powered feeder might be a great thing for getting your stockers to the fun size for catching. Especially YP will grow huge on good quality feed.


Edited by canyoncreek (09/12/18 08:03 PM)

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#496272 - 09/12/18 09:23 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Since you are not going to feed pellets, I question the decision to add HBG. Their growth will be slower when not fed pellets. However, since HBG are aggressive having them in the pond will help reduce the numbers of YP fry. Keep us regularly informed as your pond fishery develops so others can learn from your fishery combination and how it grows.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/12/18 09:24 PM)
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#496323 - 09/13/18 05:07 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 49
Loc: Central Illinois
Thanks to all for the insights into my situation. I highly value all the input I've received. When reading on YP stocking outside this forum, it is amazing the diversity and conflicting information available.
_________________________
2 acres, still filling. FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP

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#496334 - 09/13/18 08:03 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
I think most of the variable information is based on wild populations and not on YP in properly managed ponds. Best YP success is from using pellet trained stocker fish and then feeding them on a regular basis, just as with growing any other crop. Combining them with proper predators and habitat are also key items for success. Few experts exist for growing pond raised yellow perch.
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#496402 - 09/15/18 12:50 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 49
Loc: Central Illinois
Today's project is to set a minnow trap for an hour or so in a couple different places in the pond and see what turns up. I see signs of life at the surface of the pond, but the water is murky so I can't see much of anything around the edges.
_________________________
2 acres, still filling. FHM, GSH, PSC, RES, HBG, BG, LMB and YP

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#496422 - 09/15/18 08:53 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Perpetually murky water with visibilities less than 12" slows fish growth and development. It helps to compensate and feed fish pellets in murky ponds to improve fish growth.

In addition to above, one can grow nice YP in ponds without feeding pellets. However as with YP and other fish without pellet feeding, the numbers have to be lower (carrying capacity) and expect fish to not quite as plump (reduced body condition). Without supplemental feeding less food is available which translates into growing fewer pounds of fish per acre.

All pond fish numbers need to be managed (harvested). But in non-pellet fed ponds, IMO it is easier in these ponds for the fish to become overabundant (annual reproduction) and slowed growth due to crowding as natural foods tend to stay consistent year to year.

This is because owners-managers do not know how to best judge or evaluate, monitor the numbers of each species in the pond. Without pellet feeding where you do see most of the fish, non-fed fish numbers are more elusive and harder to evaluate how many actual fish are present, thus ponds are usually over crowed based on the natural productive food supply (food chain-web).


Edited by Bill Cody (09/15/18 08:58 PM)
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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#496464 - 09/17/18 08:48 AM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4241
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I think of feeding fish like supplementing cattle in a pasture with grain; more fatter cows are possible with supplemental grain in the same size fenced pasture. I don't feed except recreationally to see fish, but I know I will have fewer pounds of fish in the pond.

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#496468 - 09/17/18 09:28 AM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: Bill Cody]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1310
Loc: NE Missouri
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody

Without pellet feeding where you do see most of the fish, non-fed fish numbers are more elusive and harder to evaluate how many actual fish are present, thus ponds are usually over crowed based on the natural productive food supply (food chain-web).


Bill,
Iím feeding less than I did at original stocking. It appears all my RES, YP, and SMB are reproducing. Plus lots of GSH. Not a lot of cover in the pond. Not much vegetation around the edges. YP numbers are fair, not over abundant. We caught 30+ over the weekend and returned the smallest ones. I put in some HBG, and am trying to reduce those numbers by not returning any. (Too aggressive for swimmers)
I imagine every situation is different but any ballpark guess as to when I might reach an overcrowded situation? I guess I could try fish traps to reduce numbers, but when fishing it doesnít seem like Iím overpopulated. Just HBG.. mad
_________________________
4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#496494 - 09/17/18 09:10 PM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12506
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
As long as you are regularly harvesting fish, depending on pond size, fertility, and numbers harvested, chances of over populated are a lot less. Keep in mind that lots of GSH is included in pond fish total biomass - carrying capacity.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/17/18 09:11 PM)
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Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#496500 - 09/18/18 12:44 AM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7892
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Once your SMB turn the corner on gape (15") I suspect you'll see a definite impact on the GSH population...I have witnessed this in multiple cool water species fisheries [just as Condello taught me 9 years ago]. Every predator fish seems to have that specific size when its growth increases exponentially as it attains a size to start utilizing new forage sources. I always refer to it as "turning the corner". In my experience that's around 14-15" for SMB, 17-18" for WE, 20" for HSB - but these are generalizations and based merely on my personal experience. Once a predator can start effectively preying on my 3-4" Lepomis [RES, BG, HBG] and 6" GSH I noticed their growth rate increased significantly in a short period of time. You can always add 5+ HSB annually to vary the fishery species and they'll also help manage the GSH population - but I'd be patient and allow the fishery to mature.
_________________________
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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#496504 - 09/18/18 08:10 AM Re: At the crossroads on stocking decision, what to do [Re: roundy]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1310
Loc: NE Missouri
Thanks gents. My SMB are in the 16-17Ē range, so Iím sure they are working on the GSH. We regularly see swirls from larger fish, and fry clearing the water as the larger (Iím assuming SMB) are feeding on them. I may or may not have 25 HSB (they were stocked 10/2015) out there also. Itís just a one ac pond with little cover. I never see them at the feeder, and have never caught one. I may end up with few GSH someday. Right now, things seem in balance, and not overpopulated. Iíll just have to keep eating some. whistle
Thanks again,
Jeff
_________________________
4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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