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#439152 - 02/29/16 05:26 PM Re: Progress! [Re: canyoncreek]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Bill, I assume you are putting colored maple leaves in (ones that have lain on the ground for a while?) Are they brittle and falling in pieces or do you put the whole leaf in?

I'm considering putting a few in a tank to watch but I don't have an aquarium setup so once my water gets tannin or debris I can't easily separate the little guys out to do a water exchange.

A fish tank at the kids school has 6" goldfish in it, I'd love to bring some to school for kids to watch. But maybe goldfish would snap them up?


CC,

Iím feeding mine leaves as I wanted to assess how effective these guys would be as leaf/decaying vegetation ďpredatorsĒ for my pond. I just picked up brown dry leaves out side and presoaked them, with frequent water changes, in a bucket until most of the tannins were out. I then left the leaves in water and just grab a few when I need some more as the scuds consume the ones in the tanks.

IMO you donít need to feed them leaves. From what Iíve read, you can go to a pet shop and get algae wafers, surfinia flakes or any cheap flake food. They will eat lots of different things. I think Turtlemtn mentioned he is feeding his FA from his pond among other things. BTW RAH has some in aquariums as well. Iím not sure what he is feeding his.

Scuds like the dark so keep that in mind. IMO give them some cover and donít set their tank in bright sunlight.

P.S. I suspect the goldfish would be very happy that you brought him tasty ďplaymates!Ē IMO a simple goldfish bowl and half a dozen scuds would work for school. No aeration required for scuds. If you change maybe 20% of the water every week or so the should be fine.
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#439297 - 03/01/16 08:56 PM Re: Progress! [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Kind of an interesting observation today. When the scuds molt they move under cover, similar to crayfish. I suspect they do that for protection while the new "shell" hardens. The other scuds find and eat the old "shell."


Edited by Bill D. (03/01/16 09:05 PM)
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#439361 - 03/02/16 01:04 PM Re: Progress! [Re: Bill D.]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19533
Loc: Miss.
I bet others eat them as well - good calcium source.
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#439395 - 03/02/16 08:48 PM Re: Progress! [Re: ewest]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: ewest
I bet others eat them as well - good calcium source.


Thanks for the input. I totally agree. Even the discarded shell of a scud has value. The literature on scuds I've been able to find usually starts out with something like "scuds are an indicator of a healthy BOW." If there is a downside to stocking scuds, I have yet to find it. Rare to find something to stock that doesn't have potential "cons" associated with it. Guess I'll find out, if I'm able to get a population established that is.


Edited by Bill D. (03/03/16 08:13 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#439424 - 03/03/16 09:23 AM Re: Progress! [Re: Bill D.]
Bob-O Offline
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Bill C aka Dr Perca
Bill D aka Dr Scud
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#439505 - 03/03/16 07:53 PM Re: Progress! [Re: Bob-O]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bob-O
Bill C aka Dr Perca
Bill D aka Dr Scud


LOL!

I'm a long long long way from being a pro on anything having to do with a pond! Definitely, not in the Doc category like Doc Cody!

I'm just learning what I can to maybe make my little puddle just a little bit better and having fun with it as I make the journey...just like you!


Edited by Bill D. (03/03/16 07:54 PM)
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#441087 - 03/18/16 04:21 PM Re: Spring stocking plan. Improving the food chain [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I stocked some new inhabitants to the pond today in an effort to fortify the forage base. As there are currently thousands of minnows and tiny SFs everywhere in the shallows, I thought this might be a good time to introduce two new species with the existing guys to act as distractions for the newbies.

First pic is a Spotfin Shiner. I apologize for the photo but it wouldnít hold still! The guy still owes me a partial order so I will try to get a better photo next time and, hopefully, have some aquarium space available by then to keep a couple for a few days.

The second photo are some Bluntnose Minnows. I did put a few of these in an aquarium and will post better photos later.

Both species of fish were mostly in the 3 in+ size so I am hopeful they will spawn this year.

Spotfin Shiner



Bluntnose Minnow

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#441098 - 03/18/16 05:52 PM Re: Spring stocking plan. Improving the food chain [Re: Bill D.]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 971
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
Bill D,
You sound like you are forage rich...what all preds do you have in your BOW right now? I know you've mentioned CC in the past...but I don't recall what all you have stocked. Do you plan on stocking any more preds in addition to the ones you already have?
Charlie
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#441106 - 03/18/16 08:38 PM Re: Spring stocking plan. Improving the food chain [Re: stickem']
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: stickem'
Bill D,
You sound like you are forage rich...what all preds do you have in your BOW right now? I know you've mentioned CC in the past...but I don't recall what all you have stocked. Do you plan on stocking any more preds in addition to the ones you already have?
Charlie


Thanks for the interest Charlie!

Primary predators in our pond are SMB, WE, YP and a couple 3 or 4 LMB (I will remove them if I catch them). I donít really count the CC as significant predators as they get pellet fed and removed at 3 pounds or less. And, of course, as this is Mutt Pond, there are 1 of a few other fish in there as novelty catches but no major predators.

Forage before today was mostly BG, PS, FHM, and surprisingly GSH. Hopefully, I can add SFS and BNM to the list. I will also be stocking Papershell Crawfish (PSC) in June now that the broken concrete and rip rap are in place. If Iím successful at getting more vegetation going, I hope to add local scuds and grass shrimp in the future.

My pond is very fertile so Iím trying to take advantage of that by building as strong and as diverse a forage base as I can. I try to research each species Iím going to stock and put habitat in place to try to assure their best chance of thriving before I stock them. I have not seen any threads taking the approach of trying to maximize the diversity of forage species (probably missed it) so Iím guessing itís not a great strategy but itís the one Iím going with. In my defense, Mutt Pond is all about diversity and never knowing what's going to be on the end of that line. If nothing else, I can report back so others can learn from the effort.



Edited by Bill D. (03/18/16 09:01 PM)
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#442553 - 04/01/16 09:45 PM Re: Spring stocking plan. Improving the food chain [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
....The second photo are some Bluntnose Minnows. I did put a few of these in an aquarium .....


Update...

The BNM I kept for the aquarium are doing well. I've been feeding them hydrated 3 mm Skretting pellets. In case anybody is interested, adult BNM have sufficient mouth gap to eat this size pellet in one bite. Might want to keep this in mind if you have BNM in your pond and are trying to pellet feed small BG, etc.
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#443125 - 04/07/16 09:36 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I ordered 250 papershell crawfish, PSC, 2 inch size for June delivery. My pond varies from .4 to .75 acres, depending on the watertable. They will be going into rip rap and broken concrete slab for cover. I've not been able to find much researching the net and forum on what the right number of crawfish is to stock for forage so I'm taking a guess. At least I can post how it worked out in a year or 3. smile If anybody has experience with what the right stocking rate is, please let me know as I still have time to adjust the order.

Thanks,

Bill


Edited by Bill D. (04/07/16 09:39 PM)
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#443126 - 04/07/16 09:40 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19533
Loc: Miss.
What is in the pond ?
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#443129 - 04/07/16 09:57 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: ewest]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: ewest
What is in the pond ?


Thanks for the reply!

Can't say for sure but what was stocked since 2014 is...

11 6 to 8 WE 2015
10 6 to 8 SMB 2014
100 5 to 7 YP ...75 in 2014 and 25 2015
3 or 4 LMB biggest probably 14 to 15 by now (to be removed I hope)
100 PS at 2 to 3 in 2014
100 BG 5 to 6 in 2014
About 16 CC with 10 currently about 6 in and the others 2+ lbs
FHM still a few schools hanging in there
GSH a few but seem to be increasing
SFS just stocked
BNM just stocked

Goal for the PSC is FA control as well as forage



Edited by Bill D. (04/08/16 08:35 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#443300 - 04/09/16 10:21 AM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12468
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
You have quite a few predators (SMB,LMB,WE,CC, & YP) for placing only 250 papershells in your pond. I catch YP with adult papershell in them. Every small fish in your pond will eat crayfish less than 1" long. IMO Survival will be dependent on how much cover you have available and how many you stock. For an existing pond with those predators capable of reproducing, I would have stocked closer to 2500 not 250. I stocked 300 PSC in a 1/3 acre minnow only pond and had good reproduction and recruitment. If you are really interested in providing crayfish as a constant forage food try growing them in a small 0.1 ac pond or pool with minnows as polyculture. Then transfer the surplus.

For readers here is a link to the page with some of BillD's shoreline see: West Waterway 1.jpg
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=443300&page=6

Your rock lined shoreline with large concrete pieces may be enough cover for the crayfish to maintain broodstock, although with those crayfish loving predators (bass &CC) I would not expect numerous crayfish to always be present to serve as a good food source. With reproducing bass present it is very difficult to maintain minnows and small forage foods without a weedy pond. I think your predator types will eat crayfish more readily than small fish depending on abundance and encounter rate.


Edited by Bill Cody (04/09/16 10:38 AM)
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#443303 - 04/09/16 10:58 AM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks for the info Bill. 2500 PSC is way beyond the budget I have for them. I'd guess, with shipping, that would be $1500+. I will bump the order to 500 though and cross my fingers. I'll also try to add a few more areas of large rip rap or boulders before June. The plan is to get more vegetation going this year as well.
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#443316 - 04/09/16 05:10 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I'll take a shot at removing as many of the LMB and larger CC as I can. I'm thinking that will also help my chances of getting the PSC established, at least in brood stock numbers.
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#443324 - 04/09/16 07:54 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Thin the bass and CC heavily you can always allow the population to recover. LMB are prolific and SMB will definitely recruit in our pond.

I don't know of any research studies but papershells esp YOY crayfish since they are slow movers are probably as vulnerable to predation as FHM.

Since you have those species of predators I would be very surprised to see the BNM recruit any young into your pond.


Edited by Bill Cody (04/09/16 07:58 PM)
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#443358 - 04/09/16 09:45 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks Bill. I'll work to get the large CC and all the LMB out. Do you think the 6 to 8 inch CC are a big problem (they were closer to 6)? The biggest SMB is probably 12 inch that I've seen. Is that a problem?

The YP have either spawned or will soon so their new spawn will be the first to run the gauntlet of predators. PS next then BG. Somewhere in there the GSH, SFS, FHM and BNM will also start. Not sure the SMB will spawn and hope to get the LMB out. Throwing is some PSC....It definitely promises to be an interesting summer with all the variables going on!
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#443360 - 04/09/16 09:50 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Bill D, do what you can to get the LMB out of there before they spawn. If they pull off a spawn, your level of difficulty has risen 1,000 fold.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#443424 - 04/10/16 08:03 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I'm worried some about that. One question I have though is if my predator base is such that it will prevent PSC from thriving and BNM from recruitment, why wouldn't the same predators prevent significant recruitment from 1 or 2 pairs of LMB? Are LMB spawn better at avoiding predation than other species?

I also left out another potential forage/variable from my previous summary. Approximately half the pond has a 6 foot wide rip rap band around it that is packed full of 2 to 3 inch tadpoles. Are tadpoles/small frogs a significant forage?
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#443496 - 04/11/16 02:27 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
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Male LMB guard the fry school until they are about 3/4"-1" in length.....
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#443501 - 04/11/16 03:43 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12468
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LMB are prolific spawners and since they protect the YOY 'fingerling" bass until they are about 1" a high percentage of them survive. A small pond with 50-250 1" bass quickly become a significant predator force eating everything that fits in their mouth. Once those small bass get chased they become pretty skittish. Crayfish and minnows are generally easier to catch for larger LMB than fingerling bass. Larger bass do eat some small bass especially when other items are scarce. Try using FHM or larger creek minnows 2ft-5ft under a slender bobber to catch your bass. Your bass in IL area will probably be spawning in 2-3 wks - get busy collecting bait and then fishing. Beginning LMB nest building starts at 59-60F and spawn is around 62F; so monitor your water temps for timing. Female bass should be hungry now developing eggs so you should be able to catch them if you are a decent angler. Remember those larger add stock bass have been caught previously so finesse fishing would be wise.

Count on each bass to eat 300 upto 500 small fish per year so all those items are removed from the system. Generally they eat the most vulnerable stuff first. Often tadpoles are not eaten until most other good stuff is abscent.

Those small CC of 6"-8" wont be eating many fish-crayfish until the CC are larger 15"-18".


Edited by Bill Cody (04/11/16 04:00 PM)
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#443539 - 04/11/16 07:19 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill Cody]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Thanks for the info guys!

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
.....you should be able to catch them if you are a decent angler. .....


Dang Bill! Nothing like piling on the pressure! grin Water is overflowing the shore and low visibility right now. Should be interesting trying to catch 3 or 4 fish out of the entire pond in those conditions. Good news is forecast is for less wind this week and warming temps. Maybe I can spot them to get an idea where they're hanging out.

The bait shop at the State Park near me has shiners. I'll swing by and pick some up and get busy chasing those LMB.
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#443580 - 04/11/16 11:50 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Dan123 Offline


Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 71
Loc: Cross City Florida
OK Bill, As we discussed the Fedex guy will drop off the 3 , 6' Gators and those 16 Cottonmouths you wanted. I was distracted, and missed the number of Coral snakes you said you needed so I will have to ship those up with that order of Eastern Diamondbacks. Dan

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#443675 - 04/12/16 06:15 PM Re: On Mutt Pond [Re: Bill D.]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5607
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Dang it Dan! I think you musta misunderstood. I said I thought it is cool you have some swamp land NOT that I wanted to build a swamp! grin

No problem though. Bob O is still in Florida so I'll just have FEDEX drop those critters in his pond. He loves that Florida "wild life!" grin
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