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#498440 - 11/06/18 02:16 PM Too Late to Stock Forage Fish?
Ibanez540r Offline


Registered: 06/25/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Medina, Ohio
Puchased my house with just under 1/2 acre pond last summer (2017). Found out the previous owner stocked the pond with LMB, two White Amur and a variation of BG in 2014 (have the list but not handy right now.) He had the stocking company doing 10lbs of shiners and 10lbs of minnows every spring & fall.

Last summer I purchased a 40lb bag of Optimal and hand fed regularly into fall and had a little left in Spring but have since been distracted from the pond. I called the company he had been using and got back onto a schedule of forage fish. However, they are a few weeks out for delivery putting the forage stock into at least Mid-November here in NE Ohio. Is it too late? Will the forage fish die over winter? Or should I go ahead and have them put in.. ?

The pond is aerated. I pull the diffuser near shore over winter, and will sometimes turn it off for a few weeks to let the pond freeze over so the kids can skate.


Edited by Ibanez540r (11/06/18 02:17 PM)

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#498443 - 11/06/18 02:27 PM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1889
Loc: West Michigan
If I was you I would put HSB in there as an awesome way to round out the mix.

Do you have any way of knowing how long the fish truck minnows last? Are they always gone between the spring and fall stocking?

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#498446 - 11/06/18 03:25 PM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 197
Loc: Texas
Ibanez,

I presume that the minnows are FHM. Just my two cents ... I would not do it now. By spring they may all be eaten without reproducing. I would time introductions like this in the spring when the breeding season for the forage allows them to produce offspring.

Were it me. I would stop stocking FHM to boost forage. They have a tough time reproducing with BG and LMB in the pond. The GSH on the other hand don't need to defend their eggs and may reproduce significantly if timed for the onset of breeding. I think you would get more forage out of 20 lbs of shiners in the spring than 10 lbs of each split between spring and fall. The bonus would be that you would be spending half as much smile

But before you do anything this spring ... think about how you want your BOW to perform for you. Big bass, big BG, lots of fish for frying ... whatever it may be. Study up and plan for what you want.


Edited by jpsdad (11/06/18 03:56 PM)

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#498459 - 11/07/18 06:15 AM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
Mfitzs70 Offline


Registered: 07/30/17
Posts: 40
Loc: OH
Might want to take a fish survey..just because the previous owner said certain things it might not always be the case now. Once you know for sure yourself then you will decide how to sculpture it to your liking.

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#498463 - 11/07/18 08:07 AM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
Ibanez540r Offline


Registered: 06/25/17
Posts: 4
Loc: Medina, Ohio
Canyoncreek - I have no idea. No details, just what "Jones Fish" has saved in their files on my house.

JPSdad - Just to clarify since reading back my post was a little misleading, they had been stocking 20lbs in spring and 20lbs in fall. 10 of FHM and 10 of GSH.

I'm OK if they will be eaten by Spring. I will just stock again. My worry is my current fish will already be inactice due to the cold and not really eat, and the FHM & GSH will die off over winter making it all a wast of money. ??

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#498465 - 11/07/18 08:57 AM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 843
Loc: West Central Missouri
I don't think you will lose your minnows over the winter due to environmental conditions. My pond sustained a massive population of FHM last winter with no game fish. We even had 6 to 8 inches of ice over that lasted several weeks. I could see tadpoles, frogs, and minnows through the ice and never saw a dead minnow...the frogs did not do so well however.

You are basically feeding your fish the minnows so if the minnows are gone by spring it will be mostly due to predation. Some might argue that it would be an expensive way to feed game fish and considered a waste of money anyhow, especially compared to pellet feeding. It certainly won't do any harm and can only help. Consider adding some pallet stacks sunk in 3 to 5 foot of water for the FHM to spawn on next spring. You will not likely get a sustainable population, but you would certainly get some fry added to the pond for smaller gamefish forage.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#498466 - 11/07/18 09:24 AM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 197
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Ibanez540r

JPSdad - Just to clarify since reading back my post was a little misleading, they had been stocking 20lbs in spring and 20lbs in fall. 10 of FHM and 10 of GSH.


That is how I understood your original post. IMHO, stocking 20 lbs of GSH in the spring will provide more forage than stocking 10 lbs of each forage in both the spring and fall. The reason is because the GSH will reproduce where it may be questionable for the FHM. 20 lbs of GSH will likely produce many times their weight in forage for your LMB. They can feed at a lower trophic level than BG and will utilize resources the BG can't.


Originally Posted By: Ibanez540r


I'm OK if they will be eaten by Spring. I will just stock again. My worry is my current fish will already be inactice due to the cold and not really eat, and the FHM & GSH will die off over winter making it all a wast of money. ??


I'm pretty sure that most dying prey fish will be spotted and consumed by predators. I've always thought it remarkable the extent to which predators can gain through the winter months.

Down here GSH and FHM cost ~$15/lb and so 20 lbs can translate into 2 lbs of LMB gain if they do not reproduce and are eaten. That's about $150 per lb of weight gained. One the other hand if 20 lbs of GSH are able produce 300 lbs of forage through the season via reproduction then the cost per lb of weight gained falls to $10/lb. Increasing the spring stocking and dropping the fall stocking could potentially increase the fall standing weight of GSH by much more than the 10 lbs you planned to stock ... just saying.:)


Edited by jpsdad (11/07/18 09:24 AM)

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#498526 - 11/08/18 04:15 PM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19590
Loc: Miss.
FH are hardy and withstand poor water quality including low DO. Normal winter should not be a problem for them assuming some food is available.


Edited by ewest (11/08/18 04:15 PM)
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#498535 - 11/08/18 06:08 PM Re: Too Late to Stock Forage Fish? [Re: Ibanez540r]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
FWIW I stocked 10 lbs of GSH and 10 lbs of FHM last fall into my little puddle. I had no expectation that many would survive the winter but some did. My goal was simply to provide a little supplemental winter forage to help keep the WE and other predators in good condition thru the winter and take some pressure off my small BG. IMO it worked.


Edited by Bill D. (11/08/18 06:25 PM)
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