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Impact of Overstocked TP?
#498477 11/07/18 02:09 PM
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I added 150 lb of TP this year, 20 lbs per acre. Seems I overstocked, didn't really think about it much at the time.

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, RW on larger (15 inch plus) LMB absolutely exploded. Average over 120, some fish 140. Smaller LMB still in 80s/90s, I'm trying to cull them out.

Here's my question: Does overstocking TP help the larger LMB, but not the smaller? If so, how?

Anybody else experienced anything similar?

Last edited by anthropic; 11/07/18 02:11 PM.

8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20




Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498480 11/07/18 04:22 PM
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Sounds like 20 lbs per acre is going to the be the new MINIMAL recommended stocking rate for those who want an awesome LMB fishery!!

Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498482 11/07/18 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: anthropic
I added 150 lb of TP this year, 20 lbs per acre. Seems I overstocked, didn't really think about it much at the time.

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, RW on larger (15 inch plus) LMB absolutely exploded. Average over 120, some fish 140. Smaller LMB still in 80s/90s, I'm trying to cull them out.

Here's my question: Does overstocking TP help the larger LMB, but not the smaller? If so, how?

Anybody else experienced anything similar?


Anthropic I would think it would depend what size the tilapia were when you stocked them, were they to big to be eaten by the LMB or feed for them . I thought smaller LMB fed on smaller food. So if the smaller LMB are thin - either too many of them or not enough enough bait to feed em .... just thinkin out load

Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498486 11/07/18 06:53 PM
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Not at all surprised which LMB won the tilapia battle. Those smaller than 15" are lean for a reason. The TP took forage from them two ways. First, they took forage away from BG by intercepting the food chain at the primary level. Just like zebra mussels except that TP feed large bass. Second they grew too fast to be small bass food for long and so provide no meaningful forage for the small bass. They did not provide any meaningful forage for your BG either.

It was like you had two ponds ... one that starved small bass and one that exceptionally fed the large ones .... all wrapped into the same pond. TP are exceptionally good for large bass.

If I had any concern it would be recruitment of quality 15" bass and what I might do if I were you is find a source 1 year old forage raised 15" female F1s and stock them in the number I want recruited annually.

Last edited by jpsdad; 11/07/18 07:11 PM.
Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498499 11/08/18 02:01 AM
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Thanks for the good input, guys. Helps me to see factors I've overlooked!

Adding larger LMB is expensive, but in this case probably worth the money. Last year's stocking of 12 inch aggressive feed trained N LMB made a dramatic difference, as they were big enough to take advantage of forage the smaller LMB could not. That includes the smaller LMB, too, which needed culling!

If I can take out enough LMB the next six to nine months, would like to stock some good size F1s in 2019. Especially females! Genetic diversity is a good thing, as is adding fish that are not lure shy.

Bob Lusk has noticed that BOW with TP tend to have BG that enter winter in better shape than BOW without TP. He thinks the BG chow down on the TP YOY.

Personally, I like seeing my larger LMB pack on the weight, even if it means I sacrifice some growth for the smaller fish.


Last edited by anthropic; 11/08/18 02:03 AM.

8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20




Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498508 11/08/18 08:31 AM
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I have seen overstocking Tp at my pond and did not see any problem with the other fish, lmb,hsb,bg,res or TFS. But overstocking did bring in other animals and birds to feed on them when they slowed down in the Early winter. I usually see the Tp slowing down in December. Other things being Bald Eagles, River otters, Cormorants. So, after all that I have reduced my stocking rates to 12 to 15 lbs per acre. I think that has helped to reduce the others from feeding on my fish.


There is an older thread here where Todd Overton recommended 12 lbs per acre in a lmb/bg pond

Last edited by TGW1; 11/08/18 08:33 AM.

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Tracy
Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498516 11/08/18 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: anthropic


Bob Lusk has noticed that BOW with TP tend to have BG that enter winter in better shape than BOW without TP. He thinks the BG chow down on the TP YOY.


I based my statement as to the benefit to BG on research where all fish are harvested before the tilapia die. Specifically the growth of LMB fingerlings whose growth are greatly inhibited by the presence of TP. To be sure, if your small LMB (< 14") experienced difficulty in harvesting TP then your BG could have been no more successful. They are not as good a predator as LMB.

I am not saying Bob is wrong about the BG condition but rather he may misunderstand when and how the food is getting to the BG. The largest crop of YOY TP is late in summer and BG would be able to consume them as they die, as also would small LMB. Surely this could only help BG and small LMB condition but I would suggest this just might be too little to late on its own. There is also a lot of large TP dying and the BG potentially could consume decaying TP and organisms feeding on them. BG under this circumstance might possess an advantage over small LMB which for behavioral reasons wouldn't feed on things to large to swallow.


Last edited by jpsdad; 11/08/18 12:49 PM.
Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498522 11/08/18 03:00 PM
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Ponds are very dynamic. You can't make an accurate conclusion on population cause and effect based on short term observations. Many observations are just a "point in time" fact. For example RW just after the spawn do not reflect population condition but are just a point in time number to add to series of RW over time (several cycles). Also RW for a year are only a reflection of that period and not necessarily what you will see going forward. This is because forage populations and predator populations change and shift in size and numbers due to changing conditions like year class size , food availability and mortalities (natural and harvest). The most important aspect of mgt. is to understand the basic concepts and how they are effecting your pond and be able to apply them forward so as to head off future unwanted problems.

As applied to this discussion at certain times and sizes BG compete with Tilapia for food but at others they do not. Depending on size structure tilapia often reduce the pressure of predation on BG and allow them to live longer thus reach larger size. This helps larger LMB but lets the BG get to big for small LMB. If you are feeding and food is not an issue for tilapia or BG then all will get bigger quicker and avoid small LMB predation. Thus you will have more and larger better conditioned BG going into winter. This will change over time as the larger and better condition BG have lots more babies the next spring.


I encourage everyone to learn about trophic cascades where changes effect a cause and effect on multiple factors going forward and include whole system rises and falls.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trophic_cascade

Last edited by ewest; 11/08/18 03:07 PM.















Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498530 11/08/18 05:28 PM
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Maybe I am looking at this Tp/Bg thing wrong when it comes to RW's in the smaller yoy lmb. I would have to agree with Pat when it comes to thinning out the herd of yearling lmb. But look at it like when you feed your bg, I would say the goal is to get them to a healthy breeding size as fast as possible where they produce more fry. So, in fact feeding bg makes them grow to fast to be eaten by yoy lmb. And with them spawning 5 times per year maybe here in E Texas then maybe too many of the bg grow to fast. At my place I would say it might be considered a rolling spawn so to say. Where as the Tp will spawn more often but fewer fry. My Tp are usually crowded out at the feeders by the bg. So they grow slower. It was not that way when the Tp were overstocked, at that time the Tp seemed to crowd out the Bg. Maybe it's the feeding the bg that may cause the problem for the smaller lmb?

Last edited by TGW1; 11/08/18 05:31 PM.

Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


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Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
TGW1 #498533 11/08/18 05:54 PM
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Tracy not so sure that the BG get that much feed, at least in my puddle they stay close to shore and the feed is eaten by the larger adults. They venture out there and .... they gone. If you have a rolling spawn then there would almost always be food I would think. I may be wrong.

Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
ewest #498541 11/08/18 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: ewest

As applied to this discussion at certain times and sizes BG compete with Tilapia for food but at others they do not.


From what I have read TP become less dependent upon zooplankton as they age and this type of feeding behavior is limited to fry 1" or less in length. Even so, fry are capable of converting phytoplankton and detritus and do not solely depend on zooplankton the way that BG do. TP occupy a lower trophic status than BG and even a lower trophic status than some minnows. TP compete for food with organisms that BG eat and this is quite important to the BG part of the equation in a multispecies interaction.

Originally Posted By: ewest

Depending on size structure tilapia often reduce the pressure of predation on BG and allow them to live longer thus reach larger size. This helps larger LMB but lets the BG get to big for small LMB. If you are feeding and food is not an issue for tilapia or BG then all will get bigger quicker and avoid small LMB predation. Thus you will have more and larger better conditioned BG going into winter. This will change over time as the larger and better condition BG have lots more babies the next spring.


This is theory but I have yet to find any scientific support of it. I am not saying it doesn't exist so if you can point us to studies which provide evidence of this I would be most grateful.

I don't want to be argumentative but I really do think there needs to be research to validate these ideas . Here is a possible hole in the theory ...

If BG are not consumed at a smaller size wouldn't more of them survive causing them to stunt, over populate, and be in poor condition?

Are there any studies that indicate that BG numbers, growth, and relative weight, and standing weight increase when TP are added? I've looked for them but just can't find any studies which have determined these benefits and put numbers on these parameters. I wish Swingle had reported the LMB - BG - TP interaction but as far as I can tell he used TP in place of BG when TP were evaluated with LMB.

Based on what I have read from anecdotal evidence it would seem that BG growth is good in the presence of TP but there are no controls. Are BG getting fed artificially and the BG reproduction and numbers inhibited? These are unanswered questions I think. The best test of the interaction would be treatments designed to measure reproduction, growth, and standing weights of BG in the presence of TP and LMB. Here the standing weights of LMB and BG would be same in the controls as in the treatment with TP. Whatever fertility or feed additions should be identical between test and control and the evaluations should be made prior to TP dieoff and subsequent to dieoff in order to understand how the recycling of their biomass may effect LMB and BG growth and condition.


Last edited by jpsdad; 11/08/18 07:34 PM.
Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498542 11/08/18 07:57 PM
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IMO the more diversity there is in the forage base, the less pressure there is on any one species. If you can add a new sustainable and nearly non competing forage to your pond (such as a herbivore introduced to a pond of omnivores), the current resident forage will realize an increase in prosperity.

Not a pro, just 1 cent from a novice.



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Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
anthropic #498545 11/08/18 08:44 PM
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Fascinating discussion. That's what I love about the PB Forum!

A few observations from my BOW this year (As Eric said, ponds are dynamic):

I saw lots of LMB and CNBG come to feeders, far fewer TP. At a guess, TP were only around 5 to 10 percent of feeding fish. But the previous year I almost never saw any TP, nor did they show up electrofishing. Overstocking made a real difference, for good or ill.

Stocked N LMB seemed to help a lot with my hordes of stunted Fla LMB. Down the hatch! Also noticed big increase in RW of larger Fla LMB.

I fed a bit less & fertilized a bit more than last year.

Habitat improved a LOT, though I can't take much credit. Big increase in plants, especially Am Pondweed, Chara, and Pickerelweed. AP and Chara held large numbers of YOY fish (too tiny for me to identify or net) when electroshocked. Didn't see this at all a year ago, probably made a significant difference!

Did not have a slow motion fish kill due to fungus this year. Last year fungus whacked my larger CNBG hard. Probably temps cooled more gradually this year, though who knows for sure.


Last edited by anthropic; 11/08/18 08:50 PM.

8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20




Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
Bill D. #498549 11/08/18 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
IMO the more diversity there is in the forage base, the less pressure there is on any one species. If you can add a new sustainable and nearly non competing forage to your pond (such as a herbivore introduced to a pond of omnivores), the current resident forage will realize an increase in prosperity.

Not a pro, just 1 cent from a novice.


Do you mean to say the current resident forage will increase in number and biomass? While I can think of some species that will interact with BG (by providing forage for them like PK shrimp) in this way I find it difficult to sell this bill for TP. TP are clearly capable of dominating consumption of primary production. So many forage organisms depend on this primary production it is difficult to make a case as to how these species are benefitted by TP. Take rotifers, cladocerans, amphipods, etc. They need the phytoplankton and detritus that the TP are consuming. If this primary production is under utilized then perhaps there remains enough to maintain them but it is hard to sell the bill that TP take pressure off these types of organisms. The BG can't eat most of the TP and rely on these organisms. I would be willing to make a friendly wager that through the growing season TP inhibit BG reproduction rather than promote it and that BG growth is boosted because there are fewer YOY BG produced.

We should keep in mind that the introduction of new species do not always result in benefits to others. Do zebra mussels take pressure off of BG, cladocerans, etc? Probably not. TP, especially when stocked at higher density will quickly convert primary production and detrital stores into biomass only large predators can effectively eat (at least until the annual dieoff).

Last edited by jpsdad; 11/08/18 09:34 PM.
Re: Impact of Overstocked TP?
jpsdad #498550 11/08/18 10:33 PM
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I think the majority of people that utilize TP do so to consume excess FA. They use them for algae control.


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