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#499345 - 12/05/18 07:59 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5677
Loc: Boone County Illinois
My vote would be the more data the better without making it a huge task. First thing that came to my mind was is there a difference in forage size preference between Northern LMB, Florida LMB and F1 LMB.


Edited by Bill D. (12/05/18 08:15 PM)
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#499358 - 12/05/18 10:38 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1531
Loc: East Texas, USA
Bob Lusk has said that gizzard shad are really important for growing giant LMB. He generally recommends them for people who focus on lunker bass.

Gizzards can get up to 2 lb, unlike threadfin shad which top out around six inches.


Edited by anthropic (12/05/18 10:38 PM)
_________________________
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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#499370 - 12/06/18 04:40 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13632
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Coupla thoughts.

First, all impoundments(water holes with fish) are different.

Lusk sez that 99.5% of the eggs laid will never develop into mature(whatever that is) fish. They get eaten. And that's not a bad thing. And, the larger bluegills play an important role in cropping their own and bass offspring. I've watched male bass trying to protect a nest with fingerlings from BG and small bass predation multiple times. That's Mama Nature at work.

Due to growing and feeding seasons, this stuff is regional. In the South with a longer spawning, feeding and growing season, there are few parallels between water holes here and those further North. Heck, my North Texas ponds differ from Al Halls East Texas ponds. He gets more rains and I get more drawdowns from Mama Nature. And the drawdowns, as much as I hate them, make more forage available to predators.

In the warmer climates with the longer growing seasons, I think we are more likely to have oxygen crashes due to having too many fish. Been there, done that and have had to clean up the mess more than once.

In our area, only Bluegills spawn enough to feed bass and only bass can control bluegill spawning to prevent an O2 crash.

We all try for balanced ponds. Heck, without our intervention, that's generally about 15 minutes during the life of the pond. And culling and cannibalism are our tools.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#499376 - 12/06/18 07:06 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Bill, I'll add the flag of LMB strain.

Thanks to everyone who commented. I'll post a separate thread for data and reference in this post later today.

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#499379 - 12/06/18 08:12 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3897
Loc: Emory TX
Originally Posted By: jpsdad
...Looking at the photograph got me to think about another relevant feature of the mouth that might contribute to the success of capture. Its that tounge. Its there for a purpose and I think that purpose is to push prey to rear of the mouth. It may be used in conjuction with the roof pads for constraining prey motion. What are your thoughts Al? Would the tounge affect the measurement of effective gape?


I'm not sure, but the abrasions on the palette make me think it's part of the process by either holding or helping swallow the forage.

4.75" is the more conservative number, and what I would go by here. Having said that, LMB are opportunistic feeders, so their diet is probably determined primarily by availability as much as anything.

EDIT: I didn't take the tongue into account for 2 reasons. One, the vertical gape is the most common and easily determined choice for forage sizing, and two, I was unable to manipulate the LMB's mouth into a true flared opening, so any numbers I had would get would probably be sketchy at best.

Sometimes LMB make poor choices based on that availability.



Attachments
IMG_4932 2_800.jpg (431 downloads)



Edited by FireIsHot (12/06/18 08:39 AM)
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#499380 - 12/06/18 09:13 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2525
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
jpsdad, smaller biomass of breeders and larger biomass of yoy bg. I have been working on that since the beginning. Producing lots of bg, that is! I will never forget the time when Todd Overton came to the pond and made recommendations for me to build some brush piles along the shoreline for the cnbg fry to improve their survival where I would produce more 2 to 3" bg. I lacked vegetation so the brush piles gave the bg fry a place to hide. We also stocked an additional 25 lbs of FHM's to reduce the pressure on the bg fry. Later on, after doing the brush piles, I had a boom in 3" cnbg. Hundreds and hundreds of them. The brush piles really worked. I had lots cover around the pond water but not so much against the shoreline until I followed Todd's Recommendations.


The information I have seen lead me to believe I needed to keep the larger sized >7" cnbg for breeders. More >7", and they produced the most fry. Just the opposite from what I have read here in this thread. If I am understanding it? I am not fussing here, just thinking out loud. I maybe confused as I am not the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to growing trophy lmb.

And Al, I have given much thought about reducing the feeding of the smaller cnbg and have reduced the amount of feed I once fed. Wanting to reduce growth rates on my bg along with reducing nutrients into the pond. You could have shared the comments on feeding less around the spawning areas a few yrs ago and saved me some bucks I spent on feed. smile Just messen with ya! And thanks for your input, it reinforced my feeding thoughts and opened my eyes on mouth gape for providing the right sized forage to my lmb.

jpsdad, thanks for bringing this all up! Good info, keeps me thinking on how to get my lmb larger faster.


Edited by TGW1 (12/06/18 09:26 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#499392 - 12/06/18 11:58 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: TGW1]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1531
Loc: East Texas, USA
I'm wondering if the best feeding strategy might be to use larger pellets that big CNBG can eat but not so much the little guys. Sure, the pellets will soften and little guys will get some, but less than they would small pellets. That way the big breeders will do well, but the smaller fish would stay bite size longer.


Edited by anthropic (12/06/18 11:59 AM)
_________________________
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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#499396 - 12/06/18 12:39 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: TGW1]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3897
Loc: Emory TX
Originally Posted By: TGW1
...The information I have seen lead me to believe I needed to keep the larger sized >7" cnbg for breeders. More >7", and they produced the most fry. Just the opposite from what I have read here in this thread. If I am understanding it? I am not fussing here, just thinking out loud. I maybe confused as I am not the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to growing trophy lmb.


Tracy you're correct, you should keep your larger CNBG for spawners. We stock them at 8" primarily because we have an older pond, and I feel like that #'s safe for the majority of them. I just like my smaller CNBG to slow roll through puberty.
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#499402 - 12/06/18 01:40 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19620
Loc: Miss.
Some interesting parts of the study IMO.

Table 4
Literature review of study piscivore gape-limits and maximum ingested prey size estimates.

Predator taxon Prey taxon Study Type Estimate Type % Body Length Reference


Largemouth Bass All Prey Field survey Max. model 30–35% Goldstein [58]

Largemouth Bass All Prey Field survey 90th %tile value 33% Pierce, Sexton [57]

Largemouth Bass All Prey Field survey Max. value 71% Pierce, Sexton [57]

Largemouth Bass Bluegill Gape-limit Max. model 34–35% Lawrence [56]

Largemouth Bass Gizzard Shad Gape-limit Max. model 34–49% Lawrence [56]

Largemouth Bass Largemouth Bass Gape-limit Max. model 44–58% Lawrence [56]c


Early optimal foraging (or diet) theory predicted that predators optimally forage by selecting prey that maximizes energy gain while minimizing handling time [2, 10, 17–19]. Optimal foraging theory, therefore, predicts that IPmax and IP50 should increase linearly with predator size [10] and is limited only by gape (i.e., gape-limit; [21]). While this has served as a foundation for gape-limitation research, studies over the last quarter century have shown that piscivore predation does not follow this pattern as prey mobility may influence both encounter rate and capture efficiencies [21, 22, 48, 52–54]. Furthermore, energetically favorable large prey fishes are often relatively scarce in ecosystems [48]. While piscivores become more effective predators with size due to increased swimming speed, burst capabilities, and visual acuity, prey fishes similarly become more effective at avoiding predation with size [2, 48, 55]. Our findings support these developments in optimal foraging theory that suggest foraging success on mobile prey is not simply a function of gape limitation and handling time, but also of search time, encounter rate, opportunity, and prey behavior [52, 53].


A common approach to estimate IPmax is the gape-limit method (Fig 2, Line c; Table 4; e.g., [56]). However, this method assumes predator mouth size is the only determinant of prey size and does not account for prey availability, prey behavior, handling time, capture success, or competition, which often results in overestimated IPmax for larger individuals.

We acknowledge that our results have limitations (e.g., low sample sizes for crappie, smallmouth bass, and rock bass; northern pike observations from only two lakes; and a lack of information on prey fish community size structure available in the ecosystem) and, therefore, stress that these are “realized” prey lengths, not “preferred” prey lengths.

Furthermore, while it has been shown that the size distribution of prey fishes available in the environment do not reflect those observed in the diet [50], we recommend future analyses compare the distribution of prey total lengths found in diets to the distribution of length observed in the ecosystem. Despite potential shortcomings, examining predator-prey total length relationships for a variety of taxa across multiple lakes, as in our study, provides an empirical basis for assessing how predation can structure or influence populations, communities, and aquatic ecosystems.


Edited by ewest (12/07/18 01:13 PM)
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#499405 - 12/06/18 02:00 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
Sunil Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11555
Loc: Somerset, PA
" I just like my smaller CNBG to slow roll through puberty."

Freak.
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#499419 - 12/06/18 05:32 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Eric,

You didn't expand on why you find that interesting. I did notice that you highlighted the predicted maximum lengths reported by various author based on their measurements of gape. The authors of this paper never objected to these findings of "estimated maximum lengths" as these lengths are approached, thought not realized, in the evidence they evaluated. In the practical sense, the "realized prey lengths" are just what the predators were doing going about their daily lives of being a predator. The realized prey lengths were remarkably similar across a broad number of predators and for individual predators across a broad range of predator sizes.

What I found interesting is that the smaller prey dominates the samples and I took it to mean that the predators were gaining benefit from them. This could be important. First because a BOW can produce a greater weight of smaller fish annually as forage, but also for other management decisions. For example they mentioned in the paper how a DNR was using their findings to determine the optimum size to stock Walleye in waters with bass predators.

Tracy,

To truly understand what effects >6" BG harvest may have on a BOW, we would need a situation where a BOW had plentiful >6" BG and the owner has been keeping a detailed ongoing record of LMB catches and weights. A good candidate would be a BOW with a continuing decline of > 20" LMB RWs. If harvesting >6" BG were to increase forage availability to 20" LMB then RWs might be expected to increase. To be sure, it isn't a trickle down effect, rather, it is a trickle up effect where the largest predators get what survives their smaller neighbors. An increase in all LMB RW's would be significant supporting evidence that more forage was provided. If the largest LMB are benefited by removing >6" LMB then one can only conclude that more plentiful <6" forage was a greater benefit to them. If however, the >20" LMB condition worsens significantly, I would have to wonder if the harvest of >6" BG took food away from them.

***Bump***

Tracy one other means of determining optimum adult BG biomass has occurred to me. From the perspective of an experiment ... one approach might be to stock total weight of BG adults with a specific weight of LMB (say 4 lb LMB at rate of 100 _lbs/acre). Allow a growing season from May to November. The optimum Adult BG Biomass might indicate the carryover you need to optimize forage production.


Edited by jpsdad (12/07/18 03:50 PM)

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#499455 - 12/07/18 01:09 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19620
Loc: Miss.
It takes reading a few studies and books to learn the terms used and how they are used . I went back and highlighted text that relates to this thread.

Much of this in common terms is common sense. The above text has inconsistencies in my opinion. I think using basic basic energetics theory is better. The fish will eat what provides the most energy overall. Not necessarily the biggest fish it can swallow. Fish instinctively will go for the prey that will provide the most benefit after deducting the energy cost to catch and process. That is on an individual basis. If a few fish are better at catching big prey and can do so at low cost they will have the best chance of becoming the trophies.


Edited by ewest (12/07/18 01:22 PM)
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#499461 - 12/07/18 03:41 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: ewest]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: ewest
I think using basic basic energetics theory is better. The fish will eat what provides the most energy overall. Not necessarily the biggest fish it can swallow.. .


This makes a whole lot of sense to me. Even so, to be true ... the distributions of forage lengths observed reflect the distribution of sizes that were providing the "most energy overall" for the predators sampled.

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#499464 - 12/07/18 04:39 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19620
Loc: Miss.
Yes all fish are not the same - they adapt or die. Some will be better at catching many small prey and others will eat fewer but bigger meals and still others will do some of both. Your selection of goals and how to achieve them have to account for many variables some of which are difficult to control/plan for. The most important one (one often noted in studies as problematical) for most waters is lack of food.

Here is one point I noted from the text:

"We acknowledge that our results have limitations (e.g., low sample sizes for crappie, smallmouth bass, and rock bass; northern pike observations from only two lakes; and a lack of information on prey fish community size structure available in the ecosystem) and, therefore, stress that these are “realized” prey lengths, not “preferred” prey lengths."

That is a big if to be missing on.

It could be that those systems were out of balance (which is common) and that there were not many big BG to eat.


Edited by ewest (12/07/18 04:46 PM)
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#499468 - 12/07/18 05:54 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: ewest]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: ewest


Here is one point I noted from the text:

"We acknowledge that our results have limitations (e.g., low sample sizes for crappie, smallmouth bass, and rock bass; northern pike observations from only two lakes; and a lack of information on prey fish community size structure available in the ecosystem) and, therefore, stress that these are &#147;realized&#148; prey lengths, not &#147;preferred&#148; prey lengths."

That is a big if to be missing on.

It could be that those systems were out of balance (which is common) and that there were not many big BG to eat.


This is certainly an unknown. For LMB samples, however, the size of BG that fit the gape are not that large. Almost all of the LMB predators were less than 16". One has to wonder why the 10" LMB weren't primarily feeding on 3" BG if the 15" LMB were consuming primarily ~3". If 3" LMB are abundant enough to feed 15" LMB, what explanation remains as to why they weren't also abundant for the 10" LMB? If we argue its merely a reflection of abundance (or lack of)... more complicated theories must be constructed to justify why the abundance of 1/4 to 1/3 length prey were not predominately consumed by the smaller predators. Even so, it is unknown and I do think it is far less about "preference" and much more about "opportunity".

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#499472 - 12/08/18 05:01 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13632
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Agree with opportunity. Neither predator nor prey have the ability to reason but are more reactive. But, that's not to say that they can't learn.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#499474 - 12/08/18 07:47 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2525
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I would like to add information to your new thread but for now the Florida lmb in the 17 to 17 1/2" are in the 120 to 124% RW range. So I have no plans on harvesting those fish at this time. If I was to harvest one, it would be most likely be due to poor condition, like blind in one eye or something else. And that might skew the results, I would think. However I am pretty sure, one day in the future I will be removing some for harvest due to RW of the fish. I hope I don't have to harvest larger sized lmb but if everything goes as planned then most likely I will and I would be happy to report what I see in stomach contents.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#499475 - 12/08/18 07:56 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5677
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Agree with opportunity. Neither predator nor prey have the ability to reason but are more reactive. ....


Yes! This makes a lot of sense to me. It seems intuitive to me that there is a minimum size BG must attain to be of interest to LMB and trigger an attack (reactive). For purpose of discussion, assume that is 3 inches for larger LMB. Arguably, there are significantly more 3 inch BG in a typical pond's population than each larger size class, which implies that there is an increased opportunity for LMB to feed on 3 inch BG than larger. I wonder if the stomach content of LMB in pond's where the BG are fed pellets, and BG grow more quickly, have a corresponding increase in size of stomach contents as the population density distribution of the size classes of BG is skewed toward larger sizes.

Just thinking out loud............


Edited by Bill D. (12/08/18 08:11 AM)
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#499477 - 12/08/18 08:29 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2525
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Here is a thought I had. In my pond, the lmb in the size range requested, are usually caught off structure in the deeper water. The smaller sized lmb are caught nearer the shore. That is two different types of locations. An exception would be during the spawn where I have caught a few larger lmb in shallower water or near a feeder that is throwing into deep water. And when I bg fish or feed the bg I will see or catch the smaller bg in the shallower water and not so much in the deeper water. The larger lmb that hang in or near deeper water may be feeding on larger bg. I base this on me catching my largest bg in that deeper water or nearer to the deeper water. I know larger lmb will move up to feed but I also know they may not move up and will feed in the deeper water if there is a place for them to ambush their prey. For me, deeper water structure = larger lmb and larger bg. Pond designs can or might make a difference in what sized prey a lmb might use with keeping in mind mouth gape size.


They ponds mentioned were not described and I would think a pond where there is little structure and or cover could influence the size and numbers of bg. The bg were never allowed to grow larger because of harvest and there was no place for them to hide from the predators. Leaving mostly 3 to 4" bg.


I need to measure the depth of my 6" bg because to me a 6" bg is not all that big and could easly be swallowed by a 4 to 5 lb lmb.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#499483 - 12/08/18 09:45 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: Dave Davidson1]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
There are so many great intuitions in these last comments it will take some effort to respond to all of them. I will respond to those which most moved me in just one post as time is provided me.

Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Agree with opportunity. Neither predator nor prey have the ability to reason but are more reactive. But, that's not to say that they can't learn.


How does the star quarterback place that throw right where his receiver can catch it? Why is a veteran quarterback better than a rookie at doing it? The geodesic a pass follows in terms of physics is an elegant solution of least time. But the quarterback cannot rely on this solution to assist with his throw. His reactions must be made quickly and the "computations" his brain makes to drive these reactions are performed below the level of cognition. He might say his gut drives the decision making and tells him whether a pass to a particular player is "too risky" or a "good opportunity". He might also say his arm just "knows" how hard to throw the ball and at what angle to throw it.

From my perspective, I think an opportunity is an action that has high likelihood of success and provides a benefit or gain. A dis-opportunity is an action associated with disproportionate risk or a likelihood of loss. Like Dave, I think LMB can learn below the level of cognition and doing so allows them react to situations that are opportunities and restrain from acting to situations that are less opportunistic or carry unnecessary risk.

Originally Posted By: Bill D
For purpose of discussion, assume that is 3 inches for larger LMB. Arguably, there are significantly more 3 inch BG in a typical pond's population than each larger size class, which implies that there is an increased opportunity for LMB to feed on 3 inch BG than larger. I wonder if the stomach content of LMB in pond's where the BG are fed pellets, and BG grow more quickly, have a corresponding increase in size of stomach contents as the population density distribution of the size classes of BG is skewed toward larger sizes.


This is the $64,000 question. Will LMB adapt to eating larger prey when they are forced to by necessity? I would love to "KNOW" the answer to this.

But to begin, let me say that I think the results reflected in the paper on LMB in the 10" and smaller class is evidence supporting the proposition that LMB have a reactive pattern with regard to prey length. It is worth asking if this pattern reflects maximized opportunity and minimized risk with regard the natural and instinctual capability of LMB to capture prey and BG to evade predation. If so, then adapting to the new prey size structure might be problematic. If the LMB "realized" prey distribution remains the same then one might wonder whether feeding BG could take food from them. But I think it more complex than this ... feeding improves condition of breeding BG and stimulates spawning ... feed excrement fertilizes at the bottom of the food chain making food available for BG offspring. In the short term, there may be observable improvement due to increased YOY production but long term, however, it may be more like pushing on a string. Whatever the case, there will be annual mortality of BG due to old age and this will free space for YOY production.

I am beginning to wonder if YOY provide the bulk of the food for the entire population of LMB. If so, then one doesn't need a large surviving population at the onset of annual spawning. Think of it like a corn field. You need seed for a new crop but you don't need the entire crop from last year for seed. The most BG YOY in terms of weight will be produced when parents occupy a smaller proportion of BG biomass and predators crop the YOY heavily. YOY cropping is necessary for maximum yield because it keeps BG biomass below carrying capacity allowing secondary trophic organisms to flourish. The cropping continually provides room to grow and stimulates additional spawning .

In the case of tilapia, 20 lbs per acre results in significant YOY production. Some similar but different weight of BG brooders provides a similar optimum production, whatever it is, though it is probably a function of several variables to include primary production capacity (fertility), BG brooder biomass, BG brooder sex ratio, LMB biomass and LMB size distribution.

If LMB can get all the nutrition they need from <1 year BG and if a BOW carries a large proportion of its BG biomass in >1 year BG, then a small proportion of BG carrying capacity would be available for the production of BG YOY. This would mean that YOY BG crops are diminished in BOWs carrying a large weight of >1 year BG. I would argue that this is why new ponds are so productive. The reality is that BOWs get more fertile with age and this seems to fly against the early production. And so I argue that newly stocked ponds are more efficient at producing new YOY crops because the parental BG standing weights are lower. This means that BOW with lower fertility could produce greater production of LMB than a BOW of greater fertility .... provided .... the parental BG standing weights of the less fertile BOW allow for greater production of BG YOY.

With regard to feeding, it may be more advantageous to feed at the bottom of the food chain. First by fertilization and optimizing the chemical composition of the BOW. Where food is added, it may be more advantageous to provide feed to the base of food chain directly to shredders and detrivores that will serve as food for BG YOY.

Originally Posted By: TGW1
Here is a thought I had. In my pond, the lmb in the size range requested, are usually caught off structure in the deeper water. The smaller sized lmb are caught nearer the shore. That is two different types of locations. An exception would be during the spawn where I have caught a few larger lmb in shallower water or near a feeder that is throwing into deep water. And when I bg fish or feed the bg I will see or catch the smaller bg in the shallower water and not so much in the deeper water. The larger lmb that hang in or near deeper water may be feeding on larger bg. I base this on me catching my largest bg in that deeper water or nearer to the deeper water. I know larger lmb will move up to feed but I also know they may not move up and will feed in the deeper water if there is a place for them to ambush their prey. For me, deeper water structure = larger lmb and larger bg. Pond designs can or might make a difference in what sized prey a lmb might use with keeping in mind mouth gape size.


Water depth is a spatial environment variable that I think is important to a fish's behavior to seek security. Depth is a type of cover that provides protection from terrestrial and avian predators. The deepest water with oxygen provides the most secure place to rest, recuperate, and digest their meals" This habitat belongs primarily to the largest fish. I think it could be argued that the large BG are there because the large LMB do not present as great a risk for them as other predators. This is not to say the large LMB cannot or will not eat them only that the probability favors the larger LMB taking action on smaller prey.

It could be that LMB are highly successful at capturing prey in the 1/6 to 1/4 length range and that failure risks associated with 1/4 to 1/3 length prey tend to prevent LMB from taking as frequent action.


Edited by jpsdad (12/08/18 12:52 PM)

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#499487 - 12/08/18 12:03 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19620
Loc: Miss.
It depends on so many factors - it is a very dynamic system with potential trophic cascades.

Fully adult (older than 1 year depending on location)BG produce many more offspring than first spawning BG (1 year) and the males are much better at keeping them alive while nesting. Small differences like that cam make a big difference in year class size and thus population dynamics. Another example is hiding places for yoy BG ( xmas trees or plants near spawning grounds). Even increasing survival rates 1 to 2% for 90 days makes a large difference.
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#499490 - 12/08/18 01:07 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Al,

Is the photograph you posted of the LMB and tilapia is one of your LMB? If so, did you happen to get length measurements of them? I've estimated the tilapia to be 45% the length of the LMB.

Also, I notice that the tilapia is lying horizontal relative to the LMB and wonder if effective gape should be measured from the width of the LMB's mouth. This would make sense if laterally compressed prey are generally swallowed in this horizontal position.



Edited by jpsdad (12/08/18 01:33 PM)

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#499496 - 12/08/18 06:06 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3897
Loc: Emory TX
Yes, I waded out and pulled them out of a brush pile a couple of weeks ago. No numbers on either fish, as I threw them on the bank with the rest of the dead tilapia. The first freeze hit us hard, and I'm sure that the tilapia was near death, and offered little or no resistance. No way I can see a tilapia that big not escaping that LMB. Rapid freezes can really dump a lot of tilapia into the food mix, and there were no tilapia floating less than 10" long.

Not sure about the gape. The tilapia was actually at about a 45 degree angle, and is a little taller than the pics shows. If the LMB was in the process of repositioning the tilapia to a horizontal position, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
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#499502 - 12/08/18 07:02 PM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: ewest]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1531
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: ewest
Yes all fish are not the same - they adapt or die. Some will be better at catching many small prey and others will eat fewer but bigger meals and still others will do some of both.


Eric, I remember one of the plump LMB from the electrosurvey had a tiny, maybe 1 to 1.5 inch fish in the back of its throat. Could be simple random event, but we saw hundreds & hundreds of similar size YOY (too small to identify) shocked up from many weedbeds.

Perhaps some LMB learned to take advantage of superabundant prey, even though tiny, at least for while the abundance lasted.

Wonder if this is why minuscule lures sometimes catch giant bass? Most of my 9 lb plus LMB came on a 4 inch jigworm.


Edited by anthropic (12/08/18 08:07 PM)
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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

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#499510 - 12/09/18 08:44 AM Re: Do you need BG > 7" in order to grow a 10#LMB? [Re: jpsdad]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
I referenced a link to a Swingle paper in my post above regarding BG spawns and the conditions favorable to successful spawns. Notwithstanding the obvious advantages of BG size, BG condition is a very important factor for a successful spawn. The ideal circumstance is where BG spawn at regular intervals throughout the Summer months. This isn't always the case as Swingle observed below:


Originally Posted By: Swingle
For instance, during the same year within a 5-mile radius from Auburn, bluegills began to spawn in one pond in April and were observed spawning again during May, June, July, August and September; in another pond they spawned in May and again in September; in another the first spawning occurred in September.


Al's targeting of breeding size BG for feeding seems to me a good strategy for this purpose. Even so, survival of YOY to the size to benefit > 16" LMB (>2") must also be considered. Ideally, there must be sufficient weight and number of breeders to continually spawn all Summer, but not so many that they reduce the number of YOY BG surviving to 2". To this end, removal of small LMB and BG of breeding size that constitute an unneeded surplus of breeders should contribute to maximizing production of >2" YOY BG.


Edited by jpsdad (12/09/18 08:46 AM)

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