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#499781 - 12/19/18 08:20 AM Re: Fall Observations [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
Setterguy, I have yet to wet a line during the winter months. Before owning a pond, it was just too much to plan a day a go to open waters in the cold weather. Surely I can find time to fish some this winter, but getting out on the ice does not thrill me at all. I went to the pond to try and get bottom temp readings yesterday, but the thin layer of ice has not thawed to allow the throw and retrieval of my thermometer. If not today, this warm streak should allow for it tomorrow. It's amazing how 40 degree water can hold ice even when the last two days have been in the 50s.

I have seen several ice overs already this winter which is out of the ordinary compared to the last 7 years of owning the property, but the thickest has only been about 3/4" this winter.

Liquidsquid, Your observations of separated warm muddy water must have been a sight to see!
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#500500 - 01/09/19 10:30 AM Re: Fall Observations [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
Just checking in to record some observations. The pond has recieved aonther rain since mid Dec that pushed water out of the pond. The 15" overflow pipe was half full at the inlet. A fair amount of light tan foam was generated at the inlet of the pond and the thin layer of existing ice kept it from making it's way to the outlet pipe. This foam is likely protiens from the cattle and hay pastures that feed the pond. I measured water temps at the outlet of the overflow pipe, from surface to the botoom of the pond, and inlet watershed temps. They were all within a degre of 40 degrees F. I was releved that temp shock was not going to be an issue. I turned the aeration system on for a couple hours (all three diffusers) so that the ice would disipate and allow the foam to flow out. It may have made it's way to outlet pipe and/or broke up and disolved into the pond. Either way, the water flowed through the pond for more than 24 hours. At it's peek, I have estimated that it was flowing out at a rate of 7 to 9000 gallons per minute. That would be enough to completely flush the pond within a coule of hours (given uniform flow from inlet to outlet which would not necessarilyu be the case). At any rate, the pond's water was mostly exchanged during the 24 four period of inflow.

Ever since the heavy mid December rain, the water clarity has hovered around the 12 inch mark except for the day of receent heavy rains and it was reduce to 6". I think the two hours of aeration per day contributes to the low clarity, but I hestitate to turn it off to find out. Last year's clarity was near 30" all winter long (without any aeration).

PS: I fished the pond twice since my last entry for about 15 minutes per trip, it started to drizzle both times, it was cold, no bites whatsoever...I went back to the warm shop. My spinner may be too fast of an action for 40 degree water.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503554 - 03/26/19 11:27 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I threw out some left over feed yesterday to find some, but slight interest from the HBG. If the HSB were there, they stayed low enough not to cause any swirls. It has been about a month since I tried to feed anything and had no takers then. It's time to get the feeder ready and some fresh food on order. Water temps were 46 on the bottom and 52 towards the top.

Pond has been very muddy all winter. We have had a lot of rain runoff and the single shallow diffuser seems to add to the murky waters.

I will be setting up all three diffusers to start functioning soon. I think I will start that process as if it were starting up for the first time...15 minutes first day, double the time every day thereafter that until I am up and running 24 hours a day. Once summer hits, I will have to reduce it down to nighttime operations.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503591 - 03/27/19 07:37 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
TGW1 Online   content


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2921
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
For me, I lost some fish when I doubled the diffuser time everyday. I go a little slower now when I do my start up. I would suggest a slower start up if it were me.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#503604 - 03/27/19 09:46 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I brought my air system up last year using the basic guidelines without indecent and since the winter diffuser has been active, I hope all goes well this spring.

TG, my pond was recently renovated and has very little muck on the bottom to add to the poisoning effect. I think all will be fine, we'll see. I will, by default, be bringing the system up a little slower than prescribed because I will be seeing some cooler temps this coming weekend and will not double the run times if the temperatures do not cooperate. I base my air schedule solely on water vs air temps. If the air temp is cooler during the run time, I prefer to run the air as little as possible so increasing run-time that day will be put off until air temps rise some more.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503605 - 03/27/19 09:47 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I have ordered Optimal Blue Gill feed for this year. I chose to bump up in feed pellet size to accommodate my growing HBG. The Optimal BG feed is 1 mm larger in diameter than the Junior and much larger than the Starter #4 that I 50/50 mixed and fed last year. The BG feed is 2% lower in proteins and lipids compared to the #4 and Junior, but I think the fish will prefer the larger pellets and eat more aggressively, especially since the FHM population is much smaller this year.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503965 - 04/04/19 04:46 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I have been feeding pellets about every over day now for the last week. The water temp near the surface have broken 50 degrees F. I am hand throwing small feed near the bank and larger out at the end of the dock. The HBG are hitting very light out in the open waters and the FHM's are showing some interest near the bank. I did see the first crawdad feeding yesterday, but only one and only for a very short time. I have been seeing a barred owl or two in the evening and they are harvesting the crawdads best I can tell. I often see a lone pincher on the dock (without the rest of the body) and I have seen, what I believe to be, owl scat on the dock posts that is mainly crawdad exoskeleton. At any rate, the pond is warming up and the feeder is ready for service.

I have also been babysitting the aerator system. It has only been running about a hour a day during the late afternoon and only on days that the temps are above the water temps.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#503972 - 04/04/19 06:05 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Happy Birthday DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 438
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
I did see the first crawdad feeding yesterday, but only one and only for a very short time. I have been seeing a barred owl or two in the evening and they are harvesting the crawdads best I can tell. I often see a lone pincher on the dock (without the rest of the body) and I have seen, what I believe to be, owl scat on the dock posts that is mainly crawdad exoskeleton.


Very interesting! Just curious, do you think the owls are pouncing them in the very shallow areas, or waiting for them to crawl out on shore first? Any area where you think the owls hunt frequently enough to put a game camera out? It would be super neat to see how they catch a crawdad for supper! As always, thanks for the report. Here's hoping for a great summer pond season!
_________________________
The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute. The man who does not ask, is a fool for life.
- Confucius
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#504012 - 04/05/19 12:05 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
TGW1 Online   content


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2921
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I would ck that scat and see if it is loaded with fish scales. If so it would be an otter. I was not familiar with otter scat and then I was frown My first sample was on the pier.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#504119 - 04/08/19 03:26 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: DrLuke]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: DrLuke
Very interesting! Just curious, do you think the owls are pouncing them in the very shallow areas, or waiting for them to crawl out on shore first? Any area where you think the owls hunt frequently enough to put a game camera out? It would be super neat to see how they catch a crawdad for supper! As always, thanks for the report. Here's hoping for a great summer pond season!


I caught an owl at the bank the other day which is odd because when I have seen them at the pond they are always in the cedar trees. This time it was merely a few feet from the shore on the ground at about an hour before dark. I presume that it was waiting for a crawdad to make itself known in the water and then would snatch it out. The only times that I have seen the Northern Virile crawdads out of the water was after a major rain event and there was some kind of exodus going on as they were everywhere. I spent the evening picking them up out of the shop which is 150 feet from any water source (pond or creek).

My game camera went south this last year, but if I get another I will put it on the dock to watch the pond.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#504120 - 04/08/19 03:28 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: TGW1]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
Originally Posted By: TGW1
I would ck that scat and see if it is loaded with fish scales. If so it would be an otter. I was not familiar with otter scat and then I was frown My first sample was on the pier.


Here's a pic of the scat. It seems entirely composed of crawdad bits...



This one was deposited on top of the dock post which is about 4 feet tall.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#504127 - 04/08/19 03:50 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
roundy Offline


Registered: 09/10/16
Posts: 261
Loc: Central Illinois
Makes my anatomy hurt just thinking about passing that.....

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#504129 - 04/08/19 05:03 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: roundy]
Happy Birthday DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 438
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: roundy
Makes my anatomy hurt just thinking about passing that.....


Not sure if would make you feel any better to know they regurgitate those back up? eek
_________________________
The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute. The man who does not ask, is a fool for life.
- Confucius
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#505071 - 04/30/19 02:24 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
No Dr Luke, I don't feel any better. At any rate, it's not scat then...it's called a pellet. That word has a more pleasant aftertaste.

Well, the pond has been getting along with aeration from about 11am to 3pm for several weeks now. The water temps have stabilized from top to bottom around the mid 60's which tells me that the air system is turning the pond over sufficiently. Part of me wants to keep increasing the "on" time, but another part of me says good enough is good enough. Not to mention that the pond has been muddy all winter long (9-12" secchi). It recently measured 13", but that's not enough for me to hang my hat on and say it's getting better. It seems that the aeration system may be contributing to the lack of clarity. The previous winter without air the secchi readings got to be 36", this winter...no comparison with only a couple hours of air a day in the shallows. All in all, I am content knowing that the murkiness of the pond has some benefits like FA reduction and it may be a sign of good fertility.

The fish are feeding well on the new size of Optimal and the crawdads have returned to feeding as well. There does not seem to be as many, but maybe they are tending to this years YOY...not sure how that works, but I refuse to think the owls made that big of a dent...we'll see. The HSB have yet to make the big splashes during feeding time that I was accustomed to last year, but the HBG splashes seem to be bigger. I guess they grew some over the winter. I'll catch a few soon to get a baseline for this years growth. The FHM are still there even though numbers seemed to have waned over the winter, but the water temps are still in the 60's and it's hard to see much through the murk.

Plans this year are too start trapping the YOY HBG to access their recruitment, add some more HSB (about 6 or so)for ladder stocking, and start removing any HBG that get to be decent pan frying size (females if recruitment seems high).

Here's to a new pond year!
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#506072 - 05/17/19 03:36 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I have caught a few of the HBG this week to find them all (6 total) over last fall's record of 0.28 pounds. The largest was right at 1/2 pound and 7 inches long. The photo shows the second largest at 0.44 pounds and almost 7 inches long. Winter growth appears to have been very good even without pellet feeding. They are on their way to becoming little monsters...



Attachments
HBG.jpg (332 downloads)

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#506079 - 05/17/19 04:49 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Happy Birthday DrLuke Offline


Registered: 06/04/15
Posts: 438
Loc: Grinnell, IA
Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
I have caught a few of the HBG this week to find them all (6 total) over last fall's record of 0.28 pounds. The largest was right at 1/2 pound and 7 inches long. The photo shows the second largest at 0.44 pounds and almost 7 inches long. Winter growth appears to have been very good even without pellet feeding. They are on their way to becoming little monsters...


Quite the chunker! Great looking HBG, QA! Do they fight the same, better, or different than BG? Just curious, since I don't have them in our pond.
_________________________
The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute. The man who does not ask, is a fool for life.
- Confucius
--------------

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#506081 - 05/17/19 04:56 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
I can't say for sure, my traditional rod and real combos for going fishing beyond my property are more stout while the rod I have been using a my pond has a very light drag and is only 4 feet long. I would bet that a wild (not pellet fed) BG would give a better fight. I think my fish are more domesticated due to the lack of a chase they have to give to just suck up pellets...the HSB, on the other hand, are like freight trains on the light combo!
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#506158 - 05/19/19 07:57 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Augie Offline


Registered: 10/29/18
Posts: 226
Loc: Boone County Missouri
Couple more years and that fish will be as big as the plate.

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#506163 - 05/19/19 08:55 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6017
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Nice looking fish! Interesting coloration. Is that red on the
O flap?
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#506185 - 05/20/19 02:24 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
It certainly looks to be at least a rust color. I did not take much time while the fish was out of water to actually inspect it closely. It was... caught, weighed, photo'd, and returned to the pond.

Might have some RES or Pumpkin-seed traits, huh? I'll look more for that as I sample the pond this summer.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#506217 - 05/21/19 06:16 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14109
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Green on the jaw is indicative of possible gsf somewhere in previous generations. Or so it is at my place.
_________________________
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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#506225 - 05/21/19 08:33 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
The HBG were purchased from Harrison's and would have been the traditional BG x GSF cross, but you never know what your gonna get...I believe I had a FHM turn into a grass carp (from a different fish farm).

There are RES in the pond, but this guy is on of the original stockers.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#507138 - 06/10/19 09:25 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1618
Loc: West Central Missouri
Quick update to the HSB pond record...This years first and only HSB catch has broken last fall's record by 0.2 pounds...



This one was 14.5" long and weighed 1.63 pounds. It's good to know that winter growth likely existed even though my sampling is as small as it gets...these fish are hard to get on the line. A total of 3 hours of fishing went into landing this one fish (20-30 minutes an evening for a week with several near strikes and/or misses). It was caught on a 4" long broken back floating minnow lure reeled in slow at the surface - just fast enough to give it some action but stay afloat. If the wind is blowing the right direction, it takes the HBG feed across the pond and the FHM's tend to form small schools and push the pellets around...then the HSB start feeding on the minnows. This has been lasting for about 20 minutes an evening. Eventually the pellets fade away and the minnows return to hiding.

I'm pretty sure there are bigger HSB in there by looking at some of the surface hits, but I don't want to over fish them so I have decided to give them a break and try again in a month or two (if I can resist the temptation).


Attachments
HSB.jpg (195 downloads)

_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#507145 - 06/10/19 10:33 AM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1548
Loc: NE Missouri
So thatís what a HSB looks like! One of these days Iíll actually see one. &#128514;
Looking good QA. Healthy looking fish.
_________________________
5 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (rumored..)
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#507159 - 06/10/19 02:18 PM Re: A Pond Log by QA [Re: Quarter Acre]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2116
Loc: West Michigan
SetterGuy,
Do you see the surface 'hits' or big swirls at feeding time that could indicate HSB?

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