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#501634 - 02/06/19 03:21 PM Add more YP or Leave it Alone?
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
My initial stocking in fall of 2016 was 400 YP, 300 BG, FHM. Then around spring of 2017 I added 50 HSB and more FHM + GS.. Now going into the 3rd year and I have not seen the YP numbers / activity that I had hoped for.. The other types of fish have all grown well and appear to be in good numbers. I've been feeding during the summer months.. just tossing Optimal by hand.

Pond is 2 acres during summer months - 2.5 at full pool. 12-13' deep hole with average depth of 5-6' depth.

My goal was to be able to catch and eat YP more often than I am currently able to. Last summer on a good day I was catching blue gill and HSB left and right and only occasionally catching one or two YP. I threw cast net and discovered much smaller YP so I know they've successfully spawned.

Should I give it another year to evaluate the YP population or put in an order for more this spring? I'd like to bump the population up a bit but my fear is stunting them. Thoughts?

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#501640 - 02/06/19 04:05 PM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5803
Loc: Boone County Illinois
How big were the YP when you stocked them? I seldom catch my YP in the summer. I do best in the early spring and late fall when the water is cooler.
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#501645 - 02/06/19 05:14 PM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12768
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
BillD has a good question. YP stocker size? We assume this was a new pond with no fish. I assume you stocked fingerlings (2"-4")? You did not tell us what the sizes of the original YP were that you did manage to catch? Are they growing well? Evidently your fall stocked 2016 stocker YP spawned in 2018 since you caught some young ones in your cast net sample.

Your lack of now seeing little evidence of high numbers of catchable YP could be due to a couple of or combination of reasons. A. angling time of year, B. angling method occasionally they can be difficult to catch and appear low density, C. if they were not pellet trained when purchased, most are not eating pellets and you just are not seeing them, D. they grab pellets very quickly at the surface so you may not be seeing them actually eat the pellets, water clarity can affect this. E. IMO for a strong YP population for 2 ac, you stocked on the 'light' side. If they were pellet trained and in a mixed fish community you could have stocked 800 instead of 400 depending on sizes and if they were pellet trained - an important factor. 2"-4" YP are rarely well trained to pellets and many when stocked will resort to natural foods.

At this point I would not add more fingerling YP mainly because you do not have a good estimate of how much YP recruitment you had last year; a BIG important unknown. Normally after an initial spawn or two, the numbers of all fry species that survive is dependent on living space available. So I assume you had high numbers of 2018 fish spawn survival due to new pond conditions. Adding more YP, especially fingerlings now that are not pellet trained will likely overcrowd the pond's current 2 yr carrying capacity which could easily result in food shortages and slowed growth of most of the panfish who are eating what the new YP would be eating depending on their size/s. I would give the YP and yourself another year or two to better provide fish density estimates. By then(2020) the 2018 'strong' crop or year class of YP should be big enough to harvest. However if you can locate some 4"-6" pellet trained YP this spring you could add around 100-200 of those pellet eaters who would likely find and readily use the pellet buffet as supplemental food. If you do this,,, then plan to harvest 80-160 panfish (alltypes) in 2019 to reduce the chances of fish overcrowding because there will be ample spawns in 2019 to populate the pond that receives pellet feeding. With pellet feeding a pond can quickly and easily develop too many fish that are not growing optimally and who reduce water quality and increase plant-algae problems.



Edited by Bill Cody (02/06/19 07:10 PM)
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#501683 - 02/07/19 07:42 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
Yes, this started as a new pond with no fish. The YP stockers were 2-4" most probably closer to 4" I was told by the fish company that these were pellet trained YP but that is hard to confirm. Its easy to tell when pellet feeding that a HSB is hitting but it's hard to tell the difference between a YP or BG hitting pellets.

The YP that I've caught look to be on the skinnier side. I have caught a few that were normal looking but none that were fat or plump. Most have been caught in early spring.

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#501685 - 02/07/19 08:42 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5803
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I wonder, with only HSB and YP to control the BG, whether the BG are out competing the YP and over eating the forage base.
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#501686 - 02/07/19 08:48 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
I've often thought about that mainly the BG. I've only got 50 HSB assuming all stocked are still alive.. This past summer I discovered and influx of bull head that found there way into the pond as well. These might also be competing for food..Ive trapped and fished hundreds of them out to where they seem to be less abundant. With my overall stocking numers as low as they are I wouldn't think there is a big shortage of food. I put a lot of FHM in.

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#501690 - 02/07/19 10:16 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12768
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Bullhead(BH) will eat a lot of FHM. Toward the end of summer did you see very many small YOY YP in the traps? BH and BG both 4"+ could be eating lots of YP fry? To maintain your YP numbers in later years you may need to consider every couple years sentimentally stocking some YP(4"-6") who would survive better than the 2"-4"ers. Plus the 4"-6" would be better pellet eaters if trained when purchased. Where did you get your YP and did they tell you where they got them - self raised or purchased? Lots of fish farms buy their retail stocker fish.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/07/19 10:17 AM)
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#501693 - 02/07/19 10:47 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
I did not see many YOY YP in the traps. Maybe one or two at most during the fall.

The first group of 300 YP were purchased from Fenders and the second stocking of 150 which was done just a few months after was from Fin farm. Neither told me where they came from.. The Fin fish said they were pellet trained. Fenders did not say if they were or not, to be honest I did not ask them.


Edited by KRM1985 (02/07/19 10:48 AM)

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#501781 - 02/08/19 07:55 PM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12768
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Many but not all the FinF YP are pellet trained. I know the source and those YP are from very good genetic domesticated stock and raised well. Their offspring should produce good quality YP. At the 2"-4" size a high percentage might not resume eating pellets. Better success would be with the 4"-6" or 6"-8" sizes if you rebuy more. Not a lot of Fenders YP are pellet trained; pretty good stock but mostly pond raised in house on natural foods.

Lack of seeing very many YP in your traps indicates a relatively low density of the YOY perch. As an example late this fall (Sep29-Oct 21) in 4 trapping sessions using 3 traps in 0.7ac, I caught 498 YOY YP (3"-6"). Traps were either 1/4" or 1/2" mesh homemade traps; most were caught in 1/4". 161 were caged and pellet trained and the rest were given away to a neighbor.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/08/19 08:06 PM)
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#501784 - 02/08/19 09:16 PM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1987
Loc: West Michigan
Mr. Cody
Have you posted or can you post a picture of your home made traps? I would like to do sampling like you do this spring since I don't see many YOY last spring and I'm not sure why.

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#501785 - 02/08/19 10:02 PM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12768
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
My traps are basically just versions of large cylinder minnow traps 10" to 20" in diameter. When small YP are common to abundant about any type of trap will catch them especially when minnows get in the trap and attract YP into the trap. When traps are not catching YP this is a good indication YP density is pretty low. Trapping fish is a function of and pretty good indication of fish density.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/08/19 10:06 PM)
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#501802 - 02/09/19 11:07 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1414
Loc: NE Missouri
Good thread with relevant information. Following along. Iíve at different times suspected I was overstocked with YP, and at other times wondered if I had poor survival. Iíve never had much success catching YP in traps.
Bill, what do you bait the traps with? Iíve always used my fish food from the feeder.
Thanks
Jeff
_________________________
4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#501803 - 02/09/19 11:47 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12768
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Traps baited with fish food and or dried bread slices work pretty good for me. Another pretty good way to get an idea of small fish density is just fish for them with a small No.10 hook and pieces of worm under a small bobber fished in 2 to 4 ft of water along shore. If you can pretty easily catch them you have quite a few or good numbers of them.
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#501861 - 02/11/19 10:59 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
The problem I was facing this summer is that when I fished with a small hook and a worm the BH would get to it first.

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#501862 - 02/11/19 11:07 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
SetterGuy Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1414
Loc: NE Missouri
I ordered a new trap. Itís larger, and has 8 entrances. Iíll try the new trap when it warms up, then Iíll stop after I see any ribbons this spring.
Iíll try it near the bank in 4í of water, with various types of food. I need to cull HBG and very large GS also, so get two things accomplished.
Thanks,
Jeff
_________________________
4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM, HBG, SMB, and HSB..
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.

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#501895 - 02/12/19 07:04 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 95
Loc: Huron OH
Do you think the casting net I've been using which is a 5' or 6' net is effective or is trapping a better method? I often wonder if the perch are fast enough to dart out before the net fully sinks

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#501899 - 02/12/19 09:43 AM Re: Add more YP or Leave it Alone? [Re: KRM1985]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1980
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: KRM1985
Do you think the casting net I've been using which is a 5' or 6' net is effective or is trapping a better method? I often wonder if the perch are fast enough to dart out before the net fully sinks


I have learned this too. The perch are very fast at getting out from under the net and spend most of their time in deeper water. You can get lucky if you throw the cast net when they are feeding but they still sit deep then shoot up to the feed. These nets are not very good at assessing perch population at all. Bill did tell me this and the stubborn Dutchman in me still bought a net.

We stocked 400 4-6" yellow perch in 2012 in one acre and this year was our first year we caught young yellow perch in our minnow traps used for shiners and FHM's. If you have or seen mallard ducks in your pond when the perch ribbons are being laid these buggers are eating them. I have personally watched these buggers eat ribbon after ribbon of our perch eggs. Last year was the first year we kept them out of the pond.

Cheers Don.
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