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#366290 - 02/14/14 09:00 PM Re: by the way................... [Re: teehjaeh57]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
Yes, your setup looks like it works good.

I have area next to my pond for one or maybe even two small ponds but the ground is flat with no way to get the water out of the hole other than pumping. I do have another area not too far away that I could do like you did easily, but it is not right up against the pond. Only a few hundred feet away though.

So not sure if it would be better to have it right next to the pond but have to pump it out, or a little ways away but have access to the lower part of the dam where a valve could be used. I was thinking about putting a regular pond anyway in the latter area, but it would have been more like an acre pond. So to make it smaller and a forage pond would not utilize the area best.

Decisions, decisions. Got to finish up daughters pond first before I do anything else. Right now she has piles of mud and dirt in her front yard so I imagine she would like me back on that project as soon as the weather allows.

Thanks for the info. In "looking at alternatives" stage right now. When I get more serious might have some questions. I have several old ponds on various farms that I would not mind doing something with. Raising my own forage might be fun to get stockers for those ponds. They are kind of out of the way so probably would never spend a lot of money stocking them. But if I was raising the stuff (even if ended up spending more money in the end smile ), it would not seem so bad to stock them.
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#502438 - 02/24/19 02:46 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: snrub]
Redfishman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 35
SNRUB;
It has been four years! Were you able to develop a sustainable FHM population?
I would like to believe with a big enough population and extensive cover and possibly exclusion barriers for predators it is possible.

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#502445 - 02/24/19 07:01 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Redfishman]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
Not really. I would not guarantee there are absolutely no FHM left in any of my ponds, but just about any predator will work pretty hard on the FHM.

I did have a sustained population in my forage pond when it had only RES and FHM but when some GSF got in and I added GSH the GSH just crowded them out. I have not caught a FHM in a trap for a long time but thousands of shiners.

The SMB in my RES pond made short work of the FHM after the RES had their way with them before stocking the SMB.

You can say I failed at sustaining a population of FHM.


Edited by snrub (02/28/19 03:40 PM)
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#502461 - 02/25/19 09:43 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Redfishman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 35
Thanks for the response. I have a 3 acre main pond and 1/20th acre pond I raise FHM and shiners in. I started with 10 lbs FHM and a an order of Anderson Minnows GS fry. I seine it every fall with help of local biologist. He estimated we pulled 300 lbs last year. Those all go in main pond. I have visible schools of bait in there which are most likely Gizzard shad.

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#502467 - 02/25/19 11:01 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Redfishman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 35
Forgot to mention I fertilze the pond in the spring and I use a Texas Hunter feeder for my minnows. the pond has a small spring feeding it and several waterfalls to aerate it.

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#502468 - 02/25/19 11:53 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Redfishman]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
Sounds like you are getting good use out of the small pond.
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#502489 - 02/25/19 08:00 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 507
Loc: NW Kansas
All good info here, but I'll add what we do in Kansas Hatcheries for FHM production-easily duplicated in a simpler manner..
We drive fence post staples, 2 at each end of a 4'X8' sheet of plywood and run braided cable through the staples and float 20-30 sheets on the surface with cables staked on either side of rearing ponds.
I used wood pallets on my pond and used eyelet screws to run 1/4" rope through. If you think they will sink (I've never had one sink anywhere I've done this) run a pool noodle through each side.
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#502501 - 02/25/19 10:50 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2047
Loc: West Michigan
Snipe,
How long does the plywood sheets float before it sinks? Is this marine grade plywood or standard OSB, or chipboard or what?

My pallets became waterlogged and heavy as lead and sunk after one season in the water. I love your idea of keeping them in place with guide ropes but I would have to figure in some way to keep them on top.

I'm curious if the FHM would prefer wood surface over foamboard? It would seem logical to use high density foam sheets since it would take much longer for them to waterlog? Or maybe plastic sheets?

I'm getting ready to build a forage pond this year and really want to figure out the optimal substrate that FHM prefer.

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#502503 - 02/25/19 11:31 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 507
Loc: NW Kansas
I'd have to call and ask on the plywood type, but never seen one sink. The cables are taut but not overly so..
I had 13 oak pallets on my pond, group of 7 and 6 from mid july to just before I sampled in October with no sinkers. Must depend on wood and pallet design because I've had people tell me they've had 1 or 2 in a group sink. That's where I'd shove a noodle on each side.
As for foam, if you're not exposed to high winds, maybe that would be ok??
I know they've tried a lot of different materials at the Pratt Hatchery and they settled on the plywood.
I'll call the bossman and find out the type of plywood.
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#502507 - 02/26/19 07:42 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: canyoncreek]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
Something I read a long time ago about a commercial FHM pond was they used waxed cardboard from butcher meat boxes for the FHM to spawn on. The waxed cardboard was free (they must have had a source), would float for the season, then sink and be gone for the winter.

Not saying it was good or bad as I have never tried it. Just something that I read.

My initial pallets sunk after about a year. My solution was to slide a couple strips of 2" foam insulation (I had surplus scraps) inside the pallet and held in place with a couple screws. These have lasted going on 5 years but I think I am going to need to pull them this spring. The nails are rusting out and they are starting to come apart. One already has.

picture of one of my FHM spawning structures. note layer below water


Edited by snrub (02/26/19 07:46 AM)
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#502509 - 02/26/19 08:01 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2831
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I have a small sediment pond its about 30' by 30' and was about 14' deep when originally dug. I have tried many different forage fish in it but the only thing that seems to live in it is the FHM. That is because of turbid water events after a good rain. And that is why I built it. What I have learned is this pond when raising FHM's it will attract Bull Frogs of different sizes. Apparently, Bull Frogs like FHM. Last time I had fhm's in this pond I counted 14 in all sizes in this small sediment pond. They don't dare get in the big pond lol. Funny how that is.
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#502583 - 02/28/19 03:54 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 507
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: Snipe
I'd have to call and ask on the plywood type, but never seen one sink. The cables are taut but not overly so..
I had 13 oak pallets on my pond, group of 7 and 6 from mid july to just before I sampled in October with no sinkers. Must depend on wood and pallet design because I've had people tell me they've had 1 or 2 in a group sink. That's where I'd shove a noodle on each side.
As for foam, if you're not exposed to high winds, maybe that would be ok??
I know they've tried a lot of different materials at the Pratt Hatchery and they settled on the plywood.
I'll call the bossman and find out the type of plywood.

I guess they are using 1X10, 4-6' long pine now...
I'm told the AC Plywood WAS coming apart prematurely..
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#502603 - 02/28/19 03:26 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Nathan&Kelly Offline


Registered: 02/28/19
Posts: 10
Loc: St Louis, MO
Hello fellas. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and advice. I'm sure its saved me a lot of MONEY already. I have a 4.5 acre pond 45 min south of St Louis that has been around for 50+ years. I just bought it in December an don't have a clear picture of my predatory populations yet. Its only been fished a hand full of times in the winter so far and we have caught a lot of 8-12" bass and a few 8-10" crappie. I have not seen any BG at all yet, but also didn't know there were crappie until last weekend. I have reached out to my local fish farms and am/was planning to have 80lbs of FHM, 500 RES, and a hand full of catfish delivered. Though after reading this and talking to the Mo Dept. of Conservation it seems like I will be putting in a thousand+ dollars of fish in just to have them decimated in weeks by the existing fish. My new idea. I have several small creeks feeding my pond and coves that I can isolate from the rest of the lake. Do you think if I ran mesh fencing and blocked off a section/cove that I could establish an environment to grow large numbers of FHM. Trying to think of a way that I could continually be able to add FHMs to the rest of the lake to sustain faster growing predators, without having them demolished overnight. What are your thoughts?

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#502604 - 02/28/19 03:37 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Nathan&Kelly]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
You will certainly increase the survival rate by pre conditioning the fingerlings before releasing. Releasing fingerlings into a pond full of predators will mostly result in an expensive snack.

For a pond with established predators I would completely forgo the FHM all together. Spend your thousand dollars on advanced size BG and RES. In your situation I would much rather stock a half dozen 6" BG or RES for every hundred of the fingerlings you were going to stock. Large stocking fish are expensive, but cheap compared to 2-3" fish that get slaughtered in the first couple days.

Stock advanced sizes of forage fish and remove lots of small LMB if you have an over abundance. That would be the way I would do it but I am no professional so take that recommendation with a grain of salt.
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#502607 - 02/28/19 04:48 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
lmoore Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/04/09
Posts: 92
Loc: NE Iowa
The main problem I see with the mesh fencing is that you will, with almost 100% certainty, not keep out the bass/crappie. Either they will make it over in high water, or fingerlings will pass through the net and grow out to a size where they decimate your "protected" FHM population.

I agree with snrub, remove as many small bass and small (or all) Crappie as you can and stock advanced size forage. I would include some brooder sized GSH, although depending on an accurate assessment of your current bass population they may also end up as snacks.

The wisest decision (but not necessarily cheapest) would be to have your pond shocked to get a more accurate look at what you have, then formulate a plan based on your ultimate goals.

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#502608 - 02/28/19 04:55 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Nathan&Kelly]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1224
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: Nathan&Kelly
Hello fellas. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and advice. I'm sure its saved me a lot of MONEY already. I have a 4.5 acre pond 45 min south of St Louis that has been around for 50+ years. I just bought it in December an don't have a clear picture of my predatory populations yet. Its only been fished a hand full of times in the winter so far and we have caught a lot of 8-12" bass and a few 8-10" crappie. I have not seen any BG at all yet, but also didn't know there were crappie until last weekend. I have reached out to my local fish farms and am/was planning to have 80lbs of FHM, 500 RES, and a hand full of catfish delivered. Though after reading this and talking to the Mo Dept. of Conservation it seems like I will be putting in a thousand+ dollars of fish in just to have them decimated in weeks by the existing fish. My new idea. I have several small creeks feeding my pond and coves that I can isolate from the rest of the lake. Do you think if I ran mesh fencing and blocked off a section/cove that I could establish an environment to grow large numbers of FHM. Trying to think of a way that I could continually be able to add FHMs to the rest of the lake to sustain faster growing predators, without having them demolished overnight. What are your thoughts?


Hi N&K,

What are your goals for the pond?
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#502609 - 02/28/19 05:24 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Nathan&Kelly]
Augie Offline


Registered: 10/29/18
Posts: 169
Loc: Boone County Missouri
Originally Posted By: Nathan&Kelly
am/was planning to have 80lbs of FHM,


$800 will buy a Texas Hunter automatic fish feeder that ought to last for many years.

$800 in FHM will be a one-time snack for your predator fish.

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#502618 - 02/28/19 10:44 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 507
Loc: NW Kansas
Probably over-kill on info, and I'm sure it's all confusing right now, Nathan&kelly, but I would say (among other things) the fact you have crappie at 8-10" indicates to me you would want to get some relative weights of every size bass you catch before you start removing what might be keeping your crappie in check.
4+ acres can be a very complex ecosystem, it'll take some time to figure out what you have. Keeping/starting good record keeping to analyze later is a good first step at starting a game plan for proper management.
I would also add as other have, save your money on the FHM.
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#502621 - 03/01/19 07:57 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Snipe]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
Good point about the crappie Snipe. That is where some of us with limited experience get in trouble in pond management. Forget to look at the whole picture and instead focus only on a portion. You are saying it could be possible if he removed a bunch of LMB, the Crappie could go out of control in numbers and he be in a worse situation than he already is.
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#502713 - 03/05/19 11:32 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Nathan&Kelly Offline


Registered: 02/28/19
Posts: 10
Loc: St Louis, MO
Sound advice guys. Thank you! I definitely think itís wise to get a better picture of what I have in my pond now befor I make any big changes. I have been keeping records of whatís been caught so far but donít think Iíll get a better picture till spring when the fishing starts picking up.. I only have a tiny snapshot of a handful of times fishing it in the least productive time of year. I am still going to try putting out mesh and sectioning off a small cove for fhm. But I think Iíll try it with 30-40 bucks worth vs $800. Figure 40 bucks is an acceptable loss if it fails miserably. Iím going to try sticking a few hundred in the small creeks that feed the pond too.

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#502714 - 03/05/19 11:44 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Bocomo]
Nathan&Kelly Offline


Registered: 02/28/19
Posts: 10
Loc: St Louis, MO
My end goal is to have high numbers or easy to catch big fish. Once I have electric run Iím adding 4 zones of airation. I saw the comment on feeders. Iím not opposed to using a feeder but havenít really looked into them to much yet. But did noticing fish food is more expensive than dog food at my local farm store.

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#502715 - 03/06/19 12:43 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 507
Loc: NW Kansas
N&K, take a close look at Optimal brand feed.. Read about it, study it, ask questions.. I have a couple of Hunting trial Dogs at all times and I feed some expensive food for those beggers.. I look at it this way, a wise man (Bill Cody) once wrote: "a fish only has so many heartbeats-how it grows during that time is important because at any time it's lacking what it needs, it never gains it back".
If you think of it that way, I don't see it so much as expensive, I see it as an obsession to grow the biggest, most healthy fish possible.
I might add one more thing.. In a pond surrounding, "easy to catch" and "Big fish" don't always go hand in hand, but don't let that slow you down, the rewards are well worth the effort!
If you search, I think it was shorty (Maybe?) that posted some ideas on screening off some areas to raise certain fish. Keep in mind you're feeding a LOT of fish for a very short time (days)for what you may be able to produce in a small area with a pond as big as yours.
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#502718 - 03/06/19 05:06 AM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13996
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
To me, the solution for new ponds means FHM to jump start everything and then a feeder to maintain it.
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#503130 - 03/14/19 05:32 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: beehiveUT]
Stressless Offline


Registered: 11/25/18
Posts: 15
Loc: Ohio, Coshocton
Great 5 year thread! I, like about everyone that posted in this thread, would like to minimize the $ and labor outlay for the maximum return to each of our Pond Mgt goals... while also stating it's a hobby and is supposed to be fun.

Along that line, will FHM survive? - "it depends" I'm rolling a mess of fish, FHM GSH,(Forage) and RES, YP (just cause I want some different panfish) into established ponds. Three of them, each is unique in the pH weeds, water flow, size and density of predator's LMB & BG (Fishbowl), LMB,BG & BCP (Figur 8), LMB, BG &CC (Long). The common thing is they are all very heavily LOADED with |-structure-|, SAV, standing (cypress) and felled trees, beaver feeding stations, etc. So, am I rolling the dice? Is the cup half full or half empty? Depends - every once of protein (made from outside the specific ponds ecosystem) is a big big plus, IF, and that's where all of us differ, IF some of the forage I put in breeds It's a bigger plus. Do I expect to have to add Forage again - Yup. When and what amount well, that's why I joined this august group of intrepid soggy asses. (Come on we've all slipped at, and got wet, at the edge of our ponds at one point or another) I stock on the 30th, walleye will go in this fall - 'cause I like walleye and my ponds are all deep and I would like a different predator.

I'm not very interested in an auto protein feeder, I am trying to build an organic autonomous forage production, I accept that it will need to be bumped up "recurrently" what that means and how often is what I'll investigate and work out. I think the large amount of structure for the forage gives my Operational Concept a decent chance... it's just rolling the dice that's hard.

I've been reading the forums/threads here, and I'll continue to update this thread with results over the next few years. Looking forward to advice on how/when/what to use to sample the ponds while building a great escape for family and friends.


Edited by Stressless (03/14/19 05:33 PM)
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#503136 - 03/14/19 06:28 PM Re: Fathead Minnow Spawning [Re: Stressless]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5468
Loc: SE Kansas
If you build a small forage pond and make it seinable you can raise a lot of your own replacement forage.


specialty ponds including forage ponds


Edited by snrub (03/14/19 06:30 PM)
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