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#504200 - 04/10/19 03:39 PM New To Me Pond Stocking Rate
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Hello There. Just bought a property with a small pond on it. It's around 2/10 of an acre on the surface and is around 6-8 foot deep. There are blue cats in it now that will come to floating food. Haven't seen any other fish. Most cats I've counted is around 8 fish. I am in the process of building a few bait traps to see what type of bait fish are in there. The cat fish look to be around 10-20lbs. What is a realistic number of cats I should shoot for in a pond that size if I supplement feed them and have a healthy bait fish population? Also I'm not sure of any structure in the pond yet. I plan on adding some in the future. Will blue cats reproduce in a pond this size?

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#504216 - 04/10/19 08:39 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 432
Loc: NW Kansas
Welcome to the forum!
If the blues are in that 10-20lb range, I'd seriously doubt anything else exists in any appreciable numbers.
15lb blue can eat about any BG or other sunfish it wants. If there's any structure present to allow reproduction I would think you'd see some in varying sizes. The blues are top-end predators and will control anything you try to do.
Might want to consider removing 3-4 then stock some adult BG early enough to see if they can get off a spawn. Personally I would stock 100 or so fingerlings at the same time, some may make it through.
Short of removing them all and starting over, that would be one possible approach. Others may have better advice.
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#504217 - 04/10/19 08:48 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the advice. I haven't fished it yet but will soon. Hopefully the bait traps I set will show some kind of bait fish. I do know before we bought it in January the old owner caught 10 blues out of it to eat. Hopefully when I catch one it looks healthy and isn't all head.

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#504220 - 04/10/19 10:25 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 432
Loc: NW Kansas
Blue cats are very aggressive and will tackle all sorts of prey.. snakes, salamanders and even small leatherbacks. There well may be other species present but I would suspect low numbers.
If you've got a few cats coming to feed there about has to be a conversion of some sort. It'll be interesting to see what you find/trap.
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#504255 - 04/11/19 07:43 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Quick update. I threw my cast net 5 times and caught bait every throw. Around 5 fish a throw and they were from an inch long to 3". To my knowledge the previous owner never stocked any bait fish. They look to be green sun fish. I will take pics next time to get a positive ID. On another note. I shot two turtles with a 22 a the blues wouldn't come to feed. Guess it had them nervous

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#504261 - 04/11/19 11:17 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
wannapond0001 Offline


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Ohio
What the hell is wrong with you people, shooting turtles. What did the turtle ever do to you?

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#504263 - 04/12/19 05:41 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13911
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I rarely shoot turtles. They are the ponds clean up crew. However, there could come a point where the pond is over loaded with them.
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#504265 - 04/12/19 06:51 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Everybody seems to have different opinions about turtles. The new pond seems to have way too many so I will remove some. I'm not managing a turtle farm... Thanks for your input.

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#504284 - 04/12/19 10:27 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 432
Loc: NW Kansas
Hey Soggy, every pond is different in nature and has it's own very unique systems.. We need to remember this is about "MOSTLY" private owned, private managed ponds and my personal opinion is you do what you want to manage your system.
If you ask about help with fish we should try and stick to that.. If you ask about help with turtles, we'll discuss that. In general, this is predator control, high numbers of turtles are the reason there are so many firms building traps, but if a guy wants to pop them, so be it. I'm ok with that.
I'm here to try and add my advice about what your question pertains too and I "think" that's what most folks are here for also.
As for finding GSF in your pond I think that's good! Can't really think of anything more prolific to potentially support a Blue cat fishery. That's a good find! It sounds like the sizes you been able to catch with cast net possibly indicates slightly predator heavy but that's manageable. Pull a few cats out and maybe look into some dense (thick) cover for a bit more survival/recruitment of any such forage.
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#504285 - 04/12/19 10:34 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2736
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
I don’t mess with the turtles as they are more help than harm . They don’t catch live fish but they will eat some plants .

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#504288 - 04/12/19 10:48 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Snipe thanks for the info. I will set a few bait traps in the near future and report back my findings. It seems like I need to sharpen up on my small bait fish identification. Some of the smaller types are hard for me to identify. Thanks for the input.

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#504289 - 04/12/19 10:51 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 432
Loc: NW Kansas
Soggy, if you can get some pics-good side views, I think we can help get a positive ID on those little critters.
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#505542 - 05/09/19 08:13 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Ok, I finally got to do a little fishing in the new pond. I caught 6 catfish in 1 1/2 hours. They were channel cats and what looked like one blue cat. They were in the 8-15lb range. They were all clean and fat. Looked like healthy river or lake catfish. I set two perch traps over night to see what I would catch. Both traps yielded around 20-30 green sunfish. They were 1"-4" in length. My question now is should I do anything to the pond? I seems like there is plenty of bait and the catfish are healthy. I have been feeding 3-4 times a week and adding a little water. I don't want to introduce a new bait fish that might hurt the existing bait that is established. Would it hurt to add bluegills, google eyes, or minnows to the pond? Should I leave it alone and just enjoy whats there already. Thanks for the help.

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#505554 - 05/09/19 10:53 AM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 825
Loc: Paris, TX
Are you removing the catfish you caught?
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#505570 - 05/09/19 01:02 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
I have not removed any catfish. The ones that were caught were released. The previous owner of the property removed 15 cats in January. Also have been wondering if the catfish will reproduce in a pond this small?

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#505580 - 05/09/19 01:29 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 432
Loc: NW Kansas
Cats like a cavity such as a crème canister.. we used concrete culvert end structures in a small 12 acre lake and got some good recruitment.
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#505583 - 05/09/19 01:51 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 399
Loc: Iowa
they'll reproduce in the pond if you give them spawning cover

I personally wouldn't change a thing with that little pond other than see if any smaller sized cats turn up in the traps. If not, record how many cats you remove and replace them with stock at some point. Sounds like a great put and take grow out pond for catfish to me. The green sunfish will keep them fed and fat.

The turtles will also help keep the green sunfish under control - they'll eat the eggs and larvae.

Be 100% sure you're correctly identifying the blues vs a male channel - look at the anal fins

You could add bluegill but at this point it'd be a waste unless you're dropping some 9"ers in to grow out - in that case I'd only put in males
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#505598 - 05/09/19 03:29 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
Soggy Bottom Offline


Registered: 04/09/19
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
Lots of good info. Thanks for the help.

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#505614 - 05/09/19 05:11 PM Re: New To Me Pond Stocking Rate [Re: Soggy Bottom]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 64
Loc: Central MO
Just my opinion, I dont know as much about Blue Cats in a pond environment, but in the rivers the Blue Cats seem to lose eating qualities the older and bigger they get, if it was me I think I would harvest some of the bigger ones and restock with a younger ones.
Blues tend to be pretty aggressive in cleaning out almost anything in a closed space, You must have some pretty good cover for that many GSF to survive, actually I have seen a couple decent sized Blues or Flathead dropped into a pond just to clean it out. it worked great.
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