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#503945 - 04/04/19 10:56 AM Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat
Lucas Offline


Registered: 04/03/19
Posts: 1
Loc: MI
Questions at bottom..
My current situation is that I have a 3/4 acre pond (oval/rounded rectangle shape) that has a maximum depth of 12-14 feet. It's been an established ecosystem since it's creation in the 70's and last year had been dredged/dug out to its current depth. It has plentiful frog, newt (rare in our area), and minnow populations. The reason we dug it was to support fish year round as we find they die out yearly. We've added a 2HP fountain to run year round.

Plan: Per what I've heard/researched, it's recommended to avoid LMB/SMB as they eat everything and you more so have to dedicate a pond to them. On top of this, we are more interested in panfish for fishing/eating purposes.

Perch, Hybrid bluegills, flathead minnows, and a few channel catfish are the current plan for stocking. I'm hoping to maintain the frog population by creating a shallow weedy area by digging it out and back. I was told Hybrid bluegill are best and it's recommended to create a breeding area (sand/gravel combo) with a cinder block barrier to hold in the gravel, along with this have a line of "Fish Trees" approx. 30 ft out.

What am I missing and what could you suggest? What else is critical? I've been catching critters all my life but never owned my own pond and surrounding acreage that I could turn into something awesome. Goal is to create the most abundant ecosystem.

QUESTIONS:
- What plant-life should I plant if any?

- Turtle raft, any recommended easy builds?

- Where and at what depths should I put fish trees?

- How many: Hybrid bluegill, Perch, Channel catfish, and minnows should I stock? I was told a few hundred HBG/Perch, 6-8 Cats, and 1k minnows..

- SNAILS! What kind? I keep seeing that they are excellent additions and I have none in my pond. I plan on buying some, breeding, then planting them.

- Crayfish! I want to catch and plant these.. Yes or no?

- Minnow Breeding area - Cinderblocks with pallets? What area should I prioritize putting these and at what depth?

- Do I want ducks? Duckweed spreads like nuts so I'd probabably want to avoid it but it there something else to attract them?

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#503973 - 04/04/19 06:47 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Wisconsin
Here is my advice but it is free and you are going to get exactly what you pay for...Nothing.

Nothing is what I do to my pond. Ok, not exactly "nothing". The only thing I do, is measure dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia, nitrites, phosphates etc. and chart it all on a Excel spreadsheet. I test monthly at minimum in four areas, inlet, outlet and two arbitrary areas in between. I look for trends and or anomalies.

After two years, I mated my water quality with the aquatic life. I let the pond dictate what I put in it, instead of dictating to the pond what I wanted in it.

To this day, I still do nothing...No feeding, no aeration, nothing besides continuously checking the water quality parameters.

I live with nature, I don't work for it.
_________________________
2.5 acres, 87' Deep, Previously a Quarry

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#504027 - 04/05/19 09:27 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12767
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
You have a lot of questions that I don't have time now for lengthy answers for all them.

Snails - if you stock snails use only the common pond snail they have thin shells. Snails will play a big part in encouraging fish parasites such as white and yellow grub , black spot disease. Research them. Best ones are in the genus Physa or Physella - several species in this genus. Yellow perch will commonly eat this type of thin shell small snail.
http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_Physa_Snail.php

Hybrid BG(HBG) can work well but I don't think just catfish and Yperch (YP) will adequately control the offspring from HBG. If you stock HBG into 0.7ac then after 5-8 yrs I will guarantee you need some type of bass to control them - preferred would be the SMB and add them after the first spawn of HBG. HBG will after several years (5-10yrs) of interbreeding produce a substandard sunfish (mutts) that over the years more and more resemble a mixed genetics green sunfish(GSF). Plan on periodic supplimental stocking of HBG to maintain good numbers of large quality hybrids with the substandard interbreeding mutt sunfish. I would rethink and do more homework for using SMB who will work great and not overpopulate with YP-HBG-crayfish. SMB are not real prolific, easily reducible by angling and not as predacious as LMB. Larger CC eat a lot of 5"-7" perch and HBG. Without proper predation your long term harvest of panfish will be limited to substandard sizes of 5"-7" due to overpopulation problems.

Crayfish can be a big benefit but be very sure you know how to identify rusty crayfish (a Michigan exotic nuisance species, web research it) and never add them because they are aggressive and are not the best fish food for your planed fish species. Papershell crayfish are the very best pond crayfish. Learn to recognize them and stock only them. Many other common stream crays will burrow holes and chimneys into the above water banks.

Fish trees are fish attractors and not fish habitat for small fish. Know the difference. If the pond is not bottom diffused aerated then put fish attractors above the normal pond MI thermocline (6ft). See the thread: Structure, Cover etc in the Archives.

Minnow breeding areas - all water less than 3ft sometimes 1-2ft depending on water level. Consider golden shiners(GS) with FHM. GS do not spawn the same way as FHM.

Turtle raft - Research floating island on this forum. Use Google: pond boss forum floating island. John Monroe and others built great floating structure islands that turtles readily used.

Scan through the Archives for more learning.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=22&page=1

HBG
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256325#Post256325

Plants -
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=440475#Post440475





Edited by Bill Cody (04/06/19 09:50 PM)
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#504034 - 04/06/19 07:45 AM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Bill Cody]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 72
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Bill, have a question for you. I am in Mid-Michigan, half acre pond, the ice is about half off so far and I am raking up some algae. In that algae I am finding a number of small BG, about one inch. Is it possible that my BG spawned last fall in November when we had a week of 50s? I stocked 4-6 inch BG in May of 2018 and was very surprised to see these little guys. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!
_________________________
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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#504057 - 04/06/19 09:18 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12767
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Your early spring collected 1"BG in MI were very likely spawned and hatched in late August something that does happen fairly often on a limited basis with a few late "blooming" female BG in the northern ponds. As the water cools in Sept-Oct growth was minimal thus you are now seeing the 1"ers. One inch to 1.4" BG can occur commonly in many ponds late in the summer. Limited amounts of plankton helps slow the growth of these late summer produced fry.

See the addition to my snail comment above.


Edited by Bill Cody (04/06/19 09:48 PM)
_________________________
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#504130 - 04/08/19 05:23 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 72
Loc: Midland, Michigan
The ice in finally off the pond! This morning the water temp was 48 degrees and the sun came out and the day was just beautiful! it is a little after 5pm and it is 66 degrees! I was just walking the dog around the pond and watched a group of 6 LMB about 14-16 inches long, hunting the edge of the pond while a group of about 20 BG were enjoying the warm water near the top. And as I walked past the shallows there were about 200 3-4 inch LMB hiding in the weeds. This is what all that hard work is about, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in your own backyard!
_________________________
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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#504137 - 04/08/19 09:21 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1987
Loc: West Michigan
Funky, thanks for the post and the update. I agree, it is hard to feel depressed when you get to observe the renewal of life in the pond. This time of year is extra fun for me as I get to watch the perch ribbons appear and develop. However, it also means a lot of work raking all the nasty winter sludge and leaves out of the shallows.

I would encourage you to try to get some adult YP established in your pond if that is still possible with your LMB. They are easy to raise, very hardy, easy to catch, very good to eat and add diversity in forage for your LMB as well!

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#504172 - 04/09/19 09:49 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: canyoncreek]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 72
Loc: Midland, Michigan
canyoncreek, I saw on FB today that Inlay City Fish farm has 2 inch YP of 30 cents each! It made me want to go get some, but I think I would need to build a cage for them for a bit to be large enough to make it with the LMB and big CC in the pond right now. But YES! isn't this time of year great! Love the first days of activity on the pond!
_________________________
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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#504173 - 04/09/19 10:20 PM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1987
Loc: West Michigan
Yes, not sure how far you have to drive but if they could sell you some 5-6" YP they might do OK in your pond the way they are. Otherwise it sounds the price for 2" YP is very cheap. You could use a blocking net or make some cages till they are bigger.

Thanks for the update!

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#504175 - 04/10/19 01:50 AM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8007
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Hi Funky

2" YP available in Spring are age 1 fish - hatcheries are dumping their runts - happens every Spring - you don't want to be that unsuspecting guy. IMO your fishery performance is far too important than to cut corners on this investment. I recommend hanging tight and buying some age 0 fish this Summer/Fall and you can still grow them out to help escape LMB predation [ideally 8"+]. Note - unless you have abundant aquatic vegetation temper your YP performance expectations in the presence of LMB. Typically YP populations struggle without abundant macrophytes in these scenarios.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#504319 - 04/13/19 08:44 AM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: teehjaeh57]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 72
Loc: Midland, Michigan
In my pond the last time I put YP in (3-5Inch) they ended up as a snack I think, I have not seen any this year at all. I would like much bigger ones but they seem to be hard to come by. However, on another subject they tell there that this year they will begin carrying pumpkinseed BG, I would like to add some of these, but this is the first time I have found anyone nearby to get them from. I will wait and see if they do get them and at what size and price.
_________________________
half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!

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#504446 - 04/17/19 12:36 AM Re: Michigan Pond Stock/Habitat [Re: Lucas]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8007
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Grow them out in a floating cage...then release.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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