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#506290 - 05/21/19 10:21 PM Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
I'd like to document our journey for the PB community as it unfolds, because I think we're willingly fighting an uphill battle, which should be fun and educational even if it's ultimately unsuccessful.

My family has a 0.5ac, 20 year-old pond. Stocked with LMB, BG, PS, and 5 GC, with several other species thrown in over the years which never seemed to recruit (e.g., BCP, YP, SMB, RBT). Pond was not managed up till this year, meaning we practiced almost purely catch and release during that time (I think in the last 5 years, my Dad and brother harvested a couple LMB, maybe 5 BG, and 2-3 each of the only YP and BCP which made it through and were quite large). Pond is owned by the folks, so they get final say on what we do with the pond.

The Journey So Far
I've asked several questions here with the mindset/hope that we would drain, nuke, and restock from scratch. I think all parties like SMB and YP, so a hard reset would be the surest way to have an easily managed SMB/YP fishery. So this Spring, we began our attempt at "fishing out" the pond, for fun and as a matter of curiosity regarding carrying capacity, and also to not just kill off a bunch of perfectly innocent fish. I'll call this the "Great Fish Massacre of 2019", for my own entertainment. So, our harvest results to date are as follows (most harvested in April):
  • BG - 129 - Most all 8-8.5" and good body condition
  • LMB - 28 - 2 @ 14" (okay body condition), 2 @ 12" (okay body condition), 2 @ 3.5-4", remaining 22 in 10-11" and very skinny. 6 males, 20 females (2 little bass unknown sex).
  • PS - 4 - All about 8.5" and thick.
  • BCP - 1 - 10".

Observations about the water: Our pond lies at the foot of a mountain, with no farmland around and no BOWs upstream. It is fed by streams that originate on the mountain and run through the woods, and these streams run pretty consistently year-round at a pretty high flow rate (sorry, no GPM). Our pond water seems very clean, with none of the dank smell a lot of ponds get, and our fish taste incredibly good (even the bass); almost a sweet taste. Pond had a nice deep green cast throughout April, but now in May the water's gotten extremely clear (still has a green cast, but just much clearer than before). No Secchi, but I can see the bottom of our overflow pipe and some branches that are at least 5' deep. It seems some of the green phytoplankton cast has been replaced by FA growth, because most of the bottom is covered with FA.

Observations about the remaining fish population: I began trapping out juvenile BG (removed about 150), but have since stopped as we've changed plans. Now in the shallows we can still see hundreds (probably thousands) of 1-4" BG. There's at least 1 BCP remaining, which I know because I hooked it once but it quick-released before landing. Note that the BCP never seemed to spawn, so I think this may be the last BCP in the pond, because my brother stocked just a couple 2-3 years ago. PS have never seemed to recruit in our pond and they only appear in low numbers in local ponds, so we're not sure if they're just dumb and all the YoY get eaten, if BG bully them out of good spawning areas, or if the water chemistry just isn't quite right for their spawning around here. We have yet to see a single YoY LMB, which obviously could have to do with us removing most all the adult LMB (especially females) before spawning season. I've seen a pack of 3 LMB at about 4-5", and 1 LMB at about 12" that I've watched several days making laps around the shallow part of the pond. I'm not 100% sure it's always the same bass, but I suspect it might be. It's nearly uncatchable. The pond is quite clear, and I can get a high vantage point and watch the whole pond at once (seeing probably 4-5' deep all around) and in recent days I only ever see this one lonely 12" bass. Note that the little BG are more "adventurous" now after the Great Fish Massacre of 2019, meaning that they venture out deeper and further away from cover than ever before. This all makes me wonder if we haven't harvested most all of the LMB.

The New Plan
As we caught and ate lots of LMB and BG, Dad decided he really couldn't imagine a pond without BG and that catching high numbers of eating-sized fish was more fun than chasing a few trophy bass. Thus, the folks have decided they don't want to drain the pond, so the BG and LMB are here to stay, even though we now don't care at all about our LMB (we're adopting Condello's philosophy, that our LMB are just panfish management devices), and we'd rather have moderate numbers of eating-sized BG than trophies. I also made a couple cloverleaf traps, and everyone involved seems entertained by trapping YoY. Everyone seems quite into angling, trapping, and generally managing the pond going forward. My Dad's a stoic guy, but he does seem to get excited about having YP moreso than any other species, so I saw a couple options:
1. LMB and BG pond: Conventional wisdom is that YP won't really thrive with LMB present, so give up and let the LMB and BG populations and size structures recover, and manage for fairly high numbers of eating-sized BG.
2. Uphill battle - YP, BG, and LMB pond: Aim for high numbers of harvestable BG and YP, and culling all LMB (angling and trapping them aggressively) so as to protect YP population with hopes that they might recruit a little bit, and also trapping and removing BG heavily so they don't stunt. Pellet feed YP and BG (and disable or cut up trapped YoY BG to feed them to YP).

So naturally, we picked the uphill battle, #2. If it fails, the pond should drift back towards a LMB and BG pond anyways, so why not take a swing and have some fun managing heavily? I've prepared the family mentally for the battle to come and what the probable outcome is. We can source wild-caught SMB, so we'll pay attention to our YoY numbers and if by some miracle we do actually eliminate or over-control our LMB, we plan to stock a few SMB as needed to help with panfish YoY control.

Next Steps
  • Continue attempts at removing the last stubborn LMB.
  • Establish rooted vegetation. We need to remove our GC, which we can't catch, so we're actually considering shooting them or buying a bowfishing rig to take them out.
  • Get larger pellet-trained YP. I'm arranging an order of 6-8" pellet-trained YP right now, to be picked up hopefully soon. We're thinking most should survive given how much we've knocked the LMB population back and that any stragglers are likely to be small (12" or less) given what we saw during the Great Fish Massacre of 2019. We're thinking of ordering around 150.

Any thoughts or comments? I'm especially interested in hearing what people think about the plan to stock 150 6-8" pellet-trained YP, given that I'm getting ready to put in the order and hope to pick them up soon.

Also, any thoughts on why the LMB we've harvested are so skewed towards females? Is it possible that the population is skewed female-heavy, or could the males just still be spawning quite deep (note that we haven't seen a single LMB on a bed, even with the super clear water, thought we do seem to have had some BG spawning, if the tiny 1" BG are any indication)?

#506294 - 05/21/19 10:55 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Shorty Offline

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4395
Loc: Raymond, NE
I would venture to guess that there are one or two Big LMB still left in the pond. Tell us more about the structure of your BG population, are there very many BG between 2" an 8"? Or is that size class missing?

#506300 - 05/22/19 07:33 AM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Shorty]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
It's very well possible that we do have a couple bigger LMB lurking somewhere in the deep. My sampling methods may be lacking, but via trapping I can catch hundreds of BG from 1-3" close to the shore, and just visually now that the water's clearer I can see good numbers of what I'd guess to be 4-5" BG out a little further from shore. I've thrown in 5" chunks of nightcrawler on the medium sized hooks I use to catch bass and larger BG and can watch good numbers of little 4-5" BG attacking the bait, though they obviously can't swallow that large of bait or hook. We did catch some BG in the 7-8" range, I'd guess maybe 10-15% of those harvested. I'm not sure about the range around 6" though.

It just puzzles me that if the pond really was bass overcrowded (as evidenced by them most all being extremely skinny, and us only ever seeing/catching a couple bass over 13" in the past decade, and the BG growing to nice sizes), why are there so many BG juveniles this year (I don't think we had so many in recent years)? We've only harvested 56 LMB/acre, and now the BG juveniles are venturing out 20' from shore into open water whereas they always used to stay tight to the bank and cover due to predatory pressure. It also appears that the LMB haven't spawned well in recent years, as we never see any YoY bass, we never see the bass making or guarding nests, both of which we always used to see every year earlier in the life of the pond. The males we harvested were especially skinny, so all this makes me wonder if the LMB population could truly be skewed that heavily towards females. I'm trying to make theories to rationalize this; for example, is it possible that in the last couple years, the LMB being very overcrowded and super skinny, that many of those adult males actually died after the spawn due to being really skinny to start with and then not eating, guarding nests, and general spawn stress? And then this year, are we just starting to see the effects of them dying, that being the little BG population rebounding? Another potential factor is that these bass were stocked 20 years ago and no new genetics have been introduced since then, so could there be some inbreeding or stale genetics issues affecting their ability to spawn?

Edited by Drew Snyder (05/22/19 07:43 AM)

#506309 - 05/22/19 10:52 AM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Bocomo Offline

Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1229
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Great story and best of luck!

My one piece of advice -- buy a good scale. Getting paired length-weight measurements and sampling all species present in the pond is a great way to figure out what's really going on.

For example, I strongly suspect that if all the bass you're catching are 8-8.5" then their body condition is not actually that good -- which can actually be desirable depending on your goals.
Our old pond project (updated 4/11/17)
+Donate ('17)

#506314 - 05/22/19 01:58 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Matzilla Offline

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 401
Loc: Iowa
We've only harvested 56 LMB/acre, and now the BG juveniles are venturing out 20' from shore into open water whereas they always used to stay tight to the bank and cover due to predatory pressure.

knocking off the top end of the BG "pecking order" might also have to do with this. They're venturing out in search of food most likely....food that normally would only be available to those 7+" BG that were more present before the harvest. Add that up with the most aggressive LMB being gone and you'll have a free for all.

How cold is the water entering your pond during peak spawn times? Maybe the mountain side streams are narrowing the bass spawn window due to lack of temperature, or there is a lack of spawning sites for more than X number of LMB
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond

#506528 - 05/26/19 09:26 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Bocomo]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
Bocomo, I definitely do need to get a decent scale, and make a Secchi disk. I've been very unscientific so far.

I should have laid out my data more clearly... The 8-8.5" that I mentioned was the size of most all of the BG we caught/harvested. We haven't caught or seen any LMB between 4" and 9.75". We still have yet to see any YoY LMB this year, though we have seen a pack of 3 LMB that I'd guess are probably about 4". Then we harvested a lot of LMB in the 10-11" range, and had a couple in the 12-14" range, and there's one more I keep seeing (but is uncatchable) that is probably about 12".

#506529 - 05/26/19 09:37 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Matzilla]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
These are some good insights Mat. I can't know for sure, but now that you mentioned the inlet stream temperature, that very well could be the major culprit for why we don't see LMB YoY like we used to 10+ years ago. Again, I should be more scientifically rigorous here, but the main inlet stream (coming off the mountain) is "cold", or at least colder than the still pond water. No idea of temps. In that vein, a big change regarding the inlet water and its temperature from the past is that the inlet water used to slow down and sit in a sediment pond (shallow, open, mud bottom) for a bit before it flowed into the main pond, so I imagine it heated up a bit in the sun. Nowadays that sediment pond is filled in with sediment, so the inlet stream just runs non-stop around the sediment island and continues flowing straight into the pond without slowing down, so it's feasible that this inlet water is now colder than it was in years past, when we did see more normal LMB spawning.

Can't know for certain that this is THE one and only cause, but the filling in of the sediment pond did correlate with progressively worse LMB spawns.

#506530 - 05/26/19 09:43 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
Another observation: I've read multiple times that GC will not eat algae, but just to add a data point, I did sacrifice an old GC (12 years-old, 34" long, 20 lbs), and its stomach contents looked to be 100% FA. It's worth noting that we don't have really any rooted vegetation, so I suppose its options were to eat FA or starve. Maybe you'd get a different result in a pond where it had some rooted/leafy vegetation to pick from.

Stocking Update: I went ahead and picked up and stocked 150 feed-trained 6-8" YP, along with 50 3-4" RES (I realize most RES will get eaten, but they were cheap; I'm just hoping that with the LMB really thinned out and a horde of little BG to distract them, a few of the RES should survive to adulthood.). All fish survived the 5-hour trip (I transported them enclosed inside my car with a blanket over the boxes to keep it dark and blasted the AC on max the whole way home), and so far I've only seen 2 RES (in the shallows) and 2 YP (saw their white bellies in about 6 and 8 ft of water) that have died in the few days since stocking. We do have a new snapping turtle in the pond since yesterday, so I wonder if there are more YP dying in deeper water and if the turtle's just there to clean up. The good news is that most of the YP have schooled and are staying in the shallow end at all hours around a few submerged branches, so I can see them easily and thus can see that maybe 50 (by my estimation) are still alive and well. I feed this group every evening, and they weren't really interested in the pellets after one day in the pond, but now on the second and third days they're starting to remember that they like pellets. They're still pretty shy about feeding on the surface (only at the end of the session a couple get adventurous enough to clean up some of the floating pellets), so I'm hydrating the pellets and have to squeeze several one-by-one to get them to immediately sink and "chum up" the water so they finally get back into feeding mode. If I just throw pellets on the surface, they get spooked by the commotion and never seem to go straight from chilling out on the bottom to hitting the top without being "seduced" slowly by a moderate number of squeezed sinking pellets. I occasionally see a YP wanderer in the shallows in other areas of the pond, and they seem to sit still on the bottom in the shallows in areas where schools of YoY BG hang out, so I wonder if they're hunting BG. These wanderers have the more typical yellow coloration, meaning they never really took to pellets that well in the hatchery (which would explain why they're out looking for schools of YoY BG), whereas the welfare YP school in the shallow end all have a more bluish tint that heavy pellet eaters seem to get.

Also, we saw exactly 1 crayfish in our shallow rocky nursery area, so apparently at least 1 has migrated up on its own from the creek. No idea of the species, but he didn't look like a Rusty by my amateur estimation.

#506655 - 05/30/19 09:20 AM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
Harvest update: I cast netted out 2 of the little LMB (4.75" and 5"), so as far as what I can see, I believe there's one little bass at about 5" and another bigger bass at about 12" remaining in the pond. Both are uncatchable.

Feeding update: The perch were stocked at the deepest end in front of the dam, but immediately most all went for the opposite, shallow end near the inlet pipe. For the first 4 days, most all schooled up in the shallow end near some submerged branches, and were quite easy to feed because so many were concentrated in probably 1/10 of the pond. Well, suddenly on day 6, there were only a couple in the shallow end. Now I've seen a few scattered all around in other parts of the pond, usually solo, and usually sitting on the bottom near cover near schools of YoY BG. It's nice to see them adjusting to their new habitat and starting to hunt, but now I feel like pellet feeding is pointless, because these YP are not agressive enough to eat a pellet that lands more than 5' away, now I can't easily locate them to know where to feed (little response yesterday in my usual spot in the shallow end), and the grass carp just go nuts eating most of the pellets.

Stocking/survival update: I found 1 YP floating yesterday. I tried to autopsy it to determine why it died, but it was too far decomposed inside. I assume it died several days ago. We also had an almost-tornado last night with 60mph winds, and one of my traps bounced into the water and of course it caught one of our stocker YP. I don't know if it was stressed by the trap experience or if it was already weak before that, but when I let it loose it was swimming around belly-up and could not roll over right-side-up. I tried to nurse it back to health a couple times, to no avail. I assume this one's dead now too.

I'm trying to diagnose why these fish are dying, and if we'll continue to lose more, or if we're probably just losing a few due to stress from transport, stocking, and adjustment to the new water.

1. Is it normal for newly stocked fish to keep dying in low but steady numbers a week after stocking? Or at this point, is it no longer due to stocking stress and probably more a longer-term issue that will continue to stress them, such as poor water quality? I'm planning to have our water tested for water quality issues. I don't think there's any issue with DO or water temperature, but our pH and alkalinity are usually low and we haven't limed the pond in a few years.

2. Could some fish actually be starving to death already? I ask because we don't have a minnow forage base, just thousands of YoY BG, and I feel sure many haven't been eating pellets because I've probably only seen about 50 of the 150 feeding.

#507326 - 06/12/19 08:37 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
Several updates, and some questions below.

Water quality update: Water continues to be extremely clear, actually getting even clearer as the season progresses. We can now see a rock pile and a barrel that were placed in about 8-10' of water. I had our water chemistry tested at Penn State, and here are the results:
  • Nitrate: 0.8 mg/L
  • Phosphorus: <0.025 mg/L
  • Total Dissolved Solids: 33 mg/L
  • pH: 7.2
  • Total Alkalinity: 8 mg CaCO3/L
  • Hardness as CaCO3: 17 mg/L
  • Iron: <0.1 mg/L
  • Manganese: 0.05 mg/L
  • Aluminum: <0.03 mg/L
  • Sulfate: 7.0 mg/L

Questions: Any thoughts on the water quality/chemistry? Should we add ag lime, and how much per acre, given that pH is fine but that total alkalinity is quite low (I think)? Penn State's guidelines say that our pond's manganese is high, so is that an issue for our fishery? If so, where could manganese come from (soil?), and how to reduce it?

Feeding update: Perch are now feeding incredibly well. Our remaining adult bluegill have pellet trained themselves, so we regularly see a few BG show up to feed. I have to feed most of the way around the pond as the YP have spread out and constantly wander, and in most spots I can throw in a glob and get a response. We've ramped up from feeding about 4 oz. per day (by volume, measured as dry pellets) to now 12-16 oz. per day.

Survival update: We had a steady trickle of YP dying over the first two weeks after stocking. I saw/confirmed 12 dead (out of the 150 stocked). Then, we had no new dead perch seen during week 3. Now tonight, after feeding, we saw 1 perch come up floating, belly-up, and he had the energy to try to swim and flip himself rightside-up, but for some reason he couldn't flip over. I assume he will also be dead shortly, so now we're at 13 "confirmed" dead. This particular perch came up in an area where we had just pellet fed heavily, he had quite good body condition and the blue tint that pellet eaters have, and the school in this particular spot was (abnormally) eating lots of pellets off the top (ours usually only eat sinking pellets). I saw this same belly-up behavior with 1 other perch that died a couple weeks ago. I want to figure out why he died, because we paid good money for these fish, so it would be nice if a couple actually survived.

Questions: What are some potential reasons why these YP died, especially considering the strange behavior of floating belly-up while still apparently being strong enough to swim and try to flip over right-side-up? Could it be that he gorged on pellets and they're just buoyant enough to make his belly/underside be too buoyant? Could it be that he was eating too many off the top and gulped too much air into his stomach? Could I have overfed him, and he died from overeating? Could it be my pellet hydrating technique (hydrating in ziploc bags using well water)? I also squeeze my pellets into globs about the size of a ping pong ball before throwing in, so the pellets from each throw are concentrated and sinking in a tight formation, which means that the school has to be a bit competitive/aggressive, so could this tight formation and "fighting" over pellets stress fish too much to the point of killing one on occasion?

#507534 - 06/16/19 09:39 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
It continues to bother me that there's (by my estimation) an 11-12" and a now probably 5.5" LMB that slipped through our Great Fish Massacre earlier this Spring. As I've mentioned, they're uncatchable at this point, and very wary of the cast net too. Should be a 50% chance that they're of opposite sexes, so this still nags at me. 2 LMB shouldn't have a huge impact on our harvestable YP numbers in the coming years, but if they're of opposite sexes and pull off a spawn, our YP experiment goes down in flames.

It makes perfect sense that the bigger one at least is uncatchable, because it's the only big dog in the pond, really the only fish that can eat a BG over 2". I'm guessing it would target BG in the 3-4" range, and a few days ago I realized we have probably 100 3" BG in one school. This bass has nearly unlimited forage all to itself. I'm confident/hopeful that it's old and stunted, but it still should be able to pull off some nice growth during its hopefully last couple years on Earth, and big LMB is exactly NOT what we want in our pond. We're hoping for a fairly high density of medium sized YP (and maybe the occasional BG) for harvest, i.e., we're not really shooting for trophies of any species, rather we plan for a YP heavy pond with fairly heavy harvest of YP for eating, and a few BG for eating, with the BG harvested very heavily every year. I'm thinking of leaving a few larger adults in (like 6, which is 12/acre) to produce some forage for the YP and hopefully keep the little BG from sexually maturing too small. The issue as I understand it is that our YP will only be able to eat the BG until they get to maybe 1.5", and won't be that great at catching BG until the water cools down, so even with our larger BG brood stock being very limited in numbers and us being stocked relatively heavily for YP (150 at now 7-9", which is 300/acre), the BG will still probably produce enough YoY that we'll have quite large numbers get through to 3"+, which means old jerkface 11" bass will continue to have unlimited forage. Also, young jerkface 5.5" bass has probably grown 0.5-0.75" in the past month, so I think it represents more of a problem longer-term because it'd have a higher top-end potential.

With that previous run-on paragraph in mind, this weekend I decided to conduct BG YoY warfare via trapping. I want to remove as many YoY BG as possible to hopefully make our LMB a bit hungrier and more aggressive so that we can catch at least one of them sometime this year. In the past two days, I've removed approximately 170 YoY BG, all of which I fed to our YP. Suffice it to say that feed trained YP will eat cut bait.

1. Unconventional YP forage: Given that I'm not able to drain and nuke, thus couldn't establish a more ideal minnow or shiner forage base (and Dad doesn't like the idea of having 8" bait stealing GSH), and that we are pellet feeding pretty heavily (30#/month, which is 60#/ac/moth), what should I plan to use as our YP's forage base in future years? If we can get the LMB out, would it make more sense to run this closer to a single-species YP pond, letting the YP lay eggs without removal and letting a few YP get bigger, and then just letting the larger YP forage on YoY YP? Or, would it be better on the path I'm currently going, leaving just a few breeder BG to produce plenty of YoY BG as forage, and removing YP ribbons aggressively?
2. Removing the LMB: Would it be a good idea to catch and stock a few SMB from the creek, I'm thinking 10 in the 8-12" range (I want small enough to not eat our now 7-9" stocker YP, but big enough to help eat some 2-3" BG to compete with our 11" LMB)? I would like to put in a few SMB to help manage YP and to some extent BG against overpopulation in future years, but Dad now is "a perch man" in his own words; he has no interest in 1.5lb+ bass anymore and would rather just be able to fish with his ultralight, so he would prefer a bass-free pond. I've warned him that both YP and BG will likely overpopulate without any bigger predator, but that we could try one year without bass or WE to "see what happens" (i.e., to show that the fish stunt). Given all that, I'm thinking these SMB could be a more or less put and take operation this year, just as a temporary measure to help compete with the LMB by putting 24/7 pressure on the 2-3" BG forage base in the hopes that one of the LMB will get hungry/aggressive enough to actually take a bait so we can remove at least one.

PS: I know that someone would like to remind me that there are surely more than just these 2 LMB remaining, which is possible. I know, I know. I feel somewhat confident that there are only 2, given that our water is extremely clear and we have virtually no vegetation or cover, so I can see most all characters on any given day. We'll have to wait and see how this LMB story unfolds.

#507636 - 06/17/19 08:32 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
153 more small BG removed today, mostly all via trapping. A nice majority were in the 2-3" range, so this should be a direct hit to the bigger LMB's forage. CPUE on trapping is starting to drop off noticeably, and there are far fewer little BG visible in the shallows. The LMB should have to hunt more aggressively and hopefully will start to miss a few meals.

#507649 - 06/18/19 12:11 AM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Drew Snyder]
Snipe Online   content

Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 585
Loc: NW Kansas
Drew, consider trying a jitterbug (black) about 45 min after sundown on a warm night. either of those 2 bass may well have their guard down at night and may snap that jitterbug. Worth a try if you haven't already.
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#509186 - 07/21/19 05:41 PM Re: Changing Course - Old Pond, New Journey [Re: Snipe]
Drew Snyder Offline

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 68
Loc: Southcentral PA
Not very eventful recently, but this is overdue for an update.

I believe we're committed to this experiment of an (almost) panfish-only pond. We have a couple remaining LMB, but the LMB haven't been spawning well in our pond (seem to have missed a spawn this year). We're aiming for the species balance to be very YP-heavy, with a few RES, and with a few adult BG and PS to provide some forage. We also have at least 1 old BCP, but they've never spawned in our pond. Every LMB caught/trapped in future years will be removed. The BG are/will be managed VERY aggressively to keep them from stunting, which so far this year seems to be working successfully. My plan so far is to harvest adult BG ruthlessly each Fall/Winter/Spring, leaving only a quite low number to spawn through the Summer to produce forage for the YP. We pellet feed the YP fairly heavily all growing season. Our pond has no shallow cover, so the YP can hopefully better predate on YoY BG. We're also trapping heavily to monitor YoY BG numbers, and feeding all trapped BG as cut bait to our YP. If my trapping is any evidence, the YP have decimated the < 2" BG population (not a single BG < 2" trapped in past couple weeks, and trapping rate of > 2" BG has also gradually dropped off to almost nothing). Now I'm considering bucket stocking maybe 30-40 BG mid-late Summer to let them spawn for a bit and produce plenty of little late-season YoY to serve as YP forage through the Fall and especially over Winter (we have about 135 YP, for comparison). Then to the extent that we can target the adult BG (flies or topwaters maybe), I'd like to harvest them back down to fairly low numbers in late-Fall and early next Spring. We're also planning to cage and pellet train YoY YP each year to protect them and maintain good numbers of YP and bolster their growth.

Side note on water quality: Our visibility has dropped from several feet earlier this year to maybe only 18" now that the water has warmed up.


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by MOFishermen
Yesterday at 10:54 PM
Chronicles of stocking Hybrid Striped Bass......
by jpsdad
Yesterday at 07:34 PM
Test For Naegleria Fowleri, Brain Eating Amoeba...
by John Fitzgerald
Yesterday at 06:56 PM
What did you do at your pond today?
by roundy
Yesterday at 05:28 PM
Forage pond question
by ewest
Yesterday at 02:57 PM
Water Chemistry Log by QA
by Quarter Acre
Yesterday at 02:19 PM
Help with this plant PLEASE
by ewest
Yesterday at 01:10 PM
Plastic structure
by ewest
Yesterday at 01:08 PM
Newly Uploaded Images
Personal Record BGxRES
Harry's Pond
pond view
Fishing Colorado...finally
Releasing a quick snack

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