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#510543 - 08/20/19 01:34 PM Trouble deciding fish
Marky Mark Offline


Registered: 08/20/19
Posts: 2
Loc: murfreesboro Tennessee
Hey guys first post here on the forum and I need yíall to set me straight. Let me start with my end goals in mind. I would love to have my own pond simply for recreation and my own little slice of conservation of our precious wildlife. I Currently have a 1/4 acre 4-5í deep pond on a property near my home which I have managed for several years with mostly success. It is your typical LMB, BG, and CC pond. However this property is now for sale and I expect to be pondless in the next year or so. For the past few months I have been looking at my home property every which way to see where I can squeeze in a pond, and I think I have found the location. If all goes well and I donít have too much trouble with rock and soil I am looking at potentially 1.5 acres with a max depth rough guesstimate of 10-15í possibly more. With the first smaller pond under my belt Iíd like to try something different fish wise this go around. Personally I would love nothing more than a trout and walleye pond. After much research I realized unless I have my own private cold water spring and/or boat loads of money that ainít happening in Tennessee. At first I had hopes that if I got it deep enough and aerated from the bottom I could make it work, but at this point I have just about accepted that I should let it go. So now to more realistic choices for my given location. what about Redfin pickerel and grass pickerel as predators for my pond? They can be found all across the southeast so I think they would do well. The big issue with them is basically nobody raises them so Iíd have to catch wild specimens to introduce to my pond. Iím not real fond of using wild caught fish but if itís bout the best way then I will at least entertain the idea. I donít mind that they donít get huge and actually that might be better for my smaller pond. I probably wonít put any large mouth in because if one gets to be 4-6 lbs it could start preying on my pickerel which I donít want. The pickerel should spawn if I include weedy shallow areas as that is where they spawn naturally. They are noted as being veracious predators and Iíd imagine they could control the population of small BG pretty well and maybe even BC. Basically Iíd replace the bass with the pickerel and maybe the BG with BC. Iíd like to have BC instead of BG but Iíd rather not overload and stunt my pond with BC in the event my pickerel canít eat em fast enough. Will probably throw in a few catfish just because. Will also let minnows propagate for a year or so prior to introducing any predators. Does anyone have experience with pickerel in my general area? Any big points Iím missing? food chain? Spawning? Habitat? Would it be easier and cheaper to stick to the proven bass bluegill formula? Yep. Will that deter me? Nope. If anyone has any other lesser kept game fish recommendations Iím all ears.

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#510549 - 08/20/19 02:02 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 582
Loc: NW Kansas
This is an example of where I really wish I could have pulled through with some Saugeye.. It didn't happen this year so it doesn't matter but SAE handle low DO and high temps well. Trout handle neither well.
The BCP can be feast or famine, it has been proven their spawning habits can be very inconsistent. Maybe HBG would be an option with the pickerel?? Maybe some RES to add an amount of diversity.
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#510559 - 08/20/19 05:23 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14024
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Mark, welcome to Pond Boss.
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#510587 - 08/21/19 08:32 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2841
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Mark, I am located next to Caddo Lake here on the Tx/La border. We have chain Pickerel in Caddo along with a few other lakes in the area. The largest I have caught might have been in the 3 to 4# range but most are in the 2#size. A pretty aggressive fish caught on different types of bass baits. I think they were stocked back in the 40's as an additional sport fish. So, if I was to think outside the box for stocking a 1.5 acre pond I might look to add HSB, especially if I was going to feed. And then add the Chain Pickerel along with a heavy stocking of bg, res and I might add GSH. Now if I really wanted to look at another aggressive fish that grows pretty big and real aggressive, I might look to add a few Grinnell to the mix. I would leave the catfish out all together. Now this might be too many predators but if you went with high bg and res numbers you might get away with it but may need to restock bg every so often. I think a pond like this one would be a blast to fish in year 3 or 4. Talk about getting your string pulled!! You did say other than a bass/bg pond lol


Edited by TGW1 (08/21/19 08:43 AM)
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#510614 - 08/21/19 09:36 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12918
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I think the chain pickerel would be a better candidate and good tool to reduce too abundant small LMB compared to using northern pike because the CP would stay smaller, eat the more abundant small bass and not eat the larger bass for the angler to remove. Plus the CP is much more adapted to warmer water than the NP.

IMO the CP and NP are not more "voracious predators" than the LMB. The LMB is a very aggressive predator and actually more behaviorally aggressive than NP or CP. All three gain weight at the 10 lb: 1 lb ratio. Voracious: wanting or devouring great quantities of food." Just because the CP & NP are toothy does not make them more voracious.


Edited by Bill Cody (08/21/19 09:44 PM)
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#510626 - 08/22/19 08:15 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Freg Offline


Registered: 01/22/19
Posts: 43
Loc: TN
If you'd love nothing more than trout and walleye, why not give it a shot? You could stock the trout in the fall and worst case you have fun catching them through late spring if they don't make it. They likely wouldn't survive but I've known of people further south than you that claim they've kept trout year round with deep water and aeration. I'm in TN as well and i think trout would survive in my pond if it were 5-8 ft deeper. I don't have any experience with WE but I do plan to stock some in my pond this fall and expect that they'll survive. CP would be interesting. Personally I would prefer them as a supplemental predator instead of the main predator.


Edited by Freg (08/22/19 08:25 AM)

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#510636 - 08/22/19 01:00 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Freg]
Marky Mark Offline


Registered: 08/20/19
Posts: 2
Loc: murfreesboro Tennessee
I have a topographic map of the spot on my property and I have outlined the general area of the pond and the elevation difference from the upper area to the lower area where the dam would be is considerable. The determining factors will be A. How much rock will I hit excavating the area and B. How much dirt can I afford to build the damn. Not to mention any structural considerations for a damn of that size in this spot. In a perfect world with the elevation difference I could have a very deep pond by the dam, maybe even 25ft. I doubt I will get depth close to that mainly because of the reasons stated above. It takes a lot of dirt, work, and money to build a 25ft dam. But just for the fun of it say I did luck up and get 25ft on say 35% of my pond, and I put diffusers on the bottom of the deepest area and ran them 24/7. Would 25ft depth with aeration be enough to keep trout alive? I would say at 25ft the water would stay pretty cool, maybe not 52 degrees but I doubt it would exceed 70. My concern is with lots of aeration to keep DO high would that then circulate and warm my cool water? It might make the over all temp of the pond cooler but the bottom where itís coolest would be warmer right? Maybe I have this all wrong or maybe Iím overstating the circulatory ability of several diffusers. I will also mention there are several small wet weather springs in this spot so in the winter and spring I will have a small amount of cold flow. Usually from July-September the springs are pretty much dry. When construction starts and I think I might get 10-15ft Iíll probably go ahead and try walleye. Last little note I will be stocking a small amount of adult rainbows in my other pond In late October-November to fish out over the winter months.


Edited by Marky Mark (08/22/19 02:38 PM)

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#510643 - 08/22/19 02:36 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12461
Loc: Central Ohio
If you are uncertain about whether the finished pond would keep trout alive all Summer, you could stock FHM and/or other forage species for the first year, run your deep water aeration system, and keep a close eye on surface temps regularly. You would have a great forage base for whatever stocking option you end up using.
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#510669 - 08/23/19 09:44 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Freg Offline


Registered: 01/22/19
Posts: 43
Loc: TN
Mark,

I'm no expert but I think your assessment on the aeration is correct. Cold oxygen poor water at the bottom doesn't do your fish any good but aeration will raise the water temp. It's been a couple weeks since I've taken my water temps, but in my little 1/8 acre pond with Max 8' depth, my bottom temps in the heat of summer hang around 74-78 degrees with 24/7 aeration. I do have a spring that trickle's in most of the year but has been dried up the last week. Again just my guess, but if my temps are where they are in a tiny shallow pond, your temperatures would likely be 10 degrees cooler which should allow trout to survive. If you had 25 ft depths I would consider putting a diffuser a few feet off the bottom. Personally I would start with baitfish and put 100 or so trout in just to see how they do and go from there. If you can't get them to survive you can always go a different route with species.


Edited by Freg (08/23/19 09:45 AM)

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#510671 - 08/23/19 10:45 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
FLX Muck Man Offline


Registered: 07/15/19
Posts: 55
Loc: FLX, New York
If you check out the hypolimnetic aeration discussions, you can start to see a way to oxygenate the cold water and maintain the thermocline. I'm not sure I've see where it has worked perfectly yet. But, you might be able to get some ideas.
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#510694 - 08/24/19 02:37 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: FLX Muck Man]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 328
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: FLX Muck Man
If you check out the hypolimnetic aeration discussions, you can start to see a way to oxygenate the cold water and maintain the thermocline.


That is what would be required.

Keeping trout alive through summer is a difficult task. In the northeast at some elevations it was, and perhaps still is, a common practice to stock trout instead of other species. In many ponds fish would carry year round. However, even without any harvest the mortality of trout generally exceeded 80 percent by the end of the second winter. It has long been recommended to harvest all spring fish and restock in the fall.

The most challenging piece of keeping the water quality needed will be the fertility of the BOW. If the water is too fertile 70 degrees will not be a low enough temperature to keep the DO where it needs to be. Night time respiration will consume too much DO and trout will die ... even with aeration.

I used to live in Colorado at an elevation of 5000'. We had an irrigation lake nearby with a maximum depth of 40'. The thermocline was in the 12 to 15' depth. I actively fished for trout in the summer and generally caught them until about the 1st week of July. By then they had a very good size to them. Of course I kept all I caught.

I would just say this, if you want trout Fall stock them. Don't let summer survival (or lack thereof) stop you or diminish the enjoyment you derive from having them.



Edited by jpsdad (08/24/19 12:55 PM)

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#510720 - 08/24/19 09:22 PM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12918
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Your being in TN and for a 1.5ac pond at 25 ft deep with a good aeration system having 2 diffusers run 24/7 the bottom water IMO will be within 3 to 4 degrees of the normal TN surface water which during July-August will be 80F and some years a surface 85+F; 20 degrees too warm for trout. Bottom aeration is designed to create good bottom to top whole pond circulation one turnover per day. Even i/2 turnover per day will make the bottom water too warm for trout. You conclude "I would say at 25ft the water would stay pretty cool...." In practical application this will not happen when with diffusers in the deepest area run 24/7.


Edited by Bill Cody (08/24/19 09:24 PM)
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#511301 - 09/09/19 12:46 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Alen jones Offline


Registered: 09/04/19
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
As per my experience, it's not about your fish, its all about your pond size. You need t know how to well maintain your pond after your pond maintains well your fish is automatically grown up in a proper manner.

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#511304 - 09/09/19 01:56 AM Re: Trouble deciding fish [Re: Marky Mark]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 582
Loc: NW Kansas
Many things come into play here.. Some we don't even know or understand completely.
Warm water will only hold "X" amount of DO, doesn't matter how good of Pondmeister you are. 70 deg water may not even do it, so 80-85 is going to be impossible.
I just re-read Bill's post and I agree with the 65 range being the max temp for good health of a fish that requires tremendous amounts/levels of DO.
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