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#510788 - 08/26/19 05:27 PM New pond forage stocking
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
Our pond was dug in late July and is roughly 100X200í. Itís about 3/4 full from recent downpours and is holding water very well. When it was dry we positioned some artificial trees and once it started filling we tossed in a few branches from a storm damaged pear tree. My sons have added about 2 dozen long ears from the creek and plan to net at least 50 more. I plan on buying 100 coppernose, 100 redears, and 4 pounds of minnows from our local dealer in the next few weeks. Does this sound like a good forage start for 50 largemouth bass we plan to add next spring?

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#510807 - 08/27/19 11:41 AM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 102
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
You will get more info from others. Here is what I've learned from the forum and personal experience.
Hold off on adding additional predators as long as you can. It is tempting to immediately stock them. My FHM are almost wiped out already due to predator stocking and others washing in...are you at risk?
Add the cover/structure now while it is easier. 20% minimum. Pear will break down pretty quick. I prefer cedar if you have it available. There is a section here just for structure. My fish crib is a magnet for little fish.
Hold off on the LMB until the sunfish have a successful spawn.
Unless you are dead set on LMB, start reading on other options. At about half acre my understanding is that is on the small side for LMB.
As always, what are your ultimate goals?!
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NW TX 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through 2 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM....BH, GSF GSH, LMB & ???

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#510810 - 08/27/19 01:47 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
KSHay, what part of KS are you in?? Coppernose may not do well depending on your location. You may need to go with Northern strain..
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#510813 - 08/27/19 03:01 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
KSHay, I just spent some time on phone with our SE biologist and he says the coppernose have not doing well in the SE KS strip pits. He says best to use Northern strain. He's been trying FLMB and CNBG there for several years and the northern BG are out producing them size and number-wise. Recruitment has been very low in pits where there were very low numbers of NBG.


Edited by Snipe (08/27/19 03:03 PM)
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#510817 - 08/27/19 04:11 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
The pond is in south central Kansas. All three fish dealers around here recommend CNB. I wanted to add redears for the parasite control. Since longears are plentiful here my kids have been adding those as well. My goal is to have a small LMB and BG pond that is easy to fill and maintain water in. My overflow is a gentle channel to one end that flows to another potential pond site. My pond is 9Ė10í deep with a steep slope on one side and a gradual slope on the other, which is also the watershed fill side. I cut in a 2-3í deep shelf that runs about 50í along the gradual slope hoping BG will use it for spawning. In hindsight I should of just cut the slope steep all the way around. I will be aerating as soon as I trench a 500í long trench for airline from my shop. As far as adding trees, I figured the pear was temporary but wanted the 2 dozen LES to have a hiding spot. Iíve been dropping artificial cover as well. Thanks for all feedback!!

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#510823 - 08/27/19 05:17 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
Besides our SE Bio I've talked to Hartley's and Harbin, Hartley was a definite no. Who else is down there?
I guess if you use CNBG, please post results, if they work well you'll prove the theory of Never say Never, just be careful when someone says X will work because they sell X.
If you're in close proximity to Wichita, I can save you some money and time. I work with these guys and nobody there says CNBG have worked in that area.


Edited by Snipe (08/27/19 05:21 PM)
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#510830 - 08/27/19 06:47 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1599
Loc: West Central Missouri
I don't think you will get much out of the FHM installment if only giving them the rest of the year to reproduce. What reproduction you do get will result in very small FHM's and your newly stocked panfish will consume them right away. My only experience with FHM was stocking about 3 pounds of breeding sized minnows in the spring in my 1/4 acre pond and giving them an entire year to do their thing. This produced massive amounts of adults in that year (massive) that were to big for my 2-6" gamefish to eat that were stocked a year later. These adults produced a whole years worth of fry that feed my small gamefish right out of the gate. By the end of the summer my HSB were breaking the one pound mark and pushing a foot long (they started at 4-6" long) and were now growing on the adults and the HBG were pushing 1/4 pound and still thriving on the YOY FHM's.

This "massive" quantity of FHM's was drastically reduced the by the following year and my benefits were dwindling. The FHM's are still present in the pond, but not for long (the FHM's 3rd year)

Bottom line is...let the minnows explode and reap the benefits, if not allowed to do so...the benefits are greatly reduced. Their reproduction is exponential with time.

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#510831 - 08/27/19 06:57 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
I have talked to Hartley, Harbin, and Dunnís. The only other BG they offer are Hybrids. Is there another option? The pond is south of Wichita.

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#510844 - 08/27/19 11:10 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
KSHay, Hartley and Harbin should both have straight northern BG. I literally talked to Bill H about an hour ago and I know he has BG because I'm delivering some for him end of this week.
I talked with our SE Bio again tonight and we do some contract work with Harbin (Mark), very professional farm there BTW. Bio has 7 ponds in SE corner and says he just isn't seeing growth rates that northern BG exhibit and recruitment has been sporadic at best. His opinion was that it just gets too cold still in this region but there are always exceptions and If you want to try CNBG, please let us now as time progresses. This is something I can pass on based on your experience depending on how it goes.
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#510864 - 08/28/19 02:05 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
I will definitely go with NBG. I really appreciate the advice. My nephew is with fish and game and he also said skip the CNBG.

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#510867 - 08/28/19 02:23 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
Your Nephew is not Connor by chance??


Edited by Snipe (08/28/19 02:24 PM)
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#510878 - 08/28/19 05:36 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
Nope, that's not him. So I'm pretty sure I'm going with 200 BG, 100 RES, and 5 pounds of FHM. My next question is about next spring. I prefer crappie over bass on my line and plate. My concern is with all the negative views about crappie in a pond especially a small one. Is it possible to have a BG and BC pond with good results or are BC just too much of a pond killer. I suppose I could add 10 or 15 Wipers at the same time to control reproduction? Thanks again for all the great replies!

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#510882 - 08/28/19 07:08 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
Couple of ways you "could" do that.. 1 is putting male only BCP in-hard to verify at young age. Stock small BCP and plan on an up and down spawning success rate year to year, but you still need a controllable predator in my opinion. Wiper (HSB) may or may not be able to control BCP in a blow up year, or...use Hybrid crappie from the start.
TJ has experience with these off the top of my head. Our SW biologist is trying these in a 7yr old New impoundment and isn't seeing hardly any recruitment but that's a different situation. That impoundment is Horsethief res straight west of ya.
Maybe TJ will see this and make a suggestion.


Edited by Snipe (08/28/19 07:08 PM)
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#510886 - 08/28/19 10:05 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
This is a parallel to when I got into cichlids years ago. Most folks think you can throw some pretty fish in a tank with a bubbler and all is well. Ponds are nearly as difficult it seems. I understand the basics of a healthy environment. Iím back to square one on fish compatibility and reproductive issues though. Aquariums have taught me to be cautious if anything. Iíll get the bottom of my food chain going and learn a bit more before I decide on the top.

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#510888 - 08/29/19 12:32 AM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 102
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
I am a rookie here so please educate me as well. What about adding FHM structure among lots of other dense stuff, 10# of FHM, let them reproduce while the existing CNBG grow (FHM predation) until next June or July then add more whichever BG. Almost ladder stocking them. The first stocked BG should be reproducing at this point Then stock the LMB/HSB YOY?

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#510891 - 08/29/19 01:46 AM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
ShortCut, most days I admit I'm a rookie to myself in the mirror.. :-)
I will share my thoughts though.
I am a believer in structure and my observations of FHM are that they prefer the underside of anything present. I've also seen clean new ponds with zero structure produce fry. Obviously cover offers more than just spawning sites such as obvious protection from other predators and the elements etc..
I like pallet structures in 1-3' of water and I also see numerous "black" males jetting around in my riprap-more than I see them anywhere else, just an observation.
I like the idea of 2-4" BG being stocked at the same time as FHM. BG eat some of the smaller fhm but their diet is very diverse if other items are available. The age of the pond since new has a lot to do with that, and to quote Bill Cody, "The developing food web" takes a little bit of time.
I'd stock the RES along with the BG at the same time in the same size.
I also believe it helps to get fish on supplemental feed quickly as well. good growth, good health, less pressure on other items developing in the pond, and yes, I think it's a great idea as well as good measure to wait until the next fall to introduce predators.
I wish I would have waited longer on my own
When those predators are stocked, they have an environment full of a very diverse list of elements and the growth is unimaginable.
I don't believe there is any reason to add additional BG/RES after initial stocking.


Edited by Snipe (08/29/19 01:48 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#510899 - 08/29/19 10:16 AM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1599
Loc: West Central Missouri
I agree whole heartily with Snipe's comments given you are striving for a LMB pond! Especially the quote from Bill Cody.

Pallets are a very good structure for FHM's and usually easy to find. Without spawning structures...you are further reducing what benefits you'll see. I have to say, again, that the longer you can give the minnows...the more impressed you will be with your first two years growth of the gamefish. Pellet feeding can make up for the lack of minnows to some degree, however.

I don't think it has been discussed in this thread, so I'll just throw it out...

Small ponds can be hard to manage for larger LMB, so I have read. I have chosen to try and grow larger panfish (HBG) because of this. The predators become a tool rather than a growth goal. I believe you should decide which way you want to try and take your pond before stocking. If you want larger LMB...you want to stock the panfish and get them high in population of a mix of smaller fish, then stock predators at a later date. The panfish are your feed. This means you want plenty of hiding places in the pond for the panfish YOY to grow to develop that mix of sizes. With this scenario, you will want lager numbers of panfish and fewer numbers of predators (not a direct comparison, but a ratio ballance). These efforts help sway the pond to have plenty of forage for the few LMB...it grows bigger LMB.

If you want larger panfish, you want to stock the predators at the same time in similar sizes. Ultimately, you need the LMB to be numerous and stay relatively small so that they eat most of the panfish YOY. The stocking ratio swings the opposite direction. You don't want hiding places in this scenario because the YOY panfish need to be easy prey along with the YOY LMB. This keeps the panfish populations down, reducing panfish competition, allowing the panfish to grow bigger, while the LMB grow slower on smaller prey. LMB are typically culled from these ponds when they get about 14" long.
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#510926 - 08/29/19 07:36 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
As I mentioned, I did cut in a shallow shelf hoping BG and FHM would use it for spawning. From the water line it immediately drops around a foot and then only to 2-3 feet before the drop off. I need to come up with some shallow cover. I originally intended on building limestone structures but the pond filled way faster than I planned.

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#510937 - 08/29/19 10:43 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 650
Loc: NW Kansas
Just a thought here while reading this KSHay.. That shelf you built, how about some placement of 6-8-10-12" rock in some of the areas?
Bet permanent cover I know of and easily placed with a full pond.
Just a thought..
You might even be able to place a pallet or 2 in a location you could manually add rock fingers perpendicular to the shore rock-great ambush cover as well as spawning sites.


Edited by Snipe (08/29/19 10:46 PM)
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#510965 - 08/30/19 03:40 PM Re: New pond forage stocking [Re: KSHayseed1]
KSHayseed1 Offline


Registered: 07/24/19
Posts: 9
Loc: Kansas
Iíve got about a ton of limestone left from lining the shore, large pieces. Once the water clears again Iíll probably use it in that shallow area. I would never guessed weíd get 10Ē of rain in August or itíd been done already. Itíll have to be a boat project now.

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