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#510905 - 08/29/19 12:31 PM Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking
jwk Offline

Registered: 08/29/19
Posts: 3
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Hi all, I'm brand new here and this is my first post so apologies in advance if I've misplaced it and for any naiveté that follows. I've only spent a few hours reading around the board trying to formulate my question.

Just over a year ago we moved into a neighborhood with a pond that is HOA-run. In practice it means nothing active happens - the few other homeowners who use it generally just walk around it. I'm a fly fisher living a few hours from cold mountain trout streams, and I fish the ponds and rivers around here for practice and LMB. Last summer I took my canoe out into our pond about once weekly trying to figure out its layout and health. I found that it about .8 acres, is generally shallow (average 4 ft) with a bit of muck on the bottom and that it holds BG, LMB, and BC. The average BG seemed stunted - 3-4", while the LMB were also fairly small (6-8") and the BC were about hand-sized. I see large numbers of BG fry around the edges. Nobody has stocked the pond in recent memory, but talking with a few locals I get the idea that from time to time somebody has brought a bucket of bass over from another pond. One local swears he's caught 5lb bass here and that he's been fishing the pond for 30 years.

We had torrential rains last summer/fall that brought the pond up about 4 feet through the winter and into spring. It's down to its regular size now and I've noticed a sharp decline in the fishing. Fewer fish and smaller. I've been thinking about restocking it this fall - nobody in the HOA is against stocking, but it would be out of my own pocket which also seems to mean that particularly active management isn't an option since I don't think I have the time or money to take on a big project myself.

Basically, my question is - does it sound worth it to try introducing adult LMB into the pond to thin the BG population and make for better fishing? And, given that I read here that BC can overpopulate a pond this size, should I be removing them? (note that I have caught only two or three of them in over a year, but also that fly tackle is probably not ideal for catching them). Or is this a situation that is better left alone? I should add that although there is no active management of this pond its overall health *seems* good. I've never noticed an algae bloom, for example. I believe the water is very tannic due to the amount of trees and roots surrounding it, but I don't know how that affects the water quality as far as fish are concerned. I did order some testing kits for ammonia, bacteria, etc. and I'll be interested to see what I find.

Thanks in advance for anybody who can help.

#510913 - 08/29/19 02:50 PM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: jwk]
anthropic Offline

Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1958
Loc: East Texas, USA
jwk, if it averages 4 feet but weeds are not an issue, sounds like sunlight doesn't penetrate very far. Check this out with a secchi disk, along with water quality test. pH, alkalinity and hardness could be problems that need addressing. If the water isn't right, the fishery can't reach full potential.

As for stocking, I'll let the pros advise you.

Edited by anthropic (08/29/19 02:51 PM)
8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19

#510924 - 08/29/19 06:06 PM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: anthropic]
jwk Offline

Registered: 08/29/19
Posts: 3
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
That's interesting, thank you - the pond definitely is turbid and visibility is very low, probably a matter of inches rather than feet. I don't really know what that actually means but can't imagine it's helpful for the fish or the plants so I'll look into it.

#510945 - 08/30/19 01:54 AM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: jwk]
Snipe Offline

Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 761
Loc: NW Kansas
There could be many reasons there are small bass, small crappie and bluegill. Obviously the visibility affects performance of the 3 sight feeders you list but I could see another possibility here that "may" be taking place.. It is possible there is catfish present causing some or possibly a big part of the visibility issues.
CC or Bullhead, either one, can cause quite similar conditions in the right combinations as can koi/carp.
Just a thought and something you might try to confirm by bottom fishing worms, liver, etc..
It could possibly answer some of the questions you have and maybe add to suggestions for helping to manage this.

Edited by Snipe (08/30/19 01:55 AM)
I Subscribe!

#511058 - 09/02/19 08:56 PM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: Snipe]
Fyfer123 Offline

Registered: 07/16/17
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I agree with you. It's my understanding that jwk only used fly tackle to fish, so any catfish or carp that may be in there very likely will not be discovered. It shouldn't be hard to catch them if they are there. I have had luck catching bullhead on a basic spinning setup with a small hook, split shots, and a worm or bread, but I think they eat anything.

I subscribe!

#511175 - 09/05/19 11:11 AM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: jwk]
jwk Offline

Registered: 08/29/19
Posts: 3
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Hey all,

I've received my test kit and will be getting results in the next few days. Meanwhile, on my regular walk with the dog around the pond the other day, I came across a pretty large snapping turtle up against the bank. In over a year I've never seen a turtle of any kind in the pond, even though there are tons of small green turtles in the ponds and lakes around here. Goes to show what all might be in there that I don't know about. Also getting a simple baitcaster to learn more...

#511204 - 09/05/19 09:00 PM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: jwk]
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14127
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Turtles migrate. Every time I make the 70 mile trip there, the number of turtles varies.
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

#511210 - 09/06/19 03:07 AM Re: Brand new to this - help understanding/stocking [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Pat Williamson Offline

Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2867
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Turtles move from pond to pond a lot it seems. Dave I see them crossing my dam heading for the neighbors pond.


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