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#511763 - 09/20/19 07:53 AM Grasscarp, not a fan but?
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2886
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
In a couple of months my pond will be in it's 5th year. And up until this past year I had very few plants in the pond. But today I have two that have grown quite a bit and will soon need some control or it might get out of hand. After reading much about the grasscarp here, I am not sure that I want them because of biomass and I like the amount of vegetation I have now, I just don't want any more. Anyone with experience with them when it comes to Southern Naiad (bushy Pondweed) and APW. I see where even those that have the carp still spray their weed killers, so are they worth taking up the biomass in the pond? I understand they get pretty big and 10 of them in a 3 acre pond could be a hundred pounds of fish in a few years. If I were to add them? Any thoughts on how many per acre if I wanted to keep the plant life where it is now and just control the new plant growth? Thanks for your thoughts
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Tracy

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#511771 - 09/20/19 01:06 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Yo T

"Standard" [every situation/goal is different] stocking rates are 3/AC. Might want to try half that and see how your vegetation is managed [4-5]. You can add more down the line, removing them is not easy so I think slow and steady is the prudent approach.

Consider circling around with Al - he stocked GC to help manage his coontail and would provide some experienced insight on stocking rates.

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#511777 - 09/20/19 04:42 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 4096
Loc: Emory TX
I can't add much to TJ's thoughts, other than to reemphasize that one should always under stock the first batch, go crazy waiting for the second SUMMER(not year) you have them, and then reevaluate. We're permitted 10 per acre here in TX, and I just hit my 110 this year. So, 6-7 years to max out? I basically stocked 20 every 2 years, and they never came close to controlling my coontail. Bushy Pondweed? It's preferred over coontail, and they cleared mine out in a few months. 4-5 seems to be a reasonable number to start with. I've said it often, I'd rather have 10 too few, than 1 to many.

Just an observation, but the GC never really muddied the water when they were eating the B Pondweed. Coontail was different. One would swim up to the plant, grab a mouth full of the stalk, and violently twist their body and literally rip the plant out of the pond bottom. It looked like a mini atomic mushroom cloud. I knew then I'd never overstock them.

Tracy, just a quick question or 2, but do you think your fertilization routine is ramping up the plant growth, or does the limited light penetration of a bloom actually help control plant growth in deeper water? I have mixed emotions about that. Can you tell how deep the water is before the B Pondweed starts thinning out?
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#511785 - 09/20/19 09:02 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: FireIsHot]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5492
Loc: SE Kansas
Glad to hear the grass carp like bushy pondweed Al. My RES/SMB pond has been half taken over with it. Don't know why it is not a problem in any of the other ponds but this one exploded with it.

Put 4 GC in about three weeks ago (one acre pond). Know they will not do anything with it much this year, but hopefully will keep it somewhat subdued next year.

I knew I didn't want to over stock. I don't mind some bushy pondweed, but it just went crazy this year.


Edited by snrub (09/20/19 09:03 PM)
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#511787 - 09/20/19 10:00 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12961
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Very good advice so far from guys with practical experience. It is wise advice heed it. Here are some of my thoughts.
You have a good thought process about managing your pond plants of trying to maintain a good amount of submerged weeds for your needs and maintain some habitat. My suggestion is to allow the current plants to expand and then when they are about 15%-20% greater add one grass carp(GC) each year to try and maintain your desired amount of weeds.

Important points. Prevent over grazing and pond denuding of pond bottom.
Grass carp prefer the more delicate softer submerged plants such as most of those in the pondweed and naiad family (Potamogeton, Najas). GC will less aggressively eat other more fibrous submerged plants when preferred plants are lacking. When food is lacking, GC have been seen eating lawn grass clippings that have been blown into the pond. Filamentous algae (FA) is not a preferred food and normally is not very well controlled by grass carp.

Here is a general guideline to determine how many submerged weeds a grass carp will eat.
When water temperature is above 60F, the adult and actively growing GC are said to eat 2 to 3 times their body weight per day when preferred plants are present. GC can gain 5 to 10 lbs/year when they are actively growing for years 1 through 6, then as they become old, feeding activity gradually decreases causing less feeding and slower growth. Life expectancy is 12-20 years.
Non-preferred foods usually result in less plant pounds eaten per year.

Many stocking recommendations suggest that after 5 to 6 years a second stocking is recommended at the rate of 75% of the original number stocked to compensate for the original stocked fish eating fewer plants. Proceed cautiously. Number of GC to stock depends a lot on how much of the pond bottom and surface are covered by weed growth. Missouri Conservation Dept. suggests that fewer GC are needed per acre (1-10/ac) when narrow leaf pond weeds of naiads, bushy pondweed, elodea, pondweeds and Chara are prevalent. Moderate rate is 4 to 6/ac. When ponds are dominated by coarse leaf plants such as water lily types, water milfoil, coontail, eel grass, parrot feather then 10 to 24 GC/ac are often suggested with 10 to 15 being a low-moderate rate. I also suggest you proceed slowly and start with lower numbers and as the fish are 2 to 4 years old you can add some more GC grazers depending on how many weeds are still present in mid to late summer.
I think your goal is to get 75% to 80% plant reduction to always leave 10-25% weed growth as good fish habitat and competition to filamentous algae. In Georgia, grass carp can grow to 29(20lb) in 2 years. Wow!
I have calculated how many pounds of preferred plants grass carp will eat each year for Ohio climate. I used an average amount of 2.5 times their body weight when water temperature is 66F to 90F (OH this was 141 days). Standard amount is estimated to be 2 to 3 times body weight per day. When water temperatures are 50-65F (OH this was 73days), I used one body weight consumed per day.

Notice below as the fish grow, they eat a lot more plant pounds per year! This is why one should allow the GC to get some size before adding more fish grazers.

FishLgn Fish Wt Total Lb Plants/Yr One Fish Consumption
10-12" ====0.7lb ====297lb
16 ======3 lb ====1,276
26 ======10lb ====4,255
30" ======16lb ====6,808
33 ======21lb ====8,935
36"-38 ===36lb ===15,318

To adjust the amount of plants eaten for your area use the plant growing season days (number of days) of your pond location as your plant consumption guide.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/20/19 10:34 PM)
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#511791 - 09/20/19 10:43 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: Bill Cody]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5492
Loc: SE Kansas
Great info Bill.

Now if I could only estimate the pounds of weeds in my pond........ smile
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#511792 - 09/20/19 10:52 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I was about to post everything Bill did but he beat me to the punch. grin
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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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#511793 - 09/20/19 10:54 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8200
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Dr Perca, I am grateful for your wisdom. Thank you, Sensei.
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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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#511795 - 09/21/19 04:49 AM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
ItalyBASS Offline


Registered: 03/28/16
Posts: 129
Loc: Italy
My 2 cents
I have a 1 ac pond. I've stocked 14 GC 15" in 2013 and 7 more last year.
In 2017 I found one of the initial stocked floating and it was 34"x24 lb. I've seen others swimming around in august and they were about 40" long.
My pond shore is covered in phragmites for the 95% and the 20 GC are able only to keep it where it is, eating waterside new sprouts, some leaves and rarely some whole plant.
A friend of mine had instead a 2 ac pond with little vegetation problem on the shore. He put in 8 GC 15" long in 2014. After eating every single plant on the shore in the first year they start to heavily dig the shore looking for roots. Now his shore is collapsing in several spot, mined at water level, and he's trying to remove them but it's really hard.
So think about adding GC carefully.
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#511797 - 09/21/19 07:25 AM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2886
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Tj, Thanks for jumping in. The 3 per acre came from a little research here. So I'm glad you recommended stocking half that many smile And yes my plans were to go see Al as this hot Texas weather cooled off. After his invitation to come visit I thought I would take him up on that. It's nice to see what you guys have learned and then passing it on to others like me.


Al, Thanks for the thoughts on direction to go. I would like to come see soon as things cool down a little. I want to see your spray set up first hand. And wanted to know when you found the best time to spray. Now as far as your questions. I no longer fertilize the pond. Not saying I won't sometime in the future but for now I am happy with the happy water smile We did an Alum treatment awhile back because of the water visibility was about 9" of what Mr. Cody called Detritus. He was nice enough to ck my water. Thank you Bill Cody! The treatment did great. Todd Overton help me out a lot with that and Rainman was nice enough to join in on the Alum treatment recommendations also. Our visibility now runs at or around 30" consistently and that is about where the plants stop growing. Say for the most part around 3+ feet.

Mr Cody, as always, you provide Great information. I was not sure but I thought the Bushy pondweed and the Apw was a primary food source and that was a concern. I do not want all of my veggies gone, wiped out, just looking for some control. I may be a control freak smile Bob Lusk recommends Apw when talking veggies in the PB Mag, Facebook and here. He also mentioned he likes Bushy Pondweed. Bill, your plant consumption chart is wild! So happy I asked my question to you guys!!

Snrub, we are similar in so many things when it comes to our ponds. Crazy close in size, timing etc. You have the smallies I wished to have and I have the Hsb but still we are close so I like your comments as always.

And Itbass, wow! that's a lot of grass carp. Hope things are going well for you.


Edited by TGW1 (09/21/19 07:28 AM)
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Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#511807 - 09/21/19 01:45 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
ItalyBASS Offline


Registered: 03/28/16
Posts: 129
Loc: Italy
Tracy I put them in hoping that they would considerably reduce the large amount of reeds that cover my shores. Unfortunately this was not the case, but at least they keep the phragmites under control.
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#511893 - 09/24/19 11:33 AM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 4096
Loc: Emory TX
Originally Posted By: TGW1
...Al, Thanks for the thoughts on direction to go. I would like to come see soon as things cool down a little. I want to see your spray set up first hand. And wanted to know when you found the best time to spray....

I'll fix you up a hybrid lily to-go-box before you come up here to Hooterville.
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AL

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#511900 - 09/24/19 01:36 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
R&R Offline


Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 362
Loc: Wash. County , IN. 10ac. pond
Tracy ,
I put 30 in a 10 ac. BOW in 2013. At the time I had read 5 to 10 per acre. So I settled on 3. My visibility is several feet
Had pretty serious Southern Niad issue. Well in less than two years they completely wiped it out which at the time I didn't want it completely gone. But fast forward to now at least in my situation I think it may be beneficial in controlling my Black Crappie population.
So i have left it be for now. Just another bit of info for you.
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#511910 - 09/24/19 04:43 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 839
Loc: Paris, TX
First summer I had coontail, summer two I had chara, summer three I have Southern Naiad(20+%) and chara. I really kinda like the way chara grows, but need to get the SN under control. I got my approval for 10 for my 1.8 acre pond. I was thinking about stocking first with 7, but now thinking one or two might be enough to control just the SN.
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#511923 - 09/24/19 09:00 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12961
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
In 1.8 ac with Naiad and Chara I would start with 3 maybe four. Give them at least 3 full summers before adjusting. Keep in mind that when you stock 3 not all may survive due to predators and transport problems. Watch for them when feeding pellets. GC mostly hang together, thus when you see one the others are close. Plan to add 2 more when the originals are 6-8yr old.


Edited by Bill Cody (09/24/19 09:01 PM)
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#511930 - 09/25/19 07:37 AM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2886
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
RR, That's good to know. 3 per acre wiped out the bushy pondweed in a couple of years. And Bill Cody, the info and recommendation to BrianL makes me lean toward 2 per acre but I will need some at least 10" in size. Would you add them this fall or wait till spring? I'm leaning toward this fall. Why? Yesterday I made my first fishing trip around the pond. It's been 90+ days since I wet a lure. Water was just too hot. I used a 3/4oz jig and craw to drag the bottom and discovered I have BPW in a lot of the pond, and in deeper water than I suspected it would grow. It's not tall in the deeper water but it's there none the less. I also found a lot of it in the ponds edge where the water drops off deeper. That plant is very invasive! I need to give Todd Overton a call to see if he has some 10 to 12" ones available right now.
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#511936 - 09/25/19 08:31 AM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2886
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Al, I forgot to say thanks for the gift. Looking forward to getting your babies started up at the pond. smile
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#512033 - 09/26/19 04:06 PM Re: Grasscarp, not a fan but? [Re: TGW1]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 839
Loc: Paris, TX
Thanks Bill. Think I'll start with 3
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1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

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