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#512090 - 09/27/19 07:21 PM Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns?
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Back when the pond bottom was mostly empty and YOY fish had a very hard time surviving, I couldn't do a helpful drawdown. Now that I have enough pond weeds where smaller fish hang out, seriously considering it.

I know we've discussed the topic before, just hoping for additional insights and/or experiences before I pull the trigger. Water isn't usually an issue where I am, especially in winter & spring.
_________________________
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





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#512095 - 09/27/19 09:17 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8228
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Why? Goals?
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#512096 - 09/27/19 09:28 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
RStringer Online   content


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 433
Loc: Parsons KS
Ya got me curious of why also. I can't help ya with the smarts on this but interested a yway.
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#512098 - 09/27/19 10:24 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Twin goals: Cut down on numbers of small LMB by forcing them out of shallow weeds into big LMB territory, and feed large LMB. Couldn't do it before due to lack of YOY forage fish, but now there are plenty. Thinking of doing drawdown in November, then let it refill in spring (Feb-April where my BOW is).


Edited by anthropic (09/27/19 10:27 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





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#512099 - 09/27/19 10:33 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
RStringer Online   content


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 433
Loc: Parsons KS
How far down are you thinking? I would think if you draw it down to far you could stress the fish out. But I by far an expert.
_________________________
The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag.

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#512100 - 09/27/19 10:36 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Additional possible advantages re drawdown: Increased CNBG density may help reduce LMB spawn in Feb/March.

Also, my drain is located on bottom of BOW. Thus, I'd be ridding the pond of a lot of nasty anoxic water if done before turnover.



Edited by anthropic (09/27/19 10:51 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





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#512101 - 09/27/19 10:40 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: anthropic
Additional possible advantage re drawdown: Increased CNBG density may help reduce LMB spawn in Feb/March.


I was thinking maybe 3 feet lower, enough to force fish out of shallow back bays into main BOW. Still would have plenty of deeper water, up to about 17 or 18 feet near dam.

Stress is a good point. I wouldn't do this when the water is warm, as it holds less O2. If my plans work out, low water period will be 70F or less, preferably below 65.

Another reason to do this year: Next year I'll likely have TFS stocked. A 2020-21 fall/winter drawdown would be particularly risky for them, as they cannot survive water temps below 42.


Edited by anthropic (09/27/19 10:49 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





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#512102 - 09/27/19 10:42 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Any seeds I should throw out on exposed pond bottom? If they grow fast enough, will cut down on erosion & add fertility when pond refills.


Edited by anthropic (09/27/19 10:43 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





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#512108 - 09/28/19 12:32 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
RStringer Online   content


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 433
Loc: Parsons KS
In my non expert opinion I would say go 4 it. It would still have more depth than I have. I know that's not everything but it does help. Make sure and log it for us all to learn from please.
_________________________
The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag.

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#512145 - 09/29/19 01:27 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8228
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Yes, draw down will help achieve those goals - go for it.

Banks should probably seed themselves this fall but you can always broadcast something on your own, too.
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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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#512149 - 09/29/19 09:09 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 410
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: anthropic
Any seeds I should throw out on exposed pond bottom? If they grow fast enough, will cut down on erosion & add fertility when pond refills.


I would use a combination ryegrass/winter_legume. Choose the legume based on recommendations for soil and climate. Your county extension could help with that. Good choices for legumes may be hairy vetch or crimson clover.

If you do any supplemental forage stocking of crawfish, GSH, or TFS adults, I would time the purchase around the flood where they will have a lot of habitat for YOY cover, spawning, and growing.


Edited by jpsdad (09/30/19 05:51 PM)

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#512150 - 09/29/19 10:15 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
Sunil Online   content
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I wouldn't want to draw down for more than a few weeks if the goal was only fish related.

Then again, if you never ice over, maybe it would not matter.

In the north, it may give up too much water volume to safely over-winter without fish kills.
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#512164 - 09/29/19 08:36 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: Sunil]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Sunil
I wouldn't want to draw down for more than a few weeks if the goal was only fish related.

Then again, if you never ice over, maybe it would not matter.

In the north, it may give up too much water volume to safely over-winter without fish kills.


You're right about that. I wouldn't try this up north, or in a shallow BOW. No ice overs down here, water temps may get in 40s at the very coldest. Figure this is my best shot before stocking TFS.

Based on my previous experience, it will likely take six months in the rainy season to refill half the pond, which is what 4 vertical feet will amount to.


Edited by anthropic (09/29/19 08:40 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





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#512166 - 09/29/19 10:01 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
Sunil Online   content
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Registered: 09/03/03
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Loc: Somerset, PA
anth, what is your pond size?
_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#512168 - 09/29/19 10:33 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: Sunil]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
About 8 acres at full pool. 21 feet at deepest, probably averages about 10 feet in main body. Two back bays that are timbered, weedy, and shallow, average around 4 feet. Back bays are loaded with sub 10 inch LMB.


Edited by anthropic (09/29/19 10:35 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





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#512173 - 09/30/19 06:48 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
TGW1 Online   content


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2914
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I have no experience with drawdowns in ponds or small lakes. But, I do have fishing experience when it comes to fishing large lakes that have had a drawdown due to working on the dams or due to some droughts. What I saw was fishing improved not only when the lake was lower but fishing also improved about 3 yrs after the lakes went back to normal. The lakes would be teaming with nice sized and good numbers of lmb. Downside to drawing down a pond would be if after you drop it and then we have a drought causing two years before it goes back to the waters level you wanted. Hay! it happens more than you think it might here in E. Texas.


Here is a story, while fish Caddo lake a few years back, I was getting stopped every day by the Game Wardens. I finally had enough of it and asked one what the heck was going on? He told me Caddo Lake was the only lake they could get their boats in because all the other lakes boat ramps were out of the water. I think that was in 2012 or 13 and we were going through a terrible drought in Texas. We also lost a lot of Oak trees all across E Texas that year.


Edited by TGW1 (09/30/19 06:57 AM)
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#512239 - 10/01/19 06:24 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19997
Loc: Miss.
Best time is in about mid oct in the south. That way the predators are still active and eating. If you wait until Dec the predators will not be as active. This assume no possible rain shortage issues. Draw down slowly over about 2 weeks - no more than 15% of the water vol. Might be 3 feet in your pond.
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#512250 - 10/02/19 02:34 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: TGW1]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: TGW1
I have no experience with drawdowns in ponds or small lakes. But, I do have fishing experience when it comes to fishing large lakes that have had a drawdown due to working on the dams or due to some droughts. What I saw was fishing improved not only when the lake was lower but fishing also improved about 3 yrs after the lakes went back to normal. The lakes would be teaming with nice sized and good numbers of lmb. Downside to drawing down a pond would be if after you drop it and then we have a drought causing two years before it goes back to the waters level you wanted. Hay! it happens more than you think it might here in E. Texas.


Here is a story, while fish Caddo lake a few years back, I was getting stopped every day by the Game Wardens. I finally had enough of it and asked one what the heck was going on? He told me Caddo Lake was the only lake they could get their boats in because all the other lakes boat ramps were out of the water. I think that was in 2012 or 13 and we were going through a terrible drought in Texas. We also lost a lot of Oak trees all across E Texas that year.


Yeah, I remember the drought time. Summer 2011 was worst I can recall, 40 days of 100 plus degrees with no rain. That's the biggest risk of doing a drawdown, though I must say my little stream runs pretty constantly even during the heat of summer. Previous owner said it even flowed, albeit slowly, in 2011.
_________________________
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





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#512251 - 10/02/19 02:40 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: ewest]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: ewest
Best time is in about mid oct in the south. That way the predators are still active and eating. If you wait until Dec the predators will not be as active. This assume no possible rain shortage issues. Draw down slowly over about 2 weeks - no more than 15% of the water vol. Might be 3 feet in your pond.


Thanks, Eric. I do have a fairly good number of 2 to 3 inch YOY CNBG in my forage pond which I could transfer into main BOW before drawdown. Or I could fatten them up in forage pond over the winter and release in spring when they are in 4 to 5 inch range.

I have loads of CNBG of all sizes now in main BOW, and have taken out 204 LMB in last 12 months. One goal for me is to flush small LMB out of shallow back bays so the large LMB and HSB can dispose of them. Is this realistic, or would the big LMB/HSB just focus on CNBG?
_________________________
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





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#512257 - 10/02/19 07:51 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
Sunil Online   content
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 11685
Loc: Somerset, PA
anth, I think your last question in the post above depends on the duration of the draw down.
_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#512265 - 10/02/19 10:56 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19997
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: anthropic
One goal for me is to flush small LMB out of shallow back bays so the large LMB and HSB can dispose of them. Is this realistic, or would the big LMB/HSB just focus on CNBG?


Both LMB and HSB would eat small LMB and CNBG. Small LMB are easier for the bigger fish to swallow as they do not have the long spines/fins like CNBG.

My guess is to do the drawdown and hold back the growout pond CNBG until winter when the water goes back up. That should result in fewer small LMB and more spawning sized CNBG next spring.
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#512282 - 10/02/19 06:31 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Thanks!
_________________________
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





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#512306 - 10/03/19 08:11 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1545
Loc: Central Kansas
I didn't think of this until now. I think it would be a great question for Bob on his weekly Facebook Live.

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#512496 - 10/08/19 05:35 PM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1938
Loc: East Texas, USA
Ugh! We managed to get to hard to reach place on back of dam to start drawdown, but then found a huge thicket of thorns surrounding the structure like an imperial guard. Will have to buy some machetes and Roundup, I guess. Stinks. frown


Edited by anthropic (10/08/19 05:38 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





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#512559 - 10/10/19 08:23 AM Re: Anybody experienced with fall drawdowns? [Re: anthropic]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1545
Loc: Central Kansas
I asked Bob about this on his Wednesday night Facebook Live. He said he wrote about this in the November/December issue of Pond Boss magazine. Also he said that it is viable management tool as long as you expect the water level to rise within 5-6 months. It is good for concentrating the fish and weed management.

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