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#512774 - 10/15/19 01:12 PM Do Fry Survive Winter?
Steve Grasberger Offline


Registered: 10/15/19
Posts: 1
Loc: NC
Walking the shoreline of my 8 acre pond yesterday I noticed a lot of small Blue Gill ranging in size from 1/2" to 3". I assume these are all fish that hatched in 2019.

I'm wondering what the survival rate is of these smaller fish over a NC winter. The pond is in the Piedmont area, just outside of Charlotte with an elevation of only 500 feet.
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#512778 - 10/15/19 02:24 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1617
Loc: West Central Missouri
Do you have predators in the pond like bass, larger blue gill, crappie, etc? If so, what kind of populations.

I'm no expert on the matter, but larger fish will be a big factor in survival rates through a winter and those in the "know" will want some of that info.

Welcome to the forums, good to have you!
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#512781 - 10/15/19 05:24 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Jim Wetzel Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Posts: 381
Loc: Holts Summit, MO
Most of the smaller fish will be taken by predation. Smaller fish in poor condition at onset of cold may die from starvation related health issues if eats hard to come by. Some actually grow during winter, even in central Missouri. The Piedmont is a milder setting so losses through depredation likely to be more important.

I have had ponds with low stocking densities and high forage abundance where bluegill doubled or even tripled in weight over winter. For some reason they can not realize the same rate of growth on feed under similar conditions.
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#512784 - 10/15/19 08:13 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
Actually, the smallest fish starve. There is predation to a point but fry and slightly larger, pretty much lose their entire buffet in winter.
Now I have to back up here and state this may not be true in warmer climates but throughout the central US-north, there just isn't a constant source of food for the smallest, late hatch size fish.
I should edit to say I agree with Jim :-))


Edited by Snipe (10/15/19 08:15 PM)
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#512785 - 10/15/19 08:20 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
Also, Fry and fingerlings are 2 different classes of fish. 2-3" fingerlings stand a much higher chance of survival than 1/2" Fry.
Some people refer to small fish as fry long after that stage is passed-no biggie, just confusing sometimes..
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#512787 - 10/15/19 09:19 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Jim Wetzel]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 409
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Jim Wetzel
Most of the smaller fish will be taken by predation. Smaller fish in poor condition at onset of cold may die from starvation related health issues if eats hard to come by. Some actually grow during winter, even in central Missouri. The Piedmont is a milder setting so losses through depredation likely to be more important.

I have had ponds with low stocking densities and high forage abundance where bluegill doubled or even tripled in weight over winter. For some reason they can not realize the same rate of growth on feed under similar conditions.


Now why is it that every time you drop by I end up feeling like I have been gifted with many more questions than answers? I totally mean that as a compliment as your posts are always very thought provoking.


Edited by jpsdad (10/15/19 09:26 PM)

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#512788 - 10/15/19 09:55 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 204
Loc: Texas
Fry overwinter just fine here in the South. I had tons of little CNBG very late last year, I think after mid November. I watched them grow into recognizable little bluegill. Didn't see any effects from our brief cold snaps.

All fry have a massive mortality rate due to predation (and cannibalism). That's why we love our bluegill, they make lots of fry.
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4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#512797 - 10/16/19 08:18 AM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5507
Loc: SE Kansas
I also see large numbers of very small fish hugging the bank.

How many survive? Only the smart or the lucky! grin
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#512821 - 10/16/19 05:13 PM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19995
Loc: Miss.
Survival rate for yoy BG is , by necessity, very low. Winter is just one of the parts to total mortality rates. Certain hatchings (time frame) can also starve in spring if the right size and timing of food is not available. I don't recall seeing any hard numbers or data but my guess is among a year class of BG for year 1 total mortality is 99%.
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#512840 - 10/17/19 05:13 AM Re: Do Fry Survive Winter? [Re: Steve Grasberger]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 14103
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Lusk says that 95% of all fry are eaten before they reach 1 YOA.
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