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#512762 - 10/14/19 11:00 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
A not-so-quick report of my fall net samples..
Using 1 trap net with 7 sets at the same locations as last year, here's my numbers. Please keep in mind I have a certain percentage of recapture but as with all sampling this normally provides a better view over-all.
I've converted back to nearest inch for clarity as it makes more sense to most but actual samples are mm and grams.
To start with SMB.
135 fish Total with confirmed recruitment., ave. WR 145.02% Fish above 10" ave. 109% WR.
Largest SMB 14.25", 111% WR.

YP-397 fish total with confirmed recruitment., ave. WR 104.35% Fish above 10" ave. 100.23% WR.
Largest YP 15-1/16", 98% WR. Noted YP at 248.4mm (9.78") and above start to trend to a lower WR- Seems to be something lacking for continued maximum growth but note SMB appear to have ample forage.

RES-299 fish total with confirmed recruitment. ave. WR 98.92%
Largest RES 7.75", 93.4% WR. Fish smaller than 6" are the highest WR and trends downward starting above 6.25" consistently.
Possible loss of most vegetation and associated aquatic life during flood may have impacted this figure.

BG-91 fish total, no recruitment noted at this time, no females noted.
ave. WR 107.44%, Largest BG 7-1/16", 104.1% WR.
68 BG removed, All below 150mm (6" roughly).

Additional fish-
3 SAE, 108.3% WR, Largest 18.45", 109.2% WR.
3 BCP, 105.1% WR, Largest 13-1/16" 102% WR. (all removed).
7 HBG, RESXBG and 1 BGXGSF, All above 5" & Removed, no data taken.
1 CC, 26.5" Removed.
27 GSH, ave 5.75". Very obvious GSH recruitment in very large numbers from 1" up to 2.75".
Not 1 single FHM confirmed in fry nets.
Numerous sunfish not identifiable from 3/8" to 1.25" sampled.
Possible BGXRES or straight RES. Plan to monitor over time.

To pull this data all together, on the YP I'm going to need some input from the YP experts as it would appear I'm loosing growth nearing the 10" mark indicating required forage size is low, yet SMB are consistent through the same range and well above std weight.

#2, RES are not thriving here and with my flood this summer and being the first full year, I have nothing to compare to and can only speculate on the loss of vegetation and how it may have affected them. The loss of vegetation may have also exposed forage items and possibly caused the high WR's for SMB and I plan to monitor that.
Naiads, mostly paddle tail, were present as were large numbers of aquatic worm vessels before filamentous algae was flushed out from flood.


Edited by Snipe (10/14/19 11:04 PM)
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#512835 - 10/16/19 08:37 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill Cody Offline
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I think the SMB are out competing the YP for needed foods which is why the YP growth seems to be slowing at 9+". IMO the 9" YP and 9-10" SMB are eating the same foods. If the YP were eating pellets and getting more food the growth would be better for the larger YP.
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#512837 - 10/16/19 10:47 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
Beings only 75 of the 7-8" YP were feed trained before release, which is about 1/3 of total stocking, I removed 45 <5" and 10 9-11".
I also pulled every SMB less than 7" which was 86 fish- majority in 4-5" range.
Do you have suggestions going forward, Bill?
I should add I had more of a large perch fishery in mind in the begining and had planned to pull (harvest) substantial numbers of 6-10" fish.


Edited by Snipe (10/16/19 10:57 PM)
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#512843 - 10/17/19 08:49 AM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5506
Loc: SE Kansas
Very interesting Snipe. I have nothing to add (because I don't know much) but just wanted to say I applaud your detail to management and am following to see if there is anything I can glean for SMB management in my RES/SMB pond.

Looks like your SMB had no problem recruiting.
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#512848 - 10/17/19 02:01 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
snrub, SMB have responded better than anticipated.. My growth was a little more than I figured I would get.
I wish I could have more stable conditions, veggie wise, and that would help.
I'm fixing my flood plain so the high water events can't influence the pond as much as it did this summer.
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#512850 - 10/17/19 03:13 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill Cody Offline
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Snipe - I don't know much about the biology, food web, and ecosystem of your pond other than some of the things that you have mentioned on the forum. Based on your fish sampling results, I suspect the YP growth is as good as can be expected based on the species present and their respective population structure and density. You should be able to produce some decent YP, although it may take a little longer compared to pellet fed perch or perch in a pond dominated by minnows(FHM, BNM, etc), a strong invertebrate community, and crayfish.

For making the YP a primary panfish in a pond, one has to focus on having less competition from other species and or focus on increasing the percentage of pellet trained YP. More numbers of pellet trained YP helps a lot to insure those fish get ample food each day despite the lack of natural foods and an increased interspecies competition. As our mentor BobLusk says "every day a fish does not eat is a day it does not grow". The only thing I would add to this is the fish not only has to eat but it has to daily eat significantly more than a maintenance diet otherwise RW is reduced and growth is slower. Reducing competition usually results in better body condition and improved growth rate of remaining fish.


Edited by Bill Cody (10/17/19 03:30 PM)
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#512853 - 10/17/19 04:24 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
I think I understand in general, I need to reduce numbers more yet.
I have to do some thinking out loud here so my thought process is understood.
I put 5 Saugeye in to help control expected recruitment of YP. 75 of 110 YP stocked were feed trained with the thought of continued growth and less pressure on natural items. I'm feeding at twice the recommended rate per acre (per Dustin) and it's being consumed quickly. I've also confirmed heavy YP feeding-by far more than any other species present.
Thinking out loud again here-I need to find other forage minnow types.. The GSH are obviously doing well but with differences in habits I can't help but think other species, chubs, emeralds, blunt nose, etc, would add more options in different areas of the water column. Aquatic growth will come back, balance will be achieved.
I also feel strongly that a fish should have everything it can eat-every day- to make this work the best, also the reason I feel I may need to remove some forage eaters and better control those numbers.
With that being said, I believe I will reset traps and pull higher numbers of YP and SMB out before winter sets in hard.
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#512864 - 10/17/19 08:00 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
You may have to allow time for the fish removal adjustments to influence the RW values before removing lots more fish. If YP are the main fish for your harvest plans then I would focus on removing SMB rather than YP. How big is the pond?
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#512866 - 10/17/19 09:23 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
.630 acre Bill.
About 3.55 ac ft of water.
3.5 months after 12lbs of adult FHM I put 20 3-4", 15 6-8" YP because that was the number available.
At that time I stocked another 15lbs of fhm.
1 month later, 175 res, 2-4", 45 2" smb and 2lbs of crawdads.
on Oct 29 I stocked another 15lbs of fhm.
on Nov 9 I stocked 450 3 to 3.5" gsh.
April, 2019, 25 7-8" & 100 4-5" YP, 75 7-8" in cage for 15 days to feed train then released.
on aug 28, 19, I stocked 67lbs of fhm from a grow-out pond clean out.
EDIT: and I can't find a single FHM....


Edited by Snipe (10/17/19 10:04 PM)
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#512937 - 10/19/19 10:05 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
With all the FHM that you have added and now see or trap few if any,,, suggests to me, that there is too much predation pressure for the YP to have a higher RW. This is evidenced by the 9"+ YP showing reduce body condition. Your sample showed
above 10" an ave. 100.23% WR. Largest YP 15-1/16", 98% WR. Compare this with a 12.5" YP I caught today that weighed 1.25lb and a RW of 110 with 40 grams of body fat(7% of total weight). Actually I think my fish had too much fat. I think your perch are still considered in good body condition at 98% and average of 100.23%. I would sample a few YP and check for the amount of body fat. Female YP at this time of year are carrying egg sacs for the spawn next spring. Ample body fat allows for good healthy egg development and reduced forage intake during winter. Reduced fat content means this fish has to consume enough natural foods during winter to produce healthy eggs. Egg mass at spawning can be 30% of the total body weight and significantly contributes to their total body weight - RW. The 12.5" YP I mention above had an egg mass of 13.5 grams and close to the size of my thumb.


Edited by Bill Cody (10/20/19 08:19 PM)
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#512963 - 10/20/19 07:15 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
Right or wrong, in the last 3 days I've removed 70 YP, 106 SMB and 81 BG.
Now, I'd like to find some chubs, emeralds and any other form of minnow available to see how dynamic of a population structure I can obtain going forward.
The lack of different forage minnows available has me wondering if it's not feasible to raise them or do they just not produce well.?.?.?
I'm about to a point of confusion where I'm half tempted to raise either different forage types only or go with YP only.
One year and 3 months was not what I had in mind but some very obvious things happened in that short amount of time that made it very clear my stocking plan was a mistake.
I've almost talked myself into a YP pond only..
Thinking out loud here.. I'm sure I'll change my mind tomorrow.


Edited by Snipe (10/20/19 07:16 PM)
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#512965 - 10/20/19 08:07 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12987
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
My thinking indicates that when one's focus is trying to raise YP or any fish specie on natural foods one has to keep the predator density low enough so lots of forage fish are available so the target fish can always be getting enough food for optimum growth. As overcrowding occurs overall growth rates tend to be reduced.

This is where starting with all pellet feeding perch becomes important. Thus when natural foods are lacking the YP can still be fed pellets to produce optimum growth. When too many predators are present they limit the amount or recruitment of YP. There will always be some recruitment YP that do not learn to eat pellets and this is when it is important to have goodly amounts of natural forage to keep this version of YP actively growing. Even with this method the YP numbers have to be kept at a relatively moderate density or poundage (harvest) so the pond does not develop too high of a carrying capacity that in itself probably reduces the best growth rates.

Snipe - Initially I think in your case it would be wise to focus on removing SMB rather than too many perch. I think the SMB as a group are consuming a larger percentage of the natural forage items compared to the food percentage consumed by perch as a group. I think the smallie is a more aggressive and more successful predator in limited forage habitats compared to YP.


Edited by Bill Cody (10/20/19 08:15 PM)
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#512976 - 10/20/19 10:14 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
I'm removing as many of the new recruit SMB as I can get trapped, really any less than 5". If I have some slow growers from original stockers they probably need removed anyway. The problem I see is the outlandish number of 4-5" perch.
If one SMB was successful in nesting, and based on size there could have been 2500-3500 eggs. If 5% made it to 3", that could be 150 fish?? If the fry survived predation due to my large amount of riprap that number could possibly be higher. I'm estimating my hatch date and with that said, my new recruits are growing at a higher rate than my original stocker SMB but I feel the diversity of my forage base was better for the new recruits but I don't feel that way now. I have very high numbers of GSH-I'm as dumbfounded by their numbers as I was by the FHM earlier this year. I had confirmation of YP fry long before I seen any smallie fry. I think I was behind the curve before I ever recognized it. If 2 SMB spawned successfully, well.. Maybe that happened but somewhere the entire system blew up and the forage base got hit hard-especially the easy targets.
I'm close to 100 smb less than 5" removed so maybe I should stop here.
EDIT: another item of interest that I want to add is my fall samples were 7 net sets, 1 per day. I decided to pull perch and smb so I set 2 per day for 2 nights. so in 11 net sets I collected 4-1/2 5gal buckets full of crawdads and I've removed every one of them. I stocked 2lbs a year ago and removed probably 35-40lbs now.


Edited by Snipe (10/20/19 10:21 PM)
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#512978 - 10/20/19 10:36 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5506
Loc: SE Kansas
I bet there are guys out there that would have loved to have your discards. grin

Buying 5" SMB fingerlings ain't cheap. Or always easy to get.

I have a bunch this year too. Moved about 50 to my main pond.

The smallies sure like to bite. Half hour fishing in my main pond, where the only SMB are the ones I have moved over from my RES/SMB pond, and I caught 4 SMB 12-14" long. Caught one CC and 4 hybrids in that time. So for the SMB being a very minority fish in that pond, they sure do bite aggressively.

Now it is funny though, in the RES/SMB pond they often will not bite my offerings. I think the difference is in the main pond they have heavy competition from BG and HBG so they have to work for a living. In the SMB pond the RES probably give them little competition. Plus I feed them pellets. So there is little need to hustle for food.

Having three main ponds and a couple small ones sure makes it interesting in the ways fish act differently under different conditions.


Edited by snrub (10/20/19 10:37 PM)
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#512979 - 10/20/19 10:39 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5998
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Snipe
... another item of interest that I want to add is my fall samples were 7 net sets, 1 per day. I decided to pull perch and smb so I set 2 per day for 2 nights. so in 11 net sets I collected 4-1/2 5gal buckets full of crawdads and I've removed every one of them. I stocked 2lbs a year ago and removed probably 35-40lbs now.


I find that very interesting as IIRC crawdads are preferred forage for both SMB and YP….make sure you put me on the invite list for that crawdad boil!


Edited by Bill D. (10/20/19 10:40 PM)
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#512980 - 10/20/19 10:45 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Bill D.]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: Snipe
... another item of interest that I want to add is my fall samples were 7 net sets, 1 per day. I decided to pull perch and smb so I set 2 per day for 2 nights. so in 11 net sets I collected 4-1/2 5gal buckets full of crawdads and I've removed every one of them. I stocked 2lbs a year ago and removed probably 35-40lbs now.


I find that very interesting as IIRC crawdads are preferred forage for both SMB and YP….make sure you put me on the invite list for that crawdad boil!

That's exactly why I stocked 2 lbs.. I knew there would be no predation the first year but I had no idea they would explode like that. I have feaky pictures of them coming up the bank after pellets when I feed. I have no vegetation left, they were even starting to consume my water hyacinth.
When the flood flushed my FA out, it changed everything, no doubt.


Edited by Snipe (10/20/19 10:48 PM)
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#512983 - 10/20/19 10:51 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 718
Loc: NW Kansas
John, I have all the cages and pens to save these for transfer! grin
Augie got about 70 of my YP today and I sold 55 smb yesterday.
I can fix ya up! smile
Also, if anyone has doubts about my complete saturation salt solution, Augie got to see this in practice today.. when they float to the top and look dead, move them back to straight water.. works great!


Edited by Snipe (10/20/19 10:57 PM)
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#513228 - 10/24/19 05:27 PM Re: New Pond in NW KS. (The end of..) [Re: Snipe]
Augie Offline


Registered: 10/29/18
Posts: 226
Loc: Boone County Missouri
Originally Posted By: Snipe

Also, if anyone has doubts about my complete saturation salt solution, Augie got to see this in practice today.. when they float to the top and look dead, move them back to straight water.. works great!


It's true. I saw it with my own eyes.

Into salt water, float, into fresh water, swim away like nothing happened.

Those fish spent eight hours traveling across Kansas and Missouri and were released into my pond late Sunday evening.

Monday evening some of them came out for pellets and a giant shiner mugging.

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