I have never bought HBG. All of mine were naturally raised, most out of my sediment and forage ponds.
My sediment pond had been contaminated with a few GSF some how. Don't know how. I stocked it with RES and CNGB to raise fish to supplement my adjacent main pond. The few GSF crossed mostly with the CNBG but possibly also with some RES. I think they crossed so readily because of the intermittent inflows of turbid water that is expected in a sediment pond.
My forage pond (1/20th acre) also was contaminated with a few GSF (pretty sure from stocked RES contamination). This pond was stocked only with RES and from it I have got many RESxGSF crossed that have been transferred to my main pond. I think they crossed a lot because of the very few GSF had little choice for spawning partners.
Between these two ponds lot of hybrids have been created. This is the source for the HBG in my main pond.
I really like the fish. I did some management thinning of fish this fall and a very common occurrence is to catch a few GSF and several hybrids right off the bat when I first start fishing. You would think that is all that is in my pond. Then once I clear out the aggressive GSF and hybrids in the area (these go in the holding pen and get invited to supper unless they look like trophy potential), I will start catching BG.
I'm not a very good angler. I like catching fish but not really that much for the science of fishing. I get bored really quick if I am not catching something. So the HBG are right down my alley. Did I say I like them? If nothing else is biting I can nearly always catch a GSF or hybrid.
Doesn't bother me a bit to have them in the pond. I'm not a purist. We eat a lot of them.
Funny story about the SMB in this main pond. In my RES/SMB pond they can become persnickety to catch. Transfer them over to this main pond (they were born and raised in the RES/SMB pond) where they have the competition of the BG/HBG and they are very aggressive towards a hook. I catch one or two nearly every time I fish near the feeder. And there are not all that terribly many in this pond, so I am pretty sure I have caught some more than once.
The CNBG I raised in my sediment pond I caught and transferred to my main pond over a two year period. They grew very well in my sediment pond. I catch one every once in a while now in my main pond. They are a small portion of the overall BG population and I can not know for sure how many have survived (perhaps some winter kill??? I just don't know). But I do catch them sometimes and I do catch some BG that I suspect are mixed native and CNBG recruitment's.
I looked for some pictures of CNBG from this year but found none. I usually get the CNBG back in the water as soon as possible when I do catch them.
So you've likely had some recruitment from those.. Our Bio in your neck of the woods is wanting to try some CNBG in one of the mine pits. He lives in Pburg, I need to get you 2 connected so you can exchange some info. The Dept. in it's "wisdom" says they won't make it in even the extreme SE Ks area but I think they may be wrong. I think he'd like to prove that as well.
Sure. Be glad to talk to him. We head south for the winter in about 2 weeks though.
I had a school of BG recruits hanging around the dock this spring that I am pretty sure were CNBG. I have seen lots of native BG in fish traps and pretty well know what my native BG look like at a couple inches long. This school (maybe 50-100 BG) had much more distinctive vertical stripes that were fairly wide. I had not witnessed BG fry that looked like this before in my main pond. So I think I had CNBG recruitment.
The original CNBG I got to stock the sediment pond were from Dunn's fish farm. I don't know if that means anything or not, but I have heard suggestion that there may be some differences in regional CNBG. In other words they might be more adapted to more northern climates than say CNBG from Texas.
I am interested in CNBG myself and was wondering why there are not many seen in this area, was wondering if they don't thrive in our climate, which should be similar to you guys in Kansas as far as winter temps go. Are there any peeps out there that have had success with them further north then say Texas or Louisiana, please? Thanks!
All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
CNBG have iffy survival potential in MO (other than extreme south MO) and Kan.
But that is not the only issue. If they do survive there it is likely that there potential will be reduced by the temps. Give it a try and keep us posted on results. I would suggest that if you do try this then get your CNBG from Ark hatcheries as they may have adapted somewhat to colder climates.