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#514334 - 11/25/19 08:06 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
TJ,
Thanks for the confirmation on the YP and SMB fall 2020 stocking. This really had me concerned. The ladder stocking of 20-25 WE each fall sounds like a great idea beginning fall 2020. Thank you!
I was told after confirming the BCP have spawned to then stock the HSB. I had specifically asked the question about waiting on stocking the BCP at the same time or after the HSB in 2021. The answer that I received was no, to stock the BCP in the pond fall 2020. I understand that stocking BCP in ponds is a controversial idea on this forum, however, it is hard to argue with the results that N.H has produced. As I understand it new data suggests that HSB can control the sporadic nature of the BCP in ponds. I believe Bill Cody has spoken about this in another thread. Please feel free to correct me if I misunderstood. All recent data input about BCP and HSB in ponds is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Heppy

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#514335 - 11/25/19 08:15 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Note that HSB can usually control BCP providing density of each specie is reasonable. Managing and monitoring populations helps a lot with achieving a balance. No guarantees for anything in fishery projects. Yellow perch- crappie combined with HSB, SMB and WE could easily result is overall food shortages. Also remember YP and BCP are forage and predator. Keep a close check on forage small fish numbers. With those 3 predators and expecting good growth for all you should always be able to always see small fish in the shallows. If not there are too many predators present.
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#514339 - 11/25/19 10:18 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Thank you Bill!
“ Note that HSB can usually control BCP providing density of each specie is reasonable.” Bill can you explain reasonable for clarity? 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 HSB to BCP?
If I understand you correctly, reduce the number of predator fish if I’m not seeing small forage fish numbers. Only FHM, GSH, native crayfish, small 1-2” RES and pellet trained YP went in this year as did the TH feeder. No SMB, WE or BCP will be added until fall 2020 in order to maximize my forage base. If the BCP pull a spawn in spring 2021 then the HSB will be added. I do have the .15 acre pond with FHM/GSH/Crayfish to continually add forage along with 80-100lbs pellets (eventually) per month April-October. In a couple years after all species have established themselves into the pond I should be able to reduce the predators (WE and HSB) by decreasing the numbers ladder stocked and or angling. The SMB and BCP I will have to count on angling possibly traps or dip netting for partial removal of recruitment. I do realize there are no guarantees with this plan. Im just trying to give it my best educated guess with the information I have learned here from the experts on the Pond Boss forum. If anyone knows where I can purchase Spotfin Shiners please let me know as I would like to further diversify my forage base.
Thanks,
Heppy


Edited by Heppy (11/26/19 01:23 AM)

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#514341 - 11/26/19 02:05 AM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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I would suggest NOT stocking BCP, rather HBCP - and I would personally wait a few years until your apex predators are adults to help manage their reproduction. I have personal experience with this management technique and it worked well for me [HBCP recruitment management] . Not saying there aren't other angles - only that this worked for me and I recommend this to all my clients.

Per Cody - if your fishery becomes predator heavy [BCP, YP, SMB, WE, HSB] you will need to lean heavily on supplemental feeding AND a very robust forage plan to keep WRs from tanking. I've been there, done that. Supplemental feeding of tilapia or catfish fillets helps also and is a lot of fun.

Think various shiner species [Spotfin, Golden] Bluntnose Minnows, Grass shrimp. Annual stocking of 20# tilapia might also be a good strategy.

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#514345 - 11/26/19 08:37 AM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Funky Offline


Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 110
Loc: Midland, Michigan
Just to add my 2 cents. we have had over the past three years a 100 year and a 500 years flood. There was water in places I had never seen water and I have lived here for nearly 50 years. During all of that flooding I noticed one thing about the fish and the pond. For the most part the small fish tried to swim up stream where the water enters the pond and not out with the out flow, and I did not see the larger fish at all, Bob Lusk once said that they most likely went deep. My pond survived and did well after that, but it is scary to see all that water all over everything!!
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#514368 - 11/26/19 10:15 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
TJ,
Completely agree with your assessment on diversification of the forage base. Currently there are FHM, GSH and crayfish. I would love to find a reliable source for Spotfin Shiners, bluntnose minnows and ghost shrimp. There are creek chubs and minnows in the small stream that feeds the main pond. I’m just not positive of the minnow identity. They most closely resembled the bluntnose minnow with the black lateral line extending from the mouth to their tail best I can remember. The water feeding the pond is from headwater springs. I wish I could stock tilapia but they are illegal to stock in Virginia. As far as BCP vs. HBCP it seems both you and N.H are very adept at your profession and have had success with the multi species stocking plans. I respect both of your valuable insights and figure I’m in great hands with either one.

Funky,
Thanks for commenting on your first hand experience. The confirmation that for the most part fish stayed in the pond from you, TJ, and Bob Lusk is reassuring.

All comments are much appreciated!
Thanks,
Heppy

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#514371 - 11/27/19 01:35 AM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Bill Cody,
I was searching the net for spotfin shiners and found a business in Bellevue, Ohio called Woodside Farms. Do you have any information on them? I couldn’t find much in my search.
Thanks!
Heppy

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#514385 - 11/27/19 10:08 AM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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I'm not sure sure they are still in business. Several years ago they sold lots of if not all of their aquaculture equipment. I don't think they will ship fish. Check with them for details. I have the name of another Ohio grower of spotfin and YP in NW Ohio. PM me for info. He may be willing to ship you some eggs, fry, or YOY spotfin shiners. These 3 in my opinion will ship and arrive better than the adults. Be aware the spotfins only grow to around 4"-4.5" and IMO will not thrive in a pond with bass due to the bass being able to eat every full sized adult. Abundant submerged vegetation is a benefit to spotfin survival when 13"+ predators are present.

The other option would be to have a small forage only pond to maintain the breeding population and periodically transfer excess to the community pond. Several types of minnows can be grown together.

Golden shiners will thrive better than spotfins with 13"-14"+ predators. Amount of habitat is critical for maintaining all forage species that have smaller adult size when larger predators are present.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/27/19 09:01 PM)
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#514395 - 11/27/19 12:58 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 758
Loc: NW Kansas
Heppy, I don't have enough hands-on experience relating to the subject I'm discussing here but my fall net samples after my late summer high flow event revealed one thing to me that was obvious.. My largest RES went with the flow. SMB, Male BG, YP and even Tilapia stayed put. I have very good numbers of YOY RES but the largest adults are gone.
I had been told to expect GSH numbers to be low or possibly even absent, but they are still there in good numbers. I stocked 67lbs of FHM after cleaning out some grow-out ponds about 30 days before my flood. FHM are gone also, but I can't say they went with flood waters or became forage victims that quick.
If I had this all to do over again, I would highly suggest to others that don't understand, how important proper type and amounts of Aquatic vegetation are. It's not just the aspect of hiding cover for forage. It's also the breeding grounds for an unbelievable amount of invertebrate and other food chain essentials, not to mention soil retention, nutrient up-take and O2 production, etc.
There are other non living structure types we use that "seem" to fit requirements of protecting forage and providing spawning substrate but they lack the ability to provide "other" obviously essential elements that I had not thought through as well as I should have.
As I said, "IF" I did it again, I'd work much harder at establishing vegetation while building forage types and numbers before adding other species, and the crawfish wouldn't go in until yr 2 or later AFTER stocking SMB as true small fingerlings (3" or less).
TJ, Bill C., Several of these guys understand this better than I, I just wanted to share my observations and assessments.


Edited by Snipe (11/27/19 01:01 PM)
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#514398 - 11/27/19 03:35 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: teehjaeh57]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 415
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57


Per Cody - if your fishery becomes predator heavy [BCP, YP, SMB, WE, HSB] you will need to lean heavily on supplemental feeding AND a very robust forage plan to keep WRs from tanking. I've been there, done that. Supplemental feeding of tilapia or catfish fillets helps also and is a lot of fun.



TJ, Would you please expand on the red letters above? Is it like throwing filets in the water that the fish eat while drifting down?

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#514399 - 11/27/19 03:46 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Bill,
I sent you a pm.

Snipe,
That’s a relief to know that you only lost the adult RES and possibly some FHM. I currently only have 300 1-2” RES and wouldn’t have been all that upset if they washed away because they are readily available.

Bill and Snipe,
You both mention the need to concentrate on submerged vegetation. There are currently no bass in the pond. The SMB and WE will not go in until fall 2020. What vegetation would you suggest that I concentrate on getting established between now and fall 2020? I really appreciate y’all’s help!
Thanks,
Heppy

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#514400 - 11/27/19 05:12 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Snipe Online   content


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 758
Loc: NW Kansas
I would be more apt to follow Bill's advice but I'm hoping to get pickerel weed, Arrowhead and a few lilies established to go with the sago pondweed and a few small groups of soft stem bulrush I have now. I believe American pondweed aka longleaf pondweed is great, and was started and doing well but my craws removed it for me.
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#514403 - 11/27/19 09:15 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13037
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Snipe has good suggestions for pond plants. Also search the past posts for suggested pond plants. There are about 8 to 15 types that are commonly suggested on this forum. Reading through the Common Q&A Archives is a good place to start. Here is a link to get you started.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=440475#Post440475

Archives
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=22&page=1

See this planted pond by RAH
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=39487&Number=514344#Post514344


Look into getting some hardy hybrid water lilies established this spring. It takes a couple to several years to develop a decent 10X10 ft bed of lilies. There are 4 types, dwarf, small, medium and large. Each type growing from shallow to deepest water.
Here is a link to a few small varieties.
https://pondmegastore.com/collections/dwarf-and-small-hardy-water-lilies
Best lilies are not cheap and one has to baby them and prevent herbivores (turtles to waterfowl) from eating and killing them before they get established. Good strong establishment can take several years. Transplanting is an important method, done incorrectly and the new rhizomes will not thrive. They are too expensive to be casual and reckless with them.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/27/19 09:21 PM)
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#514404 - 11/27/19 10:03 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Thanks Bill and Snipe!
This gives me a starting point for spring 2020. I will concentrate on on getting small hardy hybrid lilies and some of the plants Snipe suggested in spring 2020. I have only added cedar along the shore and about 20-30 tons of rock thus far. I have craws in the pond and am wondering if any of the plants mentioned are resilient to the crayfish in anyone’s experience.
Thanks!
Heppy

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#514405 - 11/27/19 10:11 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 6054
Loc: Boone County Illinois
In my limited experience, craws will "stay close to home" to avoid predation. For them that is the rock piles, etc. I put my valued vegetation away from their homes and have had no problems but my craws are PSC which are smaller.


Edited by Bill D. (11/27/19 10:12 PM)
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#514406 - 11/27/19 10:18 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
That sounds like a great point of emphasis. Thank you Bill D. for that suggestion!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Heppy

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#514438 - 11/28/19 10:03 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13037
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
A dense population of crays could be a problem for cultivating submerged plants. If crayfish predators such as bass, walleye, YP, CC are present then crayfish should not become more dense than scarce to low-common and most plants should thrive.
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#514439 - 11/28/19 10:19 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Bill Cody,
Only 150-200 crayfish were added to the main pond in late August-September. I added the 25 8”+ and 400 4-6” YP in early November. Do you think it would be okay to start the submerged plants in May 2020 or try and get additional adult YP before planting? I know that I can obtain additional adult YP from the same source in May after they have spawned out.
Thanks!
Heppy

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#514467 - 11/29/19 08:48 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13037
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Your fall stocking of YP should provide good spawn and egg hatching for the 2020 YP year class. If you want more larger perch for harvesting some in fall 2020 and 2021 then add more larger YP 4"-6"+ spring 2020. Plants can be added anytime.


Edited by Bill Cody (11/29/19 08:48 PM)
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#514468 - 11/29/19 09:50 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
Thank you for the advice Bill!
Heppy

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#514526 - 12/02/19 01:13 AM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: jpsdad]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8244
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: jpsdad
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57


Per Cody - if your fishery becomes predator heavy [BCP, YP, SMB, WE, HSB] you will need to lean heavily on supplemental feeding AND a very robust forage plan to keep WRs from tanking. I've been there, done that. Supplemental feeding of tilapia or catfish fillets helps also and is a lot of fun.



TJ, Would you please expand on the red letters above? Is it like throwing filets in the water that the fish eat while drifting down?


Yes. Supplemental feeding programs - I cull BG and feed HSB, YP, SMB, WE and HBCP. This program reduces biomass and re-purposes as supplemental protein for my apex predators. All HSB will train and are indiscriminate and voracious, other species are a bit more unpredictable and selective, but the fish that train will exhibit crazy WR values over time, and the process is a lot of fun, too. The same fish wait daily in the shade of the dock - they truly become a lot like pets.

When I get lazy or lack the time to fillet BG chunks I'll use TP strips or CF nuggets both of which I buy wholesale from local grocery stores with whom I've established relationships over the years. I always keep a case or two in the freezer for these occasions. CF is cheaper than TP [$1.50/lb vs $3], but fish prefer TP over CF significantly.

Feeding TP and CF is my least preferred method as I'm not reducing biomass and am neglecting to utilize a free protein source [BG] - but things tend to get busy and I'm not always in the mood to slaughter BG on the dock and spray everything down when I'm done feeding.

The ideal method would be to seine several hundred BG each Spring, cut into bite sizes, and freeze for the season in 3 lb bags - just grab one on my way out the door. I think fish benefit nutritionally from the scales and bones of chunk BG vs. TP or CT fillets, also. When I live on site I am hopeful some of these projects will become more feasible.

The training process takes a few weeks - just start with fin clipped BG around the dock using a hand line and alligator clip or other easy release method at the same time each evening until the BG are getting hammered regularly. This first step will take some time to get fish tuned into looking for struggling BG - start with smaller fish [2-3"] to encourage predation. Soon they'll start looking for the BG and one can drop fin clipped BG right off the dock without need for the hand line - they won't go far before something hammers them. Feed slowly, only introduce another BG until you verify the previous one was consumed. Once this behavior is established, one can start using fresh BG chunks - and once this is achieved you can feed anything you want and get productive sessions. I usually stop feeding after 3#, but the HSB especially would continue feeding long thereafter as I've never managed to overfeed HSB to date.
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#514541 - 12/02/19 01:15 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8244
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Heppy - your homework assignment is long overdue - you were supposed to provide photos of crayfish top and bottom view so Cody could identify. Drop a few in alcohol when time allows so at least you're aware of the species stocked into the fishery - not all species behave similarly and it's helpful to be aware of potential issues down the road.
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#514548 - 12/02/19 03:45 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Heppy Online   content


Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 136
Loc: South Central, Virginia
TJ,
Thanks for the reminder. I’ll set some traps when I’m down at the farm next weekend. It seems that I signed up for too many classes this semester! Any tips for catching crayfish in the winter?
Thanks,
Heppy

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#514551 - 12/02/19 07:25 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8244
Loc: Lincoln, NE
They're likely not available for collection - tucked away until Spring. I'm recording an "incomplete" in the grade book, count your stars you're not expelled.
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#514552 - 12/02/19 07:57 PM Re: Thoughts on a new 3 acre pond stocking [Re: Heppy]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
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You can set a couple traps baited with food-meat scraps or pet food in good habitat rocky areas. The crays in the cold season are usually tucked away under the rocks or bottom resting structure. You might get lucky and not actually receive that "incomplete" for this semester.


Edited by Bill Cody (12/03/19 09:55 AM)
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