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When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? #516944 02/17/20 10:36 PM
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saint_abyssal Online Content OP
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In the New 1ac pond in SW Ohio, help with stocking plan thread, Bill Cody made an interesting post I will reproduce below:

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I highly suggest to NOT get all 3"-4" YP in early spring. These are graded perch and mostly males. Split the order to get at least some 4"-6" and even a few 6"-8" YP even if you end up with fewer fish for the same amount of money. Larger ones will be the females and faster growing of same age perch. Your first YP spawn will result in plenty of 3"-7" YP by fall of 2020.


I've seen similar suggestions regarding perch in old threads (more posts by Bill?), but have never seen a thorough discussion about when and how big to buy other species to avoid similar problems. Are certain size classes and/or times of year more likely to net you higher quality fish of these other species, too?

Re: When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? [Re: saint_abyssal] #516948 02/17/20 11:28 PM
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I think this is a brilliant question. Thanks for asking it.

Throughout the forum years there have been recommendations regarding individual fish species. A compilation of answers posted in the archives (Common Pond Q&As, Corrective Stocking) might be a really valuable time and frustration saver for many people.

Sorry to add to the workload, Bill Cody, teejaeh57, ewest, and any more of you smart experts. Hahaha!

Re: When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? [Re: saint_abyssal] #516954 02/18/20 01:14 AM
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"I've seen similar suggestions regarding perch in old threads (more posts by Bill?), but have never seen a thorough discussion about when and how big to buy other species to avoid similar problems. Are certain size classes and/or times of year more likely to net you higher quality fish of these other species, too?"

Absolutely..
This can happen with nearly any species that has a specific spawning window.
Bass, Walleye, perch, pretty much any with exception of maybe Bluegill or similar species that nest for extended periods.
Fish farms usually have a goal of many fish produced as quick as possible. Crowding can and does affect growth due to competition for feed, space, O2 etc.. So in certain times of the year different species should be of an acceptable size. Location (north vs south)Longer growing seasons usually go hand in hand with earlier spawning of "X" species, All have a play in this as well.
Size of any species, or what size is expected at a certain time of year is gauged in several ways, but experience and known expected growth rates for that area tells the story.
There is no set, hard rule but every location is different and hands-on experience leads many of us to "expect" a certain species to attain "X" length at a given time under "normal" conditions.
Definition of "normal" is..."it all depends".

I think what Bill C is advising is to make sure you don't get a load of only shorter and/or slower growing fish. You really don't want either in a best-case because short can mean 2 things late fall/early spring..1, all males and 2, severely restricted growth of year 0 fish. Getting some fish above that 7" mark insures year 1+ and likely females and with YP you don't want a 1 to 1 ratio, 5-10 males per female (example, not a scientific number) insures proper fertilization and genetic diversity.

Last edited by Snipe; 02/18/20 01:38 AM.

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Re: When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? [Re: saint_abyssal] #516959 02/18/20 08:25 AM
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My strategy has been to buy few fish and count on the offspring produced in my pond for the main population. Started with 25 YP and 20 SMB (SMB stocked 10 at a time over 2 years) in my 1 acre pond. It does take longer but I don't feed.

Re: When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? [Re: saint_abyssal] #517003 02/18/20 05:59 PM
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RAH, I for one, am guilty of "no patience".. If I had it to do over I believe I would drop my numbers substantially from what I originally stocked. The game of Patience can't be taught and with 3 customer pond projects I'm involved in the construction of, I'm finding this factor to be the biggest challenge.
We did prove last year that a very low number of YP stocked produced a late egg deposit and small hatch way later than normal then still had a monster hatch the following spring.
I wish I would have done the same with SMB as you did to lessen predation on forage present, as my YP WR suffered some via fall net samples 2019.


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Re: When and what size fish to buy to avoid runts? [Re: Snipe] #517005 02/18/20 06:49 PM
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Being old helps with patience:)


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