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Smallmouth Stocking Question #517244 02/25/20 02:00 AM
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I have a 1 acre new pond with an average depth of 7'. It is a dug pond and has a nice gravel bottom. In addition, I am "planting" a lot of pea gravel and rock structures from the many rocks around the farm.
After the pond filled in September, I did the typical stocking of FHM, RSF, and BG for forage and was planning on a LMB stocking late summer, or whenever appropriate. However, I have had a change of heart and am wondering if I could do a pure smallmouth stocking instead of LMB. I know the two won't coexist well, and I am fine with just SMB. I have been told they may not spawn, and I am OK with that, as well. I was raised on smallies and they are my favorite fish. Can it be done? Has anybody had success? Any big concerns?
Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!

PS- I did do a search for this topic as I know it is one that has been discussed many times...just couldn't find the easy answer.


Thanks!

John
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517246 02/25/20 03:47 AM
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John, I love smallies too, so sympathize with your idea.

But there's a problem with SMB only: They typically cannot control BG numbers. Many times they are stocked with pumpkinseed or another low reproducing panfish for precisely this reason.

That's not to say you couldn't make a SMB/LMB pond work, especially with periodic restocking of larger SMB.


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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517249 02/25/20 06:24 AM
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What if...
Say we stock SMB with the goal of intensive BG management in mind.
Lets stock a few WAE and a handful of HSB to help control BG numbers.
Has it been proven that this won't work??


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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: Snipe] #517252 02/25/20 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted By: Snipe
What if...
Say we stock SMB with the goal of intensive BG management in mind.
Lets stock a few WAE and a handful of HSB to help control BG numbers.
Has it been proven that this won't work??


I've heard that some people have had success with HSB controlling crappie numbers, so maybe this would work with BG. Likely would still need to periodically stock SMB large enough to escape predation, however. Even thought of suggesting one or two tiger musky, but they get big enough to eat almost any SMB.


8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19




Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517254 02/25/20 11:25 AM
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I plan to remove some SMB from my 1-acre SMB/YP/RES/LCS pond this year and add them to my BG/LMB pond as "bonus" fish, but if you really want a SMB pond, you might be best off killing off the pond and starting over. You could also add some spawning sites so you get recruitment. It really depends on what you want and how much effort you are willing to put in to get it.

Last edited by RAH; 02/25/20 11:26 AM.
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517259 02/25/20 01:37 PM
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I think you could add a few female lmb to the pond to help with bg control in a smallie pond. Low numbers of lmb along with good numbers of SMB might work. Add some hsb to the mix. I'm no expert with the mix but I think it would work.


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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517274 02/25/20 05:58 PM
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All good stuff. Unfortunately, I found out too late about the SMB /BG conflict. What is the conflict? The BG over populate? Are the SMALL MOUTHS of the SMB just to small to eat BG? Hence the suggestions of needing another predator? If YP could survive in my pond could they eat enough of the BG fry to help, or would the SMB just eat the YP? Seems like every ying has a yang!


Thanks!

John
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517277 02/25/20 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: RJE64
All good stuff. Unfortunately, I found out too late about the SMB /BG conflict. What is the conflict? The BG over populate? Are the SMALL MOUTHS of the SMB just to small to eat BG? Hence the suggestions of needing another predator? If YP could survive in my pond could they eat enough of the BG fry to help, or would the SMB just eat the YP? Seems like every ying has a yang!


SMB will struggle to eat BG of the appropriate size for their needs due to their mouth size. The SMB can starve and the BG can overpopulate.

Other experts on here can weigh in on YP but I think it can be hard for YP to compete with BG.

In 1 ac pond any species with normal reproductive capacity could prove a challenge.

Last edited by Bocomo; 02/25/20 07:27 PM.
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517301 02/26/20 03:34 AM
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Y1 BG will be eating hatch and YOY YP. Then.. YOY YP will be eating BG fry when the time comes a bit later in summer.
BG just explode in big numbers and it's not all at once, that's why I think it could be done with intensive, hands-on management, pulling what you catch, introducing a controllable number of WAE and HSB, replenish as needed.
YP would be more favorable forage than BG but I think limiting the target species some to get the most help of WAE and HSB would be best if trying this.
Also, it would be best if aquatic growth was a very low percentage of area-even minimized if possible.
Maybe Bill C will weigh in, I may be off base with my thoughts.


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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: Snipe] #517311 02/26/20 01:31 PM
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Thanks Snipe...really good and thoughtful information. Interesting perspective on limiting the aquatic cover...exactly opposite of where my mind is/was in my "sterile" new pond, but I completely understand your thought.
Another question....I believe I have seen enough on the forum to have picked up that stocking a pond with fish from another BOW is a bad thing, or at least it seems to be cautioned or frowned upon. Why is that again? Is it illegal to take fish from public water and put into a private pond? Again, thinking in terms of some SMB.
Thanks for any and all comments!


Thanks!

John
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517322 02/26/20 03:35 PM
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Several reasons for not pulling from public waters or other ponds..
If you understand what can happen it's not a huge problem from private ponds but that's not always the case.
First, the legality of it, second, you don't know what funky fungus or other disorders you are introducing to your pond, and 3 you have no idea as to the age of the fish.. Just because it's 6" doesn't mean it's yr 1 fish.. might be 4 yrs old, you don't want waisted lifespan or runts.
Fish from a known, trusted source is always best.


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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517327 02/26/20 05:11 PM
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Just because a fish outwardly looks very healthy does not mean it is a carrier of pathogens and internal parasites that can get introduced into new water. A fish can be a tolerant but carrier of internal problems. Moving wild fish can be done but it is pretty risky. Be prepared for eventual latent problems that can show up a few years later as the community becomes mature and maybe over crowded fish exposed to "stress problem". Lots of times tiny thin almost clear fish leaches attach to fish fins and are never noticed. Internal tape worms are always a continual problem in wild fish who are constantly exposed to everything in that wild ecosystem. There are salt dips and soaks that can minimize transfer of external stuff; not internal digestive tract stuff of protozoans and parasites.

As an example here is a list of the number of differnt parasites of smallmouth bass over their distribution in the USA.
protozoans 12, trematodes 49, cestodes a2, nematodes 13 acanthocephalans 9, leeches 9, mollusks 1, crustaceans 9. The most common ones are bass tapeworm, black-spot and yellow grub. The bass tapeworm will cause sterility or limit SMB reproduction.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/26/20 10:27 PM.

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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517337 02/26/20 08:51 PM
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SMB often don't control BG , PS or YP numbers. SMB often have difficulty maintaining normal numbers and spawning success if LMB are present in numbers and reproducing.

In some jurisdictions it is illegal to catch public fish and transplant them in private waters. In some, because the fish are public, the transplanted location becomes subject to public claims. If you have to bucket stock then go from one private source to another and be sure of the quality of the fish (see Bill's post above).

Cody Note - In every pond where I've seen only YP and SMB, the SMB adequately control and often do too good of job controlling the YP. SMB have to be thinned out so more perch are present for harvest.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/26/20 10:19 PM.















Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: ewest] #517347 02/26/20 10:27 PM
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Has anybody written a good book on the various fish, considerations, relationships, needs, habits, characteristics, habitat requirements, interactions with other species, water temp and depth needs, and feeding and spawning requirements as it relates to stocking?
I am telling ya, I would be the first buyer! There are some very talented and experienced contributors on this forum! I already bought the two books by Tim Matson on landscaping the pond (read the entire books in the first night!). PLEASE somebody write a comprehensive reference book as it relates to stocking.
Thanks for all the information!


Thanks!

John
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517348 02/26/20 10:36 PM
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Information about these topics is mostly available but spread out over more than many publications. That book still needs to be written and it should probably be a book edited by one or two people and have chapters written by specific specialist authors similar to the Small Impoundment Management in North America edited by Neal and Willis with 38 authors involved. Maybe Pond boss editor Bob Lusk will tackle that job and make some money at the same time.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/26/20 10:43 PM.

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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: Bill Cody] #517349 02/26/20 10:43 PM
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That would be great!


Thanks!

John
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: ewest] #517362 02/27/20 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: ewest
SMB often don't control BG , PS or YP numbers. SMB often have difficulty maintaining normal numbers and spawning success if LMB are present in numbers and reproducing.

In some jurisdictions it is illegal to catch public fish and transplant them in private waters. In some, because the fish are public, the transplanted location becomes subject to public claims. If you have to bucket stock then go from one private source to another and be sure of the quality of the fish (see Bill's post above).

Cody Note - In every pond where I've seen only YP and SMB, the SMB adequately control and often do too good of job controlling the YP. SMB have to be thinned out so more perch are present for harvest.


I didn't know this. Given the huge success of SMB in Lake Erie with the gobies as forage, would maybe lake chubsuckers work in a pond?


8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19




Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: anthropic] #517364 02/27/20 11:11 AM
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I have LCS in my 1-acre SMB/YP pond. Based on the size of the SMB my neighbor caught this past fall, I don't think that they are hurting anything. Transferred some of the LCS to my new 1/2-acre pond with the stocked FHM to get things going there as well. Chose LCS as forage for SMB based on recommendations made on this forum.

Last edited by RAH; 02/27/20 11:16 AM.
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517666 03/06/20 08:03 PM
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I will post a picture of a SMB stunted pond. Pond was stocked with SMB, YP, RES, FHM and GSH. There is relatively NO cover/structure in the 1 acre pond except for a half dozen porcupines, a couple of root balls in the deep water and 70 linear feet x 5' wide 8"-12" limestone rip-rap on one side of the pond. There are a few underwater weeds, but the owner didn't like them and had 4 TGC stocked a few years ago. There are a few 10'x5' pea gravel beds, that are used by the RES for spawning and the SMB will use them too.

Someone bucket stocked HBG in the pond, at least 2 years ago, any that are caught are bigger than the SMB can eat. SMB up to about 10: are plump, after that they are skinny and stunted.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This SMB is 17" long.

Last edited by esshup; 03/06/20 08:04 PM.

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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517667 03/06/20 08:09 PM
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Transferring fish from another pond or lake can bring other invasive species other than fish related nasties. Google Starry Stonewort Nitellopsis obtusa. That is in some lakes and can be transported in what looks like to be clean water........

Virtually impossible to get rid of once it's in the pond. Maybe a complete drain, excavate and refill. but I'm not sure.

Last edited by esshup; 03/06/20 08:10 PM.

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Re: Smallmouth Stocking Question [Re: RJE64] #517860 03/12/20 12:56 AM
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Esshup, in your opinion, what stunted the SMB in the pond you cited above? Lack of cover for forage?


Thanks!

John

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