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#53100 - 04/13/05 11:27 AM Pond plan in need of advice
LakeL Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 92
I'm seeking some input to my plan with my pond. My main goal is to have big aggressive F-1 bass and HSB with a side benefit of catfish. July of last year the 13 acre pond was finished in Tyler county, Texas. Approximately 20 tons of lime was piled in the spring fed streams and around the slopped edges as recommended by the local county extension service. I've only tested the water for PH about 6.8. The pond site is a three finger hardwood bottom in which I had the surveyed waterline cleared by a lumber company(about 20 yard swath) but left about a third of the area(6-12 feet creek beds) with flooded standing timber and numerous brush piles in 1-6 feet of water. By November I had about 4 acres of surface water with and water depths of 4 to 15 feet and stocked 3-4 inch native blue gill(10,000),2-3 inch copper nose(2500), 4-6 inch channel cat(1000),75 lbs. of fat heads, and 2-3 inch threadfins(10,000 likely a 25% mortality rate?). Lately the pond is 4 feet from being full about 9 surface acres. I went with 500 6-8 inch pellet fed F-1 bass, 250 4-6 inch HSB,2500 2-4 red ear bream, 125 4-6 inch Blue catfish, 60 lbs of Tilapia and 10,000 fat heads.I'm a little concern about the survivablity of the bass and HSB with no pellet feeding. I plan to try the Threadfins once more with 10,000 3-5 inch spawning(hopefully) Thread fins. Since the first of March I've been feeding about 6 ponds a day from 3 feeders. I plan to remove 2 of the feeders and leave one on a dock for the catfish. I've fertilized with some favorable result but due to the Tannic acid (coffee color about 18 inches visibility)it's difficult to measure my success. I started fertilizing by using water soluble 10-35-0 and followed up having laid about 8 bags slit open around the springs of 10-20-10 granular fertilizer. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last 6 months including Pond Boss magazine and Bob Lusk's book on trophy bass. I get the impression that pellet feeding certainly grows fish faster but may change the behavior of the predators not to be aggressive towards lures so if that is true I'm cutting back on feed and working on my forage thus fertilizing and building brush piles for cover for my forage to survive and multiply hopefully. I'll also be adding yearly stock of Talopia.I plan not to take any fish until my second or third year depending if the bass spawn next spring except for the occasional catfish and perhaps in my second or third year add gizzard shade. I'll start some limited fishing late this fall to monitor the growth rate of my preditors. Note also I stocked on the heavy side since I don't live on the property and have shot/scared off 1-5 water turkeys evertime I show up these last 2 months. This web sight has been a great resource, thanks. Any comments are appreciated.

#53101 - 04/13/05 02:24 PM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
Theo Gallus Offline

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12414
Loc: Central Ohio
I guess everything really is big in Texas - your pond, your stocking numbers, your plan...

Seriously, this small-time amateur is impressed by your plan, execution, and post (lots of detail - no one should have to ask for too many clarifications). My opinion (freely given and worth every penny) is, it all sounds good to me.
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

#53102 - 04/13/05 02:36 PM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
Bruce Condello Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 8854
Loc: United States
I'm going to re-read this a couple of times but this post piques my interest a little bit in regards to not feeding these fish.

I guess it would be worth discussing, and maybe experimenting with the possible of effects of limited feedings in this situation. i.e. Enough artificial feed to get aggressive feeders like HSB the nutrients to grow, but keeping the amounts low enough to keep LMB out of the loop. You might be able to get the best of both worlds by providing, say, 40% feedings.

I'd try it without feeding first, as currently planned, and make careful assessments of Wr conditions for both LMB and HSB and if the values were low after 1 year and the threadfins aren't providing enough nutrition for good growth then you could estimate how much food (maximum) is consumed by pond community, then feeding by a factor of .4 or .5 before reassessing after 3 more months.

I believe the presence of fatheads will ultimately be a non-issue but I can't speculate on how successful the threadfins will be at moving biomass up to predators.

In summation, it sounds like a place I'd like to fish someday. \:D
Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.

#53103 - 04/13/05 02:54 PM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
LakeL Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 92
Thanks,for the advice. I plan to measure the Bass/HSB growth carefully and use fishing and traps to record size distribution of my bream. I guess the wild card besides the water turkeys /poachers will be the establishment of threadfins. Is there any way I can tell if the first or second group takes and thrives? I have to confess before reading through this message board, magazines, web, and such my knowledge was terribly lacking.Thanks for this sight. The downside to my pond design is the flooded timber is so thick that the first 3-4 years only half to 2/3s the pond will be easily fished.

#53104 - 04/13/05 04:36 PM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
Dave Davidson Offline

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
I almost hesitate to comment on feed trained bass since I've never had any but that has never stopped me before. Lusk once posted that you should not feed catfish over 5 days a week. They need natural food. I believe LMB and HSB are the same. I also believe they will quickly switch to fatheads and other forage fish.

I wouldn't worry too much about Water Turkeys. Although they are a major pain in the butt, they migrate through and then are gone. Sure, they can clean you out but seldom do.

#53105 - 04/13/05 09:30 PM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
Meadowlark Offline

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas

I'm sure he stocked the cormorant eating Tilapia of Theo fame.

LakeL, respectfully ignore what anyone west of I45 and north of Dallas says about water turkeys and listen to experience...they can and will flat clean you out!

#53106 - 04/14/05 08:39 AM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
LakeL Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 92
Well there a couple of lead filled water turkeys floating out there now..............but still I see then when I go out there.........hopefully next year I can be less concern with a couple spawns behind me.

#53107 - 04/14/05 11:59 AM Re: Pond plan in need of advice
RickRussler Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Houston TX
LakeL -I noticed your new pond is in Tyler County TX. I also own land in Tyler County and want to put in a 3-5 acre spring-fed pond. Who did you use for planning and/or construction? You can email me offline at rickrussler@msn.com. Any help would be much appreciated. Others feel free to respond.


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