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#9691 - 12/20/02 12:09 PM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Rowly Offline
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Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 257
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Bill, here is the lake/fish summary;
1. Spring time bought property from a older lady who didn't like water or the potential for this lake-wasn't used-Lake naturally had many perch and rock bass in large quantities with all sizes but mostly small in the 3-5" range with a. 10-15% only in the large range. Didn't see any predator fish at all LMB or SMB but caught hundreds of perch and rock bass only. Later in the summer I saw some SMB 6-8" swimming in swallow water looking for YOY and YOY SMB first schooling then becoming predators and independantly swimming looking for fry and growing well from 1 1/2" to the 3-5" in late fall viewing. Caught many of these fish in a dip net and to my surprise they were SMB not LMB. (smaller mouths not extending beyond the eye). Lake was developed and started 12 years ago when they started removing the sand and gravel creating approx 1 1/2 acres per year of open enclosed water with no streams, just spring fed and ground water.
2. Thousands YOY bluegill up to 3" (late fall)from a few approx 100 adult stocked in May/June 02. Also bought 600 mature bluegill in fall that have the colour of the green sunfish in Bob Lusk picture you commented on elsewhere-very dark
3. Many yoy perch and rock bass as well. Estimate 10-15% large perch 8"+. I will harvest all perch 8"+ when icefishing. Should I return the extra large perch 12-14" for breeding stock as one would do with bass?
4. Many rock bass but not as many as perch. Again mostly smaller but 10-15% large 6"+. The kids caught one rock bass at 12". I am removing all rock bass when caught. Will I be able to control their numbers in time with this method and further bass predatation?
5.I added 14 mature (12-16") SMB caught elsewhere but had YOY spotted later in the summer as they grew and searched the shoreline for live food. Therefore, I believe there must have been a few mature SMB already in the lake before I added mine. Based on the fact I seen 6-8" SMB and caught a few in fall (probably 2-3 years old?)
6. I believe there is no minnow population in the lake, only YOY perch that shape and size similar to minnows. I caught and added a few dace and chub minnows from a nearby stream totalling 30 in the spring 2002.
7. Yes no walleye added, but I caught and added 30 mature LMB from another gravel pit from 12-16" throughout the late spring and early summer.
8. 10-15% weed cover from common pondweed mostly, concentrated in various areas on lake so not many batches but thick in those defined area, to provide a good cover for forage fish to grow and hide. I can watch very large schools of fingerling move from batches of weedcover to open water to other weedcover a short distance away. Thousands and thousands of YOY from bluegill/perch and rockbass.
I would like to control these quantities of YOY before they get out of hand but should I wait another year and another YOY for perch/bluegill and rock bass? If I were to add say 150 mature LMB in the early spring 2003 would this create major problems to the biomass? My goal is to have large perch, good numbers of various size bluegill for a forage base and some eating ourselves, the removal of the rock bass if possible or at least the reduction in numbers, the development of a good population of both LMB and SMB with some big but not necessarily trophy size. The introduction of some minnows to help feed the perch and other fish if required. In time adding a third predator fish, walleye say 200 6-8" fingerling to later catch and eat-maybe even reproduce???? Adding some structure this winter both dense and loose form by adding Xmas trees grouped 3-5 together and pallets nailed together forming a triangle- both will be weighted with a concrete blocks (to concentrate fish in desired areas for fishing). Already added some native white water lilly last fall in defined areas hoping they will not spread into deeper water greater than 5'for the LMB?

Thanks in advance to all and Merry Xmas and Happy New Year. I hope this helps Bill and sorry for the run on.

Rowly

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#9692 - 12/21/02 10:59 PM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Bill Cody Offline
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Rowly - Length run-on is okay, it provides more details.
1. Your SMB seem to be "holding their own" so far with existing rock bass and perch. The SMB spawns at least in the last two yrs are a good sign. When panfish fish are over abundant bass nests usu fail due to excessive panfish predation of SMB eggs and fry. So indications are that rock bass and perch populations are currently not much out of balance. You probably are not catching adult SMB because they have ample forage.

2. Personally, I'm not sure about adding the extra 600 bgill in the fall of 2002. Positives and negatives for this one. It appears the 100 bgill added in the spring of 2002 provided plenty of small YOY bgill all summer and fall. I'm concerned about possible overpopulation of bgill next year from now 700 adults instead of 100.

3. Return all 12"-14" perch? If it was my pond I would return them for extra growth. . Some would remove them cause they are old and will soon die of natural causes. Myself I prefer 'dandy' perch to catch occassionally. A 14" perch can't grow to 15" if it is in the frying pan. Hopefully you can grow some to 15"-16" before they die. I think perch 8"-10" are easier to fillet than the largest ones who more quickly dull my knife due to scales and pin bones. Plus the smaller perch taste a little better. Bigger perch are also eating larger forage which is currently good in your case.

4.Rock bass are often considered a pest. They do eat quite a bit of small fish for their diet. If they are not "grubby", which they often are, they are pretty good eating. At least the ones I always ate from Canada were tasty. They are not encouraged in ponds because larger rock bass compete heavily with young bass for food items like small fish. Most pondmeisters want strong bass populations. R bass not all bad. I would rather eat rock bass than LMB. Smallest rock bass will eat lots of bass fry and compete with bgill & perch. I don't think you will ever get them severely thinned with just fishing and LMB predation. I don't think they are real prolific but I not sure. I will look it up. I don't have a lot of experience with their behavior, reproductive ability when in competition with the other fish species that are in your pond. You are on your own here.
5. AS I said above SMB seem to be doing okay since you have successful reproduction and fair growth. Numbers of breeding adults are the current question.
6. Dace, if they survived, will do you lots of good as a forage species. Doubtfull any survived due to all your predators of these small sized minnows. Only future sampling will answer this. Chubs, if they were truly chubs (species??), in my opinion were a mistake. They eat a lot of the same things (often small fish) as small perch, bass, and rock bass; just another direct competitor in your pond. You got them from a stream or moving water habitat. Chubs are usu not a successful lake or pond fish which is why they are most commonly found in streams. Most of them only spawn successfully in streams requiring special conditions. I doubt if they will spawn in your pond. Probably okay forage if they spawn. Shiners are a better choice than chubs; smaller mouths & less competition with panfish/yoy bass than chubs would be.
7. If the LMB were added in 2002 after they spawned elsewhere then you do not have any YOY LMB predator pressure on the large panfish hatches of 2002. A concern.

8. 150 LMB in 2003?? Since you seem to like LMB and since you've introduced bgill and want rock bass control I think you should add more LMB in 2003. The biggest question is what size LMB and how many to add?? Sample your largest 2002 year class bgill and multiply the length by 3 to 3.5. The answer is the proper size of LMB to stock. Example 3" bgill x 3 or 3.5 = 9"-10.5". I think you will find that it is sizes of 8"-10" you need to add. Try not to stock LMB much bigger than 10-12" because they will want to eat larger food items than 2"-3" bluegill or something else the equivalent width/body depth such as 5-6" perch. They may prefer the perch due to body shape & behavior. Numbers/acre??? If each lives which they should if handled properly, then 10-12/acre should be more than plenty for the 2003 stocking. Since your water is low productivity I would go more for 6-10/acre. Don't forget you have an existing unknown number of adult SMB which will also exert a predation pressure. The 160 (8"-10") LMB will eat approx 1000 to 1400 lbs of forage the first year; allowing for the shorter growing season. That is a large mass of forage fish being eliminated from your pond !! That's easily one-half ton! Do you need to reduce your forage by that amount? By adding 150 to 160 bass you should see a big reduction in small fish in the fall of 2003. Adjust this LMB number (150-160) accordingly based on how much forage you want removed. Your existing 30 adult bass from 2002 stocking will provide plenty of YOY bass in 2003 to control 2003 panfish spawns. Re-examine your forage density in the spring before adding the LMB. Your larger perch, rock bass and SMB can thin out quite a bit of small prey during late fall, winter, and early spring. You can also thin a fair amount of smaller fish by trapping. Keep in mind that you also should remove some fish by fishing next year; easily 40-60 lbs (2.5-4 lbs/ac).

Get yourself some minnow traps and use them regularly to monitor your small fish populations. Minnows/shiners, young perch, young rock bass, and yoy SMB will readily go into small mesh (1/4")baited traps. YOY LMB rarely go in traps. Traps are a good way to thin out small rock bass; they trap well.
Every fish species you add into your pond the more complicated this thing becomes.
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#9693 - 12/30/02 05:17 PM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Pottsy Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 494
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Sorry I didn't get a chance to chime in sooner Rowly... been out of town.

In my opinion the best minnow choice for your pond and the one with the greatest chance of survival, (And great reprocuction rates), is the bridle shiner. Mudminnows inhabit a different type of area and may survive some predation... but in a pond that is spring fed and as clear as I believe yours is, the mudminnows woudn't fare so well.
Creek chub are kind of slow, certainly the larger they get, as Bill says they may or may not reproduce,, decent forage for LMB and walleye but I think they fit a similar food niche as the perch. Dace, promarily Red Belly in our area are a decent choice, though not always as effective a reproducer as I would like. I like most shiner varieties but certainly my best luck is with Bridle Shiners... spawn like mad and vary in size from 1/2" to 2.5" approx. and can provide feed for a few different predator species depending on their size. They do like pallets as spawning cover so try and release them in areas where they can have a chance. (Oh and new fry swim in vunerable groups for a few weeks... so you might see a sudden increase in Perch/R-Bass sizes)

The question about Rock Bass spawning rates... I don't have any specific information, just what I have seen in other lakes and I think Bill's hypothesis that they are not overly prolific is accurate.
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#9694 - 01/06/03 09:56 AM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Rowly Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 257
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Bill and Pottsy; Sorry for the delay but I took a few days off around the Xmas season. Thanks for the info and I will use it wisely over the next few months leading into the spring. I will indeed watch the small fish #'s before adding any 8-12" LMB. Looking forward to the warmer weather now!!!! I have been doing a little ice fishing in the lake but most of the yellow perch caught are small in the 3-5" range at 80% of the total catch but look healthy. Thanks again

Rowly

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#9695 - 01/06/03 09:17 PM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12398
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Rowly - Do you have the option of this spring and early summer of catching some 12"-14" walleye for transport back to your pond? Maybe move just 3-4 each trip for a total of 12-20. Haul them short distances (20-30mi) in 1/2 barrel or large cooler. Good excuse to go fishing often. I would rather see you put them in, instead of numerous 10" LMB. Maybe a combination of the two species. Both will clean up on the 3"-4" perch but adding walleye would be more toward your walleye fishery goal. You don't need a drastic thinning of the 3"-4" perch. But your ice fishing catches are telling us that the 3"-4" size group is a little too abundant. But if you add a few predators & the resident bass help thin and you thin a couple hundred by fishing and then several hundred by trapping, you should be able to get that size group thinned enough to produce some fairly normal growth from them in 2003. Then next Dec. they should be 5"-7" and then 7"-9" in Dec. of 2004 & getting ready to be guests for dinner.
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#9696 - 01/07/03 11:09 AM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Rowly Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 257
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Bill, some of the best river walleye fishing is less than 5 miles away in the Thames River. I'm told this site is one of the best on the river. I will try to catch a few walleye this spring and add to the lake a few at a time until I get around a couple dozen... The season for walleye shuts down between March 15 to April 15 each year to help with the walleye spawn in the river so maybe I will start in early February to see if they are starting to arrive for their spawn. Would you suggest I milk a few females and put in a small pucket then add the male sperm into the dry mix to see if I can help create fertilization, then add to the riprap rock along the shallow eastern edge of the lake for some westerly wind wave action etc. to see if they will hatch in the eddies within the small rock areas. At worst I may have some fun and later a few walleye fingerling????? I guess I better get my walleye jigs ready to go fishing. Thanks and looking forward to your next post.

Rowly

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#9697 - 01/07/03 09:30 PM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12398
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Rowly - That's great news. Good thing you live so close to the fishing grounds. I see no reason why the river walleyes will not adapt well to your pond situation. You mentioned something in an earlier post about river vs lake walleye but I see no problem with the river type fish in your pond esp for predation purposes. Back in the 80's I carefully moved some river walleye into my old pond and they did fine. If the law allows keep even some smaller walleye than 13" but you prob. will not get many of these since they are too small for the spawn run. 16"ers are also okay if you don't want to eat them. However they will be harder to transport. I would not transplant fish bigger than 17-18". The smaller wallery are the ones you want for eating those small perch/bgill. Be careful not to keep fish too long in your containers and donot crowd them for very long, colder air and water temps help here because colder water holds more oxygen. Important note, just because a fish swims away when released DOES NOT mean he will live. Many have latent death due to poor handling, crowding and the stress. Most often these do not float. Future fishing will tell the tale. You are much better off moving fewer fish on each trip than crowding more fish and them later dying.

River walleye are used to appropriate sized forage and will be happy among those small perch, rockbass & bgill. You can try stripping & fertilizing some eggs. Deposit them as planned and cross your fingers.

I doubt you will catch many in Feb. a few residents or some very early jacks. Mar 1 to 14 may get you a few but prob not any females ready to strip eggs. Take a smaller female home let her spawn naturally. They will do a better job spawning than your hand mixing anyway. If not this year then they will spawn next. During our walleye run some hatcheries get eggs/milt from the catches of fishermen. The river walleye run here does not do much till the water gets 47 -49 deg.
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#9698 - 01/08/03 10:26 AM Re: Bill Cody: Walleye and Perch Pond feasible?
Rowly Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 257
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Bill, thanks for your post and I will keep you all posted. These river walleye are walleye that travel up from Lake Erie to spawn in this long river system before returning to the lake. Lets see when I can start catching these smaller walleye maybe the smaller ones will spawn later in the spring after the April 15 restriction from fishing but I will try in early March .

Rowly

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