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#498978 - 11/26/18 08:28 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Bill Cody]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 252
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
jpsdad - Thanks for the interesting insightful experiences and thoughts about your pond with feed trained LMB and fish management.


You mean the 500#/acre LMB only pond fed only feed? Or the 500#/acre of LMB fed 2500#/acre of BG annually? Actually, I don't like either of those ideas.

The feeding benefit has mathematical relationships. If 3 lbs of feed makes one pound of BG what will cost to grow 1 lb of LMB? How much it costs I suppose doesn't really matter. But it comes with its accompanying commitments and in the end the key to whether it was and is worth it lies in whether it delivers what one was promised and expected.


Edited by jpsdad (11/26/18 08:30 PM)

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#499010 - 11/27/18 01:49 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19744
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: jpsdad
Originally Posted By: bassmaster61
Eric's info is kind of a bummer since the studies show that stockers are not very good at getting on natural forage.


bassmaster61,

just a couple of thoughts.

Based on the feed rate and the gain of the your FT LMB, I would think a portion of the feed has been going to BG. Also, if your FT LMB are not foraging, you would need to increase feed to keep them growing. Long term, I would think some would adapt to forage particularly if you maintain the current rate of feed. Those that do not adapt might begin to develop less RW than those foraging which might cue you as to which to cull. Or you might increase feed rates to keep them growing. Don't know much about feeders capablilities but if you could feed large pellets that most BG would have difficulty swallowing, this might help ensure that the food adds weight to the LMB.

Quote:
We will see what happens in our pond. Feeding fish is an experiment for us and if we start catching a decent number of large stockers on standard tackle next year I will consider it a success. But just in case, I am tying a few flies that look like Aquamax MVP pellets.....BM61.


I think LMB might respond similarly to CC. When feed is curtailed for a short period, they might bite more readily.


Guys look for an article in the next PB mag on feed trained fish.

Feed trained LMB stockers are only a problem when stocked into a system with an existing fish population ( adult LMB and others) that do not rely on feed (natural forage). They can adapt but are at a competitive disadvantage for a while. This may increase mortalities (a stocking/balance issue) and reduce growth.


Edited by ewest (11/27/18 01:51 PM)
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#499014 - 11/27/18 03:44 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: ewest]
anthropic Online   content


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1655
Loc: East Texas, USA
Eric, would it be helpful to place new feed trained LMB stockers in a forage pond full of natural forage, particularly CNBG, for a week or two? No good long term due to overcrowding, but maybe they'd get the idea faster than just being thrown into the main BOW.


Edited by anthropic (11/27/18 03:44 PM)
_________________________
8 acre E Texas, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12 inch N LMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18

There are only 10 types of people; those who understand binary and those who don't




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#499015 - 11/27/18 04:30 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Jim Wetzel]
Jim Wetzel Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Posts: 368
Loc: Holts Summit, MO
Limitations of feed-fed LMB may not be just a function of learning curve. The physiology / morphology may need to change as well. Latter may take more than a few weeks.

Should be easy to find publications supporting morphological changes of sunfish as a function of prey type. From what I have seen, it is likely the changes to LMB are likely to be just as pronounced.
_________________________
Aquaculture
Cooperative Research / Extension
Lincoln University of Missouri

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#499020 - 11/27/18 06:59 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Jim Wetzel]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 252
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Jim Wetzel
Limitations of feed-fed LMB may not be just a function of learning curve. The physiology / morphology may need to change as well. Latter may take more than a few weeks..


What are your observations as to morphology?


Originally Posted By: Jim Wetzel

Should be easy to find publications supporting morphological changes of sunfish as a function of prey type. From what I have seen, it is likely the changes to LMB are likely to be just as pronounced.


I know of one on OSS. I haven't read it but had assumed these morphological changes occur over a few generations. I suppose also that offspring of varying morphology are always in the population, those with morphology best suited for the most abundant prey have more reproductive success and quickly dominate.

Nobody has mentioned the impact of artificial selection at hatcheries with respect to feed training. At least some hatcheries, perhaps most by now, feed brooders prepared feed.

While epigenetic effects would likely subside after a generation or two, one has to wonder what they might be.


Edited by jpsdad (11/27/18 07:15 PM)

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#499027 - 11/27/18 09:44 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: jpsdad]
anthropic Online   content


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1655
Loc: East Texas, USA
Justin Stane told me that he can identify LMB that focus on artificial feed just by looking at their coloration. I think (may be wrong, hopefully somebody will correct me if so) he meant that they are less well camouflaged. Pellets are easier to sneak up on than CNBG!

Whether they pass along this trait, I don't know. If so, would be a case of de-evolution, the loss of genetic information when doing so confers a survival benefit of some sort in a particular situation. Eyeless fish & amphibians in caves are a good example.


Edited by anthropic (11/27/18 09:48 PM)
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8 acre E Texas, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12 inch N LMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18

There are only 10 types of people; those who understand binary and those who don't




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#499043 - 11/28/18 08:17 AM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Jim Wetzel]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2652
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
Eric brought up some possible problems when adding FT LMB to an existing fish pond where feeding the fish did not exist. And possible problems with fish population balance. I can see that. But for me the additions of FT LMB was for introducing northern genetics to an existing Florida strain lmb/bg pond. Improving the bite is the goal and I needed some lmb in or near the same size. The only ones that were available were feed trained. So, I stocked them 6 months ago. I feed them aquamax lmb feed and they are feed right beside the TH feeders that feed my cnbg. My attempt to improve their adjustment to a new home where the natural food (bg) was right there where they get the artificial food. I try to hand feed the lmb at or around the same time the feeders throw MVP to the bg. I can say the FT lmb are really looking good. RW are above 100% and very healthy looking and are easier to catch on rod and reel. I am very happy with my Florida Lonestar legacy lmb but they can be harder to catch sometimes.

We fin clipped the FT lmb making it easier to recognize them.


Edited by TGW1 (11/28/18 08:25 AM)
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
Thank The Good Lord the government in Washington DC gets little done.
Outlawing guns will make a lot of us down here in the South
Outlaws and proud of it

Tracy

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#499051 - 11/28/18 11:05 AM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: TGW1]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19744
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: TGW1
Eric brought up some possible problems when adding FT LMB to an existing fish pond where feeding the fish did not exist. And possible problems with fish population balance. I can see that. But for me the additions of FT LMB was for introducing northern genetics to an existing Florida strain lmb/bg pond. Improving the bite is the goal and I needed some lmb in or near the same size. The only ones that were available were feed trained. So, I stocked them 6 months ago. I feed them aquamax lmb feed and they are feed right beside the TH feeders that feed my cnbg. My attempt to improve their adjustment to a new home where the natural food (bg) was right there where they get the artificial food. I try to hand feed the lmb at or around the same time the feeders throw MVP to the bg. I can say the FT lmb are really looking good. RW are above 100% and very healthy looking and are easier to catch on rod and reel. I am very happy with my Florida Lonestar legacy lmb but they can be harder to catch sometimes.

We fin clipped the FT lmb making it easier to recognize them.


I would expect good results (for your goals) from your approach as you are feeding. I have seen this work many times and it has worked in controlled studies.
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#499052 - 11/28/18 11:10 AM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: anthropic]
ewest Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19744
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: anthropic
Eric, would it be helpful to place new feed trained LMB stockers in a forage pond full of natural forage, particularly CNBG, for a week or two? No good long term due to overcrowding, but maybe they'd get the idea faster than just being thrown into the main BOW.


Yes that has worked in studies and in practice - see the upcoming article. If you are thinking about this approach seek out a good hatchery that raises the stocker fish first on pellets (most do so for economic reasons) that then places them in ponds with both natural food and pellets for rearing until sale. This has been shown to make a big difference. Still need to habituate them to predators before or in conjunction with stocking.
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#499053 - 11/28/18 11:15 AM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: jpsdad]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19744
Loc: Miss.
Originally Posted By: jpsdad
Originally Posted By: Jim Wetzel
Limitations of feed-fed LMB may not be just a function of learning curve. The physiology / morphology may need to change as well. Latter may take more than a few weeks..


What are your observations as to morphology?


Originally Posted By: Jim Wetzel

Should be easy to find publications supporting morphological changes of sunfish as a function of prey type. From what I have seen, it is likely the changes to LMB are likely to be just as pronounced.


I know of one on OSS. I haven't read it but had assumed these morphological changes occur over a few generations. I suppose also that offspring of varying morphology are always in the population, those with morphology best suited for the most abundant prey have more reproductive success and quickly dominate.

Nobody has mentioned the impact of artificial selection at hatcheries with respect to feed training. At least some hatcheries, perhaps most by now, feed brooders prepared feed.

While epigenetic effects would likely subside after a generation or two, one has to wonder what they might be.


Very interesting topic and we have discussed it in prior PB articles. Bob was doing an article that several of us provided info on the topic for but not sure he has used the article yet. Here is a bit on the topic wrt lepomis sunfish. Keep in mind that all my comments in this thread are short term effects on LMB stocking ( a few mths but less than a year).

In these articles plasticity = adaptive behavior (adaptation) = phenotypic plasticity which can lead to morphological changes .

The Effect of Vegetation Density on Juvenile Bluegill Diet and Growth in the Journal of Freshwater Ecology 2012, 1–11 by Daniel E. Shoup , Michael A. Nannini & David H. Wahl discuss a number of their thoughts which are set out below.
At the start the authors noted that the role of vegetation density and its influence on juvenile bluegill diet and growth remains unclear. Even after the many studies that exist. They acknowledge much disagreement in the literature about how vegetation density affects foraging results and thus growth of juvenile bluegill. Several studies have found reduced foraging return for bluegill when they forage in structurally complex habitats, whereas others have found that bluegill growth was unaffected or even increased when foraging in complex environments. However these studies were with predators present. That is not the case when a typical bluegill or other forage base is first started in a new or renovated pond without predators.
In the Shoup et al study eight experimental 0.4-ha ponds (one acre with a mean depth of 1m) were used to evaluate the effects of habitat complexity on growth of small bluegill. Each pond was stocked with 15 kg of young-of-year bluegills (30–50 mm total length, approximately 20,000 fish per pond) to produce a realistic density for small ponds. The ponds contained varying amounts of vegetation (plants) and no predators.

The result was - by the end of the experiment, bluegill from the low vegetation treatment ponds were significantly longer – twenty (20%) percent than bluegill from the high vegetation treatment ponds. These results suggest that bluegill chose to forage in a vegetated habitat even in the absence of predation risk, resulting in reduced growth. The question is why and what caused the bluegill to stay and forage in the plants even when that was not optimum for growth and energy usage (energetics).
Because piscivorous fish were not present in the study ponds used by Sloup et al, it was surprising that bluegill foraged so heavily in the vegetated habitat. Either bluegill cannot accurately assess predation risk or some other mechanism causes bluegill to forage in vegetated habitat. The propensity of bluegill to forage in vegetated habitat could be genetically linked or related to phenotype . In both cases, fish would not be expected to alter their habitat use in response to the absence of predators over short time scales. Bluegill may also select habitat due to temperature preference rather than foraging return highlighting the potential for mechanisms other than predation risk.
The authors’ bottom line - additional research is needed to determine the pervasiveness of these behaviors and the underlying mechanisms.
One area I wish the study would have addressed in more detail is phenotypic plasticity. That is the ability of an individual or population to change due to environmental influences. Can environmental conditions during early development shape individuals’ phenotypes so they become more adaptive to the conditions they encounter? Were the long bluegill that fed in open water that way because longer fish can swim better in open water and were the shorter bluegill that way because being short allows them to maneuver around the weeds better? Plasticity has been shown to effect sunfish (Lepomis) shape, feeding and behavior in some cases.


Genetic relationships among pumpkinseed
(Lepomis gibbosus) ecomorphs in freshwater
reservoirs of Portugal
Introduction
Morphological divergence in the form of trophic or
habitat polymorphism has been noted in a number of
freshwater species and occurs most often as a result of
low interspecific competition among cohabiting species
and high intraspecific competition within individuals
of the same species (Smith & Sku´ lason 1996).
The time span over which a species diverges into
distinct ecomorphs can vary, however, making it hard
to interpret if the differences have arisen as a result of
sympatry (i.e., within the same geographic range) or
had evolved in allopatry (in different geographical
locations) prior to secondary contact (Rundle &
Schluter 2004). A further complication is that morphological
diversification can also occur rapidly
among co-occurring conspecifics as a result of phenotypic
plasticity and ecological opportunity (Sku´ lason
& Smith 1995). This response is particularly
common for species in deglaciated environments and
in species-poor communities with abundant and
unexploited resources (Smith & Sku´ lason 1996), but
is also a characteristic of expanding and invasive
species (Yonekura et al. 2007; Pilger et al. 2008).
Therefore, introduced species provide good opportunities
to study the onset of contemporary evolution via
means of such rapid diversification (Stockwell et al.
2003).
As a group, Centrarchidae have been highly
successful in adapting to changing environments,
showing a high degree of phenotypic polymorphism
in both their native and introduced ranges (Robinson
et al. 1993; Hegrenes 2001; Brinsmead & Fox 2002;
Gillespie & Fox 2003; Yonekura et al. 2007; Pilger
et al. 2008). Introduced bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
populations in Japan are extremely efficient in
exploiting resources in both littoral and pelagic
habitats of lakes and reservoirs (Yonekura et al.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2011
Printed in Malaysia Ć All rights reserved
_ 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S
ECOLOGY OF
FRESHWATER FISH
Bhagat Y, Wilson CC, Fox MG, Ferreira MT. Genetic relationships among
pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) ecomorphs in freshwater reservoirs of
Portugal.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2011. _ 2011 John Wiley & Sons A&#8260; S
Abstract – High levels of morphological differentiation have been found
among pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus) occupying four habitat types in
Portuguese reservoirs. To investigate the underlying mechanism behind the
phenotypic differentiation among ecomorphs, we used six microsatellite
markers to assess patterns of genetic differentiation among and within eight
naturalised reservoir populations. Greater genetic differentiation was seen
among reservoir populations than within reservoirs (FST > 0.041,
P < 0.002). structure analysis revealed the presence of two distinct
genetic groups among the set of eight reservoir populations. However, an
analysis of co-occurring forms that were identified a priori by their
respective habitats was consistent with a single panmictic group,
suggesting that morphological differentiation has arisen in sympatry (i.e.,
within a reservoir, postintroduction). The observed relationships within and
among reservoir populations, combined with the timeframe of ecomorph
divergence, suggest the strong likelihood of phenotypic plasticity as the
underlying mechanism of diversification in the introduced pumpkinseed.




Edited by ewest (11/28/18 11:32 AM)
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#499056 - 11/28/18 11:47 AM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Jim Wetzel]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 252
Loc: Texas
Tracy is having good success catching the FT LMB while others with FT LMB have expressed concerns regarding their own experience with catch rates. I think it may be interesting to understand the extent to which feed rates affect fishing effort for FT LMB.

Where it comes to FT LMB. It seems to me that one should have a goal as to growth and also as to whether one wants to wean them from feed. To be sure, one can grow LMB more cost effectively on feed than he can on BG. It takes a lot of BG to make 1 LB of LMB but $3 of feed can make the same gain on a small LMB. $3 per pound is very cheap for carnivore production. From the stand point of feed rates, though, one should consider the combined need of maintenance and growth. As starting point, I would propose 1.25#feed/#LMB-year as maintenance and 3#feed/#LMB_gained for growth. Take # to mean lbs not number.

#to_Feed = #LMB*1.25 + #LMB_gain_goal * 3

From this formula, it is easy to see that feed loses efficiency as the fish grow in size and for a given feed rate, eventually it takes all of the feed to maintain the biomass, that is unless, there is some mortality of the FT-LMB. A complete plan would then be to recruit FT-LMB annually and harvest when a target weight is a achieved or a time in pond is achieved. Eventually, a harvest is required if RW and growth is to be good for a fixed feed rate. A plan can easily be put together in an spreadsheet and when one does this, the goals should be met and the expectations satisfied.

Now back to fishing effort. The FT_LMB need to be maintained. If only maintained one can still expect growth in the length of FT_LMB. This means under maintenance alone, RW will decline year after year. This further means that growth must be factored in (for a long term plan)and it is this variable that I think to be most relevant to fishing effort. Under maintenance alone, the fish would be HUNGRY all the time. The key then is striking the optimum balance. How much one feeds beyond maintenance will have the greatest impact on how well they bite. Ideally, one wants acceptable growth and acceptable fishing effort but these two properties occupy opposing sides of a balance.

RW may be the most appropriate indicator of optimum feed rates in the recreational setting. To be sure, high RW will achieve large weights sooner and will be more efficient if weight alone is the objective, like when growing them for market. But who wants a feedlot where the fish are difficult to catch? Perhaps a goal of RW of 100 to 110% is a good goal for the recreational setting but real data could allow one to understand a range of what to expect for a given plan.

Where forum members are keeping records and in particular fishing effort we could gain some insights into this dynamic as it applies to the success of a recreational LMB feeding plan. I would suggest that an appropriate measure of fishing effort for FT_LMB would be Num_Fish/(Density * HR) . Density is the Number of FT_LMB per acre. One needs a means of identifying FT fish as Tracy did by fin clipping.

The Num_Fish/(Density * HR)isn't likely the only factor affecting availability of catchable fish. Also the number of hours fished reduces catch rates per hour as once a fish is caught it will not likely be caught again the same day. So the most appropriate data will limit the fishing time of an outing to some function of the number of FT LMB in the BOW.




Edited by jpsdad (11/28/18 02:21 PM)

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#499058 - 11/28/18 12:58 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: ewest]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 252
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: ewest
The question is why and what caused the bluegill to stay and forage in the plants even when that was not optimum for growth and energy usage (energetics).


There is substantial evidence in the literature that habitat complexity increases standing weights. Generally, it is thought that this arises from an increase in available foods where plants, brush, etc. provide substrate for food organisms. This finding seems to challenge those findings. One possible explanation deals with the environmental factor of space and perhaps even the perception of space. Perhaps the BG were exhibiting territorial behavior and the presence of structure may have reduced the limiting territorial requirement of space and allowed more individuals to survive.

More measures beyond length might be instructive. For example, standing weights, relative weight, mortality rate, etc. It is complex.

Originally Posted By: ewest

One area I wish the study would have addressed in more detail is phenotypic plasticity. That is the ability of an individual or population to change due to environmental influences. Can environmental conditions during early development shape individuals’ phenotypes so they become more adaptive to the conditions they encounter? Were the long bluegill that fed in open water that way because longer fish can swim better in open water and were the shorter bluegill that way because being short allows them to maneuver around the weeds better? Plasticity has been shown to effect sunfish (Lepomis) shape, feeding and behavior in some cases.


Good points. I wonder also whether different prey types and their corresponding nutritional value may play a role. For example, do the open water organisms provide more of nutrition needed for bone growth?


Edited by jpsdad (11/28/18 12:59 PM)

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#499060 - 11/28/18 02:07 PM Re: Observation on Feed Fed Largemouth Bass [Re: Jim Wetzel]
jpsdad Offline


Registered: 05/20/18
Posts: 252
Loc: Texas
Is it difficult to feed train LMB that have relied on natural forage for a couple years (~12" TL)?

If not, would they prefer feed over natural food when release back to their native water or vice versa?


Edited by jpsdad (11/28/18 02:10 PM)

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