I know this has been discussed some previously, and at the Ga meeting we talked about it some, but I wanted to get as many different opinions as I could prior to making a decision.
BACKGROUND: The lake in question is ~15 acres in a residential neighborhood, is 13 years old, and currently contains LMB, CBG, RES, Threadfins, and grass carp. When I took over management of the lakes, this one was typically bass heavy with bass stunting in the 10-12" range. Since then we've removed a lot of those smaller bass, implemented a slot limit (remove LMB 8-14"), and improved the food chain by stocking ~5000 4"+ CBG (over 2 years), 2500+ 2-3" RES (last year), and threadfin shad (2 years ago). The shad have taken hold pretty well, but I'm concerned that a bad winter will wipe them out, being as I'm towards the northern edge of where threadfins can safely be stocked. Also, like many folks, we have a hard time harvesting enough bass to keep things in balance and losing all the shad at once would probably set our progress back quite a bit.
With all this in mind, I'm considering stocking Golden Shiners, for several reasons:
- First, they'd give me an additional forage source, and one that will be slightly larger and meatier than threadfins as my average bass size gets up closer to 3 lbs.
- Secondly, they'd be winter resistant.
- Third, while I discovered at the Ga meeting that Golden Shiners are nest robbers, further research has led me to several people who said that the majority of the nest robbing is of LMB nests not bluegill/redear nests, and if that's true then I'm fine with that.
So, does anyone have any experience along these lines? Any evidence of whether Golden Shiners can reduce LMB recruitment, and/or whether they influence CBG/RES recruitment? What about recommended stocking rates?