Pond is 17 years old and I do not feed. In addition to removing 60 BG per year, 10 or so LMB below 14" are also removed. RES are released. I have a lot of plant cover. I remember a very small pond (about 1/10th acre) that a friend had with lots of big LMB. It was full of weeds and had lots of frogs. I do think that my high frog population also helps my LMB grow. I have quite a few water lily beds especially in a shallow area that was purposely constructed to allow plants to grow as cover for small fish. Beaver hammered the lilies a while back, but the beaver are all gone now (neighbor trapped them out). I also had a lot of curly leaf pondweed in another of my ponds (also about 1 acre) which I think helped the forage to flourish and grow nice SMB. The pondweed now seems almost gone, perhaps due to papershell crayfish, so things may change. Hopefully, the larger YP, GSH, and lake chubsuckers will be spared and keep producing young for the SMB. That pond has a rip rap jetty that I made to help the crayfish. I only started with 20 SMB (10 added in each of 2 consecutive years) which no doubt helped them grow fast. They have also spawned. My goal was to establish nice fishing and wildlife ponds through habitat construction, fish species choice, and removal of fish through angling. My neighbors and friends help with the latter. Its just a hobby so I try not to let setbacks get me too stressed. I had two cases of partial winterkill in my LMB pond, one of which killed off all of the CC. Snow on ice can be a problem without aeration, but I have too many wildlife-habitat projects underway to do everything that I might like to do. My third pond is awaiting more plant growth before stocking predators, and my 4th pond is awaiting Spring to finish completion.