I would like a second opinion on the pedigree of this fish (linked below). I am guessing 100% pure GSF. About 4.5-5" long.
Caught this out of our old refurbished pond last night while waiting to see if the FHM's would come up to the bank for some feed. Fortunately this is not out of our main pond.
I have made references in the past to this pond in previous threads, but here is a refresher. Pond was an old maybe half acre cow pond for watering livestock that had the dam broke and was nothing more than a puddle in the latest drought. I cleaned it out all but a tiny puddle in the middle that had some minnows (about the size of gams, but never identified them) and once in a while could see something a little larger moving. Maybe a yellow bullhead or GSF? Did not know. I had not discovered PBF at that time or probalby would have nuked the puddle. But I did not. Cleaned the pond out all around the puddle and expanded it to near an acre. Pond filled and I added a small amount of FHM year ago last March, 10 5-6" BG last summer and 125 3" RES late last fall.
I fear esshup's warnings of his experience with two ponds, RES and green sunfish in one of them will come to fruition. I'm afraid the RES will not stand a chance at recruitment.
If only I had found PBF earlier. If only. Oh well, when life throws you lemmons, make lemonaide.
going to nuke the pond now. I have a 3 acre pond to play with and this old pond was just an afterthought anyway. So I am determined to manage it best I can to make it something other than just a pool of water with some fish in it. Who knows, maybe it will just become a kids pond with lots of GSF that are easy to catch for my three smallest grandkids. But I am going to try to avoid that.
I think the RES that I put in should have been big enough to escape predation by any GSF that would have been in the pond. Likely, based on what I could see in the puddle, the GSF would have needed to be tiny for the most part so I don't think they could have got to size to eat the RES. I would guess this one GSF I caught would be the largest size, and it could not get a 3" RES in its mouth. So at least I should have the original 125 in there, even if the GSF eliminate any RES recruitment. The BG were put in the pond early enough in the summer they likely would have gotten off a spawn, although I have not done anything to verify that.
So here is the question, assuming I am NOT
going to nuke the pond now. What would be a good course of action to manage around these GSF best I can? I had envisioned a mostly RES heavy pond and introducing just enough predators to keep the BG from over populating. If the GSF got a head start, from what esshup has conveyed in his prior experience (if I can find his post on that subject later will try to link it here), that likely will not happen now. The GSF will outrun the RES and wipe out any potential recruitment.
My initial thought is to go catch a bunch of 6" BG out of my main pond and put them in this old refurb pond, with the intention that if a population of sunfish explosion is imminent, I would rather it be BG than GSF. Then later put in adequate predators to controll the sunfish. Yesterday I caught 8 6" BG and about 7# of FHM from my main pond and transferred to sons pond. FHM were going crazy and in 30 minutes would fill up my minnow trap half full when I put a dozen floating pellets in the trap. BG were biting well for about an hour then backed off. Grandkids (sons kids)are supposed to be here today after school to "help" with stocking of sons pond by catching BG. Son's pond
So I think I could get some adult BG in there for recruitment to maybe over power the GSF population.
This is not a high priority pond. It is my experimental pond. It does not have to be perfect. But I would like it to be something other than just a GSF overrun pond. This may be my "Jon Monroe" pond where it evolves into different things.
Welcome suggestions or ideas as to what would be a good management option to manage around GSF, as well as confirmation on the fish really being a GSF. Open to suggestions as to what would be a good "goal" for this pond.