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Original Post (Thread Starter)
100% Green Sunfish #368847 03/14/2014 6:30 PM
by snrub
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.

I'm NOT 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.
Liked Replies
Re: 100% Green Sunfish #521164 May 18th a 10:48 AM
by snrub
Just an update to this thread.

A LOT of water has metaphorically (and physically) flowed over the dam since I started this thread and my journey with the GSF therein. If you look on page 1 it was a little over six years ago I started learning about GSF and managing around them.

I can say now that I hardly ever catch one now when we fish this pond. The LMB have cleaned them mostly out and the BG have out spawned them.

Once I introduced LMB large enough to eat them and BG large enough to spawn and not get eaten by the GSF, it became just a matter of a couple of years till they were no longer an issue.

So my analysis is if you are willing to work with them and have the time you are willing to wait (in my case a couple years to turn the pond around), they can be managed around. If you are in a hurry, killing off the pond and starting over is probably a quicker solution.

The key to my success was having available advanced size LMB and BG to stock the pond with. If I had put in just normal size fingerlings the GSF would have just had them for lunch. Fortunately I had another pond where I could easily catch and transfer larger size stocking fish to this old refurbished pond.
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