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4CornersPuddle, jpsdad, Steve_
Total Likes: 5
Original Post (Thread Starter)
Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526302 09/25/2020 10:34 PM
by Fyfer123
Hi everyone,

I have a 1 acre brown trout pond in Ontario, Canada that accidentally got LMB from a neighbor bucket stocking it. I have discussed the problem a lot here: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=509811&nt=4&page=1

Anyways, the bass added (approximately 3-5) were probably 1-2lbs when the neighbor put them in. They spawned last summer and there are now lots of bass ranging from 4-10" in the pond. There is no forage to support the bass since it is a trout pond. I am working on a solution to the problem but I have an interesting question about the adult bass that were added.

I caught what is likely the biggest bass in the pond a few weeks ago while trout fishing. It was around 1.5-2 lbs. If it is big enough to eat 5" bass, why is it not bigger, considering that the pond has hundreds of little bass that school in the shallows? You'd think the adult bass could simply eat as much as it wanted, yet it isn't all that large. Is it simply that this isn't the best climate for bass to grow big? There are some local lakes with 4lbs bass, maybe even bigger if they are true trophies.

If anyone knows the answer to this question, since it's been interesting me for a while, I'd really like to hear it.

Liked Replies
Re: Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526329 Sep 26th a 02:42 PM
by 4CornersPuddle
What Snipe said +1.
And, do you have pic or two you could post?

If it were my pond (I realize that it's not) and my main focus and goal were having trout, I'd almost ignore the bass. Or in other words, I'd:
1. Remove any bass that I thought could eat newly stocked trout but retain the bass that were of intermediate size to eat smaller bass. I'd watch to see that my bass were continuing to grow very slowly.
2. Feed the trout quality fish food to supplement the few invertebrates available to them after the smaller bass clean them out.
3. Consider adding other piscivorous trout in addition to those fish eating browns, for example tiger trout and lake trout.

There is a recent thread or maybe two that have discussed bass only ponds, both smallmouth and largemouth. From what you are seeing so far, it seems to me that you might be able to consider your pond to be largemouth only, but with the bonus of trout that are nearly independent of the bass. Carrying capacity, of course, is a consideration.

Excuse me that I've forgotten your goals for the pond, and if there are any other fish in it that you want to manage.

Yours sounds like a nearly unique situation, and a worthwhile experiment.
1 member likes this
Re: Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526316 Sep 26th a 04:04 AM
by Snipe
I may be wrong but as I followed your other thread I felt this could be a problem. LMB will eat about anything and for darn sure, each other, but in cooler water than what they normally thrive in their metabolism is much slower, they don't eat as often and just aren't as active as a bass in 78-88 deg water. The only real way to know if your bass are maintaining the required input is get a length in mm and a weight in grams. When we plug those numbers in we'll know if weight is above or below average for that given length of fish, which will tell us either it'd eating what it needs or it needs to be eating more-it's a very simple answer there.
The answer may not be what you want to hear but it "may" answer a few questions.
1 member likes this
Re: Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526361 Sep 28th a 11:30 AM
by jpsdad
Originally Posted by Fyfer123
. Anyways, is it possible for the bass and trout to have almost no effect on each other, considering that the trout are inactive when the bass are active?

It is not possible that these two species co-exist without an interaction. I would bet that there are few minnows now and that minnow are well on their way to extirpation ... if not already. So already there is the interaction where the LMB are likely outcompeting trout for high quality prey. But the web is more complicated than just that. It is possible at the YOY LMB are interacting with other players helping the trout. For example if they prey on a competitor of the trout. Examples may be crayfish or leeches which would prey on amphipods and insects a major food source of trout. There are interactions ... there is no getting around that ... but it is difficult to know or predict exactly how that will influence things. For example how it may affect the carrying capacity for trout or trout ultimate weights.

The good news is this, of all different species that could have contaminated your put and take trout fishery, perhaps the LMB will be the least interactive and detrimental. Put perch, pumpkinseeds, or BG in ... the trout will feel it and it would not be good for them. Also, it wouldn't help the LMB as much as one might think.

Originally Posted by Fyfer123
. For example, the trout are just beginning to bite but the bass have stopped feeding almost entirely. That will be a key understanding for managing my pond.

From a management perspective, just as 4Corners mentioned, you have two fisheries coexisting. A trout fishery and an LMB only fishery. Were it me, I would manage the LMB fishery as a pan fishery that can supply a harvest of small fish for the pan without greatly impacting the (put and take)/(catch and release) trout fishery. I would harvest any LMB > 8" and less 12" and would probably also harvest any LMB > 15". Don't release any LMB in your slot and let them become difficult to catch. Let the LMB reach capacity annually and then crop them back as much as fishing is capable. It's sounds like you are enjoying this unplanned journey and so maybe this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise that extends your fishing season and provides some treats for your table as well.

Just a quick question, do I have to have an imgur account to see the pics? Also, are people having trouble with the forum's image hosting? I have no issues with it and forum hosted images are never lost or blurred.
1 member likes this
Re: Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526383 Sep 28th a 11:27 PM
by Steve_
There haven't been any pics added, just links to pics. Here are Fyfer123's pics he added on 9/26, of his trout and his pond:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
1 member likes this
Re: Small bass but "unlimited" food? #526392 Sep 29th a 01:39 AM
by jpsdad
Hey thank you Steve_ for getting the pics up. Very nice Fyfer123 ... both fish and pond!

Snipe, thanks for your comment also. I don't think I'll go to the trouble getting an imgur account now.
1 member likes this
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