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4CornersPuddle, Augie, azteca, CityDad, FishinRod, John Kruid, RAH, RStringer, Snipe, wbuffetjr
Total Likes: 25
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#527676 11/17/2020 7:39 AM
by Snipe
Really can't find a good place to put this so it's going here!
Aquaculture permit obtained, I'm going into the fish business and opinions/ideas are welcomed on several aspects of this.
I've brokered fish for several years helping folks out. I've spent 31 years now working closely (learning) with/from folks at the State level and find myself planning more and more pond projects for other people, which has led into "what fish do I want".
I've found in the areas I frequent there is a demand for certain species that are either too far away to be practical or Fish farmers aren't handling but few numbers of certain species.
I have had this idea since building my first pond but needed to get away from the 1957 standard textbook thought process to see it. I may be loosing my mind but I feel like there is a hole that needs filled with Pumpkinseeds and SMB.
I've read in so many places where SMB reproduction is very limited and unstable, but I also know WAE are unstable, nearly impossible-at times. It seems forage fish always bring out conversations of differing thoughts. There appears to be an interest in some of the shiner and minnow species, that for reasons I believe I have not discovered yet, are not common. I want to leave that window open as I'm still finding more and more supporting data on one of the species I've been playing with already.
YP have me really confused, but interested in pursuing them to a larger degree.
Back to step one, I'm planning the addition of 2, 1/4ac ponds slightly uphill adjacent to my main pond location. I'm trying to engineer a wetland area between these 2 new ponds and my main pond. My thought process is that I can utilize nutrients from rearing ponds and provide a cleaned up, non-waist water use for my main pond (insert suggestions here).
Engineering firm retained for help and showing up Thursday to discuss and tell me my ideas won't work.
So many things to consider.
One thing that is important to me is do 1-2 fish, not 20, and do those 1-2 very well. Small scale, High quality.
Who knows, if this works it would be am honor to become a member of the resource guide right here.
Comments very welcomed and thanks for listening!
Liked Replies
#528939 Dec 17th a 03:33 AM
by Snipe
This afternoon I met with GMD4 board in executive session and after 2-1/2hrs they decided the industrial permit will be issued on the basis of no provisions being included in the LEMA allocations to say it can't be done.
Not going to lie, I've spent the last 2 weeks prepping for what I knew might not be possible in a IGUCA (Intensive groundwater unit control area). It took the Lawyer setting in to explain they could not help but allow my request because the language was not written in to the LEMA program.
I got it, it's mine permanently but will never be granted again in a LEMA district.
I got lucky but it's done.
3 members like this
#542514 Jan 1st a 11:09 PM
by Snipe
Hey all, Happy New Year!
Just another boring update, but I feel like I've abandoned this place as of late!
I've been heavily involved in trying to play catchup to be ready for SMB tank spawning and I'm 30-45 days behind.
I have spent a massive amount of time with our Black Bass experts with the state and once again, what I know about WAE means nothing... :-))
First issue that had to be addressed was tank color-yes, Tank color.. An 11 year study showed the blue tanks to cause higher pheromone levels than any other color tested!! So... why are "most" aquaculture tanks molded in blue?? As it turns out, this changes with the species, who knew??
The challenge has been finding a paint that sticks to polyethylene and is not toxic. That hurdle is crossed-finally.
Filtration was another issue of concern and after expecting to use sand filtration I found that is not really a good thing either with high solids, so... The filter media I settled on is a high-tech, high flow media that does not compact under any circumstances yet clears water very well and supports about 200 times the bacteria that sand/gravel will.
Best case would have been to have all breeders inside in October but due to many roadblocks and shipping issues, I'll be looking at possibly mid January depending on weather.
My filtration system rolls total capacity once ever 2 hrs and goes through 2 UV sterilizers before returning to tanks.
My Water heater is capable of raising temp at a rate of 1 deg per hour and is controlled by digital control pad setting and timer. This should allow a nice 1 deg per day change if required, or 3-4 degs if I want. This has been tested already so I got that much figured out.
Feed tank is 5.5' X 12.5' and 20" deep. I totally redone this fiberglass tank and finished it out with epoxy paint, 2 new belt feeders and 4 divisions for sorting fast/slow growers. Test #1 for feed tank is going to be the hatching tank for YP ribbons placed on spawning mats.
Racks are made to hold 12 spawning mats inside Feed/hatching tank.
The majority of what I'm setting up is for SMB... Yes, it can be used for others but I cannot begin to understand the complexity involved in a multi-species, high reproduction facility..
I went to the trouble of fin clipping for DNA testing and chose to cull 1 fish that didn't line up with my target DNA so I felt pretty darn good about that considering the money spent and after probably close to 45 phone calls throughout the USA, 1 fish farm confirmed they knew what Majority DNA of their stock was and this is a bit different than LMB. There are 4 variations that are recognized in SMB as separate SUB species. My DNA matches closely to that of the world record variant, which means nothing other than potential and the 2 year growth rate is slightly better than the more southern relatives-opposite of what one would think.
All in all, it's been a huge challenge, it's- so far-rewarding and very humbling in realizing how much is yet to be learned about this one species.
Anyone ever comes through this way, I'll sure put ya to work!
3 members like this
#529729 Jan 17th a 02:45 AM
by Snipe
Just a quick update on my progress here.. First, I gotta say thanks to Bob Lusk for allowing a link to my new site in my signature and looks like I'll be doing some business with Lusk as he also has a couple of tanks I need so Had to give thanks for that! Great guy he is..
I got word that I will be put in a 5 year "proof period" on my water use. Basically what happens is beings I was given 15 ac ft of water for this, If for example, my highest annual use is 9 acre ft, then 9 ac ft becomes my new water right, so I was advised to pump 15 ac ft my first year reqardless of whether I need it or not to "proof" the requirement.
I don't like that so I elected to amend my application to add 2 more ponds/cells to my existing application so I'm not just waisting that water.. I can fill in what I don't continue to use.
Thanks to a suggestion from Bob, I've made contact with an apparently little known source of a very highly guarded genetic line of true, Kentucky strain SMB, been looking for this for years.
So.. in order to get this all started, the first year has to be on a temporary permit guarded by the guarantee that my application is approved, which is very weired in how this all works but I'm ready to dig, finally.
Engineering the plumbing for all of this has been a challenge as has looking forward at fish feeders and power being supplied from A to B. The newest challenge is aeration to all of the new cells (Highflyer, I need you buddy!).
Can't imagine the "unforeseen" items I haven't accounted for yet. :-))
2 members like this
#541431 Nov 17th a 07:01 AM
by Snipe
Overhead doors officially installed.. 1 check of 3,498 left.
Things I've learned over the last 6 months...
#1, If you think it's easy... strongly reconsider.
#2, If you think you can save them all... strongly reconsider.
#3, If you plan to raise 3 species, build 27 ponds.
#4, When planning a building layout before construction, draw it out, double the size then build 3 more buildings the same size.
#5, when you hear someone complain about the price of fish, just laugh, obviously they've never done it.
#5A, when you hear someone complain about the price of fish, hang up...
#6, when all else fails and it seems like the end is near, tune in to PondBossLive on FB Wed nights and let Bob rekindle what started it all in the first place.
#7, if you think it's easy... I got news for ya!

Not to be a poop, but I bit off WAY MORE than I could handle. It is coming together piece by piece and I've lost 132lbs (not really-gained 6), my wife has helped with this venture so much she can now sex SMB very effectively and is no longer afraid to thumb-lock a walleye. I had no idea what I was getting into.. I've hauled eggs to state hatcheries for 31 years, seen every contraption built to propagate fish and yet I find I continue to find a way to pay (as Lusk says...) the "dumb tax"..
A 1-man show requires many supporting actors, and therefor if you find yourself alone the show is over with. :-))
Like a bull, I charge on forward!
See ya tomorrow TJ!
2 members like this
#542811 Jan 10th a 05:40 AM
by Snipe
Originally Posted by azteca

Wow, that involves a lot of research what you do.

Some questions if you want.

Do your YP and SMB larvae stay in the tanks or you send them to a pond prepared in advance.

The SMB larvae must be like the YP larvae the first days if there is non living they let themselves die.

If you leave the larvae of YP and SMB in the tanks I suppose you pump the Zooplankton from a small pond prepared with a bloom full of Zooplankton

Maybe you have other ideas.

Everything related to the first days of larvae interests me.

I see you are staying in Kansas it's hotter than here for the Zooplankton.
Azteca, fry are removed from hatch tank at 48hrs from sight of first hatch and transferred to fertilized pond. Whatever hatches in that first 48 hrs is all the fish that go into first growing pond. Next 72 hrs go in 2nd pond, third 72 hrs go into 3rd pond if hatch lasts that long. At 21 days a sample is taken and average length taken. when fish average 35-40mm They are seined and moved into feed training tank. Belt feeders are loaded and fish are fed 24/7, sorted every 5th day per size and separated into different containment structures in feeding tank. 3" is the goal in training tank. at this point fish of slightly differing lengths can be put together in ponds ready for constant pellet feeding.
I have a chance to gather perch ribbons from my grower in Colorado this coming spring as he tosses literally thousands of these up on the bank every spring because they lay the ribbons on our trap nets and nearly cover the traps every morning. These will be my test subjects on my new spawning mats. I don't know yet how the size will compare between the 2 when the SMB reach 40mm, but if YP are not much bigger I may try to feed train some together.
2 members like this
#543933 Feb 11th a 06:42 AM
by Snipe
A few pics of the more interesting things...

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The "Place"....

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
2 members like this
#527718 Nov 18th a 06:20 AM
by Snipe
Originally Posted by esshup
Ken, a great idea!! One thing to think and plan for is how to harvest, and how to hold the fish for sale. Also, what type of sales. Pick up only? delivery only? Ship fish only? Or a combo of any/all of those?

This is something I have actually thought about, and I'm sure you have as well. I/we can't control what happens to those fish on the way home if someone picks them up. In the small market I'm playing in, I might be taking it too far but I believe there needs to be some QC through the entire process and that includes the introduction to the pond itself.
People are people and I know someone is always looking for an excuse as to why the fish didn't make the trip, I've been there myself but I was also able to recognize and identify the issue, so with that said, you bring a good point to the table.
I am putting up another building and will have holding tanks. Species type and number will be a factor in how I address that of course but inside tanks are planned for scheduled orders.
Design of ponds is definitely being considered for catch/harvest methods. I've been talking with some of our hatchery techs to get a good hold on design options/ideas.
1 member likes this
#527831 Nov 21st a 07:58 PM
by jpsdad
I had hoped to see a few more posts today, but not along the turn this took.

Ken, given your goals this is going to be a lot of fun for you where winning is the only outcome. Looking forward to following your experience and learning along with you.
1 member likes this
#527862 Nov 22nd a 09:38 AM
by Dave Davidson1
Dave Davidson1
Texas has an Ag exemption but it is for crops or livestock. Then we got the opportunity for a wildlife exemption and I sold my cows and horses. Now, there about a half dozen things that I can do but only have to do 4.

I provide supplemental water for wildlife. That's my ponds.
I build brush piles for small animals to escape predation.
I provide supplemental food. That's generally a wheat patch when we get rain. I also feed the deer a lot of corn, put out bird houses and have bird feeders.
Do a wildlife census using game cams. I load up my annual report with pictures. I
I also load up with pictures of kids that I take fishing, hunting, etc. That' not one of the requirements but I figure it helps.

Without the exemption my place would be taxed almost like city property.
1 member likes this
#527929 Nov 23rd a 07:37 PM
by azteca

I am very interested in what you want to do. I will follow your work.
I would like to do the same thing here with the Yellow perch and Smallmouth bass.

1 member likes this
#529760 Jan 18th a 04:50 PM
by Bill Cody
Bill Cody
How much would you pay for a "trophy" fish, let's say a LMB over 5LBS.

Here is the value or cost to produce a 5 pound bass. New information available indicates that to grow EACH pound of bass it takes more than 10 pounds of forage fish; more like 20 to 30 pounds of forage fish to grow each pound of predator (Beasley PBoss Mag Sep-Oct 2020). . So for average I will use 25 pounds of forage fish to grow one pound of LMB. Fathead minnows (FHM) cost around $12 per pound. Thus 5lb bass X 25 lbs of FHM = 125 lbs of FHM needed to grow this 5lb bass = $1500.00. If we use the old standard 10lbs of forage for each pound of bass then the amount of FHM would be 50lbs of FHM X $12lb = $600.00 for the 5 lb LMbass.
1 member likes this
#529763 Jan 18th a 07:55 PM
by FireIsHot
Originally Posted by Snipe
If you don't mind a slight hijack.
I've a question for you and everyone else around.
How much would you pay for a "trophy" fish, let's say a LMB over 5LBS.

That would be dependent on genetics and at that, a 5lb LMB isn't going to be cheap, probably a 100$+ or more.
I've never search for or tried to purchase anything like that but generally larger fish are by the pound.

CityDad, just to put some cost perspective and possible time table for raising "trophy" LMB...

These were 5" to 6" LMB (20 total), and were added on July 9, 2015 to my hatchery pond. The pond had an existing Population of CNBG of various sizes, and 30# of FHM's were added. Initial forage cost was $300.
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

50# of late season 2" to 4" tilapia were added. For my 1/4 acre hatchery pond, that works out to 200# per acre. Tilapia cost was $500.

118 days later.
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

LMB were pulled at 2# to 2.5#. The LMB were pulled in January for 2 reasons. 1) They were grown to be survivable when added to my big pond, and I wanted them stocked and settled in before spawning season started. 2), No readily available properly sized forage would be available for several more months. So I was halfway to 5#, and I'd spent $800 to feed 20 LMB for a little more than 6 months. That's $40 per LMB, and still a ways to go to hit 5#.

189 days later.
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]
Attached Images
1 member likes this
#529945 Jan 23rd a 12:34 AM
by Snipe
On to other items..
Continuing with the plan, I have TH feeders lined up to provide consistency in feed delivery, I've yet to decide on what I will be using to fill the feeders with but I'm slightly biased in my choice of what I feed my main pond with and with plans on number of fish I won't be buying "pallets worth" at a time. It will be more expensive but I'd rather pay a bit more a bag and not have feed left over at the end of each year.
Ponds will have floating docks in the middle of each run that are extremely portable if needed, and can be easily pulled for seining purposes.
My plan for these docks is so I can more easily utilize cage pens for containment.
I'm going to have a couple of pens set up in main pond for holding small numbers of larger specimens but I want to maintain the best quality on the water of that pond.
My original forage pond is between new cells and main pond so I've decided that cell will become my "wetland" cell.
In a State project last year we planted some river bulrush to get an idea as to how fast it spreads/how invasive it may be and we've determined rather quickly that it spreads incredibly fast and is not a good candidate for another community project we completed last year so we are using common, soft stem bulrush and some sedges in the wetland area there.
I'm going to start a massive effort to establish sago pondweed in this cell also and hopefully use it as a nutrient burner. The River bulrush will be topped when it reaches 2-3ft and allowed to grow back to remove instead of recycle nutrients continuously. This will also possibly be a good shrimp cell and possibly a shiner variety I have not settled on yet because the water will be continuously in motion (circular) by design. That may well change by the end of next fall also, this is something my biologist wants me to try-we'll see how that works.
The upper 3 cells will gravity feed to wetland cell. Depending on how this works, wetland cell water will be mixed with well water and ran into main pond at any ratio I choose at the time, or, it can be moved back to upper cells if quality is such.
1 member likes this
#539877 Sep 18th a 03:01 AM
by Snipe
I haven't done a very good job of keeping this updated but I'll try a bit here..
This summer has kicked my butt.. Too many things all at one time-I bit off too much...:-))
Building is about done but the overhead doors are on back-order. Was told yesterday mid november which creates a problem I have NO CONTROL over.. Going to be hard to move Tilapia inside and save them with 2 big missing doors.
Need to figure out how to heat incoming well water a bit and various other items that I'm running out of time on...
Red shiners and Bluntnose has exploded beyond anything I could have imagined, my 18 SMB cost me about 800$ to get my hands on the purest strain of Tennessee SMB I could find after some DNA work but it'll pay off in the long-haul. All of my females are 16-18" Dale Hollow smallies and I'm hand feeding 2-3" BG to those, mixed with 25-30 good sized craws a week and (interestingly) they love BF tadpoles.
Rusty, circulation is provided by a parallel garden hose shooting volume and pressure spray. Nedoc sent me some video of how his SMB were reacting and it flat out works to bring smallies in to hit anything that hits the water including Optimal bass pellets. The smb breeder pond is the only one I'm doing that with right now but I think I'll be setting up the smallie growout pond to do the same. I thought I might have to do this to get reds to spawn properly but they do just fine on gravel, rock, weeds, wild millet-doesn't seem to matter.
1 member likes this
#543979 Feb 12th a 02:36 AM
by Snipe
Originally Posted by azteca

Thank you esshup, it's the first time I see those mats.

Does it work well.

I have questions about that, but I don't want to pollute is post.
I will make another post.
It is said to be much higher success rate vs allowing them to spawn in pond.
The Mat is called Spawntex and is available in several aquaculture specialty shops.
Most all reproduction facilities use the spawtex mats- because they work extremely well.
1 member likes this
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