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Thread Like Summary
4CornersPuddle, anthropic, Augie, DavidDunn, Heppy, jpsdad, KenHorton, RAH, RStringer, Steve_, Stressless, teehjaeh57
Total Likes: 35
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Steve_
Steve_
I was looking through the state records for North Carolina, and noticed that 10 of them come from private ponds/lakes, including: Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Flier, Redear Sunfish, Warmouth, Common Carp, Grass Carp, and White Crappie. It got me thinking about trying to grow one myself.

Has anyone ever tried it?

After thinking about it, the species I'd try isn't on this list, and that's the White Catfish. The NC state record is 13 pounds. The world record is 22 pounds (California). I think it would be a good candidate because it's one of the most misidentified catfish species, and I've seen a couple Youtubers catch a state record White Cat, and unknowingly release it because they thought it was a Channel or Blue Catfish. I'd have to start them out via bucket stocking, which has its own set of obstacles, but I know of a lake that is loaded with them, and I've caught them in the 6-8 pound range before. I think if I could put them on pellets from a fingerling size, I could grow one bigger than 13 pounds. Interestingly enough, White Cats see similar growth to Channel Cats for the first 4 years, before CC take over. White Cats are also in the bullhead family, and don't need special structure to spawn in a pond. I might give it a shot, but its something fun to think about!
Liked Replies
by Snipe
Snipe
Steve, to answer your question about filling out the paperwork for the state record YP, No, I haven't. The reason is I want it to be a friends kid or somebody that doesn't really fish a lot-or doesn't GET to fish much.
I've been blessed with the ability to fish some great waters, where known large specimens swim, and I've held 2 state records myself. I've caught 5 of the 6 YP that bested the record, some by a few ounces, the last by a pound, but our KS state record is only 1.06lbs and 14.25". I think it would be a priceless gift to have a kid get that document and title, I am sure the kids wouldn't care that the YP got bigger because there was some supplemental feeding happening. It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives.
Feed on peeps, Feed on..
7 members like this
by Theo Gallus
Theo Gallus
I am disappointed in Joey Quarry.
5 members like this
by jpsdad
jpsdad
I'm with Snipe. If you want to grow record size fish ... go for it. If your state combines them with public water for records, you are not cheating. You will find that it isn't easy and it takes a lot of commitment to do it. Cheating is when you take unfair advantage but you'll have to work a lot harder and invest a lot more money than a typical record holder who happened to fortunate enough to be at the right place and right time. Not taking any thing away from record holders who achieved a record in public water but few ever do it by "trying to". You have be lucky ... yes mostly lucky ... to do it. How hard is it really ... to land a fish I mean? I could land thousands of records if only I were fortunate to get strikes from them.

Joey, If I had a devil on my left shoulder and an angel on my right ... you'd be one on the left. Seriously smile . But its a bit over the top to lump intensive management as cheating and IMHO it could be harder to grow record fish by feeding them (even if it may be easier to grow trophies in the short run). My way of looking at feed is that its a tool that is very effective at growing fish while adding nutrients to nutrient deficient water. It doesn't take very long for feeding to take water to far down the nutrient loading path ... but I think it has a role to play. I am not afraid to eat fish that have been fed feeds formulated here in the US. In many respects they can be safer to eat than fish that have grown up in the wild particularly in terms of mercury and other toxins. It's greyer than black and white.
2 members like this
by RAH
RAH
The most toxic substances known to man are all natural. Everything is toxic at some dose, including water. It is irresponsible to spread fear without any reputable evidence to back it up. If you are ignorant, then please stop writing about things you know little about. If you are not ignorant, then provide some reputable evidence to back up your claims. If you plan to use internet sites as evidence, then be sure they end with ".edu" or ".gov", or simply conduct your search with Google Scholar to access reputable information. If chemical names scare you, watch out for dihydrogen monoxide!

https://www.lockhaven.edu/~dsimanek/dhmo.htm

BTW - Half of the pesticidal compounds found naturally in food are carcinogenic. The dose makes the poison.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC54831/
2 members like this
by Steve_
Steve_
Originally Posted by Joey Quarry
No, we don't "all" do that. I am sure there are others like me who do not artificially feed or aerate.

The two worst things you can do when you own a body of water are; one, feed the fish, two, eat the fish you fed.

I don't mean to disparage your goals, it just seems like a hollow victory to set a record in that manner.

Ok, not everyone feeds their fish. True. But as a pond owner, don’t you want to grow large fish? I’m confused why you think feeding your fish is a bad thing and why eating those fish is also bad. Like jpsdad said, farm raised fish are way more safe to eat than wild caught fish.
1 member likes this
by anthropic
anthropic
well, I'm not aware of data showing that mercury & copper are at toxic levels in managed pond fish. Blue-green algae seems more of a threat in such environments. But I'm open to learning from factual info on the topic.

As for the morality of feeding fish & setting records, Texas splits records into public and private waters. Apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Selfishly I wish they didn't, but it's probably for the best. I do have some hope of setting a private state record in a couple of categories, if that's something I wish to pursue in future. Right now I'm more focused on just making the pond better every year so my kids, grandkids, friends & other relatives can have a special experience.

As someone who has fed fish for years, I don't view this as immoral, even if it helps set a record. Feeders are expensive & break down. Fish food costs, and involves hauling heavy sacks across treacherous terrain. I love watching them feed & grow, so it's worth it to me, but it sure is a lot of bother with likely no state record payoff for most.
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
I do not feed my fish except a handful every couple days to see some BG feed in only one of my 3 ponds. However, I see no reason others should not feed if that makes them happy. Lots of public waters are stocked with hatchery raised fish. Are those "wild" fish. I stocked my 2nd pond with lots of forage and then added a small number of SMB from a hatchery. If one of those SMB grows to a state record, is that "cheating"? I too have questions about a purposefully bred giant whitetail buck being released and after 3 months and then being considered a "wild" deer eligible for setting a record, but I have developed habitat specifically to encourage deer on my place and try to manage the doe to buck ratio in the hopes of encouraging trophy bucks. Am I cheating too? I certainly draw my own lines such as shooting a bred deer on a small high-fence operation, but as long as folks are honest about where and how their trophy was taken, I guess that it is up to the individual to determine how much they contributed to their own success. Like the common misconception concerning organically vs., conventionally grown food, the misconception concerning the safety of pond-raised vs. wild fish is common. Think about why you find no safety or nutritional superiority claims on organic or wild-caught fish food labels. Perhaps because it is a crime to make false claims on food labels.
1 member likes this
by Steve_
Steve_
Originally Posted by lmoore
Originally Posted by Joey Quarry
Jpsdad, you may want to move me to your right shoulder. The vast majority of aquatic environments in the U.S. contaminated with "Mercury and other toxins" , are contaminated via atmospheric deposition. Have a watershed that feeds your pond?

Your pond, if you use copper based algaecide, is more contaminated with forever chemicals than natural bodies of water in your area. It will be an EPA superfund site one day.

If you eat fish fed from commercially available manufacturers, you may as well season them with aspartame and arsenic then fry them in formaldehyde.

What is in your fish food? Manufacturers know the secret of making fish food. Fish who die, don't have relatives that lawyer up. The protein percentage of your fish food is a mathematical calculation of the nitrogen and to a lesser extent, phosphorous content. How do manufactures "sometimes" increase nitrogen, thus protein percentage? Usually melamine and cyanuric acid. What else is in your fish food? No one knows but your pond water.

Adding nitrogen and phosphorous to your Mercury and copper pit assures future generations will never enjoy that body of water.

You're outdated with your melamine and cyanuric acid comment, but when it was still happening it was more common in ag and pet foods. Season your pork chops the same way I guess.

I think all of this stems from a scare in 2007 when a bunch of cats and dogs were dying due to contaminated pet food and in 2008 when it was found in infant formula and 50,000 babies in China were hospitalized. I was just reading about it. Since then, the WHO has established thresholds for monitoring melamine and cyanuric acid. They’ve done tests where they intentionally fed high melamine and cyanuric acid food to fish to see if affects their meat. In most cases, they only found the residual crystals in the fish’s kidneys and not their flesh. When it was found in the flesh, it was way below the threshold for unsafe consumption.
1 member likes this
by anthropic
anthropic
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Our good friends the Chinese Communists - bringing better living to the world since 1949. smirk

My wife is from Hong Kong, and we have close friends there. What's happening is tragic. Wish the US govt would allow some of the well educated, hard working, freedom loving folks there to come here. They love our country, unlike so many of our own universities.

Anyway, that's it from me on a political topic. I will say that I've consumed fed fish from my waters, and have yet to feel any ill effects. Even fish with pellets in their bellies taste fine.
1 member likes this
by Steve_
Steve_
Yes, it's always about the concentration of such toxins. We eat, drink and breathe in toxins everyday. Take alcohol for example. In moderate doses, especially in red wine, it can be healthy for you. If you drink all day, everyday, expect your liver to give out at some point.

When it comes to fish, same thing. Here in NC, many lakes have advisories about eating the fish in them, specifically catfish. The government recommends not eating more than 1 meal per week of wild catfish, and that pregnant women and children shouldn't eat any of it. Like alcohol, I'm sure if you ate catfish 3 times a day, 7 days a week, you might get sick from it.

We shouldn't stop breathing just because there's CO2 in the air.
1 member likes this
by Bill Cody
Bill Cody
Drinking too much water (numerous gallons) in one day can kill you. As RAH says dosage is critical.
1 member likes this
by Steve_
Steve_
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Drinking too much water (numerous gallons) in one day can kill you. As RAH says dosage is critical.

Oh great, now we got fear-mongering to get people to stop drinking water laugh
1 member likes this
by jpsdad
jpsdad
Originally Posted by Snipe
It's purely the moment in itself that they (and I) will remember the rest of our lives...

In the end, the legacy that really matters are memories. Making shared memories worth remembering is one of highest pursuits one can undertake.

On another tack. I would like to address feed quality. It's a challenge to produce feed that meets the nutritional needs of fish and every species has differing nutritional requirements. To be sure, fish feed is not gluten and melamine. Snipe is currently conducting a trial that is demonstrating that fish convert feed very efficiently. The results thus far indicate that feed formulated for centrarchid predators converts comparably to dried fish. It's hard to argue that anything is better for fish to eat than other fish ... so I am not trying to say that fish feed is equivalent to 100% dried fish ... rather ... I am saying that these feeds are pretty darn good at providing nutrition to centrarchid predators.

As always there is a balance with me and just like drinking too much water can kill a person ... too much feed can also kill a pond. One of simpler ways to gain a sense of this nutrient addition is just to equivocate the feed with dried fish. If equivalent, the wet weight of dead fish fed to a typical 1 acre pond (at 50 lbs feed over 5 months) is 1250 lbs wet weight fish. This is three times the standing weight a fertile pond carries. One question that comes to mind is whether one year of feeding in combination with liming can transform a pond of low fertility to one of acceptable or high fertility? Another question is how long can one sustain this level of nutrient addition without causing severe problems such as excessive primary production (vegetative growth), fish kills, etc.? The question is not yet answered but it is one that I am deeply interested in understanding. When I have my pond one day, I want it to be one that my great grandkids could enjoy into their later ages. Far too little concern about the nutrient loading effects of feed prevails ... but like RAH ... I respect the rights of everyone who choses a long term path of nutrient addition and control. Even so, I will follow RAHs lead, example, and approach to pond management with only one exception (I will make a focus of population control). Are you concerned about adding too much feed to your ponds nutrient reservoir? If not, then you might possibly make the mistake of drinking too much water as well.
1 member likes this
by jpsdad
jpsdad
I didn't mean that there was no population management through harvest in your ponds. What I meant is that I see myself taking population control to the anal extremes in the early going shocked . I'd be cheating nature by disallowing natural recruitment of LMB. I am sure I would eventually tire of that and transition into something around managed recruitment like your ponds are now managed. I can tell one of your focus goals are populations that work together with recruitment. I'd just probably try to see what can be accomplished without reproduction of the apex predator before I transition to that.
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
So I went to the conclusions of the very first of your citations which essentially says the compound is safe at approved doses. As I wrote "the dose makes the poison". We eat thousands of natural compounds safely every day which at high concentrations cause adverse effects. Insinuating that this citation backs up any assertion that this compound is unsafe as used in feed is fear mongering. If any of the other papers suggest that current approved uses are unsafe, please feel free to repost those. And as your last citation shows, even a required nutrient like iron is toxic if ingested at very high concentrations. Risk = Hazard x Exposure.
1 member likes this
by anthropic
anthropic
Another question that needs answering: How much of the feed is actually consumed by fish? Geese are a serious problem at times, and even turtles can take a toll. Feed that floats seems especially prone to these issues, as does increasing fish vulnerability to herons when the wind blows pellets toward shallow shore water.

Does night feeding help with this? Would more sinking pellets, which contain less fat & thus may help fish health & longevity, be a good choice? Interesting.
1 member likes this
by Dave Davidson1
Dave Davidson1
Agree Theo, it is rare that we get rudeness here. If it continues, it won’t continue very long.

Cool it JQ.
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
I have a small (<0.5 acres) pond that is very infertile. So much so that my lotus is struggling to survive and no longer even exists where it was originally planted (keeps migrating). Even the emergent plants are colonizing very slowly. I have no submerged plants at all. There is some water color due to algae and I have stocked only FHM and lake chubsuckers. Some leaves blow in in fall from trees back maybe 40 feet to the south. It is almost completely spring fed. My plan is to let the pond develop slowly on its own. I have done the same for my previous 2 ponds and multiple wetlands. I do transplant in a few marginal and emergent plants, but then let things develop on there own, with some management like cattail and willow control. For me, this is part of the fun, but my goal is to produce wildlife habitat that requires minimal maintenance. I also want good fishing for kids and a few trophy fish to entertain adult guests. Still watching the SMB grow in my 2nd pond and it will be fun to see how big they get. There were 10 stockers each from 2 different hatcheries which hopefully instilled some hybrid vigor, but they could be of similar genetics.
1 member likes this
by jpsdad
jpsdad
Quote
But the fertility seems to have helped plants, especially the naiad, far more than the planktonic bloom. Even with periodic liming & fertilization, my average visibility is probably around four feet. Three feet is unusually good.

Three to four feet is perfectly OK in my way of thinking. To be sure, it won't grow as much lettuce and the standing weight will likely be less as a result but probably not as much as you might think ... (more on that later). But as long as the reason for that clarity isn't an excessive stand of submerged veggies ... you would be in the sweet spot at that level secchi depth. There are benefits to high secchi readings, among which are better water quality, greater night time DO, enhance visibility of prey, etc. Fish grow well and live long under such conditions.

Think a bit about why the bloom was so intense after killing the naiad. The naiad had starved out the zooplankton that utilize micro-algae to point their population was very low. When the naiad died, the phytoplankton could respond more quickly than the zooplankton. So it got ahead of the zooplankton which likely later caught up with it.

Frank, a person cannot really tell how productive water is by secchi alone. There are a number of proposed reasons for this but among them are two worth noting.

1. Community structure may be such that phytoplankton consumption is very high that it is efficiently grazed. The production of phytoplankton can be very good even while the standing weight of phytoplankton is very modest. Think a pasture with cows. The height of the grass isn't really an effective indicator of how much grass was grown ... the reliable indicator is a combination of what weight of cows were carried and how much they gained.

2. Alternate primary forage is produced. So when clarity is high, the sun penetrates to greater depths and support communities of periphyton that contribute to the primary and secondary trophic production that support higher organisms.

Consider this excerpt on fish standing weights where trophic status was determined by available nitrogen.

Quote
Lastly, in the case of the22 lakes studied by Kautz (1980), his plot of sport fish biomass versus trophic state as determined by total nitrogen content did indicate a downward trend for hyper-eutrophic lakes. However ,when he grouped the lakes by trophic state he found that the standing crops of sport fishes for oligotrophic, mesotrophic/eutrophic, and hyper-eutrophic lakes were 52, 89, and 65 kg⋅ha–1, respectively, but these values were not statistically different from each other.

So what does this tell us? Sport-fish can be grown to comparable biomass density in Oligotrophic water. What a lot of people don't get is that the standing weight of prey fish is primarily composed of adults that are relatively safe from predators. The apex predators benefit only marginally when eutrophic conditions prevail ... certainly not proportionately to the increase in primary production.

Just some food for thought.
1 member likes this
by FireIsHot
FireIsHot
Steve, TX has 4 options for state records which I think is very fair. Conventional tackle records, and fly fishing records for both public and private waters. Just an observation, but the vast majority of records come from public waters, In fact, last time I checked, there was maybe 1 or 2 fish that bested the public water records, and they were south TX tilapia where temps normally don't hit a critical point for them. There are very few rules for public/private conventional tackle records. Fly fishing requirements are more detailed, and fair play is primary. No minnows hooked to a fly, scents are allowed, actual factual tied flies and fly rods, etc.

I have 3 species targeted for TX private water fly rod records, and have bested the state records on 2 of the 3, with neither claimed. I'm 1# short on LMB, but I do have them roaming around the big pond, so I just need to spend more time and effort late next winter and early spring. So having been targeting these fish for a while, I would rate HSB as the easiest record to break, with LMB second, and CNBG being the hardest. None of the fish I caught were at weights that I felt warranted a state record. 10#,2#,10# are my personal goals, so I'll keep trying until my pond records meet my expectations. At that point, I'd claim a state record. If not, I'm ok with that also.

Finally, TPWD has been dealing with both public and private ponds for years, and are well aware of what pond owners invest in their ponds. They're certainly not naive, so they fully expect pond owners to throw $$$ at their fish. Regulating that would be impossible, so few restrictions exist. Having said that, few pond owners that have contracted biologists, spend inordinate amounts of money, or are wanting to keep their successes private, DO NOT claim state records. Esshup has a friend that lives a few miles from me, and his fly rod LMB pond record is 3# more than the current state record. I've fished an unmanaged 35 acre pond south of me that's pulls multiple 10# LMB every year, with 16# being the record. Also pics on my phone of 2.5# CNBG(not mine). You can hear crickets chirping when their ponds are talked about.

Steve, go for it.
1 member likes this
by Steve_
Steve_
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
For the record, I have always fed my fish, my cattle, my dog, and my kids.

In that order, right? wink
1 member likes this
by Augie
Augie
Running joke here for the last 20 years... the horses and dogs eat better than the people who feed them...
1 member likes this
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