Pond Boss
Posted By: Snipe New Venture! - 11/17/20 07:39 AM
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!
Posted By: anthropic Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 08:10 AM
Hybrid stripers, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed all of interest. I like tiger musky, too, but they are hard to get hold of. Grass shrimp seem to have a ready market as well.

Best of luck!
Posted By: RAH Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 08:35 AM
Blue catfish and lake chubsuckers are also often hard to source.
Posted By: RStringer Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 03:18 PM
I will prolly be of no help to ya. More than happy to be a customer thou. How many acres are we talking about to play with? +1 on the forage fish (grass shrimp).
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 03:27 PM
RS, I have 25 acres of open flat that drains into a dry tributary that hasn't had any flow in over 100 yrs I'm told. It's been dry for so many years it's all crop and pasture land.
Posted By: RStringer Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 03:41 PM
What about shad? I have looked for them before. Seems like they want you to spend thousands of dollars on forage. My budget does not allow that. If they could be grown and sold in smaller amounts it would be very nice.
Posted By: Funky Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 04:20 PM
As you are in Kansas, and i am in Michigan, i can only comment of the need. Pumpkinseed is one i wish I could get, but is too far away to travel to get IF they would sell to an out -sider. it sounds like a great idea to keep one busy, and I hope great success! Hope to read more of you quest, maybe more of us might venture a bit down that road, good luck!
Posted By: canyoncreek Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 05:57 PM
I am also in Michigan.

I would highly encourage Lake Chubsuckers. They spawn on vegetation in very clear clean water. They are desirable in many ways. Would love to source some without a long drive.
Spotfin shiners are hardy, pellet trained (out of the box), fun to watch and easy to maintain. They reproduce readily with a little coaxing and proper structure. They ship easily even at larger sizes.
I also would like to source Pumpkinseed. They are native in lakes in MI but local fish farms don't seem to think they should stock or sell them.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/17/20 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
I am also in Michigan.

I would highly encourage Lake Chubsuckers. They spawn on vegetation in very clear clean water. They are desirable in many ways. Would love to source some without a long drive.
Spotfin shiners are hardy, pellet trained (out of the box), fun to watch and easy to maintain. They reproduce readily with a little coaxing and proper structure. They ship easily even at larger sizes.
I also would like to source Pumpkinseed. They are native in lakes in MI but local fish farms don't seem to think they should stock or sell them.
I am raising Spotfin now but obtaining stock is like pulling teeth through a knothole with tweezers.. I have not been able to determine yet if I had a good hatch or not-I have confirmed reproduction-but how massive I don't know yet. I know it takes a ton of time building CD structures and tile structures suitable for spotfin.
Bluntnose I have had fantastic reproduction from and even the red shiners have produced. I have found also that it's fairly common for reds to cross with gsh so I don't know how that will work, long-term.
Posted By: Bobbss Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 02:36 AM
No matter what fish you decide on I think it is cool that you're doing it. I like the idea of Pumpkinseed, but I also think some sort of Pumpkinseed hybrid would be interesting to. Something that looks a lot like a Pumpkinseed but gets bigger.
Posted By: canyoncreek Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 02:47 AM
In one of my old threads I posted some pictures of some BEAUTIFUL Pumkinseed/BG hybrids. They were very nice size (larger than typical pumpkinseed). It would be neat to work with PS and try to hybridize them with BG or even RES. RES do not do well in the far north. I need to try to dig up that thread.

I'm curious what other water conditions, (pH, hardness, clarity, calcium content) might relate to spotfin success. Our lakes do not have them here and I'm not sure why. They seem to to love my pond and reproduce like crazy and I have only a few spawning structures. This year I took out my spawning structures and so very few egg remnants on them. Yet I have had at least 2 crops of tiny SFS. I'm thinking they just find their own crevices and go to it. I did change my big square foam insulation turtle floats for a more natural looking large floating section of tree trunk this year. I figure the logs look more natural (my wife likes that look better than bright green grass carpet on a foam square). The logs required a little bit of foam insulation board under them as they water logged and started sitting lower in the water. The turtles seem to like them just fine and all the natural crevices in the wood hopefully are what the SFS used to lay eggs this season.

I am still trying to figure out how to trap them at will to share with others. They don't seem to readily enter into standard minnow traps. They come into the shallows in huge numbers at night but spook away pretty easily with any light source. Since they have no fear when pellets are available I'm wondering if I could create some type of enclosure that could be remote control from a distance closed and I could use repeated feeding of pellets to come into the enclosure opening while feeding and then close the exit (or rapidly lift the enclosure up out of the water with some long handled device?

Not sure what you mean by 'tile structure'
Are you doing reproduction trials in an indoor tank our outside in a pond?
Posted By: canyoncreek Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 02:52 AM
OK found the past post with the pictures. At the top of this old post was a new Michigan record HBG if I recall correctly (the news article called it a 'sunfish record') Scroll down (or probably at this link if it works) you will see nice examples of PS/BG hybrid that were very nice. I believe they were caught in the spring while on the beds in a lake about 60 miles south of Grand Rapids nearer to the Indiana border.

PS/BG hybrid pictures
Posted By: 4CornersPuddle Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 03:09 AM
Kenny, I'm merely an 8 hour drive west of you. I'll be gassing up the truck as soon as you say, "Pumpkinseeds are ready".

What a great endeavor to pursue, this move to aquaculture. If anyone could be expected to succeed in this, I'd say it would be you.
Posted By: Bobbss Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 03:34 AM
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
OK found the past post with the pictures. At the top of this old post was a new Michigan record HBG if I recall correctly (the news article called it a 'sunfish record') Scroll down (or probably at this link if it works) you will see nice examples of PS/BG hybrid that were very nice. I believe they were caught in the spring while on the beds in a lake about 60 miles south of Grand Rapids nearer to the Indiana border.

PS/BG hybrid pictures
Thanks for the link, very good looking fish!
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 04:03 AM
Ken, I think this is great. I am thinking you have a good source of water from Ogallala which is a very good asset to have. I remain amazed at the amount of forage your pond has produced as evidenced by the growth of your fish. Everything you are thinking about has potential though I really favor the red shiner and those beautiful crayfish you've been growing.
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 05:56 AM
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?
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 06:09 AM
Thanks for the input guys..
Those familiar with the Ogallala aquifer know how water works with DWR and KS Dept of Ag. You don't get to pull water from the Ogallala for commercial use other than Crop farming. I'm lucky being that I'm in heavy irrigation use area but the closest farm use well is 2.1mi from my well, 2 miles or within is a No-Go for surface water.
The guys I've been working with at the state level are being very supportive of my wishes and are quite happy to help.
I'm excited to start this even if it is on a small scale, it opens the door to a more broad learning experience, but as mentioned above I want to focus on quality of a few species vs quantity of many.
The forage options are many and I'm weighing my decisions on available data and first-hand experience of a few folks along the way.
I'm torn by the complexities of some species and the ease of raising others, but if they are easy I see no need to fill a void that doesn't exist because blind luck works most of the time. That's not the niche I'm looking for.
I have to weigh things like spotfin, for example.. is the average guy going to build proper spawning structure for this species? Probably not, which reminds me canyoncreek, the fact you have provided a "treebark" type structure is the key to what you are seeing based on research I've done on this species. There is a fair amount of data that suggests high numbers of spotfin have been sampled in areas with large timber that still has the course bark in tact. I've found this in several locations where this species was present in the same locations commonly, even though they were not the target species of the sample efforts.
Red shiner: why if this fish is so common in so many areas, is it not more readily available? Is it desirable by predators? Why have so many bait shops quit handling them? What I've been able to dig up on this appears to be a problem with ID that "could" lead to an accidental introduction of other species that truly are invasive. I find Liability seems to be one of the issues and surprisingly the maximum size of Red shiner seems important, which is seldom over 2.75". I've found more data recently that shows red shiner are very well accepted and utilized by many predator fish but they do not provide feed for 8lb LMB. That's a problem I welcome. The reproductive rates of reds are quite attractive to me and they are known to prosper in less than ideal conditions. It's very obvious to me this species can fill a niche in the food chain and withstand high rates of predation, so they are a stepping stone for growing intermediate fish that will transition to larger prey at some point.
So, how do I choose YP, SMB or Pumpkins..??? I like to see hybrids, PSxRES or BG either, very cool but what about the effects of continual crossing turning into undesirable characteristics? F2-on and on.
I have been very quiet about an experiment that took place this last spring that proves you can mess with mother nature but she can throw you a wicked curve. This would be a good place to spill the beans.
This last April I fertilized walleye eggs with YP spermatozoa and incubated in my house. I'm not going to get too specific on the details but I was able to get several hundred to hatch. Upon realization they were hatching, I contacted the right people to take the fry in less than 2 days and care for them at the hatchery where the actual experts had a chance at making it work long enough to get some data. Last week there were 13 fish left and are all inside under observation. We know now that WAE and YP will not successfully cross and live but I'm guessing somewhere, somebody already knew this. Some took on mostly WAE characteristics, and the majority that looked more like YP were obvious mutants that were not going to survive. There is no evidence or data to prove this has ever been achieved to this level.
Moral of the story?? I'm not sure what that is, but genetically it can't work is what I'm told. So I don't know if I want to wash the genetics from a pure strain PS only to end up with something similar to BG that doesn't really go anywhere.
Which brings me to SMB. I know of 2 strains of SMB that exist and I'm sure there may be 3 or 4, but the 2 I have found data on are the northern strain, commonly called the Erie strain and the more popular Ozark strain. I have the Ozark strain, which is what Hartley fish farm sells. I wanted the northern strain because I have data from our SW hatchery that specializes in Black bass that tells me the northern strain obtain a larger size, quicker in the central US than the Ozark strain does. Always a catch 22 and that is the Ozark strain is shown to handle lower water quality better, enter the pond environment most commonly compared to the large clear O2 rich areas the Northern strain does best. Our Black bass expert in KS suggested I cross the 2. So here we go again, how long will those genetics hold out?
Ok, I've rambled too long, but thanks for listening to my thinking out loud, I am really excited to make this happen, just not sure what "this" is yet!
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 06:20 AM
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.
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 10:30 AM
I like the KS idea of not pulling water for anything but farming or personal use. I wish Texas did it. Lots of rural wells around my area of North Texas have gone dry due to oil companies use for injection drilling. Some of those home wells have been used for many years for peoples ranch homes. Now they have to haul water for home use. Luckily my well is on a thin seam and shallow. When dug, it produced 1/10 gallon per minute but I pump onto a 2,500 gallon tank. It's probably improved since then but is what is considered a weak well. In Texas, there will never be a law that prohibits the oil companies from anything.

Good luck with your new venture.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/18/20 01:18 PM
Originally Posted by Snipe
Thanks for the input guys..
Those familiar with the Ogallala aquifer know how water works with DWR and KS Dept of Ag. You don't get to pull water from the Ogallala for commercial use other than Crop farming. I'm lucky being that I'm in heavy irrigation use area but the closest farm use well is 2.1mi from my well, 2 miles or within is a No-Go for surface water.

I wasn't so familiar with the Ogalla to know it is this tightly controlled. I shouldn't be surprised but just thought you would have access.
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 11/19/20 01:48 AM
Quote
going into the fish business
I think by business that you plan to make money on the work involved venture (hobby). If that is the case, then you should determine the market demand and profit potential for whatever you decide to raise. You might be able to grow lots of crop but if you can't sell it for a profit then is it just anymore than a pastime hobby?. Pastime hobbies are good to have but often they do not qualify as a profitable business unless one loves what they are doing and any income from it is considered a success despite it being an overall money loss.

Building ponds even small forage ponds is fairly costly. Gaining that money back would require selling a significant amount of product / crop. Is the long term repeat sales market there,,,, for example similar to fish farms selling FHM? FHM sales is a huge repeat profitable business for most sport fish farms. Marketing sometimes is needed to convince pond owners of the need to have your product / crop instead of the "commonly available species". Why is your product better?? If you grow a specie/s that is/are not readily available and yet desirable and you make it available to a large area of the country then this becomes a better business model.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/19/20 06:42 AM
Very much to the point Bill, and you are correct in that I have already accepted the input will be much greater than the return monetarily. It is very much a hobby, one I hope to continue. If I can fill a need while getting an education I would consider that a success. As for "long-term", that's a good question and one of the reasons the folks I work with at the state level are supporting me in this. By keeping that door open and working with them with proper permits, I may have the opportunity to obtain species not available in other situations, one being Saugeye. They stock these in fry form only but have a need for several hundred intermediates every year that logistically, doesn't work with hatchery space. Is this a target? It could be if my payment for growing out low numbers means I get a few hundred for payment. Not really my goal but something I've already discussed with them.
I can also tell by your comments that I need to give this more thought as to whether I should even try this. I guess we all measure success differently but the only down side I see is more hands-on.
Now I feel like I'm defending what I want to do..
Tomorrow I'm meeting with the engineering firm to try and get some help putting my desires on paper.
Posted By: teehjaeh57 Re: New Venture! - 11/19/20 08:00 AM
I missed this! Let’s talk - been down this road I can identify my many challenges and the few things I got right. Happy to help.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/19/20 12:46 PM
Quote
Very much to the point Bill, and you are correct in that I have already accepted the input will be much greater than the return monetarily. It is very much a hobby, one I hope to continue. If I can fill a need while getting an education I would consider that a success. As for "long-term", that's a good question and one of the reasons the folks I work with at the state level are supporting me in this. By keeping that door open and working with them with proper permits, I may have the opportunity to obtain species not available in other situations, one being Saugeye. They stock these in fry form only but have a need for several hundred intermediates every year that logistically, doesn't work with hatchery space. Is this a target?

Ken, I think you were to do this you would sell out every year. The demand for non-reproducing fish that are of advance fingerling size is good and the supply of saugeye is nihil. The challenges here is fish density and feeding them to an advanced fingerling size. If on natural foods, the limit for most predators is around 400 lbs/acre. But if feed trained the density can be much higher which is what most hatcheries do for raising advanced fingerlings.
Posted By: anthropic Re: New Venture! - 11/19/20 11:27 PM
Snipe, I suggest you breed a super aggressive musky that feeds preferentially on black feathered birds, if you know what I mean. Huge demand, every pond owner will want some!!!
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/20/20 01:43 AM
I need to make a clarification here, This venture is not supporting me financially. I'm supporting the venture. Profit is not my goal, learning is, and I hope it helps someone else in the process.
Posted By: Steve_ Re: New Venture! - 11/20/20 02:59 AM
Blue Cats! Very hard to source outside of TX from my research.
Posted By: Sunil Re: New Venture! - 11/20/20 02:38 PM
Good luck!!
Posted By: RAH Re: New Venture! - 11/20/20 02:57 PM
If I ever am able to source blue cats, I may be able to share them locally if they spawn. My pond for this has been slow to develop plant life and after that, I want to move some mussels in from another of my ponds.
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 07:17 PM
To all of the nay sayers above. BS, Nothing gets in the way of the petroleum industry in Texas. And my place is in the area. I feel fortunate that my well is a shallow well that only produces 1/10 GPM. In the area there are rural deep wells that have produced for many years. Injection drilling takes a LOT of water. Coincidence that they went dry when the oil companies started deep drilling/ You would be the only one that believed that.
Posted By: TGW1 Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 07:36 PM
Here in Texas alot of the money spent on ponds come for oil and gas companies through one way or another. It pretty much effects everything. Real estate prices lows and highs are due to the oil and gas industry. Look around, if the oil and gas industry is good and stable properties prices go up when it slows down prices come down. You here talk about shutting things down like fracking. But our US economy is based on oil and gas. Look around, most everything you touch is made with it. And where do people think the electricity for their elec cars and the light in their homes comes from? Natural Gas for the most part. What powers our factories, our schools etc? There are always a few bad things mixed with the good things. Today they build lakes and ponds that gathers rain water for their water needs and then the landowner has a pond or lake.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 07:58 PM
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.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 08:39 PM
Wow... Not sure what to say.
I can't speak for any of the above statements made by others but I will say this: If you are not familiar with GWMD4 in Kansas (not knowing who you are), I would say maybe you are not up to speed on the recent LEMA implementation and the fact there is NO allowable use of water from the aquafer in this region for surface water-period. I'm working directly with the agency that controls this action, the supervisor that has full authority to sign the actual allowance and I served previously on the board that makes the recommendations TO the agency. I helped write some of the programs.
If you know something different, Please PM me because I have the secretary of KDWP, The head of Kansas dept of Ag and the GWMD water district 4 board working hand-in-hand with me on this and there is NO way around this fact and there is NO allowance for surface water rights without pulling allocation from an existing Crop well water right.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 08:43 PM
Off topic post - deleted by author.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 09:04 PM
FishinRod, all due respect, this thread was not to argue about who uses what water. I've never deleted a thread of mine on this forum but I'm about to.
If you want to post about who took what from who, please start another thread.
Posted By: Bobbss Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 09:13 PM
Snipe, not sure if I missed it but when do you hope to break ground on the new ponds?
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 09:18 PM
Originally Posted by Bobbss
Snipe, not sure if I missed it but when do you hope to break ground on the new ponds?
I have executive session with GWMD-4 on Dec 16th. If appropriation is approved, I'm cleared to start any time after that. I can actually start digging now if I want but thought I should at least wait until water is approved for the add-ons.
Posted By: FishinRod Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 10:28 PM
Snipe said,

"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."


I have a similar situation on my land where I would like the upper ponds to filter water for the lower main pond. Did the engineering firm support your ideas? Did they propose any innovations that you had not yet considered?

P.S. Good luck at your water appropriation meeting! As usual, it's all about the water!
Posted By: FireIsHot Re: New Venture! - 11/21/20 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by Snipe
FishinRod, all due respect, this thread was not to argue about who uses what water. I've never deleted a thread of mine on this forum but I'm about to.
If you want to post about who took what from who, please start another thread.

Kenny, please don't delete this thread. It's very rare that we get an opportunity to follow a long term production project like this, and it needs to run it's course even if the results are good or bad. Nobody wants to read a novel that has the last chapter missing, so don't let one page of disagreement on this thread trump the value of the long term benefit to all.

Having said that, I'm sure all the water talk is over with. Right guys?
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 11/22/20 07:08 AM
Since I raise fish in the pond, I am considered an Aquaculture Facility, and since I am an Aquaculture Facility, I fall under the umbrella of Agriculture and get a tax exemption on the property the same as a farm would. Ken, since you will be selling the fish at some point, that makes the pond different than a "hobby". Maybe that is the direction you need to take??
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/22/20 07:12 AM
Bill C., any idea what adding (over abundant) perch ribbons would do for forage potential in 1 of the runs intended for SAE grow out? with both species hatching at near the same time, is it likely this could go the opposite direction?
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/22/20 07:14 AM
Originally Posted by esshup
Since I raise fish in the pond, I am considered an Aquaculture Facility, and since I am an Aquaculture Facility, I fall under the umbrella of Agriculture and get a tax exemption on the property the same as a farm would. Ken, since you will be selling the fish at some point, that makes the pond different than a "hobby". Maybe that is the direction you need to take??
I'm going to have to.. I have to go commercial to keep the water right, exactly.
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: New Venture! - 11/22/20 09:38 AM
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.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/22/20 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by Snipe
Bill C., any idea what adding (over abundant) perch ribbons would do for forage potential in 1 of the runs intended for SAE grow out? with both species hatching at near the same time, is it likely this could go the opposite direction?

I know this question wasn't intended for me but I think the concerns are warranted if they hatch near the same time. Many predators hatch sufficiently before their primary prey to gain sufficient advantage to overcome competitive pressure through predation. I don't know the relationships between WYE and YP let alone how the Sauger crossing affects this timing. But it seems that to be ideal the YP need to hatch such that their size at hatching is at (or probably preferably below) the optimum size of prey the SAE need. If they are larger than this they will represent competition that will impact the SAE growout.

In general, for advanced fingerling production of primary predators, predators that become piscivorous early in life (e.g. at length ~ 2"), the presence of fish prey (fry) is very important for maximizing production (unless you will be feed training), lengths, and survival. I have additional thoughts if you are interested.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 12:45 AM
jpsdad, I'm always interested in what you have to say. Please feel free to suggest away.
I discovered something last spring that brought me to this question above. I can obtain 5 gal buckets full of ribbons 2-3 weeks after SAE hatch has occurred. I wondered if that was too close. I guess a lot will depend on health of SAE fry at age 2-3 weeks.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 02:05 AM
We have yet to discuss the goal of the SAE grow out but it would seem to me that the most important one to be met is the mean length at the end of grow out. I am thinking this is most important because the SAE will be introduced into environments with existing predators after the growout.

I figure you have a plan already of what the fry density (of SAE) will be and these will be stocked in a freshly flooded water (two weeks prior) and fertilized (probably by organics). When stocking newly hatched fry for the purpose of advanced fingerling grow out, getting the number just right can be tricky. If you have to many fry survive, then the lengths will be shorter, too few, you may not grow as many as you could have. But if minimum length is critically important, you may want a two stage process where you grow out and collect a specified number of stage one fry.

In a scenario where both YP and SAE are both introduced as newly hatched fry, it will be doubly difficult to predict the number of fingerlings (both YP and SAE) that will be present at the end of growout ... so just something to think about. If minimum length is important, the numbers must be controlled on the back end or there is no control at all. A first stage fry (1.5" to 2") stocking will help you control the back end as their survival is far more predictable.

So this brings me to my next question. Is your plan to also grow some fingerling YP too or is the motivation solely to provide food for the SAE?
Posted By: RStringer Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 03:39 AM
I wish I was smart enough to help ya. My thoughts just being the simple minded person I am is this. I know I know not another idea but here goes. Your 1st post says your thinking 2 ¼ arce ponds. Have ya thought about 3 smaller ponds. That would give you a whole new options. They could be connected when wanted to move from one another. Could use some kind of pipe between them with grating so that can size them. Only smaller fish could stay on one side of the pond. Or it could be closed off completely also.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 06:30 AM
Rusto,

This is not a simple minded idea IMO. Two really good ideas. One for the extra water body and another for the drainage set up. Particularly if one is raising advanced fingerlings on forage these are superb ideas.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 06:48 AM
The out loud thinking was the SAE feeding on the YP hatch. I have massive production of YP in my main pond and I've pulled about 500 YOY at 3" the past 2 years. I still have to keep in mind my balance attempts have left large holes in both SMB and YP intermediates. Culling will be an extra token on those.
My biologist that I work closely with feels I need to have my forage (FHM, BNM, SFS, etc) in 1 pond and concentrate on 1 species in the other. The SAE will not be an every year deal so... I'm considering SMB and Tilapia in cell 2 for next spring.
RS, a 3rd cell, even a 4th is always a possibility. With each cell, more engineering has to go into a larger, more effective wetland for help with water quality which exposes more and more water to evaporation. Calculations right now are about 3 ac ft per 1/4a cell per year.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 07:38 AM
OK. Just wanted to be sure.

Is the wetland something you want to improve water quality (e.g. to compensate for not being able to exchange water)? Or is the state requiring that you treat discharges from the facility?
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 08:05 AM
You may not need the forage pond to be as large as the second 1/4 acre cell. But bigger may be better and the SAE shouldn't go hungry with that provision.
Posted By: azteca Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 07:37 PM
Hello.

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.

A+
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 11/23/20 08:56 PM
For general information, Yellow perch at hatching (yolk stage) are 5.5-7mm long and full fin development is at 8.5mm. Walleye fry at hatching begin feeding at 8.5-9mm long and after 21days are around 30-31.5 mm long which is 3.6 times longer than YP fry with full fin development (8.5mm). Walleye fry after 20-25 days should be able to consume newly hatched YP fry. If one could hold the YP eggs at a low temperature to slow hatching time and allow WE fry more time to grow at 1-1.5mm/day, the WE late larvae could more easily eat newly hatched YP. The study of low temperatures on the hatching success of YP eggs by Dr. Willis et al and reported in Pond Boss magazine (Mar-April 2010) that cold temperatures did not significantly reduce the YP egg hatch and fry survival.

YP eggs were gathered from lake water at 54F and the temperature was dropped in two tests; one at 11F to 43F and the other test dropped 14F to 37F for two days. Neither test showed a significant loss of hatching success compared to the control eggs at 54F. They then tested the temperature drop on the newly hatched YP by dropping the temperature by 6F and 13F from a starting temperature of 51F. No effect was noted for survival of the YP fry both control and test fry showed 91% survival.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/24/20 01:11 AM
In that issue Bill, does the article give hatch time from egg laid to hatch, or how much delay there was? I'll have to buy the back issue and read, that's very interesting.
Posted By: azteca Re: New Venture! - 11/24/20 01:58 AM
Hello.

Also we can use the latecomers ribbons, in the spring here the perch started 3 April until 10 May, more than a month after the first ribbon.

Every spring I throw dozens of yellow-perch ribbons of eggs so thousands of larvae that could be used as food.

A+
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/24/20 02:46 AM
There may be some relationship of degree-hours or degree-days where storage at some temperature can provide the desired delay.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/24/20 04:44 PM
The location I get my perch from is 2,000' above me in elevation and I think I have a way to make this work.
His perch don't start blowing ribbons until about 2 weeks after our artificial hatch of WAE/SAE.
I know last spring he had ribbons showing up when I started seeing a couple of SMB on beds at my place, so up to 5 weeks after..
I'm at the southern end of the egg take so I have the earliest window and one that could be easily missed.
If nothing else, it provokes thought.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/24/20 06:27 PM
5 weeks sounds much better to me than 2 weeks or 3 weeks.

From sound of your last sentence, are you having second thoughts? What I would suggest is to do the old Ben Franklin close on yourself. On a sheet of paper, draw line right down the middle. On the left list upsides, on the right list the downsides. Try to give metrics to these. When you are finished your path should be clear and you can make the decision with confidence.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 12:30 AM
If I get approved for the water, I feel this first year it may be best to stock a few pounds of FHM and try the Perch ribbon idea before I invest a tremendous amount of "I can do that"..
I'm not having second thoughts but I do want things to work in a proper manner. One season to verify system check may be the best choice starting out. With good recording of data I might better be able to determine timing, size and abundance instead of the easy guess method..:-))
I can't really see a disadvantage to having a bumper crop of YP. Seining every 20 days or so may give me a good idea about what the available size structure may be, maybe... In the second pond with proper FHM reproduction I believe I could plant SMB fry in mid June and see what I get for a fall harvest next year. I still have my forage pond to supplement (forage) if needed.
I think.. and please add comments-that this is a better approach than "assuming" "X" can be produced.
With this at least I can start to grasp real production potential, and, the fish produced will be sellable.
Posted By: RStringer Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 01:07 AM
Just mainly out of curiosity. How close will these ponds be from each other? Will you be able to move them from one another if wanted? I was mainly thinking of forage fish being able to move easily. We will be needing some before pictures of the area also. Wish I would have took some pictures before my pond was dug in the 1st place. I see no reason not to do this. Like you said your not doing it to make a profit. There still no reason you cant make bk some of your money. And stoke your hobby at the same time.
Posted By: azteca Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 01:37 AM
Hello.

We know that the eggs hatch a few days after the first hatching can trigger a lot of canibalism.

So next spring rather than throwing away thousands of eggs, I will hatch them in my small pond 1 or 2 weeks after the first hatching.

Since they are attracted to light they will be an easily accessible source of food for the fry.

I can't wait to try this.

A+
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 01:38 AM
SMB fingerlings are pellet trained way much easier compared to reliably producing the eggs and fry.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 02:04 AM
Originally Posted by Snipe
I can't really see a disadvantage to having a bumper crop of YP. Seining every 20 days or so may give me a good idea about what the available size structure may be, maybe... In the second pond with proper FHM reproduction I believe I could plant SMB fry in mid June and see what I get for a fall harvest next year. I still have my forage pond to supplement (forage) if needed.

Hey I didn't realize you have a forage pond in addition to your fishing pond. How big is it?

Quote
I think.. and please add comments-that this is a better approach than "assuming" "X" can be produced.

Do mean that discovering the yield on the your planned treatments above is better than assuming x number of Y-type of fish at Z lengths can be produced? To be sure, the results of your treatments will give you a baseline from which you can base future expectations. Also data and metrics that you might manipulate in future treatments.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 03:39 AM
Existing forage pond is roughly 2400 sq ft.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 11/25/20 03:45 AM
Originally Posted by Bill Cody
SMB fingerlings are pellet trained way much easier compared to reliably producing the eggs and fry.
I'm very interested in trying to feed train some of these. I've not tried this with SMB, only read where you've done it. snrub has his pounding those golf ball sized optimal hand throw pellets and that just kills me. I can't get mine to train like that. I don't belive he caged his either, they just started taking feed and progressed from there.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 12/12/20 05:17 AM
Next Wednesday I go in front of Ground water management district to see if I can make this fly..
I've spent a fair amount of time putting a presentation together. I do have other things in the works on this and I've been looking around at different options. One that comes to mind is feed training SMB. I received a quote today for 3000 2.5-3" coming in at $9,000.. I'm having some trouble with this figure. "IF" I have 65% survival, I have 4.50 each invested per fish before I add 1c of overhead costs.
I don't know what feed trained SMB go for but where they are available to me for purchase in non feed trained condition, it's 1.50/inch, so is 12 bucks for an 8" fish reasonable?
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 12/12/20 03:26 PM
The cost of seed is just too high IMNSHO. Think about HSB which are available for .20 cents each for heavens sake. It's like they want all your profit without doing any of the work. Its 3000 fingerlings, for heavens sake.

I think 12 bucks exceeds the price of your competition for feed trained fish. So it depends on convenience, expertise and other factors. Maybe you should go into the business of providing 2" to 3" fingerlings for .75 cents to a dollar and show that supplier where greed leads. In your 1/4 acre you could produce >17000 fingerlings for less than $100 in organic fertilizer. How hard could it be? So even if the crop "failed" and you got only 3000 2"-3" fingerlings ... it would still be worth $9,000 over purchasing from that supplier.

One of your 1/4 ponds could grow the fingerlings. and then at harvest, transfer its water to the other pond (filtering). Retain 3000 fingerlings for growout in the other pond. Market the rest of your fingerlings. For those buying in volume (probably other fisheries suppliers for growouts), cut them a deal and price the smaller volume stuff like LMB fingerings. Within a few years, I bet you will sell out annually.

Allow the fingerling production pond to dry and grow something else in it for a second crop in the same year.
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 12/12/20 06:22 PM
A supplier in Ohio sells 3"-4" SMB for $7.99 ea and 5"-7" for $10.99 ea. They may or may not be feed trained. That is retail price.
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 12/12/20 08:03 PM
The difficult part of raising SMB is getting the fry. In my experience after fry stage, raising them is fairly easy; probably almost easy as BG. TJ does this on a regular basis. Check in with him for advice. Pellet raised SMB are valuable items. esshup's note of smb 3"-4" $8, 5"-7" $11 is the delivered price (JonesFish).
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 12/12/20 10:45 PM
Bill:

With Jones, I have not seen a different price list for the fish that you pick up from them - they have fish days at their Ft. Wayne office. Is there a different price list for fish pick up? I know they have "free" fish delivery if orders are over $300, but the price per fish doesn't change.
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 12/13/20 02:48 AM
esshup - you are correct. At their prices it does not take a lot of fish numbers to reach $300.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 12/13/20 02:48 AM
I had found that as well. That price anyway, I did not find that it said included delivery. I did find 3$/mile loaded or down to 1$/mile if combined orders were made with other clients.
I can buy fry from the same supplier but not fresh fry. He will separate at 1" at the same price per inch. For his area, this is about the first week in July.
I'm feeling strongly that I need to find a supplier of true northern genetics that will allow me to purchase 1000 or under and pick them up myself, whatever the cost. Keep 10-12 for grow out and see what I have for genetics. I know I have the Arkansas strain but we're seeing better recruitment out of the northern strain in a lake close to me that these were introduced into the impoundment about 7 years ago now. Doesn't matter if I can't find any I guess..
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 12/13/20 02:52 AM
Try Gollon in Wi. https://gollonfishfarm.com/

What about Hartley's?
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 12/13/20 02:53 AM
This is from Bill Hartley..
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 03:33 AM
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.
Posted By: Bobbss Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 04:08 AM
Congrats Snipe!
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 04:34 AM
Originally Posted 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.

WOHOO!!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 11:16 AM
Originally Posted 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 ...

This is great news. Congratulations!
Posted By: ewest Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 05:59 PM
Send them a thank you note !
Posted By: teehjaeh57 Re: New Venture! - 12/17/20 08:09 PM
Originally Posted 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.


Congrats Kenny - let's start digging!
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/17/21 02:45 AM
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. :-))
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 01/17/21 04:15 AM
It's all coming together. Great news Ken and great website too!
Posted By: CityDad Re: New Venture! - 01/17/21 10:00 PM
Dude this is awesome.

It is so frustrating trying to find a place to purchase fish to stock a pond in central florida I'm thinking of doing some fish selling myself in a year or two. I just now found a Shiner/Minnow supplier still can't find a local bluegill or LMB suplier.

For now gonna enjoy the lake I just bought and daydream about turning some of the land into private grow out ponds.



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.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 02:41 AM
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.
Posted By: LouisStewart Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 12:52 PM
I completely agree with you .I believe that it is lake chubsucker that should be found in your pond, this confirms the demand in the market.
Posted By: RAH Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 02:41 PM
I moved a few LCS from my 2nd pond to my 3rd pond which only has FHM in it. Not sure if they spawned yet, but at least they don't have any predatory fish to worry about yet. Plant life has been establishing very slowly in the clay pond bottom. Even a lotus is spreading only slowly. Eventually, leaves from nearby trees will increase its fertility, but the only blow in with a strong southern wind. Still searching for a blue cat supplier for Indiana.
Posted By: Bill Cody Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 04:50 PM
Quote
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.
Posted By: FireIsHot Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 07:55 PM
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]

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LSL LMB - 01-14-2016.jpg  (308 downloads)
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LSL LMB - 11-04-2015.jpg  (308 downloads)
Posted By: teehjaeh57 Re: New Venture! - 01/18/21 08:34 PM
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.

I'd say at least $50/lb considering the years of time, effort, and resources tied into a 2-3 YO LMB for a small hatchery operation. I think Cabelas and BPS pays significantly more than that for their aquarium fish.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 12:49 AM
FirelsHot, What genetic line are those?? #2 and 3 have some eye-popping characteristics that really stand out as different to me.
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 06:13 AM
FIH, VERY pretty fish!!
Posted By: TGW1 Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 12:14 PM
Great job Al. I have seen simular my first year of my pond. I called them jumpers because not all of my lmb sampled had that kind of growth which was 3lbs from a 2" fry in 10 months while other lmb were at 13" and a little over a pound? Did you see the same thing with your grow out pond? If that's the case, then I would think cost for a 5lb'er might be even more. I would also expect to see maybe half of those lmb are males and may not ever grow to 5lb's.
Posted By: FireIsHot Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 12:18 PM
Kenny, they are Lone Star Legacy LMB from Overton's, but back then they were named Camelot Bells. They're 100% pure Florida's, that were breed for growth rate and aggressiveness. They do look a little different than most LMB, but I'll let the guys that stocked more of them pass on all the marking details. I got them because I desperately needed some new genetics in my aging big pond, and I'll probably get some more this year.
Posted By: FireIsHot Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by TGW1
Great job Al. I have seen simular my first year of my pond. I called them jumpers because not all of my lmb sampled had that kind of growth which was 3lbs from a 2" fry in 10 months while other lmb were at 13" and a little over a pound? Did you see the same thing with your grow out pond? If that's the case, then I would think cost for a 5lb'er might be even more. I would also expect to see maybe half of those lmb are males and may not ever grow to 5lb's.

Tracy, there were a few smaller LMB, and half of them being males is probably true.
Posted By: CityDad Re: New Venture! - 01/19/21 02:08 PM
I did a *great* job hijacking this thread!

Whoops! Cool information though.

What did you do/are you doing to 'market research' and determine what to grow out and bring to market?
Posted By: azteca Re: New Venture! - 01/21/21 09:03 PM
Hello.

If you want your Smallmouth bass fry to be as big as possible in the fall.

In addition to the pellets, you can give them Fathead minnows larvae from your forage pond.

As soon as your Bass fry will have about 1 1/2 inche at the end of June

With a larvae trap, there are picture here somewhere.

A+
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 03:32 AM
Originally Posted by CityDad
I did a *great* job hijacking this thread!

Whoops! Cool information though.

What did you do/are you doing to 'market research' and determine what to grow out and bring to market?
As I've been brokering fish for years, buying from other fish farms, I've seen a few "Gaps" that need filling. Some are much bigger than others. I'm not going to provide huge numbers but what I can provide will be Known genetics, not trying to get all scientific but I feel it's important to be able to answer the question of heritage.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 03:42 AM
Originally Posted by FireIsHot
Kenny, they are Lone Star Legacy LMB from Overton's, but back then they were named Camelot Bells. They're 100% pure Florida's, that were breed for growth rate and aggressiveness. They do look a little different than most LMB, but I'll let the guys that stocked more of them pass on all the marking details. I got them because I desperately needed some new genetics in my aging big pond, and I'll probably get some more this year.
That's very cool. I don't know that I've ever seen a FLMB. They tried some in the 80's in a very deep central Kansas Res but I don't believe they ever made it very far. They stocked fish around 3lbs and I think the idea was to see if they could get some crossing but the project was never really proven. Your second pic-besides the molting pattern standing out-the pointed tips of caudal fin are very interesting to me, Beautiful fish for sure! Thanks for sharing the pics.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 03:55 AM
You guys that posted above were very close on cost per pound. The supplier I am obtaining my SMB from figure 30$/lb on their fish-that's cost to get them to a pound, I didn't ask what they sell for so I was WAY off at 100$ for a 5lb fish-and I get it.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 02:18 PM
Al's description of what it takes to grow LMB on forage is an accurate one. All of the costs described are costs of opportunity and so they are costs that a formal fish hatchery must consider if they are going to grow forage fed LMB in advanced or adult sizes. Is easy to understand why a fish hatchery doesn't want to take on the risk of growing large LMB on forage. They would like to help their customers do it which means they will never have to justify to you why a large LMB grown on forage is priced the way it must be.

Generally a private fish hatchery (DOWs are exceptions) won't do this and the fish in advanced sizes that you purchase will have been primarily supported or almost entirely supported by feed. Depending on the density in the brood fish carrying ponds, even the very large adults can be supported substantially with feed. When a fish hatchery sells a large LMB, they are simply managing their brood stock and the price charged can be substantially less than what they have in the fish. The fish would otherwise destroyed at no income at all so it makes sense to sell it for a price a consumer will readily pay. Brood fish pay their way by producing seed and that crop justifies their maintenance.

IMHO, the value is much greater for LMB of equivalent size and of equivalent age when grown entirely on forage instead of a high proportion of feed. The difference in the cost to grow them to that size should be all the explanation one needs (forage fed LMB cost much more) but there are many other reasons I'll let everyone give consideration to. Al you did awesome growing those bass and I think they were worth every bit of your effort and investment.
Posted By: esshup Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 06:06 PM
There is a market up here in Northern Indiana for LMB that weigh 1# to 1.5# - it's the food fish market for restaurants that carry live fish for their customers. There are fish suppliers that will stock 5,000 feed trained 6"-8" LMB in a 1 acre pond, feed them an insane amount of feed, aerate the heck out of the water and get them to market size in 12 months. They don't sell just a few fish, they clean out the whole pond and start fresh. When the fish are harvested, you can buy small amounts of adult fish from the company that buys them from the producer if there are extra fish available. The price that they sell them for is in line with the price that Snipe has for the SMB.
Posted By: jpsdad Re: New Venture! - 01/22/21 06:58 PM
esshup,

This document outlines the state of market LMB grown for food in 2000. There has been some inflation since then of course. An excerpt:

Quote
All 103 suppliers of largemouth bass listed in the Aquaculture Magazine Buyer’s Guide ‘99 andIndustry Directory (Aquaculture Magazine 1999) were sent a letter that explained the purpose of thiswhite paper and requested information on what they felt were needed research areas. The majority didnot respond. Additional phone contacts were made with known producers. In all, feedback wasobtained from 20 private producers and managers of two state hatcheries. These aquaculturists werelocated in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma,Pennsylvania, Texas, and France. The wholesale values of fingerling largemouth bass depend uponsize, geographic location, and the number sold to the customer. Mean value from this survey forfingerlings sold in small lots, excluding the much higher values given for Maine, New York, andPennsylvania are 1–2 in $0.35, 2–4 in $0.68, 4–6 in $0.94, 6–8 in $2.07, and 8–10 in $3.74. Thesales price for large lots may be discounted 50%. Largemouth bass sold live to the Asian market sellfor $3.00–$5.00/lb. Largemouth bass are being sold to the pay-fishing market for $6.00/lb.A number of fish culturists indicated that they couldn’t produce sufficient quantities of 8 in andlarger largemouth bass to meet the demand. The demand for smaller fingerlings would increase if thenatural resource agencies stopped producing largemouth bass. Many private state aquacultureassociations have tried with little success to get their natural resource agency to phase out largemouthbass production. Tidwell et al. (In press) stated that the demand for largemouth bass greater than 1.0lb has been identified to exceed 700,000 lb/yr with a value of over $3.00/lb live weight. Tidwell et al.(In press) made the following cost estimates; production estimates for an economic engineeringapproach were taken from research results at Kentucky State University. Cost estimates were basedon numbers generated for a catfish production system composed of 4, 5-acre ponds under Kentuckyconditions. Based on a stocker price of $0.50 per feed trained fingerling, a yield of 4,350 lb/acre, anda selling price of $3.00/lb (live sales) approximately $12,750/acre gross revenues are generated whichallows a return of $6,623/acre above variable costs and $5,950 after operator labor. A break-evenestimate under these assumptions would be $1.60/lb.Until these higher yields have been routinely demonstrated for large ponds, it is recommended thatcost estimates be based on 1,500–2,000 lb of production/acre.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/23/21 12:34 AM
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.
Posted By: teehjaeh57 Re: New Venture! - 01/23/21 05:14 AM
K I have plenty of APW, arrowhead and some sedges and rushes I’m happy to donate when I see you this spring. I like your plans so far especially the wetland project. Gonna call you for an update this weekend.
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/23/21 06:26 AM
I'm going to hold you to the APW, TJ..:-))
Posted By: teehjaeh57 Re: New Venture! - 01/25/21 06:29 PM
When you visit we will get transplants - sedge, rush and the APW and anything else you want - how about 10 million American Bullfrog tadpoles? I've got plenty of Cottonwood and Willow saplings I can send your way too - saves me from having to pull them every year! smirk
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 01/27/21 08:13 AM
TJ, I have some gift fish for you as well, but I need one thing from you...
Please explain the SOCK PUPPET!!!
Posted By: Snipe Re: New Venture! - 04/05/21 03:40 AM
Pond 3, 4 and 5 completed with shaping this week, ready for seal. Not sure I didn't bite off more than I was ready for because it's become my life 12-15 hrs a day.
Between finishing ponds, sorting fish, planting grass, stripping walleye and seining perch, I need about 3 more people.
Question, Has anyone tried using Optimal Jr and #4 mixed together?
Posted By: RStringer Re: New Venture! - 04/13/21 07:13 PM
Sounds like your one busy man. Hope its all going as you planned in your head.
Posted By: Quarter Acre Re: New Venture! - 04/13/21 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by Snipe
...Question, Has anyone tried using Optimal Jr and #4 mixed together?

I have mixed the two previously. I talk about how it worked in my feeder here...

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=37369&Number=488179#Post488179

I had a range of smaller HBG and FHM's hence the mixture.
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