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#26014 12/16/06 12:19 PM
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Corrective stocking can involve stocking of fingerling fish into an existing fishery. A recent study at Texas Parks and Wildlife (J. of Fisheries Management 2006) looked at prerelease habituation as a way of improving the post stocking survival of fingerling LMB (1.2"-2.0"). Prerelease habituation is defined as allowing fish to become accustomed to their new environment before release.

The study found that in ponds, habituation for 60 minutes before release significantly reduced predation of the fingerling bass. The study found that if fingerlings were released directly into complex habitat, prerelease habituation did not greatly affect the amount of predation during the first 24 hours. Complex Habitat was defined as having or containing 250 stems per square meter.

The study was performed in 0.5 ac ponds and EACH TEST LASTED JUST 24 HRS. To test the effects of habituation, researchers constructed predator exclusion cages (2’diaX4’tall cylinders) using netting (1/8",3mm) with a floatation ring on top. The cage bottom was open with a lead line sewn around the lower edge to hold it onto the bottom so fish could not escape. The LMB fingerlings to be tested were MARKED and held in each cage for 60 min before release, whereas control, unmarked, fingerlings were directly released into the pond remotely away from structure. Structurally complex habitat consisted of a cluster of 6 ft tall Fraser fir trees and bamboo stalks encompassing 100 sq ft. Test fingerlings were released directly into the dense habitat. At the end of each 24 hr test, the pond was seined and then drained.

Survival of fingerlings after 24 hrs into an open pond ranged from 13% -25% whereas survival of fingerlings with habituation or complex habitat ranged from 17% -38%. Dense habitat provided some refugia for fingerlings in the first 24 hrs and reduced predator efficiency. Further research should focus on: 1. what habitat types and the density are best for reducing predation and 2. what would the survival rate of fingerlings be after a longer study period, such as 1 to 6 months.


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#26015 12/16/06 12:50 PM
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Thanks Bill. Is there any info. on what predators were in the pond?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#26016 12/16/06 02:05 PM
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Predators were stocked into each study pond. On a per acre basis in each pond, predators consisted of 200 LMB 4"-7.8", 70 at 7.9"-11.8", 20 at 11.8"-15.7" plus 100 green sunfish 3.9"-7.9", plus 20 white bass 3.9"-11.8" plus 6 FW drum 6"-11.8" for a grand total of 416/acre. Four hrs before the LMB fingerlings were stocked common carp fry were stocked into each pond as food for fingerlings.


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#26017 12/16/06 04:16 PM
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See this thread on the subject. Bill is that the same study? There are 2 recent ones I know of 1 in the lab one at the lake.

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=000284;p=1

The next PB issue will have more on this.

The articles are entitled A Laboratory Evaluation of Poststocking Predatory Losses for Cultured Largemouth Bass by J. WARREN SCHLECHTE, ROBERT K. BETSILL, AND DAVID L. BUCKMEIER from The American Fisheries Society Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134:141–148, 2005 and Initial Predation of Stocked Fingerling Largemouth Bass in a Texas Reservoir and Implications for Improving Stocking Efficiency by DAVID L. BUCKMEIER, ROBERT K. BETSILL, AND J. WARREN SCHLECHTE from the American Fisheries Society North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25:652–659, 2005. These studies, one from the lab and one in the field, found that predation greatly affected post stocking survival of fingerling largemouth bass. Fingerling largemouth bass survival significantly increased when the fish were allowed to habituate in a predator free enclosure for a short period of time.
















#26018 12/16/06 04:28 PM
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Ewest - this was an additional study conducted & authored by Schlechte & Buckmeier (2006J.Fish Mgmt 26: 119-123). - "A pond evaluation of habituation as a means to reduce initial mortality associated with poststocking predation of hatchery reared largemouth bass". They evidently created several articles realating to this topic.
I also copied my posts to your other thread titled = "Study- new stocker survival in existing pond" under the heading Managing An Existing Pond .


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#26019 12/16/06 05:01 PM
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Thanks Bill here is the 3rd study of the three which I now have.

North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:119–123, 2006
Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006
DOI: 10.1577/M05-064.1

A Pond Evaluation of Habituation as a Means to Reduce Initial
Mortality Associated with Poststocking Predation of
Hatchery-Reared Largemouth Bass
J. WARREN SCHLECHTE* AND DAVID L. BUCKMEIER

I added this link to your post on the other thread so we can find them both.
















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If I could profit by producing pure subadult or adult florida largemouth bass I would be riding high on the hog. Right now it seems impossible to do it. About 4-5 years ago my wife and I feed-trained about 5% of pure florida fingerling bass in a vat, then graded them out and raised them on feed in a 1/10 acre pond. Later we moved them back into the broodstock pool to encourage the proliferation of their assertiveness. Since then we haven't tried again, until this year. It doesn't look promising just yet.


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I have to use 100% natural forage in my growout ponds. The guys I know that pellet feed the lmb don't like FLA. They have zero benefit from the strain and tons of headaches. They feed their strains for 18 months pellet only and off to the food market they go. The FLA are a superior pond strain no doubt, but making money raising them? Small scale I give them all you can eat gambusia and other assorted junk minnows. I feel your pain.

Last edited by The Pond Frog; 08/02/10 02:17 PM.

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