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#112582 03/23/08 09:24 PM
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I have a 5 year old pond with numerous fish and 7 ducks. The fish population consists of bluegill, catfish, and bass. Do the ducks offer a benefit to the fish? I am concerned about their waste and the competition for floating food.

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Depends on how big the pond is and if it's big enough to handle the nutrient load.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 03/24/08 09:31 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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The pond is .5 acres with year round aeration. I have a couple of dozen catfish up to 5 pounds and many bluegill close to a pound. Bass are around 1 - 2 pounds. I think I should do some fishing this spring to get some of the larger ones in the skillet to help the smaller fish out. For forage I put 8 lbs of minnows in last October but I haven't seend them since they hit the water. The pond is down in a hollar and I pum water from the creek on a regular basis. Greg Grimes has been out here a couple of years ago and brought me 150 bluegill. I added a few more last year probably around 50. The ducks are pretty aggressive and I need to know if duck waste creates food for the fish or could be toxic. The pond sits down low and has not warmed up yet for the spring.

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I digress to others more qualified but toxic no, but adding nutrients which can be beneficial up to a point, and once you cross that line it just helps out nusiance algae and weed growth. I guess it all depends.

Who convinced you to dump in some minnows?

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 03/24/08 09:32 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I dumped the minnows just for forage over the winter. Is that not a good idea? I was afraid that there could be a lack of food.

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 Originally Posted By: pondfishr
I dumped the minnows just for forage over the winter. Is that not a good idea? I was afraid that there could be a lack of food.


If your pond is well balanced with bluegills why would you need to dump in minnows? Most of us here consider adding fathead minnows to an established pond an expensive snack as they are slow moving and quickly eaten. Depending on what kind of ducks you have you may have been feeding the ducks with the minnows.

Now a new pond is a different story.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 03/24/08 12:16 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Thats good information and I will keep it in mind. I just thought with the bluegill hatching in the spring I would be low on small fish by the end of the year.

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Over the Winter the bass don't need nearly as much to eat due to the colder water. IIRC LMB metabolism ( and hence food requirements) are cut in half by every 8 deg F drop in water temperature.


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 Originally Posted By: pondfishr
I have a 5 year old pond with numerous fish and 7 ducks. The fish population consists of bluegill, catfish, and bass. Do the ducks offer a benefit to the fish? I am concerned about their waste and the competition for floating food.


In a 0.5 acre pond, it would seem like 7 ducks would be pushing the limits, but that is just a "gut feeling." I've regularly had 3 ducks on my 0.5 acre pond. The ducks are real good at keeping the weeds down around the edges.

We really enjoy white pekins, as they have great personalities, and they are quite comical to watch. Last year somebody gave us five that were some kind of a mallard mix. They were pretty, but very skittish, and they flew off one by one.

As for competition for the floating food -- I always bring a can of feed corn to the pond when we feed the fish and we've also got ducks. I scatter the corn in the grass and it takes the ducks longer to find the last kernals of corn than it takes the fish to eat all the pellets.


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 Originally Posted By: pondfishr
Thats good information and I will keep it in mind. I just thought with the bluegill hatching in the spring I would be low on small fish by the end of the year.


It's also not uncommon to have a fall bluegill hatch especially if you are farther south. I know I've had fall bluegill hatches as far north as northeastern Indiana and Bruce Condello regularly has fall hatches in Nebraska. Right Bruce?


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I guess I need to watch the algae bloom. My pond historically really gets green in the spring. I already see signs of it even though the water is still pretty cool. I guess the duck waste would serve as a fertilizer of some sorts to the water. I have asked a friend if he wants my two white pekin's. I like the mallards because it gives the pond a more natural feel.

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Pekins are poop factories. Depending on how big your pond is, it could possibly make a difference getting them out of the pond. At .5 acres I think it could make a difference.

The other "problem" with allowing pekins to "free range" on a pond is that they can breed with wild mallards and produce fertile offspring. Pekins, like most domestic duck breeds came from selective breeding of mallard stock. A notable exception to this is the muscovy duck. I always worry about diluting "wild" breeds. Perhaps it's overblown, but it's always been in the back of my mind.


12 ac pond in NW Missouri. 28' max depth at full pool. Fish Present: LMB, BG, RES, YP, CC, WB, HSB, WE, BCP, WCP, GSH.

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