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#144206 01/10/09 05:14 PM
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I have a 1.5 acre pond with LMB HSB a few CC and Bluegills. My friends like to fish this and was wondering if too many bluegills can be harvested as a general rule. I feed the fish and the bluegills are acceptable size I but dont want to overfish them. Should I put a limit on the bluegills for my friends who keep telling me you "can never catch too many bluegills". If I increase my habitat to a better level and establish fatheads will this solve any potential problems of overfishing? Will fatheads feed all species or just some species? Kevin

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Bluegills can definately be over fished and overharvested. The extent of each (fishing overharvesting) will be dependent on yor goals for the pond. State the goals for the pond then we can add more comments.

Over fishing (depends of the pond size hrs/ac/yr & skill of anglers) with lots of catch and release tend to produce hook shy or aks hook smart bluegills. Over harvesting generally causes the average size of the to be smaller. Quite a bit more general information can be provided on this topic, but answers to your question should be directly related to your goals for the pond. IMO your "friends" tell you that "you can never catch too many BG" because it is your pond and not theirs; plus they have probably never owned a pond.

Part 2 Fatheads will feed primarily fish that tend to capture prey primarily insectivores and carnivores. Fathead fry and those less than 1" are eaten by young fish eating fish (piscivorous), opportunists, and many panfish including bullheads and young catfish. The main problem with fatheads is you can't keep them around long enough fot them to be beneficial for longer than a year or two unless your pond has only a few predators. Predators that are reproducing quickly wipe out fathead minnows even in ponds with lots of artificial structure.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/10/09 08:19 PM.

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In addition over fishing BG is more likely the colder your climate all other things being equal. Maybe we should be talking about the mortality rate of BG as that is the real question. In many southern BG/LMB ponds the natural BG mortality rate is very high due to LMB predation. This can leave you with fewer but larger BG. That type of pond is easily over fished for large BG.

Like Bill provides it depends on your goals but also on the current status of your pond.
















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ewest - what main features of "current status of your pond" should Kevin report on?


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Population analysis of each species (LMB crowded or not ,BG sizes and #s etc - the same things a survey would show - see this thread from the archives - http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92492#Post92492 ) , water quality/productivity/plankton bloom , feeding details , harvest history and amount and type of structure/cover like % plant cover , % shallow water and wood , rock mounds etc). That may be more than what is needed but the more info the better.
















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Interesting thread. It sounds like your friends are trying to get you to let go of more BG than you are prepared to let go of. Remember, it's your pond and people are going to have to follow your rules for fishing the pond. There are others that know a lot more than I do about the actual numbers you can remove from a pond without getting out of balance. I would take their advice and set some limits and make sure those limits are followed closely.



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 Originally Posted By: kjmiller
"you can never catch too many bluegills".


There are no absolutes.

One main ingredient to successful pond management that is often overlooked is the POND OWNER'S GOALS. Every owner is pretty unique from the next. That is probably the most variable aspect of managing ponds!


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+1 on what Brett295 said. If you let enough people catch your fish, you won't have any.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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If you want the pond to produce large BG then there definately needs to be a controlled or harvest limit of number and sizes of both BG and bass (predators). Feeding the BG in the pond usually improves the size and number of BG the pond will support, thus the numbers harvested will be somewhat higher. For producing the best and biggest BG in smaller ponds, I prefer to spend a little extra money and feed the higher protein pellet of Purina Aquamax 5D05 and 5D06 pellets. I think the BG population as a whole performs better when fed this better quality fish food.

When one is interested in producing larger BG, several of us on the forum suggest that primarily the females be harvested and the larger males be returned to the pond. Someone may be gracious enough to provide a link to 1 or 2 of those topics for kjm. Also kjm should visit the bigbluegill website - bigbluegill.com for some valuable information about BG in ponds.



Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/13/09 08:44 PM.

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