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Not sure if everyone remebers me or not...but I am the trustee who is over our towns pond. After much winter thinking, I have a question. While under your normal situations of wanting to raise LMB to a decent size is still a goal. I would also like to add some HBG as well as BG. Keep in mind my situation is a unique one as there are fish taken from this pond on a daily basis....and me not being there 24/7 would not know what leaves. My thinking on this is that I have come to the understanding that I will need to add fish at least every two years to this 3 acre pond. The fish biologist has suggested adding 1000 BG. Would I be completly out of line with going for a 700 BG to 300 HBG mix? I know that most of you dont deal with situations as unique as mine....but any help would be appreceiated. IF not the 70-30 split then what?

Thanks again,
Jeff


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my thought would be that if you have an existing LMB population, and the pond needs more forage, 1,000 BG in 3 acres might be on the low side. seems to me the new stockers would be heavily preyed upon by the existing bass unless the pond has really good cover for the smaller guys. from what i've read here, the HBG are good for a put and take...if you have heavy fishing pressure its probably ok, what the experts have cautioned about though is the poor quality of fish resulting from HBG breeding....please wait for more info though......i'm just fish mgmt rookie.


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Thanks for your reply....after reading my post I realize that I left out some key info. The 1000 fish added will be 3 to 5 inches. Also I waited to add this for the reason of the GSF population which the Bass have gotten a handle on. Now I need my food supply...and would like to add the HBG as well to have for the residents to catch. I am 100% postive that this is a put and take situation, and not completly by choice. I plan on adding some Bass are for catch and realease signs only until a year from now. And then only Bass 13 inches or above will be allowed as a keeper.


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Illinois Longhorn, why not just add BG? With GSF already present I am certain you will end up with some natural hybrids down the road.



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Most authorities recommend not stocking HBG with BG. There are some good reasons for this.

1. Negation of the Hybrid advantage: Since the BG reproduce profusely, you still need an effective predator (like your planned LMB) to control their numbers. Even so, the HBG are soon hopelessly outnumbered. The growth advantages that HBG often show in HBG-only ponds (IMHO chiefly due to limited numbers of fish eating the same food supply) is negated as they have to compete with all the BG.

2. Worries about GSF genes: The HBG can backcross with the BG and leave GSF genes in the population. Some worry more about this than others. If pure-blood BG are desired for any reason, (maximum fecundity for forage base, worry about out generations resembling GSF more than BG, economic reasons, or shear snobbery) it's definitely a concern.

3. Degradation of the forage bass for LMB: HBG by themselves cannot provide adequate forage for raising large LMB. Adding them to BG in a bass-emphasis pond cannot help the forage base, and may hinder it (see 2. above).

From my personal experience, if you mix BG and HBG in a pond with LMB, you very shortly will only find BG in the pond. I stocked 50/50 BG/HBG and have not seen so much as a trace of HBG since the second year. IME, there was no disadvantage to stocking HBG with BG, but no advantage either.

I will add that if you stock both, I do not expect a noticeable impact on the forage base if you go as high as 50/50. At some higher percentage of HBG, an extra year or two might be required for the outnumbered BG to build the same size forage base for the bass to eat.

EDIT: I read your second post; that negates much/all of reasons 2 & 3. I agree with Shorty, though - why bother?


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I guess my reasoning for wanting to add the HBG is for the size factor. Is it not true that the HBG outgrow the BG? Or do they reach the same size potential? My concern being in a northern climate is that I will have stunted BG. Another concern is the fact that I am worried that 1000 3-5 inch BG is too many for the pond. This whole thing has been eating at me for some time. I see many of the ponds in Central Illinois that are so overstocked with BG that they are all stunted. I realize that this is because there are not enough LMB in the waters. I just dont want to have what everyone around us has! Perhaps I am thinking too much.


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IL - I saw a recent study that put male HBG and male BG in ideal growing conditions. The BG out did the HBG. I assume by ideal conditions they ment uncrowded conditions, ideal water temperatures, and lots of food. My thoughts are that you can get good growth rates on BG by being predator heavy and keeping the BG numbers in check. Lot's of small and very hungry LMB is the key to growing big sunfish.

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1749-7345.2006.00063.x



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IL -- Where to start with this thread ? Good advice so far but your goal is different so the application of that advice is also IMO.

HBG have two hybrid vigor advantages and two outbreeding depression disadvantages. Initial growth rate and CATCHABILITY are the advantages while high male % (between 67% and 98% - IMO 67% is an aberration expect 90% ) and outbreeding depression in the HBG offspring (you don't get many anyway as almost all are male). The initial growth rate advantage is short lived and soon the MALE BG catch up and may get bigger. But the half BG population that are female don't catch up. So in a standard BG vs HBG comparison the HBG population has greater avg size. Most studies about HBG repeat that the major reason for them is the second hybrid vigor trait - easy to catch. They can easily be fished out. It is unclear if HBG can backcross with either parental (conflicting studies) all by PhD fishery science teachers/researchers. I tend to agree with Theo that they can but in a limited manner. The only way to deal with the outbreeding depression in HBG offspring is to be sure they are eaten or killed off.

IL there is no magic bullet for your situation. To get the pond you want requires knowing how to achieve and maintain a balanced fishery. You can do that with some work and knowledge and experience. Don't be scared of the situation or the "what-ifs" as it/they are fixable.

If your LMB are growing and in good condition and the GSF seem to be under control then I would add the 1000 3-5in. BG. I would look for 200 adult 6+ in. HBG and add them after the BG spawn. Try to catch out the HBG over an 18 mth period (not hard if folks are fishing for them with live bait). In the meantime learn how to asses and correct pond balance matters so you will have a better feel for the what next questions. If there are GSF and BG in the pond you will get a few natural HBG most of which will be eaten. Over time the BG will out reproduce the rest. I would not substitute HBG for BG in the 1000 as you need the reproduction from the BG. If over time the BG seem to be getting small it is easy in a pond that size to trap or seine the numbers down. If the LMB have gotten control of the GSF , as noted, you will need the BG spawn capacity to feed the LMB. AS you want a catch and keep HBG/BG status you can learn how many HBG to add over time but I would only add adults. Your LMB plan will require you to take out some small LMB (8-13 in)to keep balance over time and to keep the avg size up.
















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Thanks to all....once again! By being on this board I have gained a lot of knowledge...simply by listening to what others have to say. My situation is unique from most on the board....with it basically being a public fishing hole. I will add...the 1000 BG. The pond depth right know which is full measures around 8-9 ft...in the deepest spot. As of this point they have never had the LMB spawn in our pond. My belief is that due to the lack of forage fish over the years...the LMB simply died off. I am looking forward to this year as we have some 12-14 in LMB in there that should be spawning this spring. Not sure what to look for as true signs of a LMB spawn other than small LMB after a year, but I am going to keep my fingers crossed. Thanks again!


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 Quote:
As of this point they have never had the LMB spawn in our pond. My belief is that due to the lack of forage fish over the years...the LMB simply died off.
IL - your pond sounds very similar to one here in Lincoln that I have posted a few pictures of natuarly occuring hybrids. GSF when present in large numbers can actually do a very good job of keeping LMB numbers in check by eating almost all of the LMB fry that are produced durng the spawn. Before the BG and aquatic vegetation got established in this community lake in Lincoln it was pretty common to catch a pre spawn LMB that was 18" and weighed well over 5 lbs. \:\) If the similarities hold true I would guess that there is very little aquatic vegetation in your pond for YOY LMB to hide from GSF predation. I am guessing your LMB did spawn but that there were very few survivors that made it to adulthood.



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shorty, that is a real intersting observation you have there regarding GSF and Bass dynamics. i'm gonna copy yer post over to my BG thread and ask a couple questions.


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It is not common to just GSF as it happens in BG stunted ponds also. I will find the prior thread where it is discussed. Not so much all the LMB yoy being eaten but also that the LMB sense the situation and won't spawn.

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=003757
















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Thanks ewest!




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