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Hello, I have a 3 acre pond shared with 5 neighbors, I have two young sons (1,and3) and really want my pond to have good fishing for them as they grow up. I have read so much of this site but one thing I have learned every pond is diffrent so here goes. The pond has LMB, BG, & few crappie. All the bass that are caught are less than 12 inches but look fat to me: and you may only catch 5 or 6 in a decent trip. The BG are big and not that plentiful. So LMB overcrowding even with few fish caught?

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Welcome GOPACK. My #2 son & his wife are State grads.

You didn't mention catching any crappie.
In most cases it's not the best plan to have crappie in any bow smaller than say 25ac. My knee-jerk reaction says that's your problem.


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I would bet that the few crappies are actually really nice sized individuals. What do you say gopack?

Sounds like your fishery is actually in pretty decent shape for a pond for your kids to grow up fishing and pondmeistering! You could plop a handful of channel catfish in every year, lets say 50 or so, to put some more meat on the table if that is something you would be interested in, otherwise just eating a handful of 11 inch bass sounds like the meal ticket!


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Welcome gopack. Take a look at the archives, at this thread. Pay attention to the LMB weights/lengths. How do your LMB compare? That will tell us a LOT more information.


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Thanks for the quick responses, I haven't caught a crappie in it in about 2 years,It has been about four years since I caught a decent fish (4lbs) My cousin caught one with a mouth of a 10 lb'er but was so skinny we though he was going to die, that was about 3 years ago but those are the only sizeable catches. Looking foward to a fertilization or feeding plan or both sent my soil sample to raleigh and am waiting on that: FA tends to becomeing a problem the last few years will have to work with that to.

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Welcome GOPACK!

I'm pretty new around here myself but everybody has been pretty nice to me (so far)...lots of very knowledgeable people here who are willing to help us out.


If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?
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What did the crappie look like that you did catch?

It's begining to sound like maybe there aren't many fish in the pond? Could you have had a fish kill?
How are you fishing it. Live bait? Try some small minnows for the crappie.


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I guess I don't know enough to know if I have had a kill but have never seen any fish floating on the surface. I just assumed It was bass heavy with the small size LMB and big BG; I just don't want to take too many out if that is not the problem:

Don't know if this has to do with anything But after a big Flood 3 years ago the pond flooded into my backyard and the BG went crazy eating in the grass we caught them hard as long as it rained, then I found an eel swimming in the yard about 2 ft long thought that was interesting

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If eels can get into your pond, sounds like you have a stream that is at least connected to your pond at times. This means, fish other than ones you stocked may be able to migrate in to your pond at times of high water. Often times, people who are not familiar with sunfish misidentify them as BG when they may be other species. When it warms up, I would catch a few of your sunfish and post pictures of them for identification. I would also start to document the relative weight of your bass. With a little more information, we can give you better advice. Until then, I'd hate to give advice that may be inaccurate.

Some other info I'd like to know:

How deep if the pond?

Is it aerated?

Does anyone feed the fish?

How cooperative are the other owners of the pond?

Sounds like you have a possible gem on your hands. I think your kids will grow up loving the pond. I grew up with several ponds in my neighborhood as a kid and spent many hours staying out of trouble fishing them and learning about nature.


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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Next time I catch some fish I will definitly get the length and weight for comparision with the chart. the pond is about 16ft at the deepest but really shallows up to around 1-2 ft. in the shallows. It is not aerated. I feed them last year small amounts by hand and the bream took it very well. The other pond owners are kinda luke warm they just don't like the FA but they all agree the fishing sucks. A neighbor used to put dye in the water to reduse FA put hasen't done it the past two years, I wonder If the dye without feeding threw the balance out of wack.

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Dye is sometimes effective at controlling FA, however it is detrimental to your fish. It prevents sunlight from getting to the phytoplankton in the pond which is the base of the food chain. Less food, mean skinnier slower growing fish.

Tilapia may be an option for managing the FA without chemicals. Plus they will also help with the forage base in your pond. There are several local sources you can purchase tilapia from in your area and there are forum members such as Rainman and Weissguy who both raise different species of tilapia as well.

Do you have a dock on your part of the pond? If you do, installing an automatic feeder will certainly concentrate fish in your part of the pond for better fishing and the added feed will certainly help the fish.

Depending on the interest level of the other owners you may be able to get them to at leat partially chip in for the cost of things. Consider an aeration system, adding tilapia, etc... Those two things alone should control the FA and really help the fish population greatly.


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Would the tilapia survive the winter here? if so that would be great? I have a dock and own the largest section but it is on the shallower end. I want to fertilize but maybe just having a regular feeding schedule with a quality feeder might be better the first year?

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No, the tilapia wouldn't survive the winter there... You don't want them to. If they did, they'd over populate and make a mess! The fact that they die each winter is an up side in their use. They are annual stocking deal.

Keep it simple for now... Start with feeding for this year. As you start to learn more about your pond and learn more on the forum, perhaps next year you can attempt to fertilize. IMO, fertilization isn't the easiest thing to do PROPERLY. You can make a real mess or waste a lot of money. Feeding is pretty simple... Either consitantly hand feed or buy a feeder to do it for you. Use a high quality feed and you will see some great results. Plus, most fisheries biologists wouldn't recommend a feeding and fertilizing program in the same pond...


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Depending on the species of tilapia, they will die off if water temps are between 45* and 55*F. Pure Strain Blue Tilapia survive the longest in the coolest water.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Tilapia sounds like it maybe a good alternative. How many do you need per acre, what time of year should I stock, And how do you keep them from being eaten when you first stock. Also how well do they control the FA

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The number you need varies... Most things I have seen say anywhere from 10-50 pounds per acre. It all depends on your goals with the fish. Forage, FA control, aquatic vegetation control, etc...

Best time of year to stock is when you can safely bet water temps will stay above 60 degrees. Tilapia really won't start spawning or growing much until water temps hit 70 and won't really hit full speed ahead until water temps are in the 80's...

Since tilapia are sold in pounds and not by number, you usually are sold mature adult fish in the 6"-9"+ range. From the sounds of your pond holding almost not bass over 12", tilapia in that size range should survive and not be predated upon. However, their babies will be candy to those hungry mouths. This should take the pressure off your BG when they spawn. Your original stocker tilapia will eat the FA, clean up other organic build up and if your are interested, you can fish for them and keep a few for the table as well.

George1, Rainman among others would probably say they control FA rather well... As with almost anything, it all depends.


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GOPACK here's a couple of sources for Tilapia:


Foster Lake & Pond Management
Wake county
(919) 772-8548
(919) 662-7856 fax
mitch@fosterlake.com
183 Donmoor Ct.
P.O. Box 1294
Garner, NC 27529
Species: black crappie, bluegill & hybrid bluegill, bream, blue tilapia, channel catfish, fathead minnow, triploid grasscarp, hybrid striped bass, large-mouth bass, redear(shellcracker)

Garland Fisheries
Orange county
(919) 732-4253
2711 Ode Turner Road
Hillsborough, NC 27278-9257
Species: bream, tilapia


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Thanks for all the help, I emailed an aquaculture extension agent to try and find what supplier he would recommend. He told me that Tilapia didn't eat FA very well and said the sterile carp would be better That totally seems oposite of what people have said here. I think my neighbor put some carp in a couple years ago they didn't knock the FA down. The more I read the better the Tilapia sounds I just have to decide what and how much I a willing to invest.

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GOPACK:

Historically I would have to treat my pond a couple times a year with copper sulphate to keep the FA under control to where I could fish in the pond. Last year I tried some of Rainmans Blue Tilapia, and I only treated a portion of the pond once the whole year. This year I'm going to stock more of his Tilapia. I am confident that Tilapia is the way to go, not only do they eat the FA, they are food for the LMB in the pond.


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GOPACK, NC State has done research on Tilapia. NCWRC has recommendations on their use. I have read much of this but determined it wasn't applicable to my pond so pretty much discounted it.
The NCWRC I remember recommended the "Red Tilapia & the Blue Tilapia, one for FA control & the other for slightly larger plant control, can't remember which was which.
Research the NCWRC site & possibly contact Skip Thompson maybe he can direct you where you want to go:

Skip Thompson
Extension Area Specialized Agent - Aquaculture
NC Cooperative Extension - NC State University
P.O. Box 308
Waynesville, NC 28786
828-456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
WorldWideWeb Site: http://haywood.ces.ncsu.edu/copubs/ag/aqua/trout/045


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