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#213156 04/17/10 11:54 AM
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I stocked my small, 1/4 acre pond in September of 2008 with BG, RES, and CC. In April of 2009 I stocked LMB.

To my knowledge I have not lost any fish to a fish kill or illness, and I inspect the pond daily. But about a week ago I found a catfish floating on its side, not dead, but not looking too good. I picked him up, and he moved around allot, so I put him back in. I noticed a couple of small red bumps on his back. He swam away.

I've been watching closely since then, and today found a CC floating, this time dead. I removed it, and I'm fairly sure its the same fish. Looked like the same marks on its back. This time they looked more like two small puncture wounds.

I performed my half a**ed version of an autopsy. I found nothing in its stomach but some dark residue. It's flotation sack was fully inflated. Gills and organs looked ok. It was 16" long and seemed proportionate. That seems like pretty good growth since they were 4" 19 months ago when I stocked them.

Temps have been mild lately, and the pond is full. All other CC, LMB, and bream are eating feed voratiously.

Anything else I should investigate? Or is this just something that happens sometimes even in healthy ponds?

VA

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Might the cat have been a victum of a spawning battle?

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 Originally Posted By: virginiaagent

Anything else I should investigate? Or is this just something that happens sometimes even in healthy ponds?


VA -- I would agree with RAH that this is probably a casualty of spawning, or other fighting. I would think of it as normal mortality. If that's all you've lost, you are actually pretty fortunate.

The growth sounds about right. I find it incredible how fast CC will grow. When I put them in at 10-12 inches, they double in size in one season. I still consider them to be one of the main reasons for the success for my trophy size bluegill.

Ken


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catmandoo #213171 04/17/10 05:49 PM
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I really had not thought about a spawning death. I hope that's it.

I did not know CCs would / could spawn in ponds this small. This is my first pond though, and I learn more everyday, and I also learn from you guys that what happens in one pond, might not necessarily happen in another of the same size and characteristics.

The bass appear to have spawned (some are 14", and some 6") and I did not think that was likely in a small pond.

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 Originally Posted By: virginiaagent
I did not know CCs would / could spawn in ponds this small.

VA -- their activities may or may not be successful, but, this time of year they are a lot like college students on spring break. Even if they are successful, the fry are slow and they tend to school up into dense clouds that can be decimated by a couple of passes by a big old bass.

When I transport larger catfish (10-14 inch) for stocking, they really beat each other up. They look horrible, with lots of punctures. After about a month in the pond, they heal up pretty good.

 Originally Posted By: virginiaagent
The bass appear to have spawned (some are 14", and some 6") and I did not think that was likely in a small pond.

The bass will also certainly spawn in a small pond. Mine LMB are just making nests now (I'm about 17 miles west of Winchester). Six inches seems a little small, but maybe they are mature and stunted. Not to worry. Just keep good records to determine how to manage. The smaller a pond, the more management time it takes.

Good luck,
Ken


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Have you got those blue herons hanging around your pond? You'd be surprised at the size of fish those dang things can kill.

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I think it's a bit early for CC to be spawning in VA. The bass are just starting to spawn and the sunfish haven't even started yet. CC spawn after both of them when the water temps stabilize in the 70's. CC usually spawn in VA in late May to early June IME. Sometimes fish just get sick... Nothing you did wrong or could have prevented. Maybe it was a heron or just some unusual virus. If it's just one fish I wouldn't panic.

hang_loose #213209 04/18/10 08:53 AM
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 Originally Posted By: hang_loose
Have you got those blue herons hanging around your pond? You'd be surprised at the size of fish those dang things can kill.


That's a strong possibility that I had not thought of. I have a blue heron who seems to time his arrivals and departures with my work schedule. I catch him sometimes lurking in the shallows. I'm getting a Boerboel mastiff puppy next week, so I'm hoping to train him to be my horse, donkey, house, and pond guardian while I'm gone.

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Rig up a snag trap that will catch him walking in the grass/shallow water. Do it right and he will be there when you get back.


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rcn11thacr #213297 04/19/10 06:51 AM
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If you do anything to harm the heron, keep your mouth shut. They're federally protected.


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.

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Contact the VDGIF, they may issue a kill permit for the heron so you can legally kill them.

CJBS2003 #213347 04/19/10 10:03 AM
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"If you do anything to harm the heron, keep your mouth shut. They're federally protected."

Well it is a good thing they have never come by to visit my pond. Thanks for the tip, learn something new every day.

Last edited by rcn11thacr; 04/19/10 10:03 AM.

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rcn11thacr #213354 04/19/10 10:15 AM
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rcn11thacr #213367 04/19/10 11:25 AM
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 Originally Posted By: rcn11thacr
"If you do anything to harm the heron, keep your mouth shut. They're federally protected."

Well it is a good thing they have never come by to visit my pond. Thanks for the tip, learn something new every day.


The same goes for cormorants. Permits should be available for those as well.


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esshup #213369 04/19/10 11:31 AM
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