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#26862 02/03/05 11:50 AM
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My pond is 1.75 ac and is 3 years old. 3 years ago, I put 200 Fla bass and 2000 coppernose bluegill. I manually feed the fish nearly every day in the spring/summer but even after 3 years the fish eat no more than a double handfull of feed in 10 minutes or so and then quit eating altogether. After 3 years, bass have grown okay but most bluegill are only 3-5" long. A 50# sack of feed lasts me all summer. Is this acceptable?

#26863 02/03/05 05:37 PM
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Did you stock them at the sametime? It seems to me that you are low on bass. Seeing lots of 3-5 inch bluegill is an indicator of low bass abundance. They could have died due to stravation (stocking at sametime, overstocking bass) or you could have poachers. However you look at it I think you have low bass numbers and too many small bluegill. Without an assesment this is just my observations on the info provided. Are the bass really fat, ever run Wr index? If so my theory would hold true....then if you want better bluegill growth stock more bass.


Greg Grimes
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#26864 02/03/05 05:53 PM
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Greg
I'm thinking that if anything, the reverse is true. I have plenty of bass and they are fat. They were stocked about 6 mos after bluegill. Maybe the bass have eaten (or are eating) bluegill before they have a chance to eat much food and become bigger. I see that you sell feeders and that's where I think I have a situation. After 3 yrs, shouldn't my bluegill be eating more than a double handful of feed after 10 minutes?

#26865 02/04/05 11:25 AM
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I'm with Greg on this one. More information is needed to diagnose your problem. What do you call OK bass growth in 3 years? When did you stock the bluegill vs. bass stocking? Don't get too technical yet, your problem may be easier to fix than you think! It does sound like a population balance problem.

#26866 02/05/05 06:58 PM
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If you are consistent with your feeding, same place, same time every day, then your assumption may be correct.
But, I'm with Greg on this one. You need more information to make the best decision. It sounds like time to make an evaluation and look at your fish numbers, size ranges, etc.


Teach a man to grow fish...
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#26867 02/05/05 08:26 PM
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My time/feeding place are consistant. In answer to an earlier post, coppernose were stocked in Nov '02 and the bass June '03. The bass I caught (and released) last year were from 12" to 15" and fat. Last fall, I also noticed perhaps as many as 100 10-12" bass "cruising" the shallows for bait.

I might add that in the first summer (either before or about the time of putting in the bass) I rarely got more than what I thought was 50 fish coming up for feed.

Now it seems I may have 100 but when I see pictures or TV shows, their water seems to boil with fish hitting. For me, a 50# sack of feed lasts a summer.

One more note, I occasionally wait an hour and go feed again. When I do, I get the same response.

I have no cover in my pond. Do I need to add cover in order to protect the bluegill?

#26868 02/05/05 09:05 PM
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Ah...things are making a bit more sense. Fat, healthy bass means they have plenty of food. So, we can assume the number of bass in your pond have adequate food...for now. But, if you aren't seeing many bluegill come to feed, and you never have, yields the idea you may be temporarily okay. With that thought, the key word is temporary. You will do no harm adding adult bluegill...probably will keep your food chain from collapsing at some point. Stock 300 adult bluegill, large enough to escape your dominant size bass.
And, yes, you need cover. If you add "dense" cover, bluegill will flock to it. Put it in water no deeper than six feet. Cedar trees, brush..piles measuring three or four feet high and six feet square work well.
Keep feeding, when water temps stay above 55 degrees.


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#26869 02/05/05 09:42 PM
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Thank you all for your concern and help. I'll do as told and will continue to check back for posts.

#26870 02/06/05 11:20 AM
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Those answes helped clear it up. I would still like to see you run a Wr. Here's a link http://www.lakework.com/articles.html

Most of my clients stocked in JUne 03 now have 2.5- 4lb bass so I think you might be, like Bob said, gettng a little low on bluegill. ALso you should start harvesting the smaller bass this spring, if you want better bass growth.

I'm still scratching my head why the bluegill are only 3-5 inches. If you have plenty of bass you should have some big bluegill after 3 years. Bob any ideas on this???

Lastly yes a feeder will put some serious weight on the bluegill that will also increase their reproductive success.


Greg Grimes
www.lakework.com
#26871 02/06/05 02:48 PM
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There's something going on that we don't know. Need more information. Relative weights of bass with a random sampling of the entire fish population would paint a better picture.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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