Hey, what do ya'll think of this from the LBF Fishing Record site: Land Big Fish
RES are native to the SouthEast, so I looked at those states 1st. Some states such as AR and MO had some pretty noticeable outliers. Other states had incomplete records for either the RedEarShellcracker or BlackCrappie or the BlueGill. NorthCarolina didn't breakdown Black or White Crappie. TN was kinda northerly and had a pretty small RES record (3lb,6oz) but neighboring NC has big RES. Since TN record was small, and CA was warm and had complete RES/BC/BG info, I threw that state into the mix.
So, I averaged the state records for 5 southeast states that I believe the RES are native or somewhat native to (AL, FL, GA, SC, NC) plus CA/TN.
RES: 4 lbs,10oz. BC: 4 lbs,9oz. BG: 3 lbs,12oz.
I know, White Crappie are a bit larger than Black. But if BC didn't spawn out of control most folks would still find their size acceptable and go that route.
My point, there's BG only ponds, in spite of prolific spawning. So why not RES only ponds? Seems it'd be a great alternative to the channelcat small pond concept!
Last edited by SoSauty; 07/28/1406:48 AM. Reason: attempt clarity
RES by themselves or RES with YP stunted in a couple local ponds. Apparently the pond did not produce enough natural foods for the reproducing RES and YP. If the stocker RES and or YP did not reproduce the chances of success for big fish would greatly improve. Evidently both fish if not fed pellets need at least some degree of predation. It would take a very large prolific mollusk community to produce a pond full of reproducing RES. I have seen ponds with just pellet fed YP be successful of continually producing nice size YP. If RES could be easily pellet trained a successful RES only pond would be a distinct possibility.
Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/27/1406:08 PM.
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A while back I mentioned something in regards to RES stunting, and if I remember correctly Ewest or CJB brought up that they don't stunt because when there is no food, they hold back on reproducing. I wish I could find that post now.....
Ahh, yep, if considering pellet feeding, the BG trump the RES. I'm thinking in terms of natural foods. Of the BG and RES having overlapping feeding niche(s). Yet, without competition from BG, one would think that the RES would target bugs, small fish/minnows, ect. . There'd be more crayfish and grass shrimp available as well as pyhtoplanton(sp?) for the little fish. I know that RES readily hit small rubber minnows during their spawn at Lake Guntersville here in northern Alabamie.
It would take a different approach to jump starting the forage base. Consider grass shrimp, and gambusia minnow, possibly crayfish (?rosy FHMs once RES are 1 lb+). Placing colored lights just below the surface to pull in extra bugs. Then some seining or lone single sex predators to help keep the numbers low. The idea intriques me.
So, the approach wouldn't be entirely passive. Yet, it seems doable compared to crappie in a small pond. Interesting to hear that some have tried RES only and RES with YP with little success. I'm hoping to hear if anyone in the deep south has given the RES only pond a try (?aggressively managed)
I respect Bill's, and the other expert's, opinions. Do recall the RES stunting discussion a few years back. I took away the impression that RES can and do stunt, but not as often or not to the same degree.
from Ewest "Many of us have looked at the available scientific studies , talked to the on the ground biologists and sent out requests on the matter of RES stunting. We can not find a single instance or report of RES stunting. They may starve to death if no food but as far as we can tell no stunting due to over reproduction."
The above quote was IMO intended or meant for RES in a mixed fish community. Stock RES in a pond by themselves and report the results. As additional information, check with in with fish farms that raise RES. Ask about the growth rates of YOY RES that have different densities in nursery ponds. Growth rates will be widely different among the different population densities. Good or fast growth for low densities and poor growth and even stunting for high densities.
Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/27/1407:40 PM.
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OK. There maybe some caveats, but I can flow with RES will stunt, say at a fish farm, when the food chain comes up short. The same should hold for LMB, SMB, CC, BG, and others. Stunting can be avoided via feeding but RES resist pellet training.
KNOWNS: 1 The central management issue with Crappie is an unpredictable eventual explosive spawn that occurs earlier than the other sport fish. 2 Sport fish generally stunt when population outstrips forage. 3 Minnows multiply prolifically when bass are absent. 4 BG overpopulate unless managed. 5 RES reproduce fractionally compared to BG and Crappie, as well more predicatably than Crappie. 6 5-10 lbs BG to 1 lb LMB is subtractive to net harvested lbs. 7 Large RES will predate on small RES fry. 8 RES are tasty, like crappie.
Though not at 10:1, the elimination of sunfish/smallfish predation by LMB or Crappie ought to increase fish pond poundage production.
A lot of energy has been put into BG and Crappie ponds, as well as pellet training RES with limited success. I'm fishing around, ah hem, for folks who've "managed" a RES only pond vs the RES only pond was "attempted" ie, we put some fish in there.
Of course, any and all tidbits of RES reports of all attempts are appreciated.
Thanks snrub, I gleamed all possible from those links!
I guess I'm somewhat "attempting" one on a very small scale.
I built a very small .065 acre pond this spring that has FHM and about 20 fingerling RES. My intention is to use it as a forage pond that I can throw a minnow trap in and pull some minnows out to put in other ponds. In addition would like to raise some RES fry and let them grow to a size large enough to escape predation and put them in my larger ponds. I know in that small BOW I can't raise very many RES but got some encouragement when a few weeks ago saw a male and female RES spawning in very shallow water. They were only about 4" long and do not know yet if they were successful. The male was having fits chasing off tiny FHM fry.
I did another attempt but it had to be abandoned. In my old refurbished pond had put 125 fingerling (3") RES that I had previously put 10 adult BG from my main pond. This pond is about an acre. The intention was for it to be a RES "heavy" pond, adding predators when the RES were established. The problem that came up was that when rebuilding the pond there was a small puddle left and I did not nuke it. So this spring had an explosion of GSF and bullheads. Had to put predators in a lot quicker than I wanted, and most likely the GSF hammered any RES reproduction so likely I only have the original RES in the pond with little to no recruitment. Also been adding quite a number of 3-5" BG. Figured if sunfish are going to populate the pond, better it be BG than GSF. Been taking large numbers of GSF and bullhead out by line and also by trapping. So this particular pond will now be more of a traditional BG, RES, LMB, CC pond. Been adding 12" CC also to give the bullheads a run for their money.
That is my list of attempts to date specific to RES. Not much help or info for you, but at least you know others are trying to do something specific with them also.
Why would RES stunt in an only RES pond where food is limited, but not in a pond where food is limited but with other fish species?
Now in that thread that I referred to above, Ewest mentions that stunting has to be viewed upon in older fish. So with both of these things he says, I assume he is hinting at the idea that a young fish may not get the food and will just perish rather than get older and stunt? Or perhaps stunted RES don't exist in a mixed species pond because those that don't get enough food will be eaten?
Are the RES in fish farms underweight(not stunted?) because of density, but then regain back to normal(if released soon enough)when put into a normal pond? Would those RES(at a fish farm in high numbers) flat out die rather than live a another year to be considered stunted?
Comments. RES and about all fish by themselves will tend to stunt due to "too many hogs feeding at the table - quote Lusk") - limiting food reserves. Res in a mixed fish population where food is limited I assume there is competition among the species. Each species often feeds on different types of foods or is able to multi-task foods. RES will feed on snails - mollusks usually not utilized by other fish. Then with predators present they will usually "thin the herd". Plus in a mixed fish population RES are at a disadvantage by having low reproductive potential compared to other species present. Few RES are produced thus the low numbers of fry get consumed quicker compared to species with abundant fry. It is primarily a complex competition thing. I consider RES to have a low competitive advantage. Slow growing fish stay small longer and likely are weaker or have health issues (lack of food) thus are more likely to get eaten in presence of predators. In nature generally the fittest survive.
In RES only situations (some fish farms), crowding leads to forcing RES to feed on non-preferred items, resulting in inefficient non optimal feeding, resulting in poor growth. Fish can often survive for months without measurable food. Fish can be kept in a bucket or pond of good quality water for a long time before they starve to death. Without predation too many fry survive and those fry will have poor or very little or no growth but may not completely starve to the point of death. Put in a good food habitat the growth will resume but these fish will not regain those days of growth that were lost.
For a very good discussion of fish growth and indeterminate growth see the current issue of Pond Boss Jul-Aug 2014 pg 22, "Fish Biology 102: Growth" by Bob Lusk and Dave Willis. Some quotes: "If there are insufficient resources for growth, fish stop growing, but not necessarily die. If resources become sufficient .... fish can resume growing. Fish growth is very much dependent on population density (abundance)."
Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/28/1409:00 AM.
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That's good stuff snrub. The latter attempt where your pond got out hand reminds us how easy nature can get its' way. Now the FHM and RES blend in your mini-pond may answer alot of questions. Such as:
Will established FHMs clean out the RES beds of their eggs? or Will established FHMs simply control RES overpopulation? (too easy!)
Will FHMs become great forage for big RES? or Will FHMs tie up much of the pond biomass and escape RES predation?
4" RES playing at spawning in July? I've much to learn.
I think it was late June. Time gets away from me.
As far as the 4" fish trying to spawn, my thought was that if RES do stunt, the stock I got may have been stunted and were older than what might normally be associated with their size.
I ordered and got 200 fish from an Oklahoma fish farm truck. Hand sorted and picked out the largest 25 for this mini forage pond (the ones I could be certain were actually RES - quite a few obvious hybrids and the smaller size fish I simply could not tell - so they went to my old pond where GSF were already present). Five floated within the first week so not sure really how many I have left. I've seen at least five together at one time (when the pair were spawning) and there is another bed near the one I observed with the spawning pair. Five may be all I have left for all I know.
I have the same questions that you do. I think I put in an earlier post that was just going to throw the FHM and RES together and let them duke it out. See who came out on top.
I have recently built a sediment pond ahead of my main pond. It eventually will get an inflow rate where LMB from the main pond will get back up into it. But it may be several years as it will take a really big rain event. So for a while I have another (between 1 and 2 tenths acre) small pond that thus far I only have FHM introduced. If I get reproduction of RES in the mini forage pond, might put RES from it in this pond. Have been debating between that and trying to get some CNBG this fall from the south then later some Camelot Bell LMB to see if they will survive our winters. We often have mild winters, but last winter was a doozie. Still undecided on direction to go with this pond.
Right now there are a gazillion FHM fry so the RES should have sufficient forage. I threw in a minnow trap the other day and got a dozen or so of adult FHM and threw them in the sediment pond to help populate it. I figured there were enough fry to utilize the BOW effectively that I can take out any adults for now.
My intention is as I do my hand feeding of the big pond will throw a minnow trap in the forage pond and catch a bunch and transfer to the big pond (starting next year). So my intention is to do as you say, and harvest the FHM regularly. How many per day or week I have no clue at this time. Will figure that out as I go along to try and keep a small number of adults for reproduction yet keep the numbers to a level the RES can reproduce. I'm staisfied that if adult FHM were in the pond in high enough numbers the RES would be overwhelmed and all their eggs be eaten. The little 4" RES male was keeping pretty busy just keeping the throngs of half inch FHM fry out of the nest.
Three yrs later, ongoing algae problem with smallish 0.15 pond. Yr1; Stocked with 17 RES after adding gambusia minnows, and grass shrimp. Yr2; stocked FHM and tilapia. Yr3; added single 16" LMB, single 7" BCrappie, stopped auto feeding minnows (dang coon knocked it down) and heavily (12lbs) stocked tilapia, red swamp crayfish, dyed water. Observe 4 RES 10"+ with 1 appearing 11". Yr2 clouds of minnows looked abundant. Yr3 FHM don't appear as prevalent yet lots wee little gams in the weeds. Population drop appears to be FHM only, gambusia staying stable. On sunny cool day I count 25+ dark forms that are the RES enjoying the warmth.
Bill Cody Quote; "With only FHM and RES in same small pond and if you keep the FHM harvested to lower density the two should co-exist okay. Someone needs to try this and report the results on this forum. I hope."
1? & 2? from previous post Will established FHMs eat the RES eggs and control RES overpopulation? (too easy!) Result: Believe this, and Crane birds, is a factor in low recruitment, some new 3" to 7" RES, but not 100's; Yes, RES population is controlled ie, growing slowly.
3? & 4? from previous post Will FHMs become great forage for big RES? or tie up much of the pond biomass and escape RES predation? Result: RES gather and charge the FHM when their feeder goes off in the morning and evening. Gams & FHM everywhere but not in thick clouds. Lone LMB helps.
Present challenges: the rampant algae starts late March before I can trigger a phytoplankton bloom. Tried to fertilize after herbiciding algae this June. BIG mistake, algae exploded. Fish production lower than I hoped due to poor water fertility.
Is there any vegetation present for the FHMs to hide in?
My neighbor is currently doing a FHM/RES experiment is his one acre pond, not sure why he hasn't stocked anything else yet but this has been going on for fours years now. My wife and I fished it last weekend, we caught seven RES between 4" to 7", none of them appeared stunted but the smaller 4" fish were sporting spawning colors. Last weekend was the first time anyone had fished it since I brought over 60 to 70 RES fingerlings four years ago, he had previously stocked FHM several years before that. He has coontail and some sort of narrow leaf pond weed, we saw lots of FHM in and around the weeds. I will see if I can sample it again and report back on what I find.
Shorty, sure enough; the tilapia finally cleansed the pond of any and most algae. However, they only reluctantly munch at the chara that's now prominent in about 30% of the smallish 0.15 ac pond. Also about 20% is covered in lily pads, which I can control and consider a positive for the relatively shallow pond. Plus several cinder block structures as well. I'm putting together a 2" pvc minnow fortress, just want to rough up the insides of tubes before launching.
PROBLEM (rant, you may wish to skip this) with this big bream pond: algae; thick mats covering 90%, then FA, come July chara remains. This starts in late March, before the water warms up and a self shading phytoplankton bloom can be triggered by fertilizing.
Have plans to aggressively eradicate FA in 2020. In late March I'll treat with liquid copper sulfate, then repeat 10 days later in early April to essentially rid most rooted growth. This October I'm renting an excavator to trench off the above surface spring 35' upstream; 4' deep 20' long. Have pond liner, cinder blocks, and cement to semi-seal the trench and channel excess water around during the rainy winter and spring. This is to reduce the 'flushing' of pond water. The subsurface pond springs provide ample water, there'll still be 10-20gpm outflow. In spite of pond bottom getting a truck load of lime sand (25ton I was told?), I'll pellet lime the pond to prep for spring. PH was 7.3 the one check, not so worried on PH. Fingerling tilapia will be stocked when water touches 70 degrees. Come late April with warm water, I'll fertilize for pyhto-bloom and get ahead of the algae mats I've endured these past 3 years since the pond was dug.
It's taken a lot of research reading, along with observations, to realize that the rooted algae doesn't die in the winter (?chara, ell grass, ect..?) There's been no way to beat it by just fertilizing when the water starts to warm. I've spent more $$ and time raking it than I do mowing my 4 acre place. A lesser man would've given up.
Last edited by Will W; 08/28/1904:10 PM. Reason: try to add foto
Wondering about RES in the mix in the new half-acre pond. Not much plant life yet and only FHM and LCS in pond so far. Plan is to add black crappie followed by blue catfish as apex predator. Goal is a few very large "pet" catfish and maybe some crappie for my neighbor to catch. Clay bottom of pond holds water great but even the lotus is struggling. It has spread but never lifted a leaf above the water or bloomed yet. Would actually prefer chain pickerel instead of blue catfish but no source for those that I can find. Already have BG/LMB pond and YP/SMB pond, so wanting something different. Can't find pumkinseed source either. Just planning now until plants get going.
I'd be fascinated with any newly attempted strategies for small crappie pond. Maybe a 10' x 10' grow out mini-pond, select single sex crappie and place 'em in a larger single species pond that's mostly minnow habitat?
Looks though occasionally, someone gets a few large crappie with lots of apex predators.
Last edited by RESpond; 09/02/1910:55 AM. Reason: pic