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Joined: Aug 2014
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I built a 1/4 pond in western WA in 2000, 14 feet deep. I stocked it with 50 BG and 50 LMB after a state permit. (That was the only two species other than trout they would allow.)

After 5 years, I had beautiful fish. BG the size of a dinner plate and lots of nice LMB. I threw all the bass back in the pond. Then they all suddenly disappeared. I put in a game camera and found a dozen poachers. (My neighbors, but also strangers coming right out of the woods, like marauding Vikings).

I filled the pond with alder saplings. The BG loved this and I did see a few small bass. The camera showed I solved the poaching problem, so I removed the saplings after two years.

This year, the pond has thousands of bullfrog tadpoles. I don't see a single bass and the BG fry have been cut in half.

I usually gig every frog I can find, but you can't get them all. I can go buy another 50 LMB, but I assume they will be suffer from the big frogs, and that might be futile. Moving bigger LMB from another pond is illegal.

Any advice? I hate to poison the pond and start all over.

Thanks,

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If you can't move larger bass, and no hatchery around to buy them, consider building a cage in the pond. Grow some out from small stock. Lots of good posts on this in the archives.

I don't know much in regards to stocking plans, but those intial numbers seem way to bass heavy. If you didn't have evidence of poachers, I would have guessed that it may be the problem.

Could it be that you have one or two very large LMB in there and are hogging up all the small bass and BG fry?

By the way, welcome to the forum. Hope you hang around and enjoy it. Lots of good info here.

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Welcome to the forum. I agree with what was said about getting smaller LMB and cageing them. But to do that you'll need to purchase feed trained LMB.

I hope the poachers were dealt with by the authorities so it doesn't happen again.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Can you do a seine survey and post some pictures showing the body condition of the BG and/or LMB that are present in your pond? A rod and reel survey with pictures showing the body condition of any larger fish you catch would be helpful too. This should give us some clues to the current fish population dynamics going on.

I wouldn't be worried about the bullfrog tadpoles, around here bass won't eat them if there is an abundance of other better things to eat, BF tads don't taste very good to LMB. Having a lot of BF tadpoles doesn't necessarily indicate that your LMB are all gone, it just indicates that you had a good tadpole hatch awhile back. My guess is that the alder saplings that you added provided sufficient cover for a few adult bullfrogs to avoid predation by your bass which then resulted in a good tadpole hatch, this is likely the reason you currently have an abundance of BF tadpoles. Ponds with good frog populations usually have decent amounts of aquatic vegetation present that provide cover from predation.



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Thanks for the welcome and info.

I'm not set up to net the pond, but I'll fish it a bit and post pictures of what I catch. I have a couple of spots that are permanent cedar thickets I added for escape areas.

I'm glad to hear the frogs are not a problem. I've seen pictures of them on Youtube eating birds. The legs are as big as a small fryer. I get about ten big frogs per year out of it. I was thinking they are eating the small bass. I have not caught or seen a big bass in about five years.

In the beginning, the bass would snap at anything that touched the surface. I used to mow around in condensing circles and drive all the grasshoppers into the frenzy. Now the bugs just swim back to the shore.

I'll look for another source of hatchery bass this week.

Thanks again.

coyotejoe

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Hey coyotejoe, I'm sorry to change the subject on ya, but how do you catch the frogs


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We always shine a light in their eyes and walk up to them and reach around behind them where they can't see you and grab em!

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When I walk in my yard I hear them jumping I to the water. I never get a chance to even see them


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Spotlight after dark around here no adults make it through a summer.. Very tasty smile


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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On Frogs: Some of my friends (smiling) think I should thank the poachers because the frogs are so good, but I love to see the bass jump.

Anyway, I went through a bunch of goofy stuff catching them before I got it down (a couple of gigs, flashlights and a rake on the pond bottom).

I walk around the pond about 10:00 pm (Aug.) and drive all the frogs into the water. Then I follow the shore with a little raft, a headlamp and a .22 with LR hollow points. I shoot under their eyes and the shock knocks them right out. (This technique does not work if they are on the bank.)

As soon as you grab them, knock their heads against the boat or they will wake up and jump out of your hands.

Back to topic: The hatchery guy told me that channel cat (which he sells) would clear out the frog problem. My relatives claim that channel cat will take over in short order and you'll have little else. They also don't like to swim in a pond with big ones. (They've seen ducks disappear.)

What do you all think?

coyotejoe


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