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Re: more dead bluegill
Snipe #501497 02/04/19 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: Snipe
WOW!!! I've never seen a recommendation of more than 250-300 BG/acre unless it was by someone that was also selling the fish.
75 LMB per acre might be possible if conditions were perfect I guess but 40-50 seems more appropriate.
I'm completely missing something on these stocking rates I guess.
I should be considering I'm from a different part of the country, but that sure seems extremely high to me..??
EDIT: I went and looked up your source. I assumed it was a publication..It is a supplier, I will apologize for my comments about "recommendations from a supplier", but I will not apologize for believing that is too high.. I believe it is.


Snipe, in your area, your pond is very fertile. You could easily stock 3000 to 4000 BG per acre, and 100 LMB without any problem at all. I know you work with some state pros, yet states are usually VERY conservative, and most stocking information is based on books written more than 75 years ago, and little modern day empirical evidence that is repeatable, often gets little more than scoffed at by many a state fishery biologist...some states stay abreast of change, but those are in the minority. A lot of the reasons for an abhorrence to modern methods and change could be due to concentrating on "native" fish species over sport fishing

Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501507 02/04/19 09:09 AM
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Rainman, I'd say you are correct on how I think.. I guess I've been trained to think a certain way. This is new territory to me being "unleashed".
Having these high stocking rates and as ewest commented above about "balancing on a knife blade", this situation requires very proactive, hands-on management practices. That is something we don't have when managing a public fishery.
Such as..if a 15" min is set, the fish will start leaving at 12"..
As you probably well know, managing public waters is more about managing the people vs the fish.
I do the best I can and this knowledge here on private, controlled ponds is new to me so good chance I'll stick both feet in my mouth on occasion.


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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501513 02/04/19 11:53 AM
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Goals and location make a difference. There are often several ways to reach the same place.

Sorry about your situation Scott. From What I see I think you have a problem not caused entirely by crowding. It is a guess however. Please let us know what the biologists find.
















Re: more dead bluegill
Snipe #501515 02/04/19 12:09 PM
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Snipe I am no pro but have been reading on this forum for a few years and manage 5 ponds of my own.

Keep in mind those stocking rates are starting with a blank slate. No fish present when stocked. Here is the thinking, based on what I have read here on PBF and gathered from other posters, as well as some limited experience of my own.

Stocking a relative small number of BG can actually lead to more fish rather than less. In some very old research papers, stocking only as few as 5 pair of BG produced enough offspring to completely provide fish to reach carrying capacity of the pond quickly. In fact, stocking more initially actually led to lower overall fish populations, the reason being the initial stocked fish became predators for newly hatched fish of the first and subsequent spawns. So the 5 pairs produced more spawned reproduction than say if the a hundred fish were initially stocked, because of lowered predation.

The other thing that comes into play is the first fish stocked are usually the best growth rates the pond has to offer. Later spawns have difficulty attaining the growth rate of the initial stockers because the pond quickly reaches carrying capacity and food becomes a limiting factor. So if nice BG are desired, if you stock a small number you will have a small number of nice BG but stocking larger numbers will produce larger numbers of those quick growing nice size BG.

Not sure if I explained myself very well. But low stocking numbers can actually lead to over population. Stocking correct numbers for the goal desired can start out with the correct balance desired.

Those are a couple reasons I have picked up and the actual stocking numbers depend on if LMB are the main goal, BG are the main goal, balanced pond main goal, etc. In a private pond where desirable size fish are wanted in the shortest time possible, it can be looked at differently than a large public lake with different dynamics.

That is just my non-professional non-expert opinion. Now the experts can give you the real answer. grin

Last edited by snrub; 02/04/19 12:22 PM.

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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501521 02/04/19 03:16 PM
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FWIW the few LMB/BG fisheries I manage for clients I recommended a 250 RES 1,000-1,500 BG 25-100 LMB/AC ratio depending on goals, supplemental feeding, etc. Looks like I'm relying on some of the older data for those numbers, might want to nudge it up a tad.

For cool water species, again based on goals for the fishery and harvest plans, I recommend 250-500 RES, 250-500 YP, 25-100 SMB, 25-50 WE, 10-25 HSB/AC. With our recent HBCP success, I'm trying to determine ideal stocking numbers for them, but I'm guessing somewhere around 100-200/AC again depending on harvest, supplemental feeding programs and forage base type/management. Every fishery is unique in these respects, but that's a summary of how I work with my clients.


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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501560 02/05/19 07:53 AM
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As ewest stated, there are often many ways to attain a desired goal. Combine that statement with what Bill Cody says often, "It all depends". The latter statement is the most important! It all depends....on your unique pond, your unique goals, your unique fertility, your unique desire to commit to time managing your BOW...it ALL depends, Whether you choose your own management strategies or have a professional help/do it for you, what your desires and goals are will be the leading factor on what is done.

Re: more dead bluegill
teehjaeh57 #501563 02/05/19 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
FWIW the few LMB/BG fisheries I manage for clients I recommended a 250 RES 1,000-1,500 BG 25-100 LMB/AC ratio depending on goals, supplemental feeding, etc. Looks like I'm relying on some of the older data for those numbers, might want to nudge it up a tad.


What is the AC abbreviation for?

Re: more dead bluegill
jludwig #501565 02/05/19 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted By: jludwig
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
FWIW the few LMB/BG fisheries I manage for clients I recommended a 250 RES 1,000-1,500 BG 25-100 LMB/AC ratio depending on goals, supplemental feeding, etc. Looks like I'm relying on some of the older data for those numbers, might want to nudge it up a tad.


What is the AC abbreviation for?


I am going to guess AC is acre.


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Re: more dead bluegill
bigpullerman #501575 02/05/19 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted By: bigpullerman
What is the AC abbreviation for?


I am going to guess AC is acre. [/quote]

That would make sense. Thanks!

Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501666 02/06/19 11:33 PM
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UPDATE- Here is what she emailed me today. I will be taking her a water sample asap.

Weíre still waiting from some test results but this is what we know so far:
- monogenean (parasites) infestation on gills but within what we consider normal for fish living in a pond
- gills had hyperplasia (were swollen)
- liver of the largest fish was pale, suggesting a systemic disease
We isolated a bacteria culture from that liver. We havenít confirmed the bacterial species yet but we should have the results soon.
Overall, based on what we know so far and in my opinion, Iím leaning towards a water quality issue that is making the fish susceptible to a bacterial infection. I believe the bacteria we have is a species of Aeromonas, a typical opportunistic pathogen that doesnít cause problems when fish are maintain in good conditions. It is unusual for this time of the year, too cold, butÖ. thatís what I can tell you for now.
We forgot to ask you for a water sample. If you donít mind to stop by again and bring us ~ 1 L of water, we can check it for you.

Iíll let you know the definitive diagnosis before the weekend.


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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501669 02/07/19 12:45 AM
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Scott...visually, your water sure looks healthy, nice phytoplanton bloom rolling and I see no evidence of excess nutrients by way of FA...and your BG are some of the finest I've ever seen, and I've seen A LOT of BG nationwide on here, in person, on BigBluegill.com etc. This is the first episode of a fishery wide lethal event targeting seemingly robust and super healthy fish that I've ever witnessed, so it's been very educational for myself and likely everyone else. I am really sorry for your situation, but considering your ability to grow amazing BG fast, it probably couldn't happen to a better guy in that respect as you'll be back at it in no time. One question...are these CNBG? If so, do you think their lower tolerance to cold water could have something to do with their susceptibility to an infection? If they are CNBG, are you considering stocking NBG to perhaps hedge your bets in case you get another polar event in the coming years? Scientists say these weather/temp extremes will become more common...

Last edited by teehjaeh57; 02/07/19 12:49 AM. Reason: another question

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Re: more dead bluegill
snrub #501674 02/07/19 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: snrub
Snipe I am no pro but have been reading on this forum for a few years and manage 5 ponds of my own.

Keep in mind those stocking rates are starting with a blank slate. No fish present when stocked. Here is the thinking, based on what I have read here on PBF and gathered from other posters, as well as some limited experience of my own.

Stocking a relative small number of BG can actually lead to more fish rather than less. In some very old research papers, stocking only as few as 5 pair of BG produced enough offspring to completely provide fish to reach carrying capacity of the pond quickly. In fact, stocking more initially actually led to lower overall fish populations, the reason being the initial stocked fish became predators for newly hatched fish of the first and subsequent spawns. So the 5 pairs produced more spawned reproduction than say if the a hundred fish were initially stocked, because of lowered predation.

The other thing that comes into play is the first fish stocked are usually the best growth rates the pond has to offer. Later spawns have difficulty attaining the growth rate of the initial stockers because the pond quickly reaches carrying capacity and food becomes a limiting factor. So if nice BG are desired, if you stock a small number you will have a small number of nice BG but stocking larger numbers will produce larger numbers of those quick growing nice size BG.

Not sure if I explained myself very well. But low stocking numbers can actually lead to over population. Stocking correct numbers for the goal desired can start out with the correct balance desired.

Those are a couple reasons I have picked up and the actual stocking numbers depend on if LMB are the main goal, BG are the main goal, balanced pond main goal, etc. In a private pond where desirable size fish are wanted in the shortest time possible, it can be looked at differently than a large public lake with different dynamics.

That is just my non-professional non-expert opinion. Now the experts can give you the real answer. grin

John, I appreciate you taking the time to expain your understanding of that scenario and I must say you've opened my eyes to something I've never really thought about and that is the fact that 99.9% of my experience is from "corrective" actions and management in an existing fishery. I have very seldom had much of an opportunity to start at zero..
With that said, I guess with my first time private pond and the research I done on my own is what led me to find this forum and why I joined.. I need to listen more and talk less!

And Scott, I hope they find an answer to whats going on and you'll be on your way to fixing the issue.

Last edited by Snipe; 02/07/19 03:45 AM.

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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501692 02/07/19 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: scott69
UPDATE- Here is what she emailed me today. I will be taking her a water sample asap.

Weíre still waiting from some test results but this is what we know so far:
- monogenean (parasites) infestation on gills but within what we consider normal for fish living in a pond
- gills had hyperplasia (were swollen)
- liver of the largest fish was pale, suggesting a systemic disease
We isolated a bacteria culture from that liver. We havenít confirmed the bacterial species yet but we should have the results soon.
Overall, based on what we know so far and in my opinion, Iím leaning towards a water quality issue that is making the fish susceptible to a bacterial infection. I believe the bacteria we have is a species of Aeromonas, a typical opportunistic pathogen that doesnít cause problems when fish are maintain in good conditions. It is unusual for this time of the year, too cold, butÖ. thatís what I can tell you for now.
We forgot to ask you for a water sample. If you donít mind to stop by again and bring us ~ 1 L of water, we can check it for you.

Iíll let you know the definitive diagnosis before the weekend.



What type of feed are you giving them? Is it free of mold? Old? What is the protein/fat ratio. Carbohydrate percentage?

Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501697 02/07/19 01:33 PM
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Thanks for the update on the results so far. I think Scott has ( he should confirm) a hypertrophic pond (highly productive water). If you couple that with extensive feeding problems can arise (like running a car engine at full out for too long). Stress and heat (productivity) can result in to fast of a growth rate and liver issues. Stress allows in other vectors like described. To add to this fast temp changes lower (if this occurred) can cause lipid imbalance in fish which can lead to death. The liver is involved in lipid (fat) processing etc.


But like TJ I have not seen this where fish are in such good condition. TJ they are CNBG.

Last edited by ewest; 02/07/19 01:36 PM.















Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501698 02/07/19 01:37 PM
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Could it be possible.........these fish are a victim of their own success?

Follow along with my thinking process and see if the logic makes sense.

TJ said those dead fish looked like they were in great condition. I agree. I would LOVE to have BG look like those (when they are alive of course, not the dead ones).

But are they really in good health condition? Or are they actually obese? Would we look at a 400# human and say "wow, what great condition and rate of gain they had?".

The fish look pretty fat to me. A certain amount of fat going into the winter is desirable for the fish to survive. But is more always better?

What if the fish were simply too fat, the fat stiffened up in extremely cold weather, and the fish muscles couldn't move so the fish suffocated?

Not saying this is the case. Just a hypothesis from a non expert.

Edit: ewest posted his reply while I was typing this post. What he said.

Last edited by snrub; 02/07/19 01:41 PM.

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Re: more dead bluegill
snrub #501699 02/07/19 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: snrub
Could it be possible.........these fish are a victim of their own success?

Follow along with my thinking process and see if the logic makes sense.



What if the fish were simply too fat, the fat stiffened up in extremely cold weather, and the fish muscles couldn't move so the fish suffocated?

Not saying this is the case. Just a hypothesis from a non expert.



Not saying this is the case but here is some info on the process.

The ability of a fish to alter its lipid composition when placed in colder water is one factor that determines survival. The death of these fish is thought to be a result of the fat that the goldfish consume or produce (Mitchell 1990). Goldfish with high concentrations of saturated body fat are less tolerant of temperature change than fish with high concentrations of unsaturated body fat. Similarly, rainbow trout Oncorhynhcus mykiss that have been fed diets high in saturated fats stiffen and die when placed in cold water (Mitchell 1990). In these fish, the fat apparently hardens in the colder water, causing the fat-impregnated muscles to stiffen and the fish to become exhausted and lose movement. This differs between species and likely between BG and CNBG.


Last edited by ewest; 02/07/19 01:48 PM.















Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501701 02/07/19 02:20 PM
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Lots of good discussion and learning possibilities in this thread.

Scott, was there a sudden cold snap that lasted a few days to week around the event of BG dying? I don't think that would influence water temperature too much but I could mistaken especially if ice was allowed to form.

Re: more dead bluegill
jludwig #501702 02/07/19 03:31 PM
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A sharp cold snap in early October 2017 was followed by fungus infection on almost all the large CNBG at my BOW. Nothing else was affected, including smaller CNBG. My hypothesis is that large CNBG were in shallows spawning so were most vulnerable to temp change.

Didn't happen in 2018, thank goodness.


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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501704 02/07/19 03:41 PM
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I can't speak for Scott, but knowing him I suspect he wouldn't approach something as critical as the health of his fishery with tendencies to cut corners...so he's likely using AM, Skretting, or Optimal. The BG necropsy should yield some interesting data regarding condition of internal organs...even if it were a pellet nutrition derived issue, isn't it unusual all these fish would expire simultaneously? I fed AM exclusively for 8 years and never witnessed anything even close to this...lot's of factors must be involved per Eric leading to a kill event?


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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501705 02/07/19 03:42 PM
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Been reading this topic and I don't have a clue as to what happened or would I even a guess. Lots of theories by a lot of smart people. Hope someone figures it out. I feel bad for Scott. He has spent a lot of time, effort and $$$$$ to have nice BG and then see that happen to them.


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Not after trophies I just like catching and eating fish
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Re: more dead bluegill
scott69 #501709 02/07/19 03:53 PM
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Me too, BPM - but a guy like Scott will interpret this temporary setback as a direct challenge and he will likely come back with improvements to the available shoreline following drawdown and BG 3x the original size...maybe a zip-line, too. He's wired like that...I suspect a lot of us are.


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Re: more dead bluegill
teehjaeh57 #501720 02/07/19 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Scott...visually, your water sure looks healthy, nice phytoplanton bloom rolling and I see no evidence of excess nutrients by way of FA...and your BG are some of the finest I've ever seen, and I've seen A LOT of BG nationwide on here, in person, on BigBluegill.com etc. This is the first episode of a fishery wide lethal event targeting seemingly robust and super healthy fish that I've ever witnessed, so it's been very educational for myself and likely everyone else. I am really sorry for your situation, but considering your ability to grow amazing BG fast, it probably couldn't happen to a better guy in that respect as you'll be back at it in no time. One question...are these CNBG? If so, do you think their lower tolerance to cold water could have something to do with their susceptibility to an infection? If they are CNBG, are you considering stocking NBG to perhaps hedge your bets in case you get another polar event in the coming years? Scientists say these weather/temp extremes will become more common...


tj- i took water samples to au university today so hopefully we will hear back soon. Here is kinda my guess what is happening. my pond is heavily stocked and fish are heavily fed. 2 years ago i noticed my fish didn't eat one afternoon, i got to looking and found all of them crowded in the upper end trying to get a sip of fresh water trickling in. i jumped into action and started 2 trash pumps to running and another pump that i can pull water from a nearby stream. i lost a few large bg that night, but not many. now this past summer 2018, i fertilized a few times but, didn't get a good bloom. not sure what month, but i used 30-0-0 fertilizer on my yard. a week or so later a large rain came and of course washed some in the pond. next thing you know the pond was scary green. sometime along in the summer i saw a few dead bg. i think oxygen probably got a little low. more than likely more died than i saw and got the water out of whack. i think since then it has been a snowball effect. more die and the ammonia has spiked more and more with each death. the fish are cnbg. at this point i am not sure if i will have to restock or not. i have a ton of little 1-2" bg around the shore. we are having a really warm week here so i began trying to feed a little. i see some 5-6" fish feeding, but not many. i think i have lost all of the adults, but my biggest hope is there are some left that just aren't showing themselves. possibly some too sick to eat, but might pull through. i am keeping my fingers crossed for that.


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Re: more dead bluegill
Acoursey #501721 02/07/19 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: Acoursey
Originally Posted By: scott69
UPDATE- Here is what she emailed me today. I will be taking her a water sample asap.

Weíre still waiting from some test results but this is what we know so far:
- monogenean (parasites) infestation on gills but within what we consider normal for fish living in a pond
- gills had hyperplasia (were swollen)
- liver of the largest fish was pale, suggesting a systemic disease
We isolated a bacteria culture from that liver. We havenít confirmed the bacterial species yet but we should have the results soon.
Overall, based on what we know so far and in my opinion, Iím leaning towards a water quality issue that is making the fish susceptible to a bacterial infection. I believe the bacteria we have is a species of Aeromonas, a typical opportunistic pathogen that doesnít cause problems when fish are maintain in good conditions. It is unusual for this time of the year, too cold, butÖ. thatís what I can tell you for now.
We forgot to ask you for a water sample. If you donít mind to stop by again and bring us ~ 1 L of water, we can check it for you.

Iíll let you know the definitive diagnosis before the weekend.



What type of feed are you giving them? Is it free of mold? Old? What is the protein/fat ratio. Carbohydrate percentage?


i use purina aquamax 600. always ordered fresh. i have fed a little optimal from time to time. in the peak of feeding season my feeder goes off 4 times a day. also i usually walk down there in the evening and hand feed a little just to watch them.


Scott Hanners
Re: more dead bluegill
jludwig #501723 02/07/19 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: jludwig
Lots of good discussion and learning possibilities in this thread.

Scott, was there a sudden cold snap that lasted a few days to week around the event of BG dying? I don't think that would influence water temperature too much but I could mistaken especially if ice was allowed to form.


here in alabama we rarely see ice form on a pond. cold snaps for us are upper 20's for a night time low for a few days and then back to 40 and 50 degree nights. we do go through spells for a week or so where we will have frost every morning. it was 80 here today.


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Re: more dead bluegill
bigpullerman #501724 02/07/19 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: bigpullerman
Been reading this topic and I don't have a clue as to what happened or would I even a guess. Lots of theories by a lot of smart people. Hope someone figures it out. I feel bad for Scott. He has spent a lot of time, effort and $$$$$ to have nice BG and then see that happen to them.


you are right about all the effort put into growing these big bg. the only thing i didn't do is remove enough along the way. i keep more than we can eat int he freezer, but i don't think that was enough. it is rare that people ask me to fish here. i invite people often, but people just aren't into fishing like they used to be. no one wants to take them home to clean and eat. people are too busy, lazy, or interested in other hobbies.


Scott Hanners
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