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I'm a new member
#518696 04/01/20 12:52 PM
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KarlZ Offline OP
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Hello,
Just joined. We just dug new pond about 3/4s acre, 6-7 average depth; 15 max. Put in trees and boulders for structure. Has a spillway for overflow. The pond is now about 75% full from rainwater and natural spring. Wildlife is showing up already. Water is starting to clear up nicely and see just a hint of algae. My motivation for the pond was to reduce mowing and create a fishing pond. My objective is to have 3-4lb LMB to catch in three years. Consulted a pond mgt team; my stocking plan is FHMs this spring, bluegill and Red Ears next Fall, and LMB a year from now. I have lots of questions; right now I to know about testing my water to ensure it's chemically right for fish. I'm retired Army, work for the VA and will retire for good in three years, so I'm in no hurry, I just want to make a good fishing pond, and a nice place for wildlife to hang out. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Last edited by KarlZ; 04/16/20 05:42 PM. Reason: Correction
Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518774 04/03/20 05:57 AM
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Welcome to the show Karl. Stick around as there is a lot more to a pond than digging a hole and adding water when your goal is to grow an 8 lb'er in 3 years, For me , my pond is a place to relax and get a little Pease from all that goes on and like you catch some 8 lb lmb. Look into getting the Pond Boss Magazine, lots of info there and it supports this forum. And ask away.


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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518776 04/03/20 07:09 AM
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Welcome to PB.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518780 04/03/20 07:37 AM
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Welcome to PB. You've arrived at just the right time (right before any fish went in). I like the timeline and would only offer this advice.

1. Don't overstock the LMB next year. (this because you want 8 lb bass in three years). I am curious as to how many were recommended for your 3/4 acre pond.

2.Take advantage of the pristine condition of your pond to add some variety with regard to invertebrates. Things like Hyallela Azteca, PK shrimp, & asellus aquaticus.

3. Take advantage of this time to carefully introduce the desired plants.

Hey start a thread on your pond, it would be great to watch your progress and attain that goal.

Last edited by jpsdad; 04/03/20 07:38 AM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518781 04/03/20 07:57 AM
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Welcome to PB. Lots of knowledgeable folks here who will help you out. I am no expert. Just a data point to ponder. I have a 5 year old pond in Indiana. It freezes over every year and I stop running the feeder roughly Oct-Apr. Feeder keeps them well fed on AquaMax and I go hand feed most nights while they are active. Pond is aerated. I did the usual stocking. Started with FHM + GSH beforehand then 2-3" BG, RES, LMB. My BG are up to a pound now- they are the mass of activity at feeding. I have RES that are over that and several of them are regulars every evening taking pellets. The LMB are around 3 lbs. Haven't caught the biggest ones I see recently, but certainly not over 4 lb. Everyone has apparently spawned every year as there are all sizes - the 10-12" bass are a hoot to watch as they are in a precarious place in the food chain but still like those LMB pellets.

In Northern waters where they really slow down a portion of the year, 8 lbs that fast would take some special steps.

Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518786 04/03/20 08:23 AM
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I guess 8 pounds in 3 years is theoretically possible. But, I don't know anyone who has ever done it.

A consideration. That bass needs forage(groceries) that is 1/4 to 1/3 it's size. Its a matter of energy expended vs calories obtained. So, a big consideration would be growing huge forage. That will be a problem in only 3 years. You might have a chance with pellet trained Floridas.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518790 04/03/20 08:55 AM
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KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518792 04/03/20 09:11 AM
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That's two years of growing time. Better start out with larger bass.


61 acre water shed lake. bass, channel cat, black crappie, wiper, walleye, redear sunfish and bluegill. To many bullhead and common carp
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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518793 04/03/20 09:34 AM
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Swingle described maximum growth of the northern strain as > 2/year. This kind of growth occurred when the LMB were unable to reproduce. He thought large numbers of BG exuded a hormone that suppressed their own (and the LMB) stimulus to spawn. Others thought the BG harassed the nest to the point they all ended in failure. It may not be black and white and may actually be grey. In any event, without the offspring intercepting their gravy train ... adult LMB may achieve their maximum growth potential.

It may not be possible to achieve 8 lbs in 3 yrs. On the other hand, if the conditions are set for maximum growth and 8 lbs was achieved in 4 or 5 years ... hey that's awesome.

It's important to understand that under normally recommended stocking rates, the achievement of 8 lb LMB may not happen even with dedicated effort in management. Typical stocking rates are designed to achieve LMB reproduction the year after stocking and are also intended to prevent BG overcrowding. Anything done to maximize BG reproduction and delay LMB reproduction will serve to rapidly grow LMB. A couple of things that will do this:

1. Fewer LMB at the initial stocking (less competition)

2. A limited number of adult BG. (Lots of food for adults to induce repeated spawning and lots of room for little BG like in a BG hatchery pond)

This would maximize the LMB growth and probably delay LMB spawning for a couple of years or more. If LMB are sufficiently restricted in the initial stocking and the pond is basically a hatchery in the beginning I think it is almost a foregone conclusion that some of LMB will attain weights of 8 lbs though it might take a year or two longer.

But to this I digress. It might be a lot more fun to try to do it (under a typical stocking plan) and fail than to actually achieve the goal. Given all the trophy fish will be the same age, there won't be many of them and the BG won't be large. Might be more fun to cull LMB and catch some nice panfish to fry. Just saying ...


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: I'm a new member
Dave Davidson1 #518802 04/03/20 03:47 PM
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Well, if 8lbs is overly optimistic, that’s fine. I’m not in a hurry. I just want to get the water right and get the right plants going. Any tips on water testing and recommended plants are appreciated. I’m still excited I have 3/4 acre less to MOW. A pond management company recommended the FHM (Spring), panfish & crawdads (Fall) and 50 LMB (next spring) schedule, so of that’s not a good plan, please educate me as to why. Another fish farm said I could stock them all at once.....HE must need to sell some fish to pay the bills. I’m not doing that.
We crunched up trees and added big limestone boulders for structure. Getting my water and plants right is my priority. Again suggestions are welcome. I’m in Kansas.

Last edited by KarlZ; 04/03/20 03:54 PM. Reason: Added text.
Re: I'm a new member
DNickolaus #518810 04/03/20 05:58 PM
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Thanks, I tried posting some (.jpg) pics, but got a message that they were blocked. Gave up.

Re: I'm a new member
TGW1 #518811 04/03/20 06:09 PM
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Thanks, I see 8lbs is too ambitious, no worries. I received my first copy of PB this week!

Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518813 04/03/20 06:57 PM
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Welcome KarlZ, no clue really on the growth rates. Mainly just welcoming ya. If you have some pics of your place please post them if you would like. It's nice to see others ideas.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518817 04/03/20 07:29 PM
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You will find some who will advise to stock northern ponds together if they are same size class. I put in BG and LMB same day. They were all 2-3". The bass won't reproduce the first year and maybe not the second. There were small BG all over the place the second year. First year, the bass were mostly wiping out FHM. By second year, the GSH were pretty well gone. They were eating pellets the whole time.

If your LMB are larger, you may want that gap in stocking to let the BG get going and have enough size to escape that maw. My BG grew fast enough that there have always been a good number big enough that no LMB could eat them. The first year, my LMB were mostly adding length. They remained slender until about 14". Then they started getting wider and the mouth got bigger and they started hitting mid-size BG. I have 1 lb BG now and I doubt I will ever have LMB that can take them. As I understand it, that is what will mess up your plan if LMB get big mouths before a portion of the BG are too big to eat.

Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518832 04/03/20 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KarlZ
A pond management company recommended the FHM (Spring), panfish & crawdads (Fall) and 50 LMB (next spring) schedule, so of that’s not a good plan, please educate me as to why.


That's a typical stocking recommendation leaning to favor larger bass. So its not uncommon to see recommended stocking rates between ranging between 50 and 100 LMB fingerlings per acre. There is a huge difference between 50 and 100. The difference for you will be that they will grow faster and fewer fish will need to be culled, 38 LMB would be 50/ac for your pond.

It is possible to go with less LMB. I'm just going on memory now, but it seems I read in a thread here that Greg Grimes will go as few as 25/ac. That said, if you go with that small a quantity it is important that there be a great abundance of BG in order to inhibit LMB reproduction. I don't see anything wrong with 50 (66/acre) but culling will still remain an important part of your management. Without it, growth will start slowing around the 3 lb weight might completely stall at less than 5 lbs.

These stall weights are predictable and you can do the math. If your pond is on the upper end at say around 100 lbs/acre (75 lbs). What's the potential average weight of the original stockers? It is clear that you must depend on mortality if you are going to grow trophies. There will be some natural mortality but probably not enough without culling some fish yourself.

It's just me and there probably nothing to it .... but I might be reluctant to introduce the crawfish that early in the game. It's just they can and will eat a fair number of your minnows and creatures your bluegill need. They will also raid BG nests and might impact that forage source in a negative way. They grow fast and reproduce in great numbers. To make matters worse most will be too big to feed your fingerling bass when you stock next spring. As long as you have plenty of good cover, I think the introduction can wait until the fall after stocking the LMB. I would probably release them near cover after dark. Enough cover to protect ~20 lbs of crawfish is all you need. They will reproduce and disperse through the pond periodically and be good forage for the LMB and panfish.

I presumed that the 3 years was to start at the LMB introduction. I think its very realistic to set a goal of 5 to 6 lbs for that milestone. 8lbs is possible for sure if not in 3 yrs ... within a couple more with good management.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: I'm a new member
Theo Gallus #518836 04/03/20 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

+1


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518837 04/04/20 06:35 AM
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I'm thinking feed trained northern lmb and feed heavily purina lmb and stock 30 bg to 1 lmb along with 20 or 30 lbs of FHM's at the start. Based on what I have seen it might be possible to get a couple of the stockers there. The ones we call jumpers.

Last edited by TGW1; 04/04/20 06:39 AM.

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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518839 04/04/20 07:45 AM
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Dave Davidson, Last year I was at Smokey's pond about an hours drive from me here in deep east Texas. He and I dug our ponds the same time and stocked them at about the same time from Overton's fishery. Last year he had Overton's come out and do a electroshock survey and was nice enough to invite me over to watch! I had never seen one done. I have pictures and video of one of his lmb that weighed OVER 8 POUNDS!! It was ONLY 3 years old! Now you know someone who has done it and I got to witness it. It was amazing! So proud of all his hard work!! Just thought I would pass that on to you.


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Re: I'm a new member
Flame #518841 04/04/20 08:08 AM
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Flame, that's impressive and I've never even heard of it happening. Fish like that need to go to the TPWD breeding facility at Athens.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: I'm a new member
teehjaeh57 #518849 04/04/20 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by teehjaeh57
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

+1

Shouldn't that be +2, TJ?

Did you learn math at U of Nebraska? grin


Re: I'm a new member
jpsdad #518869 04/04/20 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Originally Posted by KarlZ
A pond management company recommended the FHM (Spring), panfish & crawdads (Fall) and 50 LMB (next spring) schedule, so of that’s not a good plan, please educate me as to why.


That's a typical stocking recommendation leaning to favor larger bass. So its not uncommon to see recommended stocking rates between ranging between 50 and 100 LMB fingerlings per acre. There is a huge difference between 50 and 100. The difference for you will be that they will grow faster and fewer fish will need to be culled, 38 LMB would be 50/ac for your pond.

It is possible to go with less LMB. I'm just going on memory now, but it seems I read in a thread here that Greg Grimes will go as few as 25/ac. That said, if you go with that small a quantity it is important that there be a great abundance of BG in order to inhibit LMB reproduction. I don't see anything wrong with 50 (66/acre) but culling will still remain an important part of your management. Without it, growth will start slowing around the 3 lb weight might completely stall at less than 5 lbs.

These stall weights are predictable and you can do the math. If your pond is on the upper end at say around 100 lbs/acre (75 lbs). What's the potential average weight of the original stockers? It is clear that you must depend on mortality if you are going to grow trophies. There will be some natural mortality but probably not enough without culling some fish yourself.

It's just me and there probably nothing to it .... but I might be reluctant to introduce the crawfish that early in the game. It's just they can and will eat a fair number of your minnows and creatures your bluegill need. They will also raid BG nests and might impact that forage source in a negative way. They grow fast and reproduce in great numbers. To make matters worse most will be too big to feed your fingerling bass when you stock next spring. As long as you have plenty of good cover, I think the introduction can wait until the fall after stocking the LMB. I would probably release them near cover after dark. Enough cover to protect ~20 lbs of crawfish is all you need. They will reproduce and disperse through the pond periodically and be good forage for the LMB and panfish.

I presumed that the 3 years was to start at the LMB introduction. I think its very realistic to set a goal of 5 to 6 lbs for that milestone. 8lbs is possible for sure if not in 3 yrs ... within a couple more with good management.



Jpsdad Really good info and I appreciate it. I think stocking 38 instead of 50 is a sound idea.

I’m sorry I posted my “fishing goal of 8 lbs in three years as that has dominated all my replies. I officially hereby abandon that goal for something more reasonable.
For now I need to know what plants I should put in, and how I get my water & soil tested. I’m all ears! Lol....

Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518871 04/04/20 07:31 PM
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Karlz dont abandon your goal. You MIGHT not hit the goal. But who really knows 100%. If therea one thing I have learned from this place is "it depends". You could end up with a bully with good genetics that's eats all the groceries. Even if most get to 6 lbs hell I'd love to have a day of landing a few 6 r's.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518894 04/05/20 08:33 AM
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Just for reference...I stocked thousands of cnbg,res,and fhm and waited another full year before stocking ONLY 50 4 inch pure Florida strain feed trained lmb from Overton's!! All this in a 2 acre pond!


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Re: I'm a new member
KarlZ #518931 04/05/20 10:12 PM
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KarlZ,

You never mentioned how many bluegill you will be stocking. I will comment on some ideas that I think will help you grow your LMB faster and to greater ultimate size. Rather than looking at the number of bluegill consider instead some target for the weight of mature and breeding BG.

For purpose of growing fingerling BG, the total "goldilocks" weight of adults is usually between 25 to 40 lbs/ac. So if the pond supports 400 lbs of BG, it is possible to grow roughly 360 lbs of 2" fingerlings from a single spawning of these fish in about 60 days. But what if there were 200 lbs of adults? Well no more than 200 lbs.

Were it me I would want my stocker BG to have attained a minimum length of about 6 inches around LMB stocking time the following spring and I would want them to weigh about 25 to 30 lbs/acre. To achieve this, one would probably need to stock the bigger fingerlings. So usually you see 1-3" and 3-6" fingerlings offered. The difference between a 6" and a 3" fingerling (or 4" and a 2" fingerling) is 8 times the weight. So you are talking about fingerlings that weigh 8 times more and that cost 2 times as much. Pretty good value if you ask me. 30 lbs/acre of 6" BG is approximately 180 BG/acre - might be good to fudge at 200 BG/acre (which is 150 for your pond). So that would be my approach and I would stock them as large as I could find them in the 3" to 6" range.

Having a smaller number of adults will help you maintain the conditions for fingerling production much longer than a heavy stocking of smaller fingerlings. Two years later -- these original stockers will probably be around 9" and will with no mortality will comprise no more than 125 lbs/acre. A smaller number of larger BG in your Fall stocking would help you in these ways.

1. With abundant invertebrate forage they will be sexually mature and at the optimum standing weight to produce the greatest amount of forage for your bass the following spring.

2. A lower number of adult BG will compete less with your fingerling bass for resources like FHM.

3. There will be so many small BG produced that many will survive to the 2"-4" size. This abundance of small BG will help to keep LMB reproduction limited.

4. In the early going, the major portion of the standing weight of BG will be in YOY. In other words, most of the standing weight of BG will be concentrated in prey of vulnerable size meaning that reaching carrying capacity may be delayed. The importance of this is that there should be repeated spawning as the conditions under the LMB's efficient cropping of YOY will be favorable both to adult BG and YOY BG.

5. The lower number initial stockers will never be able to take over a majority of the BG carrying capacity and so long as their offspring are efficiently cropped, there will be plenty of space and resources to boost BG reproduction.


Last edited by jpsdad; 04/05/20 10:28 PM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: I'm a new member
Sock Puppet #518936 04/06/20 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sock Puppet
Originally Posted by teehjaeh57
Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
KarlZ:

The best of luck pursuing "a good fishing pond".

You might find that the pond managing is even more fulfilling than the fishing.

+1

Shouldn't that be +2, TJ?

Did you learn math at U of Nebraska? grin


Damn you Sock Puppet - lurking in the shadows for my one posting error of the decade.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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by Shorty, May 27
Syphon System
Syphon System
by Deancutler, May 19
Fungus on Bluegill
Fungus on Bluegill
by Hunter_59, May 7

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