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Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #524923 08/19/20 04:52 PM
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how do we source them and if we harvest out of a local body of water, get a proper ID? I know of a small lake nearby that is loaded with 'clam-looking' critters but no idea what they are.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
canyoncreek #524925 08/19/20 05:12 PM
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I guess try to use Google to ID them, or try to find a list of mussel species in your state and compare to that. Here in NC, I'm not allowed to even possess them. Of course, if I knew someone that had them, I would definitely try to get some. Better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.... or however the saying goes.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #524926 08/19/20 05:13 PM
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Interesting brochure from Michigan. Worth reading!

Freshwater Mussels -great info

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
canyoncreek #524934 08/19/20 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
Interesting brochure from Michigan. Worth reading!

Freshwater Mussels -great info

That is very interesting, thanks for sharing that. My brain can't even comprehend a juvenile, free-swimming mussel.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #524944 08/19/20 09:44 PM
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Steve, I should have mentioned but Swingle didn't think that the BG and LMB were eating the mussels. That's at least in part why the mussel could achieve over 1100 lb/acre standing weight. He thought that the effect of the mussels cleaning the water reduced water quality limiting factors.

Also it isn't just mussels, but any organism that recycles detritus can improve water quality. So things like tilapia, PK shrimp, Asselus aquatiticus, many types of insects, crayfish, scuds, etc. Swingle didn't specifically name these but I think he would include them among organisms that can produce a water quality effect. The mussels are unique in that they probably provided no food for BG and LMB in and of themselves, so it seems very reasonable to hypothesize the effect can be completely credited to improved water quality.

I've posted the link before but knowing you would find it interesting here is the link to Swingle's Biological Means of Increasing Fish Production

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
jpsdad #524976 08/20/20 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Steve, I should have mentioned but Swingle didn't think that the BG and LMB were eating the mussels. That's at least in part why the mussel could achieve over 1100 lb/acre standing weight. He thought that the effect of the mussels cleaning the water reduced water quality limiting factors.

Yup, that's what I said, but maybe I said it wrong or you misunderstood lol. I was saying that the mussels created "better" fish without having fish that don't even eat them, like LMB. The better water quality was what created the better fish, not the mussels as a food source. Since Shad are also filter feeders, would you think they'd create a similar scenario?

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #524989 08/20/20 08:17 PM
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Quote
Since Shad are also filter feeders, would you think they'd create a similar scenario?

You bet. Shad reduce the standing crop of phytoplankton and covert zooplankton into meaningful forage for predators. Larger shad eat detritus and algea outright. There are several benefits. Increased visibility favors predators. Reduced standing crop of phytoplankton makes the nighttime dips of DO more muted with higher lows. Lower standing crops of zooplankton mean less competition for DO as well. More DO means higher predator metabolism and of course the more they are inclined to eat the more they can grow.

I will mention that good visibility does not necessarily mean that water is infertile. If there is a good mix of organisms and their predators are not over-abundant, those organisms can crop phytoplankton at the rate it reproduces. A large standing weight of phytoplankton, though it is food, isn't really a good thing. It means that consumers are not abundant enough and the phytoplankton population consists of many aged individuals. These kind of conditions can lead to phytoplankton die-offs which can also kill the fish in the pond.

Last edited by jpsdad; 08/20/20 08:21 PM.
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Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525096 08/23/20 06:08 PM
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I wonder if Gizzard Shad would be a good addition. Normally getting too big for a predator can be a problem but I don't think that's an issue here with BC. It's one of their natural food sources after all.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525110 08/24/20 06:23 AM
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I would consider adding gizzard shad if my blue catfish got really big and the black crappie became scarce. Otherwise, I would like to have a game fish as the catfish forage.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
crimsondave #525130 08/24/20 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by crimsondave
I wonder if Gizzard Shad would be a good addition. Normally getting too big for a predator can be a problem but I don't think that's an issue here with BC. It's one of their natural food sources after all.

Yeah, like RAH said, it would depend on how big you want your BC to get and what percentage of biomass you'd want your baitfish to account for. Giant Gizzard Shad might also affect the plankton required to grow BCP fry, at least in a small BoW.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525140 08/24/20 05:50 PM
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My 3rd pond (the one that I hope to make a blue catfish pond) is 1/3 to 1/2 acre, but it is not typical in that it is very watertight and the water supply is almost exclusively through subsurface water. It will be an interesting experiment. It also apparently low in nutrients so far, but gets some leaf litter, so it should have ever increasing nutrients. Plants are currently slow to spread due to clay bottom and shoreline. Even the lotus is struggling, but it did bloom this year, 3 years after planting. It died off where it was planted but has moved to other places through root runners.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
RAH #525141 08/24/20 06:50 PM
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Yeah I saw your lotus, that's pretty neat. My pond contractor is slooooow and getting this project started and I'm anxious to get it going ASAP. He gave me an estimate of around $9-12k for a 0.5 to .75 acre pond, that will involve clearing a lot of trees. He's going to sell my trees for me, so it seems like a reasonable price and he said he has experience building ponds. He mentioned all the "buzz words" a pond builder would say, so I hope it happens sooner rather than later. He said he knows a "soil guy" and he's supposedly waiting for him to call back. If it doesn't get finished before the colder weather hits, any forage fish I'm able to stock won't pull off a spawn until next year. I don't think FHM spawn in water colder than 60 degrees IIRC.

Last edited by Steve_; 08/24/20 06:56 PM.
Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525142 08/24/20 07:04 PM
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I just got a delay from a contractor to finish my 4th pond. I did not do much myself on the pond today until he called and pushed back today's meeting (late afternoon call), then I channeled my frustration into earth moving. I may just have to do this one on my own like the last one. Its hard to find solid contractors these days, but I guess that they are making more money with their strategy, just not money from me. My drainage attempts have been more successful than I thought that they would be, so maybe the delay will be in my favor? Every closed door results in another open door...

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Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
RAH #525143 08/24/20 07:58 PM
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Yeah, my contractor did say that our wet weather this month has slowed up his other projects, so I'm hoping that's the REAL reason for the setbacks. We average about 5" of rain in the month of August and we're already at 26" for the month, including a 10-inch event and a 7-inch event.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525152 08/25/20 05:04 AM
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The delay was actually a meeting to quote the work. We are in a dry spell now, but we were wet earlier in the Summer. I'll just keep working on the excavation as best that I can, and hope he gives me a good price and does a good job.

Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
Steve_ #525694 09/09/20 08:31 AM
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Just saw this from Catfish Dave on youtube. Look at all the mussels he pulls out of that little blue catfish!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl0WTQ1vib4

Last edited by crimsondave; 09/09/20 08:32 AM.
Re: Best Forage for a BC/HSB Pond
crimsondave #525698 09/09/20 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by crimsondave
Just saw this from Catfish Dave on youtube. Look at all the mussels he pulls out of that little blue catfish!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl0WTQ1vib4
Lmao, I literally just got done watching that and it made me think of this post.

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