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Hello there. I've been gathering a lot of info from this site and appreciate everyone's experience and knowledge yet I haven't been able to decide on what I should add to build the ecosystem.

My pond is almost finished and will be approximately 1 acre in size, water table supplied and primary focus will be Rainbow Trout and possibly hornpout, NO bass. It has a max depth of 20', a section that is 10' with a sharp taper to shore. I'm not looking to feed the fish but want a self sustaining ecosystem. I'm in southern Maine so there really isn't a concern of overheating or freezing solid given the depths. What should I add for forage for the RBT, feed for the forage and possible vegetation? Does anyone have experience with RBT in New England ponds or RBT suggestions overall?

Thanks in advance,

Ernie

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Hi I'm sorry if this question is obvious but...


If you have a private pond, and it doesnt have a single double digit bass... Do you REALLY have a private pond?

smile

There are a million posts and old articles out there about structure. Is that what you are asking? Or are you referring to the forage base? Plants?

Is a pond builder doing the build out for you? If so they may have good input, or the fishery you are getting your trout from.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
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Us Yankees like our Trout. smile

Not looking for advice on physical structure. Need advice on forage base, how to provide for them and aquatic vegetation. I wanted to get some knowledge before I got a stocking permit from the state.

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What are the forage fish that are in Maine? i.e. what type of shiners and minnows?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Mainahs70,

Welcome to PondBoss. Say just to be sure, is hornpout bullhead? If so ... and if you do not prefer them over trout, I think I would abstain from them. Trout are very efficient utilizing small prey and so it will help your trout a lot if don't have to compete for them. One our members, wbuffetjr, has a pond in the mountains where his trout are growing very fast on two primary prey species(Gammarus & Fathead Minnow). See his thread below ... it describes what he has done for habitat improvement for forage. It appears to be working very well.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=528330

I notice that Fathead Minnow (FHM) are not native to Maine but also noticed that the state hosts established reproducing populations. Also notice that their use as bait is allowed in Maine. You might check with your state to see if stocking them in your pond will be blessed. As an invasive, its a pretty weak player compared to most others. Where it might be a problem is if your watershed hosts water that is ideal for them but also hosts native species that cannot outcompete them. If your water lies within the infested water's geographic extents, you could do no harm, if your bait bucket was accidently bumped over and its contents spilled in your pond.

You must establish Gammarus. This is would be the back bone of your food chain. Another good player would be assellus aquaticus ... particularly ... if you will be getting terrestrial leave inputs into your pond. They will grow through the winter recycling these leaves.

Ideally, ALL of the forage in your pond is food for the trout even if the forage is as big as it will get as an adult. Then it is up to you to control the standing weight of trout below a threshold that would over-browse the forage. If you do this, the growth of your trout will approach the maximum potential growth which is only limited by how much they want to eat smile


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


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Originally Posted by CityDad
Hi I'm sorry if this question is obvious but...


If you have a private pond, and it doesnt have a single double digit bass... Do you REALLY have a private pond?

smile


LOL! I say double digit bass isn't the above all end all. They are the most costly prize, to be sure. But when one thinks about what they could have had if this hadn't been the goal, maybe for many it just isn't worth it.

I say it isn't your private pond UNLESS it is the fishery you want. I am reminded of friend who wanted a crappie pond. Above all else, he wanted crappie and everything else was to revolve around that. His wants were immediately affronted with no's and shouldn't do that, etc. He got lots of advice but in the end every bit of it actually favored growing Large LMB and BG forage. As a consequence, he has beautiful trophy bass but very few crappie. He has the pond they want but not the pond he wanted. So I ask you, does he have a private pond?


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


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Golden and Common are common around here with Fathead being mentioned. Thanks for the tip on Gammarus and Assellus Aquaticus, I'll read up on them and the link you provided. I have a lot of hardwood growing around the pond and there will be plenty of leaves in the fall.

Thanks for the info. I find advice from experienced people much better than the large amount of conflicting and confusing information on the internet.

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Originally Posted by Mainahs70
Golden and Common are common around here with Fathead being mentioned. Thanks for the tip on Gammarus and Assellus Aquaticus, I'll read up on them and the link you provided. I have a lot of hardwood growing around the pond and there will be plenty of leaves in the fall.

Just as a heads up. I would not stock Goldens and I also think Commons get larger than would be ideal. For the fish prey, you need fish are that accessible to the trout (not too large) and that will not compete in the trout's niche. If FHM are not an option, investigate natives that are similar in size as adults <3.5"

Other options may be species of fundulus genera that naturally occur abundantly in still waters with fish. I am not very familiar with the eastern states species and distributions, but I do know the greatest variety is out there. So around here, the blackstripe topminnow is a good candidate. This is part of the fun of it all, I think, learning new things about local ecology. A small fish would be great compliment to the trout. Just be careful with your choice in that it doesn't become too abundant so as to reduce the production of gammarus and asselus aquaticus. This should not be a problem if they top out in length in the 2" to 4" range. Be particularly careful with your identifications. The minnow like fish may be more important to the trout during winter when they are force to occupy the same water (the warm water near bottom).

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/10/20 09:02 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


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Any idea where I can purchase the Gammarus Fasciatus and Assellus Aquaticus? From what I read the G Fasciatus is cold tolerant, what about the A Aquaticus? That link of wbuffetjr DO journey was very informative. While my pond will definitely freeze over my weather isn't as harsh. I had been thinking of adding air and the link is giving me plenty of ideas and sources.

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You could probably source locally adapted Gammarus and Asselus in Maine near your home. Gammarus love weeds but also utilize rocks for cover. They are easy to find where they are present. Asselus and be found in similar water but can also be found in stagnant waters that may be to warm for Gammarus. They are around. To find local ones search on fishing/Maine/and then the species. You will likely find articles where one or the other is an abundant species of importance in that water.

As for purchasing, I have never found a good source for Gammarus. There is a vendor from Texas that sells hyallela Azteca under "Gammarus" . Not the same thing and they will neither achieve the size nor the standing weights most gammarus do. Wouldn't hurt to have them but like the others you can find them locally adapted to your climate.

Here is source for Asselus:

https://www.wardsci.com/store/product/8878222/isopods-freshwater

If it costs a bit of time or money to establish these species ... don't sweat it ... they will pay for themselves many times over. Delay adding the Trout (maybe even the minnow) until you have good forage populations going.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/10/20 11:58 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


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Originally Posted by Mainahs70
Us Yankees like our Trout. smile
I can understand that. But do you really like bullheads?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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My old french Grandfather taught me to fish for pout and how to clean and cook them along with snapping turtles. He would eat anything that moved. So yes I do like them, dipped in milk, into flour, salt, and pepper then pan fried.

Don't think I'll add them to the pond after what people have warned. From what old timers have said I'll get them whether I want to or not though.

Last edited by Mainahs70; 12/17/20 05:53 PM.
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Hey Mainahs70,

My Grandfather used to like them for breakfast. I have some great memories of that and fishing with him for them. Get this, he stocked his pond with them from a wet gunny sack instead of bucket.

Anyways, thanks to our member Snipe, he has shared a place where you could buy a good quantity of scuds (or at least scud like amphipods). This place also sells native plants and I think their prices look good and that the quantities they provide are sufficient to get both amphipods and desired water weeds established. Their webpage with scuds and plants can be found here.


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


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Mainahs70, that is a good resource that jpsdad posted. Here is another one for plants, although you will have to go through their catalog with a fine tooth comb to find their underwater (submerged) pond plants, which are very few in number. They offer many marginal plants. https://www.cardnonativeplantnurser...-25/files/assets/basic-html/page-1.html#

Here is another one, but you might have to order in larger quantities than what you actually need - they are wholesalers. http://www.spencenursery.com/Index/home.php


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Thanks for the links, much appreciated. A lot of selections to be made.

I have the direct number for the IFW biologist and will call him tomorrow. Seems like he'll be helpful with flora and fauna too.

Another note, the excavator is back to dig a section deeper. There are a few 15-20 ft deep sections but one around 5 ft. I do have a some leads on structure components and this winter to plan it out.

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Update on pond. Finished excavating in December and ice has been out for a couple of weeks. Its nearly full and I put in 20 doz golden shiners, a couple of yards of half-decomposed leaves and vegetation and buckets of pond muck in one location. When the clay dries up around the pond I'll work on two other areas and stock a lot more shiners and maybe crayfish. I do have a question regarding vegetation around pond. What would be a good ground cover around the pond for erosion control considering poor soil to start and zone 5A? What about shoreline and shallow area plants?

Thanks in advance for suggestions.

Ernie

[img]https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=533433&#Post533433[/img]

Last edited by Mainahs70; 04/05/21 08:44 AM.
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Bare clay will be really hard to get things started. Do you have the option of getting some top soil spread? Crown vetch, while it can be invasive, is about the only thing I know that can tackle crap soils in our climate. Besides Poison Ivy and whip grass of course.

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If we had a cultivar of Poison Ivy that would keep out herons, cormorants, otters, muskrats, and trespassers ...

then it might almost be worth planting around the pond!

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Ouch!

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
If we had a cultivar of Poison Ivy that would keep out herons, cormorants, otters, muskrats, and trespassers ...

then it might almost be worth planting around the pond!

I want the talking plant from Little Shop of Horrors on a floating island, trained to eat cormorants. Genetic engineering, anyone?

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7ac, 2015 CNBG, RES, FHM; 2016 TP, FLMB. 2017 NLMB & GSH,L. 2018 TP & 70 HSB, PK. 2019 TP, RBT,. 2020 TFS,TP, 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT, -206. 2021 TFS,TP, GSH, -310




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I just read about crown vetch. It seems like a good choice to get vegetation growing. What's the difference between that and Hairy Vetch?

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"Hairy vetch and common vetch are widely used as cool-season cover crops. They are annuals that can easily be killed when time comes to plant the main crop. Crown vetch is an extremely aggressive perennial that is used for erosion control, not as a cover crop."

"Common Name: Crown Vetch
Scientific Name: Securigera varia (L.) Lassen, formerly Coronilla varia L.
Legal Status: Restricted

Propagation and sale of this plant are prohibited in Minnesota. Transportation is only allowed when in compliance with Minnesota Statute 18.82. Although Restricted Noxious Weeds are not required to be controlled or eradicated by law, landowners are strongly encouraged to manage these invasive plants on their properties in order to reduce spread into new areas. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law."


We grow a lot of different plants at our farm, but I am NOT AN EXPERT on ground covers. However, I thought planting crown vetch was on the "naughty" list for most applications. (I do not know the advisory for Maine.)

I do have experience fighting invasive plants on our farm. It is NOT an enjoyable hobby.

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"Temporary Ground Cover

If you have an annual garden that is largely barren during the fall and winter, you can plant a temporary ground cover to protect against erosion during the colder months. For example, annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) grows quickly from seed and withstands temperatures well below freezing -- it grows to a 3-foot maximum height, producing a beautiful swaying action in the winter winds. As spring arrives, you simply till the grass into the garden before seeding occurs. Your resulting topsoil has added nutrients from the cut ryegrass so that newly transplanted annual plants have a boost for spring and summer growth."


Annual ryegrass is a pretty common starter for erosion control. Use it that first season when you finish your pond dirt work at a bad time (like the middle of August). You can then plant your "permanent" ground cover the next spring at the optimal time for your plant species and climate.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
"Hairy vetch and common vetch are widely used as cool-season cover crops. They are annuals that can easily be killed when time comes to plant the main crop. Crown vetch is an extremely aggressive perennial that is used for erosion control, not as a cover crop."

"Common Name: Crown Vetch
Scientific Name: Securigera varia (L.) Lassen, formerly Coronilla varia L.
Legal Status: Restricted

Propagation and sale of this plant are prohibited in Minnesota. Transportation is only allowed when in compliance with Minnesota Statute 18.82. Although Restricted Noxious Weeds are not required to be controlled or eradicated by law, landowners are strongly encouraged to manage these invasive plants on their properties in order to reduce spread into new areas. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law."


We grow a lot of different plants at our farm, but I am NOT AN EXPERT on ground covers. However, I thought planting crown vetch was on the "naughty" list for most applications. (I do not know the advisory for Maine.)

I do have experience fighting invasive plants on our farm. It is NOT an enjoyable hobby.

My experience with Crown Vetch is that it is NOT a good competitor in fertile soil. Its not easy to establish in undisturbed soils. It really likes depleted and/or disturbed soils with little humus where it can stake the claim that few others can. In OK, the state highway department used it extensively to control erosion on highway cuts where it is very effective at holding soil. It has not taken over the tall grass prairie where there is little good habitat for it. It's really not the Russian thistle or hairy vetch kind of invasive. That said, if Maine prohibits it then don't use it.


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


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Originally Posted by Mainahs70
I just read about crown vetch. It seems like a good choice to get vegetation growing. What's the difference between that and Hairy Vetch?

Hairy Vetch grows much taller and is an annual. It seeds each year and can be problematic. I've seen it grow as high as my hip. Its flowers are light to dark purple.

Crown vetch is a perennial. Where I have seen it growing, it grows to just about knee high. It is toxic to horses but I don't know just how great that risk is. You definitely don't want to feed horses the hay but whether horses will eat much of it when provided other good forage is something others can comment on. Crown vetch looks manicured compared to Hairy Vetch which looks very unkempt. The blooms of Crown Vetch vary from white to pink to light purplish. In stands, I've seen, the color of blooms didn't have consistent color. Honey bees are highly attracted to Crown Vetch while Bumble Bees are attracted to Hairy Vetch.

https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_cova2.pdf

https://extension.umaine.edu/bluebe...broadleaf-weeds/pink-flowers/crownvetch/

https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/weeds/vetch.htm

https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/weeds/factsheets/crown-vetch-pa.pdf

Last edited by jpsdad; 04/07/21 08:07 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


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