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I wouldn't stock trout until the water clears up. Trout do not survive well in continually muddy water. Muddy water is too hard on the trout's gills. Allow it to clear then stock trout. I looked up minnows for Maine. As noted the FHM and maybe the dace would probably be the best forage forage for the pond trout especially if minnows have some decent amount of refugia areas during the summer breeding season. You may have to collect redbelly dace from local waters such as beaver ponds. Supplimentally feed the trout pellets and this will relieve some of the predatory pressure from the minnows. Common shiners will basically not spawn in ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/07/21 09:14 AM.

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You might consider white dutch clover (Trifolium repens) and/or birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), if they are permitted in your area.

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Thanks for the info guys. I think I'll go with the crown vetch and ryegrass considering how poor the soil is. I read about fountain grass and will try that in select locations along with creeping jenny. Now to dry out the entrance to the pond so I can get to it.

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I recommend staying away from crown vetch. It is invasive and not very good for erosion control, even though it is often touted for that use.

https://www.entm.purdue.edu/iisc/pdf/plants/more/crown_vetch.pdf

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From Minnesota:
Quote
Crown Vetch is native to central and Eastern Europe, and the Caucus region of Asia. It was introduced to the US as early as the mid-1800s, and by the 1950s became widely planted as a groundcover, cover crop, and bank and slope stabilizer along roads and waterways. It is now found across the continental U.S. and in most counties of Minnesota. In Minnesota, it has been planted as a cover crop and used for soil stabilization, but these uses are in decline due to the invasive nature of the plant.

As I read it.

The state of Minnesota along with the every other state had encouraged the use of crown vetch for soil stabilization, manure crops, forage, and fodder for now approaching 200 years. The plant is now a naturalized participant in the ecology of the state.

Quote
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.

As I read it.

Although the State of Minnesota nurtures thousands of acres of crown vetch along thousands of miles of roads criss-crossing the state, the state will make no effort to eradicate it from state owned lands to protect your property and prevent the seed from being deposited in your soils by birds and other vectors. However, by all means, we encourage you to do whatever you can to eradicate it on your property to prevent its further spread.

Here is an example of Minnesota state sponsored crown vetch.
[Linked Image from mda.state.mn.us]

I liken crown vetch (in a state where its use isn't prohibited) much like I do Gambusia in Kansas. Its an invasive non native that has become ubiquitous in state waters. Can it really be argued that moving some into your pond is compounding the problem? Hardy so. Gams are there to stay and they will fill all spaces they can both contributing to and taking from ancestral ecology and diversity.

Transportation of non-native species is a GD shame that we can squarely put on well meaning scientists who were short sighted and in many cases just plain wrong. A classic case of Will Roger's quote that was added to my signature a few days ago.

Especially where agriculture and state sponsored use is involved, controlling such an invasive is very complicated. The plant offers benefits to agriculture that are often exploited and its use will be continued. This species is naturalized and it is going to fill its place, if it hasn't done so already in the ecology of Minnesota and in every other state where it has been used and conditions support its naturalization. Its a done deal. We will not eradicate it and it will be controlled or inhibited only at the expense of individual land owners.

We need to pick our battles. Rather than focusing on established ... naturalized ... non-natives that cannot be controlled cost effectively without economic incentives, we need to focus on not creating new problems. An example, let's not encourage stocking Rusty crayfish in Nebraska ... (something that has happened on this forum with no opposition) ... which is a problem (I hope) that doesn't presently exist there.

Crown vetch grows on slopes with no topsoil and with no special preparation. Pretty remarkable and YES effective at stabilizing barren poor soils. Can it fail? Yes, when the site incurs substantial erosion before establishment, these ruts will continue to expand while they go unnoticed. But is it ineffective? Hardly, how can you blame it for erosion in soil where it isn't established? That doesn't make sense. The world is full of half-truths that are designed to fit some underlying agenda which is often personal (like one's purpose in life for which he/she is compensated). To be sure, I sympathize with those who think their agenda has some higher purpose. They want to fix a problem which they wish weren't there. Like them, I wish crown vetch weren't here at all but it will fill the spaces it can naturally all on its own from the naturalized population with natural vectors and there is nothing we can do about 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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I brought in crown vetch to my property before its issues were widely communicated. I wish that I had never planted it. I am not even close to being a purist, but crown vetch is hard to get rid of if it spreads from where you plant it, at least that is so in my neck of the woods. Just sharing my experience...

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RAH,

Did you plant it in food plots for your deer ... or ... to stabilize soil that you disturbed (building your ponds for example)? I'm a bit surprised that you didn't anticipate that it could spread but nothing works better than reality to clarify unknowns. If you want to diminish its influence, I would be glad to offer some suggestions using native plants. Crown vetch isn't a strong competitor when combined with stronger plants. It tends to be an understory plant or may lose its grip on survival altogether.

Where I grew up, the invasive that spread throughout our tall grass prairie is Korean Lespedeza. It's literally everywhere making its living in the understory of the native tall grasses. Its a much stronger invasive than is crown vetch because it is able to establish from seed in existing stands of tall grass. Crown vetch can hardly establish from seed in stands of native grass. The only way it seems to spread is from pure stands where it is able to extend its footprint by extending its rhizomal network into the surroundings. A very strong native grass well suited to marginal soil is Switchgrass.


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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I planted crown vetch to stabilize a ditch bank, but it did not work. The canopy actually shades the soil and it washes pretty easily. Grasses are much better for erosion control. The crown vetch is all but gone in that original location now due to 30 years of tree growth that shaded it out. However, when the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) constructed a prairie above a volunteer mitigation wetland on our place, the crown vetch got moved to the prairie where it competes very well. I am actually letting trees grow in this prairie area so it will eventually get shaded out there. INDOT has tried to control it with herbicides, but that has largely failed. Our area was once all forest, so that is OK with me. We are planting more prairie area anyway, so the succession will likely occur as the years go by anyway. It is too dangerous to burn. I know from experience! Fortunately, we had enough hands to get things under control, but I do not burn anymore.

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Quote
I planted crown vetch to stabilize a ditch bank, but it did not work. The canopy actually shades the soil and it washes pretty easily. Grasses are much better for erosion control.

Yes but crown vetch has never been recommended for stabilizing soils in structures that are intended for carrying water in high volumes. Where crown vetch has exhibited superior performance are on slopes where grass seeds are easily washed away before germinating. The crown vetch seeds are dense and small and some tend to remain on slopes even after rainfall when the planting method is broadcasting. It was a cheap shortcut for DOTs.

Slopes may not absorb sufficient rain water to support the establishment of many grasses from seed. Nowadays new technologies are used to improve grass stand establishment on slopes ... like the netting with seeds interwoven. This provides a mulching effect and keeps seed on the slope. Something like that would have been preferable for your ditch. Where the soil is marginal, its would be beneficial to over seed with a complex of native legumes. Something like this is a good option for any trying to establish coverage on disturbed or barren slopes.


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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Yes, crown vetch was once recommended by the USDA like multiflora rose and autumn olive. They are a lot more careful after those hard lessons. I planted this on my last area along with oilseed radish. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/plotspike-clover-blend I then frost-seeded big bluestem this past winter/spring. Clover looks good and radish is gone. We will see how the big bluestem does. This was planted on spoil from the pond that is currently under construction.

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Mainahs

Have you considered Brook Trout instead of Rainbows? The brookies could possibly reproduce, but the RBT never will. I would be careful with the golden shiners. The only place I've ever read of them being a real problem was in a trout pond. There was an article several years ago in pondboss about FHM as forage for Brook Trout. It compared the growth of brookies on just an insect diet versus the minnow diet. The differences in growth/size of the brookies after something like 3 and 5 years was AMAZING! You can look up the past article and order it if you are interested. I have a copy, but it is currently at my cabin.

Glad to have another trout guy around!!

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 04/10/21 06:59 AM.

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Originally Posted by wbuffetjr
Mainahs

Have you considered Brook Trout instead of Rainbows? The brookies could possibly reproduce, but the RBT never will. I would be careful with the golden shiners. The only place I've ever read of them being a real problem was in a trout pond. There was an article several years ago in pondboss about FHM as forage for Brook Trout. It compared the growth of brookies on just an insect diet versus the minnow diet. The differences in growth/size of the brookies after something like 3 and 5 years was AMAZING! You can look up the past article and order it if you are interested. I have a copy, but it is currently at my cabin.

Glad to have another trout guy around!!

Brookies need colder, cleaner water and are generally less hardy than rainbows. I'm hoping to make this pond self sufficient with as little need for maintenance as possible. Do you have much experience with having both in a pond? I'm also looking for a supplier of fatheads that will ship to Maine as I haven't been able to source locally.

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The benefit of FHM in with the brookies was probably with FHM the brookies had both minnow and invertebrate forage items. More food is usually better for growing larger fish. GSH with the trout likely resulted in fewer invertebrates because large non-edible GSH were eating numerous small inverts and then less food for trout.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/11/21 03:34 PM.

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Originally Posted by Mainahs70
[quote=wbuffetjr]

Brookies need colder, cleaner water and are generally less hardy than rainbows. I'm hoping to make this pond self sufficient with as little need for maintenance as possible. Do you have much experience with having both in a pond? I'm also looking for a supplier of fatheads that will ship to Maine as I haven't been able to source locally.

I just assumed in Maine your water would be cold enough. I have had both rainbows and brookies. I did not find the rainbows to be perceptibly hardier than the brookies at all. IMO brookies taste MUCH better and are MUCH prettier. I was also thinking about the maintenance part - I hated having to pay the fish truck every year for rainbows that had zero chance of reproduction. My pond is also has a huge number of FHM.


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