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Expanded Pond , stocking question
#532950 03/28/21 07:47 AM
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I had a 1/2 acre pond and expanded it to a 1 acre pond. It is was previously stocked with channel cat ( approx. 7 years ago ) , I have some large ones 20-24" but haven't seen any small ones . I want to end up with a bass pond, I have done my research , but I don't know if I should pull all the catfish out or not ( From what it looks like when I throw catfish food out I don't have tons of catfish ). I have been setting traps to get rid of the green sunfish that has made the pond their home and have pulled ALOT of them out and will continue to do so . I have been fertilizing my pond and using a secki disk , I have even made Blue Gill spawning beds for the Blue gill I will purchase. I am close to purchasing my blue gill , bass and fat head minnows , but not sure if I need to get rid of the catfish first. ( if they were blue cat I would know that I need to get rid of them , but not sure on the channel cat). I don't mind getting the catfish out , but put a pole in water yesterday for about 3 hours and only came up with 2 bites.

1) Could I just continue to use floating catfish food and hopefully keep them where they won't eat my bluegill and try to keep pulling them out ?

2) Maybe buy extra bluegill and fathead minnows to "offset" what they might consume ?

3) both 1 & 2 ?

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #532955 03/28/21 12:30 PM
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I have 20 or so channel catfish in my pond that are all 5 pound or over (if none of them have died of old age.) A couple 10 lbs. They eat blue gill but they don't seem to be doing much to the population. They aren't hurting my bass as I had to do a serious bass cull last year. I wouldn't worry about the catfish. They will eat feed as long as you give it to them. I'm sure the green sunfish made it impossible for the catfish to successfully spawn. If you really want rid of the green sunfish, though, you may have to nuke the whole thing and start over. Based on where you are now, it doesn't sound like that would be a big deal.

Now the fathead minnows may be DOA. I don't think they do well with existing predators but I'll let somebody with more knowledge than me comment on those. I have GS that the catfish can't catch easily.

On a side note, I'm considering putting out a second feeder just for cheap catfish feed. They don't seem to go as crazy over the high priced Aquamax I'm using now so I figured I could come out ahead if they'd eat the cheaper catfish feed while the BG and GS eat the Aquamax. Bad as I hate to admit it, the high priced high protein feed made a ton of difference in my BG over the cheaper Tractor Supply stuff.

Last edited by crimsondave; 03/28/21 12:32 PM.
Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #532963 03/28/21 03:24 PM
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if your CC are not spawning,(due to no place to do so) I would not worry about them. I have CC and they have made places in the clay sides of my pond to spawn. i see lots of little ones each year.


half-acre pond, LMB, HBG, BG, GSH and CC ....goal is to
have fun fishing. And I subscribe!
Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #532967 03/28/21 04:00 PM
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If you aren't wanting to catch the catfish to eat over a few year period, I recommend removing all them asap. They are adding 0 to the pond and are creating more biomass that could be utilized by something that more benefits your goals. I wouldn't stock FHM either, they will become quick fish food with the GSF in there. I would stock about 200-300 RES in addition to the Bluegills and Bass. I would only stock 50 bass if you want a bass pond that will grow larger bass.

Unfortunately, I would not fish for any bass until year 3, you don't want to get them to be hook shy. Then year 3 remove 20# of bass and do that every year thereafter. Keep after the GSF, they will limit reproduction in your pond if you don't, which will hurt the LMB population in the long run.

As you are finding out, good quality food does wonders for the fish in the pond.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
Funky #533083 03/30/21 05:45 AM
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Thanks , Yeah I will not let the CC keep me from stocking and will be trying to pull them out in the mean time.

Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
esshup #533084 03/30/21 05:54 AM
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I just bought 2 fish traps and have another one . I am going to keep baiting them a few times a day and keep on getting the GSF out of there. I have a friend and he has already pulled about 1 1/2 Home Depot buckets full out. Yes, I was originally thinking about the 50 LMB and 500 BG . I would rather have fewer LMB growing big than a bunch of little ones, plus I would rather work harder catching 3-5 pd. LMB than a 1 pd. every other cast. I will continue to try and pull the CC out to eat over the next few months. THANKS for the info !!!!

Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #533149 03/30/21 05:17 PM
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Scruffy, I once targeted the green sunfish. Then, some of us got together as the first Pond Boss gathering many, many, years ago. Lusk and Otto showed up. Lusk talked about several things. One of them was about green sunfish that I still have a lot of.

He asked why everybody wanted to get rid of the green sunfish. We gave the usual responses like only spawn annually, not a good forage base, etc. His response was “So what?. With only an annual spawn, they can’t take over a pond and don’t do much hybridizing with bluegills if you’re managing things.

I quit bothering with them and now enjoy fishing for them in a 1/4 acre gsf and channel cat pond. It is my observation that, when hooked, they out fight a bg or red ear every time.


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: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #533153 03/30/21 05:59 PM
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Dave, my experience with them is just the opposite, they ate every last YOY fry from RES and YP that were spawned. In this particular pond there were no bass to act as predators, the customer wanted to stock the panfish at 50% recommended rate and let them reproduce in the pond before stocking the LMB. He didn't know that he had GSF in there - it was a wet spot in the woods that he turned into a pond.

Found out that if the woods flooded, there are GSF in the ditch next to the woods and they swarmed into the woods from the ditch.

I believe that the problem was not stocking the correct amount of fish in the first place, and waiting too long to put predators in there. The GSF were 2.5" long and full of eggs.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
esshup #533156 03/30/21 08:11 PM
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I thought that the GSF would hurt the BG spawn , eat eggs or fry. I am really trying to do this right. I have no clue how many GSF are in my pond., like I said, I have pulled out almost 2 Home Depot buckets full. But , I would really like to get my BG , LMB and FHM in there soon.

Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #533162 03/30/21 08:46 PM
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I’m sure they will eat some BG fry but I personally would not worry to much. Add a few larger bass and they will take care of the green sun fish since they only spawn once a year.. BG spawn multiple times a season...... and keep pulling them out....

Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
esshup #533163 03/30/21 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Dave, my experience with them is just the opposite, they ate every last YOY fry from RES and YP that were spawned. In this particular pond there were no bass to act as predators, the customer wanted to stock the panfish at 50% recommended rate and let them reproduce in the pond before stocking the LMB. He didn't know that he had GSF in there - it was a wet spot in the woods that he turned into a pond.

Found out that if the woods flooded, there are GSF in the ditch next to the woods and they swarmed into the woods from the ditch.

I believe that the problem was not stocking the correct amount of fish in the first place, and waiting too long to put predators in there. The GSF were 2.5" long and full of eggs.

esshup,

From the sounds of it, it may be risky to add LMB fingerlings in 2" to 3" sizes. Is the plan to stock advanced fingerlings when the predators go in?


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: Expanded Pond , stocking question
jpsdad #533170 03/30/21 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Originally Posted by esshup
Dave, my experience with them is just the opposite, they ate every last YOY fry from RES and YP that were spawned. In this particular pond there were no bass to act as predators, the customer wanted to stock the panfish at 50% recommended rate and let them reproduce in the pond before stocking the LMB. He didn't know that he had GSF in there - it was a wet spot in the woods that he turned into a pond.

Found out that if the woods flooded, there are GSF in the ditch next to the woods and they swarmed into the woods from the ditch.

I believe that the problem was not stocking the correct amount of fish in the first place, and waiting too long to put predators in there. The GSF were 2.5" long and full of eggs.

esshup,

From the sounds of it, it may be risky to add LMB fingerlings in 2" to 3" sizes. Is the plan to stock advanced fingerlings when the predators go in?

Somebody decided to bucket stock a few 14" LMB in the pond so the owner said to nuke it and start over. 14" LMB don't get to be that big and not be noticed - it there were only 2 in the pond, and 14" LMB is the lowest legal size that LMB can be kept on public waters here.

It was supposed to be a SMB/RES/YP pond with FHM and GSH. That is when we found out that the GSF ate everything that was spawned in the pond - there were 0 RES/YP/GSH that weren't the original stockers even though there was habitat in place for good reproduction. 0 FHM left and very few GSH. So the pond was restocked at the same rate as before (sigh) but there were no GSF in there. Smallmouth were stocked at advanced sizes from one of the other ponds on the property and they pulled off a spawn the following year.

Same problem with 2 other ponds on the property, although the nearest house is roughly 1/2 mile away. One pond now has CC in it, the 2nd pond has HBG in it. The way the ponds were constructed, there is no possible way that any surface water can run into the ponds - they are groundwater ponds in sandy soil. Those other 2 ponds were dry spots in the woods that were turned into pond areas.

The owner is now thinking about killing the other 2 ponds, digging them deeper (that's a story in itself, they only have 4' to 5' of water in them now) and starting over. All these ponds are 1 ac or slightly larger.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Expanded Pond , stocking question
SCRUFFY48 #533172 03/30/21 11:26 PM
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Funny, isn't it, that public harvest is only allowed for larger LMB. Would be a whole lot smarter, in general, to allow harvest only of smaller fish.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 185




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