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#536282 06/08/21 10:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2020
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Hi,

I live in southern Indiana. I have a 1.65 acre pond. It has steep slopes the depth down the middle from one end of the pond to the other is 24 feet. It is half full. No fish. I love fishing. I want to be able to get a good system together. I would love yellow perch, smallmouth, redear, catfish, and because of the depth put and take rainbow. I don’t even know if this is all possible or feasible. I will regularly take out the channel cats. Basically I don’t want fish I can go catch on every other pond in a 2 mile area. I want to know where to start how to stock etc. I know it’s a tall order but I have read a lot on this forum and others. Hopefully someone can get me going on when to add forage fish, stocking rates, and if this combination would even work. Thank you in advance.

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Smalllunker,
Follow the advice I was given and get your forage species started now. If you have the patience wait a year then add your predators. If not stock a large amount of forage to get a head start(more $). Get your pallets and FHM in yesterday (decide whether or not you want Golden Shiners, I did) let the FHM spawn all summer. Make sure you get your FHM from a reliable source. I used Anderson’s Minnow Farm. You do not want BG or GSF mixed in with your cool water species plan. YP and RES can be stocked this fall (Oct-Dec). Buy feed trained YP to take the pressure off your forage. If you don’t live at your pond purchase a fish feeder (Mine is a Texas Hunter Feeder and I love it) before you get the feed trained fish. Use any fish feed (Tractor Supply) for your forage fish and fish feed that’s 40%+ protein for your YP,SMB and RBT. I use Optimal others use Purina. If you want to add crayfish wait until your ready to put in the SMB and CC in fall 2022. It’s great to have a forage pond(s) as well. Find alternative forage species such as bluntnose minnows, grass shrimp, Spotfin shiners and others that are native to your area that will spawn in ponds. Don’t add the trout until the other fish have been stocked. If you haven’t heard of Hybrid Striped Bass (HSB) I would recommend looking at those as well. I have a 2 year old cool species pond myself and the information I have provided is a brief summary of some of the things that I’ve learned. If anything I stated is incorrect please feel free to correct me. As for stocking numbers I will leave that to the experts.

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What Heppy said. Rainbow do really well in a pond environment, especially if you feed them. I enjoy them in the Texas winter! Even in Indiana, though, they will be put & take due to summer temps usually exceeding what they can survive.

Hybrid stripers are another interesting idea. Great fighters, though they don't jump.

If you really want to go exotic, could even consider one or two tiger musky. But they will eat your other fish, even pretty large ones.

Last edited by anthropic; 06/09/21 12:17 AM.

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, 225



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Thank you so much. I just don’t want to screw this up. I’ll wait like you said. I would rather have a phenomenal pond than a mediocre one because of my lack of patience. Appreciate all the help.

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Depending on your goals, there are some folks here who have grown some state record class YP in relatively small ponds. Lots of good reading on the little details that people have used to get there. For example, I know someone (Bill Cody maybe?) was working on a theory that too much fat in a YP diet would cause longevity issues, so they were experimenting with Optimal Bass (44% Protein/8% Fat) to see if they got some extra years and therefore extra size out of their YP. You don't necessarily need to get that detailed to have a great pond, but just pointing out the wealth of information and experience at your disposal here.

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First off, welcome to PB.

Heppy summed it up nicely for you. My experience and advice is very similar to his, but I will bore you with it anyway.

My pond is starting its third summer since renovation. I stocked FHM, GSH, GAM, and scud bugs spring of '19. RES were added
June of '19. There were some BG/HBG mixed in with the RES. Not good, but I'm managing around them. Northern crayfish added
August of '19. Grass shrimp added sometime in '19. YP added September and November of '19. SMB and HSB added September of '20.

I caged the RES and taught them to eat pellets. Lusk did a story on my experience with that in the Jan/Feb '21 issue of PB magazine.
Been doing some weights/measures over the past week. Every RES sampled so far is 125%+ Rw. I keep a Z trap soaking 24/7.
Every BG/HBG that I trap is removed from the pond. BG/HBG caught hook and line come out if they are <8". >8" they go back to grow.
That's the "managing around" part. When you have lemons, make lemonade. I have BG/HBG, so why not grow them big? It's a bit of a
nuisance to deal with, so if you wish to avoid it (highly recommended), I would advise that you sort your RES stocking by hand, carefully
inspecting every single fish, and make darn sure there are no BG/HBG in the mix. If you're not able to tell them apart, put them in a cage
and teach them to eat pellets. Once they get to three-finger size it's easy to see the difference.

The YP are also doing very well. I haven't caught one since I collected all of the bits needed to do weights and measures, but I have hooked
a few previously, and I see them every day at pellet time. They pulled off a good spawn spring of '20. Most days there will be two or three
youngsters in the trap when I pull it. Conditions were right for another good spawn this spring, and I expect to see those YoY start to show
up in the trap in late August.

The general consensus regarding FHM is to stock them once, then don't waste your money buying more. I believe that thinking is due to the
"it takes 10lbs of minnow to add 1lb of weight to a LMB" theory. I don't have LMB, so I don't subscribe to that way of thinking.
I add 10lbs of them every spring and again in the fall. Some of the FHM added in the spring will escape predation long enough to make babies,
which will be very good forage for YoY YP and RES. The FHM added in the fall will help your panfish get through the winter in good shape.
The YP in my pond actually gain weight over the winter.

I hand throw 1.25lb of Optimal (1lb of BG and 1/4lb of Jr.) pretty much every day from mid-March to mid-November. Clearly that is not enough
food to fully account for the Rw that I'm seeing in my fish, however, it is a very nice supplement to the natural forage base that was built in the
beginning. The HSB and SMB are growing nicely, and are large enough now that they will be able to take advantage of a larger pellet size, so I'll
be adding a sack of Optimal Bass to the mix with my next purchase, and bump the daily ration up to 2lbs.

Good luck, and have fun with your project.

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The only thing I would add is that if you want to establish underwater plants in the pond, I would wait until that is accomplished before you stock crayfish.

The trout would only be a winter species in Indiana unless you went to great lengths to get them to live all year long. Basically stock in October/November, harvest May/June.


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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).

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