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Couple month ago I culled my 1 acre pond that had stunted LMB ranging from 6 to 12" average. Largest ones were 14" but about half of relative weight. Pond was dug about 20 years ago and been largely unfished. Don't know when the bass was put in but nothing else other than turtles. I do know they have been around for at least 10 years though.

Pulled out about 70# LMB. Literally almost every cast was a hook up. Couple weeks ago I stocked it with 400 2" bluegill and 7 pounds of minnows. Also started fertilizing the pond and its starting to green up and about 3-4" of visibility. It was pretty clear when I started to manage it a few weeks back but has some grass and new structure I put in (Large downed oak tree, and 12 bucket/pvc tubing habitats and misc.)

I don't see much of anything swimming around anymore other than bass. Is it possible they decimated everything I stocked already in the last 2 weeks? Should I keep pulling out more bass? At this point most of the bass I see swimming around is about 6-8" since I culled majority of the larger ones. Left a few of the larger ones that I still see swimming around still. I see them in small schools around 2-5 of them at a time. Should I stock more bluegill and pull out more bass?

Update: Just went walking around the pond and seen 2-3 small schools of about 5-10 minnows in real close to shore hiding from the small schools of bass chasing them but no bluegill sightings at all.

Last edited by camoback; 06/30/21 11:48 AM.
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I can't help ya on the bluegill but.... From what iv read on this forum you might want to take the oak tree bk out. It might be okay if its seasoned. I'm sure some pros will be on here to confirm that. Also welcome I see its your 1st post.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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About the oak tree, it was pulled out and dumped in sideways. Did you mean bad if I replanted or just in general. Ill do a search on it now though. Thanks.

Did a search, It was about 15 feet tall but not really mature. The leaves are still on but its thrown in for structure and not to grow so Im not worried about the leaves.

Last edited by camoback; 06/30/21 12:25 PM.
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A 12" LMB cans easily eat a 2" BG, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the BG you stocked have been eaten. I would look for larger BG to stock and reduce the number of BG, do you have a source for 5 to 7 inch BG?



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Second vote on the larger BG. Even those 6-8" bass will take a 2" BG, likely most or all of your stocking is gone.

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What I'm reading is that you have a bunch (how many...hard to tell, right?) of very hungry 6-8" LMB and a few even larger in your pond. The key word is HUNGRY. 2" BG and the averaged sized minnow are the right size to be meals to the 6"-plus sized LMB. But, small fish are not stupid and many of them learned to hide pretty quick after being stocked in the pond. Many are still there. If you have a strong population of these LMB still in the pond, your newly stocked BG numbers are going to drop. Hard to say how quickly and how far before the season is over.

Ideally, you need to estimate how many bass are in the pond and what size they are. This is next to impossible to do without a professional electo-survey performed. Without that, an estimate/guess has to be made and then you can start to develop the plan. My thoughts would be to stock large enough BG that cannot be eaten so readily AND would spawn this year to provide forage for the remaining bass. The amount of BG that would be stocked relies heavily on whether you want to try and manage for larger LMB or larger BG. The approach is quite opposite depending on which why you prefer.

Another option is to kill the pond and start from scratch.

As far as oak trees go, they are said to have tannins in them that can cause a fish kill...especially if put in the pond green. One, of your size, in a 1 acre pond is probably a no big deal...key word is Probably!


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Ill call the the fishery and ask if they have larger sizes. When I released them it was game on for the bass and I seen them munching them up. The next couple days following stocking I still seen some small schools swimming around but none anymore. I was hoping they went deeper to the structure I put in.

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Thanks for the response, At this point the water is still fairly clear and just visually comparing from now to when I first started, the population is definitely smaller of LMB. I am going for larger Bass and bluegill just for forage. Ill call the fishery and see if I could pick up some larger bluegill.

I know I could be patient and wait till next year to see if any bluegill survived. I like to believe there is no way the bass wiped out every bluegill and some would survive. Just how many to be effective enough to produce enough forage for the bass down the line is the question.

I will probably pull out a few more LMB since the other day I pulled out 14 LMB (5-10", majority 6-8") with a cane pole in about 20 mins. I don't think there are tons load of LMB still just that they are use to an easy meal from the stocking and little to no pressure from fishing over the years and they were all around the oak tree I tossed in. Noted on the tree threat. Thanks

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I wouldn't be surprised either but some have to survive right.... Time will tell

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Even though there are some negatives to 'hand stocking,' you may be able to catch some adult bluegill from nearby waters and put them in your pond.

Some of the negatives are:
1) Introducing a foreign substance into your pond, or a disease.
2) Not knowing how to identify certain fish, and then putting something in your pond that does not support your goals.
3) The legality of the same in your state.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Even though there are some negatives to 'hand stocking,' you may be able to catch some adult bluegill from nearby waters and put them in your pond.

Some of the negatives are:
1) Introducing a foreign substance into your pond, or a disease.
2) Not knowing how to identify certain fish, and then putting something in your pond that does not support your goals.
3) The legality of the same in your state.

Got it, That seems like the easiest solution to take at this time. Thanks.

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Oaks have tannins which are lethal in the water. When my pond was dug I had trees, mostly big oaks, pushed into the bowl for cover. The tanins leached out into the water. It turned kinda black. I stocked minnows, bluegills and crawdads. They all died. So, I bought a dozen minnows and put them in a bucket with the water. Lesson learned. I haven’t since nor will I ever let a fresh cut piece of oak into my pond.

I bought a 3 inch pump and started pumping. It took quite awhile. I let the plentiful Texas summer sun dry out everything. Then started learning the steps to rain dances.

In a large pond, a small amount for cover probably wouldn’t hurt the overall water quality. OTOH, I doubt that any fish would stay in or around it for awhile.

To test wood, get a 5 gallon or so bucket of pond water. Put in some of the wood and toss in some minnows and see what happens.


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.

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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
Oaks have tannins which are lethal in the water. When my pond was dug I had trees, mostly big oaks, pushed into the bowl for cover. The tanins leached out into the water. It turned kinda black. I stocked minnows, bluegills and crawdads. They all died. So, I bought a dozen minnows and put them in a bucket with the water. Lesson learned. I haven’t since nor will I ever let a fresh cut piece of oak into my pond.

I bought a 3 inch pump and started pumping. It took quite awhile. I let the plentiful Texas summer sun dry out everything. Then started learning the steps to rain dances.

In a large pond, a small amount for cover probably wouldn’t hurt the overall water quality. OTOH, I doubt that any fish would stay in or around it for awhile.

To test wood, get a 5 gallon or so bucket of pond water. Put in some of the wood and toss in some minnows and see what happens.


They seem to not mind being around it so far. Also it might not matter much since it is a little over an acre and the water seems to always be moving from the wind since it’s wide open. I’ll keep a closer watch now though. Thanks.

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Do test to be sure.

Dave and I have had different results with using oaks for years. They are different ponds and oaks.
















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camoback, welcome to the forum.

Turning your pond into a good fishery will probably take a massive amount of culling. I'd say it can be done; I've experienced something similar to what you are seeing. It has taken 12 years to get where I am now, and I'm not finished yet.

My pond had bass LMB, yellow perch YP, two grass carp, and reportedly black crappie BCP when we bought the place in 2009. No sunfish of any kind. YP were rare; LMB were everywhere.

I spent several years RUTHLESSLY culling some hundreds of bass. This is from a 1/4 acre pond. You've got a massive culling project ahead of you, it seems. Imagine removing 1000 bass. That could be a number that will get you near to where the bluegill you stock have a chance to prosper. Sounds like fun, like good times to me.

Some of us on the forum would rather kill off the pond and restock. I'd personally go the route you've started. Eat as many fish tacos as you possible can. Filleting a small bass takes a bit less than a minute. At some point you could cut the tails and fins off some little bass and toss them to bigger bass cruising by.

Eventually stock some larger bluegills BGs. I put 25 7" to 8" adults in at the start of the 2019 spawning season. In 2018 I'd added about that many various sized green sunfish GSF. Now I have an abundance of BGs. The largest of the recruited young from 2 years ago are 7". I had some for lunch today. The GSF are up to 10" now. LMB numbers are still way down but increasing. Their WRs are exceeding 100%. YP are not abundant but are large.

You are here in the right place for All Things Pond. Enjoy the journey of making your fishery into what you'd like to have.

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Originally Posted by 4CornersPuddle
camoback, welcome to the forum.

Turning your pond into a good fishery will probably take a massive amount of culling. I'd say it can be done; I've experienced something similar to what you are seeing. It has taken 12 years to get where I am now, and I'm not finished yet.

My pond had bass LMB, yellow perch YP, two grass carp, and reportedly black crappie BCP when we bought the place in 2009. No sunfish of any kind. YP were rare; LMB were everywhere.

I spent several years RUTHLESSLY culling some hundreds of bass. This is from a 1/4 acre pond. You've got a massive culling project ahead of you, it seems. Imagine removing 1000 bass. That could be a number that will get you near to where the bluegill you stock have a chance to prosper. Sounds like fun, like good times to me.

Some of us on the forum would rather kill off the pond and restock. I'd personally go the route you've started. Eat as many fish tacos as you possible can. Filleting a small bass takes a bit less than a minute. At some point you could cut the tails and fins off some little bass and toss them to bigger bass cruising by.

Eventually stock some larger bluegills BGs. I put 25 7" to 8" adults in at the start of the 2019 spawning season. In 2018 I'd added about that many various sized green sunfish GSF. Now I have an abundance of BGs. The largest of the recruited young from 2 years ago are 7". I had some for lunch today. The GSF are up to 10" now. LMB numbers are still way down but increasing. Their WRs are exceeding 100%. YP are not abundant but are large.

You are here in the right place for All Things Pond. Enjoy the journey of making your fishery into what you'd like to have.

Right on. Thanks for the reply! I’m all about slugging it out and managing what I have. It’ll be a good patience project. I had a bunch of pavers laying around and chucked them in today to build up 3 rock piles for more hiding spots and pulled out more bass.

I’ve been apprehensive to keep pulling them out but at this point I’m still catching about 5-8 in about 30 mins and they are starting to average 6-8” consistently. I see couple 12 to 14” following my lure in but I’m sure they were ones I threw back in earlier in and more savvy now. I’m getting abit more ruthless now. The challenge is knowing when to start throwing them back in.

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The best easy to understand rule I have seen is provided by Professor Richard Anderson who literally wrote the book on population analysis.

From an archived thread :

For LMB

This is what is suggested by Dick Anderson - the Prof who wrote the book on PSD.

Keep taking <12 in bass until the number 8-12 equals number 12-15. Ideal pond structure is 40% 8-12, 40% 12-15 and 20% 15+

This assumes good fish condition.

Another suggestion is take out all the fish in poor condition in all size groups. Note the size group that is stunted will have a much higher % of fish in poor condition.

These are all correlated to the concept of RW mgt.

Here are 3 archive links with a ton of info on the subject.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255372#Post255372

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255359

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92492#Post92492

If the only method of removal is hook and line then you need to consider the catchibility issue which underlies your question about genetics.
















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Originally Posted by ewest
The best easy to understand rule I have seen is provided by Professor Richard Anderson who literally wrote the book on population analysis.

From an archived thread :

For LMB

This is what is suggested by Dick Anderson - the Prof who wrote the book on PSD.

Keep taking <12 in bass until the number 8-12 equals number 12-15. Ideal pond structure is 40% 8-12, 40% 12-15 and 20% 15+

This assumes good fish condition.

Another suggestion is take out all the fish in poor condition in all size groups. Note the size group that is stunted will have a much higher % of fish in poor condition.

These are all correlated to the concept of RW mgt.

Here are 3 archive links with a ton of info on the subject.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255372#Post255372

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255359

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92492#Post92492

If the only method of removal is hook and line then you need to consider the catchibility issue which underlies your question about genetics.


Been digging through them. Thanks

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Originally Posted by ewest
For LMB

This is what is suggested by Dick Anderson - the Prof who wrote the book on PSD.

Keep taking <12 in bass until the number 8-12 equals number 12-15. Ideal pond structure is 40% 8-12, 40% 12-15 and 20% 15+

What method did he propose to evaluate population? In order to take <12" until their number equals 12-15 would require knowledge of the number of <12" and the number 12-15 before any culling is initiated. Is this part of a protocol for a recently stocked pond where numbers are more predictable from the initial stocking? For an aged pond, this seems to require a census of sorts to gain a sense of the populations. If the protocol is for aged ponds too, it would be great to understand how draw reasonable conclusions of the population numbers from some method with metrics.

Quote
This assumes good fish condition.

I am not sure I understand how this plays into the population approach above. At this point my sense is that Dr Anderson found from his research that when populations were so proportioned ... the maintenance of those proportions were performed largely by LMB themselves. IOWs the < 12" LMB sufficiently limit recruitment of YOY into their class so as to make the task of aligning their numbers with the 12-15 class easily performed. Mortality in 12-15 class and the >15" class would allow growth of all remaining LMB. The mortality of 12-15" allow members of the <12" class to replace them, mortality of the >15" class allows members of the 12-15" class to enter the >15" class.

The population structure spreads out the prey length needs and so helps to ensure that there are no bottlenecks of appropriately sized forage. My sense of where good fish condition plays a role isn't the proportion of the different classes ... but rather the numbers themselves. So hypothetically a very productive 1 acre pond might support 40 <12", 40 12"-15", and 20 >15" in good condition. A 1 acre pond with half this food limited carrying capacity might support 20 <12", 20 12"-15", and 10 >15" with similar good condition.

So one very important parameter is understanding the number of LMB that a pond can support in good condition. Ultimately this number is the number of BG prey the pond can produce annually. To grow ... LMB need 3 to 4 BG daily through the growing season. This number applies to little LMB and big LMB too. They individually eat similar numbers of prey annually. In the hypothetical of 50 LMB/ACRE over a 180 day growing season ... 630 BG are needed per LMB ... or around 31500 BG/ACRE annually. Where this number of BG production/mortality is balanced with water's ability to produce this number BG while still growing and maintaining the BG brood population ... we have a balance that can support 50 LMB. Just off hand, assuming 18" for > 15" class, 13" for 12" to 15" and 10" for the <12 this corresponds with 60 lbs/Acre of LMB. I think 50 is a pretty good limit for the number LMB that can be sustainably grown to around 21" ultimate length without supplementing additional forage in most ponds. But how does one know how many to remove unless he knows how many are there to begin with? So we need to a reliable method to census a pond population.

Last edited by jpsdad; 07/04/21 10:18 AM.

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