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anthropic,

What is the depth of your forage/grow-out pond at full pool?

I can't recall, but is there a chance that a big rain event would overflow your grow-out pool and wash crappie into your main pond?

Forum question, how deep would a hypothetical crappie grow-out pond need to be? (Based on summer needs, feeding needs, and keeping some fish over at least one winter. Whichever is the most water-depth intensive requirement.)

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Update on Structure

As recommended in the thread I’ve got some more denser cover added. What does everyone think? I’m sure I need more but this does feel like a good start.

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anthropic - Actually this topic deserves its own thread. I think one could easily use a small FHM producer forage pond to grow out some HBCP to nice sizes either for restocking or table use harvesting. It would be a very good Pond Bosser fishery experiment. I think the pond would need to be drained and restocked every several years to eliminate any or all the F2 or F3 generation crappie and to see just how much hybrid crappie reproduction does occur. The details of this experiment would be very valuable and interesting information for the PB forum and for the story as publication in PBoss magazine. Before doing it I suggest that your talk to Bob Lusk because he might have suggestions to provide helpful hints for enhancing the project. IMO more documented, practical pond management science like this needs to be done by members of the forum. I hope you decide to "Get er Done"!

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/09/22 02:50 PM.

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tyler - Very good start. Keep it growing. Now you are getting the idea for what minnow and small fish habitat is. I think you should also have another row or two rows of spiders between the buckets and the stone ledge. It needs one row anchored or planted right at the base of the stone ledge. See if you can regularly go to the local recycling center and hand pick containers that would serve as holders for your tubing. After visiting the plastic recycling bins it is amazing what can be created for free to hold and display your tubing. I find that 2.5 gallon jugs laid on their side with one side cut open and with a thin layer of cement in the base will nicely hold tubing spider legs. Structure experts say that if one can keep the base about 4"-6" off the bottom where fish can get under the base this makes better habitat especially when building log cribs. Consider creating some structure using some plastic snow fence. I will see if I can find a link for an example.

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Thank you Bill!

I’ll keep working on adding structure. My other question is if this structure is suitable for perch to spawn? Or do I need to add more for that ?

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That structure will be excellent for perch to drape their eggs. To make more spawning even more successful you could collect egg ribbons from tree branches placed temporally along the shoreline, remove the egg ribbons and place them on pipe of your artificial weed bed.
I hope you have seen the structure thread in the Common Pond Q& A Archives?? . See this one that shows a snow fence crib made by Brettski and posted by ewest It is just one of many ideas of snow fence habitat.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463
page 1 29/07/07 1:23pm.

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To reduce the cost of buying buckets one can use a bucket or similar basin such as a plastic dish pan as a plastic mold and pour about 2"-3" of cement with your pipes sticking out or have trimmed 1/2" - 1" dia tree branches sticking out. 1/2" - 1" dia hardwood tree branches would not decompose until about 8-10 years later. In the meantime you could create or develop new forms of structure to replace the wooden branches that were free. Look through the Structure ideas in the link to Archives Structure for examples.
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463

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I went through what I have and I do have a plastic skid and some milk crates. I'm thinking I can make something similar to what shows up in the structure thread. I'm thinking that should make some excellent forage structure as fish of a certain size won't be able to get inside of it. I'm thinking I could place that near the rock ledge like suggested above. I also love the idea of some more rip rap. I just need to source the rock!

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Intermixed broken concrete from construction sites will work just as effectively as various sizes of natural rocks. Contact some local concrete contractors for sources of waste concrete materials. Some might deliver it for free rather than pay to dispose of it. Lengthy sections of concrete pieces lining shoreline provide excellent habitat for spawning and refuge areas of FHM.

Edited by Esshup:
If adding the broken concrete, try to get pieces without rebar or mesh in them, that metal sticking out of the concrete is a fish line catching monster, and if anyone were to fall on that it's much more dangerous than falling on plain broken concrete.

Be aware that in fertile nutrient rich ponds filamentous algae can at times swamp all types of underwater structure. The FA masses flourish and die back based on season, water temperatures, and nutrient fluctuations. FA in itself serves as structure / habitat and allows production of lots of natural tiny foods such as invertebrates utilized by small fish.

Last edited by esshup; 01/11/22 11:51 AM. Reason: added info

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
anthropic,

What is the depth of your forage/grow-out pond at full pool?

I can't recall, but is there a chance that a big rain event would overflow your grow-out pool and wash crappie into your main pond?

Forum question, how deep would a hypothetical crappie grow-out pond need to be? (Based on summer needs, feeding needs, and keeping some fish over at least one winter. Whichever is the most water-depth intensive requirement.)

Rod, my grow-out pond is roughly 1/8 acre, max depth 8 or 9 feet. Not ideal for netting out fish, but it does connect to my main BOW & I can simply open sluice gate & drain it to there. The unusual depth proved my salvation during the arctic blast last winter, as my CNBG survived. I'm sure that would not be the case with 3 foot depths!

The upside to draining is that it gets all the fish out, few if any left. Also very easy, and helps a bit when main pond is low. The downside is that it can take months & months to refill, as no natural stream runs into it & watershed is meagre.

One interesting point re water temp in cold of winter or heat of summer is that it is snugly ensconced in relatively deep dirt on all sides.

Last edited by anthropic; 01/09/22 11:00 PM.

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 L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
anthropic - Actually this topic deserves its own thread. I think one could easily use a small FHM producer forage pond to grow out some HBCP to nice sizes either for restocking or table use harvesting. It would be a very good Pond Bosser fishery experiment. I think the pond would need to be drained and restocked every several years to eliminate any or all the F2 or F3 generation crappie and to see just how much hybrid crappie reproduction does occur. The details of this experiment would be very valuable and interesting information for the PB forum and for the story as publication in PBoss magazine. Before doing it I suggest that your talk to Bob Lusk because he might have suggestions to provide helpful hints for enhancing the project. IMO more documented, practical pond management science like this needs to be done by members of the forum. I hope you decide to "Get er Done"!

Interesting idea, Bill. I'll take a look at it! Not normally a big crappie fan -- prefer firm fleshed BG to be honest -- but they add some diversity & fun for kids. Hybrids that won't take over pond rekindle my interest.


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 L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Great addition to the structure.


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 tylerd1994
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Tyler,

Your spider army is coming along very nicely!

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That spider army will eat every jig that tries to swim through it for the next 50 years.

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As goes the habitat, so goes what lives in it. The fishery will become a consequence of what I call "Happy Water" and the best habitat. Your mission is to create habitat for the different sizes of the different species of fish you plan to manage. If you know what each species of fish need at their different life stages, you can mimic as much as that as possible. That's what everyone's advice above is basically telling you.

Even better news about your pond? If you get a few years down the road and you don't like where it's going, you can make major changes to fix it in one day. That's one of my favorite things about small ponds.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
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Bill:

Let me know what posts you want moved (You can use the post number in the upper right corner of the post) and I'll move them to their own thread.


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Augie says
Quote
That spider army will eat every jig that tries to swim through it for the next 50 years.
'
I have always said that for relatively small ponds a 'large spider army' of buckets w/ plastic pipe or a big thick area of weeds in a pond that make it or the area unfishable becomes a very good refuge and respite relief for the fish from over zealous anglers who fish the pond way to frequently. Too much angling in ponds and small lakes creates hook smart fish and very often too much harvest in public waters sportsmen's clubs, etc. .

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So I did put in a call with Steve at Shelby Fish Farms and at Brehms for Perch...

Brehms won't have any perch for this spring... a small chance they'll have some 2-3" ers

Shelby Fish Farms isn't stocking until April so I'll likely miss a spawn chance for perch. Also Steve said he isn't sure what he will get in, so we will have to see when we get to April.


That being said, I may need to adjust my plan:


Does anyone have any experience with fish from Freshwater Farms in Urbana, OH? They have some cheaper prices on HSB, and I haven't called them on RES or YP availability yet.

See below adjusted plan.. yell at me if you think it is stupid to add hybrid crappie before the HSB in the fall. I was just thinking adding them before predators would allow them to get above eating size, then stocking good size HSB in the fall would allow them to knock out the spawned fish the following spring easily. Lastly does anyone have good suggestions on IDing RES so that no mutt sunfish make it in the pond if I do go smaller than 4-6" do to availabilty?

Late Spring of 2022

50 Redear 4-6" (if available may have to go smaller)
20 YP 8-10" (if available may have to go smaller)
20 YP 4-6" (if avaible may have to go smaller)
40 YP 3-4"
50 Hybrid BCP (if I can get them from Hoosier)
5# FHM

Fall 2022
12 HSB 10-12" bumping up size to account for hybrid crappie spawn in spring of 2023
5# FHM
5# GSH

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Double check with them to make sure that their current prices are for 2022...... I have not dealt with them.

I was at Steves on Monday evening delivering 30,000 LMB fingerlings.


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Update : Pond is full!

It seems there isn't a large amount of variety in Perch sizes locally so I ended up stocking 75 5-6" YP and 5# of FHM yesterday. Updating my below list! Does anyone think 5-6" Perch would have the potential to spawn this season or are they too young?

Spring of 2022

50 Redear 4-6"
75 5-6" YP - DONE
50 Hybrid BCP
5# FHM - DONE

Fall 2022
12 HSB 10-12" bumping up size to account for hybrid crappie spawn in spring of 2023
5# FHM
5# GSH





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Yay! Congrats on the full pond and the initial stocking!

There are lots of YP experts that live in your neck of the woods that might be able to answer your spawning question.

I would add one other question. There are lots of members that remove the YP egg strands from their ponds in the spring.

Would it be possible for Tyler to perform an "artificial" YP spawn this year by transporting some of the egg strands from a nearby Pond Bosser?

Is there a simple way to keep the eggs viable during a short drive and then successfully acclimate them into a new pond?

If so, would that be helpful to his pond goals, or would it just complicate his plans by adding a significant variable?

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I assume that you got the 5"-6" YP from Fender. Shelby did not sell any fish yesterday. If some of the YP appeared plump or sort of fat then those were the females. Normally male YP will be mature at 1 year whereas only a small percentage of the female YP will develop eggs at 1yr. So you could easily have a limited spawn in April. The earlier developing 1yr old females will tend to spawn a little later than older perch. If your new pond is muddy as in prior pictures during the spawn period eggs may not hatch well and plankton as fry food will be very reduced. YP fry need to eat well to survive. Minnow traps in Aug-Sep will collect 2"-3" YP to verify the success of a 2022 YP spawn.

5 lbs of FHM in a new 1/2 ac is more than enough to produce plenty of small FHM assuming the pond water begins to clear during the long spawn season of FHM. Normally you will begin to see FHM fry in early June. If you see lots tens of thousands of FHM in Sept I doubt you will need to add more FHM in fall 2022. Depending on the size of the spring 2023 numbers of FHM you might want to add 1-3 lbs of breeder FHM.

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Thanks Bill!

Hoping the water clears up soon, before the monsoon rains it was pretty clear, sod will help I'm sure this spring/summer. I ended up finding the YP at Freshwater Farms in Urbana, seemed like good folks and they are pellet trained. I did see a good portion of plump YP when adding them to the pond, maybe a third of them. I'll put some more cedar limbs out on the different bank sides and see if I get any spawn!

Thanks for heads up on the FHM as well!

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Quote
Lastly does anyone have good suggestions on IDing RES so that no mutt sunfish make it in the pond if I do go smaller than 4-6" do to availabilty?
Sorting RES from mutt sunfish at 2"-3" is very very risky for novice pond owners. My money bet is then on the side of getting the mutt sunfish. I even do not stock the 2"-3" size of RES if purity is important. . If you get the RES from Fender then IMO even the 4"-6" RES could contain mutt sunfish. They used to grow most of their own RES in wild ponds where hybrids are common. Sorting and 100% no mistakes is extremely difficult when seining and sorting thousands of fish. It is easy to drop a wiggling flopping fish into the wrong tank. Most fish farm help are not nearly as demanding as a very particular pond owner who wants all pure specie fish, mainly because the fish farm help do not need to deal the the consequences of mistakenly adding a wrong fish. Their thinking is "So what there are a couple mutt fish in the mix"..

If you get Fender's 4"-6" or larger RES in Apr or May you will get a good RES spawn this year. Fender does often have 5"-7" RES and even larger ones. An option would be instead of 50-100 2"-3" RES, spend the same $$ for several larger RES 5"-7" that will spawn for you this spring. With no predators lots of RES fry will survive. This will be a much safer chance of getting pure RES. Non-pure sunfish can really disrupt a small pond fishery long term in several ways. Once in and spawning you don't get them all out.

Background. Most all fish farms buy all their RES from out of state farms usually AR. So most all RES are sold shortly after arrival as 2"-3". Fender farms around 200+ac of water and is big enough to grow most of their own RES so - 1. Fender usually will have large sizes of RES some up to 8"-10". 2. These Fender RES are acclimated to OH climate and survive cold water winters well. So several breeder sized RES (5"-7") will result in the same or a better RES population for your new pond compared to 50-100 small 2"-3" risky sized RES..

I looked at Fenders prices. 50 2"-4"RES = $50. $60 will buy 30 4"-6" or 15 6"-8" RES. If it were my brand new pond I would buy the 15 6"-8". or a $60 mix of 4"-6" and 6"-8". If you want larger RES you should preorder them from Fender and they will call when they have them available.


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Freshwater Farms is an okay place. I know Dave Smith the owner. If the YP from them were held outside this fall winter then the plump fish will spawn. But if Smith held them inside as did Shelby FF this winter then the YP will not spawn because YP need to go through a lengthy cold period to develop gametes. The plump YP could have been from added fat as pellet eaters rather than having eggs. Evidence of egg ribbons on the tree branches the end of March and first 2 weeks of April will verify egg ribbons.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/13/22 03:45 PM.

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