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#556239 03/10/23 09:51 AM
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Hi, newly registered to the forum. I've been lurking/searching the forum for a while, regarding this issue. I own 2/3s of the shoreline of a ~3 acre pond. The remainder of the shoreline is owned by 6 homes/an hoa. The pond is 10' at deepest point, average is 5' ish. It is drainage fed from the neighborhood. This spring will start year 3 of me attempting to manage fish populations.

My current evaluation sits at:
LMB-Catchable size (14+") were stocked by neighbors in the past (58 fish stocked, supposedly) I have never fished for the bass, but caught 3 different year classes on worm/bobber last summer (4", 7-8" and ~12") and these fish were all very healthy (RW is a new concept for me, but all fish I caught were football shaped!)

GSF- Multiple age classes present
BG-Multiple age classes present, no large fish. Moderate population at best.
Common Carp-present and reproducing. Were introduced in a flood over a decade ago. We removed 6 5 gallon pails full of adults last year. Minnow trap shows plenty of juvenile carp.

Bowfin/Dogfish-juveniles present in small numbers in minnow trap (native here, likely introduced sane time as carp)

Bullhead-present in pretty decent numbers.

Not much else for minnows/ forage base

Goals-Reduce carp and bullhead population. Grow as many 3-5 lb bass to catch and release, as we can.

Bass will eat the carp up to a certain size. Anglers and eagles/osprey have greatly reduced the adult carp numbers the last year. Are there other predators that could be stocked to help? Flathead was discussed, but long term worries of decimating goal fish populations...What am I missing as far as reducing reproduction/recruitment of carp? Bowfishing is not an option, Karen across the pond would have a fit! Draining and starting over is not an option either.


Will cooler water species such as pike or walleye survive a shallow pond in SE Wisconsin summer?

If you made it this far, thanks for your time, and any input you might have!

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Howdy, Fin.

Getting rid of Common Carp is something just about everyone here would agree with (It was a long time ago when Isaac Walton called them "The Queen of the Rivers").

I strongly suspect Walleyes and Northerns would survive your Summers. Stay tuned for better ideas on that, and to how they might work to your advantage.


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The Carp, bullheads and dogfish will be a constant issue, another flood could bring more in. Look into getting a gill net and deploy it/run it a weekend a month. Run it every 6-8 hours and you can remove a lot of unwanted fish and return the good fish back to the pond. The bullheads can be removed with baited catfish traps. Look at Memphis Net and Twine for them, Or you could use a modified fyke net to catch them and sort out/return the good fish to the pond.


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esshup #556250 03/10/23 12:57 PM
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The bullhead and dogfish...have not posed much of a problem yet. I do like the idea of reduction of bullheads with a trap. I won't be able to employ any large scale netting, there is a "Karen" that is waterfront on the pond. She'd lose her mind! The possibility of a flood over the levee is constant, and will happen again. But not likely in our lifetimes. Believe they called it a 1000 year event. I have more modest goals than many members here. Hopefully I can balance predation on carp/high action fishery for my sons and thier friends.

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You might consider stocking a few Tiger Musky, a cross between Northern Pike and Musky. They are more heat tolerant than Pike, and do not reproduce. They can grow up to about 38 to 40 inches, so unlike Flathead wouldn't eat 3 to 5 lb LMB. Should help with carp. Great sportfish, too!

Last edited by anthropic; 03/10/23 01:15 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 RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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anthropic #556252 03/10/23 01:35 PM
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Concerns about water temps/O2 saturation in a shallow, non aerated pond, re: TM? I've not measured either, but I am sure we see high 70s water temps?

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I was going to also suggest Tiger Muskie as anthropic did, but I'm feeling like your somewhat shallow depth would be more of a concern for survival over cold winters vs. survival over warm summers in Wisconsin. I think 10' depth is plenty for survival during a winter with the understanding that you are in Southern WI.

Are you doing any feeding? If so, bullheads do tend to gather when feed is thrown, and if they do, you might have some luck using a cast net several times a week.

Removal of as many of the 'trash' or 'rough' fish as you can is a good thing towards getting better sized fish.

Stocking adult bluegill may be a good idea too.

Don't forget about Hybrid Striped Bass also. They may help with some of the juvenile rough fish.


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 Fintastixrods
Concerns about water temps/O2 saturation in a shallow, non aerated pond, re: TM? I've not measured either, but I am sure we see high 70s water temps?

Since the pond is near your house, I think the addition of aeration could be a great (and cost effective) benefit to your pond - especially if your pond is near the carrying capacity limit due to all of the carp and other trash fish.

You might search the archives and read a few of the good aeration threads.

Sunil #556269 03/10/23 07:06 PM
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Several local ponds here had winter kill last winter. My favorite little 1/2 acre public honey hole was 100% killed. Dead magnum gills, channel cats, bass, littered the edges. Our pond 1 mile away had 0 killl during this period. The lack of vegetation decomp surely helps with this. I read about HSB but I think they'd be a one year and done thing here, there is ice on this pond from November to March.

I am not feeding anything yet. I may be able to hide an aerator in the corner closest to my house if the need arises
Definitely won't be able to do the center/anything obvious. Hoa ownership of part of it makes things complicated.

I do own a couple cast nets, and need to practice before my next saltwater fishing trip.

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Basically just 10% (even 5%) of the surface area of the pond needs to be ice free to stop a winterkill, and the diffuser should be in 1/4 to 1/3 the total pond depth, so putting one in front of your house should be no problem - depends on the HOA.

as for the gill net, again, just in front of your house would work. You take out trash fish and release any good fish. Talk to Karen and see about how she envisions the pond to be managed. Talk to the HOA board and get their blessing. Then once you have their blessings, you can tell Karen to go pound sand. A LOT depends on the HOA rules and regs.


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I'm not sure on the concern with HSB, why do you think it is a one year and done thing? I think they would do great!

canyoncreek #556274 03/10/23 10:19 PM
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Re:HSB I thought I read here in my previous searches that they are not cold hardy below 37 degrees or so, and sudden temp swings kill them as well. May be mistaken for other fish! I'd love to end up with some line breakers to keep the kids on thier toes!

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Originally Posted by Fintastixrods
Re:HSB I thought I read here in my previous searches that they are not cold hardy below 37 degrees or so, and sudden temp swings kill them as well. May be mistaken for other fish! I'd love to end up with some line breakers to keep the kids on thier toes!

Are you talking about water temp or air temp? Water temp in ponds that aren't super cooled by an improper aeration system installation/operation shouldn't get cooler than 39°F. As long as there are sufficient O2 levels, HSB will survive under the ice.


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When the pond is iced over, is it also snow covered?

I know you mentioned kids ice skating, so one could assume it's not snow covered, or you clean off the snow.

Keeping snow off the ice helps sunlight get through and creates some oxygen from plants in the water, or so I've been told.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Tell "Karen" she is protecting ANS species and ask her if she wants the responsibility of stopping the betterment of the situation.
Why does said individual have more authority than the rest of HOA participants?
"Karen" needs a carp put under her car seat on a 90 deg day...

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Maybe 'Karen' needs a 'Missouri Boat Ride.'


(credit 'Josey Wales')


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."

Sunil #556297 03/11/23 08:14 PM
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I plow about 1/3 of the pond with an atv, then on really cold nights I'll flood the surface of the ice to make it nice and smooth. My flooding process does cause significant aeration...this could be attributed to the lack of winterkilk when the other pond had a complete kill. More likely due to plant decomp in the other pond, though.



The hoa views the ponds as necessary for water retention and only for that. Any sort of recreation is frowned upon, in/on the ponds in the neighborhood. Mine being the exception, as it is the only one that is not in 100% hoa ownership.


I'll definitely attempt to source some HSB. I fished a pond/lake that had them when staying with a friend in Parker CO and had a blast with them.

Being that I've had multiple years of natural bass reproduction, at some point I'll need to thin them. My thought were not until I see reduction in young carp. Predators like HSB, TM make decent natural predators of juvenile bass, I assume?

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TM will eat some bass, not 100% sure how many LMB a HSB eats. Problem with stocking fish to eat a specifis species is that the stockers can't read, nor do they listen very well. You can tell them not to eat the LMB, but if one swims by and the fish is the size that they want to eat, it's a goner. . Not thinning the bass is a two edged sword. Not thinning the bass will lead to a bass stunted pond, with the majority of the bass only being 12"-14" in length. They can only eat a carp that is at the most 4", maybe 5" long. Thin the bass, they will grow bigger and will be able to eat bigger carp, but there will be less bass in the pond.


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I would get a few Flathead Catfish, if possible. They likely will not reproduce in the pond, unless it has suitable cavities. Plus, the bass would eat the small ones, anyway. A big Flathead could eat a five pound carp.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I would get a few Flathead Catfish, if possible. They likely will not reproduce in the pond, unless it has suitable cavities. Plus, the bass would eat the small ones, anyway. A big Flathead could eat a five pound carp.

Or a 3#-4# Bass.......


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Flatheads can get big enough to eat all your bass.


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Originally Posted by Fintastixrods
The hoa views the ponds as necessary for water retention and only for that. Any sort of recreation is frowned upon, in/on the ponds in the neighborhood. Mine being the exception, as it is the only one that is not in 100% hoa ownership.

I know where you are coming from. I was a HOA board member when we lived in the suburbs. We had a detention pond with lots of points of view from the residents on how it should be managed. In the end, the BOD deemed it was functioning nicely as a detention pond, and that is all it should be.

Most HOA's are cheap and not willing to put forth money on "frivolous" projects. If you are doing the work of netting, culling, aerating and clean up free of charge, they should not complain. The HOA BOD has the final say, not Karen. Hopefully you can strike an agreement with them.

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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
Flatheads can get big enough to eat all your bass.

How could a big sluggish Flathead catch a fast, agile bass?

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I have found in my diving experience fish that are not nocturnal get sluggish at night you can literally swim up and grab a hold of them so a large catfish could very easily eat a large bass while it is sluggish

cb100 #556362 03/13/23 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cb100
I have found in my diving experience fish that are not nocturnal get sluggish at night you can literally swim up and grab a hold of them so a large catfish could very easily eat a large bass while it is sluggish

Night bass tournaments are common around here in summer. Bass seem to be most active between dusk and early morning twilight, not so much in bright sunshine, at least in these parts. Bluegill, and carp, not active at night, sluggish.

Last edited by John Fitzgerald; 03/13/23 06:30 PM.
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