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Bob Lusk has commented that transferring big LMB to new waters doesn't always work out well, as they are often unable to adjust to their new environment. He even mentioned the time he bought double digit bass for a new pond that lost several pounds before perishing, despite loads of forage fish swimming all around.

But what about panfish? Will a large BG or CNBG also suffer in a new environment? Are they, like LMB, too set in their successful ways in the original waters to adjust?

I know that BG and LMB are pretty closely related, just wonder if they shared this characteristic.


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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I think, we here at the forum, tend to present the potentially worst-case scenario(s) as opposed to the probable scenario(s).


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I think these rules apply to all fish species. The bigger the fish is for its specie the more important this information becomes.

When transferring large fish from one water body to another, just about everyone will over crowd them in a hauling container that is too small with too little water. Make sure the hauling container is too big rather than too small to transport large fish. No normal angler is truly prepared to transport fish during angling trips. The trauma for the fish from the angler catching them is in itself very stressful for the fish. Now the fish has to endure more trauma of being handled (usually improperly), held in marginal water quality, then hauled an extended time in a less than optimum water quality. Often the water was too warm for smart fish transport. It is no wonder a lot of transferred fish die after transfer. Very few are really experienced in the proper methods for hauling fish to minimize stress on that fish or several fish.
A. Was salt used to reduce loss and help replenish the slime coat?
B. Was oxygen concentration monitored during transport?
C. Was pure oxygen used during holding and transport?
D. Were there any other stress reducing chemicals used to minimize hauling stress?
E. How long was the big fish held captive?
F. I think big fish require more care in handling transport compared to small fish mainly because a big fish has more body surface area that needs to be protected from fungal infections. IMO it is most often improper handling more than a lack of food in the new water body why big fish die when transferred from one water body to another.
See these wise pond owner's rules for proper handling of big fish once the tug-of-war is over.

This from esshup on the PB Forum as printed below. Good fish lessons are worth repeating. Just because the fish is not upside down when released does not mean it will survive the stressors of improper handling and transport.

Another IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle is learning to correctly handle the large LMB once caught. You don't want to grow them large, then injure or even kill them by handling them incorrectly once they are caught. 1) Use a rubberized net, don't grab them by the lower jaw. 2) Use two hands to support the fish to take it out of the net. One hand on the lower jaw, one hand supporting the back 1/3 of the fish. 3) Don't let it flop around on shore or in the bottom of the boat - that removes the slime coat and opens the fish up to infection. Doing that is basically a later death sentence for that big fish even if it appears okay as it swims away. Body infection with fungus growth on a fish takes a week to 10 days to take its toll on a big fish.

A thoughtful pondowner in Texas that has a 35 acre TROPHY LMB lake has a few rules. Break the rules, and you cannot fish in the pond.
1) Barbless hooks.
2) Support the fish with 2 hands.
3) Net the fish, keep the fish in the net in the water while you figure out what you are going to do next. This is important because of the next step.
4) The fish can only be out of the water for 30 seconds max. If you want to weigh the fish, leave the fish in the net, weigh everything and then weigh the net after the fish is released, don't hang the fish by it's jaw or worse, the gills.

Texas Share Lunker program has had LMB come in with broken lower jaws because of poor handling, and the fish never recover.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/21/23 09:14 AM.

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My experience is that large LMB do pretty good. We took a 12# from Lake Fork to a quarter acre pond, caught it a year later and it was in good shape. I moved a bunch of over the slot bass from Fork to my ponds a couple at a time. I can tell you the local bullfrog population didn't care for it at all. I re-caught a bunch of those fish for years. We stocked all of our ponds with bluegill from Fork. One day a summer we would take big trash cans or whatever would hold water and load up on bluegills, redears, etc and stock the ponds.


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If one does is correctly and prepared to transfer fish it can work. It all depends. Each situation is definitely different.


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Originally Posted by RossC
My experience is that large LMB do pretty good. We took a 12# from Lake Fork to a quarter acre pond, caught it a year later and it was in good shape. I moved a bunch of over the slot bass from Fork to my ponds a couple at a time. I can tell you the local bullfrog population didn't care for it at all. I re-caught a bunch of those fish for years. We stocked all of our ponds with bluegill from Fork. One day a summer we would take big trash cans or whatever would hold water and load up on bluegills, redears, etc and stock the ponds.

Ross, I assume the Lake Fork BG weren't being fed. Did you feed them at your ponds? If so, how well did they adapt? Did the larger fish have trouble in their new situation, or was it pretty seamless transition?


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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If moving fish not using pure O2 and a specially built air stone for the O2, I wouldn't exceed 1/4 pound per gallon of water. 1/2 pound per gallon of water with O2. You have to watch the O2 level (which needs an O2 meter). Too little and the fish die. Too much and you burn their gills. Ideally you want to be between 7 and 15 mg/L O2.


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Never realized that too much O2 could be an issue, thanks for the tip.


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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Originally Posted by anthropic
Bob Lusk has commented that transferring big LMB to new waters doesn't always work out well, as they are often unable to adjust to their new environment. He even mentioned the time he bought double digit bass for a new pond that lost several pounds before perishing, despite loads of forage fish swimming all around.

.

I wonder how the Texas Share Lunker program is so successful? The fish is totally out of its element.

https://texassharelunker.com/?fbclid=IwAR1wdow1L6ez7e08BkOUQkyvbZI7Wngs32XCyzOCjZVEvyftc3UGpfI-dXU

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I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that Texas Share Lunker LMB were kept under controlled (i.e. well fed) conditions and used for brood stock.


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Originally Posted by Tbar
Originally Posted by anthropic
Bob Lusk has commented that transferring big LMB to new waters doesn't always work out well, as they are often unable to adjust to their new environment. He even mentioned the time he bought double digit bass for a new pond that lost several pounds before perishing, despite loads of forage fish swimming all around.

.

I wonder how the Texas Share Lunker program is so successful? The fish is totally out of its element.

https://texassharelunker.com/?fbclid=IwAR1wdow1L6ez7e08BkOUQkyvbZI7Wngs32XCyzOCjZVEvyftc3UGpfI-dXU

I listened to Ken Milams radio show this morning and he was talking to the lady who heads up the Share Lunker program - they were discussing exactly this topic - how they transfer a huge bass - it was amazing.

The folks transporting it from its original lake meet the Share Lunker lady halfway - they pump water from the original lake into their truck tank and then pump that water into the pick up truck tank - she said there will be maximum of one degree difference in the temperature between the two tanks transporting the fish - according to her they lose very few if any fish while transporting this way

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Lots of excess water at the same temperature as catch-out water helps a lot when transferring larger fish.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Lots of excess water at the same temperature as catch-out water helps a lot when transferring larger fish.
+1.
I can almost guarantee 100% they slightly sedate those fish-not tranquilize because that lengthens recovery time.
How do you suppose they replenish slime coat??? :-))


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