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Hi All,
Long time, no post here... been busy with non-pond things for a while, so I have for the most part let the pond do its own thing for the past 3 years. In part because the fishing has been boring.

A little background:
I am in Western NY.
1/2 acre pond, ave depth 10-12ft when it isn't as dry as it has been.
Water is quite alkaline, PH near 8.4 and calcium deposits form on everything including plants.

Stocked 10 years ago now:
* Yellow Perch
* Black Crappy
* Walleye
* 4 Koi, who thankfully have not reproduced

Recently added:
12 Hybrid goldfish/Koi who are an incredibly intelligent fish. I had stocked about 30 of them originally from my garden pond, and sorted in an aquarium so I could make darned sure they were in fact hybrids for fear of reproduction. I removed a bunch with a throw net and a lot of frustration when I found out they were terrible mess-makers and grew far larger than expected. The actual intent was to feed the established fish. However, this is the basis of me thinking there are no WE of the single bass left.
1 LMB that probably didn't make it as it was a bucket stock from someone with good intentions. No sign of it. Nothing hit the small late-add fish.
p.s. Casting bait throw nets from short is HARD to get right.

Current state of things:
The original YP are all huge, and many still are spreading sage wisdom in the pond. Somewhere in the 12-13" range, which seems to be their limit. I have fed them over the years on a semi-regular basis, so they are well trained to hear footsteps on the dock and come "running" for food. However, these guys wont jump on a hook anymore. Worms, various lures, nothing seems to work on them. I think they have gotten old and lazy. Lazy enough they are not reproducing any longer either. No recruitment in the past three years. Thier offspring have not thrived to replace them as I think there is too much competition in the pond for low productivity waters.

The BCP are like credit-cards with eyeballs. When they do decide to spawn (1 in every three years or so), there are so many of the buggers they compete with everything else. According to the fisheries expert in the area, they were supposed to balance out with the walleye, but something went wrong there. They have never touched the feed pellets no matter what brand/size. If it isn't twitching, they watch it sink by their faces to let the perch gobble it up.

Walleye: What can I say? I have caught and returned 3 of them over all these years, possibly the same dummy. Nowhere large enough to take on the credit cards. They still may be in there, but I haven't seen sign of them in over three years now. Evidence says they are likely in the belly of a snapping turtle.

The Koi are a pretty fish. Nice to have when they don't take over. They are happy and lazy.

Anyhow, fishing has been quite boring, and I want to change it up. My only rule is NO BLUEGILL. I swim in there (the kiddo is now 17, not interested), and BG go beyond nipping right into a-hole territory. I put one in there a few years ago, and it grew to monstrous size. However, it chased me all over the pond and would bite me for fun. It would be waiting for me at the dock when I wanted to go for a dip. I think it was angry about the lack of any fish of the opposite sex. The BG is gone now.

What I would like to do is stock SMB and Pumpkin seeds. Neither of which is stocked at hatcheries anywhere near me. The hatchery that used to stock all sorts of variety closed during covid and never re-opened. The unwillingness of wanting to stock BG messes up the LMB formula, so I am looking for suggestions. NY restricts a lot of what many states enjoy.

I am fairly close to bucket stocking myself from a local reservoir, but the legality issue and/or introduction of disease or invasives worries me, despite the isolation of the source.

Thanks,
-Mark

Last edited by liquidsquid; 10/06/23 08:58 AM.
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Is there any desire to kill everything off and start fresh?


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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I would like to avoid that if I can, probably a last resort if I can't come up with anything else. The koi have become like pets, so the wife may take issue to nuking from orbit.

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Last October, I picked up some nice smallmouth from Fender's Fish Farm in Ohio. Depending on how west in NY your are, maybe it's a 5 hour drive or so.

The smallies were 4-5".

Maybe call them and see if they still have any.


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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Will RES live in your area? You will have less issues with the RES overpopulating than the PS. I would give some thoughts to putting an automatic feeder on there, that will help with the feed training issues. I am supposed to get some Saugeye this Fall, and I will be making a trip to far N. Eastern Ohio still this Fall, I don't think that is too far from Sunil. Leroy Ohio... I think the Saugeye would work on the Crappie.

Do you have the correct habitat in the pond for the YP to reproduce? If you could get Golden Shiners established in your pond that would help be part of the forage base for the rest of the fish.

What you are seeing from the Crappie are the exact reason why they are not recommended for smaller ponds. Can you stock HSB? They might help with the Crappie too. HSB are a blast to catch, and they don't reproduce in the pond.

Have you thought about maybe buying a smaller fyke net to get excess fish out of the pond? Any Koi caught could be returned.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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The perch used to reproduce very well for a number of years, but lately our springs have been a far too early burst of warmth and a quick return to winter. That, and old fish I think has cut off successful spawns.

We unfortunately cannot stock HSB due to a concern in Canada with them, so NY complies, and I cannot have fun.

I was thinking of trying golden shiners, but I think I need to lower the number of hungry mouths first, particularly the BCP. This spring I put in a load of FHM and Papershells and was amazed how fast the FHM disappeared. The papershell crayfish are impossible to get a handle on as they blend so well. A lot of stone cover for them, so I am sure they are thriving. Plus, I see a lot of bits of CLPW coming up which is a good indicator they are active.

So maybe the golden shiners would help with keeping the BCP recruitment down as I heard they are pretty good nest thieves and especially good at gobbling up fry.

A 5-hour drive to get fish to stock is a bit far, I'm not sure how crossing state lines into NY with fish would go. I will need to do some research on this.

I admit I needed to look up Saugeye, never heard of it before, but now I know.

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Anytime I've picked up fish from various hatcheries for my personal stocking adventures, I'm just a car on the road like anyone else, and the fish are in boxes.

If you want to try Golden Shiners, I'd call Andersons Fish Farm now and see if they ship to New York (if not, I know they ship to PA, and I'd just have them shipped somewhere in Erie PA), and get on the list for GSH frye. If you put in some Christmas trees as cover before stocking the frye, you'll get recruitment.


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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you may have found this page in the link below, but if not, it has good info on it.

If NY is panicked about HSB they probably would send the natural resources SWAT team over if they heard you were putting an even more exotic hybrid fish into your pond (if they caught wind of the word saugeye...)


https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=560225

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I have Specklebelly Sunfish (BGxRES cross) in my pond (with YP and tilapia) and they have been great so far. Eating well, getting big, and no nips so far. My kids were swimming nearly on a weekly basis in the summer.

Mosquitofish on the other hand! I originally put a dozen in when the pond when it was being dug so it wouldn't be a stagnant mosquito cesspool, thinking they wouldn't survive the winter in Southern Ohio. I have thousands of those buggers now, and they like to think my leg hair looks like mosquito larva. It doesn't hurt at all, but its annoying little pulls on them, haha.


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Originally Posted by DrewSh
Mosquitofish on the other hand! I originally put a dozen in when the pond when it was being dug so it wouldn't be a stagnant mosquito cesspool, thinking they wouldn't survive the winter in Southern Ohio. I have thousands of those buggers now, and they like to think my leg hair looks like mosquito larva. It doesn't hurt at all, but its annoying little pulls on them, haha.

Sounds like you could have a side gig offering expensive spa treatments!

Come to Drew's pond where gambusia will gently exfoliate your dry skin. $50 for a thirty minute session sounds like a bargain to me. grin

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Quote
What I would like to do is stock SMB and Pumpkin seeds. Neither of which is stocked at hatcheries anywhere near me.

I looked at Smith Creek and they have 1-2" Pumpkinseed this week. I bought a few. I don't know how much you trust them, there were minnows in with the Pumpkinseed but they say they didn't count them. They are in your neck of the woods but only open on Sat 9-2. I have no idea where to get NY qualified SMB except if Zetts has them.

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Zetts near State College, PA only has SMB in the early spring, and not always if they didn't get the right spawn conditions.

And when they do have them, they are less than 2" if that.


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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Lol. Your story of the bluegill cracked me up. I come from some understanding as the hybrids my dad stocks love to bite nippers! Hurts a little but the surprise is shocking. I love to take the kid's friends swimming there just to see how long it takes for someone to scream like a little girl and proceed to run on water to escape.

I don't know fish in your area so no help with species. I can offer a suggestion though. Several yrs ago we bought a mini-pontoon boat. It's a game changer and we've had a blast on the pond with it. I'd consider getting one then sinking brush piles that you can jig from the boat. So much more fun than what we were doing with little Jon boats and canoes.

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Originally Posted by Retired on 40
Quote
What I would like to do is stock SMB and Pumpkin seeds. Neither of which is stocked at hatcheries anywhere near me.

I looked at Smith Creek and they have 1-2" Pumpkinseed this week. I bought a few. I don't know how much you trust them, there were minnows in with the Pumpkinseed but they say they didn't count them. They are in your neck of the woods but only open on Sat 9-2. I have no idea where to get NY qualified SMB except if Zetts has them.

I bought loads of FHM and Crayfish there this spring and was hoping for those Pumpkin Seed in June. I shot out there this past weekend on bought 30 PS, and another load of FHM to take the pressure off the new PS, so thanks for the heads up! Also picked up a spectacular koi for the garden pond. I didn't need it, but I would have been pissed at myself if I had not brought it home.

The hope was this spring, by adding some FHM, it would boost the pond a little with some live food since the only ones eating the feed are the YP. It didn't make any noticeable difference.
The one thing the hybrid koi/goldfish have done is clouded the water in their quest for food, giving these new little fish a fighting chance with the lower visibility. Usually in fall the water is so clear you can easily see 10ft down. Right now, it is maybe 10 inches. Part of the problem I have been having with recruitment is the predators can see prey a mile away in those conditions and there is not enough cover for survival.

I am going to give the stocking a rest and let the PS settle in, and then perhaps next fall put in some bass. I probably purchase a few size classes to get closer to ladder-stocking so they are not all fighting for the same food source.

Sure, it will become a mess in there for management, but my original goal was to never have a prize fishery, but a good recreation spot for swimming and casual fishing.

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liquidsq - As your koi (4) and hybrid koi grow beyond the 18"-20" sizes expect noticeably more turbidity. Higher turbidity will have a negative impact on angler success. Be prepared.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/17/23 10:30 AM.

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The 4 koi on their own got to full-size beasts, and surprisingly did not stir up the pond at all. It is these recent additions which form a gang and really get things stirred up. It isn't horrible, but I really expected them to get hit hard with larger BCP, YP, and WE when I put them in since they were small at the time. It appears every last hybrid managed to avoid getting eaten. Well, at least the ones still in the pond. The ones I have caught out have become fox treats.

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Well, a fish trap does not work on them. 5 days in and a variety of baits: Bread, bread with Peanut Butter, the fish food I used to feed them in the garden pond.... nothing.

Any ideas?

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Do the koi still come if you hand feed?

You could probably trap them while feeding with a spring pole or other "release" type trap.

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Originally Posted by liquidsquid
Well, a fish trap does not work on them. 5 days in and a variety of baits: Bread, bread with Peanut Butter, the fish food I used to feed them in the garden pond.... nothing.

Any ideas?

.22LR should do the trick.

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We had a little bait pond full of koi, goldfish one time, were wanting to grow our own bait for catfishing on the Mo river, buying them got expensive, we had the awfullest time catching them damn things, they got so smart so quick, a throw net would catch several on the first throw and almost none there after, rigged up an upsidedown umbrella net on a hoist that we would feed them over on a regular bases then when we wanted to catch some we would try to swiftly hoist the net up under them, because when they get disturbed they head down, that didnt work either, we finally gave up on them and filled the pond with green sunfish, used them for bait.

They pretty much eliminated the goldfish yoy and depleted them, except a few big ones they couldn't eat, had several goldfish get up to 2 ft, I think the last of them died about a yr ago.


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Originally Posted by gehajake
They pretty much eliminated the goldfish yoy and depleted them, except a few big ones they couldn't eat, had several goldfish get up to 2 ft, I think the last of them died about a yr ago.

Too bad the koi were so hard to catch. I would have loved to have seen the pictures of the flatheads you could have caught in the Mo. River with 2 ft long koi!

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