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#565783 04/01/24 06:37 PM
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I stocked 25 4" WE in new pond 2 years ago. Forage base should be pretty good.

Fished about twenty five minutes this morning trying to catch a smallie to see how growth is going and ended up catching six WE and thre YP.
The WE looked around 13" but maybe a little thin? Do these look normal for age coming out of winter?

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

And what looks to be a spawned out female YP 10"
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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H20fwler #565786 04/01/24 08:50 PM
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Can't speak to the RW of the walleye, but they sure look healthy based on their color and fin margins.

Pretty fish!

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H20fwler #565789 04/01/24 11:15 PM
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The WE look pretty average to me, they are cigars compared to a YP of the same length.


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H20fwler #565794 04/02/24 08:33 AM
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It is interesting that the YP has a unique black bar pattern with the one near the top in a Y shaped pattern. I haven't seen crossing pattern in the bars of a YP before. I also wonder if the bar pattern is constant over life so that it becomes like a fingerprint for the fish. Perhaps if you catch the same fish you can start recognizing them smile

It is amazing to me how clear your water is and the rocks seem just as clean. The fish probably feel like they are in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean!

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H20fwler #565795 04/02/24 09:36 AM
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Yeah, interesting how the YP all seem to be doing better than the Walleye.


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 #565796 04/02/24 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunil
Yeah, interesting how the YP all seem to be doing better than the Walleye.

That's typical. YP have a bigger forage base of foods in a pond to pick from where WE are pretty much piscivorous. Sure, WE eat things besides fish in the wild (and in a pond), but how many of those "other things" does a regular pond owner have in their pond for the WE to eat? YP consume a LOT more benthic macroinvertebrates than WE do, and a pond owner has a lot of those in their pond in addition to the other things that YP eat (like fish pellets).


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H20fwler #565817 04/02/24 07:19 PM
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Thanks for the replies.


The perch get hand fed pellets twice a day during the warmer months off the dock and dart up like piranhas, I do have a few walleye that come up when we feed if it is overcast. The walleye were pellet trained when we got them.
The walleye were put in to help keep the perch recruitment under control and we like to catch them... and someday years down the road will eat a few.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Originally we stocked a lot of FHM and GSH, I see all sizes of both in small schools especially the swimming area so they are still reproducing good.


Question; do walleye eat bullfrog tadpoles? We have hundreds of those in the rocks along with tiny fish.



The perch striping is new to me, looked through some pics and about one in four has a Y stripe on them somewhere ? Don't know what that means, we have never had perch before.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

H20fwler #565818 04/02/24 09:31 PM
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That's so awesome that you got pictures of Walleye hitting feed!!!

My pond Walleye experience is limited to having stocked about 10-15 in a 4.5 acre pond close to 20 years ago. We'd catch them a bit, and they were healthy, but not oversized in any way. Your Walleye look pretty thin. Mine were at least bulked out in the belly area a bit more.


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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H20fwler #565820 04/02/24 11:22 PM
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Did you get the Walleye from Steve at Shelby Fish Farm? If so, I supplied those walleye to him grin.


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esshup #565821 04/03/24 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Did you get the Walleye from Steve at Shelby Fish Farm? If so, I supplied those walleye to him grin.


Yes ! That is cool, small world.

Bought most of our fish from Steve except for the SM and some of the FHM, GSH, he is a great guy.

H20fwler #565832 04/03/24 09:57 AM
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Yes, and yes he is. I get most of my YP from him or Mill Creek.

Those WE were hatched Feb 1 2022, were 3.5" long April 1 when I dropped them off to him.

Last edited by esshup; 04/03/24 06:30 PM. Reason: Changed the year, it WAS 2022

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esshup #565838 04/03/24 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Yes, and yes he is. I get most of my YP from him or Mill Creek.

Those WE were hatched Feb 1 2023, were 3.5" long April 1 when I dropped them off to him.

Maybe it was the batch before? Those went into the pond early May 2022 at 5” long, they did come from Shelby fish farm.

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Shelby FF only sold feed trained WE one year 2022.

The V or Y body bars on the YP I think are just a variation of body markings. IMO those individuals grow slightly better than the other YP but that is just my opinion - no proof. YP from Shelby and Mill Creek are the same genetic parentage as long time domesticated YP that feed train easily.

WE and apparently feed trained WE struggle to grow well with high relative weight in pond habitats. Snipe our PB member saugeye ( SAE = Saugeye is a hybrid of WE X sauger SGR) expert says the saugeye as a hybrid in ponds and lakes grow much better with good RW compared to WE in smaller waters. SAE snipe says from extensive experience,, SAE thrive well on a diet of sunfish species including small crappie. The biggest problem is saugeye are very rare at private fish farms and are raised almost exclusively by State DNR fish hatcheries. Snipe is able to privately grow a few thousand saugeye fingerlings each year.

FYI - once a fish fry develops its full complement of fins it is technically now called a fingerling.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/03/24 02:46 PM.

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esshup #565852 04/03/24 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Did you get the Walleye from Steve at Shelby Fish Farm? If so, I supplied those walleye to him grin.

I love Steve as well! I was just up there a few weeks ago getting some more perch. My YP, SBS, and yearly tilapia are exclusively Steve fish, with some Bill Cody perch and BNM! I added some male perch this year, and Steve couldn't get SBS, so I'll add some of his RES when I pick up tilapia. I'll be looking to add a few predators to my tiny pond once I see some yoy, good to know that he gets his WE from you esshup. Original plan was to add a SMB and a couple WE, though Snipe's Saugeye information sounds right up my ally as well. I may head up to Caeser's Creek and catch a couple healthy-looking, young Saugeye to bucket stock.


[Linked Image from lh6.ggpht.com]
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H20fwler #565854 04/03/24 06:13 PM
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The rest of class of 2022 went to a hatchery in the northern part of the state. Early Nov 2022 they brought me down 50 4”-5” SMB and I met them at Shelby’s when they were picking up the WE.

It is pretty neat hand feeding WE, they don’t act like other fish all crazy, they cruise around easy like little sharks. Again I only see a few come up, I would think there are others deeper getting sinking pellets.

H20fwler #565856 04/03/24 06:33 PM
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I edited my previous post, Bill is correct, it was 2022 that I brought them to Steve.


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H20fwler #565859 04/03/24 08:24 PM
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H2Ofwlr asks - Question; do walleye eat bullfrog tadpoles? We have hundreds of those in the rocks along with tiny fish.

I don't think very many fish species eat bullfrog tadpoles especially true for YP and WE. BF tadpoles inherently have a distasteful flavor to protect them from being eaten due to their very slow swimming ability that makes them very vulnerable to predation. My experience is LMB and some SMB are the main exceptions that will learn to eat and tolerate the off flavor or BF tadpoles. They eat and swallow them so fast that the bass probably does not taste them - LOL.


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H20fwler #565860 04/03/24 08:46 PM
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Thanks Bill.
Hopefully the young SMB can get after some of them.

H20fwler #565862 04/03/24 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by H20fwler
Hopefully the young SMB can get after some of them.

I’ve thought about this as well, because 3 adult bull frogs on the pond last year turned into countless swimming ping pong balls so far this year. I’m not sold on this being a bad thing yet. I’ve had the conversation of them tasting bad with Bill and figured nothing I currently have will eat them, especially with my booming minnow population. As tadpoles, I don’t mind them, from what I’ve read, they will be big algae eaters and even eat some detritus material from the bottom. If this actually happens, I’m all for it. What I’m semi-worried about is when all these swimming heads turn into bullfrogs. I’ve also read bull frogs can be territorial, so I’m hoping as they metamorph, they get ran off to greener pastures and only a few stick around my tiny pond. I caught 2 hanging out by where I feed my fish, when the minnows swarm they start dive bombing the minnows from shore under my dock. That behavior will not be tolerated, haha.


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Bill Cody #565863 04/03/24 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
H2Ofwlr asks - Question; do walleye eat bullfrog tadpoles? We have hundreds of those in the rocks along with tiny fish.

I don't think very many fish species eat bullfrog tadpoles especially true for YP and WE. BF tadpoles inherently have a distasteful flavor to protect them from being eaten due to their very slow swimming ability that makes them very vulnerable to predation. My experience is LMB and some SMB are the main exceptions that will learn to eat and tolerate the off flavor or BF tadpoles. They eat and swallow them so fast that the bass probably does not taste them - LOL.

O.K., what about toad tadpoles?


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DrewSh #565864 04/03/24 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DrewSh
Originally Posted by H20fwler
Hopefully the young SMB can get after some of them.

I’ve thought about this as well, because 3 adult bull frogs on the pond last year turned into countless swimming ping pong balls so far this year. I’m not sold on this being a bad thing yet. I’ve had the conversation of them tasting bad with Bill and figured nothing I currently have will eat them, especially with my booming minnow population. As tadpoles, I don’t mind them, from what I’ve read, they will be big algae eaters and even eat some detritus material from the bottom. If this actually happens, I’m all for it. What I’m semi-worried about is when all these swimming heads turn into bullfrogs. I’ve also read bull frogs can be territorial, so I’m hoping as they metamorph, they get ran off to greener pastures and only a few stick around my tiny pond. I caught 2 hanging out by where I feed my fish, when the minnows swarm they start dive bombing the minnows from shore under my dock. That behavior will not be tolerated, haha.


Feed 'em, let them grow then harvest them! Frog legs are good.


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H20fwler #565867 04/04/24 04:14 AM
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I’ve had the same, started out with just a few big bullfrogs and now have LOTS of tadpoles.
Have seen the tadpoles on filament algae a bunch, I think they could be eating it. My wife loves seeing the two big bullfrogs by the dock and I like hearing them.
And I definitely like eating frog legs! So far the bullfrogs at this pond have been off limits due to the wife and grandkids which is fine.
I’ve got plenty I can get after and do over at the other farm on our wildlife ponds. If these ever look over crowded I’ll thin them out. I like that the bass might eat some.

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It’s a frog eat frog world with bullfrogs. The bigger ones eat the smaller ones if able, leaving only the largest! It is crazy to watch the struggle of one frog eating another. But in the grand scheme it’s how bullfrogs gather edible biomass in an area to get up to reproduction size quickly.

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H20fwler #566072 04/09/24 08:38 AM
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As much as bullfrog tadpoles are supposed to taste bad, if a pond has a regular bass population in it, I rarely see a bullfrog tadpole in it. I have customers that don't have much edge cover in their ponds that are constantly asking if I can bring them some because they don't seem to last very long in the pond.


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At some point in a bullfrog tadpole's life transition or transformation to a full fledgling frog, the flavor of them has to change dramatically. The distasteful flavor change I think is a very gradual one from bad to tasty and very similar to the morphological change from full tadpole to full frog, The tail is the last main outward structural feature to disappear. IMO near this 'loss of tail' time is when the final amount of bad flavor also disappears. Thus when the new immature frog starts hopping around, it has a new body flavor similar to 'chicken' and it is a very welcome guest to all dinner tables.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/09/24 08:54 AM.

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