Pond Boss Magazine
https://www.pondboss.com/images/userfiles/image/20130301193901_6_150by50orangewhyshouldsubscribejpeg.jpg
Advertisment
Newest Members
Mrnot111, pondbear, N.C.PondJoe, LloydLusk, Catch N 8 NTex
18,579 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums36
Topics41,090
Posts559,445
Members18,579
Most Online3,612
Jan 10th, 2023
Top Posters
esshup 28,698
ewest 21,542
Cecil Baird1 20,043
Bill Cody 15,190
Who's Online Now
10 members (bemdh8, Commander, Catch N 8 NTex, Theeck, thuff, Sunil, wps456, Fishingadventure, LANGSTER, ewest), 822 guests, and 297 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
First time post on here! I have read some good information and thought I would share information for the pond that I live on.

So, back in 2015 I moved into a neighborhood with a 27 acre pond that was an old sand pit in its prior life. The pond gets to about 22' / 23' deep in its deepest parts and there are some random humps and variations out in the middle - some of which have old trees. In one corner, there is a nice triangular 5' flat area that drops down to about 15' in a 1:1 slope. Other corners are not as pronounced. Most of the lake is bulkheads but about 1/4 of the shoreline is still natural. There are a few patches of cattails / Louisiana irises and shoreline vegetation has varied. 90% of the lake is over 15' deep with lots of featureless areas. Bottom is mostly sand but there are areas where it is mud as well (can be seen on sonar).

Back in 2015, we had a bad nutria problem and ended up taking them all out.

Forage species include:

Threadfin shad (get some nice bait balls in open water)
Gizzard shad
Bluegill (mainly coppernose)
Blue tilapia
Texas chichlid
Green sunfish (not many)
Warmouth (not many)
Fathead minnows
Other various minnows

Larger species include:

Common carp
Black crappie (most that are caught are in the 12" to 16" class)
Largemouth bass
Bullhead
Blue catfish (not many)
Channel catfish (not many)

No gar, bowfin, drum or buffalo that I am aware of. Lots of red ear sliders and a few softshells. Cormorants come and go - main infestation is February / March but that just happens to be when so many people like to drive their boats around on the lake and RC boats as well, ha.

The official policy is leave the bass and bluegill alone but everything else can be taken "within reason". I know crappie get pecked away at but everything else really doesn't too much. For the bass, we do a "selective harvest" each year for a community fish fry.

I have gone from normal resident to pretty much calling the shots on what we do for the lake. In the beginning, it seemed like I would catch a few better fish than I do now (as in the 19"-22" range) all the way up to 7+ lbs on the boga. I probably haven't caught anything over 4 lbs in a few years but there are a bunch of fish in the 13" to 15" range for sure. I am not sure if the larger fish have grown lure shy, have gotten caught and eaten by residents that don't care or what. There was a 20" caught by someone else recently though.

It seems the average resident wants a clear looking lake and if they fish, they want to catch something that isn't all head and is a healthy fish. Historically the water gets very clear - sometimes as much as 12 and 13 feet. Most of the time the water has a little bit of green tint to it and clarity runs 3 to 4 feet with a little tint to it normally.

Over time we have added Christmas trees, oak branches and other various structures on drop offs, humps, etc and there are some productive areas for sure.

We did electroshocking one year and from 2020 to 2024 I have done my own study of weighing and measuring 100 random bass and plotting them in excel again 80%, 85%, 90%, 95% and 100% curves to see how our fish are doing. I have consulted with fish hatcheries to see the best bang for the buck (using HOA dollars) and this is what we have stocked:

2019 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 750 adult bluegill (5" to 7"), 5,000 threadfin shad
2020 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 750 adult bluegill (5" to 7"), 5,000 threadfin shad
2021 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 50,000 fathead minnows
2022 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 50,000 fathead minnows
2023 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 50,000 fathead minnows
2024 - 2,500 small bluegill, (3" to 5"), 50,000 fathead minnows

We have also put in 32 fingerling F-1 bass and 8 adult F-1 bass along the way. The plan is to keep putting forage fish in. We also put in a sack of crashfish along the way to see if any of them would survive to reproduce. The reason switching from threadfins to fatheads is we had to switch hatcheries and the cost of shad was way too high.

Over that same time, we have probably pulled out 150 bass or so but didn't get many last year and I think that is showing.

I consider myself a well above average angler and my average is usually 3-4 bass per hour. This year however it seems that our fish have dropped in percentile some and are being caught at a higher rate, mainly in the under 13" class. There are still some nicer fish in the 2 to 3 lb range but definitely more of the smaller fish. So, we have decided to cull 100 bass this year up to ~13" on a case by case basis (if we catch a 12' fish that weighs 1.2 lbs, it is going back in the lake or if we catch a 14" fish that weighs 0.9 lbs, it is going in the cooler). I read about culling more per surface acre but in our case we have so much open water that is structureless. Since it is clear water and probably only about 10 acres of true productive water, we are shooting for 10 per those 10 acres.

I have done a random guess on how many bass I think we have in the lake based on data and 50 lbs per surface acre and I figured about 1,750. Collectively, I would say there are ~750 landings per year so a lot of fish are repeat customers. I am sure there is mortality for catching as well fish that just die from old age.

Just curious if there is any feedback from folks on here as to how we are doing so far......

Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
B
Offline
B
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
Any feeders in the lake?

What did your electro-survey reveal way back when?

Are you seeing any difference in the quality of the fish on relative weights or catchability since you started adding forage?


I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 13,810
Likes: 315
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
Online Content
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 13,810
Likes: 315
Welcome to Pond Boss! Only you Texans call 27 acres a pond!!

Your line of thinking about how to 'operatively' use a per acre culling number for the LMB when considering how many 'usable' acres of water there are for the bass is very interesting. It makes sense to think of it that way. Just in IMO, the figure you tossed out about '10 LMB to cull per each of 10 acres' (paraphrasing) seems a bit light and may take longer to see a real impact.

I've always heard that threadfin shad lived in open waters, and that LMB gorged on them in open water. What was your experience like with the threadfin? I know you said you no longer stock them.


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."

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Welcome to the forum. Here's my take on things.

1) You need to take out more bass than what you think.
2) You have very limited reproduction areas for forage fish.
3) A new electro shock survey needs to be done.
4) Stocking the fatheads is a waste of $$. That is if you want to feed fish greater than 8"-9". If you want to feed larger fish with the forage fish, you'd be better off stocking Golden Shiners, and stock what they call number 30's. If you can stock them in February, that might be early enough to get them to spawn IF you have the correct spawning habitat for them.

Here's why:

Going by your data, you stocked approximately 150-175 pounds of fatheads and between 80 to 200 pounds of bluegills every year. Total weight is between 230 and 375 pounds of forage fish. I bet that 90% of the fish that you stock are eaten the first month they are in the BOW.

The bass that are in the lake need to eat a very minimum of 17,500 to an excess of 45,000 pounds of fish per year to each gain one pound of weight. (Depending on the size of the bass - bigger bass need to eat more to gain 1# of weight) That is just the bass, not the crappies, catfish, etc. that are in there.

It sounds like the HOA's budget for the fishery is not nearly big enough to pay for proper management of the BOW. 27 acres is a LOT of water to manage. There was an article in the Pond Boss Magazine about exactly that scenario. Call the PB office and buy that copy, giving out one to each member that has a say so about the budget for the BOW.

I think you'd be much better off doing the following:

Get an electroshock survey done this year or next year at the latest and spend remainder of the next 2, maybe 3 years budget on improving or making spawning habitat for the forage fish. This is in addition to taking out the amount of bass the electroshock survey shows needing removed. Get the community involved in building cover for the fish that are in there. Look in the archives for ways to build cover inexpensively. You need roughly 5 to 6 ACRES of cover in that pond. That in itself is a huge job.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,429
Likes: 20
J
Offline
J
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,429
Likes: 20
4) Stocking the fatheads is a waste of $$.

So true!

Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
Thanks for all the good info and suggestions. We actually had a discussion the other day about what is the minimum size a body of water has to be to be called a lake, lol.

To answer some questions...

No feeders in the pond. It is surrounded by homes but some residents do hand feed the bluegill when they are up close. For about 4 months out of the year (winter), you will not see any forage fish near the shore since the lake is so deep and gets clear.

The electro survey was a struggle to get any bass since the lake is so deep and the current only goes so far. They made 2 miles of runs but got enough fish to make it worth the effort. It showed the bass at that time were not getting enough food and we needed to add structure and habitat before doing anything. So we did that as much as we could. Once we had a good bit in there, we stocked forage. Since we have been adding it, fish health seems to be going up. Attached is data from the last two years (I do my own study from April 15 onward and this saves the community money).

Yes, threadfin are open water fish. They were in here before we added any. The idea behind the fatheads was to get more bang for the buck with threadfin prices going up and hopefully keep some pressure off the existing population.

It looks like golden shiners are another option - I will inquire about those for 2025.

I 100% agree we could be doing a lot more. We have budget limitations though. The average resident could care less about fish in the lake. So, we have that to overcome. Also, the average person that fishes here wants to catch something without a ton of effort. If grandpa can walk to the bulkhead with his two grandsons and they throw Texas rigs for 45 minutes from the bank and each catch a 14" nice looking fish, they are happy and it's exciting. I think that's great but I'd like to see a few more fish in the 16"-20" range as a "unicorn" fish. I just wish we had like a $50,000 annual budget instead of $5,000 but that is better than the $0 that most communities pay.

Electro survey is a good idea for sure but the issue there is money spent on that takes money away from forage fish stocking.

The structure and habitat is a lot of work for sure. If I had to guess, we have about 1 acre of brush piles, old freestanding trees, other debris and other random stuff. For forage spawning areas, all the shallow stuff is typically tilapia and Texas cichlids. It seems that the bluegill and bass spawn deeper. There are a few bass on beds but not many. Bluegill are never up shallow on beds. They make it happen though because there will be lots of baby bluegill and lots of baby bass. Typically in January we will have schools of 100 6"-7" bass swimming around.

For the selective harvest, only a few of us do it as to not have inexperienced folks killing nice fish. We also do not want to make it a free for all and then all of the sudden 1,000 fish are pulled out of here. That could get some bigger fish but the average person would be upset.

I've attached a couple of graphs - it seems like most of our fish run over 85% on relative weight with a few in the 90% to 100% range too.

I'll also throw in a few recent pics, what we are culling, a structure shot, a ball of shad shot and the tax man with a nice bass (osprey). I have no idea how many they get but I am assuming it has to be a few school fish per week.

Thoughts on health of the non-cull fish in the pics?

Attached Images
2024-Bass.jpg 2023-Bass.jpg IMG_6947.jpg IMG_6944.jpg IMG_6891.jpg IMG_6940.jpg shad-02.jpg shad-01.jpg IMG_6953.jpg osprey.jpg
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
When you had the survey done, how much cover did they say to add to the lake?

Bass need to weigh "X" at "X" length before can get longer. Bass need to eat fish that are 1/4 to 1/3 their body length to get enough calories without expending more calories chasing prey than they are getting in return when they DO capture their prey. Remember, they aren't successful 100% of the time.

The higher number of 12"-13" bass that are closer to 100 RW is telling me that you have a higher population of bluegills in the 3"-4" range than you do of bluegills in the 4"+ size range. Comparing the two graphs, see how the RW of the bass is dropping in bass that are greater then 12" in length from last year to this year?

Add a BUNCH more cover that has smaller openings in it for the smaller BG to hide, and place that near the BG spawning areas. I would bite the bullet and get at least one Texas Hunter Feeder, place it near the shallow water area and feed Optimal Bluegill feed. One feeder won't do much in a BOW that size but it will help. Much more than adding forage fish. I'd put a slot limit on the bass, telling people to remove every 10"-14" bass that they catch. Sure it won't be popular, but if you want to turn the fishery around it's gotta happen. Look at how the RW's are dropping in the last year..............

Once you have the bass numbers reduced so the forage fish population starts to rebound, then it's time to start concentrating on putting cover in the lake for the bass. If the bass don't have places to loaf and grab a meal as it swims by, all you will have in the lake are marathon runners. Bass constantly swimming around looking for something to eat, constantly burning more calories than they should.

You have to stop focusing on trying to grow big bass and focus on getting the forage fish population up. The only way to do that is to reduce the amount of small bass in the lake and increase spawning habitat & cover for the Bluegills. With the water clarity, there isn't a lot of food for the BG, that is why you need to start feeding them.

Lets forget about bass for a minute. When the electroshock survey was done, what did they say about the bluegill population? If people fish for BG, what size distribution are they catching? Next 4-5 fishing trips you do, don't fish for bass at all. Go bluegill fishing and make a chart exactly like you did for the bass. Don't even take any bass rods or bass lures along, just panfish tackle. Length/weight. Report back here with those numbers. You will learn a lot about the bass growth potential by paying close attention to what they have to eat.

Do you have a copy of that electroshock survey? Can you post it here?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,645
Likes: 641
F
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
F
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,645
Likes: 641
Question for the experts:

If the deep-water lake gets very clear for much of the warm season, would fertilizing the lake once or twice a year be a cost effective option that would increase a lot of production at the bottom end of the food chain?

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Originally Posted by FishinRod
Question for the experts:

If the deep-water lake gets very clear for much of the warm season, would fertilizing the lake once or twice a year be a cost effective option that would increase a lot of production at the bottom end of the food chain?


It depends. What's the alkalinity and if it's low is there $$ in the budget for enough lime to change it? How many a/f are we talking about? How many tons of lime? How would you spread the lime over a 27 acre lake with houses around it?

Will not having clear water be OK with the residents?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
B
Offline
B
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
I did a little looking on the google and from what I could see 25lbs + per acre was the minimum "recommended cull rate on bass per acre annually". Even at half that rate on 27 acres(13.5 acres since you feel like the deep water isn't as attractive to the LMB) that equals a lot of fish to cull. If a 100% RW 14" bass = 1.4 - 1.7 lbs depending on which chart you use. If your RW's are lower than 100% and you are trying to improve them that annual cull rate goes up.

Not trying to dispute anything above. I was trying to wrap my head around how many lbs of LMB would need to be removed.


I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,542
Likes: 282
E
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
Online Content
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
E
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,542
Likes: 282
This ,from Fisheries Science Prof. Anderson who literally wrote the book on PSD and RW may help (from an old thread).

Read these threads on PSD for guidelines which include comments from the Prof who developed the concept Richard Anderson.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=23612&page=1



http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=23960&page=1


Dick Anderson


Registered: 18/09/06
Posts: 5
Loc: TX, MO, WI

Keep taking <12 in bass until the number 8-12 equals number 12-15. Ideal pond structure is 40% 8-12, 40% 12-15 and 20% 15+
















1 member likes this: esshup
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Originally Posted by Boondoggle
I did a little looking on the google and from what I could see 25lbs + per acre was the minimum "recommended cull rate on bass per acre annually". Even at half that rate on 27 acres(13.5 acres since you feel like the deep water isn't as attractive to the LMB) that equals a lot of fish to cull. If a 100% RW 14" bass = 1.4 - 1.7 lbs depending on which chart you use. If your RW's are lower than 100% and you are trying to improve them that annual cull rate goes up.

Not trying to dispute anything above. I was trying to wrap my head around how many lbs of LMB would need to be removed.


It's not an easy thing to do, and the further away from 100% RW the BOW is, the more work it is (more LMB need to be removed). In BOW's that have a really low RW, 40#/surface acre isn't out of the question. That does two different things. 1) gives the forage base a great jump start and 2) removes a lot of bass that will never reach their growth potential.

For instance, in a 1 acre pond that had RW's of 75%, you could take out ALL the bass except 1 pair and next year after they spawned they will have repopulated the pond. (you only need 50-100 of the fry to survive)


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
Thanks all. I’ll try to answer everything in one post…

A few constraints we are working with:

-People like to have a good chance to catch a fish
-Clear water is desired by residents
-There is a limited budget for any stocking
-For any structure, it has to be where boats will not hit it and swimmers will not be at risk for injury (basically needs to be 15’+ deep
-A feeder cannot be installed (limited budget and aesthetics). Besides, it would just be a turtle magnet anyway.
-Any feeding is up to residents

For electroshocking, they did not specify how much cover / habitat – only to start adding it in there.

Yes, looks like there is a clumping of smaller bass for sure. Unfortunately last year we didn’t get to harvest that many small ones (folsk were busy) but we are jump starting on it now. Normally we have a fish fry in October and will make sure we get what we need for that in the form of bass and not bringing in extra stuff.

For cover, there are constraints – people swim and boat in the lake so we have to be mindful of that. Some folks (like me) have lots of stuff on their shoreline for little fish to hide in. Also many of the bulkheads in the lake have piles of rocks as support at the bottom and these always hold fish. There are ladders and other hiding places associated with bulkheads as well. Whenever I trim trees or have trees trimmed, the branches go in the lake. We also do a Christmas tree roundup and have probably put in close to 100 in there.

For pulling fish out, there is a compromise – not everyone is in it to have some high maintenance trophy lake. All but a few people are ok with just having some fish to catch. We have 125+ homes in the neighborhood with about half on the lake. If this was just my personal body of water, I would for sure pull a bunch of fish out but the average person is just trying to catch a fish.

For bluegill, anything over about 3” to 4” is rare to see close to shore. It seems as though all the larger bluegill are out deeper. We will see them using cameras and sometimes they will follow up crankbaits in 20’ of water. The adult tilapia and adult Texas cichlids will be up shallow along with their babies but not many of those over about 2” are seen close to shore. As far as targeting bluegill, I’m going to see if I can set a crab trap and see what gets in there in a few hours near a brush pile.

For the bluegill population in the electroshocking, they said we were light on them but with most of the pond being deep, it is hard to shock.

I will put some snippets from the original survey. It seems the idea was to get in structure / habitat to our liking, put some forage in the lake and maintain it by feeding. For the bass, let them be for a couple of years and then pull out no more than 10 small ones per acre. To combat the lack of aggressive feeding (as in a feeder), we have been pumping in forage every year instead of stopping and just feeding.

For fertilizing, that goes against the water clarity preference. All the streets in the neighborhood drain to the lake. So, fertilizer and all kinds of stuff make it in. I would think this fuels microorganisms some and will help out. Right now there is definitely a tint to the water.

As for how many bass per surface acre, I know it is way more than 4 or 5. My (and others) fear is if we truly did pull out say 500 bass, catch rates would go down and the average person wouldn’t be happy.

For feeding bluegill, residents generally only feed from their house using fish feed, dog food, old leftovers, bread, etc.

A few questions I had:

1. Can there be too many blue tilapia in the pond? Sometimes I’ll see 40 or 50 adult tilapia in the 2 to 6 pound class cruising around (yes, 6 pounds – we hold the Texas state record).
2. Bass that are removed – can their carcasses be ground up over an area holding bluegill and have them eat it versus just throwing in whole carcasses and having them compete with turtles?
3. Has anyone ever tried force feeding a bass? As in, one gets caught and put a couple of hunks of rib meat pieces in its mouth before releasing?

Attached Images
050124-CL-01.png 050124-CL-02.png 050124-CL-03.png 050124-CL-04.png
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
B
Offline
B
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
Sounds like a tough mix of very limited budget, and non aligning goals for all members. Biggest bang for your buck sounds like the feeding the BG as you will touch more fish with fish food (growing them faster in lower productivity water than stocking and limited amount of forage annually) and hopefully increasing the numbers that can spawn.
------Pick a small zone of the water and maximize it with habitat and feeding. It doesn't have to be unsightly in any way. May be able to reach out to one of the local fisheries biologists with the Fish and Wildlife department for some tips or planning to put everybody down the path of we're doing this to both naturally stimulate the environment aesthetically (ie...make it pretty to look at) and at the same time be good stewards of the lake/fish to give them what they need.
Fish Feeder $1,200-2,500
Quality Fish Food ranges from $50-70 per 40lb bag. Quantity discounts are available at some of the suppliers.

If that's not an option the introduction of GSH as a replacement to FHM in your stocking budget. Not sure if it really helps your situation though. That list of existing forage fish in the lake is pretty extensive already.

If it was me, I'd try to pool some funds for the guys that like to fish in the lake, ask for permission to set a floating or bank feeder that would take almost zero room out of the 27 acres, use the fish stocking budget on fish food and keep moving forward on the trees/habitat and cull every bass in the lake until I was seeing improvement on forage response and RW of the fish.
- If you have eaten holes in your forage the larger bass are forced to eat smaller and smaller fish. As a consequence of this they suffer trying to maintain weight let alone gain any. This also puts more pressure on the smaller LMB as they too can't find enough food as the forage is now being double and triple dipped.

Water fertility improves / increases carry capacity
Feeding the fish improves / increases the carry capacity
-----If you think about this for a minute. Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people feed their fish with auto feeders around the world. It's easier than annually stocking and likely a more effective way to grow bigger/more fish or most of them would be annually stocking additional forage. Additional annual stocking is a way to give a short term boost in available food, introduce a new/desired species or correct a missing species due to mortality (eaten or fish kill)
Habitat / Hiding spots increases the carry capacity
Additional forage stocking increases the carry capacity as long as they stay in the water and not in a fishes belly

If you are finding that your fish are lower than you would like on RW (sounds like you have)....they have overeaten the carry capacity of the water and the only two ways, I'm aware of, to change that is by restoring the natural balance (culling) of the lake to what it can provide naturally or increasing the food available to the fish.

If I'm off here fellas please don't hesitate to correct me. I am still a guppy in the world of pond management and try to learn more about it everyday.

Totally jealous of getting the opportunity to help manage a 27 acre BOW. Very challenging path to thread the needle on when not all people involved have the same goals.


I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
Thanks for the responses. Behind my house I have a pretty good habitat setup with 75 feet of shoreline with vegetation and lots of branches, broken pots, cinder blocks, pallets, tree branches, old fence posts, old metal fence posts, Christmas trees and other stuff. Typically it will hold good numbers of forage as well as bass. I will throw food when I see them there but we also have turtles and muscovies. If we had a feeder, we would just attract muscovies and turtles unless someone was constantly there to monitor it. We have enough budget to probably dump 5,000 pounds of fish food in the lake if we had no forage fish. That would be 13.7 pounds per day. If we did that, I would guess 90% of it would be not be eaten by fish and we would go from having 10 muscovies to 50 muscovies or more on the lake and a healthier turtle population. So, call it 500 pounds getting to a fish to eat. For the same amount of money, we can get an actual 500 pounds of forage fish into the lake and hope some of them keep growing and that some residents will spend $50 on a 50lb bag of food and maybe we can get a few hundred pounds of food into the fish. I also did locate the golden shiners so that will be on the list for next year. There is currently also a big bloom of nitella (I think that's what it is) so in shallower water there is a lot of weed for the fish to hide in and I would assume the tilapia would devour it as well.

27 acres of deep water with steep sides is definitely an interesting animal to figure out for sure. Also, I would like to add that we did not have Florida strain fish originally stocked in the lake. I know many other folks are stocking only Florida or F-1 bass. We do not have that.

The plan going into next year will be selective harvest small bass, add more structure and habitat as we can, encourage folks to feed the fish (even if it is just a handful a day for a few houses) and add more forage fish. We shall see where it goes.....

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Unfortunately managing a HOA lake where all the residents aren't on the same page is like saying I want a car to get 60 mpg, hold 6 people comfortably, be able to tow my 25 foot boat and be able to run low 5 second times at 270 mph in the quarter mile.

What you are trying to do, and have everyone be happy, with the budget that you have to work with, just isn't realistic. It can't be done.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
1 member likes this: FishinRod
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
B
Offline
B
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
Brian,

Was rereading some of the info here and I'm curious about the 2017 survey. Do you know when the survey was completed?


I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
The 2017 survey was done in the month of May, right before dark in the evening. They were weighing and measuring fish in the dark.

As far as common interests within a budget, I think the realistic goal is a pond where folks can catch healthy fish that pull some drag (13"-16" range fish) with a few in the 16"-19" range that pull a little harder and then the 19"-22" unicorns every now and then. Also, folks want to be able to keep our community fish fry tradition going with pulling fish from the pond.

As much as a few of us would like for the pond to more readily cough up 5lb to 8lb fish, that will not be realistic. Our pond is not out in the country or anything - we are a private, gated community located in an urban area. I am just happy that we are applying some management and funding towards the pond.

We are working on our plan for 2025 and will definitely incorporate some of the feedback from here.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,542
Likes: 282
E
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
Online Content
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
E
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,542
Likes: 282
Originally Posted by Brian from Texas
....

A few questions I had:

1. Can there be too many blue tilapia in the pond? Sometimes I’ll see 40 or 50 adult tilapia in the 2 to 6 pound class cruising around (yes, 6 pounds – we hold the Texas state record).

Absolutely if the tilapia overwinter in your location, then you can have far too many and burden your carrying capacity. That can lead to a high % of your biomass being in tilapia with the potential for a die-off of the lake.
















Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Originally Posted by ewest
Originally Posted by Brian from Texas
....

A few questions I had:

1. Can there be too many blue tilapia in the pond? Sometimes I’ll see 40 or 50 adult tilapia in the 2 to 6 pound class cruising around (yes, 6 pounds – we hold the Texas state record).

Absolutely if the tilapia overwinter in your location, then you can have far too many and burden your carrying capacity. That can lead to a high % of your biomass being in tilapia with the potential for a die-off of the lake.


That's the reasoning behind why it's illegal to stock Blue Tilapia in Texas.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
So, in talking with the fish folks we use, they said in our situation, there is most likely going to be a tilapia die off of some sort every year. However, due to temperature / thermocline / water being stratified, they most likely will not float to the top like a shallower pond and instead will die and decay on the bottom.

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,645
Likes: 641
F
Lunker
Offline
Lunker
F
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,645
Likes: 641
If you are that for south, and near the winter heat reservoir of the Gulf of Mexico, I am not sure your Blue Tilapia will die off.

Has anyone caught or observed tilapia that are certainly larger than 8-month-old stockers?

I know next to nothing compared to the locals, but one of the Pond Boss experts (Rainman) has said, "PURE Blue tilapia can survive to 45F, but begin having a compromised immune system at 60F and begin getting lethargic at 55F."


Have you ever checked your winter water temps?

Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
B
Offline
B
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 252
Likes: 53
Hmmm…I’m a previous post you mentioned seeing schools of 2-6 lbers swimming in schools of 50. Not mention of them in your annual stocking that I can recall. So, if you aren’t putting them in, and what you are seeing are indeed Blue Talapia….1 + 1 = they are not dying due to cold temps.

Any idea how these fish got in the lake?


I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
B
OP Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 8
Not all of them are dying, that's for sure but it sounds like some of them may be but we are not seeing them. Our surface temp has gotten in the 40's before but typically will not get colder than about 53. Not sure what the bottom of the water column is. Tilapia and Texas Chichlids are very common in our area waters. Some shallower ponds in the area have had die offs of both during some winters. Plecostomus are also in the area but I have only ever seen one dead one in our pond (hoping it was a single one from an aquarium).

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,698
Likes: 892
Brian, put Blue Tilapia out of your thoughts. It's illegal to stock them in Texas.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Today's Birthdays
Tony Chavis
Recent Posts
Golden Shiners - What size to stock?
by Theeck - 06/18/24 03:55 PM
Aerator Run Time
by Commander - 06/18/24 01:16 PM
Something is eating mussels
by esshup - 06/18/24 12:24 PM
Where to start?
by jludwig - 06/18/24 11:45 AM
curly leaf infestation
by esshup - 06/18/24 11:38 AM
Need Help Identifying!! Thanks
by esshup - 06/18/24 11:34 AM
Weed Identification
by esshup - 06/18/24 11:28 AM
Poor preachers pond
by esshup - 06/18/24 10:47 AM
Trapping the Crays
by esshup - 06/18/24 10:39 AM
New YP/SMB Pond in MI - Plan
by esshup - 06/18/24 10:31 AM
Aqequate filtration system
by esshup - 06/18/24 10:18 AM
Newly Uploaded Images
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
by Tbar, December 10
Deer at Theo's 2023
Deer at Theo's 2023
by Theo Gallus, November 13
Minnow identification
Minnow identification
by Mike Troyer, October 6
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12

� 2014 POND BOSS INC. all rights reserved USA and Worldwide

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5