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We have a newly built 3/4 acre pond that was initially stocked on March 24, 2023. Have been feeding combination of Purina Game Fish Chow (recommended by hatchery I bought my fish from) and the last 3 months Aqua Max 500 ( read about in pond boss) twice a day when water temperature was above 40 and once a day when colder.

On April 21st, I and my little girl decided to see how big the fish were. Most were larger than my hand, however we caught a couple that were way smaller than my hand.

Is this just slow/poor growth rate or is it possible they have already spawned?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts?

Douglas

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Welcome to Pond Boss!

How big were the bluegill when you stocked them in March '23?

There is a chance that some of them grew large enough to spawn in the later summer of 2023, and hence some smaller fish now.

It is also possible that some fish haven't grown as much as others, but I'm thinking maybe you had a spawn in late summer '23.


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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How big were the BG that you stocked?

Mature BG could certainly have spawned during the summer, or even early fall last year!

Even if immature in the spring, a few fast growers might have reached maturity last year.

Secondly, in a new pond, there might not be that much natural forage available for the BG. If so, the BG taking feed would grow rapidly. The other BG would probably show very little growth.

I sure hope you have lots of fun in the future "sampling" your BG with your daughter!

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Rod and I posted at the same time it seems, but if the dates on the pictures show the fish at the time of stocking (which it seems to), then you most likely had a spawn over the summer or into late fall '23.

Did you ever see circulate moon-crater, dish type bowls in the shallows of your pond? That would be bluegill spawning beds.


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 Sunil
Rod and I posted at the same time it seems, but if the dates on the pictures show the fish at the time of stocking (which it seems to), then you most likely had a spawn over the summer or into late fall '23.

GMTA! grin

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The BG were 2-3 inches as seen in the first picture when stocked March 2023. Unfortunately the water is not clear, so even though I looked for spawning beds, I did not notice any. My pond unfortunately gets a lot of run off from our outdoor horse arena so there is a lot of sand / silt that flows to it. I am still working on the run-off issue and trying to establish new grass or come up with another way to at least slow the sand from entering. We got 6.5 inches of rain with in 5 hours a couple weeks ago and you can see the "colored" water flowing into the pond. Thanks for all the replies, truly appreciate it.

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A few BG may start spawning after they pass 3" in length. There is a chance your rapidly growing fish from last year did already spawn!




Stopping the sand/silt from going into the pond needs to be a priority. That sediment is going to go right to your lowest spots and "steal" your depth.

Not a horse guy, but most of the arenas that I have seen have been pretty clean of animal waste. However, I don't know about your stable/paddock areas? Your erosion plan also needs to divert large-animal waste from your pond. The manure will have a very strong fertilization effect, and enough urine will begin to change your water chemistry.

If the animal waste cannot go anywhere else other than into your pond, then you need to start some beneficial plants to take up the nutrients into vegetation you like, rather than plants/algae that you don't like!

Lots of threads on the forum about beneficial and slow-spreading plants. Especially if you do riding lessons, etc. and need the pond to be attractive, rather than an eyesore.


P.S. What is going to be the top predator to control your BG? Once a large number hit spawning size, they are going to make LOTS of baby BG!

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Some fish are more regressive in regards to pellets, eating more of them and growing faster.


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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Is there any difference in growth rates of male and female BG? There seems to be a noticeable difference between the them at least on the opercular flap.


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BG placed into a new southern pond at 2 inches will often spawn 2-3 mths after stocking at 4 inches (especially with feeding). You probably had 1 to 2 spawns last year (before Oct). Likely have 4 size classes by now.
















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FishinRod, No horse manure waste heading towards the pond.

Definitely working on the issues, unfortunately no one talked to us about dirt and erosion control when you build a new ranch on untouched land.......the cost has been crazy and unexpected.

What is a good hatchery to deal with in North Texas. I will not state publicly who I used, however I was advised against placing any LMB in the pond as "it is too small to get them to grow very big". My pond is just under 3/4 acre and aobut 15 feet deep at the deepest. So I guess my 8 year old daughter would be the top predator.....LOL

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Here's a good place to start. It's from the resource guide. All these guys are vetted before being listed. Might even see a familiar name or two in there that are here on the forum.

Pond Boss - resource guide


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I believe that smaller ponds are more likely to get overpopulated with BG and then subject to stunting. I think your daughter may need to catch 100 BG per day next year to remove 36,000 BG and keep the pond from suffering a fish kill.

Hopefully, some of our pond management experts will drop into your thread and help you develop the proper stocking plan for predator species, size, and amount to control the BG. If not, then you might need to start a new thread in this same sub-forum. I think "Bluegill Only Pond?" would get you some nibbles that would provide valuable educational material.

P.S. Do you own your own tractor? I can't quite justify owning a tractor at my property, but as you say - there is a lot of work to do managing and protecting the land. I can rent a 32HP Deere tractor pretty cheap for the weekend and there are a lot of attachments available. I am sure there is a similar place near you. Much easier to fix problems while they are still small, rather than letting them grow larger waiting on a contractor.

My nieces love their little horse farm. Girls with horses AND a fishing pond sounds like a pretty good life!

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If you introduce fish feed into the equation, you can do incredible things with small bodies of water.


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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^^ What Sunil said, but remember it's not a "throw them in there and forget about them" type of deal.


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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