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I may want to have a catfish only pond in one of my small ponds. (about 1/3 acre) But my question is would a population of about 75 channel cats be able to control bluegills?

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You bet, maybe even over control it.

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Absolutely especially when the channels start getting bigger...

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Thank you,
I've heard that they arent good enough predators, especially to control something as profilic as bluegills. how big do you think a channel cat has to be to eat a 6 inch bluegill?

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I am in the middle of a study to see how big CC need to be to eat Gshiners (conducted under the auspices of Prof. Cody). The biggest CC I have pulled out of my pond and measured since starting the study was 22" long, weight in the 4 to 5 lbs range, and had a max. mouth opening of 2.25".

How tall is your 6" long BG? I estimate it would be 3" or more tall (using Condello's current pictures of 7 inchers for source material), NOT counting the fins (we'll give the CC credit for swallowing headfirst and talking the BG into not extending any spiny fins).

I have some CC in the pond up to 6 lbs or so now, and will be feeding them to increase their size; I will report my findings here when I have caught a few more, including at least a couple of my biggest ones. But I think it's clear that it would take a BIG CC to consume a medium-sized BG.

Personally, if I wanted CC as the only predator in a small pond and also wanted BG, I would go with Hybrid BG. I think that is one application where HBG would be called for - the CC should be able to handle the relatively small numbers of F2 offspring the HBG would produce. I don't think CC alone can keep up with regular BG reproduction. Perhaps if you made aggressive use of traps and seining to remove small BG, you could make it work.


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I agree with Theo. You could either use hybrid bgill since they produce a lot fewer young each year. Or you could use regular bgill but you may have to manually remove young bgill when and if they become overabundant. Manual removal would involve trapping, seining and or fishing. 50 - 75 channel cats (at least 15"-17" long) in a 1/3 acre warm water pond could eat a lot of young (1"-2") bgill each year. Bgill size eaten would gradually increase as the catfish grow. You could easily get catfish reproduction also in the catfish /bgill pond if proper structure and cover were present.


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Theo,

What effect are the cats having on the turbidity of your pond?

Russ

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Russ, we started with 100 6" - 9" CC in our 1 acre pond. Last year we removed 36; with other losses I estimate 40 to 50 remain, their weights ranging from 3 to 6 lbs. We have NEVER had any turbidity problems that were not directly attributable to runoff from heavy rainfall. My Secchi depth is usually between 2'6" and 2'9"; I have never measured it to be less than 1'7" (I check it, on average, only every couple of weeks during the growing season).

Note that we have always had a lot lower density of CC than 75 in 1/3 acre.

I guess that CC IN SANE DENSITIES (under say 500/acre) will not cause turbidity problems if they have enough to eat - they only stur up bottom sediments if they are very hungry and have to live on BG mouth-sized invertabrates in the muck. I have always fed my CC (when the water temp was > 60 deg) at least a little. Take a look at some Aquaculture CC reports to see the affects of much denser populations. The commercial catfish farmers really pack 'em in, but they also provide plenty of feed.


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Well let me ask this how would Blue cat do on Blue gill predation? I think that the head of a BC is bigger than a CC for a given size...am I not correct?? IF BC will eat bass prety good I think they could eat Blue gill even better..just my thoughts

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Good job, BP! How can you talk about catfish without bringing up the King Kong of freshwater fish?
This should bring that trash talking Robinson into the game.


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b_pond - ""IF BC will eat bass prety good I think they could eat Blue gill even better..just my thoughts""
What is your reasoning-thinking-rationale for Blues doing a better job of eating bgill compared to bass? How does the physical aspects of this "play out" in your mind? Just curious.


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About 10 years back I stuck a couple of native(to Ontario)catfish minnows in one of my aquariums, thinking that they would be interesting scavengers. What a shock!They started out 1"long, within a year they were 4" and by now were in their own tank, eating minnows from the bait store and my minnow trap. No problem with anything 1/3 their size, including sunfish!(blue gills)

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Well Mr Cody,
There have been several post regarding CC as the Primerary Preditor for a Catfish Bluegill Pond only. To me it is a very intersting topic. It really explores the preditory nature of catfish in general.
I thought it was a very interesting point brought out about the size of the CC's mouth, and how it can only eat the smaller size Bream. Well if this were the case, then I know the BC has a bigger mouth compared to the CC for a given body size.
This being true, could the BC then be a good enough predetor in a catfish bream only pond?

It seems as if you talk to some fish dealers they will make it seem as if BC were as good a predetor as bass. While others seem to think they are slightly below bass when it comes to being an effective predetor..
I don't know, just my 2 cents..

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Jighead , Theo and Bill :

I have seen no info on flathead cats and don't know much about cats in ponds in general. I will pass along this bit of info for what its worth. A friend of mine is a fisheries professor and related a story. His Univ. had among others a 5 acre pond they used for BG research . They had 100% BG in the pond and his students would catch them for various projects and research. This was a controled site with no public access .So they thought. When the students over several years kept reporting that it was getting harder to catch BG samples the prof was puzzled . They drained the pond and found very few BG . They did find a number of flatheads with a 3 or 4 over 40 lbs. They assume that a local was using their BG pond as a grow out pond for flatheads.
I don't know how many were put in and taken out so no guess if they could control the pond under normal conditions.Thanks-- ewest
















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b_pond - thanks for your explanation.


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Don't wanna argue with anybody, but I run bank lines in the Iowa River and use 4-6" bluegill or bullheads up to 10". I've had CC as small as 2 lbs or so bite on a 6" gill or a large bullehead...granted, sometimes they choke on 'em, but they bite regularly on them...


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A nephew's friend caught a 51" long flathead in a nearby river (hoop net) a couple weeks ago. I think he said its head weighed around 17 pounds. I got a fairly quick glimpse (riding on 4 wheeler behind nephew's young son as he gave me a whirlwind tour past it, some mushroom patches, deer feeder, etc.) of what remained of its skull (been seriously chewed on by critters) this weekend.

It looked big enough to chomp down on something; but then I bet a 51" long bass could too! \:D


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JUst saw this post. Can flatheads contorl bluegill, yes they can wipe them out. Can channels I don't think so (big pond will argue with me). THis is not to say they will not eat alot of bluegill especially if not feeding them, but control NO. I have seen many ponds that are overrun with bluegill and stocked with the densitiy mentioned with channel cats. Cats are skinny and lots of bluegill runing around.


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By all reports, Flatheads are the SLOW way to "renovate" a small pond - stock a couple and wait for them to eat everything else.


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I have a few CC questions maby you guys can help me with.

I have a CC/hybrid BG pond, not sure of size, but easily 1A. I stocked it about 6 years ago, with whatever the recomeded amounts were, like 100CC and 250HBG. Anyway I have been fishing it for a few days, and catching some nice eating size fish and some too small to eat. Today I used cut golden shiners, and casted as far as I could, and cought about 3-5lb fish. The fish look health and fat. I do not feed them but want to start. The pond is easily 50 years old and had native cats/bullhead/perch in it when I stocked it. I live in SW Oklahoma.

1. Do I need to worry about the large number of golden shiners in my pond, or are they ok?

2. The perch/HBG population is probably down but not out, so should I worry about them?

3. Considering my info, anyone wanna guess what the biggest crop of fish may weigh?

4. I realize most feeders are on a dock, or a platform. And this pond is used for livestock. So could I just get a feeder that feeds from the bank? or do you guys think livestock would bother it? Maby I just need to build a small dock.

Thanks everyone, JB


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JB, could we have a little more info:

 Quote:
I have been fishing it for a few days, and catching some nice eating size fish and some too small to eat. Today I ... cought about 3-5lb fish.
What kind(s) of fish are you catching besides GShiner? CCats, Bullheads, Sunfish/Perch (by species if possible), other? I'm assuming the 3-5 pounder was a Channel Cat.

As far as protecting a feeder from livestock, perhaps you could put a good, solid board fence around it (high on three sides, maybe shorter on the water side to shoot feed over, or raise the feeder inside it?). I have my windmill on top of a small hill which puts it inside the cattle pasture, so I drove four fence posts and put treated 2"x6"s on three sides (4 rows) and a gate on the fourth; this keeps my cows out with no problems.

On rereading that last paragraph, if I were fencing around a feeder I'd put a gate on the shore side for access so I didn't have to lift feed sacks over the fence.


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Yes but Greg Being that Blues are more like Flatheads when it comes to predation, would the Blues not do a good job of controling bluegill numbers?...Or would they just wipe them out as well??

BTW we caught a 10 lb bass out of the lake you shocked just a couple of days ago....also I need to get some bass as well I did not pick up any from the state..

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It is my observation and experience that cows qualify for the bull in the China shop saying. They will smell the pellets and try to get to them. I'd either build a dock or put a pipe fence around it.

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Theo,

As far as I know, they are the only kinds of fish in the pond. I happened to put a 1 pound bass in it time, and I am sure there is a blue cat in it.

The fish I am catching are probably somewhere around 8-14 feet deep. Cought on cut golden shiners, good color, seem healthy. It is very easy fishing. The biggest size I know of are about the 3-5lb range, cought about 6 in that range.

I hope this helps,
Thanks JB.
and thinks for the help about the feeder problem.


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Use cattle panel for the fencing around the feeder. Feed shoots straight thru wire. Takes four tee posts and four panels. Four feet high. Of course you need to set the feeder out a bit in the water and use a short step ladder to feed it.

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