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#53888 05/10/05 08:27 PM
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I have now decided to stock channel catfish in the smaller of my two ponds which is approximately 200 to 250' long by 75 to 95' wide (about 1/3 acre) and think fatheads only will be a good forage in a pond my size. The reason for fatheads is I dont want the hassle of bluegills possibly taking over the pond and stunting it. About how many catfish do you think i can hold comfortably in my size pond with fatheads? How many fatheads do you think i should initially stock? My main goal here is to have alot of 2-5 pound cats with the occasional bigger one up to 10 pounds. Is my goal a possible one? I will most likely harvest 10 to 30 cats a year. Is feeding a have to? can u give me and idea on how many cats i can have depending on if i do feed or if i dont?
thanx, all input is greatly appreciated.
- jighead

#53889 05/11/05 01:08 AM
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I'm no expert but I don't think fatheads will support the channels for long. After they start to get larger they are quite the predator. If you don't feed you will need a good forage base of golden shiners or sunfish. If you feed you should be able to support around 100 channels.


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#53890 05/11/05 07:26 PM
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anybody else have experience with a catfish pond? Tell me the details of your pond like what u use for forage etc. is my idea possible with fatheads only?

#53891 05/12/05 05:46 AM
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A couple of thoughts. In Northern Arizona, you will have a more limited BG and fathead spawning season that you would in more southern climes.

Also, it is tough for a decent sized catfish to make a good living on smaller prey.

I expect it would work but you might have to restock fatheads from time to time or possibly use a feeder. I know guys that do that. It might be tougher to add bluegills once the cats get bigger. I'd rather see bluegills if you want an occasional ten pounder. Also, that many cats in a small water hole might have BG spawning interrupted by cats.

#53892 05/12/05 08:48 AM
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Jighead :

I agree with DD's comments. I did a little checking and CC also eat goldfish , shiners ,suckers and gizz. shad out of the fish group . Without feeding the CCs , I think you could get by without BG but probably need another forage source. More fatheads or better yet another species {less prolific than BG if that is your concern} would help.Good luck - ewest
















#53893 05/12/05 09:45 AM
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thank you Dave and Ewest,
another forage source that isnt to profilic is probalby my best idea. Ewest, you mentioned shiners, goldfish, and gizzard shad. My knowledge on these fish is limited, so i have a quick few questions. I do know that shiners, goldfish, and gizz. shad can grow big up to about a pound. Will that be a problem in my pond being that catfish may be to slow to get them before they reach those lengths? From my fish supplier i can get golden shiners, and fatheads as forage. I dont have easy acces to the other two. So will the combo of fatheads and golden shiners work well?

I appreciate the help - Jighead

#53894 05/12/05 11:30 AM
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Jighead :

That is a tough question to answer . GS can get big 8-10 inches, but over the whole population not as big [not as much biomass} as BG. Comparing BG to GS as an additional forage base {in addition to fatheads} for CCs " in your pond" involves many factors. From my position it is a very close call. We need to hear from a forage base expert on this. If you are out there this is a realy good question.

GS appear to produce more in # but less in size over a short period of time per lb. of body weight. Over several years the BG may {depending on # of spawns per year } produce more offspring in # and size per lb of body weight. That is based on the very limited info that I have and without knowing about your pond. With out more than I know I could only suggest that you go slow and if you add GS only add a few and see what happens.The good thing is in a pond the size we are talking about it is easy to adjust the forage base . I do think that an easier option would be limited supp. feeding.Good luck --ewest
















#53895 05/12/05 05:15 PM
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Certainly no expert here, but from my viewpoint, wouldnt a 1 lb BG get the vote over a 1 lb golden shiner? If they arent as prolific in your part of the country, you may end up with some pretty nice gills. Very fun to catch and eat. Kids could have fun catching if too many develop. Just a thought.


#53896 05/12/05 08:49 PM
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Jhead - You need to decide if a panfish is an important or a desirable part of your fishery or if catfish is the only goal. Once you decide this, then look for the best prey item or items for them and your pond conditions. Usually multiple prey items (diveristy of forage) produces the best growth rates and most consistant growth rates throughout the growing season.

If your pond is spring fed as I recall from earlier posts then in the average annual temps of cooler waters catfish will grow slowly but live long lives to get to the larger sizes.


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#53897 05/12/05 10:28 PM
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Bill, my my pond is not spring fed but is in a higher elevation. Yes, panfish would be a big bonus and i would love to have them. I just thought they werent a option because they may overpopulate a small pond with cats as predators. I really do like the bluegill/fathead combo but am worried of overpoulation. Do u think the shiner/fathead combo recommended by ewest would be the best. although i would LOVE to have panfish to catch and eat?
Thanks for your comments - Jighead

#53898 05/18/05 09:00 AM
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Jighead :

From your post it sounded like you did not want BG or to use feeders. Your goal is the important starting point. Then make management choices from that starting point. My personal choice of a forage base is BG {sunfish} and fatheads over the other options because I like sunfish. My second choice {if no BG} would be fatheads and supp. feeding followed if and when needed by other forage fish . If for whatever reason your only choices were fatheads alone or fatheads and GS I would choose the later and put the GS in at the right time. My point is fatheads and GS are, in my opinion , a better option than just fatheads if you are not going to use BG or feeders. GS like every forage fish has its + and -. The + and - of most forage fishes can be managed to reach your goal.I hope this clears up my prior post.Good luck. ewest
















#53899 05/18/05 09:36 PM
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jh - If you do not plan to feed the catfish pellets and since your pond is small I would try the catfish bgill combination. Bgill readily go into fish traps. If the bgill start to become over populated and slow growing then you can- 1. add more catfish, and or 2. begin an annual management method of supplimental removal of bgill with traps and fishing. Bobber fishing in shallow water alone can remove hundreds of bgill in 20-40 peaceful, fun filled hours. Catfish predation and manually thinning of the numbers of bgill will help improve bgill rate of growth of the remaining fish. If you use these two methods shouldn't ever have a bgill numbers problem in a 0.5 acre pond. Hungry adult catfish can eat a lot of small bgill if the cats are not on food welfare (fish pellets).

Also selective removal of adult female bgill would also have an impact of the number of young bgill that hatch and survive each summer. See other forum topics on how to recognize female and male bgill for selective removal.

Too many catfish in a small 0.5 acre pond could cause turbid water and reduce fishing success for bgill. But turbid water would not affect the predatory pressure of the catfish on the bgill. Personally, I consider turbid water to have visibilities or transparencies of less than 2 ft.

I am not sure that a "healthy" population of bgills could adequately feed 50 to 60 adult catfish in a 0.5 ac pond where the catfish are growing normally.


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#53900 02/13/07 09:36 PM
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here in illinois we have those standard catfish, bass, and bluegill combo. well there was this guy that had bg, and cc pond because he only liked to eat cc. it did fine i saw one of my friends pull an eight pounder out of this 1/2 acre pond. the pond was built in 97 and the cc did spawn.


0.22 acre dam pond LMB, BG, and CC
#53901 02/14/07 08:37 AM
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Master,

In reference to the fella with the BG/CC pond, can you comment on the condition/numbers/size of the BG in that pond?

Is he following any of the methods mentioned in Bill Cody's post? Just curious how he is controlling the BG numbers.

#53902 02/14/07 09:52 PM
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I started an "All Bluegill Pond" accidentally about 4 years ago, by my neighbor's pond over-flowing into my remodeled, 20' deep dry hole in the ground, during a typical Origun rain storm. I auto-feed them a LOT to keep them healthy. This past year, I added 75 juvenile-to-adult size LMB and 150-~~200 CC, approx 6" long. I figure that this year is the apex of feeding, and after this year the LMB and CC will self-sustain themselves on the BG, while keeping the numbers of the BG down. I will continue to feed the BG to keep the CC and LMB food stock healthy, but only as much as they can clean up in 12~15 minutes, twice a day. By last Fall, they could clean up 4lbs in about 4 minutes twice a day, so I am really counting on the CC and LMB to get the numbers down this and next year or I will have to bring out the trap... It's all just one great big outdoor 'lab experiment' to me. \:\)

#53903 02/15/07 08:15 AM
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Last year on Easter, my wifes Dad invited us to a friend of his place to fish thier pond. They said they have too many bluegill and would really like for us to catch as many as we could.

We cought 90 fish in half a day with my daughter catching half of them. She just has that type of luck that four poles will be in the water, but when she put hers in, she'd catch another one.

The picture is of an average sized Copper Nose Bluegill my daughter cought that day.


Eddie




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It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.
#53904 02/15/07 08:57 AM
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I could sure use a friend with too many BG that size.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#53905 02/16/07 10:59 AM
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Just to add to what a great time it was, my wife's brother is a senior in high school and full of energy. He cleaned all 90 fish by himself and then cooked them up for a fish fry the following weekend!!!!

Eddie


Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.

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