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I have a 1.5 acre pond 12 ft deep, 7 yrs old. Bluegills are not very big. LMB are 2-3 lbs. Channel cat are 1- 6 lbs. I have very little habitat. Will adding habitat give further protection to the already too large number of young bluegills, making the situation worse? Or will it give protection to the young bass? Also I have Hybrid stripers that are not growing. Any thoughts would be appreciated . Thanks, Kevin

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Are you using any artificial feed, kj?


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KJ,

Is your water clear? If so, the prey can see the predators coming from far away. Also, gin clear water will cause your forage species to be on the skinny side, unless you are feeding.

If you have zero objects for ambush predators (such as LMB) to use, they won't be real successful. Even lone rocks and concrete blocks are better then nothing.

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Habitat is a gathering place for forage and an ambush spot for predators. I like brushy stuff like brush piles, downed cedar trees and rock piles. All of them collect algae that small fish and invertabrates feed on. They also provide hiding places. Of course, the predators know that.


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I like Pvc x-mas trees, and cinder blocks, pallets work really well to.

maybe start removing some small bluegills, say 20-25 lbs


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 Quote:
Originally posted by kjmiller:
I have a 1.5 acre pond 12 ft deep, 7 yrs old. Bluegills are not very big. LMB are 2-3 lbs. Channel cat are 1- 6 lbs. I have very little habitat. Will adding habitat give further protection to the already too large number of young bluegills, making the situation worse? Or will it give protection to the young bass? Also I have Hybrid stripers that are not growing. Any thoughts would be appreciated . Thanks, Kevin
I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been around small lakes and ponds for a long long time.

My first impression is that you've got way too much of everything, and not enough food at the bottom of the food chain. You've probably got a lot of stunted adult bluegill that are too big for the predators. You've also probably got way too many predators, also that have not grown big enough because of over competition.

It would be interesting to know what kind of quantities you think you might have of the 2-3 lb. large mouth bass and of 1-5 lb. catfish, and a little more info about the size and quantity of HSB.

My experience has been that catfish start eating everybody's lunch once they get to a couple of pounds. You probably have heavy competition between the LMB and HSB.

In any case, I'd start a feeding program. You will mostly be feeding the bluegill and catfish. That should help the bluegill grow a little, and it should help slow the catfish from eating everybody's natural food. I'd also start pulling out some of the catfish. I'd probably start pulling out some of hybrid stripers and large mouth bass too, especially LMB that are 2-3 inches smaller than your most populous bigger bass.

I'd certainly also recommend adding some structure. As mentioned above, it will quickly grow and attract stuff that the little fish will eat. It will protect them until they can get a little bigger. That too will give more food higher up the food chain.

Keep us posted.

Good fishn'
Ken G.


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Catman:
I'm at war against the large catfish in my pond. Prior owner had hand fed them to the point they had overrun the pond. It's hard for me to think I should be feeding the enemy, but your comments make sense - feeding them could help my recent stocking of BG and RES survive. Thanks.


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Thanks for your comments. The water is clear untill about August, then it gets very clear in the fall. I do feed with a small feeder that only puts out 50 lbs. of feed per year. When I say the 150 HSB are not growing I mean some are the same size as they were 1.5 years ago. The Catfish are probably not extremely numerous ,they have been fished pretty well, may not restock, maybe put a few in each year or two. We throw all bluegill caught to the bank or my Lab;I wish they would grow as well my Lab does. I beleive that removing an effective amount of bluegill is nearly impossible because several years ago we had flood which washed several thousand over the dam and they quickly repopulated. I assume that adding a few Northern Pike would raise havoc on the HSB. Should I buy a real fish feeder? Which is the best value? Also any preference for the feed? Thanks, Kevin

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Schroeder:
Catman:
I'm at war against the large catfish in my pond. Prior owner had hand fed them to the point they had overrun the pond. It's hard for me to think I should be feeding the enemy, but your comments make sense - feeding them could help my recent stocking of BG and RES survive. Thanks.
Schroeder,
I don't want to hijack this thread, but if you've looked at some of my posts over the past year, you will see that big catfish really had control of my pond.
This is my third season with this pond. It had way too much of way too many things, and some were way out of control. I finally have it pretty much the way I want it -- at this point. Like a garden, or raising a variety of farm critters, it is an ever evolving process.
Getting the big cats out was extremely difficult. They eat like street sweepers, and they know immediately when a line is in the water. The best luck I had with hook and line was throwing in cut up shrimp right after dark, then fishing with shrimp. The last step has been to bring in a friend with a bow and arrow (harpoon) designed for fish. We can get about one every two weeks -- but we only get one chance. Next time he comes out, while I'm home, I hope to get pictures.

Good luck.
Ken G.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by kjmiller:
Thanks for your comments. The water is clear untill about August, then it gets very clear in the fall. I do feed with a small feeder that only puts out 50 lbs. of feed per year. When I say the 150 HSB are not growing I mean some are the same size as they were 1.5 years ago. The Catfish are probably not extremely numerous ,they have been fished pretty well, may not restock, maybe put a few in each year or two. We throw all bluegill caught to the bank or my Lab;I wish they would grow as well my Lab does. I beleive that removing an effective amount of bluegill is nearly impossible because several years ago we had flood which washed several thousand over the dam and they quickly repopulated. I assume that adding a few Northern Pike would raise havoc on the HSB. Should I buy a real fish feeder? Which is the best value? Also any preference for the feed? Thanks, Kevin
Kevin,
The amount of food you are putting out is pretty low for a pond your size. In my half acre pond, I currently put out about 3/4 pound of food each evening. That is, I go through about 40 pounds per month. The fish gobble that much in about 15 to 20 minutes. We hand feed -- a stewed tomato can full of pellets almost every evening. They also get an additional can full on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. We feed for about six months out of the year -- the fish only come up for food when the water reaches about 60 degrees.

A pond that is really clear doesn't have a lot of food at the bottom of the food chain for all the babies and for the bluegill. You need to either supplement their natural feed, you need to fertilize, or both. You might want to check out this thread Secchi Disks

Hopefully one of the experts will chime in, but 150 HSB, along with a population of LMB, added to very low fertility in a 1.5 acre pond, sounds like too many of everything, and not enough food. Maybe if you could find one big northern (minimum 25 inches) to put in there, it might help with the bluegill, but I don't think I'd add to the mix you already have. I wouldn't add anymore catfish until you get it under control. I'd start pulling some of the HSB and LMB so they aren't competing so hard for the babies. I'd definitely add some structure to provide some protection. ( A good place to start If possible, try to seine out some of the bluegill.

Pond Boss magazine has a lot of really great stuff that doesn't usually show up here on the forum. I'd strongly recommend a subscription. Back issues are available. Lots of good books available too.

Good fishn'
Ken G.


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kjmiller wrote "We throw all bluegill caught to the bank or my Lab"

kjm, depending on your goals, we should ask if you need to remove any bluegill, work on improving their condition by feeding, or even add more bluegill.

For LMB, bluegill are a staple food.

What does anyone think? Should he be adding or removing bluegill?

bobad's comments seem right on in order to help LMB eat bluegill.

Obviously culling, feeding etc. are some other thinkgs that may need to be done.


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 Quote:
depending on your goals
That's the rub, and I don't believe he has stated them, at least in this thread.

IMO it would make a difference on habitat, too - at least on what types to use.


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You need to have 1 good sized brush pile in medium depth water near the feeder and some 'fluffy' cover nearby for the LMB. Fluffy as in pvc pipe trees, or a downed oak with all the twigs and branches smaller than 3/4 to 1 inch removed from it in medium to deeper water. This will congregate the BG for the bass. The concensus is that there are too much of most fish, so I dont think feeding is necessary. It is just keeping alive what you already have too much of. I just shut down my feeder due to no yearling bass to eat the size BG I was feeding. Feed just long enough to congregate the BG, then shut it down. Just my opinion.


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OOps, just saw about the HSB. Cant quit feeding. Feed 1/4 inch feed for the CC and HSB, the BG will congregate, and the larger BG should get in on the action. Do you have any shiners?



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