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#95001 08/21/07 09:54 PM
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I am having my pond dam breached, pond drained and reworked. I primarily like large BG/RES, but want some CC action also for the grandkids. Just how much does stocking of channels in low numbers effect growth rate of panfish? How can varying habitat help separate the species to minimize this? I plan on feeding, and, of course stock LMB for panfish control. Would having 2 feeders with different size feeds in different locations have any effect? Pond will be 3/4 acre.
A biologist told me I could go instantly bass heavy by adding 8 inchers early spring. How early do I need to stock them to insure that they will spawn, or should I also stock some 2-3 inchers just in case.
I will stock RES, BG, CNBG and a few CC this fall. Could I stock some 2-3 inchers, and some 4-5 inchers? I am thinking the larger BG will discourage some of the small males from spawning the 1st year. What say ya'll?

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Good for you!! \:\)

I'm the worst person on the forum to ask for stocking numbers, but I'd make the following comments.

I think low density CC stocking can be compatible with big panfish. My favorite pond is about two acres, and has about 30 big CC, and lots of big panfish. The big CC's definitely command the feeding area early on after the feeder goes off however.

3/4 acre is a great size. You can grow all sorts of big BG in a pond this size, especially if you put harvest pressure on female bluegill from the beginning.

I like the two feeder idea, but I like it for a different reason. Two feeders can be placed separately so that they each take advantage of different types of winds. That way you've always got one feeder that sends feed across the main body of the pond. This seems to favor big bluegill for me. If the feeder on the downwind side is the only one that is in use, then the CC will dominate the feeding near shore and not let any bluegill in on the fun.

You're correct that larger BG discourage small males from spawning, that is given the fact that there is a limit to prime spawning areas. I'd say to let 'em spawn, but always emphasize female BG harvest, and harvest of smaller mature males, i.e. fish that have bright colors, big eartabs, and smaller size. These fish are way more interested in spawning than growing.

I'm wildly interested in how this plays out. I'll bet anything that the grandkids would be into the male/female BG ID thing. \:\)


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Panfish and channel catfish will compete for pellets.

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It is my observation that CC of 4-5 inch size will initially feed more on fatheads than on small BG. I've seen them chasing schools across the water. The Grandkids will love the CC, especially at feeding time. I would go with about 100. Don't let them name them or you'll be stuck with large Mr Whiskers.

I like shallow water brush piles for fingerling protection and segregation. Of course, the bass will make a pretty good living there.

Even though you are using bass as a tool, be prepared to cull/eat some. Those suckers can sometimes turn out to be too much of a good thing.

Two feeders sounds like a pretty good idea but could get expensive. I find that my large BG are not intimidated by even the biggest cats when the dinner bell rings. Of course, I'm now down to about a dozen cats.


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Small numbers of CC should not impede sunfish growth much. In addition to, or instead of, using multiple feeders, feed smaller amounts of food multiple times a day. CC have huge stomachs compared to BG and can eat much larger amounts at one sitting, so feeding multiple times a day gives the BG several small meals with time in between to get hungry again.

Don't go too heavy on CC stocking numbers. They will get big and provide plenty of pull on a pole quickly, and are cheap to restock in larger sizes. For 3/4 acre, I'd go with 50.


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thanks ya'll. I have been managing the smaller pond, about 1/3 acre. The cc have grown to 3-4 # in a yr and a half. I will start off with 25-30, then same number later depending on the catch rate.

Still looking fot the advice of stocking 8 inch LMB next spring to go immediate bass heavy, and wondering if they will spawn, or should I add some smaller ones to clean up the small BG.


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"Bass heavy" in a big bream pond is about both bass size and numbers. Remember LMB like to eat BG about 1/3 to 1/4 their own body length. My personal strategy is to keep most of my bass population below 15" in length, so they eat BG in the too-small-to-eat category below 5-6".

Eight inchers just-maybe-might dip into BG stocked at 2"-3" the Fall before, if there was nothing else to eat. If you have FHM in the pond for the intermediate bass, I think the original BG stockers would be pretty safe from predation. But if you want the bass to thin the BG, maybe you'd be ahead to forget about FHM ???

I would want my first BG to stick around (for genetic diversity purposes, and because they will get big before any of their offspring do) rather than feeding my bass. For initial LMB stocking, I'd want a size that would go after next year's YOY BG and thin their ranks. I think I'd stock 3"-5" LMB next Spring, a quantity of 50 for a half-acre.


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Theo, thats what I'm also thinking. If the 8 inch bass have to be stocked very early in spring to spawn, I would be afraid they would eat the stocked BG. Just not sure about the growth of BG over winter. I agree, if nothing else to eat, or even fatheads, they are gonna TRY and eat a 4-5 inch BG. I will for sure stock GS, that should take some pressure off the BG; just dont know if sufficient. If I stock LMB 8 inchers at 60 degrees, maybe they will immediately go to the spawning mode.


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Theo, thats what I'm also thinking. If the 8 inch bass have to be stocked very early in spring to spawn, I would be afraid they would eat the stocked BG. Just not sure about the growth of BG over winter. I agree, if nothing else to eat, or even fatheads, they are gonna TRY and eat a 4-5 inch BG. I will for sure stock GS, that should take some pressure off the BG; just dont know if sufficient. If I stock LMB 8 inchers at 60 degrees, maybe they will immediately go to the spawning mode.


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I advise against stocking GSH in a big bream pond. They can tie up a significant part of the ponds biomass for several years that you would rather have in BG.

In fairness: Overcrowded Bass WILL reduce GSH numbers in a few years, and GSH stocked concurrently with the Bass will not have a big head start to get to as large a % of the biomass as my GSH did (1 year head start).


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 Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
I advise against stocking GSH in a big bream pond. They can tie up a significant part of the ponds biomass for several years that you would rather have in BG.

In fairness: Overcrowded Bass WILL reduce GSH numbers in a few years, and GSH stocked concurrently with the Bass will not have a big head start to get to as large a % of the biomass as my GSH did (1 year head start).


Of course you're right, Theo. It's just that the lil shriners are SO cute with their red hat n' tassles.


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Hey Burgermeister, Congrats on getting your project going! Are you jumping in on a dozer also or decide against that?

Your area may be significantly different than mine, but I have seen very good growth in fall stocked BG and HBG. You may recall that my TGG's grew from 4 inches to about 7 or 8 inches from Dec. to June. If you are starting with 2-3 inch BG this fall, and have similar growth to what I see in East Texas your BG will be pushing 6 inches next spring and should be safe from any 8 inch LMB that you stock next June. Myself, I don't think I would mess with the 2-3 inch LMB but just go with the 8 inchers who will immediately go to work on helping you achieve your objective of large BG. Good luck on your project!!

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indeed, dittos for good luck on the project burger.

i'm shocked yer not putting any GSF in ;\)


GSF are people too!

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Burger sorry I am late to your question. A couple of thoughts. To be sure that CNBG survive to spawn add a few 4-5 in. ones this fall ( 40 total - 60% males if you can get them). This serves 2 purposes - 1) they will live to spawn and be the first big ones 2) they will start to suppress smaller BG/RES spawning next spring. If you do this and stock FH and small 2in BG/RES also this fall and along with them CC and 40 4-6in LMB (easy to find and cheap in the fall) you should be set with all in one stocking. Both the large BG and LMB will spawn in the spring/summer 08. Some of the 2in BG/RES will also spawn summer 08.

Feeder at 2 locations is good. One in shallow protected area with thick cover for BG set to go off 3+- mins after the other feeder over the big part of the pond does. CC will go to the first and BG the second. Good luck and let us know what you do and how it works.

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Thanks for the support guys. ML, I decided I was better off staying off the dozer and just fix radars and stuff. The dam is full of trees, it is also very narrow and probably not cored. They will find out the integrity or lack there of when it is breached. They will build a road around it and push thru a thicket to get some more water flowing into it.
I was told the 8 in. LBM need to be stocked at 60 degrees water temp and they will go to spawn. This should happen in late March early Apr?. Glad you weighed in with what to expect growth wise. I will feed the BG Rangen fingerling this fall to boost them past predation point hopefully. This before stocking CC. We need more pics of the TGGs. You must have some good uns by now. Still hoping to see the big CNBG. He is probably more than a little cautious now.
DIED, glad to see you up on dial up. I am using remote desktop to my work computer for it work work right. I'm sure I will get to show pics of greenies from my pond some day. Most people do.
If they were like yours, I would take em.

More ideas, suggestions welcomed.


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ewest, I was typing as you posted. Thanks for weighing in. I had asked the Miss. biologist about stocking some larger BG to help suppress some smaller ones spawning in the spring. Of course he had to give the party line of the tried and true. I will get some larger ones. The 4 inch bass in fall will make 8 inchers this spring? Good deal. Plenty of fatheads early. I will get the well going again. I may can stake some off to get a good spawn. That simplifies things. thanks


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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
... Plenty of fatheads early...

I'm scramblin' for something to razz you about. Nothin' yet.
-
Sounds like a great project, Burger. You gotta update the Uniblab and post some pics.

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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
We need more pics of the TGGs. You must have some good uns by now. Still hoping to see the big CNBG. He is probably more than a little cautious now.


Burgermeister,

I've got some really beautiful and large TGG's now....ask Tecohorn. Mixed in with them are Pacu's and Tilapia and now LMB. The HSB all died about a week ago over a two day period apparently from high summer temps(in a way I was glad because I wanted to replace them with LMB anyway)...pictures on web site. I will be doing just like you and using the LMB as my exclusive predator to keep the HBG numbers in check and grow larger fish.

No sign of that monster CNBG this year....but I will keep trying.

One additional comment to offer regarding your choice of LMB. I've been told by several fish suppliers that I trust to never buy March/April LMB but to wait until June. The early fish are almost always leftovers and stunted fish whereas the June fish are not. In your case that may or may not be a factor, but if you stock heavy on the LMB I wouldn't be concerned about getting an early spawn next year myself. You will have plenty of them in due time.

One last thought....and this is something I have done in the TGG pond...you might consider fin clipping the original LMB stockers so you can easily ID them in the future. I do that and always return the fin clipped ones and remove all non-fin clipped ones in the TGG pond. Good luck!!


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ML, what fin are you clipping and how much?


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Dave,

I clip one of the pelvic fins, just the end of it...when stocking on even numbered years I clip the right one and on odd numbered years I clip the left one....or is it the left one on even...oh well, you get the idea, just don't forget your sequence.

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ML, I'm glad you brought up fin-clipping. We clipped the caudal fin on bass from different suppliers (top from one place, bottom from another place, and no clipping at all from a third hatchery). We have caught disproportionately more of the LMB with no clipping than with either top or bottom clipping. I'm beginning to think it's more than just coincidence. Do you think the clipped fin increases the chance of infection? Could having a clipped fin give that bass a disadvantage in mobility, resulting in less forage caught? Could clipping lead to morts in other ways?


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The largest fish to date was a "top trimmed". The RW and length was very impressive. That supplier also insisted the bass were "feed trained". When we sample fish (a-la-Bill Cody) this fall, your conclusions may change. It will be 1 year in Oct. since stocking completed of LMB. I plan to turn off feeders a week in advance and hope the BGs don't attack us. I will advise the "low profile" method and LONG poles to avoid injury (as discussed at the PB convention).

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David fin clipping if done correctly should not cause any significant difference in morts , ability etc. We have , like ML , used pelvic fin clips to id types/sources of fish. Some use a small hole puncher to do the same on the tail.

On another point - HSB morts. Fish can dye for a # of reasons including water quality (low alkalinity for HSB) , low DO , pathogens , natural/age , continued stress , lack of food , heat , cold, etc. HSB have been documented numerous time to withstand high summer temps in the range up to 90 F water temps . I don't know how hot its been in E. Texas but it has been in the 100 range here for 6 weeks and no reports of HSB problems. Same for prior years. Max surface water temp 86 F.

Hybrid striped bass population characteristics and community impacts in farm
ponds: understanding a supplemental predator in established systems

By
Jason Wesley Neal

In a study of a smaller impoundment, Ebert et al. (1987) suggested
that the low abundance of hybrids larger than 2.8 kg might be due to summer stress and
mortality. If these patterns hold for farm ponds, it would be unrealistic to expect a trophy
hybrid fishery, but a quality harvest-size hybrid fishery certainly appears feasible.
Reports from private landowners who have introduced hybrids into their ponds
suggest that hybrids are capable of attaining large size in small ponds. A 0.4 ha pond in
Dare County, North Carolina, has produced hybrids exceeding 3.5 kg,[ 7.7 lbs] and the owner of a 30 ha Wake County impoundment reported fish stocked as Phase II exceeding 500 mm [19.68 in] after only 2 yrs. This shows that at least some fish are surviving to larger sizes.

Surface temperatures in North Carolina can often reach 35C, [95 F] and a thermal
refuge must be available with adequate dissolved oxygen levels. This was the case in our
ponds for all temperature-oxygen profiles recorded, although this refuge apparently
disappeared briefly, resulting in the fish kills. Because fish kills have not been as severe a
problem on these ponds in the past, it appears that the kills were artifacts of the unusual
weather of 1995. Each fish kill appeared to affect largemouth bass and hybrids equally,
and no mortality of hybrids was noted as conditions deteriorated. Therefore, it is likely
that hybrids can survive in North Carolina ponds that support largemouth bass and sunfish populations.



Many PB forum members have been successful with HSB in small ponds with some big fish even with high water temps. Anyone other than ML had a HSB only die off and if so what do you think was the cause ?



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 Originally Posted By: davatsa
ML, I'm glad you brought up fin-clipping. We clipped the caudal fin on bass from different suppliers Do you think the clipped fin increases the chance of infection? Could having a clipped fin give that bass a disadvantage in mobility, resulting in less forage caught? Could clipping lead to morts in other ways?


Davatsa,

Good questions...and I can answer them from my own experience, which, of course, isn't sufficient for general truths. I haven't seen any evidence of infection, impaired mobility, or mortality in fin clipped LMB. I'm always careful to just clip the very tip of a pelvic fin and as the fish matures the fin grows but has a blunt end easily identifiable fin. The pelvic fins, in my observation, act as vertical stabilizers and provide some roll motion control and hence wouldn't seem to be as critical as say the caudal fin in terms of mobility.

The fin clip provides a lot of interesting data which can be used to evaluate fish types, fish suppliers, and effects of varying conditions in a pond. I think it helps make me a better pond meister than otherwise, IMO.

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 Originally Posted By: ewest
...Many PB forum members have been successful with HSB in small ponds with some big fish even with high water temps. Anyone other than ML had a HSB only die off and if so what do you think was the cause ?



My water temps are the highest they've ever been this year---around 90 degrees at times, and I haven't had an observable HSB mort this summer. I don't have any data to support this, but I've attributed it to the fact that my DO has also been really high this summer due to a good quality algae bloom. I am still pretty high on HSB as small pond bonus fish.


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