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Joined: Oct 2006
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A year ago we stocked our small pond with 100 cc (6-8 in.), 100 bg (2 in.) and 10 bass (6-6 in.). Our pond is aerated and the fish have been hand fed almost every day.

Most of the cc I've caught lately are 12 to 15 inches and weighing about 14-16 oz (I hope this is about right). Today I caught a 6 inch catfish. Is this a juvenile? Or a fish that's been forever pushed to the back of the chow line?

I also caught a 3 in. bluegill. It seems every bluegill I've ever caught is about 3 inches. How fast do these fish grow?? Should I be feeding the bluegill something? The pond is rich with small critters; bugs, frogs, etc. There are only two small turtles that have made the pond their home.

When or how often do cc, bg and bass spawn? Also, I haven't seen any bass since the beginning, so I wonder if they got gobbled up by the cc?

Thank your for your help.
'
janan

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CC spawn once a year, LMB once a year, and BG could do 3-4 times a year in TX easy.

If the fish all went in early in 2006, it is very likely that the BG reached or exceeded the minimum spawning size by Spring 2007 (5"-6"). Your catfish are currently big enough to spawn next year, given suitable structure (CC are cavity spawners). Perhaps some of them were big enough last Spring when temps were right for a CC spawn.

I consider it very likely that your BG have spawned this year, and that many of those 2007 YOY BG are in the 3" range now. They would outnumber the orginal stockers by a wide margin, so that you would be more likely to see this year's small BG than their parents. This disparity in numbers is further enhanced by small BG's tendency to frequent the shallows near the bank, where they are very easily seen and caught.

Given the problems CC have recruiting (this means spawning AND having the eggs/fry/fingerlings not get eaten) in a pond with BG & LMB, on top of the question as to whether CC now 12"-15" were big enough to spawn last Spring, it is less likely that the 6" catfish you caught was a 2007 YOY. It may have instead been undersized when initially stocked and/or a slow grower, or perhaps you have had the dreaded Bullhead introduced to your pond (I hope not).

Someone from Texas with Catfish experience down there may have a much better idea on what your growth rates and spawning likelihood should be.

WRT whether or not to feed your fish, it is a personal choice that should be based on your goals, budget (both $ and time), and also the number of fish you have in a certain size of pond (for example, feeding a greatly overstocked pond would probably make a fish kill more likely - therefore not recommended in that case).


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Theo pretty nailed it and the smaller catfish sounds suspiciously like a bullhead. However, it could be a runt since it is unlikely that they have spawned in their first year.Did it look like the other cats that you have been catching?

In this area, BG should easily be over over 3 inches by now and I expect that you are seeing and catching those that have been spawned in the pond. I also figure that a bunch of your original stockers were eaten by the bass and cats. The size ratio at stocking time tells me that a bunch of the BG were turned into groceries but that some escaped to create a forage base.

How many BG are you seeing when you feed? How large is the pond (be conservative if you're not sure)? Seen any sign of the bass?


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Thank you for the replies so far.

The pond is a little more than 1/5 acre, dug September 2006. It is 9 ft. deep in the middle and has a shallow portion that is about 3 ft. The water is thick like chocolate milk. We put Pond Clear in it twice a month, but it hardly phases it. It has a clean bottom with nothing that you would call "shelter" for spawning. I'm not sure how much to encourage spawning based on the size of the pond. Especially because we are throwing back most of what we catch.

We see a pretty active show of bluegill when we throw out the fish food and the bluegill love cleaning the night crawlers right off the hook without even pulling the bobber under. I haven't seen any bass since April, and that one was only 6 inches. One swallowed the hook so deep that we just cut the line, so I don't know if it could have survived or not.

It was once guaranteed at least 3 to 5 cc caught in an hour's fishing, but lately they have all but stopped biting. It may be that I fish so often (I love my pond!) that they are tired of night crawlers. Saying that, I caught two yesterday, so I guess I'm expecting too much to want to catch "every time".

Oh, and they are cc, not bullnose, that I'm pretty sure of. I compared a picture of a cc my grandaughter caught with a picture online of cc. It has the forked tail. The color is silver with the spots. I'll try to download a picture of the next one I catch so you can verify and tell me if the ratio of growth looks right.

So if I understood you right, the 6 inch and the 15 inch I've caught are both from the original stocked fish? It's too soon to expect any cc little ones? wow

I guess it's not too surprising that I haven't caught any bass because I've used minnows only once, with no luck, and none of my lures have worked, so I haven't used them much. If there are any left, how big do you think they are? They've been on their own for food, with plenty of bg, frogs and insects.

Thanks again for your replies. I really appreciate them.

Janan

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Here's a picture of a fish I caught today. I didn't weigh it, but it appears to be about a pound. Are you able to see enough of it to reassure me that it is a healthy fish? (I hope so because it's about to go in the fry pan! \:\)

Janan





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I see no problems


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Looks healthy and a good size for a 1st year growth. You mentioned the dirty water, which may be impacting the growth rates of the bass and the BG. These species will have better growth rates in clearer water, while the CC will do fine in heavily stained or turbid water.
You might want to read some of the threads on clearing water using gypsum or alum.


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Thank you, Mike. I searched the GypsumUS website to find where we could buy some gypsum. I noticed on one thread that someone bought it at Home Depot. Is it as easy as that? We don't really know where to start looking other than just picking up the phone and calling.

I believe by other posts I've done, we would need about 100 lb. gypsum. Now I just have to find a source. If anyone knows somewhere in the Denton, Tx area, I would really appreciate it.

I really, really appreciate your help. I have enjoyed the pond so much and I don't want to let anything get out of hand in properly careing for it.

janan


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