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on a new pond, stocked 50 RedEar.
Obviously, there would be no snails, unless they happened to migrate from am up-field pond (drainage dry most months)

a) what do RedEar eat (other than snails)?
b) should I re-stock (the commercial fish farm is in-town this Friday and I do not have a clue how many have survived the winter so far)
c) any other info?

cheers!


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Redear are primarily benthic feeders, which means that they eat things living on the pond's bottom. Midge larvae and burrowing mayfly larvae are commonly found in their guts.

Whether or not to stock more depends on your ultimate goal and the size of your pond. Others visit this forum more frequently than I, so I'm sure someone will chime in. In addition to providing information on the size of your pond, it will also be helpful to know if you stocked other species of sunfish (e.g. bluegill) and how many you stocked. These two tidbits of info will get you a fast response.

Redear are a great fish. They can be tougher to catch than bluegill. They are pretty finicky, but knowing their "niche" (feeding on the bottom) will help your catch rates. They also tend to not overcrowd and stunt as frequent as their close cousin, the bluegill. They usually exhibit pretty fast growth rates. I really like catching and eating them.



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RES are a little like BG that keep kosher and have a serious appetite for snails. If you stocked BG in the pond at the same time as the RES and the BG are visibly doing well this year, the RES are probably OK as well. Lusk has reported that in some ponds BG will thrive and RES disappear, while in others the RES will thrive and BG do poorly, but for the most part I believe that, sharing many of the same food sources, they tend to fair similarly (with BG typically outnumbering the RES do to higher fecundity).

RES are more cold water intolerant than (non-Coppernose) BG, but in Mizzoo you should be far enough South to not have to worry about that except in really cold Winters (avoid supercooling in your Winter aeration).


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As an info source I am adding 2 charts on what lepomis eat. In short like all predatory fish - they eat what they can.


http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3378 redear sunfish

Trans. Am. Fish. Soc., 107(5): 713-719, 1978

Copyright by the American Fisheries Society, 1978

A Discriminant Functions Analysis of Sunfish (Lepomis)

Food Habits and Feeding Niche Segregation in the

Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana Estuary

WAYNE J. DESSELLE, MICHAEL A. POIRRIER, JAMES S. ROGERS, AND

ROBERT C. CASHNER



Bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus , Green Sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus , Redear Sunfish, Lepomis microlophus ,

Pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus , Longear Sunfish, Lepomis megalotis , Redbreast Sunfish, Lepomis auritus
















From another AFS study




















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RES eat whatever they want.

When they want.

How they want.

Got a problem with that?


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 Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
RES eat whatever they want.

When they want.

How they want.

Got a problem with that?


Dont forget, they are especially fond of wimpy Greenies.

But on a serious note, having or keeping stumps and/or bottom grass should keep the mullosk population up to support RES. A long time hatcheries guy, who happened to pull out a 1.75# bluegill frozen to show me, said that if no stumps or grass that too many res would result in sunken in stomachs and stunting. No bottom vegetation , go lighter then 20%.


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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister

Dont forget, they are especially fond of wimpy Greenies.


Oh burger, did ya have to go there?

Now I must respectfully ask for your GPS coordinates so that I can add them to the GSA's hit list.




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No problems here:)

Indian PaintBrush, I'll break down the table that Ewest pasted. L. macrochirus is the bluegill and L. microlophus is the redear. The real interesting tidbit from this table (Tabel 2- the top table) involves the food items. The taxonomy might confuse you, but everything listed is either an invertebrate or a plant. EXCEPT for the heading Osteichthyes- these are fish. Notice the how many fish were found in the redear's gut? None.

The bottom table (Table 1) is actually more descriptive because the food items are quantified, but redear are not listed in this table. You get the picture that most Lepomids are opportunists, but to survive successfully (long-term) with one another, they must have their own feeding niche whethers its species of food items consumed or sizes of food. If the diets are exactly the same, then the more aggressive fish will dominate. The fact is that diets will almost overlap between species of fish, but it's ultimately the subtle differences that tell the story.

Gut content analysis is a quick method to assess what the fish are capable (willing) to eat. Knowing what they prefer to eat is really good info, but finding this involves a very detailed study involving quantifying the relative abundances of the food items and then looking at the gut contents. Then we get more twists and turns when we start looking at what the fish eat based on the size of the fish, and then you start looking at diet overlap between species of fish, etc.

The bottom line is to have a pond that has a diverse array of food items. Ultimately, it all boils down to habitat and water quality. If you can create these two situations, then the hardest part is done. A great pond should be teeming with life in many different forms.

Ewest, given your interest with bluegill, please let me recommend the following two papers:

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume 135, Issue 5 (September 2006) pp. 12541265

and

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume 134, Issue 1 (January 2005) pp. 149159

I think you'll find them informative and interesting. I can get you copies if you don't have access to them. Just let me know with a PM. By the way, I did purchase the bluegill biology book you recommended. I really like it. Thanks for the recommendation.



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Thanks Shawn. I have access and will take a look to see if I have them and report back. \:\)

FYI - all - the bottom charts are from north country - no RES , but you can extrapolate from their northern cousin pumpkinseed. Look at the second set of charts at the % snails for PS and the lack of fish as a food item. Looks a lot like RES food preferences from the top chart - yes. Also FishBase has food items by species. I checked it first. It has lots on BG but no reports on food items for RES ( ? ).

Shawn that is a good book. Bill C. has posted excerpts from it also.

I will take a look -
Do Channel Catfish Stockings Affect Growth and Size Structure of Bluegills in Small Impoundments?
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume 135, Issue 5 (September 2006) pp. 12541265

and


Age-0 Gizzard Shad Abundance Is Reduced in the Presence of Macrophytes: Implications for Interactions with Bluegills

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume 134, Issue 1 (January 2005) pp. 149159


Last edited by ewest; 01/25/08 02:12 PM.















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Good observation!! I didn't catch that. I have no experience with Pumpkinseeds. I'm wondering if anyone has these two fish (PS & RE) together in their pond, and how they do.

I spent a good portion of my life in SE Georgia where I used to catch redbreast sunfish (referred to as perch!!). I caught them out of small inland rivers (Ogeechee and Canoochee). I have been told that other rivers down there that used to support excellent redbreast fisheries are on the downhill slide due to the introduction of non-native flathead catfish. Apparently the flatheads are gobbling them up. Pretty sad situation.



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i've heard they like CPAs too!




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