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#11135 09/25/04 07:23 AM
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george Offline OP
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Based on the interest shown by the number of threads on Hybrid Striped Bass recently, I want to share my one year experience with HSB.

Our 3 year old, two acre pond is located in N.E. Texas.

As an avid striped bass fisherman of many years and an occasional HSB fisherman on local lakes, I am very familiar with the sporting potential of this species, especially on fly tackle.

Our original stocking plan consisted of the recommended numbers of Largemouth Bass, Coppernose Blue Gill, RedEar Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.

HSB were not considered at that time since the state biologists I consulted said they would likely not survive, but I proceeded to do further research from Pond Boss archives.

I could find no one in our area with HSB experience and I know dozens of pond owners.
They primarily manage for LMB or catfish, or both.

I consulted with Keo Fish Farms, which I found to be the experts, and most helpful in guiding me to suppliers that might be able to help.

Bill Cody was very helpful in providing aeration advise and products.
Greg Grimes provided automatic feeder information and high protein fish food information.

About this time last year we began our HSB program, having attained a well balanced population of our original stockers.

We stocked 100, 4-6 inch fingerlings, after installing a bottom membrane diffuser aeration system, an automatic Stren fish feeder with a supply of AquaMax high protein fish food.

I was alarmed immediately when the LMB began exploding upon a few of the newly released fingerlings and concluded that perhaps it was a bad idea after all, so proceeded to plan for a good fishing pond for family and friends.

As time went on we observed some feeding activity on the outskirts of feeder pattern and thought maybe some fingerlings survived, and when spring arrived we observed “silver streaks” when feeding.

Everything in my tackle box was tried and failed to catch and nothing worked, and again perceived failure.

When cooler weather arrived we observed violent feeding activity and the grandkids were getting their lines broken more often.

My wife was also getting her leader broken when fishing a small popper.

The rest of the story:

I spent a couple of very enjoyable mornings and evenings on the pond last week and I got broke off using a 5# leader on a 5wt fly rod, while fishing a fairly large popping bug.

I changed from landing as if a bluegill to playing the fish out in open water, and landed my first HSB!
11 inches – ¾ pound on spring scale.

We have no idea how many fingerlings survived, but will soon stock an additional 50 fingerlings. I have read 15-20 HSB per acre with a good feeding program is recommended. If we have too many will take some for table fare.

I’m looking forward to some real fighters in the future and excited about the “perceived” success of our program.

By sharing this experience, I hope it may help shorten the path to a successful HSB fishery for others.

Excuse the length of the post.
George Glazener

#11136 09/25/04 07:44 AM
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George, thanks for the detailed description of your experience. The generally accepted species for stocking are currently LMB, catfish, bluegill, and redears. I think that HSB will very quickly be added to this list. A lot of LMB fishermen are discovering that HSB are as much or more fun to catch than LMB.


Norm Kopecky
#11137 09/27/04 07:42 AM
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george,

Great report. Sounds like the survivors doubled in size in a year. In another year, you will really be feeling good. We started about 100 in our 3 acre East Texas lake this spring and see several around the feeder, but have only caught one. I'm thinking of an annual stocking program to establish a put and take fishery. They are a great fish.

#11138 09/27/04 08:06 AM
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george Offline OP
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I'm following your plan for HSB annual supplemental stocking program for a put and take fishery, with 8-10 inch stockers if I can find them.
I agree - great sport fish.

#11139 09/27/04 11:56 AM
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I will have them in my 9 acre lake when it ever fills up..

#11140 09/27/04 12:41 PM
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George,

HSB tolerance for warm water starts to wane as they reach larger sizes. What does your pond have for maximum depth and does it develop a thermocline in the summer? If you are catching enough of them you can cull out the slow-growers by angling in order to keep overall biomass in check. If you go to your local craft store they may have something called "pom-poms" which little girls use to decorate their shoe laces. If you're really lucky they'll have the brown ones, which, when threaded on a hook look a lot like Aquamax Grower 600. It's great for fly fishing and you can catch the fish at will. Subsequent stockings can be marked by cutting off a corner of the tail during stocking. This will heal but leave a tell-tale mark for future identification. Later on this will help you to differentiate between a slow growing age-3 and a fast growing age-2 fish. Just remember, it's not how many HSB you have in the pond...it's how many pounds of fish per acre that will determine growth potential. Be VERY careful not to let the overall biomass get out of control!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11141 09/27/04 01:13 PM
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Bruce,

What do you consider larger size? Or when to harvest? We have some 25 foot depth in my 3 acre lake. I like the suggestions for marking. Thanks. By the way, we also stocked Tilapia in the spring as additional forage fish. George and I both are interested in Tilapia and would be interested in your comments on them.

#11142 09/27/04 04:52 PM
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HSB of 500mm or greater start to stress in warm water more than their smaller brethren. Water temps exceeding 30 C. (86 F.) mean you should decrease or even discontinue feeding. Watch for the quality of the splash made by a feeding HSB. When they're stressed they sip the food, when they aren't stressed they'll blow up on it! HSB can be harvested at any size. Fish of the same year class can be examined and/or carefully weighed to determine which are in the best body condition. I like to start early with my culling program.

By the way, first stockings need no tail trimming, second stocking do the top of tail and third stocking clip the bottom. It's pretty easy.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11143 09/27/04 08:35 PM
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My experiences with hybrid stripers agrees with Bruce's comments. Last week I caught two stripers 20" and 22"; water temperature 76F. I did not "play" them excessively; just long enough to get them to the dock and lip them. After release both fish died during the next two days. An earlier stocking of hyb stripers also showed a very low tolerance to catch and release of large fish (24"-28") during warm weather conditions.


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#11144 09/27/04 09:48 PM
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An interesting side note. Sometimes HSB caught in warm water will "lock up" after playing and landing them. The fish will have a slight bend near the tail but not show a lot of movement of any kind. This is presumably due to a lactic acid buildup that accumulates much more rapidly during physical exertion with the higher body temperature. You may be able to revive the fish by placing it under water, forcing it's mouth open and thrashing it rapidly side to side. This will force oxygen exchange on the gill surface and MAY give the fish a chance at survival. When the fish is in this kind of cramp it cannot open it's gill flaps on it's own. Bill is right...summer's tough on 'em.

Sorry, I don't know much about tilapia. That's a fish, right? Just kidding.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11145 09/28/04 05:30 AM
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When I picked up my HSB 4-5 inch stockers last fall, my supplier said he wanted to show me something. He picked up a fish from the tank and it “curled” in his hand, and when released, it laid on its side for a second and then sped away –said they would do the same when I released mine into the pond, and not to be alarmed.

At the pond, after several minutes,still in the transport bag to adjust to pond water temperature and PH, I released the stockers. Sure enough most “curled" up for a few seconds and then sped away.

Is it lactic acid buildup or just a peculuarity of the species?

Of course mortality is high in the warm water months, but good catch and release practices help.
Don’t play the fish out on light tackle. Bring them to hand as soon as possible and revive them by working water through their gills.

I use a boga grip and never handle the fish except for a photo, and then I am not surprised when the fish dies.

#11146 09/28/04 07:00 AM
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When HSB are handled, especially at smaller sizes, they curl, flare their gills and spike their spiny dorsal rays. This is a defense mechanism to make them less palatable. Small white perch and white bass do the same thing.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11147 09/28/04 09:15 AM
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Hey Bruce,
I just returned from the craft store with some "Kelly pom poms” – no browns. Are HSB color blind.?

I do know about striped bass on lake Texoma. The primary forage fish are threadfin and gizzard shad. If I tie a perfect shad fly pattern, the striper can never find it in a ball of shad. If I tie the fly bigger, brighter and crippled I’ll catch more fish, so maybe your "pom poms” in Kelly green will be the ticket.

By the way, “trophy” fish are not my objective.
I have been there – done that on warm and cold water species from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska.

My plan, partially achieved, is to create a healthy put and take fishery - similar to Meadowlark’s stated management plan.

My dream is being realized by prowling our pond banks with a fly rod at daylight for a couple of hours, being called in for breakfast and then taking a nap.

Life is good - It doesn’t get any better than this……!
Thanks for the tips,
george

#11148 09/28/04 09:28 AM
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I've always thought it would be fun to take some pellets and let them sit in a little water overnight, then soak the pom poms in it to absorb some scent. Sounds a little like catfishing! \:\)

Speaking of doing something different, the hybrids really like the pom pom to be sitting below the actual pellets, especially on a sunny day. I think it looks to them like it's sinking and will soon "get away". You'll have to let me know how that color works.

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. That attitude is something to aspire to.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11149 09/28/04 10:16 AM
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Great story George - thanks! Good information on this thread. Maybe I'll have a thread like this in a few years (if it ever rains \:D ).

Could someone tell me, what they consider to be the ideal temps to practice catch and release of HSB or any other for that matter? Bottom and top temps -- whats best for the fish????

#11150 09/28/04 10:39 AM
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Hybrid Striped Bass optimal temps.

32-50 degrees--no feeding
51-62 degrees--females staging at spawning areas (good fishing for biggest fish)
63-68 degrees--males join in on false spawn (best fishing, low stress)
69-75 degrees--fish very active, low to moderate stress
76-80 degrees--moderate to high stress
81 degrees and above--very high stress and high angling mortality


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11151 09/28/04 12:14 PM
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George,

Same dream here only its usually the last hour of daylight for me.

#11152 09/28/04 12:50 PM
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Thanks Bruce. So they won't eat below 50 -- that is interesting.

#11153 09/28/04 01:38 PM
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Our smaller ponds that we use for raising HSB get no supplemental feeding and have no natural forage between October 20 and April 10. After a nearly 6 month layoff from food their body condition is still excellent and they're none the worse for wear. I'm sure that sometimes a hybrid will take an easy meal in cold water but it's probably the exception and not the rule.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11154 09/28/04 03:18 PM
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Thanks a lot Bruce, that is some great info.

Do LMB follow similar stress levels or are all fish different?

#11155 09/28/04 06:45 PM
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I have caught HSB several times while ice fishing at water temps of 39F. A low amount of feeding must still occur during winter but as Bruce said feeding in cold water is probably rare or only occasional.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#11156 09/28/04 06:55 PM
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Hi george , Great post , glad to hear of your -HBS- success . Harvey

#11157 10/08/04 04:41 AM
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Hey Bruce,
Kelly green PomPoms work..!
not only on HSB but BG and LMB as well.
The kicker - pond has too many channel cats that are bait shy - caught 6, 3-6 pounders, and broke off 8 in structure - what a hoot....!

Smash some AQMX 600 pellets and store with PomPoms in a zip-lock bag.

If brown works better they should be illlegal......!!!

Thanks for the tip.
George Glazener

#11158 10/08/04 07:01 AM
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You're welcome! Fishing will never be the same again. \:\) Fascinating about the catfish. I think I'm going to see if our craft store has a few greenies on the shelf.

Bruce


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11159 10/11/04 05:47 PM
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Bruce Condello,
I have a 3/4 acre pond in central Indiana that is bowl shaped, 12' deep, spring feed. It was stocked last April with 500 bluegills and redear, 100 channel cats, 1000 fathead minnows. I've been feeding them and plan on buying a Stren 75 next spring. I realize I probably have too many cats and will start fishing them out next spring.
When would you suggest stocking HSB and how any? Also since they are a cold water fish should I not aerate and are there any other suggestion besides what's already been posted in this topic that would help me?
Thanks

#11160 10/11/04 09:30 PM
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Realtreegriz,

I’ve accomplished something that’s rarely been done, or even attempted for that matter. I stocked and managed a pond that had 2,500 pounds of HSB per acre!!! My pond was the envy of every pondmeister in the Midwest. Maybe one of the best fishing ponds ever. A one-acre pond with an average depth of 7 ft. and a maximum depth of 16 feet. Clear water, teeming with wipers. Everything you threw in the water was viciously attacked! We’d throw topwaters without hooks just to watch the frenzy. I’d invite friends for evenings of flyrodding, beer and constant action. On a good day I could feed an entire 50-lb. bag of Silver Cup steelhead chow in 15 minutes. I pushed the envelope as far as it would go. I ignored recommendations just to see what I could do. And it worked…for almost two years………….and then the crash………

I was at my pond to refill the feeders. When I came over the hill it was a windy, warm late June afternoon. I noticed that the waves were leaving white foam on the windward side. Odd, I thought, that so much foam was accumulating. Hmmm, I’ll just go grab a bag of feed, but wait a minute, that’s not foam, its dead fish! Hundreds of them, 450 of them to be exact. Deader than dead. From four pounds all the way up to 16 pounds. Enough to bring tears to a grown man’s eyes. The clean up took an entire week with rubbers gloves, a John Deere Gator, and a shovel to dig holes for the gruesome remains of my beloved fish. Is there a lesson here? Not really. I knew it could happen. I actually expected it to happen. It was fun while it lasted.

I’ve since stocked the same pond with 50 fish instead of 500. The growth rates are excellent and they’re still a blast to watch feed. I also have several hundred big bluegills that like the feed too. I’m having just as much fun and I don’t have to keep as much beer on hand. I think I’ll ultimately need fewer therapy sessions.

Back to your question. 100 pounds of HSB per acre is a manageable number. That's 75 pounds for you. You can easily start with 150 smaller fish but you have to be prepared to harvest as the total biomass starts to exceed 75 pounds. If you stock this many HSB your bluegill will be intimidated and won’t utilize the feed as much. You may have to get creative and find ways to get the pellets to your panfish as well. A summertime water profile analysis would be helpful. Aeration IS NOT an absolute necessity if your water quality is good and you have some oxygen present in the deeper cooler layers. A thermocline allows HSB to hang out a little deeper on a hot summer day in a low stress environment. I wouldn’t feed them at all when the mean daily air temperature exceeds 82 degrees F. Some people will buy a device which runs the aerator only at night to prevent mixing hot surface water with cooler, deeper water. Ideally you would find a way to evaluate dissolved oxygen throughout the water column on hot days so you could determine how to make best use of an aerator.

Since you don’t currently have predators in your pond you should stock based on water temperature. Don’t buy, handle, or stock HSB when water temperatures are below 50. Your fish will get a nasty green fungus on their fins and may die. Really 60-65 is optimal stocking temp. HSB can be purchased at a pretty reasonable cost for 4-inchers. Maybe 75 cents to 1.25/each. HSB are often collected by growers by size, meaning that the faster growing, more aggressive, better converting fish are collected first. The primary reason for this is that the growers want to sell these fish first. They have a name for these bigger, faster growers. It’s “cannibal”. See if you can get these. A four-inch HSB will not eat another HSB of similar size but it will attempt to eat a two-incher. The two-inchers have a name. It’s “lunch”.

If your pond is bowl shaped and if you don’t have a lot of macrophytes (rooted vegetation), your HSB may do a fair job of controlling bluegill, but don’t depend on it. HSB will always retain a little of their piscivorous nature, but they will always take the pellets first and foremost. This is called optimal foraging theory. Least energy expended for energy gain. Bluegills are a nice morsel, but they represent a little too much work for your HSB.

Remember, you can have as many HSB as you want, but the percent chance of sudden, cataclysmic failure starts to nudge upwards with the number of fish present.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11161 10/11/04 11:10 PM
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Bruce,
Thanks for the informative post! You had a 16 lb bass in an acre pond? Sound like I'll need the Stren 75.
How well do they do with channel cats? Will I need to fish most of them out if I want to do it right?

#11162 10/12/04 08:09 AM
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16 pounds and 31.5 inches of pellet slurpin', rod breakin' fury! She started out as a state fair fish of nine-pounds and grew two pounds a year for almost four years between my grow out pond and my big pond. Caught her twice with a fly rod and got some great pictures, too.

The catfish won't prevent your HSB from feeding effectively but they will count against your total pond biomass. Fewer channel cats equals more HSB. I personally don't have any CC in my pond but I understand why people like them.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11163 10/12/04 08:38 AM
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Bruce

I live about 70 miles west of you and had some questions about HSB I posted in the corrective stocking segment that I thought you may be able to help me with.......

"I have a 20 acre lake that has been overtaken by carp and some catfish. Very little vegetation d/t the carp but some cattails are getting started. Very poor water quality in summer but not bad in fall and winter.(8-12 in. clarity at best)

I also have a 1 acre pond right next to it that does support game fish. It is fairly clean with some largemouth and bluegill.

I am going to try raising wipers for 1 year in my small pond and moving them to the 20-acre pond after they reach the 12-16in. range. I will feed them in the smaller pond and continue to do so in the larger pond.

I am willing to put in several hundred wipers per year in the larger pond. Will the wipers help get rid of my carp or am I wasting my time and money?

The 20-acre pond does support some crappie and bluegill. I am hoping they ravage everything in sight and I can restock it with LMB once the carp population decreases. Actually, I will be throwing some LMB in as I need to do some selective harvest in the small pond. "

Will my poor water quality during the summer prevent my HSB from thriving? Will they do fine if I feed them enough commercial food? Will they help control the carp population?

I would like to hear more about these pom-poms as well. I like to flyfish and would love to get going with some HSB flyfishing! Any help is appreciated.


Just a Pond Boss 'sponge'
#11164 10/12/04 01:05 PM
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It would be useful to know why you think the water quality is substandard.

Three primary possibilities would be as follows:

1. Suspended sediment or clay particles caused by agricultural runoff or shoreline erosion from wind or livestock activity.

2. Suspended single-celled algae, usually the result of high nutrient levels.

3. Fish activity--i.e. carp and/or other bottom dwellers in high density, rooting around on the bottom of your pond.

What's your guess?


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
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Mostly #3. Only with heavy rains do I get a lot of ag runoff and I have moved the cattle out of there. I have another silting pond that helps settle most of the silt before it runs in. Cattails have begun to grow with alot of canary grass around the edge. Contrasting others on this board, I am hoping the cattails begin to increase in # so that my water quality improves. When water temps decrease it always improves the clarity, probably because the carp and catfish slow down their activity.

I am hoping the HSB help decrease the population of carp and/or catfish. If they aren't dependant on carp for feed, I think they will survive once they find the feeders.

My plan right now is to raise 50-150 HSB per year in a smaller pond and then transfer them to the 20 acre pond and commercially feed them. An added bonus would be to get rid of most carp over time. (and improve water quality)

Is this realistic.
I will probably try anyway. It would be interesting to see how several hundred wipers would do in a 20 acre pond with adequate feed.

If that doesn't work I will save up money to drain the pond, reexcavate and fill it up again.

Thanks for the help.


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#11166 10/12/04 07:04 PM
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I absolutely guarantee you that your HSB will eat carp. Researchers who evaluate stomach contents of HSB commonly find carp and other rough fish present. The question is, will HSB forage on carp, in a pond setting, efficiently enough to make a significant dent in the population.

To understand the problem, one must first know a little bit about what makes HSB click. Like all predator fish, HSB follow what is commonly referred to “Optimal Foraging Theory”, which is to put it simply, a fish’s need to consume more calories than it expends over a period of time. Fish that don’t follow this edict live at the shallow end of the gene pool. I believe Darwin coined a term for these fish—I think it was “extinct”. Wipers look like they do for a reason. They’re built for short powerful bursts of speed and their markings—the lateral bars—are great camouflages for feeding in schools just under the waves. I’ve watched them feeding with snorkel gear and, believe me, they just appear out of nowhere and just hammer prey items near the surface. Pellet or fathead, it doesn’t matter. They pop up out of the depths and make quick work of whatever they’re eating. Don’t let anyone tell you that HSB need clear water either. The prey item can’t see any better than they can. One local lake, Bluestem Reservoir has given up HSB over 14 pounds, often in great body condition, and the water quality is always poor. Secchi readings rarely exceed 8 inches. Sight feeders don’t rely on great vision as much as they rely on having better vision than the snack they’re after. That’s probably why HSB feed so well at dusk, or right after a brisk wind picks up. Sudden decrease in light level likely disorients gizzard for a period of time and the HSB intuitively knows this.

Interestingly enough, a HSB is quite at home foraging on the bottom as well. Two out of the five world record wipers that I’ve caught struck on a bucktail that was essentially being dragged along the bottom. Even more amazing is the fact that many huge HSB have been caught on liver. I’ve seen it too many times for it to be a fluke. Big wipers go nuts for chicken liver. Here’s where Optimal Foraging Theory comes into play. HSB traveling in schools under a ball of shad on a nice breezy, warm afternoon work as a group, slashing, thrashing and creating general havoc. Shad are injured, confused and came become mistake prone. Calorie in/Calorie out ratios go through the roof. Contrarily, a HSB trying to pick off individual young-of-the-year carp by himself is in much more of a hit or miss proposition. Over time the HSB may use up more calories than he collects. Consequently he will only make the effort to take the little devils if they appear injured or stupid—and believe me, there aren’t many stupid carp.

You may be wondering by this time if I actually have a point to all this. I’ll try to summarize. HSB love carp, they just don’t like the effort involved in collecting them. Pellets don’t have a very good escape mechanism and will always be the preferred prey item. Don’t expect any great decrease in carp numbers.

By the way, I love the idea of using a smaller pond to grow out HSB before placing them in the larger water body. This is what I do at my place.
Last year I ordered 1000 HSB which I grew out from their original length of one-inchers for four months. After grow out the fish ranged from 2.5 inches to 8.5 inches. This will allow you to transfer, if you wish, just the fast growing, high conversion fish to the twenty acre lake after grow out. These fish will make the best use of your pellets, be more likely to be fish eaters, and hopefully produce less waste from the feed consumed.

Bruce

P.S. I bet you wouldn't drive to Dallas for a Big Mac...even if it was free. Another example of Optimal Foraging Theory. \:\)


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#11167 10/12/04 08:39 PM
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Bruce,
That was a great post. You really know HSB and I definitely have to have a few in my pond now.
Thanks

#11168 10/13/04 05:30 AM
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Bruce,
I don't find a email address on your profile, so I emailed to your "info" address on your website.
If not received would you email me please?
George Glazener

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Thanks a bunch. That is good to know about the HSB feeding whether they have good water clarity or not.

Actually all of that is good info.

You have answered most of my questions. I think I will go ahead with my project and let you know how it goes. It sounds like the more wipers I have the fewer carp I will have, which is what I am looking for. I plan to eventually incorporate several LMB into the pond as well.

Thanks


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#11170 10/13/04 12:05 PM
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Bruce one more ?

I have a friend who works in the feed mill business and can make feed for my HSB. How big of pellet do you think a 12 in HSB could eat?

I will experiment with him on this but right now we may try 50% protein with .5 to .75 in pellets. We will start smaller and work our way up. I think Cecil may be able to help with this as well.


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NEDOC, I may be wrong, but when I read Bruce's post, I thought he was saying the HSB do eat carp, but that they wouldn't necessarily put a dent in the carp population.

Could you clarify that Bruce?

Thanks.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Sunil has interpreted my post correctly. It would likely take a very high density of HSB to make a significant impact on the carp population.

I've always fed my HSB a 7.5mm or 9.5 mm feed. My ten-plus pound HSB had no problem converting this size pellet. I'm not sure why bigger would neccesarily be better, unless it was cheaper. I guess the bluegill would leave it alone if the pellet size were huge. I'm not an expert on fish nutrition by any means, but I've always been under the impression that higher protein feeds meant less waste, which in turn could have some impact on overall water quality. Bill Cody would probably know a lot more about that issue.

I'd really like to know if anyone has done any scientific research on how vitamins present in fish feed impact growth rates and longevity. I'd certainly be willing to pay a few more pennies per pound to give my bluegill a little edge in that regard.


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#11173 10/14/04 06:24 AM
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Sorry, I should have referenced what got me interested in the pellet size experimentation. This is a statement by Bill Cody that got me interested in some experimentation. I figure it would be worth trying to eliminate some of the work for the HSB and improve the "optimal foraging" for my catfish anb HSB.

Bill Cody's statement:
"Greg Grimes says that pellet raised bass (he was referencing LMB) growing on a main diet of pellets seem to “top out’ at around 6 lbs. I think this is probably due to these large fish having to expend too much energy in consuming the small 1/4" fish pellets plus maybe some other dietary issues. To keep thes really large bass growing efficiently, larger sizes of pelleted food may be necessary. Cecil Baird is experimenting with larger sized pellets and pellets with 50% protein with low carbohydrates for growing big LMbass. His research when completed will broaden our knowledge on this topic."

Anyway, I talked to my friend last night and he has found some fish formulas. We plan to experiment some this fall and get started next spring with it. I will let you know if they take the larger pellets. Thanks again for all of the help. ps I understand that HSB won't eliminate carp (or even make a dent) but it certainly won't help them any. That is good.


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#11174 10/14/04 12:35 PM
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Hope this doesn't sound to off the wall, but why not just find the highest protein dog food that will work for large fish. I know it’s not going to be as good as a floating fish food that’s designed for fish, but until they come out with something wouldn't it work?

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I don't think pellets larger than 1/4" are really beneficial for HSB until the fish get above 20"-22". At that size then I think the larger pellet becomes more efficient for the larger bodied fish.

Highest protein dog food that I think you will find is in the upper 20's (25%-30%). Compare the nutrient analysis item for item for dog food and high protein (40%-50%)fish food and I am pretty sure you will find more ingredients listed for the quality fish food. For sure, the best quaility fish foods contain different ratios of vitamins and amino acids that fish (cold blooded) need compared to dogs (warm blooded). A well versed nutritional scientist could explain the differences.

Bruce -
Who makes the 9.5mm pellet for the food you use?.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#11176 10/14/04 07:23 PM
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I was feeding my HSB Silver Cup 9.5mm floating steelhead chow but my Sweeney Feeders kept jamming up on it so I switched back to 7.5mm and had fewer mechanical problems.


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#11177 10/14/04 08:23 PM
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Anyone try and fish with the actual floating pellets? Of course the pellets are too hard to really sink the hook into so we have come up with a novel solution. We stretch panty hose over a pellet or two and tie it off with monofilament and trim off the excess. We then hook into he hose with a salmon egg hook, and believe it or not this will float if you are using floating feed. I have found out this is the only way to get most of the larger browns I have raised to 12 pounds. Using a light light line and spinning rod or a fly rod this set will actually cast quite far.

I had some guys out that were confident they could catch the browns on flies they tied to look like a pellet and it was not consistent. The trout apparently know by the scent as you elluded to Bruce. BTW we call these PP flies. (Pantyhose flies) LOL


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#11178 10/15/04 04:55 AM
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Cecil,
I have tried every type of pellet fly that has been suggested on this board - cork, foam, and fish pellets in panty hose that you previously recommended. All produced very limited results but the panty hose did outperform the others.

The absolute best recommendation came from Bruce Conello with his "PomPom" fly.
The first time I used them I caught blue gill, LMB, HSB, and channel catfish to six pounds...!

I did cheat however - I store them in zip-lock bags with crushed AQMX 600......

I yield to Bruce for further description.

#11179 10/15/04 06:10 AM
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Thanks guys. I will wait on larger pellets for the HSB (til they get up to that 20" range). I do have some 7-10 lb. cats in one of my ponds so next summer I may start playing with different pellet sizes. (My friend is as excited as I am to experiment with pellet size and he is the one making the pellets)

ps I found this website (and magazine)about 2 mos. ago and it has been fantastic. I am by no means a aquaculturist, but I have learned a lot from guys like yourselves. Thanks again.


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#11180 10/15/04 07:32 AM
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George, where did you get the pom-poms?

#11181 10/15/04 07:41 AM
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Dave,
I found the Kelly Green PomPoms at Hobby Lobby and later, brown and light green at Michaels - I imagine any craft store will have them.

I'll experiment futher with different colors this weekend, but my thoughts are as any other fly/lures - color isn't as important as dark shades/low light, off-color water,and lighter shades for brighter weather/clear water conditions.

#11182 10/15/04 11:23 AM
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Great, Cecil...I can see it now...

Bruce's wife: "Bruce, why have you been purchasing panty hose and bringing them to the cabin?"

Bruce: "Ummmmm, Uhhhhh"


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11183 11/01/04 05:21 PM
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Bruce, way cool story, it just goes to show ya, pushing the limits can be fun, exciting, disappointing and a great overall experience. I’m sure there is a lot we can all learn by stepping outside the boarder, I’m looking forward to my journey as well. SEE (TYPES OF FISH TO CHOOSE / WALLEYE, WIPER, SMB), and please offer some insight, ideas, concerns, opinions. This sight is great, hearing what everyone has done and is willing to try. Just think not many years ago, no one ever heard of Wipers, and there sure as hell weren’t Strippers in Kansas.


Love Our Land
#11184 01/05/05 08:07 AM
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My plan for supplemental HSB stocking is being changed by necessity.
I planned to stock 8-10 inchers last fall to avoid LMB predation but could not find a supplier. My original stocking of 4-5 inch fingerlings probably had less than 20% survival rate.

Another supplier had scheduled 8-10 or 10-12 inch HSB for early spring availability, but due to demand was unable to grow them out to this size.

I am reluctant to stock smaller fingerlings due to predation so am considering altering my “forage pond” to a “grow out” pond, which my supplier recommends.

The forage/grow-out pond is ¼ acre, bowl shaped, 12 ft. deep, one year old and presently stocked a year ago with 100 red-ear sunfish, which I will transfer to main pond in early spring.

In reviewing previous posts by Bruce Condello and Bill Cody, temperature tolerance is stated to be an issue for larger fish.

I will be able to acquire 100, 4-6 or 6-8 inch stockers in a couple of weeks.
Water temperature is currently 50-55 degrees.

My supplier raises large numbers of fingerling HSB in his ponds and says there should be no problems if I transfer by mid summer.

At what water temperature should I transfer to the two acre pond, with an automatic feeder and bottom membrane diffuser aeration?

I will feed high protein Aquamax 500/600 with NO aeration in the small pond.
How much growth should be expected by the time of critical water temperature?

Your thoughts and recommendations will be appreciated.

George Glazener

N.E. Texas – ¼ acre and 2 acre ponds.

#11185 01/05/05 09:44 AM
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George,

Do you have a nearby well or garden hose?

When you say grow-out, do you mean summer grow-out for fall stocking?

I've got lots of pertinent information and experience at 1/4 acre pond grow-out so I can help you quite a bit.

Bruce


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#11186 01/05/05 10:36 AM
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Bruce,
My basic question concerns survival feasibility of late winter/early spring stocking of 6-8 inch HSB in ¼ acre pond for transfer to 2 acre pond before mid-summer heat, with no fresh water input or aeration.

What would be your estimate for maximum growth for 6 months aggressive feeding high protein feed before transfer to main pond?

The alternative of course is to stock in main pond while the water is cold enough to slow down the LMB metabolism, and hoping for higher survival rate than previously experienced of less than 20%

#11187 01/05/05 10:52 AM
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Bruce,

I'm also very interested in the answers to George's questions for the same reasons and would like to jump into the discussion with an additional related question:

How large is large enough to have a more than 70% or so probability of escape from LMB predation? I know there are lots of variables that affect the answer, but just your gut feeling in general.

I'm afraid that one would have to keep the HSB in the grower pond through the entire growing season and that would be problematic in a small stagnant 1/4 acre pond in the Texas summers.

#11188 01/05/05 12:05 PM
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One more question guys before I reply...

What method is used to move the SBH out of 1/4 acre pond? Rod and reel, drawdown, seining?


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Cast net and PomPoms \:\)

#11190 01/06/05 05:26 AM
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George and Meadowlark
Who are your suppliers?

#11191 01/06/05 08:22 AM
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Dave,

I use Todd Overton of Overton Fisheries. So far, he hasn't been able to provide any large sized HSB, but I've been very pleased with what he has provided...including Tilapia.

#11192 01/06/05 08:35 AM
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Dave,
I also have ordered HSB from Todd Overton but he was unable to "grow out" larger sizes because of high demand last fall, but he says he will have 6-8 inch stockers in a couple of weeks.
Do you know of any source for 10-12 inchers reasonable close to the N.E. Texas area?

#11193 01/06/05 10:02 AM
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There is no question that using a grow-out pond for hybrid striped bass works. I've done it over and over again with a great deal of success. Here are some of the pertinent observations that I've made.

I've always ordered fingerlings from Mike Freeze of Keo, Arkansas. They are packaged by the thousand and shipped UPS to me with virtually no mortality. These fish average 1 inch in length and cost about .15/unit. Shipping and packaging costs add about another nickel per head. The pond that I wish to stock them in has been left dewatered for a few months (Nov.-April, usually) and then filled about 72 hours before the fish are introduced. Using this method there are no macrophytes (rooted plants) but plenty of nutrients available for a quick plankton bloom. By my estimate, about 50% of the SBH will be on pellets within two weeks. Most of the others will feed on zooplankton and grow more slowly. Surprisingly, you can feed a fairly good sized pellet even to these smaller fish. They'll hammer at it until it breaks apart. It's good fun to watch.

Your fish will now diverge dramatically in size distribution. After six weeks there will be a range of 1.5-4.5 inches. 80% of the fish will fall right near the center of the bell curve. 10% will fail to thrive or never learn to use the pellets. 10% will be the first to the dinner table and may now begin cannibalizing you smaller fish. This is really no great loss because your runts probably weren't going to be your ten-pounder anyway. After another six weeks with water temps presumably in the mid-eighties, your top 10% may be around 7 inches and will be FAT! This is the time I like to harvest off some of these fish. Depending on how many fish, and how much stress on water quality there is you could easily wait longer, but I've got 2,000 fish in ponds that are .15 acres. My one advantage is I'm pushing about 5 gpm of fresh water through to freshen things up.

Now, to specifically address George's question. I get a little chuckle out of the 100 fish in a 1/4 acre pond deal...400 fish per acre compared to my 15,000 fish per acre. But that's actually a much safer ratio, of course. I'd like to know from the supplier if those 4-8 inch fish were the "runts" or the "super growers" or somewhere in between. It depends on how the grower seperates their fish. Of course you'd rather have the piggies in the top tenth. I'd estimate risk of predation from largemouth as follows:

5 inch wiper--80% over one year in presence of LMB
6 inch wiper--65% over one year in presence of LMB
7 inch wiper--45% over one year in presence of LMB
8 inch wiper--15% over one year in presence of LMB
9 inch wiper--negligible mortality.

No scientific data to back this up. Just knowledge about existing ponds in which I've seen fish such as this stocked in ponds around here.

Striped Bass Hybrids transport from one pond to another best when the water temps are upper 50's to upper 60's. Any cooler and they are at risk of fungal infections. The air temperature should be as cool as possible. Angling with a barbless hook is a great way to do it, in particular if you are able to lift these smaller fish directly out of the water without risk of the fish ingesting the presentation.

Here's a possible way to do it.

When water temps get to 60 F. move the fastest growing fish, provided they are at least 8 inches by angling them with PomPoms. The most agressive and bigger fish will likely bite first. If you catch a little one you can toss him back. Move 30% of the fish. Then when the water temps are 68 move another 30% Now your best fish are moved and you don't have to feel as bad if you have a couple of "morts" when you move the final fish in the summer on a cool morning. At worst, if you lose some of the latter fish they weren't your super growers anyway. If you have a fresh water source like a garden hose from a nearby well you can easily keep these fish alive through summer for a fall stocking. That's usually what I do and I'll bet eastern Nebraska summers get about as warm as those in Texas. We see weeks at a time with daytime temps in the mid-nineties, even into the low 100's.

Hope this helps a little. I'm probably rambling right now.


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Thanks Bruce for your much appreciated information - it’s sorta like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant \:\) - and speaking of water hoses – the ¼ acre pond is a quarter of a mile from the 2 acre pond and nearest water hose…..!

My goal is to have a diversified population of healthy, catchable LMB and HSB with forage fish composed of bluegill and tilapia.

I am interested in “reasonable” numbers of HSB with annual supplemental stocking. With your experience of survival percentages I have a much better idea of stocking sizes and numbers.

Based on your information, I am inclined to postpone the "grow-out" 1/4 acre pond experiment, and supplement the 2 acre pond with 6-8 inch HSB and risk the 45-50% LMB predation, which is an encouraging survival rate, compared to 20% or less previously experienced with 4-6 inch stockers.

Thanks for all the help – much appreciated.

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Bruce,

Great response. I really appreciate it. I'm thinking I might give it a try. I can run a garden hose to my 1/4 pond (several hoses strung together) and help with the stagnation problem...and rent a pump to clean out the pond before stocking. Being able to pick out the top of the line fish for mainline stocking rather than the runts is very appealing to me. I'd never thought of that before. Thanks.

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Here are my thoughts. We raise HSB on our farm, and have a good idea of survival rates respective to LMB predation. Here's what size HSB would guarantee good survival rates with respective bass population:

3"-5" HSB with 4"-6" or smaller LMB population
5"-7" HSB with 12" or smaller LMB population
6"-8" HSB with 15" or smaller LMB population

Once HSB are stocked with adequate forage they will grow very fast, very fat, very quickly. Therefore, availablility of forage fish is a factor in determining HSB survival rates with LMB populations. Food size HSB are expensive, and so it is recommended that fish be grown out in a separate pond or in cages before introduction with LMB if it seems likely they will face serious predation.

FYI, we've seen 1+ lb growth on HSB and LMB in 6 months when stocked out with unlimited tilapia food source.

I don't spend much time on the forum, so please email me if you feel my opinion would be valuable.

Todd Overton


It's ALL about the fish!
#11197 01/06/05 02:10 PM
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I like Todd Overton's numbers. I think they're very consistent with mine--which were based on the assumption of a fairly diverse size structure for LMB populations. The ponds that I've stocked were probably a little heavy on the 10-14 inch fish compared with some of your ponds. I liked the part about 5 inch wipers being safe around 4-6 inch LMB. ;\) I'm not sure who would win that battle.

The garden hose, if coming directly from a well should be run through a Wal-Mart sweeper nozzle ($2) and through three or four cinder blocks to break up well gasses and inject a little oxygen. This cool, well-oxygenated water serves as a refuge on a nasty hot day.


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Thanks for all the responses on the pros and cons of stocking HSB in ¼ acre forage pond.
Since my small pond does not have access to well water or electricity, I feel that my risk is high for hot weather loss

Large sizes of HSB stockers are difficult to obtain, and past personal experience documents high LMB predation risk.

I will further discuss my options with Todd Overton, but at this time I am strongly inclined to “experiment” with the small “grow out” pond option, as well as 2 acre pond supplemental stocking with as large HSB available.

I will stock tilapia in both ponds as soon as available this spring, as well as supplemental high protein pellets, and go with stocking dates and temps as recommended by Todd.

Thanks to all,
George Glazener

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Big Pond,

This has been a terrific thread with some great information provided by all, especially Bruce and Todd.

The thread was about HSB, not a personal evaluation of anyone or their business. I was very disappointed to read your flame of Todd. My experience with him is completely opposite of yours.

I am thankful for his business, his helpful consulting, and his products. I regret that this great thread turned into a negative on someone who I rely on to provide fish and support to my own pond adventures.

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You might contact a company called Silver Streak in Danevang, Texas. They raise HSB for the Asian food market. I have no idea what their marketing plan is. Heck, I don't even know where Danevang, Texas is. I met one of their reps at a seminar. He told me they usually grow out to 2 pounds before selling. However, they might sell them smaller. If you guys are interested, E-mail me and I'll hunt around for their contact info.

Dave

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Dave - Silverstreak is a commercial HSB producer. I just spoke with Justin yesterday (whom you met in San Marcos awhile back) and asked him about their live-sale practices.

As you mentioned, they're almost exclusively into food-fish production (harvested and iced-down immediately). Having witnessed their very efficient food-fish harvesting operation, I can assure you that they're not overly enthused toward live-harvests - which is a relatively tedious process.

See the attached photos as examples of their volume-oriented harvesting methods. Food Harvest 1 Food Harvest 2 Food Harvest 3

However, they will gingerly live-harvest Live Harvest and sell quality fish only to select lake management companies who 1) have the knowledge and equipment to safely transport HSB for stocking purposes, and 2) who are willing to coordinate their hauling-truck's arrival with their normal harvest schedules. There was no indication at all that they'd sell to retail customers, nor any plans of doing so in the foreseeable future.

Justin did mention the names of several lake management companies with whom they will deal; many of which advertise in Pond Boss. Based on his comments, I would suggest working through a reputable lake management company and/or retail fish-hauler if seeking HSB of this size and quality.

#11202 01/18/05 07:40 AM
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I began this thread Sept. 25, 2004 , to share my one year experiment with stocking and growing HSB in our N.E. Texas 2 acre pond.

At the close of the first year, I estimated that I had less than 20% survival rate of HSB due to LMB predation, and considered this program to be a failure.

I proceeded to determine a supplemental re-stocking plan, utilizing the knowledge and broad experience of PB forum members. I have received numerous responses and am highly appreciative of all the help I have received.

Bruce Condello and Todd Overton have made valuable technical contributions by responses on PB and personal email correspondence. Thanks guys.

I share Norm Kopecky, Meadowlark and others with diversified fishery objectives – not necessarily a trophy lake but with healthy, fishable population of HSB, LMB, and large BG’s, and I thank them for their help.

My conclusion derived from my first year experience is that supplemental stocking of “small” HSB in a pond with mature LMB is not feasible, and that it will be necessary to locate large stockers or “grow” them out in a separate pond.

I have not been able to locate large enough HSB stockers to escape LMB predation, based on Bruce Condello and Todd Overton’s studies, so this option was not available.

Fortunately we have a 10 month old ¼ acre pond that we planned to use as a “forage” pond, that is now a “grow out” HSB pond.

Last week we stocked 150, 4-6 HSB’s in the “grow out” pond.

At the time of transfer the air temperature was 55 degrees, water temp 54, and the water in the container was 56 degrees. On the advice of our supplier we put a bucket of pond water in the container for 15 minutes to stabilize temperatures.

All fish were frisky and apparently made the 3 hour trip from the supplier in excellent condition.

Bruce Condello advised that 4-6 HSB would weigh 20/lb and should be fed .225 lb high protein fish food daily. Separately Todd Overton had advised that 4-6 HSB would weigh 20/lb and should be fed .250 lb high protein fish food daily.
I knew I was on safe ground

The feeding plan is to increase feed as water warms, and feed aggressively until the stockers reach 10 – 12 inch transfer size to 2 acre pond before hot summer temps arrive. I may leave a few in the “grow out” pond to see if they will survive the hot Texas summer.

The grow out plan is strongly endorsed by both Todd and Bruce, based on their previous success and experience.

For others not so fortunate to have a small virgin pond, perhaps the increasing popularity of HSB will provide economic incentives for suppliers to grow and provide large enough HSB stockers to escape LMB predation in mature ponds and lakes.

Excuse this long post, but perhaps it will help others to achieve positive HSB programs.
George Glazener

N.E. Texas 1/4 acre - 2 acre ponds

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Very interesting!

I don't have the option of another pond to grow them out, but I do want them. Would HSB grow well in a cage culture, say near an aerator and feeder?

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I am finally learning enough to ask the right questions – or maybe learning just enough to be dangerous... \:o

I find that 4 – 6 inch hybrid stripers stocked early in the year are spawned at the same time that 4-6 inch HSB that are stocked in fall and the following early spring.

They are held in overcrowded conditions at the hatchery in holding tanks to control the growth rate – you experts correct me if I am wrong…?

These over-crowded stressful conditions could possibly be the reason I have had poor survival rates on late HSB stockers.

This seems to be a good reason to purchase late HSB from vendors with "grow-out” ponds, which I will do in the future.

George Glazener
N.E.Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds

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About how long can we expect HSB to live in our lakes and about how big can we expect them to get?


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In the spring of 1999 I built my first pond. It was a 1/10 acre beauty with a maximum depth of 15 feet. I installed an aerator and had a source of fresh water that would go into this new pond, and then exit into an existing 1.5 acre pond on the land I had purchased. The water test for the newly installed well indicated that I had a high salinity. Since I was a huge fan on striped bass hybrids, it seemed a natural to acquire some for my new pond.

I first contacted Mike Freeze of Keo Fish Farms of Keo, Arkansas. He said that he had some carry overs from the previous year that averaged 5-6 inches. I was immediately arranging to get a hauling tank and a pickup. My brother-in-law and I made the 14-hour drive to Keo.

After arriving we were taken to their facility and found that the striped bass hybrids were being held in raceways. The raceways held thousand of fish from the previous year. Our fish were netted about fifty at a time and placed in our tank and put on pure O2. It was explained to us that the fish would be in better condition having been held in raceways because this precluded the need for seining, which I can tell you from experience, beats the living daylights out of fish, especially small ones.

After the long drive home, all of the fish were placed alive into the new pond. We didn't have a single mortality in transport. I was excited.

Although I knew that it would be several weeks before the water temperature got warm enough for feeding, I went out to check on the fish just the same. Can you imagine how disappointed I was when every trip out I would see several of the hybrids lazily finning about, covered with a green fungus, especially on their tails. It made me physically ill to see ten, then twenty, then thirty dead and dying fish. There was even a time that I figured I was losing them all because maybe the rest were just sinking to the bottom.

When the water finally warmed into the fifties I started a hand feeding program. It almost killed me to watch the pellets silently drifting without any fish coming up. I actually felt like quite a failure, but then, just like magic, the water temp got to 54 and the fish lit up like an M-80!

It turns out that after two growing seasons and some meticulous record keeping that I had lost about 10% of the fish. Really not that bad.

In the fall of 1999 I got a call from one of our local biologists who said that he had a present for me. One of the display fish at the State Fair needed a new home. It was an eight-pound hybrid that he felt would not survive in their over-wintering ponds. I was happy to accept his offer. I truly was not very optimistic about this fish learning to eat pellets. Once again, I was wrong. Apparently even adult striped bass hybrids learn from their little buddies about the joys of pellet eating. This individual fish grew almost three pounds per year! Fifteen pounds plus is a possibility for top end growth. I've done it. I could always tell when this fish came to eat. The boil created with each feeding was the size of a manhole cover. When this fish died it was aged at eight years. I really think that striped bass hybrids can live to even nine or ten years under the right circumstances. This may not be the case in Texas, however. The warmer wintertime water probably keeps the clock ticking on a hybrid's lifespan. Also, I believe that if the hybrid is forced to occupy water in the summer that exceeds 82 degrees creates stress on the fish that may lead to a shortened lifespan. Surface temp isn't probably the key, more likely what the temperature of the coolest water in the pond that holds adequate oxygen levels.

I think that the answer to these questions lies in us, the pondmeisters. If we continue to care about issues like this we'll know more than any researchers.


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Bruce, this give me hope with your success for pellet training your single large HSB present? I too, will try to convert native yellow perch from my lake in the 4-6" range to pellets shortly in a newly constructed cage for growout table fare for the late fall under Bill C. guidelines for y. perch during a 6 month period.

Rowly

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What a great thread! I too am looking at stocking some HSB this year but don't have additional space for growing out the 3-5" fish to a size where they would be less susceptible to the LMB. Was there an answer or does anyone have experience to the question about cage culture and HSB? I have aeration and feed available.

Chip


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Chip,

The following link has some information on the cage culture of hybrid striped bass.

http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/Extension/finfish/FF3.html

If they are anything like largemouths I've had great success putting them in large cages at low densities to grow them out over the summer to get them up to size to not become expensive fish food once they are liberated into the pond proper. Aeration near the cage to keep some moving water going through the cage and keeping your cage mesh clean of algae is a major plus.

I haven't messed with hybrids striped bass personally as I don't have a market for them but hope this information helps.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I haven't used cage culture myself but am very interested in seeing a HSB culture attempted. I know there have been some past successes reported in the literature and there may be a couple of forum contributors who are about to embark on this mission.


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#11211 04/12/05 03:57 PM
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Cecil,

Thanks for the link, that's one I hadn't seen. By the looks of their fish load and cage size calculations I should be OK. I was going to try about 100 3-5" fish split into 2 pens of 50 each placed on either side of the diffuser. I was concerned about crowding and disease as Bruce had mentioned in an earlier post but think the potential for fungus will lift a little after the water warms up some. One supplier I spoke with today said they can be prone to fungus and had some of his stock in quarantine at present.
I'm really interested in trying this, my pond is only 2 acres surface,(built in 1977) and the Green Sunfish are thicker than I'd like. I wanted to have some growing time for the HSB and that will give me a chance to trotline the channel cats out and give them a better chance. Any help or input appreciated.

Chip


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Chip,

If you have any questions about cage culture give me a holler. Like I said I didn't growout HSB's but I've had really good luck with LMB's.


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#11213 04/13/05 05:24 AM
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Thanks Cecil,
I'm sure to take you up on that. I'll be over your way next week, do you have any cages I could take a look at?
Thanks,
Chip


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an idea similiar to the pom poms. i take salmon egg flies i bought for fishing for rainbow trout in alaska and using a 8wt fly rod, after the feeder throws the floating pellets i cast into the pellets and the channel catfish will tear it up. one pond has 20 grass carp and sometimes they will hit the fly.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Chip Rowland:
Thanks Cecil,
I'm sure to take you up on that. I'll be over your way next week, do you have any cages I could take a look at?
Thanks,
Chip
Chip,

Yes I have one in the water with bluegills in it, and another one is sitting up on the bank that needs to be repaired and moved to a different pond. Just call ahead to make sure I'm around as I sometimes run errands etc.

(260) 894-9055


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#11216 04/16/05 04:38 PM
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Kills me to read this thread, all this HSB fun and we can't bring them into Michigan.

#11217 04/16/05 05:11 PM
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There's a good Michigan joke there somewhere, but I haven't the heart.

Theo Gallus, OSU 1982, 1985


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#11218 04/17/05 01:24 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Young:
Kills me to read this thread, all this HSB fun and we can't bring them into Michigan.
Yes, some in your state DNR are a little too gungho. I've seen a few of them speak at the Michigan Aquaculture meetings and one recent one was really "full of it." It was actually funny to listen to how ignorant he was regarding grass carp (not legal in Michigan either) when most of the listeners in the room had him beat by a mile in fish culture knowledge.

I feel for ya. At least in my state of Indiana they are more open minded, but they too have some tunnel vision issues.


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Thanks Cecil,

I'll give you a call and try for Tuesday.

Chip


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Cecil,

Mentioned in another post that I went down to Ridgeview Finfarm to pick up BG and RES on Saturday so I did some checking around about bringing fish across the state line. I talked to the MDNR fisheries division and the enforcement division and nobody knew the regulations. As it turns out, the Department of Agriculture regulates the importation of fish. We do not need a permit as long as they are not for resale. You are supposed to have the bill of sale and a health certificate.

As for the HSB, the Dept of Ag told me that they are too aggressive and displace native species. I reminded them that HSB do not reproduce and that I have no inlet or outlet to my pond (to deaf ears). Hesterman had plenty and I was tempted to stuff a few in my pockets but he wouldn't sell them to me anyway because he knew I was from Michigan.

Maybe some birds will drop a few in my pond.

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Any recommendations for where a person in south central Illinois could get some hybrid stripers to stock? I think my largemouth bass are coming in June.


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Steve,

You might want to contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture - a Dr. Nancy Frank.

Michigan Department of Agriculture:
Dr. Nancy Frank
Animal Industry Division
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-1077
FrankN@michigan.gov

It's possible the MDNR is giving you a bum steer since they don't want them, but it's really up to the departement of ag and a private pond owner may be able to have them. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen DNR's attempt to deceive someone regarding regulations (been there done that several times with other states).

Check out the following post on an aquaculture site and you will see what I mean.

"HSB in Michigan
From: Phil
Date: 05 Dec 2004
Time: 08:56:52
Remote Name: 68.188.209.20.gha.mi.chartermi.net

Comments
I recieved a reply from Dr. Frank about HSB as an Aquaculture Species in Michigan.

Dr. Frank basically stated that it would be very difficult to gain approval for HSB, as the MDNR is very concerned about the species being released into the public waters.

A research permit most likley would not be granted either.

This is the part I dont get;

"There is an exception to the aquaculture law for non commercial use of fish in private waters. So, if you were going to have the fish for your own personal use as a hobby, this would be a possibility."

Seems to me that the law is backward. A professional Aquaculturist, who would have in place the appropriate procedures and safeguards against an accidental release, is not allowed to posess HSB. But any Tom, Dick and Harry, who may not be aware of the concequences of an accidental release (or intentional release) can.

Dr. Frank is willing to pursue the issue with the MDNR. Maybe we can provide her with the appropriate ammunition.

Steve VG, I forwarded Dr. Frank's reply to you. Maybe an exception can be hashed out for Closed Systems, just as long as the fish dont mutate and grow legs."

Phil


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I should have read previous posts more thoroughly. I contacted Keo Fish Farms (501) 842-2872 and will be ordering some from them.


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HSB UPDATE
Our original ¼ acre forage pond that converted to a HSB “grow out” pond, was stocked with fathead minnows last fall, and have reproduced prolifically.

150, 4-6 inch HSB, stocked in February have not been actively feeding on high protein pellets, resulting in concern over survivability, but now the reason is obvious, they have an appetite for fatheads and are now actively surface feeding on minnows in addition to pellets.

By sheer accident, it now appears a valid approach to stock forage fish prior to stocking predator fish in a “grow out” pond, as well as conventional stocking.

We are anxious to try to catch some in the weeks ahead to monitor growth.

The plan is to transfer 8-10 inch HSB to main pond before hot summer if possible, since we have no fresh water or aeration available.
Past painful lessons learned, smaller HSB are expensive LMB food…!

It will be interesting to see if any survive for fall transfer to main pond.

To be continued…………..

George Glazener
N.E. Texas 2 acre and ¼ acre ponds

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Cecil,

I got busy and haven't had a chance to post lately but I have 120 HSB being delivered this evening. I built a cage along the guidelines from the links and suggestions you and others have supplied.

I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Thanks,

Chip


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George, any updates. I was just reading through this thread again and was interested in your latest observations on your grow out pond.


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NEDOC, I’ll begin transferring HSB from grow-out pond to main pond, hopefully early next week.

See Pond Boss » Stocking a new pond » Types of fish to choose
» George's photos , thanks to Bruce Condello.

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000308

4-6 inch HSB stocked late January are currently near 8 inches – if I can manage to catch them in a cast net… \:D

The “grow-out” pond was originally planned as a “forage” pond and was stocked with fathead minnow and red-ear sunfish and they have grown fat on fatheads and new red-ear sunfish spawn. They are also fed on high protein fish food and difficult to catch on hook and line.

So far – so good…!
I am very excited about the prospect of a good HSB fishery.

George Glazener

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George:

Do you have a feel for how well HSB would do controlling RES offspring in a small pond? (HSB being touted as less than or equal to LMB at BG control and RES having fewer offspring than BG.)


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Theo, the RES in the grow-out pond are about 4 inches and were stocked June 04.
I was surprised at the early spawn that are about 1 ½ to 2 inches at this time.

My supplier and fisheries biologist tells me that all the fathead minnows and RES spawn should be gone by June.

We will transfer the mature RES to main pond as well as the grown-out HSB.

I have a lot to learn about HSB performance in conjunction with LMB – but they should have plenty to eat with BG, RES, Tilapia, and high protein fish food.

We have not considered RES as primary forage - just a fun fish to catch.

It’s an interesting experiment and will report progress.
George Glazener

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George,

Way to go my friend! Let us know, if you haven't already, how the transfer goes.

I'm planning to do the same in a couple of weeks or so. Its great that you've gotten 8 inches size. I think you will have a very high survival rate upon transfer with your Tilapia in place as forage.

I think we may be getting a system established for Texas ponds that will be the envey of many and even a model for others to use. I know it has terrific potential for me and my ponds. Thanks.

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George,

If you were a little closer I'd bring the fly rod over and help you move some of those 8-inchers. Believe me...they'll be 9 and 10 inches pretty dang quick. \:\)


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Just got this sent to me

Indiana wiper record broken --- again

A second state-record hybrid striped bass has been certified this spring by
the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. David Coffman from Frankfort,
Ind. caught the new record fish May 22 below Lake Freeman's Oakdale Dam.

The white bass/striped bass hybrid, often called a wiper, weighed 22 pounds,
and was 32 inches long. The fish's tail fin spanned a foot rule. The new
biggest-ever Indiana wiper beat the 19.5-pound record wiper caught below the
same dam on April 30.

Coffman's wiper hit a crankbait lure cast in the early morning darkness and
drawn across the Tippecanoe River below the Lake Freeman dam.

"The wipers are a new fish for me," said Coffman. "But I've really focused
on them for the last three weeks. I caught a couple 16 pounders, and then
the big fish, where the current breaks (below the dam)."

"The fish was like something you would see in the ocean," said Coffman.

Click here for picture: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/stuff/gallery/hybrid.htm

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That is one huge Wiper! Can you imagine pulling that out of a river?? Wow!


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HSB plan is coming together....!

2003
3-5 inch HSB stockers currently running about 2 ½ to 3 lbs – low survival rate due to LMB predation.

January 2005
200, 4-6 inch HSB stocked in “grow-out” pond. Undetermined survival rate.
They have been raised on fathead minnows and Aquamax high protein fish pellets. Should be 10+ inchers currently.
Will begin harvest and transfer to main pond when water cools.

February 2005 – 15, 10-inch stockers in main pond, currently 1½ lbs. Good survival rate.

Early Spring 2006 Plan:
April stocking program in “grow-out pond” with undetermined number of 2-inch HSB fingerlings and Tilapia breeding pairs.
No supplemental feeding – tilapia forage only.
Harvest HSB early winter when lowering water temps kill-off tilapia.

Very interesting program - have gone from “can’t do that” to “can do that” in three years.

George Glazener
N.E. Texas ¼ acre and 2 acre ponds

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George,

My strongest congrats! Outstanding job!

And I think you are completely right about the Tilapia in the grow-out pond to provide the forage and control the algae. Its what I am doing also.

Can not wait until fall to begin catching what look to be 3 to 4 pound HSB in main pond. Never expected to have so much fun as it is to try new things. They don't always work, sometimes the failures can be painful, but when it works, man what a feeling.

Way to go George!

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Based on the “HSB vs. LMB in small ponds” thread above, my 2006 pond plans are changing.

This thread has run it’s course – so I’m starting a new one below:
HSB Pond

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George and ML :

See if this study interestes you. Don't know if it will copy here so I added [url] to front of address and [url] to the end-- use the address minus the 2 url additions copy to search and it should work.

[url]http://afs.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1577%2F1548-8675%281999%29019%3C1044%3AFCRTHS%3E2.0.CO%3B2[url]
















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EWEST,

I got to the abstract but couldn't get the full article. It is interesting, particularly the part about "largemouth bass relative weight (Wr) decreased significantly following stocking."

I haven't observed that result, but wonder if Tilapia and maybe gizzard shad may be a mitigation factor in my case....but the part about very large BG, both George and I have experienced that and its great! \:\)

I'd say even if I did experience the reduced relative weight of LMB, the HSB are worth it to me...heck reduced relative weight of a fish that won't hit a lure is no impact to me. Thanks much for that reference...and it probably should be pointed out to prospective stockers of HSB.

Now what will RT do to the equation?

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ML :
Check your email re HSB and consult with George. ewest
















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Thanks for the update George. I love it. Can't wait to get some pictures of my HSB.


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Thanks George. What great pics and healthy fish. I can see the fly rod bending now. \:\)
















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I don't know why I can't see those pics above...all I get is an image stating "OOPs, my image for this link is no longer here."

I think I've seen all those pics from George anyway so I won't worry about it.

I wanted to give a report of our HSB growout program from 2005...all the goods and bads.

We stocked out 8000 1.5" HSB in early July in a 3/4 acre pond with the goal of growing them to 6"-8" or larger for stocking in new and existing ponds. The reason for 6"-8"s and larger was to minimize possible predation in ponds with existing lmb, etc.

We fed the fish twice daily with a 40%+ protein diet from Burris/Cargill.

Had one incident of planktonic bluegreen algae that was finally controlled with the use of microbial formulations.

Tilapia were introduced, by accident, and ended up occupying much of the pond after one spawn.

We have estimated 60% survival rate for HSBs, which I hear is fair according to Mike Freeze at Keo Fish Farm in Arkansas. He figured that the main reason for reduced survival rate was due to the presence of natural forage (baby tilapia) which allowed a portion of the HSBs to grow out quickly and enable them to cannibalize smaller HSBs that were left behind.

So for those of you that bought HSBs from us this fall and winter, you know for a fact that you got the better of our batch...as the runts probably were eaten in our grow-out pond.

Fish sizes in late fall ranged from 5"-6" up to 11", but most of the fish were in the 6"-8" range.

George Glazener encouraged us to begin this program, based on his observations and obvious demand. As far as I know, we are the only fish farm in Texas producing their own advanced size HSB fingerlings. We want to thank George, the pond boss members, and the folks that bought our HSBs. We will continue this HSB growout program in 2006, with the same goal...just more fish.


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The rest of the story……

At the beginning of this thread I recounted my journey for hybrid stripers and the mistake I made in initial stocking of fingerling HSB that were victims of LMB predation, and my efforts and failure to locate adult size HSB stockers.

In the meantime I became acquainted with Bruce Condello when he fished with me on Lake Texoma for striped bass.
Bruce’s objective was to catch big striped bass – mine was to pick his brain about “growing out” large enough HSB stripers to escape predation.

It was a great day on the lake with a new found friend and a successful fishing trip – Bruce caught some nice stripers and I learned a LOT about “growing out” HSB fingerlings.

Now Todd enters the picture.
Early last year I purchased HSB stockers from Overton Fisheries and was impressed with their operation, so I asked if I could return for a tour of their operation.

A few weeks later, my wife and I were extended an invitation to stop by their place for a visit, and tour their hatchery and fish farm operation. Todd and Kathy's hospitality was much appreciated, and a great learning experience and an introduction to fish farming.

WOW…!
A fish hatchery with 30 ponds on 50 acres.

The light bulb flashed on and ideas were born to encourage Todd to “grow-out” large HSB.

As a satisfied customer, I am pleased to read Todd’s report on a successful HSB season.

My thanks to both Bruce and Todd for their help to achieve a HSB pond fishery.

George Glazener
N.E. Texas ¼ and 2 acre ponds

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Cudos George! That's great!!


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 Quote:
Originally posted by george:
The rest of the story……
Bruce caught some nice stripers and I learned a LOT about “growing out” HSB fingerlings.
I definitely got the best of that deal.


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Welcome back, Bruce. We missed ya. I look forward to the day I finally get to meet my favorite Nebraskan.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Larry the Cable Guy!


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Bump...
Finally found the thread I was looking for...:)

Last edited by george1; 12/28/07 05:52 AM.


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Here's some information on a study that was done in Nebraska. I don't know, but Eric may be able to find the text. Essentially what it says is that HSB aren't eating young walleye, and that they eat different sizes of prey fish than walleye or white bass. The general conclusion was that you can stock HSB without fear that you will ruin other gamefisheries.

North American Journal of Fisheries Management-Volume 27 Issue 1 (Feb 2007)

“Interactions among Three Top-Level Predators in a Polymictic Great Plains Reservoir”
Nathan W. Olson, Christopher S. Guy and Keith D. Koupal

Abstract—After the introduction of hybrid striped bass (white bass Morone chrysops × striped bass M. saxatilis) into Harlan County Reservoir, Nebraska, gill-net catch per unit effort (CPUE) of walleyes Sander vitreus appeared to decline while that of white bass remained stable. This result prompted the question of whether these three species can be managed collectively in reservoir ecosystems. However, despite the frequency with which these three popular sport fishes coexist in Great Plains reservoirs, we are unaware of any studies that evaluate resource overlap among them. Therefore, we compared their diets, diet overlap, isotopic composition, vertical distribution, and vertical overlap in Harlan County Reservoir from June to September 2002 and 2003. All three species consumed similar prey (i.e., gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum and Chironomidae), and diet overlap was high (i.e., Pianka's index > 40) during all months. On no occasion did all three predators consume the same sizes of gizzard shad. Hybrid striped bass consumed larger gizzard shad than white bass did in September 2002 and 2003, whereas white bass consumed smaller gizzard shad than walleyes and hybrid striped bass did in August 2002 and 2003. Stable isotope analysis corroborated the diet analysis and indicated that all three species occupied the same trophic level and that each predator derived carbon from a similar prey source. White bass were consistently located within the upper 3 m of water, whereas the vertical distribution of hybrid striped bass and walleyes varied from the surface to 10 m deep. Spatial overlap was therefore not as high as dietary overlap and was variable among species and months. Although diet overlap was high, resource partitioning (i.e., different feeding locations and different sizes of gizzard shad eaten) reduced the negative interactions among the three predators. Therefore, we conclude that concurrent management of these three sport fishes is feasible in highly productive reservoirs similar to the one in this study.

Just so you know, I lifted this information from a thread on another fishing forum. It's called NEFGA, and it has some really good contributors.

Last edited by Bruce Condello; 02/09/08 10:50 AM. Reason: Give credit where credit is due...

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We like them much better than LMB because they fight so darn well! Also, since they are grown in the oven like environment around palm springs CA, they should do well just about anywhere.

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Originally Posted By: george
Based on the interest shown by the number of threads on Hybrid Striped Bass recently, I want to share my one year experience with HSB.

Our 3 year old, two acre pond is located in N.E. Texas.

As an avid striped bass fisherman of many years and an occasional HSB fisherman on local lakes, I am very familiar with the sporting potential of this species, especially on fly tackle.

Our original stocking plan consisted of the recommended numbers of Largemouth Bass, Coppernose Blue Gill, RedEar Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.

HSB were not considered at that time since the state biologists I consulted said they would likely not survive, but I proceeded to do further research from Pond Boss archives.

I could find no one in our area with HSB experience and I know dozens of pond owners.
They primarily manage for LMB or catfish, or both.

I consulted with Keo Fish Farms, which I found to be the experts, and most helpful in guiding me to suppliers that might be able to help.

Bill Cody was very helpful in providing aeration advise and products.
Greg Grimes provided automatic feeder information and high protein fish food information.

About this time last year we began our HSB program, having attained a well balanced population of our original stockers.

We stocked 100, 4-6 inch fingerlings, after installing a bottom membrane diffuser aeration system, an automatic Stren fish feeder with a supply of AquaMax high protein fish food.

I was alarmed immediately when the LMB began exploding upon a few of the newly released fingerlings and concluded that perhaps it was a bad idea after all, so proceeded to plan for a good fishing pond for family and friends.

As time went on we observed some feeding activity on the outskirts of feeder pattern and thought maybe some fingerlings survived, and when spring arrived we observed “silver streaks” when feeding.

Everything in my tackle box was tried and failed to catch and nothing worked, and again perceived failure.

When cooler weather arrived we observed violent feeding activity and the grandkids were getting their lines broken more often.

My wife was also getting her leader broken when fishing a small popper.

The rest of the story:

I spent a couple of very enjoyable mornings and evenings on the pond last week and I got broke off using a 5# leader on a 5wt fly rod, while fishing a fairly large popping bug.

I changed from landing as if a bluegill to playing the fish out in open water, and landed my first HSB!
11 inches – ¾ pound on spring scale.

We have no idea how many fingerlings survived, but will soon stock an additional 50 fingerlings. I have read 15-20 HSB per acre with a good feeding program is recommended. If we have too many will take some for table fare.

I’m looking forward to some real fighters in the future and excited about the “perceived” success of our program.

By sharing this experience, I hope it may help shorten the path to a successful HSB fishery for others.

Excuse the length of the post.
George Glazener


Wow I found this old post by searching yahoo and found it very informative!! Just wanted to say thanks for all the great info on this post!! As I am going to be starting to feed and introduce 6 to 8, 8 inch HSB this April in my pond myself and just wanted to say thanks for sharing it all it should no doubt make my expierence much more positive.

Last edited by RC51; 01/31/12 12:38 PM.

The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
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Yes Bruce I can get the study but the abstract hits the high points. In addition there are several extensive studies out of NC on ponds and HSB. That info is here in one or more threads. I do think HSB compete for food with other fish but not to a large extent especially in ponds with supp feeding.
















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Well it's posts like this one that make this site so awesome! The very wealth of information I just got from this post is crazy sweet! Thanks to everyone on this post about this subject! And like you said Eric, I am only 20 miles from Keo fish farm where all they do is raise HSB. This is a no brainer try for me! I am excited!

thanks,


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Wish us luck we bought 7,000 fingelrings from KEO back in september. They are now up to avg 4.5 inches. We hope raising them in "our water" with lower hardness and then introducing to GA clients the success will be better.

I just hope I dont lose my tail. Anyone wanting some let us know we hope to harvest in May at 8 inches.


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Good luck Greg, I would think there are plenty of Georgians who would love to get those fiesty fish.

RC good luck to you also on your stocking of HSB, I wanted to try them last year but couldn't find anyone around here that had them live, the one place that did have them only sells them as food cause of problems with NYDEC.



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Greg give me a call.
















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Greg, that is a great idea to get them used to softer waters so they do better for your clients. I really think it will make a huge difference in their survival rates. I surely hope you don't loose your tail!

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Originally Posted By: Greg Grimes
Wish us luck we bought 7,000 fingelrings from KEO back in september. They are now up to avg 4.5 inches. We hope raising them in "our water" with lower hardness and then introducing to GA clients the success will be better.

I just hope I dont lose my tail. Anyone wanting some let us know we hope to harvest in May at 8 inches.

Greg, that sounds like a conversation Todd Overton and I had a number of years ago - you'll do well!!!
Your clients are in for some knuckle bustin' line stretchin' fun! cool
Good luck!!!



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Thanks Fellas. Being 2 hrs away makes it tough to check fish often. We will try some marketing but most do not realize the fun. I will have to have clients call you George. Eric call you Monday. Already talking with Scott.


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Originally Posted By: Greg Grimes
Thanks Fellas. Being 2 hrs away makes it tough to check fish often. We will try some marketing but most do not realize the fun. I will have to have clients call you George. Eric call you Monday. Already talking with Scott.

Greg I talked Todd into buying his first batch of fingerlings - 2000 IIRC - I was really worried!
He has been very sucessful with his HSB program.



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Good to hear thanks George. Got a call today our lid is off the feeder. WOnderful wet food and we just put in 200 lbs worth of hihg protein high fat food, that will cut into the profits. Busy not even chance to go down until next week.


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That's not good news! Plus that'll be a stinky, soggy mess to clean out.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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