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Eric Offline OP
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Good morning all, For those who might not know. I have a smallish 1/10th to 1/4 acre pond with Yp and SMB in it.

This year I lost my first SMB. I found him floating in the weeds at the side. He was about 12 inches long. I also have seen about 2 of my larger bullfrogs just go belly up.

I have added about 6 lbs of FHM and about 100 crawfish this spring thus far and all of the minnows are gone.

My YP did spawn but no eggs made it to fry. The bass last year had some that made it to fry.

I am concerned that even with my feeding that the food chain is not there with the FHM being killed off so quickly and with the YP not producing any young.

I have an opportunity to get some Bluegill and other sunfish in the pond to help out with their young as a food source. Thus the question to the experts. I hate to give up on the YP and SMB only pond but I need to figure out how to get enough of a forage base for them without throwing money away weekly on new minnows that last all of a few hours.

Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated/


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1/10 - 1/4 acre pond plus 16 ft deep/ Plus 40 ft by 20 ft by 6 ft deep koi and fathead minnow pond next to it. Upstate NY

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Is there enough structure for the fatheads or shiners to take refuge?

Also, do you think that one SMB you found dead was due to malnourishment?


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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Is there support structure for the YP egg masses (like branches)? They need to be held up, suspended in the water for the eggs to hatch.

Bill Cody is the Master at manipulating YP populations through adjusting egg support structures (and several other methods).


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Eric Offline OP
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Theo, I have lots of branches I place in there for spring and some Pine trees that are in there year round. The eggs stay suspended but never seem to fertilize. I added a few more 6 inch yp yesterday ( my 4 yr old found them in a creek landlocked and almost out of water) hoping to add males if that is somehting I am lacking. I don't want to add too many larger fish since it seems they have eaten me out of house and home.

Good thing is that finally some of the SMB are feeding on the pellets at night. after I toss them in I see some surface boils and a little jumping.

I have ample water bugs, the surface speeder type. I have a few dragon flys and not much in the line of other bugs yet this year. I have tons of frogs ( over 50 large Bullfrogs) they have laid eggs and I think there are pollywogs but havent seen them in there yet.


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Sunil, There is enough structure in place around the shore for the FHM. I upgraded that this past year. The problem we had last year was that we dropped up to 4 ft and that took away all of the side structure and drove the FHM into the deep water.

As for the SMB, he seemed thin but not sure if it died from lack of food. All I can say is that I dropped 6 # of minnows into the pond last week and they were gone in 3 days. This fish was alive then and he should have gotten some of them for food.


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Your FH's may not all be dead, they just disappear most of the time. I see a couple darting in and out of my pallets but other than that only an occasional one can be seen near shore. Shiners are much more visible and hang out in the shallows more it seems


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OK, do you have a few year-classes of SMB now?

Maybe it's time for some culling of YP and SMB, however, that is total speculation for now.


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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REx, Thanks for the thoughts. I have seen that in the past as well, but the FHM dont head down deep unless they have to in my pond due to the big guys being there.

Sunil, Last year was first year of spawn for SMB. I am not sure if any made it past fry stage as we went into major drought right after they spawned. I was thinking it may be time to cull but not sure at the moment.


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 Originally Posted By: Eric
Good morning all, For those who might not know. I have a smallish 1/10th to 1/4 acre pond with Yp and SMB in it.

This year I lost my first SMB. I found him floating in the weeds at the side. He was about 12 inches long. I also have seen about 2 of my larger bullfrogs just go belly up.

One dead fish is not necessarily something to be concerned about. Same goes with two Bullfrogs. It was a tough winter was it not? It's possible they just died of old age.
I have added about 6 lbs of FHM and about 100 crawfish this spring thus far and all of the minnows are gone.

You do know fatheads are a slow moving forage fish and can be quickly wiped out right?


My YP did spawn but no eggs made it to fry. The bass last year had some that made it to fry.

Are you sure no eggs made it to fry? How do you know? They are quite small at first. Almost too small to see with the naked eye. Best way to see if you have any is to use some light. I have two floating crappie minnows I will be putting out to determine if I have any.

Also are you sure you got mixed sexes on the perch? You need more males than females too. Up to 15 per female for good fertilization.


I am concerned that even with my feeding that the food chain is not there with the FHM being killed off so quickly and with the YP not producing any young.

You may have too many fish for the size of pond you have.

I have an opportunity to get some Bluegill and other sunfish in the pond to help out with their young as a food source. Thus the question to the experts. I hate to give up on the YP and SMB only pond but I need to figure out how to get enough of a forage base for them without throwing money away weekly on new minnows that last all of a few hours.

You're definitely throwing money away if you have to continually stock baitfish. I'm still skeptical you don't have any yellow perch hatching though.

Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated/



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






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Eric Offline OP
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Thanks Cecil

I am not too worried about the fish and Bullfrogs. I have many frogs doing well and this was the first SMB that I have lost.

I have gone out at night with a light to see if there were any fry or minnows around. I see nothing in the fry or minnow range.

As for the question of all female YP, I got the entire bunch of YP from one individual who scooped themout of his tank at random, thus I figured that I may have a good mix, but not sure. Truth be told that is why I added the few extra YP my son found this weekend, just in hopes that they were males and next years spawn might produce something. Every ribbon that I saw ( over 20 this year) ended up all going white and nothing came of them.

I am very aware of the lack of speed for the FHM and the cost of just feeding them to the other fish. That is why I was starting to consider adding some other forage fish such as the sunfish. I figured they might have a better chance of making it to reproduction considering what I have in the pond.

I hate thinking of adding the sunfish but thought they might help.


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Anyway you can set up a floating light and leave it alone for a little while? That's how they are appearing for me.

I mean they appear almost instantly but it takes a little while for they to build in numbers under the light.

My lights are for night fishing and are nothing more than automobile headlines inbedded in styrofoam for floatation.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/07/08 03:05 PM.

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






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Eric Offline OP
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Cecil, I can try that again. I had my light set up for about 5 minutes when I looked.


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It is possible that your larger SMB have eaten a large percentage of the male YP due to males growing slower and being smaller than females.

How many SMB do you have in that pond again? You could easily have too many bass for that size pond considering most of the bass do not primarily eat pellets. Relying heavily on pellets makes them less of a predator on fish (smaller YP and minnows). If I had your sized pond, I would have considered trying to add the SMB as single sex fish, that way you had good control of SMB numbers. I estimate that a pond your size containing no major amount of free standing submerged vegetation with YP as main panfish, should have only 6-10 adult SMB providing you want ample minnows and small YP. Your best control now is angling for removal. I would make an effort to remove a fair percentage of larger SMB and stock some more pellet feeding YP (4"-6"). Keep removing SMB and stocking pellet trained YP until you see YP reproduction.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/07/08 08:10 PM.

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Bill, I gave a year inbetween placing the YP and the SMB into the pond. The YP came in at 3-4inches and by year2 were at around 6-8 inches when the 3-4 inch SMB made it into the pond.

The initial stocking was at around 100 YP and 25 SMB. I only know of 1 YP and 1 SMB that have died. That being said, last year I only saw an average of 6-12 SMB near the surface at any given time. Last year the SMB did succesfully produce some fry.

The YP were never pellet trained and in truth the SMB are the only ones hitting the pellets on the surface.

As for free standing vegitation, I do have limited vegitation due to steep sides ( near 75 degree drop off to 4 ft deep then 4 ft shelf then 75 degree drop to max depth )

I do have lots of rock structure and pine trees ...etc as structure.

I hope this expains things better as to what my pond is like.


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Eric, Steep pond banks with limited vegetation results in very little refuge area for small fish. AS refuge areas lots of rocks and numerous pine trees are not very helpful as refuge for small fish, thus the short life spans of stocked minnows. Numerous studies have shown that manmade structure even in what seems like a lot to the eye is not very good as refuge areas for survival of small fish.

Have you ever fished or trapped (sampled) fairly intensively the YP at spawning time to check for occurrence of male fish?. I still think you have too many bass for that small of a pond if you expect recruitment of YP. I stand by my suggestion, remove a few of the largest bass each yr and stock a few pellet trained YP each year till you see small YP in late fall or spring.


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