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I'm sure Todd will address this subject when he takes a break from backlog of surveys in progress.

I do know that he grew-out his 8-10+ inch HSB in one of his tilapia ponds - with supplemental feeding.

George Glazener

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The article abstracted below should , based on web search results , include a comparison/analysis of a pond with BG and tilapia mosb. and LMB. I don't have access to the paper and did not want to buy it.

Not much on these points in US research (or it is hard to find) but I will keep looking. Have been checking on this off and on for 6 mths.

My 2 cents worth based on what I have found so far. Read the abstract below --it sets out how to determine the answer from a biological factor method .

One article (not a scientific study) by very respected fisheries scientists who happen to run a hatchery and write and cousult on southern ponds concludes that tilapia (so long as they are subject to winter die off) do help improve greatly the BG forage base because they reduce predation of BG by LMB . This was not a long term study or conclusion but I would rely and have on these authors. There are other articles that draw this conclusion also. What they seem to be reporting is that both quantity and quality of BG 3 in. and over are easily seen. After all that is what is visible ( it is hard to see very small BG). Other info from FishBase and studies on what juiv. ( less tha 3in. BG and Tilapia eat clearly indicate that juiv. BG and tilapia eat some (? how much) of the same things including the range of zoo/planktonic diets. There is no indication they both eat FA (BG don't-- tilapia do) but they do compete for some food at this life stage. BG also eat small tilapia. In the long run this may help or hurt with the recruitment of BG -- who knows. Even if BG rect. is reduced and it causes a negative effect it can easily be managed around. One thing I am sure of is that once you start a program of increased forage base whether by feeding or fert. or stocking ( no matter what type of forage fish BG , TS, tilapia etc, )you will get an increase in predator biomass which to remain healthy must continue to get the increased forage unless you intend to remove a lot of predators. But that is ok -- it is one of the recognized facts and advantages (? disadvantages) of an active pond management approach. If I find more I will repost. ewest


Article

Hydrobiologia (Historical Archive)
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
ISSN: 0018-8158 (Paper) 1573-5117 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/BF00018201
Issue: Volume 231, Number 3

Date: April 1992
Pages: 177 - 186
Ecological aspects of fish species interactions in polyculture ponds
Ana Milstein1

(1) Fish & Aquaculture Research Station, Dor M.P., 30820 Hof HaCarmel, Israel

Received: 12 December 1990 Revised: 19 June 1991 Accepted: 3 July 1991

Abstract The relationships between cultivated fish species and their environment is largely dependent on the biological characteristics of the fish and the degree of intensification of the culture. In extensive and semi-intensive systems, based on natural production, stocking fish species of different feeding habits together enables a more efficient utilization of pond resources. In polyculture systems only a proper combination of ecologically different species at adequate densities will utilize the available resources efficiently, maximize the synergistic fish-fish and fish-environment relationships and minimize the antagonistic ones. Synergistic interactions among fish species may be explained on the basis of two interrelated processes: increase of food resources and improvement of environmental conditions. Antagonistic interactions occur between incompatible species combinations and when the stocking rates are balanced; in this case, the way the system is affected depends on the food chain level were the imbalance occurs. Several examples of synergism and antagonism at different levels of the food chain are analyzed in this paper. The knowledge of fish-fish and fish-environment quantitative relationships enables choosing adequate combinations of fish species, stocking rates, input types and rates, and other management decisions according to the specific local conditions: climate, quality of water supply and pond fertility, availability of fish fry and fingerlings, availability of feeds and fertilizers, and market requirements.
















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About a month ago I had e-mailed ML and had commented that since I had stocked the Tilpia in the early spring evry time I throw the cast net now that I see many more BG of various sizes. So for what it is worth I see the big improvement in BG production or survival. And all the algae and chara are gone. This was the first year that I have tried the Tilapia. Very satisfied so far. Thanks again ML. Spent approx. $200 on three tanks (ponds).

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Ewest very well stated agree 100%.

ML, not trying to argue with you. Wanted another thread b/c it is a little of topic. I guess I can agree to disagree about somethings. I just wanted to clarify b/c I thought you said helathy bass are less likely to chase a lure? You state "A predator that hunts and stalks for its food is likely to be more aggressive than one that has its feed handed to them twice daily." The bass I'm talking about do not eat the feed so he has to chase the bluegill around the feeder. How does feeding create a diff situation than tons of tilapia in the water column. If tilipia and now bluegill are numerous the bass do not have to chase them as much. Sorry do not see how you argue the bass are less agressive with a feeder.

I once again state by feeding and growing more bluegill/tilapia I'm making more bass food thus helathier bass thus more of them to catch and b/c they are healthy has nothing to do with the fact they bite a lure the same as well as if we were not feeding. Ok that sentence was way to long but hope it made sense.

Ok, back to tilapia, you think you have more small bluegill. Cool do you think your water was more green than in years past? If so this is great news b/c the tilapia should help me with fertilization program. thanks for info.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Grimes:
I just wanted to clarify b/c I thought you said helathy bass are less likely to chase a lure?
Greg,

I never said that, thought it, or even dreamed it.

However, I'm sure someone will research the archives in an attempt to prove otherwise.

What I have said is that pure strain Florida LMB in small ponds with high fishing pressure and artificial feeding become lure shy. I said that because I've observed it repeatedly.

In solving any problem that has complex variables, it is common practice to attempt to isolate one variable and hold all the others constant. I once tried to explain this by saying that "all other things being equal" a LMB that has to hunt for its forage rather than lie in wait at the feeder is likely to be more aggressive than the LMB fed to satiation at the feeders. Yes, I still believe that.

Thanks EWEST for providing the studies and to Casca for providing his experience.

Perhaps now most of us can agree that the introduction of Tilapia can indeed increase BG populations. If we can agree on that, then it should not be a diffficult extension of logic to say that yes, indeed if the BG populations increase with the addition of Tilapia, especially in the small BG class size, then yes it is possible that the introduction of Tilapia could indeed provide results comparable to artificial feeding. By results, I'm referring to the weight and health of the LMB predators.

If I can get comparable weight gains from LMB in a pond with Tilapia vs a pond with artificial feeding (and I have demonstrated that to myself in one year on an experimental F1 pond), I know which method I'm going to follow. In addition, on the far out chance that the hypothesis I advanced on a negative correlation of artificial feeding to LMB aggressiveness (all other things being equal, remember) has any merit whatsoever, then I'm also inclined to pursue the approach that eliminates that possibility without adverse impacts (The only impact I can see is that I may not be able to raise 10 inch plus BG in a short time like I can in an artificially fed pond).

I see no unmitigated risks in terms of weight gain in LMB. Tilapia cost less than artificial feed...even at $10 per pound. Tilapia do not introduce the large amounts of waste created by artificial feeding and further, they utilize algae which is otherwise wasted, or worse, treated with chemicals to kill and add mass to pond bottoms. Yes, I am an unabashed fan of Tilapia. I prefer them greatly over chemicals and/or other artificial substances.

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ML and Greg,
I’m changing to strictly BG/Tilapia natural feeding program for our HSB/BG pond by necessity, and based as well on Todd’s successful “grow-out” HSB/Tilapia experience, and ML's ongoing LMB/Tilapia/BG experiment.
.
By necessity rather that design – the goats knocked down the feeder pole and the raccoons finished by destroying the Native Feeder impeller for the second time…!

My thoughts are to manage the predator/prey relationship by put and take HSB from – or to – main pond with large HSB.

Pond is presently stocked with one year old HSB, RES, and 8-10 inch CNBG breeding pairs stocked late summer
No LMB or CC allowed in this pond – only HSB, CNBG, RES and Tilapia…. !

The two year old pond will be ¼ acre and 12 ft deep if ever full - probably no more than 4-5 ft presently.

You thoughts?
George Glazener

N.E. Texas ¼ acre and 2 acre ponds if it ever rains

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George,

I'm very interested in how the HSB perform without artificial feeding. I've been afraid to "turn off" the feeders in the HSB pond because HSB are primarily an open water fish. Tilapia and to some extent BG are basically shoreline fish...not really that complementary to HSB. On the other hand, I believe that Tilapia and BG are very complementary to LMB and can completely replace artificial feeding.

If you had threadfin shad also in your HSB pond, then I would say your chances with the HSB without feeding would be increased considerably.

Todd has agreed to try to establish threadfins in my HSB pond this spring. If we can get them established, then I will join you in a completely natural forage based system in all ponds.

I've tried twice before to get them established(threadfins) and also have gizzard shad, but neither have been able to survive the foracious predation of the HSB. Todd believes that if we try his larger threadfins that are spawning ready, they will establish. I hope so.

p.s. man, you have some aggressive goats \:\)

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I guess I'll chime in on this. I have tilapia now for about 18 months. They survive the winter at my place so I have only done one stocking of 100 6-8".

What I have seen so far in the forage population. The BG have gone from a few large and medium ones to alot of small and medium ones in this time. Not much increase in larger size. Redears have come back with a vengance. I have gone from very few to hundreds weighing up to 1.5lbs.

Average LMB weight has increased .25-1lbs pending on length. I don't think that it is all directly related to tilapia but I'm sure that the indirect relationship is there.

On cold days like today, 25 degrees this morning, you can see hundreds of tilapia stacked in there where the warm well water runs in.

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Ml said: “HSB are primarily an open water fish.”

Do you believe this to be factual based on your experience, or because it is a “tried and true” assumption?

Before I stocked HSB, the little pond was full of year old fathead minnows.
The smaller fatheads disappeared quickly but took time for HSB to grow large enough to completely eliminate the larger minnows, which were observed mainly along the shoreline.

I have always been told that HSB are open water feeders similar to their striped bass parents. I believe this to be true, but only during the hottest weather months.

You will find that striped bass follow the food, into shallow shoreline structure most of the year. They will chase shad out on the bank at times.

I have only 3 years experience with HSB, but more than 20 years with the stripes – it will be interesting.

I believe they will follow the food.

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George :

I believe with active management you can be successful with what you are planning with your small pond. The trick will be to keep all the factors in balance. Here are the questions I see. One -- will there be enough zoo/planktonic , FA and natural food for the pery species BG/RE/tilapia. Two -- will the water quality support their number and growth along with the HSB. Three -- Assuming 1 & 2 can be done can the HSB control/balance the pery enough to keep them from over populating to the point of first stunting and second reaching to high a biomass with the resultant loss of water quality. In a pond that small (assuming there is not a bunch of brush/trees in there) the HSB will follow the food ( they may be able to see or sense them from the other side of the pond) and will only be limited by gape size (size of mouth opening). ewest
















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 Quote:
Originally posted by TEXAS715:
Redears have come back with a vengance. I have gone from very few to hundreds weighing up to 1.5lbs.
Now that's dang interesting. I haven't seen that, but I probably don't have enough readears to be effected. Interesting.

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TEXAS715,

Do you have the means to post a photo of a 1.5 pound redear sometime? Your situation is particularly interesting to me, and actually I'd just like to see what a redear that big looks like.

Thanks,

Bruce


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 Quote:
Originally posted by george:
Ml said: “HSB are primarily an open water fish.”

Do you believe this to be factual based on your experience, or because it is a “tried and true” assumption?
George,

You should know me better than that. \:\)

Nothing I ever post is influenced by any so called "tried and true". I only post from my own personal eyes and hands on observations....never what someone else may have written or said or called tried and true.

In my HSB pond, which also has Florida LMB, the HSB take the open areas and the LMB take the shallows and shorelines. Yes, on occasion, I have observed HSB in shallows but very rarely and only briefly. They are extremely nervous when in shallow water. Also, I've never caught a HSB in anything but the deeper open areas of the pond. That is what I based my comments on and why I think threadfin shad and/or gizzard shad would be a wise choice if no artificial feeding. I'm not saying the HSB won't do just fine with a Tilapia/ BG forage, cause I think they will. I just think they will grow better, in the presence of LMB, with an open water forage.

I don't know about a "pure" HSB pond, i.e. one that does not have any other predator other than HSB. I would venture a guess that they might indeed follow the food in that case, including into more shallow areas. I've observed that in the presence of some large Florida LMB, the HSB do not "follow the food" into shallow structured areas. They avoid those situations.

I recall a couple or more occasions where I've sat on my shallow water pier and thrown a steady small amount of pellet food out. The HSB will come in and check it out, but at the first sign of a big LMB, they don't come back.

That's my experience...tried and true notwithstanding. \:\)

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Just kind of a side note, FYI...

I've fished for HSB in reservoirs in size from 100 acres to 30,000 acres for the last twenty years. I even take two and a half days off of work per week during the months of April and May specifically to fish for these characters.

When water temperatures approach ideal spawning range, i.e. 60-65 degrees F., HSB are oriented to the shallowest, most oxygenated water they can find. When the wind blows to a shallow point they will be THICK in the shallows. During the rest of the year HSB can be found foraging in shallows usually in low light hours, and in clear water will feed on crayfish right on the rocks of the dam at midnight. They're known as a pelagic species which means essentially that that will cruise open waters in pursuit of prey, but that only applies, of course, to times when the prey are actually in open waters.

I would estimate HSB occupation of shallow vs. deep water in reservoirs as follows:

Spring/pre-spawn and spawn--75% shallow, 25% deep

Summer and fall--90% deep, 10% shallow

One reason for HSB occupation of deeper waters in summer is their need for well oxygenated water that is, preferably, under 84 degrees F.

That being said...these are reservoir observations and may have little or no validity when talking about ponds, where the forage type and availability are entirely different.


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ML, my disagreement is based on my feeling as an “amateur”, is that I should not make statements of fact without qualification, however well intended, that casual forum readers may accept as fact. \:\) \:\) \:\)

Ml said: “HSB are primarily an open water fish.”

If your definition of open water is beyond the weed line, I may agree with you, otherwise not.

Bruce said:
“I would estimate HSB occupation of shallow vs. deep water in reservoirs as follows:
Spring/pre-spawn and spawn--75% shallow, 25% deep

Bruce, I agree with you on this, but gender must be taken into effect with pure striped bass:

“Males begin their spawning run 1 to 3 weeks before the females when water temperature is less than 15 C.
Females striped bass begin their spawning migration when water temperature is around 15C.” (SRAC - Hybrid Striped Bass, Hatchery Phase – R.G. Hodson and M. Hayes)

I presume HSB attempts to spawn will follow the same pattern?

Bruce said:
“That being said...these are reservoir observations and may have little or no validity when talking about ponds, where the forage type and availability are entirely different.”

Agree emphatically!!!!!!!!

ML I believe that our HSB, BG, and Tilapia program has been pretty much parallel, but our fishing methods may different.
We may be observing different things.

I must qualify my statements by an “amateur, I must be careful mot to confuse 3+ years HSB experience with one year experience three times…… \:D

George Glazener

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George,

Was your question in relation to your 1/4 acre pond or 2 acre pond or both? I was trying to answer thinking it was your 2 acre pond, but looking back maybe you were only talking about the 1/4 acre pond.

HSB as an open water fish has little or no meaning in most 1/4 acre ponds. There just isn't any significant "open water" in my 1/4 acre pond. Also, I doubt threadfin shad would have any chance at all in a 1/4 acre pond filled with HSB.

However, a 2 acre pond is diffferent. By open water, I meant several feet (at least 5 or 6) away from the shoreline in areas generally greater than 6 feet deep and containing little structure where the HSB has long "runways" where it can herd and attack bait fish.

I repeat, I have never caught a HSB in my larger pond outside of that open water zone. If you routinely see them and catch them outside that zone in your 2 acre pond, then yes our situations are very different.

Bruce, I would be interested in your experience with HSB in ponds. The behavior in large reservoirs may or may not be indicative of the behavior in small ponds. Do you also, apparently like George, catch HSB routinely in those areas outside of what I have described as "open water", i.e. in what most would describe as LMB shallow structure water? If so, then I must have an aberrant situation. I guess it wouldn't be the first time. \:\)

At any rate, the question from George was how we felt his HSB would do in the absence of artificial feeding with a Tilapia/BG forage base.

In the 1/4 acre pond, I don't have experience and don't know. In the 2 acre size pond, I believe they will do fine, but would greatly benefit from a threadfin shad forage base, in addition, because, in my ponds, both HSB and shad prefer open waters. Thanks.

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George is right about the sex difference. I failed to mention that during the spring the male HSB are shallow every chance they get, and the females are more hit and miss.

One of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in a pond was spring of 2001 when I was walking around my 1.25 acre rec. pond. As I approached the pond I could see that my water was extremely muddy in the SW corner. When I got closer saw at least 100 of my HSB spinning around in circles, with the biggest fish right in the center (presumably females) going through a false spawn. Pretty impressive. When the fish were stocked I assumed that there wouldn't be any spawning activity, but I was dead wrong.

ML, during the summer I could catch fish in 2 feet of water at first light. The HSB were herding BG YOY into the shallows. During the day, however, the fish were almost always deep and usually inactive.


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Ml, you did not answer do you think the pond was greener, les vis, than prior to tilapia?, thanks

I understand you point...I just have never, not even once, seen a bass feed to satiation at a feeder. So I will be stocking tilapia and feeding.

You mention feeder and fishing pressure, yet in your experiment you stopped both and have reported better catches, right? I think it is the fishing pressure that makes the diff not the feeding.

On HSB when we shock them from ponds they have always been near the deeper water.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Condello:
ML, during the summer I could catch fish in 2 feet of water at first light. The HSB were herding BG YOY into the shallows. During the day, however, the fish were almost always deep and usually inactive.
Bruce,

The entire frame of reference for my statements about HSB as an open water fish was in a pond with relatively small HSB and relatively large (in excess of 5 pounds, Florida LMB). In that setting, in my pond, HSB may occasionally go shallow, but not more than once or twice. \:\)

I tried to state in my response to George that the presence of large LMB may cause different behavior patterns. LMB dominate the shorelines and HSB take the open areas in my pond. Without LMB, the HSB may very well exhibit different behavior.

So, in an effort to determine if my situation is aberrant, do you also have LMB in those ponds in which you routinely see HSB frequent the shallow areas?

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My position is/was that HSB will follow the food (Tilapia & BG) – if they are in the presence of big LMB – they are the food.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Grimes:
Ml, you did not answer do you think the pond was greener, les vis, than prior to tilapia?, thanks
Greg,

My apology...got caught up in a side discussion on HSB. You asked an interesting question and after my answer, I'm most interested in your thoughts, please.

In the experimental pond that was renovated within the past two years and restocked, I do not have a baseline before and after Tilapia on the 'Green" factor. However, I will say that I have observed it to be remarkably green even without fertilizers or the presence of livestock. It is an isolated pond, completely alone most of the time....receives no runoff fertilizers either from any source I know of. It is limed, as are all my ponds. Why it is "green" (18 inches all summer and even until just recently) has been a mystery to me, but you may have very well explained it.

My other 4 acre pond has always had a green tint to it. I have always assumed that was becasue of the heavy livestock presence in the areas that drain into that pond. I must say, now that you have questioned me, it has had a slightly greener tint in the last two years with Tilapia. I wish I had exact measurements to give you on water clarity, but do not. Okay, your turn. Thanks.

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Greg, ML, Bruce and others, when fishing Lake Texoma in cooler weather months, if I run my big motor into shallow water the stripers, as well as white bass, will be spooked.
If I ease into casting distance on my trolling motor, I will often catch them in 5 ft of water or less, stripes up to 20 pounds……

I am not convinced that HSB do not inherit the genetic traits of their parents.
Indeed HSB are spooky fish – but - they follow the food.

Appreciate all the input guys – if you return my original post you will find that my query addressed strictly a BG/RES/Tilapia/HSB pond with no LMB or CC present.
George

ps: If it doesn’t rain soon this conversation will be totally academic….

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Here is some photos that I took this past spring of the bream that I caught.



This was a month later.



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Those are gorgeous fish! Who wouldn't like to have a pond with awesome panfishing and big ones to boot?! Good job. I'd appreciate any future chances for updates on the condition of the redear fishery. Thanks.


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ML, with that kind of water, that explains alot. We rarely if ever see water very green less than 18 inches visibility unless we fertilize. You have some great water quality and I thnk the tilapia only help keep it that way. You have a great combo going and I see how heavy feeding it could cause a problem. Here if you want to get close to maximum carrying capacity we need to lime/fertilie and feed. thanks for reply.

Nice Redear!


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No feed HSB or CC small pond?
by esshup - 04/18/24 10:02 AM
Buying LMB
by esshup - 04/18/24 09:56 AM
Newly Uploaded Images
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
by Tbar, December 10
Deer at Theo's 2023
Deer at Theo's 2023
by Theo Gallus, November 13
Minnow identification
Minnow identification
by Mike Troyer, October 6
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12

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