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#131739 09/07/08 08:18 PM
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And I need some input. The pond is 8 feet from normal pool height with about 2 inches of clarity. I assume this would be ok to stock FHM, bluegill and redears. The ponds about 3 surface acres and will be 28 ft. deep. I don't completely understand the difference between the different types of bluegill (not sure if they're genetically engineered). Would someone care to enlighten me on this subject and give me a guesstimate of stocking numbers for these 3 species? Any help is appreciated.


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congrats cm, you've come a long way. 3 acres and 28 ft depths sounds awesome.

what are yer pond goals? i'll let others chime in on stocking rates, but here's a couple pics from my puddle to help enlighten you on the different lepomis species...

Redear (RES)






normal Bluegill (BG) (not to be confused with Condello strain BG (CSBG) or Gallus strain BG (GSBG)

female


male


and the best fish you could possibly put in the pond, especially if yer goals include BIG LMB ;\)

Green Sunfish (GSF)

youngin


oldun



here's a couple pics from others of some trophy fish to help w/ yer ID skills:

a beautiful coppernose BG


a real trophy......3 lb RES


hybrid BG are a whole nother story, i would stick with pure species but again that depends on the pond goals..

some may warn you about not stocking GSF, but i know first hand, bass love em...and they wont last long w/ BG and bass around, and IMO they will help jump start any bass pond......ok, shoot it down guys

good luck cm..


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Dave,
Thanks for the input. The overall goal is to raise trophy largemouth. Next spring I will stock FSB, LGB and F1 with some channel cats. But I need to get the sunfish and minnows going this fall. What about Gams? I've heard from some to stock them and others say not to. Is there any downside to GSF? Thanks for the pics.


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as far as gams, its all been positive in my pond and others i've had experience with here and elsewhere. the only downside i can think of is where gams outcompete native species, but raising native species is not yer goal, so stick some in. as a small minnow type species, i believe they are good link in the food chain.

as far as GSF, again, all positive for me and the few other ponds i've had direct experience with. they provide preferred forage for the bass and add a nice diversity to the panfish species.

my take on why folks dont like them is that in neglected unbalanced ponds, GSF can stunt in large numbers if the bass population is weak, use biomass that the pondowner would rather see BG and bass use (out of prejudice of course \:\) ), and compete for food items in the same range as small bass.

in a balanced BG bass pond, they cant survive long because they dont breed as prolifically as BG, and the bass seem to prefer them as food.

thanks for listening to the ramblings of a madman, please wait for further input cm....

edit post....someone help cm w/ some stocking rates.

my shot for 3 acres would be a load of fatheads (did you put any fathead spawning structure in?), at least 2000 BG, 500 RES, and 500 GSF if you can get them. they are so rare most fish suppliers dont have them \:\)

Last edited by dave in el dorado ca; 09/08/08 08:21 AM.

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CM,

You're smack dab in the middle of fish farm nirvana. Many suppliers just down the road in Lonoke County.

Hopefully this link works...

http://www.uaex.edu/wneal/Pond_Management/pdf/Sport-Fish-Supplier-List-2008.pdf

Since your objective is a trophy LMB pond, you might want to consider additional forage to the regular FHM-BG mix. Golden Shiners and Threadfin Shad should do well in your area.

Some stock more, but I stocked 100 RES and 400 BG per acre, additionally put in 100+ adult BG 6 to 8", 20 lbs of FHM, and gave them 6 months before I introduced first predator. Many would say wait a year before predators, but I lack patience.

Bluegill are your primary forage, CNBG are native floridians, but will do very well at your place, they'll spawn 2 to 3 times per year, RES inhabit a different niche, don't spawn as often, don't produce as many babies as BG/CNBG, but they eat all the nasty snails in your pond, decreasing incidence of parasities in your trophy LMB.

Don't worry 'bout stocking GSF, they will magically appear via tornado, egrets, cranes, bird poop, migration....




Last edited by Pedro; 09/08/08 02:12 PM. Reason: more useless info
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Thanks for the input Pedro. We are fortunate to have a lot of fish farms around here. Let me do some calculations and I'll get back with some numbers and you guys can dissect them.


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OK guys. Here is what I have so far. Let me refresh everyone's memory about the size of the pond. It will be between 2.5 and 3 surface acres, up to 28 feet deep, I plan on fertilizing, I probably will get a Lake Life Pump within 3 years. From what I gather the stocking numbers should be as follows.
October 2008: 1000 BG, 200 RES, 30 lbs. FHM, ? GAMS
May 2009: 100 LMB, 100 FSB, 100 F1, 200 CC
2012: introduce threadfin and gizzard shad, crappie

I'm unsure of the number of GAMS to stock. What do you guys think? Any help is greatly appreciated.


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If you put Gams in when the water is warm enough to breed, without any predators, their live births produce an incredible amount of offspring. 100 Gams have produced what must be millions of offspring in my new pond this Summer. JHAP establish a permanent Gam population in a pond with predators using 70 stockers, half of which he estimates were eaten in the first few minutes.


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 Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
JHAP establish a permanent Gam population in a pond with predators using 70 stockers, half of which he estimates were eaten in the first few minutes.


Oh sure throw me in front of the bus again. JHAP kills his fish, JHAP is a fish stocking idiot, JHAP shouldn't be trusted with live fish and probably not dead ones either.

DIED stocked 9 (nine or eleven I forgot) Gams and ended up with huge schools of Gams. We netted 70 Gams from his pond and transfered into my pond which I quickly reduced to about 35 in an incident that I will never be allowed to forget and will forever be brought up on this forum. My 35 Gams turned into LOTS and LOTS of them.

And yes bass love Gams. The love them to death.

Folks have brought up some negatives about Gams, but I haven't noticed any real problems with them. At my place they breed in early spring and create HUGE swimming schools. You see Gam schools swirling at the surface that contain thousands of Gams. Once the sunfish and LMB fry get big enough they begin to voraciously feed on the Gams and their numbers are significantly reduced. Like DIED said it seems like they are a good link in the food chain.


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 Originally Posted By: cmfulmer
OK guys. Here is what I have so far. Let me refresh everyone's memory about the size of the pond. It will be between 2.5 and 3 surface acres, up to 28 feet deep, I plan on fertilizing, I probably will get a Lake Life Pump within 3 years. From what I gather the stocking numbers should be as follows.
October 2008: 1000 BG, 200 RES, 30 lbs. FHM, ? GAMS
May 2009: 100 LMB, 100 FSB, 100 F1, 200 CC
2012: introduce threadfin and gizzard shad, crappie

I'm unsure of the number of GAMS to stock. What do you guys think? Any help is greatly appreciated.


the gam advice is good, you dont need many to start a major population provided they have some shallow weedy cover. just a gut reaction here cm, but i think yer ratio of BG to bass is too low. in other words my gut says either stock more BG for that many bass, or stock fewer bass for that many BG. what does anyone else think?


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In Texas the stocking rates are 1000 BG fingerlings per acre. I don't think that would change much here in Arkansas. Using the Texas plan you would be stocking at 1/3 of the recommended rate.

I would stock 300 Adult BG. Those BG would spawn in the Spring and provide your LMB all the food that they would want. I believe the recommendation is at least 40 breeding pairs per acre.

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Newer stocking research for trophy LMB indicates doubling the initial BG #s to 2000 per acre (if using 2 in BG)and reducing the initial LMB #s ( I would go with 70 per acre using 2 in fish). GShad if used should be delayed until 70% of your LMB are 18 in or larger. GShad can outgrow the ability of LMB to control them. There is very interesting research on the results of TShad mixed into ponds with GShad. I would avoid that. You may be to far north for TShad to avoid winter kill ( you may loose them in 2 out of 5 years). GShiners would be a good addition and FH are good to start. I can see no benefit to CC in a trophy LMB pond as they just take up space (carrying capacity) better used for forage and LMB growth. Some Florida LMB genetics will help with size in the trophy equation (say 25%). I am using 25% Fla , 25% F-1 , and 50% northern LMB in a balanced pond. If you want a trophy pond then you may want more Fla genes. However note that Fla LMB males are disproportionately small (smaller than northern).

Last edited by ewest; 09/09/08 07:30 PM.















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Thanks for the input guys. Point taken on the intial BG stocking. I will probably double the number of BG and RES. I talked with several fish suppliers today. They are trying to talk me out of stocking Florida bass and GAMS. They stated that the GAMS have no added benefit, and the Floridas won't do well. But I want the genetics to potentially have HUGE bass. Sounds like I need to stock 100 northern LMB and 100 Floridas. I also thought that CC were good because of their scavenging. You know, cleaning the pond of dead stuff, kind of like bacteria.


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 Quote:
GShad if used should be delayed until 70% of your LMB are 18 in or larger. GShad can outgrow the ability of LMB to control them.
...
GShiners would be a good addition and FH are good to start.

GSH as initial forage will do a great job of helping your LMB reach that 18" mark (especially at lower bass stocking rates as ewest mentions), after the Fatheads get them big enough to eat adult Shiners.


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You are right on the edge of the recommended range of Florida Strain LMB. I think you should at least giving them a try to see how they do. It may be best to go with a mix of all three types of LMB.

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cm, are you planning on feeding? IMO that would change the stocking dynamics considerably. if not, the GAMS will be an added benefit especially for young bass and the entire spectrum of sunfish....not to mention elimination of skeeters in the weedy shallows where other species dont go.


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I believe golden shiners would be a good intermittent forage between fatheads and gizzards. I might stock them in 1 to 1.5 years. I also agree that I should at least try to get the Florida bass to grow. If they don't the northerns will take over. If they do, I could potentially have some huge bass.
I haven't planned on a feeding program. To tell you the truth, I haven't researched it that much and thought that it was geared more towards feeding the predators, i.e. LMB. The fish suppliers I talked with today stated that the BG and FHM will eat the same things as the GAMS like mosquito larvae. I'm not sure if I believe them or not. What I learned today was that I need to devise a plan with the help of a lot of people that have 'been there, done that' and not lend as much weight to the people that are selling stuff.


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Chris & CM there was a long term study with Fla LMB in Okla (Tulsa I think) and they did fine even where several of the ponds had ice over for 2 weeks. Another study on both types of LMB and both crosses indicated that F-1s were more cold tolerant and still grew big.
















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ewest, there is another study (or maybe the one your talking about) done on Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK with Fla and Northern bass. The only reason I know is becuase thats where I go to college and frequent Boomer Lake. Boomer Lake has a heated effluent, so the study may not be of much help.

http://digital.library.okstate.edu/OAS/oas_pdf/v59/p47_50.pdf


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cm you raise a good point discussed from various angles here before. feed the forage or feed the predators or feed both?

feeding the forage is probably the easiest. BG will take to pellets readily whereas you either need to buy feed trained bass or figure a way to train them yerself. for a slightly more hands off management style, i would speculate feeding the forage the more efficient route if you plan on feeding at all.

BG will most definitely feed on the mosquito larvae, but GAMS can happily thrive in water so shallow warm and weedy that not even BG fry or YOY will inhabit. if you'll have any extensive shallows/wetlands anywhere on pond, i'd recommend some gams too......cheap insurance, and a little diversity.


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Not in Boomer lake as the one I am talking about was done in a series of ponds. I will try and find it.
















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OK, I've gotten several quotes from fish farms in the state. It looks like JM Malone in Lonoke has the best prices. Their BG are .20 and RES are .30. These are 1-3" in length. I was quoted .65 for hybrid BG at another location for .65. I'm not sure that I understand the difference between the hybrid and regular BG. Do they grown faster/bigger or something? What is it a hybrid of, BG and RES?


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BG and Green Sunfish. Consensus opinion here is that they grow faster than BG for about the first year, as their bigger mouths let the eat large food items sooner than BG, and typical "top out" out around 3/4 lbs.

I DO NOT recommend stocking both BG and HBG. The BG's fecundity wipes out the HBG's chief advantage, better numbers control.


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Thanks guys. I don't see any reason to go with the hybrids. Besides, I like BG and RES just the way they are. Largemouth, on the other hand, need a little Florida DNA to grow to XXXL.


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