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#15627 08/20/05 02:24 PM
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Russ - If you think sexing bgill is risky wait till you try sexing LMbass especially out of breeding season.
When I chose male bgill for my restocking they first go into a rearing cage for at least one summer. Sometimes some remain in the cage for as long as two summers. This wait period allows for additional development of sexual characters. Releasing "all male" bgill prematurely into your pond often produces results such as presence of bgill fry (Cecil's recent experience). If you reread Cecil's post, he mentioned that due to special conditions the fish were prematurely added to the pond from the holding cage and the "wait time" did not go the proper period. Cecil was also dealing with several hundred bgill, all at one time, which when under pressure and in a hurry can contribute to errors. I never trust someone else's sorting; I always double check my fish if it is an important project.

C.Catfish when sexually mature (larger than 20") very often "work the sediments" and disturb bottom materials during spawing activities. Some people consider 2-3 ft of water visibility as clear water.


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#15628 08/21/05 10:25 AM
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Mr. Cody, in regards to sex of fish, I read an advertisement of feed that affects the gonadal production. Is this something that hatcheries use for forcing a sex of fish, or did I misread the article?


#15629 08/21/05 12:06 PM
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BC, It might be true of sexually mature channels stirring up pond bottom but it is more likely the result of "too many". We have few cats in most ponds (<100/acre)but even in ponds stocked with catfish as goal with up to 500/acre no problem with suspended sediment. Even in ponds with lots of big ones usually not muddy. However most are very fertile from heavy feeding.

Russ, consider stocking a few, maybe 50, channel catfish to start with. If you do not like them 9 and do see how) catch them out. If you do like them they are chaep and you can add more later on. They do great with food and much easier for kids to catch than bass. However you MUST have some bass to control bluegill channel catfish will not do this.


Greg Grimes
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#15630 08/21/05 12:39 PM
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bmeister - fish food additives for sex reversal in fish is new technology and not widely used at this time. I know very little about it.


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#15631 08/21/05 01:49 PM
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BM :

Do you remember where you saw the info on food additives to effect fish sex development . I was not aware of that info and would like to learn about the process. I have been wondering if fish could be made sterile by some means that was practical . Not on lots of small fish but on a few larger fish and in a manner that it did not effect their growth or life expectancy. ewest
















#15632 08/21/05 02:30 PM
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Eric, I dont remember, but it was one of the major fish feed suppliers. It has been several months ago while browsing for feeds. Will try and find it though.


#15633 09/03/05 08:24 PM
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Update:

Interesting development today. While sitting by the pond this afternoon with good intentions of diving into the most recent PB magazine, I noticed alot of activity in the pond. Upon closer inspection, I spotted a wolf pack of 8 fish sitting in the "shallows" with a stalkers look to them. As I watched, the stalkers became attackers in short order. We've got fish, but not what I was expecting !

Some background information. For those following this post, you'll remember I did some expansion work to this puddle about 1 month ago. In preparation for the work, I drained the pond....well almost. Actually I drained it down to the point where 6" of water remained. I dug a sump pit for the pump but due to the contour of the pond bottom, not all the water made its way into the pit, therefore the pond did not drain completely. The pumping was completed about a week before the contractor was to arrive.

During the wait for the contractor, my neighbor asked if he could take his ATV for a spin through the pond. (He was first in line when they handed out the boys, ATVs and mud gene.) As he hit the water, it exploded with jumping fish. I thought they were baitfish only because I netted some fish that made there way into the pond last year and they turned out to be creek chubs. The fish I noticed today didn't even remotely look or act like the chubs. After netting a couple, it turns out they are bass. A nice 4" and 6" catch.

With this new and unexpected development, my gameplan has changed. With the mindset of a traditional BG/Bass pond, it looks like I need to get some forage fish in place. I'm going to talk my dad into taking a little fishing trip to a nearby lake and try to convince some BG to take a ride with us. The pond is still about 8' low, but the newly excavated end has about 3' of water in it and measures roughly 30' in diameter. I'm looking to the board for some advice on how many BG I should add at this point? I'm open to any and all comments.

Russ

#15634 09/03/05 08:36 PM
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I think you have a sound plan, I suggest catching 60 adults per surface acre, I'm also attaching Bill Cody's bgill identification chart for reference :

#15635 09/03/05 08:47 PM
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Good pictures Eastland, thanks for the reply!

Russ

#15636 09/17/05 07:17 AM
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With the recent expansion, I now have a kidney shaped pond. Estimated water volume is 300,000 gallons. This pond will have two 9" disk diffusers. My compressor will not handle both diffusers simultaneously. A cheap solution I found was to utilize a "Y" garden hose fitting with shutoffs. For this ponds size, two 9" disk diffusers is probably overkill however, I had the extra diffuser so I decided to install it.

Update: Due to a major rain storm this past weekend, the pond is now full. This gave me the opportunity to test both diffusers. One diffuser is set at 8', the other at 11'. According to the pressure gauge, both operate at 4 psi. Based on the charts from the manufacturer, the compressor is putting out 1.25 cfm. By the looks of the surface "boil", I'm happy with the results.

#15637 09/22/05 06:56 AM
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After rereading the comments here and in other posts, I've decided on the following game plan.

Due to the size of this puddle and the fact that the level is down about 8', initial stocking will include a pound of fatheads and a dozen 3-4" native BG. These fish will be placed in the recently expanded portion of the pond that is roughly 30'x30' and has about 3-4' of water. As the pond fills, I will add more BG of various sizes until the total reaches 60-70 fish.

This pond receives water from an intermittent stream. During the expansion of the pond, a small "silt pond" was constructed roughly 100' from the inlet of the pond.


Next spring I will monitor the pond for a BG spawn. If a female BG got by in the initial stocking and a spawn occurs, I will add 10 lmb to serve as predators. Once these fish reach a certain size, 2lbs?, (need some advice here) they will be fished out and replaced.


I plan to feed and aerate from May till October.

#15638 10/08/05 05:11 AM
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Update:

Two weeks ago my dad and I added 15 4-5" BG to the pond with a pound of fatheads. These fish were obtained from a local hatchery. To date, we are happy to report that there have been no floaters. Last week, I picked up a bag of pond chow from the local TSC just to see if these fish would answer the call. To our surprise, within two or three minutes, the fish were hitting the pellets. At this point the pond is just an oversized aquarium but I can relate to the other hand feeders about the joy in seeing the fish at feeding time.

With the remnants of Tammy showering down on us, hopefully this "aquarium" will start to take on the shape of a pond. Rains/showers are expected for most of the coming week so expectations are high. If the rainfall is sufficient enough to raise the level 3-4 feet, we'll add some additional fish. I snapped some pictures of the pond yesterday and will try to post them later.

Second update: Its been about four hours since I first posted and the pond has risen over three feet. At this rate it will be full by afternoon. Now some good news/bad news. Bad news; the side of pond that was excavated a couple of months ago is leading to runoff problems, as expected with the heavy rains we've received. Light coffee is the pond color for the day. From past experience I know this will settle after the rains subside but it certainly lacks eye appeal.

Good news. Last year I had trouble with runoff from a house that was being built near me. The intermittent stream that feeds this pond runs through their property. Any runoff we received was laden with sediments. A year has passed and the site is recovering from the construction. The stream is running again (due to todays rain storm) and I'm glad to report that the runoff is clear, actually its much better than I anticipated.

Last update for today: Another check of the pond and its full. Thats about an acre-foot of water in a 12 hour period. Some of the logs I put in for structure have floated to the surface. Using some grapnels, I corraled the logs and tied them off to a nearby tree. Within a couple of weeks, I hope they will settle to the bottom.

#15639 10/09/05 05:58 PM
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With yesterdays torrential rains, the pond took on a color of light coffee. Figuring it would be a while before the water cleared, I was very much surprised to find the pond clear this morning. Visibility was around 20". The visibility was so good that I counted 6 LMB and some fatheads in one of the shallow parts of the pond. The plan now is go ahead with some additional stocking of BG.

#15640 10/09/05 07:54 PM
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Russ :

You are doing well and the pond gods are all smiles. How many LMB do you think are in the pond and what size? How big will the pond be when full and will it stay full most of the year? YOY (2 in.) BG are cheap in the fall. If you add a few in a mth. that will give you 2 year classes of BG plus fatheads to start your forage base. You could also wait and buy some 4 in. BG in March to add and also have 2 year classes. How many of what to add all depends on the pond size and whats in there now and your pond goals. ewest
















#15641 10/09/05 09:57 PM
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ewest,

I'm going to guess the size of the pond to be 0.15 acres. The size is limited by lot size and the fact that I have an outbuilding on this lot. My contractor jokingly asked if I was going to expand the pond again next year, leaving the outbuilding on an island. Due to the fact that this pond is fed by an intermittent stream, in a normal year, I expect the level to drop 6-8". If the need arises, there is a well on this lot that could be used to top off the pond.

After yesterdays deluge, I was really surprised to see any fish. The half dozen LMB that caught my eye today were about 5-6". Tomorrow I'm going to call the hatchery to see if they have any 4-5" BG. The total stocking of BG will be around 60-70 fish, like Eastland posted.

With all the advice and support I've received from the board, I'm really excited about the prospects for this little pond.

Russ

#15642 10/21/05 12:28 AM
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Stocked an additional 65 4-5" BG on 10-15. This week I found one dead and removed two others. The two that were removed had problems. Both were lethargic and swimming near the surface. I was able to scoop them up in a net without any problems. Both had clear patches/blotches on the anal and caudal fins along with a 3/4" patch/blotch on their body which looked slightly raised. One eye on one of the fish appeared sunken.

During my daily walk around the pond, I have noticed some BG hanging around the structure that was placed in the pond. The number of fatheads is dwindling so the bass must be having fun. I'm still tossing feed and have noticed that I get more activity in the afternoon than early morning. The kingfishers have returned and I noticed an eel has found his way into the pond.
Pond soup. \:\)

#15643 10/26/05 06:01 AM
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While walking the pond perimeter the other day, my dad and I noticed a half dozen BG in the outlet of the pond. The outlet, on my property, is about 9' wide, 10' long by 10" deep. It is clear of any vegetation. Where the outlet enters the neighboring property, it narrows to about 5' and is loaded with mixed vegetation, i.e. grasses, shrubs, cattails. Its a night and day transition.
Being concerned with the presence of BG in the outlet and not sure if the vegetation jungle would dissuade them from an escape attempt, I decided to try a fish "gate" made from hardware cloth. We installed a 10' piece of 1/4" hardware cloth, anchored with rebar stakes. One thing I noticed right away, which Bill Cody mentioned in a prior post, was the problem with leaves. It does catch and hold leaves but if the "gate" works to keep the fish in the pond, I don't mind the daily cleaning of leaves for the next couple of weeks.

With the addition of the leaves, the water has taken on a dark hue. During cloudy days, its hard to see the fish in the water. A few will take feed but not as many as I anticipated. I do not know what the water temperature is but the diffusers will go idle this weekend. In another post, Bill C mentioned that he shuts his aeration down when water temps are between 44-48 degrees F. Is this the point at which fish, in my area, would begin to seek the comforts of the warmer bottom layer of water??

#15644 10/26/05 07:50 AM
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 Quote:
Bill C mentioned that he shuts his aeration down when water temps are between 44-48 degrees F. Is this the point at which fish, in my area, would begin to seek the comforts of the warmer bottom layer of water??
I think that's a good summation. If I remember BC's info, he said that the water temps top to bottom should be the same (he had a nice $2 word for it I can't recall) when the temps are 44-48 deg. As the surface temps drop below that, the bottom water should be warmer and hence more attractive to fish.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#15645 11/04/05 07:24 AM
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Update:

This pond has experienced some recent algae growth over the past few weeks which has me concerned. In an effort to say keystrokes, I'll post a link to the thread where the problem has been posted.

Algae Problem

#15646 05/08/06 03:34 PM
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This little puddle has really changed since my last post. There wasn't much activity to talk about until the water (surface) temp hit the mid 50's. At this point, the bass and BG started showing up. I've been tossing a few handfuls of pellets for the BG but the majority do not seem interested. I thought perhaps the BG are feasting on the tadpoles, that have exploded in the pond, but the 'poles seem to have free reign of the pond without any concern for the BG.

Along with the explosion of tadpoles, the algae has also taken off. I had anticipated some algae and my first attempts at manual removal yielded satisfactory results but as the daytime temps have warmed, the battle was turning in favor of the green team. While thinking of ways to hasten its removal, I hit upon an idea that was sure to have all the neighbors talking about the nut at the end of the road. Mimicking the same technique used to corral oil slicks, I hit the local Wal-mart and purchased 4 lengths of "pool noodles". The ones I purchased were 4" in diameter, 5' in length and had a gear shape with fish hook shaped teeth (looking at them from the end). Each one also had a 3/4" center hole that ran the entire 5' length. On my first attempt at skimming the pond, I fed a piece of clothesline through each one, giving me a 20' length of algae "boom" and ran it across the pond. This didn't work too well given the fact that the noodles were designed to float. I needed to add some weight and came up with the perfect use for a 20' lenght of 3/4" electrical cable I had left over from when I built my house. After sliding this into the center hole of the noodles, my sister and I gave it another shot. Much to my surprise, it worked better than expected. We simply corraled all the green goo using this boom and pushed it out the pond outlet. Total time to clear the pond, after the intial engineering changes, was about 15 minutes.

I'm still chuckling over this and the pond looks much better. I almost can't wait till the next batch needs skimming.

Next two projects for this little puddle will be placing some riprap along one edge and building a small dam to raise the water level another foot.

#15647 05/08/06 08:20 PM
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Ingenious, Russ!


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#15648 05/08/06 08:51 PM
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Thanks Theo.

The next trick is to make it the lazy man's algae skimmer. To accomplish this, one end of the rope will be anchored to a stake near the pond outlet while the other end of the rope is attached to a radio controlled boat. This will allow me to circle the wagons and dump everything at the outlet.

#15649 05/08/06 08:58 PM
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Then you invite the local RC Yacht Club to hold a miniature regatta on your pond and charge them to clean up your FA for you! \:D


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#15650 05/14/06 06:06 AM
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Over the past week, I've laid up about 60' of riprap along one edge of the pond. Last night I took a late night stroll after work and was amazed to see the pond life in and about the rip rap. Couple dozen crayfish, ranging from 1.5" to 4.5" and hundreds of mayfly nymphs. With the numerous entrees maybe this explains why the BG are not hitting the feed.


Yesterday I awoke to a big surprise in this little puddle, a BEAVER! Can't imagine this furhead making a home here but my guest was still there when I got home from work last night.

#15651 06/14/06 02:36 PM
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We've had sufficient rains this spring to keep the water level full in this little puddle. The pond is totally clear of any FA and looks great. Back in April, the pond had a nice blue-green tint but after a heavy rainstorm the pond turned a tea-brown color and has remained that way. Still tossing pellets but it looks like the FH minnows are the only ones interested. The other day I noticed groups of fish 1/2" in length and suspect the FH's have spawned. Today there was a sediment cloud along one edge of the pond. BG are excavating nesting sites. Surface water temp today was 72 degrees. Still finding crayfish in the shallows during my night time recon missions.

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