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#15702 11/03/06 06:00 PM
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My danged computer still belongs to the "Geek Squad". They refuse to return it. Three weeks now. \:\(

When it's back I can download my bluegill pictures so Cecil can start itching to come visit me!!!!! ;\)

I sold most of them to be stocked into two brand new ponds. I think these fish will thrive. There is tons of forage and there will be feeders as well. I kept the best ones in a tank and am holding them over until spring for stocking in a growout pond. So my precious age-1 CSBG are now spread throughout four ponds, including 15 or so that went into the horizontal aeration pond to live in luxury. The best age-0's are a little better than 5 inches and the best age-1's are 8 inches, with one 9 inch freak that's sitting in a tank in my Morton building right now. He's still kinda mad though and won't eat.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#15703 11/03/06 06:01 PM
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1100 (females) out of 2400 total? That's about his expected culling ratio.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#15704 11/06/06 12:58 PM
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This pond never ceases to amaze and confuse me. Last week the water was charcoal black with a visibility of around 26" inches. Today its clear enough to count the leaves on the plants 7 feet below the surface.

Surface temps 48 degres.


Update 11-09-06: 2 inches of rain fell on our area last night. This morning the pond has the black color to it again and the visibility has dropped to 4'.

#15705 11/06/06 01:22 PM
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Russ often that is part of the pond turnover (de-stratification)effect. Top layer of cold water which develops or is deposited on the surface kills off blooming plankton ( which does not have to be green) and they both sink/drift down over a couple days. Result clear cold water.
















#15706 11/06/06 02:58 PM
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Eric,

Thats interesting. I would of thought by aerating since spring, the pond would not have been stratified. Aerators have been shutdown for three weeks now.

#15707 11/06/06 05:51 PM
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Russ the pond probably was not stratified but was at a near common temp say 55 degrees 3 weeks ago. Since then cold surface water formed killed the plankton and all of it being heaver than 55 degree water sunk. Leaving you with clear cold (guessing low 40 degree) surface water.
















#15708 11/09/06 10:59 PM
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Bruce,

Do you have access to PM's? I sent you one regarding coming down this spring to pick up some bluegills. Bill Cody said he's ride down with me. Now that I realize it's not 22 hours one way it sounds more palatable! Just did a road trip of 30 hours round trip so I think I can handle 22 hours round trip!

Just need to know when is the best time for you in the spring. I would prefer when water temps are optimum for handling to prevent fungus but it's up to you. I'm flexible and I believe Bill is too.


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






#15709 11/09/06 11:16 PM
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Just sent you a PM. I'm fired up about the possibility!

The best time to get fish would be in April or May I would think.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#15710 04/04/07 08:25 AM
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Surface water temp, 40 degrees.
Secchi disk reading is about 6'.
The stone dam has survived the winter ice.
FA starting to show up.
Tossed a few pellets, no activity.
Ducks, geese and rats are back. Culled three rats so far, expect more.

#15711 06/17/07 07:04 AM
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Update 6-17-07:

Pond is looking good, very little FA.
Secchi disk readings are dropping. A month ago I was reading 3.5-4', yesterday the readings were down to 2.5 feet. Water is a dark tea brown.

Noticed one pair of BG nesting. Last week there was a mass of young swimming near shore but not sure if they were FH minnows or BG. BG do not appear interested in pellets but the shiners sure do like them. Caught three BG on grubs the other day. All looked healthy, measuring 7.5".

Added another half dozen bass (6-7") from the big pond. I'm seeing some BG from last years spawn, about 2" in size. Sitting by the pond in the later afternoon, you see numerous ripples in the water near shore. Bass chowing down. My dad caught two bass the other day. Both 11" and looking quite healthy. Walking the shore at night with a flashlight, I'm still seeing crayfish.

With summer approaching, I'm going to add another 2-3" to the dam height once the water level drops a bit. Still have outflow in the pond but its slowing down.

The burreed is growing, expanding its range and healthy looking. The ducks and geese have left and so far, no sign of anymore rats.

#15712 06/17/07 09:50 AM
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Might I add a well deserved "Way to go Russ"!! Very well done and reported. Much thanks for the efforts and reports. \:\) \:D

I assume you are checking on alkalinity - the tea colored part sounds acidic if it were down here. IIRC yours is good so probably not a concern. Has the pond been green (bloom) this year. The brown could be zooplankton.
















#15713 06/17/07 12:06 PM
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Russ,

Sounds good! Were the bass smallmouth or largemouth?


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






#15714 06/17/07 12:22 PM
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hi russ,
sounds like yer BG are getting to good sizes there.

do you wonder why they dont want pellets?

post a pic.


GSF are people too!

#15715 06/17/07 08:44 PM
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Eric,
I have not checked the alkalinity since the water analysis I had done last fall, which showed a reading of 114 mg/l. The pond was drained and enlarged in the summer of '05. In the spring of '06 the water had a nice blue/green tint. Since then the water has either been tea brown, (which usually lasts all summer) or "black" (in the fall). My hope was to replicate that blue/green appearance this spring so that I could have another water analysis done for reference but no luck.

Cecil,
I'm taking LMB from my other pond and putting them in the BG pond.

Dave,
I'm not sure why they are not interested in the pellets. The day I caught the BG, I had fished with worms for about 20 minutes with no bites. After switching to grubs, I pulled one out on the first cast. Finicky diners I guess.

#15716 06/17/07 08:59 PM
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In my opinion, if you give a bluegill virtually unlimited forage, that most will ignore pellets. I have over 500 BG in my big pond, and they have tons of invertebrates, and I'll bet fewer than 50 of them regularly eat pellets. And this from fish that have seen pellets their whole lives.

In contrast, HSB with unlimited forage will have a preference for artificial feed maybe 5:1. I'll rarely find any HSB that hasn't been chowing on the Aquamax.

Cecil and Bill and others could comment with more experience, but it seems like my yellow perch prefer natural (live) prey items over pellets when both are highly available.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#15717 06/17/07 09:41 PM
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Well actually as far as the perch, from my experience it can go both ways. Case in point: In the spring of 06' I moved 70 large female perch to a 1/10th acre pond with the intention of intensely feeding them pellets for faster growth, as I was not seeing evidence that they were feeding on pellets in the main pond they came from. And they probably weren't, as the bass in the original pond are intimidating at feeding time, and there were lots of bass fry and fingerlings to chow down on along with numerous snails.

Well it turned out they fed on pellets for a while after I moved them to this 1/10 acre pond, but seemed to lose interest by early summer. There were a few small bluegills that had swam up the overflow pipe into this pond, and of course snails and invertebrates -- so apparently they perfered them over the pellets. Temps were optimum and never got obove 75 F., as this pond was fed with overflow from the trout pond. At one point I thought maybe I had lost them all, but seeing only one carcass seemed to contradict that.

Anyway, that fall I drained the pond and they were all there except for one or two. Looked healthy and well fed. Who would have thought there was enough natural feed in a 1/10th acre pond for 70 large perch.

Well this spring I moved about 50 perch of both sexes (mostly big females up to 15 inches) into another 1/10th acre pond, and thinking I had learned from the last experience planted about 16 lbs. of fatheads too keep them health and feeding. (This was a holding pond as they were destined for Bass Pro Shops once VHS testing came back negative). Guess what? They seemed more interested in the pellets this time! Go figure! Only thing different this time was there were some pellet feeding largemouths in the pond (initially I was going to produce my own bass) and maybe they relearned to feed on the pellets from the bass and were not intimidated?


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






#15718 06/18/07 07:18 PM
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Fry swimming in UPark NY on June 10 were very probably fatheads - too early for BG fry to be swimming in NY. I haven't got the fish going off and on feed completely figured out yet. There is consistancy and an explanation to it but I am not real sure what it is yet. I am sure the amount of natural food present plays a big role in this topic.


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Short update:

Did a little fishing this past weekend and the pond has reached one milestone. A couple of BG that were caught passed the 8" mark (8 1/4"). Todate I still have only a handfull of BG taking pellets.
In addition to the BG, we landed 6 bass with all 6 approaching the 13" mark and in good health. Question for the experts. With fall in sight, should I start removing 13" bass or can I leave them till next year?

Russ #96280 09/06/07 05:23 PM
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Congratulations on the great BG growth rates. You should be pretty fired up, eh? \:\)

Question for you. Why would you remove the 13" bass? Aren't these your best and brightest? I think if you want big BG, these quickest growing early LMB are the fish that are doing the best job at eating small BG's. That should be ideal.

Unless I'm just missing something.


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Russ what is the size structure for your BG and LMB populations ? Adjust what you take out upon those numbers and your goal. For example if you want large BG then leave in the LMB needed to crop down the BG in the 2 to 4in size (6 to 12in LMB). If you want large LMB then leave in the fastest growing LMB and remove the smaller LMB (6 to 9in).
















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Bruce,

Yes, I am excited. An 8+" BG was one of my goals for this year. On the issue of culling 13+" LMB, I made a post back on 11/3/06 (in this same thread) that takes up this subject. Why cull them. Simple. I don't want them to chow down on my bigger BG.

Eric,

The initial goal was big BG in this little puddle. The 13" bass are residents that I believe transfered in on the intermittent stream that supplies this pond. Earlier this year, with advice from PB members, I started adding 6" lmb from my other pond. The 6" lmb were added to help cull the young BG (1-2").

Thanks for the replies!

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Russ,
Consider this. Assuming your goal is larger BG, and your pond is relatively small (less than 1/2ac), I would not remove LMB until they are above 14" or maybe even larger than 15". You do want a fair amount of predation on BG 4" and maybe a few 5" just to keep the BG numbers in check. This would be especially true since very few or your BG are eating pellets. Non-pellet eaters are taxing the food reserves of the small pond and food can become limiting for excessive numbers of 4"-6" BG and their growth could be slowed. One way to combat this problem in a small pond like yours is to cage some of those 4"-6" BG in spring and train them to eat pellets and relese them in early fall. Refer back to my 3 articles on Caged Fish in PBoss Mag - Mar to Aug 2007. This will allow for more large BG biomass in a food limited pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/06/07 09:00 PM.

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Bill,

More food for thought.

Thank you sir.

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Russ, If you raise a few BG (15-25) in a cage each year I am sure you will see after a few years a significant increase in pellet eating BG and a good number of trophy class BG in your small pond.


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Bill,

I know this question has been discussed in the past but I still wonder. Because this pond is supplied by an intermittent stream, I question how many fish may have escaped during periods of high water. Early on I tried a hardware cloth fish gate (1/4" mesh was all I had available) at the outlet but quickly realized its drawbacks. You warned me (10/26/05 post) about small mesh gates and how fast they would plug up, especially in the fall.

Perhaps feeding from another spot may yield better results as far as attracting fish.



Last edited by Russ; 07/17/08 05:08 PM.
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