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Great report on the fishery. I agree with esshup. Too many SMB predators are likely limiting the YP recruitment. It is a common occurrence. Also the angling method could have biased the catch toward more SMB. More weed habitat or fewer SMB will likely help produce more YP. The big YP appeared to be old males.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/24/15 03:37 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Too many SMB predators are likely limiting the YP recruitment. It is a common occurrence.

Agreed, and no mystery. You predicted this would likely occur way back when I stocked, particularly since you knew it would be unmanaged. You also noted that human-passive management of the SMB might be mitigated by adding the next top predator; Walleye. Every year I see numerous SMB fry and fingerlings, so annual recruitment is happening like clockwork. I also see YP egg strands every early spring. I cannot vouch for much of the RES activity, though I always see 5" -6" sunning over the sun-warmed concrete boat launch most of the year.
So, Dr Perca, your crystal ball was and is accurate. Do you want to take the WE step in the near future?

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WE taste good !!!

Harvest of SMB will help. So would stocking a few adult YP.
















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The walleye will prey heavily on the YP since they frequent the same habitat. WE and YP go together like peanut butter and jelly. Do not depend on the WE to eat very many small bass. You will do more good for the current fish community balance to actively remove SMB. You are visually getting perch eggs & spawns, but too many smallies are hurting the recruitment. Larger perch may also be eating a few small perch. If you want some WE, I would first get the YP population back to the very common or abundant status then add a few WE. Keep in mind that each SMB can easily eat 225-260 forage fish per year which in your case is probably mostly small 2"-4" perch.

I wouldn't stock any adult perch until you first remove a significant number of SMB maybe 8-15/ac.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/02/15 06:13 PM.

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Looks like it's time to finally start fishing in earnest!

Now that the house is done, you can focus on SMB dinners.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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** UPDATE SEPT 2016 **
Still totally unmanaged and rarely fished. We had what is becoming an annual gathering of close friends, 3 or 4 of which are avid fisher-folk. All the fishing was from the dock or the bank. Here are the findings.
The SMB appear very healthy. We pulled out numerous 16" - 18", all pretty chunky. The YP were less active, but we snagged one that came in just over 14" long. It was OK in girth, but nowhere near the size of the SMB. About 4 more YP that were closer to 10" - 11". During cleaning, large crayfish were found in one SMB and in the 14" YP. This is the first evidence I have seen of the cray population since seeding some 8 years ago (or so...I forget exactly how long).
The weeds in the pond have been getting progressively worse every year. Our water clarity is very good and we still get run-off from fertilized farm fields. The weeds and a somewhat lesser amount of FA are a concern; mostly the weeds. I will follow up with pics in the vegetation forum.

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Great update report about your fishery. Thanks for checking in. Nice dark color of the fish indicate clear water conditions. Some weeds are beneficial and the provide habitat for fish and invertebrates. Since you don't feed the fish pellets nor implement a regular fish thinning harvest the fish will show signs of lower relative weights and somewhat thin bodies. More calculated managed fish harvests will result in chunkier bodies fish due to fewer fish to eating the natural foods produced by the pond.


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Great job Bret !! Good condition on the SMB and the YP are nice. What about the forage fish ?

For everyone else this thread has a ton of good info on fish choices and methods.
















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Thank you, Dr Bill. I can't thank you enough for your oversight and guidance in getting to this point.
You too, Ewest!
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I still see a lot of minnow sized forage massing in the shallows. I am unsure if it is FH, YP YOY, or shiners. I will have to throw the minnow trap in for a couple of hours with a bread ball to see what's going on.

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This is awesome, well done Bski! When I first joined the forum you were still digging your slice of paradise. What a great journey!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Yours is one of the threads I read all the way through when I first found PBF about three or so years ago. I've enjoyed your journey Brettsik.

Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.


John

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