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I may be way off because i have no experience with this species, but would chain pickerel work instead of bass? don't get as big and may just help pick off the little guys? idk i may be way off.


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We've talked about the chain pickerel idea before. Personally, if I was picking an Esox species to control fish in my pond, particularly a smaller one, I'd pick chain pickerel over northern pike. In smaller ponds, most times when you stock pike you end up with 5 36" pike and not much else... Chain pickerel don't get that big and won't be quite the issue. As Bill Cody said, northern pike will suck up a lot of nice sized yellow perch and walleye...

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I'm seriously considering adding a small number of advanced size CP to my pond.


12 ac pond in NW Missouri. 28' max depth at full pool. Fish Present: LMB, BG, RES, YP, CC, WB, HSB, WE, BCP, WCP, GSH.
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You might check out grass pickerel instead of chain pickerel. They'll do better in the warmer more turbid ponds of Missouri and attain a maximum length of 14" and about a pound.

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Grass pickerel would be eaten out of a pond. I have never seen grass or redfin pickerel in a body of water containing anything but small sunfish. They just don't compete with other species well.

The challenge with stocking chain pickerel is finding a source... I believe other posters on here have tried to source them with little luck.

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I picked up 2000 fathead/rosey minnow mix and 500 shiners today.

The owner of the fishery suggested that I do a Crappie, YP & BG pond to start with, and don't go for any LMB. He said I can always add LMB at any point if I want, it's much harder to get rid of them.

I guess I agree with that.

If I go with the above, I'm wondering if I can add a few WE just for the sake of having a few.

There are so many LMB ponds up here, I really don't want one of those to start off with. I was advised, that a SMB pond is simply very difficult in my area, coupled with the fact the bottom of my ponds are silty clay/sand, no rocks or gravel at all. He said I'd actually have better luck with trout as opposed to SMB.

I have a year to think about this, so there is definitely time.

I could seriously get into a Crappie + YP pond as I love to eat both...

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Skip the crappie, or be ready to fyke net the heck out of your pond to catch as many of them as you can... Honestly, SMB are not as hard to work with as many make them out to be. Here are some threads on getting then to spawn in ponds:

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92626#Post92626

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthread...true#Post154666

You've got the RRFHM/FHM and GSH in your pond now. You're off to a good start! I am telling you, you'll regret the stocking of crappie in your pond... If you do stock crappie, just hope they don't spawn. I have had small ponds, under an acre that crappies just couldn't pull off a successful spawn in.

Stock:

Next spring 50 SMB and 50 yellow perch(YP).

Next fall, 10 to 20 walleye(WE).

The following spring stock 50 more SMB, and 300 pumpkinseed sunfish(PS).(I'd recommend redear sunfish, but you are too far north for them to survive)

I really think you'll be happy with that stocking. You can also consider adding BG to the mix, but I think PS will do better in your pond.

If you don't want to take any of my advice and not stock any bass and stock crappie, consider stocking more WE. Add at least 30 and no more than 50. They may help keep your crappie under control. Also, hold off on stocking the crappie for a year after you stock your WE. That way the WE have some size to them so that when your crappie first spawn, they'll be big enough to effectively feed on the crappie YOY...


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Don't I need rocky areas for the SMB to spawn in?

It's a bit late for me to try to add that structure to the pond, the banks are all finished, grass planted. Not sure I want to tear it all up again... Are we talking rip rap along entire banks here, or rock piles?

OK, NVM, found this: Nests

I'm definitely considering your advice. Problem is, I'm getting conflicting advice from many sources, so my head is spinning.

Last edited by ETD66SS; 07/17/09 07:42 PM.
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At least 75% of the structure in our ponds are put in after the pond is full. Not a problem. We do it from a boat or wade in and place the structure. Also can use an A frame ladder in deeper water. There are lots of methods. SMB beds are easy even in a full pond. Here are a couple links. The archive on SMB beds http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92626#Post92626
















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Ok, so I have a 1 acre pond with 50 SMB.

How many beds do I need to build?

2, 5, 10?

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Remember this, my advice to you gives me no loss or benefit... The guy selling you the fish gets a large benefit. Take a poll about crappies in a small pond, I think you quickly find they are a poor decision in most people's eyes. In the end it is your pond and you can manage it the way you see fit. After all, we are all our own Pond Boss.

I am currently working on a 0.4 acre pond. I too am stocking SMB. However, I have NO rocks in the pond at all. I like this, because I can control the SMB population. I expect zero natural reproduction. This is what I want, I can manage the numbers of SMB in the pond. Just like people do with hybrid striped bass or walleye... Every year I will stock 25 advanced fingerling SMB, it may cost a little more than natural reproduction, but in the end it gives me full control of the fish numbers. Exactly what I want.

If at some point down the road, you change your mind you can always add LMB or crappies. However, once you do you're stuck with them. Why not give the recommendation I am making a shot and see where it takes you, I honestly think you'll be very happy with it...

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Chain Pickerel -- Crappie pond anyone. \:D ;\)



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 Quote:
Every year I will stock 25 advanced fingerling SMB


Ok, I don't want to spend money every year. \:\)

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 Originally Posted By: adirondack pond
Chain Pickerel -- Crappie pond anyone. \:D ;\)


Now that is an interesting combination! Everyone complains that crappie are so bad because they spawn before the bass. Well, pickerel spawn before the crappie! HAHA Oh, to have 50 ponds to do nothing but experiment with...


 Originally Posted By: ETD66SS
 Quote:
Every year I will stock 25 advanced fingerling SMB


Ok, I don't want to spend money every year. \:\)


No need, you can also construction several of THESE Place one every 10 to 15 feet around the perimeter of your pond in 2 to 4 feet of water. The SMB will readily utilize them to spawn.

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CJ hurry up and buy your property so we can learn from your experiments, I'm sure your fiance won't mind waiting, maybe she'll get another job to help you pay for it.



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It would take one big chunk of land to build all the ponds I'd like to construct. On a policeman's salary, that aint happening... I'd be happy with one larger pond and two or three small ones. I may use a small one that is easily drained to "experiment" with. I do like that chain pickerel/crappie idea though... Who knows, 6 pound pickerel and 4 pound crappie? HAHA Very unlikely though...

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I have schools of baby fatheads all over the place in both ponds already. I didn't even get a chance to make them any spawning structure. I guess they don't need it...

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Apparantly, ETD, your fatheads didn't get the memo on spawning structure. \:D


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Ok,

I have decided to go with:

YP
SMB
PS
Walleye

I was advised I can just spread pea gravel on the western ends of both ponds about 3-4 ft deep for the SMB spawning.

I will probably have to put down a bed of #2 crusher run first, then pea gravel. As the bottom of my ponds is silty clay & sand. The pea gravel would just disappear if I spread it on that...

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 Originally Posted By: ETD66SS
I will probably have to put down a bed of #2 crusher run first, then pea gravel. As the bottom of my ponds is silty clay & sand. The pea gravel would just disappear if I spread it on that...


And probably a berm around it to make sure it doesn't just disperse into the rest of the pond where it's not needed...

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The ponds are already full, so I'll have to see what I can do...

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EDT

Late to this party, but sounds like a very cool project!

If you are concerned about your rock sinking into the sediment [a concern of mine, too] you could approach this a couple ways:

1. Consider using plastic or rubber tubs as spawning beds - fill them with gravel/rock mix, surround with larger boulders or cinderblocks. I have applied this method on my ponds.

2. Apply layer of landscaping fabric beneath the rock to reduce vegetation and also help prevent sinking into the muck. Bob Lusk [the Pond Boss] did this at his place.


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Yes, I do have some fabric left, I could definitely use that and get gravel over a wider area. I'd just have to tie something to the end of the fabric to use as a ledge. so the gravel doesn't tumble into the depths.

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Here's an article about spawning structure for SMB similar to what TJ was saying.
http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/smallmouth-spawning.html



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That's even better.

Would be cheaper to make than spreading gravel over a wide area.

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