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I haven't found any hatcheries that sell chain pickerel cause I was also thinking about stocking them. Does anyone know of a place?

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I don't know of any places that sell chain pickerel. You'd have to catch them from the wild and transplant them into your pond if you wanted chain pickerel.

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Ok, so when exactly do I stock the fish this "spring"?

To update, the ponds are now both connected together, so there will not be two separate ponds.

1.3 acres total area, 12 ft deep, average depth I'd say would be 8 ft deep.

There are 1000's of Fatheads, not seeing many shiners...

This spring I stock:

50 SMB
50 Perch

Then wait until fall to stock the Walleye (20)

Correct?

Do I need to increase those numbers since the ponds are now connected via a culvert?

Last edited by ETD66SS; 04/12/10 05:32 AM.
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It was just recommended to me to stock 100 SMB & 600 perch in my 1.3 acres.

Does that sound about right?

Is 600 too many perch?

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ETD66SS, 600 perch does sound like too much but someone should be along to give you good info, if nobody answers your question YELL LOUDER.



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What size are the perch?

What size are the SMB?

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EDT

Wow, what a chronicle this thread has been - neat watching it evolve. \:\)

You're at a special juncture in your pond project, and it's important to get these initial stocking numbers right.

IMO, 600 YP is FAR too many. YP serve as a predator in your pond, not unlike SMB or WE, and recommending that qty should be reserved for your panfish.

I stocked 400 YP in my four acre pond, and even that was heavy, but my pond management plan involved harvesting YP liberally through the ice, putting the qty into perspective.

My advice to you at this juncture is to add your PS if you haven't, and 600-800 sounds like a feasible qty. 50 - 75 SMB and 75-100 YP would be my recommendation.

Travis is right, stocking sizes are important - what sizes are available to you? Also important to remember is that your pond will be unique in that it lacks a predator with a gape capable of readily preying on your PS - like LMB. With that in mind, it's been discussed throughout the forum that PS may overpopulate and stunt as a result. Dave Willis has witnessed this happening, while Adirondack Pond doesn't have any issues with his PS population. Unfortunately this subject, the PS role in the pond, is still murky. I can't speak from experience with PS, but I know this is the case with BG who lack the presence of LMB. With that in mind you may need to consider an aggressive pond management strategy that entails periodically culling your PS, trapping, seining, etc. in order to keep populations manageable, and your PS growing. Keeping shoreline vegetation to a minimum and steep banks [2:1] also help keep YOY PS vulnerable and may help in your effort to curb their population.

I'd wait for some experts to chime in RE stocking numbers...there isn't an EXACT science to the qty - but I can say IMO 600 YP is far too many for your 1.3 acre pond.


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I guess I can get them in many different sizes:

Smith Creek Fish Farm

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So did you ever get your pond stocked?

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Not yet (was on vacation last week, fishing trip :)).

I'm supposed to pick up 200 YP and 10 Grass Carp this week. Have not heard back from the hatchery yet.

The Perch will be 1-2" and the Grass Carp 12".

I still don't know what size the 50 SMB will be, but I have been advised to wait until Aug to stock them.

I'm concerned about the PS I planned to add next spring. If the SMB are not the proper predator for them due to gape, is there another fish species I should be looking at besides PS?


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I think pumpkinseeds will be fine. I would also stock them later than the SMB, then the SMB will be able to control the PS. How many do you plan to stock? I would think of them as a bonus fish. I really hope this works as I'm going to stock the same fish in my pond. Let us know how it does, and pictures please!

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I would definitely give the SMB a substantial head start on the PS. I would want the SMB to be in the 6"-8" range if stocking 3"-4" PS.

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The SMB will be stocked this AUG, the PS not until next spring.

I still don't have an answer from the fish farm how big the SMB will be when I get them, but surely big enough to feed on the FHM or even the 1-2" YP I'll be putting in this month. I hope...

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Since the Smith Creek Farm probably does not raise their own SMB (http://www.smithcreekfishfarm.com/) they probably buy them from another farm. Sometimes SMB are in short supply for fall fish sales. BE prepared for that. SMB in Aug-Sep are normally 2"-3" long - often 2"-2.5". Consider yourself very lucky if they are 3.5"-5" and were raised in uncrowded conditions with lots of food.

YP are prey and predators, and more so predators when they are 6"-8" long; eating numerous fish 1"-2" long (if available). For stocking numbers - 150-250/ac is an okay number if you do not buy pellet trained YP and do not plan to feed them. Fingerling YP stocked this month could possibly spawn in April 2011 if some of them get plenty of food and grow well. Although the larger spawn will occur in 2012. You may want to wait until the SMB have spawned the first time before adding PS. By then you should know what your FHM and YP population numbers are like and if you need an additional forage species. Then you will also know if you have a snail population that you may want to have PS help control their numbers. YP will also eat quite a few of the softer shelled, common, spiral shaped, pond snails.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/07/10 03:40 PM.

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I added 12 grass cap, 6 to each pond on Thurs Jul 22nd. This morning Jul 25th I found one of them dead.

I did a surface water DO test, and it is still 8ppm. I guess I need to make a contraption to get water from the bottom, to see what it is down there.

I'm hoping this is an isolated incident, and no more of them die...

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Ok, now a total of 3 grass carp died.

Dead Carp

Now I'm starting to get angry.

What went wrong?

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OK, so...

My stocking did not go to plan.

Last spring I added 50 perch, and 50 PS, and no predators yet. I was going to do them in the fall. I was advised by the fish farm to let the perch spawn one cycle before I put any SMB in.

So this spring, I added 13 Walleye, and planned to add 50 SMB as well. The fish farm did not have any SMB, and is not going to get any.

I took a minnow trap with me to the ponds this weekend, to see if the YP & PS spawned. Did they ever. I can put the trap in for 1-2 minutes and get 50-60 baby YP & PS, the PS far outnumber the YP, maybe 4:1.

If I cannot locate any SMB this fall, do I just go with LMB? I really wanted to try the SMB fist. I set up spawning beds for them with pea gravel and everything frown

I'm going on a fishing trip next week, and I could bring back a few 15" or larger SMB, however, it is illegal for me to transport them frown So, I either have to break the law, or find someone who can get me some SMB. Is it too late already? With the 1000's of PS I have now?

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I have heard that Hickling's fish farm in NY has smallmouth. http://www.hicklingsfishfarm.com/

If you were to introduce some wild-caught smallies try to get the smallest you can. A 15" smallmouth will really put a hurting on your yellow perch and pumpkinseed. If you catch a few 5-7" they would be much better.


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I would also call Solitude Lake Management and see if they can get you some smallmouth. They are helping me source Red Eared Sunfish and next year will help me with yellow perch and smallmouth. http://www.solitudelakemanagement.com/


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Did you check with Hickling's Fish Farm in NY? don't hesitate to drive a distance to get SMB. It is really more important than your current fishing trip. Can you save a few smaller SMB instead of the 15" ones? Illegal is illegal regardless of the size. Chances of getting caught are slim. Make a trip to get stocker SMB a mini-vacation. Hicklings usually have SMB. Don't give up on your original plan yet. There are options. I would not use LMB until you see the density get out of control beyond trapping or seining, then add two or three sizes of LMB - 2-3", 4-6", 6-8" or some 8-10" all in 2014 or 2015. Others may disagree which is okay. Lets have opinions.
http://www.hicklingsfishfarm.com/pricelist.htm

Until the LMB are needed try to add more WE. Consider adding 60-100 6"-10" in 1.3 ac. This is overstocking but you need it with lots of YOY. WE are scarse to locate in spring. They will start eating small YP and PS. When the WE get 12"-14" thin every one you catch. When the WE are 10"-12" you can still add SMB and not loose lots to predation.

In the mean time do a lot of manual traping and removal of YOY fish. With a concerted effort and several (5-8) traps you should be able to make a big decrease in the YOY fish by at least 600 or 1500+. You won't take out too many. Continue trapping into spring until and after you add some WE or SMB. Maybe consider buying a large minnow seine 50'-100' X 4' 1/4" mesh, and then resell it later.
Contact the link for seines and custom built 100ft seines with extra weights / floats. Tell Kelly I sent you.
http://www.douglasnets.com/product.php?productid=56&cat=6&bestseller=Y

If you find some SMB this spring add more than planned and thin their numbers later by angling when they are 6"-10". Or continue manually thinning small fish with your planned SMB stocking until a balance is achieved.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/18/12 11:51 AM.

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Quote:
In the mean time do a lot of manual traping and removal of YOY fish


Should I just remove PS, and leave the perch alone?

Quote:
Can you save a few smaller SMB instead of the 15" ones?


I could certainly catch a dozen or so SMB in the 8"-10" range, my trip is up near the 1000 islands, but I do not want to get caught doing that. 15" is the size limit where I'm going, and the NYS fishing handbook says it is illegal to transport bass. If Hicklings does have SMB, I can stop and get some on my way home, it would be a little bit of a detour, but not too bad.

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A detour would be well worth your efforts. Any size smallies they can provide would be good. If they don't have any put in an order with them for some in fall. Drive to get them. You can haul lot of smaller bass boxed in boxes, bags and oxygen.

It would be very difficult to haul SMB this time of year especally larger ones. Even experts have trouble this time of year. IMO you are better off not trying moving them from the 1000Islands.

I think you don't have to settle for LMB. Work hard to get the SMB first. YOu can always add LMB later if you are not satisfied with them.

I would remove YP:PS at the same ratio that you are catching them. AS trapping-seining progresses you will see a size variation in YP that you are catching. Any that you return should be the larger ones that you catch. Keep records of sizes and numbers removed. Maybe even build your own trap or two. See info here about guys that have built fish traps. You will need a larger trap with larger throat as the fish get larger. Every serious pond manager should have fish traps for sampling and monitoring their fishery. I will look for links.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=279223
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=227171
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=21826&fpart=1
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=212663
https://plus.google.com/photos/101370842...193597142086353

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/18/12 12:15 PM.

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I have been unable to catch any perch angling, and it's also quite difficult to catch any PS angling, but not impossible.

The only fish I can regularily catch are golden shiners.

So right now, all the YOY PS and YP are 1"-1.5" long. But I'll keep track of everything.

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Let us know what Hickling says about smallies. Even some of their 1" YOY would be okay to start with until more are available in fall. Many of us want to know how the PS-SMB combination works out in your pond. The combination is often suggested but results are not well proven.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/18/12 12:20 PM.

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As I recall, you're NE of Buffalo? Try the hatcheries listed here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/52348.html
I think Regions 9 & 8 would be closest to you. They might not list SMB but may still be able to source some for you. Also, Fingerlakes Aquaculture is about half the distance Hicklings is and does carry SMB according to their site. It isn't a detour you'd want to tack onto a trip to the 1000 islands though.

Just trying to put out some more options for ya.


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