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#17719 05/03/02 09:27 AM
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I posted this note on the Clear Lake Topic and was sure someone would comment. Any thoughts now that its a new topic?

By the way, my name is Gordon. The local Mainers call me a Flatlander as I am from Mississippi. Also, I posted on the old board about my intention to do some pond construction on the old home place in the McComb area of Mississippi.

I am posting for my buddy Bill because a TV remote and cordless phone are the highest level of technology he's interested in. He did serf the site after I posted the first post, but as a two finger typist he won't respond, so I'm helping him out.

Bill say's the stunted bream means "they're not keepers." I suggested he get his cricket box and get on the beds and see if he can catch any larger bream. He also agrees with he idea and not taking any bream. I will send him a link to show him the difference between bream, shell crakers, and other sunfish. I think adding Coppernose would be good also. How much is an adult Coppernose going for these days? The clear water and lack of a bloom suggest the bream will always have it hard.

All the native bass are not stunted, just skinny. Bill has caught fish across all lengths. He has also caught several 8 & 9 pound fish, but he thinks they were skinny also. My suggestions are:

a. Take out all Spotted Bass, period.
b. Take out all Native Bass between 8-12 in. The idea being to reduce competition for the larger bass and let the big fish ring the dinner bell on the runts bass. Release all others. What do you guy's think about a slot such as I've suggested?
c. Try to buy 5 female Florida Strain Bass big enough to not get caught in the slot, or look in smaller Florida's and tag for release. Maybe get some better genes in to pool.

The clear water (6-7ft) suggests a lack of food for the Bream. The water flow and size of lake is such that liming and fertilizing may not be practical even if finances were not an issue. The family could shell out the cash without blinking an eye, if there was an interest in big fish.

He has agreed to take out all crappie and catfish (and to actively pursue each). He will also get the game keeper to do this as well.

#17720 05/03/02 03:27 PM
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Gordon, I'm not a pro but it sounds like a good plan. However, I have to question not fertilizing. I know nothing about lime prices or liming. However, liquid fertilizer is cheap. If the alkilinity level is above 20 ppm, I'd do it. I get my fertilizer from big feed stores. They are used to selling hundreds of gallons to farmers in the spring time. I go in there with a 5 gallon gas can (new) and they either give it to me or charge me a buck or so a gallon. There is usually 4 or 5 gallons in the hose. It probably wouldn't hurt to buy a 50 pound bag of Purina or whatever fish food they sell.

Dave

#17721 05/06/02 10:34 AM
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Dave,

There are several reasons Bill doesn't think he can lime and fertilize. First and foremost, its the in-laws lake and they built it 60 years ago to water ski. They love the clear water. Second, at ninety acres the cost would be high given its not his property. Third, the water flow through the lake is pretty significant.

He is lucky enough to get to fish it with friends. I suspect he/they can't keep up with the amount of fish that need to be harvested. But he wants to try.

Thant is why I'm suggesting the slot for him. I was hoping the Bob Lusk or others might comment.

Thanks for your interest and suggestions.

#17722 05/09/02 12:12 PM
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Florida strain bass do not surpass Northern strain largemouths in locations as far north as Maine, which is where you are if I read correctly. Since you cannot fertilize you have a set limit on the amount of protein available to distribute among a number of fish, which you can vary, i.e. there are only so many pounds of fish your pond will support. Removal of 8-12 inch bass is the way this is often done. You can tell how you are doing by measuring wt vs length. Ten inch bass should weigh 10 oz, 12 inch bass=12 oz. If less then some stunting is occuring. The book available from Pond Boss on growing trophy bass goes into this in more detail.


Layton Runkle
#17723 05/19/02 09:37 PM
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Flatlander,
Your friend Bill needs more data. A slot limit is an excellent idea, but is only one tool available. Identify the sunfish. Make sure they are bluegill. If not, let's talk.
Florida bass won't survive ice covered ponds.
Dynamics of a fish population dictate the course of action to take. Too many bass in a system? Lengths compared to weight prove it. If 30-40% of size class of bass are at least 20% underweight most of the year, that size class needs to be thinned. Slot limit.
If sunfish are stunted, it may be overcrowded bass, it may be a sunfish problem. Identifying sunfish will help make a decision.
Always remember these principles...a balanced bass/bluegill fishery has different size ranges of both species of fish. In other words, balance means bass 4 inches, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16,...etc. Same with bluegill. If you have bluegill from 2 to 10 inches, with varying sizes of bass, things are clicking.
The next principle...you are trying to manage a predator/prey relationship. Fish eating fish. Bluegill are the backbone of the foodchain for bass.
Third, harvest is a huge tool, especially in older or larger lakes. Cull bass, slot limit. Cull smaller fish. Remember this...a 20 inch bass can eat a bass nearly 12 inches long. Big bass have big eating habits. And, to that end, remember this. This next nugget is big. And, I didn't learn it from Fisheries management 101. From experience, I learned...a four pound bass won't grow in a skillet. With that in mind, every eight pound bass on the earth weighed four. My point? Preserve the largest fish, catch and release all large bass. They are crucial to the success of a bass/bluegill fishery.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
#17724 05/20/02 09:02 PM
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AMEN Bob! Every pondowner with bass in their pond and all pond fisherman should be REQUIRED to memorize your above post to Flatlander; Excellant Information!
You're Our Hero and Mentor.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

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