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Some lakes with high populations of GSH do grow rather large sunfish. A prime example of this would be Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. The lake is full of GSH from fry to 10" pike candy. Yet, the lake produces hundreds of citation BG and PS every year including the state record BG at 3 lbs, 7 oz. The old 3 lb record was also caught out of Deep Creek Lake. I've personally caught over 2 dozen BG over a pound out of the lake.

There aren't any shad in the lake and I hope it stays that way. Another lake near my house is shad free is consistantly produces quality BG while many of the other similar lakes around it contain shad and have poor sunfish populations as far as quality sizes go.

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Once again, "It all depends". I'm just never sure on what the parameters are and whether they were all considered.

We once briefly touched on determination of forage load as relating to the predator/prey relationship. However, if we acknowledge that, at some point, virtually everything is a prey to something else, we find a slippery slope. I doubt that any predator does a taste test on anything else. I believe that it depends more on availability, accessability and ease of capture. If the caloric intake exceeds the energy expended, any predator will predate on anything else, whether it is on land or water.

So, we always have to go back to the Economists favorite term of ceterus parebus meaning all other things considered equal. No matter how badly you want to, you cannot draw absolute conclusions by studying a limited population. That's why we have to have control groups and test groups to do analysis and sampling. And that is only after formally defining the parameters of any analysis or test. Only by considering and studying populations over wide ranges can any credible conclusions be drawn.


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Thank you Guv. As usual you hit the nail on the head !

Walt you are not the first reader to draw that conclusion about the Nutt article. He is talking about only a Trophy Bass lake. That is not the impression many readers come away with however.

In fairness K. Nutt is an outstanding fisheries scientist and pond mgt is his business. He has seen and worked on 10 times as many ponds as all of the posters on this thread combined. I believe the purpose of the article was to remind us that GShad are a tool and as Walt said " I believe 100% that gizzard shad can help a pond owner who cares about nothing but trophy bass, grow larger bass than he could without the gizzard, and for that reason, I think they have a place in pond management." I would add with the right use of the tool (GShad) at the right time. I think K. Nutt's info on the SEP website in the second link above (bottom of pg 1 of link) clears that up.



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Interesting about Deep Creek Lake, CJ. I wonder if the pike offset the GSH by keeping the bluegill thinned to the point they grow well. I've seen the picture several times of that monstrous state record bluegill that came out of there...I read somewhere it was caught off a dock by a kid fishing with a bobber.

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Maybe I'm just naive, but it seems to me that a scientific study utilizing small ponds(1-3 acres) could be done to determine the effects of different forages on each other. There seems to be no arguement that TFS, GShad, & GSH usually have a positive effect on LMB growth, so the question here is how much if any negative effects do they have on BG. Can't this be determined over a say, 3 year period by stocking BG and LMB in one pond, BG, GSH, LMB in another, BG, TFS and LMB in another, BG, GShad, and LMB in another. The ponds would treated all the same, ie:no feeding, no fertilizing, just mimic what happens in nature. It looks like to me from reading these posts that this question hasn't been answered, but there are lots of different opinions..du


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david u studies on different forage species and combos (not exactly as you stated but close) were done by Swingle from 1930s to 50s http://www.sdafs.org/fmsafs/hoe/swingle.html. The ones the rest of us posted about are building on those older studies. The last one I posted is a survey of 60 such studies.

The difficult part is ponds and the food web are so dynamic that the results vary a lot from year to year and pond to pond. The results in the test ponds could be very different from one attempt to the next. Ponds a few hundred yards apart can react differently not to mention hundreds of miles apart. The food web is a very complex subject . For sure it is not just a simple food chain pyramid as shown most places.
















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I am now in my fifth year of pond management and starting to finally understand the term "It all depends" and the most famous "what are your goals". My original goal was to have trophy "everything" but now I am starting to realize how much adding one forage to increase bass size decreases bluegill size. How having catfish especially, too many, which is what most of us who have catfish have. Can detrimentally affect almost everything. Introducing anything new changes everthing. Is it good or bad It all depends on your goals and you may not even know for years.

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Deep Creek Lake is pretty cool. I am not sure why the sunfish get so big, it is deep and cold at a high elevation. Ice fishing is big there for both BG and YP. It has a two story fishery with rainbow and brown trout. Definitely in the top 10 favorite places to fish. It's just a bit long of a drive from my house to get their regularly with too many other good places closer.

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