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#17753 08/20/02 08:16 PM
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Has anybody ever used goldfish as a forage fish in there pond? Disadvantages/advantages


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#17754 08/20/02 09:45 PM
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Hi C.W.
My son put feeder goldfish (about 200 of them ) in our pond last weekend. Our pond is new - only a year old this month. We have about 100 or so bluegills which have spawned - one large koi - numerous painted turtles - frogs - and 5 largemouth bass ( 2 of them are about 4" and the others about 6". There are alot of creek chubs in the pond too, which also have spawned. I didnt want the bass in the pond as I did not have an established food chain, but my son just couldn't wait to see those bass in the backyard pond. Anyway, he did put the feeder goldfish in, and in a matter of seconds - the bass were churning the water up after them. The next day I found about 30 of them in the shallows hiding in the water irises. We also put in about 200 minnows or shiners. I havent seen any of them. I think the bass the bass were very hungry. We plan to put in more minnows, and perhaps more goldfish as we can see them easier ie how many are left. I hope next year we can put in some flat head minnows and get our food chain establisehd. We live in northern Ohio. Hope this message helps. Kay


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#17755 08/21/02 08:05 AM
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Hi Kay if your bass are that starved I would find a local bait store and get several pounds of tuffies or fathead minnows to carry them over. I buy them locally for 15.00 a pound from a gas station that sells bait. Some might even make it until the spring spawn. Bob

#17756 08/21/02 12:33 PM
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In my opinion, there are a lot better forage fish out there than goldfish. Goldfish are close relatives of carp, and have some of the same habits...like muddying up the water. I also read a study that carp grow too quickly to make them a good forage species for bass. I would stay away from them and go with sunfish, golden shiners, tadpoles, and crayfish.

#17757 08/21/02 02:04 PM
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In a previous post somewhere Cecil Baird cautioned me that goldfish carry a lot of diseases. Because of that, aquaculture types don't use them for forage.

#17758 08/21/02 02:13 PM
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Hi Bob,
The reason we didnt put the flatheads in the pons is because - we couldn't find any sold locally here in Northern Oh. So we have been relying on the creek chubs,which there are alot of. But, perhaps they swim too fast for the bass? We are just new ponders and trying to make our ecosytem survive. We put 2 buckets of shiners in last week. Do you think if we put a bucket full of the above every other week or so that will be enough for the bass to eat? Do shiners spawn - like the flat heads and the creek chubs? What about the blue gills ( they aren't hybirds ) we caught them in a local pond they are about4 to 5" some larger and have spawned many times this spring and summer - although I don't see many finglerings around. They must have become part of the food chain. I don't want the bass to go hungry over the winter and perhaps perish. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for your input.
Kay


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#17759 08/21/02 03:53 PM
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Haven't tried shiners as mostly here in Dixie we get tuffies and mosquito fish which also are great for the pond got a bunch out of our local creek when it almost dried up last summer just had to dip net them out of the pools and the pond is loaded with them plus haven't seen one mosquito larvae in the pond this year, so maybe one of the Northern types can answer about shiners but given the right conditions I think all will reproduce. Bob

#17760 08/21/02 05:39 PM
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In my experience shiners will spawn, alot... they do like some moving water as that seems to be their natural habitat, even a garden hose into the water brings them all into a big horde. Right now I have probably 3 seperate spawn groups of them in my pond, just from what they have done in the past 4 months. So I guess the simple answer is yes, they do spawn and spawn frequently producing hordes of tiny fry. They seem to grow from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in about 10 days or so.


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#17761 08/22/02 06:50 AM
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Do the shiners swim fast enough to keep from getting eaten quickly? I don't add fatheads because they are so slow and make just a quick snack for my fish. I want something that will have a survival rate long enough to spawn.


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#17762 08/22/02 08:43 AM
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Yes, shiners are faster movers than fatheads (not flatheads as said in previous post --flatheads are a type of catfish), but they still need some cover as in weeds etc. to hide.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#17763 08/22/02 11:28 AM
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I put 10 dozen shiners in the pond here in Maine in early June. The pond is now swarming with shiner fry with a least two distinct sizes. They are eating the Auqa Max feed very well. So to the question “Will shiners spawn?” Oh Yesssssssss.

The sunfish spawned once and the fry seem to be growing well although they are not taking feed. They are about 1 inches and prefer to swim around in these small attack school getting after the smaller shiner fry and tadpoles. Very interesting. I have yellow perch in as well but have no idea if they spawned (I'm guessing not due to timing of their introduction to the pond) and haven't seen them since I put them in the pond.

I have grown concerned that one of more of the eight sunfish might have been a greenie instead of the red-breasted sunfish and pumpkinseeds I thought I put in the pond. The pumpkinseeds (5) seem to school together and spend more time in deeper waters. The guy I think is a greenie cruises the bank and is most definitely interested in the fry. He swims along the bank and makes abrupt 90 degrees turn into the bank and weeds were the fry are hiding.

Any comments on this behavior?

Thanks

#17764 08/22/02 11:47 AM
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I don't know much about green sunfish, but it sounds like he is doing exactly what you think he is... eating the shiners. Might just be smart enough to 'herd' them into an easy spot to catch or into the open.

I love shiners, did I mention that? What I have in particular is Bridle Shiners, Bridle Shiner Noticed another fresh 'spawn' of the little critters last night, and the half dozen I put into a drainage ditch on my property just to eat some of the mosquito larvae have turned into thousands of 1-2 inchers... shame the water is drying up faster then I can scoop them out. As far as being quick enough/smart enough to avoid easy predation... seems they get better with age/size... the real small ones are easy pickings and don't flee from anything but the larger ones seem to.... and they would be the breeders.

On another note about sunfish... I can't purchase them here so I have been catching them from a local waterway... what I am catching seems to be either a cross between a bluegill and a pumpkinseed or a redear and a pumpkinseed... is this common? (Just because they look just like a pumpkinseed except lacking the blue 'striping' and some have a red tab on the gill flap.


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#17765 08/22/02 01:40 PM
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I have read somewhere that the red-ear and pumpkinseed are closely related and similar feeding patterns. Can you post a picture, I'm sure some of the other guys can make the call on your fish.

#17766 08/22/02 03:57 PM
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OK no gold fish, but lots of shinners. Now are there different kinds? what type specificaly do I need?


C.W.Barber
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#17767 08/22/02 09:23 PM
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FYI: SHINERS & GOLDFISH -

Firstly, Shiners -Another small word and very complex topic. Very few living things are simple in nature. Nothing in the pond system is simple. Shiners spawn in your pond? It all depends on which one you have. Ohio lists 24 species of shiner, Missouri list 33 species, Kentucky lists 32 species and North America has around 107 species of shiner. I think you get the picture.

Goldfish -
Don't give up on goldfish as forage just yet. My local fish hatchery guy (now private) who used to work for at the state hatchery says that to grow big bass you should stock goldfish as the main forage. The main negative as to goldfish as forage as I see it is, you have a panfish that is not a very good panfish. I think everyone will vote to eat bgill vs goldfish (too damn boney).
Why not stock a forage fish that is fun to catch & good eating and also does a good job growing big bass; thus the bgill. Cecil is also correct, out of the pet shop, goldfish almost always have all types of parasites & diseases esp ich. In fact it pretty hard to find a perfectly goldfish in a petshop. Just what you need in your favorite fish pond more problems with fish health. Usually at least 50% of the offspring from goldfish are drab colored which will favor their escape and more & more reproduction of drab offspring. Bass are selecting the brightrest ones first. Goldfish get too big for bass to eat (brood stock is always present) AND swim realitively slow which makes them an easy target for bass to catch/eat.

I think we need another opinion about goldfish from the big bass grower & guru Bob Lusk -The Pond Boss and author of Raising Trophy Bass. We'll see if we can coax an answer from him via Mark McD. Mark usu reads these posts daily; can you relay an answer for us Mark?


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America's Journal of Pond Management
#17768 10/15/02 07:03 PM
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Delayed answer.....oops.
I never use goldfish in a bass/bluegill pond. While diversity of forage is an excellent idea trying to raise large bass, goldfish aren't a good choice. In a hatchery, where we try to maintain broodfish, or increase sizes of bass in a totally controlled environment, goldfish are excellent. They are cheap, hearty, easy to get. That converts to meat for a bass. But, in a "wild" environment, where we want to grow a balance of fish, goldfish don't fit the mold. Shad? Maybe so, maybe no. Golden shiners? Same story. Goldfish grow too large, and reproduce too readily....and their babies are never gold in the beginning. Eventually, if bass don't eradicate them, you wind up with a population of one to two pound fish that needs attention.


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He can teach to catch fish...
#17769 01/02/03 12:58 PM
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On the topic of goldfish...

In the spring of this year I released about a dozen of them.. none over 3 inches long in order to assist in control of Chara. (I did a few tests in some aquariums and found that they gobbled it up like mad).
Today I pulled out a minnow trap I put in yesterday to get a sampling of my forage situation... and much to my surprise I pulled out 1- 5" chub, 1 3" shiner.... and about 50 2-3" Drab Goldfish!!! .. and one gold ... goldfish. I didn't think the dozen would have survived predation let alone had a successful spawn... but it would appear they did. And if the growth rates mean anything either my bass and other predators will have a ton to eat and get big fast... or the potentially thousands of goldfish will overpopulate.. time will tell.

Guess I better see if my local pet store needs any fish. : )


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#17770 01/02/03 01:43 PM
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I have used goldfish for forage with success. However, one was able to survive a season and is now about 8 lbs! Quite a sight to see a bright orange and white goldfish that size. I have caught it twice and I have to say that it fought better than the Bass in the pond and so I have not killed it. The first time I caught it it struck a gold Phoebe! It has gotten pretty wise however and I have not been able to hook it in over 6 months using a variety of baits. On balance I wish it were not there and will have to deal with it sooner or later.


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