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#17941 05/16/03 07:50 AM
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I am renovating a 4 acre pond located in Louisiana and considering stocking options with my primary objective to be bass with bluegill for both a forage sorce and harvesting. If threadfin shad is added as an additional forage will the bass still be able to control the bluegill population?

#17942 05/16/03 02:23 PM
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the bass will have no problem handling the shad and the bluegill. I manage several ponds with both and have no problems. what you can expect is a reduced bluegill population, if stocked at proper rates the bluegill will be healthy there will just be fewer BG in the pond.

It will help your effort greatly if you fertilize the pond. Its almost a requirement for the shad, without a green fertile pond you may have difficulty establishing a reproducing shad population

#17943 05/18/03 06:26 AM
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If I understand you correctly and I stock both bg and shad then I will end up with fewer bg, why is that? I thought I would end up with more bg b/c the bass would have more forage. I will be fertilizing the pond.

#17944 05/18/03 10:54 AM
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First, simply adding more species won't give you more forage. This has to do with trophic levels or the food chain. It starts with phytoplankton, that is algae. Then there is zooplankton, these are daphnia, copeopods and the little bugs in the water. Bluegill, shad, and minnows all feed on those things. Then your bass eat the Bgill, shad, and minnows. Adding diffrent forage can have its benifits but overall you won't get that much more forage by weight because you only have so much phytoplankton.

#17945 05/18/03 02:02 PM
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WHy would you end up with fewer bluegill??? Simply b/c shad fed mostly of zooplankton (that consume phytoplankton) Thus you will have reduction in aquatic insects that fed upon the zooplankton since there is less b/c of the shad. This means less forage for bluegill that eat large zoo and aqatic insects.

HOWEVER...with a supplemental feeding program you can offset this and still have plenty of bleugll along with the shad.

ALso...I disagree with last post...you can have more total pounds by adding shad than with just bluegill. Even more complex... adding shad take away from bluegill as described above but overall carrying capacity for bass is increased. Put fert. and feeding program in place, and now you have something.


Greg Grimes
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#17946 05/18/03 06:19 PM
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Some animals have diffrent enough diets so that the total of two species is greater than any one alone. But there is always some overlap. Also some animals convert food to body wieght better than others. You will get more pounds of chicken than of beef from 100 pounds of feed, so you can gain there too. I didn't say you couldn't increase total weight of forage, but there is a therotical max that any pond can produce. With the right mix of species, food, and fertilizer this can be achieved. More often than not adding more species doesn't increase your poundage as much as it cuts up your pie.

#17947 05/19/03 07:08 AM
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So if shad are added and I stay on top of the fertilization requirements everything should be ok. Everything taken into consideration; there is not really any benefit to adding shad because I plan to monitor fertilization requirements anyway and this in and of itself will increase forage by increasing the bg population.

#17948 05/19/03 09:30 AM
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Yes there is an advantage of adding shad. However, yes are correct by monitoring your fertilization program you full have up to three times more bluegill. If on a budget just fertilize, it helps alot in such a small pond. However to add even more forage (even though it takes away some on the bluegill side) stocking with shad that establish and thirve in a fertile envionment can take the bass to the next level.


Greg Grimes
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#17949 05/19/03 10:31 AM
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Greg,
I'm confused with your post, in your previous post your disagreed with me saying that fertilizing will correct the problem of having fewer bluegill with shad.

In todays post you say bluegill growth will be reduced by shad. Which is it?

I disagree with your advice for an amateur pond manager to fertilize and feed the pond at the same time. If they had enough experince to manage a pond in this manner they would not be asking questions on this board. your post leads the average reader to believe that feeding and fertilizing is no big deal. From what I have experienced you need a good grasp of pond management and a watchful eye to implement ferrtilizing and feeding. Things will go very well this time of year but can change for the worse during summer months, as I'm sure you have experienced.

I would not recommend fertilizing and feeding to anyone unless I am checking their pond at least monthly. Even then I dont pass if off like its no big deal.

#17950 05/19/03 11:38 AM
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I am feeding and fertilizing and can't get a bloom! Shan interesting post because most of the information on this subject which has posted recommends feeding and fertilizing, although less fertilizer is suggested.

#17951 05/19/03 11:58 AM
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Bill, I finished my 3rd application of the 10-52-4 soluble doing 2 week increments, last weekend. This morning I noticed what looked like a light green film that had developed overnight on about 1/3 of the surface area of the pond. I think this is part of the bloom that I have been attempting to get myself. I used about 8.3 lbs on my little 1.5 acre pond during each application. My alkalinity is low at 30ppm compared to others, but I've been told and read above 20ppm is good. My water PH is around 7.4 to 7.5.

I bought some tub of fertilizer from the local feed store that had a big pond boss recommended sticker on the side of it. You pull off the side stickers and place it in the water on a platform. Its supposed to be some time release type. I'm thinking that since it appears I've gotten a slight bloom, putting in this time release should keep everything pretty much in check now for the rest of the year.


John
#17952 05/19/03 01:45 PM
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Bill,

rain is killing me as well. thats why I'm sitting here on the computer and not out working. Most of the ponds I fertilized dont have good blooms right now. Berkeley is looking good but keep in mind its almost 100 acres and has water 65 feet deep at the dam. Lots of retention. only the ponds that dont have streams have a bloom right now for me.

you can use the feed to help suppliment your bluegill. you can even bump up the rate of food. as this rain lets up and your bloom established later in the summer (hopefully) you may notice the pond getting too green at that point you will need to cut back on the feed. I have delt with several guys who decided to feed and fertilize and most of them messed it up, results were fish kills and bluegreen algae blooms.

Plus, we have no idea how fertile that pond in La is, no idea what is in the surrounding water shed, no idea what the water qualtiy looks like or soil make up for that matter, no idea the history of the pond or surrounding area. All these things factor into how the pond can be managed and at what rate nutrinets (feed and fertilizer) can be added. Feeding and fertilizing can be done and if done right will produce nice fish. If done wrong it will result in big problems, like a pond full of dead fish or an algae that you cant get rid of that makes the pond stink like ammonia for 3 months of the year. I just wanted to point this out.

#17953 05/19/03 01:55 PM
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Shan, allways like other ideas. My pond is 3.5 acres in Putnam County. Feed about 50-55 pounds of Purina a week, if you were me would you fertilize?

#17954 05/19/03 03:38 PM
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I sure would. for the reason we just discussed. you cant control the rain, giving feed to your bluegill is critical to keeping them healthy right now. As the bloom becomes established the bluegill will have more natural food available. Bluegill get lots of food from the fertilizer. as long as you monitor the bloom (daily or at least weekly) and adjust your feeding and fertilizer rates when needed you will have great fishing.

I use fertilizer and feeding programs when the lake is stocked with hybrid bass. they can also be good when stocking threadfin shad. the bloom is great for establishing shad populations.

#17955 05/19/03 05:00 PM
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Man this is an active topic since this morning.
I have reread my post and I wish we had spell and grammer check. Anway here goes.

Ok, Shan I did not disagree with you, I was disagreeing with TyW33 and he responded back.
To clarify...fertilizing will help both bluegill and shad. Shan as you know, Shad will benefit more directly since they consume zooplankton, bluegill down the line from aquatic insects that fed on zoos. So as you suggested I say you need to fertilize if stocking shad, but also important for the bluegill. However feeeding is even more important since the Shad will eat a high percentage of zoos thus reducing aquatic insects (the natural food) in the pond.

Ok, on to the next subject. I try to help here and do not put disclaimers on my post about all the problems that can arise. Sorry, if I do that I wil not have time to help out. If I'm not any help to folks let me know and I will not make the effort although I enjoy giving out advice since there is so much bad information out there. YES FEEDING AND FERTILIZING CAN LEAD TO A FISH KILL! I think folks should educate themselves here and do some homework. If the visiblity is less than 18 inches do not fertilize if it gets lower then also stop feeding.

However the topic was if I stock shad will my bluegill popualiton decrease. The most direct way to promote both is fertilzing and feeding.

BTW Shan I too have had the worst year ever getting a good bloom, but at least the rain is letting me catch up on paperwork.


Greg Grimes
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#17956 05/19/03 11:57 PM
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The rain must have been my problem too. I was out on the pond this afternoon putting out that floating bucket of fertilizer, pretty neat setup there. Anyways I noticed alot more phytoplankton in the water, much more green-like particles within the water column. All of the light green film that I noticed this morning appeared to have been stirred up into the water column as the winds came. I always get wind, even on calm days.

Visibility is about 24" even with all the new little particles but its definitely decreasing. It seems each time I put out my 10-52-4 water soluble, I would get a big rain within a few days. Now the pond is totally full after a few rains this past week. I'm thinking the time-release tub floating out there should keep the bloom progressing, to the point where it needs to be.

On feeding I've only got a few coppernose that are showing up to feed. It seems there is plenty of other things for them to eat, but a few more seem to show up each day, but definitely no more than two dozen I'd say. I'm only putting out a handful and there is still some left after 30 minutes. However I've got so many dad-gum turtles that, nothing is ever left within 15 minutes of me leaving the feeding ring area \:\) Not much chance of my feed currently adding anything to the pond at the moment.


John
#17957 05/22/03 09:55 AM
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I too am pond building in south Louisiana. We are in a different world when it comes to pond management. I am in Cameron Parish in southwest LA and I think you are only slightly north of me across the state? If you are renovating, do you plan on starting from scratch? Remove everything from the pond before restocking or you will be feeding what is now in the pond. You will definitely see quicker bass growth with both bluegill and threadfin shad. You will have to feed your bluegill and fertilize. Fertilization where I am is the most difficult operation. Our pond weeds, mostly filamentous algae, never stop growing, and it gets a jump on you in the spring before you can get water warm enough to get a plankton bloom. My best advice has come from the local Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist. We had a problem after last years tremendous rainfall getting our ph, hardness and alkalinity right before our fertilizer would cause the plankton to bloom. My best advice is to get in touch with your local freshwater fisheries biologist, see if he has any experience in lake renovation and pick his brain! Good luck and be patient!

#17958 05/23/03 12:48 PM
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When I bought the property the pond had hybrid bream and bass (not a good combination) plus there was gar. We drained the pond dug out areas along the bank that were less than 3' deep and are waiting on rain to fill it back up. The previous owner had fertilized the pond occasionally and nevef had a problem getting a bloom. I will take it one step at a time and study up on fertilizing to be sure that I get it right when the time comes. You have my location right, I am near Hammond, La.


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