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#19035 03/21/06 04:24 PM
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I've been digging through this site for a few days now. I've heard nothing but good things from the guys over on the TractorByNet forums, and that's how I first found this site. I've seen guys say things like, "BTW, we never get tired of it. We're junkies," so I guess it's open season, here goes...

I've got a pond in Southern Indiana (near Jasper) that I think is ready to be stocked. I had it dug last September. I think it'll be about a 1/2 acre when full and should be 14'-15' deep. It's got about 3' of height yet to fill, but I dont' think that'll take too long. There are 3 large stumps in the bottom along with some clay drainage tile I've put in the shallows for cover.

My goal is to have plenty of fish to catch and eat. I love to fish for whatever, bass, catfish, panfish, it doesn't matter. I'm not out for trophies of any kind, but I don't want a million 4 inch bluegills either.

I talked to a local fish supplier last night and he has the following available:

6"-8" CC
1"-2" BG
3"-4" BG
3"-4" HBG
3"-4" RES (Red-Ear Sunfish, right abbreviation?)
4"-6" LMB
Fathead minnows

I'd love to have a wide variety of fish to catch, but I'm thinking my area will only allow for the typical panfish, channel cats, and large mouths. I've seen guys talking about hybrid stripers, would that be an option for me? Are there any other fish out there that might work for me? I'd love to have crappie, but have seen what they can do to bigger ponds than mine, so I won't even try that.

I think that about covers it, what do you guys recommend for numbers, when to stock, other advice?

Thanks a bunch!

#19036 03/21/06 05:39 PM
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Mark, I can give you some good info on your new pond. At a half acre, you really won't be able to do much as far as stocking cold water species.
The good news is that you can still stock quite a variety of fish.
Ex. LMB, HSB, BG, HBG, REAR, CAT, MINN, SHIN, & Amur. The numbers vary depending upon what species you stock. We can discuss this!
Your pond is certainly too small to stock Crappie. Make sure you introduce a lot of structure into your pond ie: pallets, x-mas trees, cedar trees, and rock piles. You should have 4-6 clusters of structure. 85% of that should be in 4-6 ft. of water.
The spring and the fall are the best times of the year to stock fish. The reason being, there is little to no acclimation needed.
If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me.


"Don't believe everything you read on the internet!"
#19037 03/21/06 06:26 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BJ:
Mark, I can give you some good info on your new pond. At a half acre, you really won't be able to do much as far as stocking cold water species.
See any post by Cecil Baird. He's from Indiana, too. He may have some additional information on the cold water species potential of your pond. ;\) Cecil's situation is unique, but very fascinating.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#19038 03/21/06 06:30 PM
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This is Cecil (middle)



Generally speaking BJ is right. Just thought this might be an interesting addition to his post since you're from Indiana.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#19039 03/21/06 07:13 PM
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I had the opportunity to meet Cecil this week end at an aquaculture meeting and he had an incredible mounted trout with him as well as a huge perch. It was very impressive, if I didnt like BG and CC so much Id have to try the perch thing.

#19040 03/21/06 07:33 PM
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Yea Bruce, & aren't those trout from a 1/10 ac pond? Paraphrasing Cecil 'it's easier to grow trout in a small pond because you have more control over the water temp.'


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Ric
#19041 03/21/06 08:01 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Condello:
This is Cecil (middle)



I just can't stop laughing! \:D

Welcome, Shawn.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#19042 03/21/06 08:19 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Ric Swaim:
Yea Bruce, & aren't those trout from a 1/10 ac pond? Paraphrasing Cecil 'it's easier to grow trout in a small pond because you have more control over the water temp.'
Yep, its not the size of the boat but the motion of the errr... the size of the umm ... Yeah you need quality water with low temps and high disolved O2.

#19043 03/21/06 08:20 PM
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Oh No Shawn! we are doing that thing we do so well. Thread overboard! [Big Grin]

Back to your question. You asked specifically about HSB and other fish you could add for variety. Search for threads by Norm Kopecky. Acre for acre he has to have the most diverse lake on the forum.

Here is a post about put and take management with some info about HSB in smaller ponds. This is a great post.

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=000298;p=3

#19044 03/21/06 10:51 PM
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Shawn, LMB are double tough to control in a small pond. They can easily overpopulate and eat themselves out of house and home. Been there twice, done that, got the cap and a patch.

If you go for a 1/2 acre pond that you love to fish out of, consider about 250 bluegills, 50 redear and 200 channel cat. I'd go for one to 2 inch bluegills. The cats will get some but they'll also eat fatheads. Set up a feeder and be prepared to catch and eat catfish and bluegill. Toss in a couple of pounds of fatheads. When you catch enough of the cats, put some more in. You'll have a ball. Some hybrid bluegills are OK in a situation like this but they don't really get any bigger than regular bluegills. I don't see the benefit.

Or, if you really want to be a star, follow Cecils lead and ask for his thoughts on monster trout.

Remember the guy is selling fish. Read between the lines on that statement.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#19045 03/21/06 11:24 PM
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I like Dave's suggestion for natural ponds of less than 1 acre that are not managed like an aquaculture operation. The only suggestion would be to add as extras about 20 HSB and 50 adult BG (3-5in.) and no HBG.
















#19046 03/21/06 11:42 PM
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The bottom line, or commonality of these threads, is that if you do what excites you, and it's in a .5 acre pond, you can manage it through angling and harvest and have a ball.

Dave Davidson suggestion is really interesting. Remember you can always add fish later on, such as LMB if you deem necessary. If you took Dave's advice you could also tweak the system by harvesting slot size fish, such as all bluegill between 6-8.5 inches and possibly end up with some real trophies!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#19047 03/22/06 07:07 AM
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With Shawn's goal being plenty of fish to catch and eat, what size fish (panfish/cc/lmb) do you all consider to be edible size?

#19048 03/22/06 07:58 AM
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Thanks for the good ideas guys!

At this point I don't think a feeder is an option. I've got too much other stuff going on to try to add something else to my list of stuff to routinely check on and refill and maintain. I'm already feeding 4 dogs, the local rabbits, a newborn baby, and myself, way too often on that last one.

I've never heard of LMB becoming overpopulated and stunted. Seems like they would be easy to control by catching and eating them, or am I missing something. I really don't like the idea of only panfish and catfish. The bass seem like a hard thing to give up on.

#19049 03/22/06 09:33 AM
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So without an effecient predator, how do you keep the BG from stunting? Is this one of those regional North/South things? Here is a related link:

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=002119#000001

Ewests idea of HSB is interesting.

#19050 03/22/06 09:44 AM
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JayMan :

Also since you are up north you could use YP in addition to a few HSB as an additional predator on the BG if you don't have LMB.
















#19051 03/22/06 09:59 AM
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I guess I should add my two cents, if you are not a big catfish guy, then don't put them in. They will certainly compete with your other predators for food down the road. Which is one of the biggest problems I experience. Bass won't stunt if you harvest both bass and bluegills out of your pond. The whole idea behind stocking a pond is to harvest. Catch and release only works the first few years. You won't have to worry about your bluegills stunting, if you add HSB. They are an aggressive fish and fun to catch. Also, people stock HBG, because they will most definitely grow at a faster rate than your BG, reason being their aggressive nature. Now, in the long term, your largest sunfish will be the Redear sunfish, with your BG & HBG being about the same.
I hope this clears some things up!


"Don't believe everything you read on the internet!"
#19052 03/22/06 07:46 PM
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BJ, I'm not a Pro and I see that you are.

However, some of my experiences don't match yours. I find that an awful lot of small ponds (less than a couple of acres) become bass heavy due to them becoming hook shy. Try to fish more than once a month in a 1/2 to one acre pond and, if you catch one, one is all you'll catch. That's been a commonly discussed problem with members of this forum. The problem really gets attention from those who stock Floridas and F-1's. Catch and release also is a problem and I like your concept of harvest.

Have you seen studies on the agressiveness and quicker growth of HBG's? I've found some difference in them and BG's. If they are, it may be something in the green sunfish side or not spending as much energy in gonadal development. Gotta agree that they end up topping out at about the same size.

I like HSB's as long as there isn't a lot of shoreline structure for forage to hide in.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#19053 03/22/06 09:40 PM
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Standard HBG (BG x GSF ) are more aggressive but there is serious question if they grow faster for any significant time. But remember that a direct comparison of populations of BG and HBG is misleading as 90+ % of the HBG are male. A true comparison would be against a population of BG that were 90% male. In that event the size difference would be minimal.

There are studies on aggressiveness and HBG are more so than either parental species. This leads to the warning that they can easily be fished out of a pond.

The stunting of either BG or LMB is a question of balance (population dynamics) between the two and/or other species in the pond. If either species is significantly out of balance expect them to stunt over time unless the imbalance is removed or greatly reduced.
















#19054 03/23/06 11:45 PM
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Dave, I am definitely not a pro, not yet....
I have had a lot of experience with fish even as a young kid and now my actually occupation.
Anyways, it kills me to watch people stock a pond just because they think they need fish in it.
I am a firm believer in harvest the fish or don't stock. The bass problem is quite common, but is usually coupled with the fact that cats are present in the pond too. In a one acre pond one could harvest as many as 20#s of bass and 60-80 #s of BG. To me that is a lot of fish!
So I guess if you are north and experience a winter then you are better off understocking a pond but keeping the right ratios of fish. Down south, some of the different strains of bass might be more beneficial.
The HBG for the first 2 years will out grow the majority of your common BG even if they are males. The aggressive nature and very little reproduction contributes to this. The girth of the fish is the most noticeable! But for the most part the BG will catch up rather quickly.


"Don't believe everything you read on the internet!"
#19055 03/27/06 09:52 AM
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Yesterday I stocked 250 3-4" BG, 50 1-2" RES, and 2000 fatheads. I noticed a crop of tadpoles swimming around and plenty of bugs and whatnot swimming around. I also added several pallets and some clay drain tile.

I decided to hold off on stocking the LMB and CC until after the current fish have had a chance to spawn. My fish supplier has 4-6" LMB right now for $.90. In June/July he has 1-3" for $.60 and in Aug/Sept. 2-4" LMB for $.75. I was considering waiting for late July to hopefully get some of the bigger of the $.60 LMB to stock. His CC are 6-8", should I hold off until late fall to stock those so they don't eat up the LMB?

Or am I way off base on everything?

#19056 03/27/06 11:23 AM
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I don't think 6"-8" CC will be doing much fish eating. That's way below the minimum size when they are considered predatious and their mouths wouldn't be big enough to swallow much more than a Fathead.

You stocking plan sounds good to me. Given your druthers from your suppliers' availability, what number and size of LMB and CC would you put in?


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#19057 03/27/06 12:05 PM
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Shawn - Be sure that you really need or want CC before you stock them. If you don't plan on eating them on a regular basis consider leaving them out of the pond. They do not "clean the bottom" and if you feed your fish they can become a nusiance or novelity depending on how you preceive them. There has been lots of discussion here about pros and cons of CC in smaller ponds. Fish are real easty to put into a pond but they can be very difficult to get all or most of them out if you decide you do not want them.


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#19058 03/27/06 12:21 PM
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I haven't really thought about numbers of LMB or CC to put in yet. Sounds like I could go ahead and put the CC in without worrying about them eating up my BG or small RES?

I do plan on eating the CC. I enjoy fishing for them, and my dad really enjoys fishing for them. My wife and her family (live close by) are devout Catholics and will eat all the catfish I put in front of them during Lent. With the pond being right out my front door, it'll be real easy to catch and clean the fish. Well, to clean them anyway... My wife enjoys fishing as well, but only with a bobber. In fact, her dad has a pond, and they never knew there were bass in there, they only ever fished for catfish to eat. They looked at my like I was tearing up dollar bills the first time I caught a bass and threw it back.

What are the downsides of catfish? Muddying up the water? Or eating the forage fish that the bass would otherwise eat?

#19059 03/27/06 02:34 PM
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6"-8" CC should not be a problem to your initial BG/RES stockers.

I'd say the biggest downside to CC is the size they can attain and the resulting amount of fish biomass in your pond they can take up. Stocked in extremely high numbers, they can muddy the water looking for food. In the lower number range I will be talking about this shouldn't be a problem.

IIRC you are not planning on feeding the fish. Given this, most of the 6"-8" CC you stock should be able to reach 1.5 lbs (not a bad eating size; I consider 1.5 to 4 lbs to be the best size range for filleting) within 2-3 years. Non-feeding CC owners, if they chime in, would have a better estimate on the time frame than I do.

I strongly suggest you stock no more CC than you plan to catch and eat during this 2-3 year period (If this number is more than 200/acre, I would not advise exceeding that limit in a mixed species pond). That way you'll have most of the CC out before their size can become a problem. I suspect a small number of CC will remain to grow to a larger size; I do not personally have a problem with a few huge CC as they can provide an occasional eye-opener when fishing for something smaller.


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