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OMG...I can't believe it. I'm starting a thread on one of the fish-related PB forums! This is kinda creepy...like gettin' behind the wheel for the first time. I'm a little nervous, stepping over the boundary that protected me in the "Pond Construction" forum household. I'll just pretend that you're all naked....here goes.
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Sunil, Burger, and a host of my support advocates have been nudging me sharply to get some FH into the water we have started to accumulate. I would, but I want to make sure I do the right thing by putting in ONLY FH's. So, where do I go to get the real McCoy, and how does the phish neophyte verify product integrity? Or...is it crazy to do this at this time of year in the midwest? The water is pretty darn "chocolate milky" from the clay and T-S run-off during the substantial rains. Is this an issue?

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What do you want out of your pond. Its all about the goals . FH are usually incorporated into most plans.

Bill (or others from your area) may know of a good hatchery. I would go and get them and bring them back in bags ,that way you get to meet the hatchery folks and see the operation. Starting from scratch 10 lbs. should be enough. You should not be talking about many $ here as they are cheap. Don't sweat the genetics of FH as long as they are this years crop and come from a good source. Get a bag of small (fingerling) floating food. That will compensate for any shortage of natural food. They will push the pellets around while eating them and they are fun to watch.

Check out these links :


Baitfish

http://aquanic.org/beginer/baitfish/baitfish.htm


SRAC 120 Common Farm-Raised Baitfish
http://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm?catid=2
















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ewest's comments are right on. In my locale, 10lbs of fatheads would cost me between $75 & $100 gold smoulions.

A lesser effort or cost method would be the option to go to a local bait shop and buy a few dozen fatheads, HOWEVER, you would need to know what type of minnow you're getting and be able to identify the minnows. They could end up being some type of local minnow which could be good or bad.


While you would not get any spawning this year, you would be primed to rock come spring '07.

Please keep the pictures coming as she fills up.


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You ought to know better than to be influenced by those kind of people. Acquaintances of low character and questionable virtue can lead you to ruin. The best and maybe only reason to stock anything at this point is your impatience and a desire to see something in the water. Boy, I can relate to that. Even without the negative influences that you are burdened with, I bought fish when I had 18 inches of water. I'm surprised that you've waited this long. You will have to feed. The water isn't fertile enough at this point. But, I would certainly do it. The personal upside is much greater than the downside. BTW, Fatheads USUALLY run about 350 to 400 per pound.

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I'll comment more later, but be VERY CAREFUL at this stage. It's a good time to introduce undesirables.


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 Quote:
You ought to know better than to be influenced by those kind of people. Acquaintances of low character and questionable virtue can lead you to ruin.
Are you talking about Sunil and Burger? \:D


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Brettski, what are you contemplating for your start-up forage base? Just FHM? If you have not considered GSH and/or Gambusia, think about them.

Bruce is right (as usual), this is one time when you want to be absolutely certain of what you're putting in. IMHO it's worth paying a lot more for forage stock from a good hatchery than taking a chance on bait store or bargain basement "minnows".


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Yep, and it's the host of support advocates that really worry me. Not all that sure about Burger but Sunil just might talk Brettski into partaking of spiritous libations.


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
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PF2 wrote: "Are you talking about Sunil and Burger?"

Come on now! He's talking about Burgermeister.

At any rate, I'm not leading the Brettsker down the path of the mystery fish. For instance, my everyday bait store (not my fish guy) gets quality stock of golden shiners as well as fatheads. I did say for Brettski to be certain of what he's getting.

Also, I'm not sure that any fatheads or golden shiners will spawn this year, and if Brettski doesn't get much more water this winter, his water will most likely freeze solid (I would think).

So I'm not looking at this as theee forage stocking. If dude's pond ends up at 5.5 acres, I'm sure he'll unleash our collective vicarious-living stocking themes on the new water.

I'm just looking at it as a celebratory gig, with or without libations.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Good point . I assumed Ski would get more water before freeze over. Recall that he has that deep hole plus he has had a lot of rain. I would gamble a few gold smoulions on some FH now. But we don't know his goals so that has to come first.

While I like gams. I would not stock them at the same time as the first stocking of FH. Gams. are predatory and may reduce FH reproduction as well as attack the adults.
















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Brett: I was pretty impressed with the Anderson Minnow farm from which I ordered rosy red fathead minnows. No non-fatheads, well packaged, cheaper than another source, and few of the non rosy red variation. You can probably tell from that that I looked them over pretty closely before any went in the water... Jeff


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Where's a gavel when ya need one? I used to feel kinda sorry for the seemingly endless abuse that Theo endures. I'm on the edge of adding Sunil to that list. Just remember, they have been immortalized in clay, rubber, and PVC within the subject pond.
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Yep, and it's the host of support advocates that really worry me. Not all that sure about Burger but Sunil just might talk Brettski into partaking of spiritous libations.
Don't sweat the temptation, Dave. I'm galvanized in my arid lifestyle. 16 some odd years, dry as a bone. That being said, tho, I am a man that remembers his roots. Sunil will see the light. He will someday realize that life is more than twelver's of Bud light and frolic with the dolphins. Someday he will wake up with a Jimmy Buffet parrot hat on. It will be this kind of jolt that sets the course.
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OK, now that the court room has settled, the truth is I don't know what I want from this puddle. That's why I'm here (did I just say that out loud?). Here is what I do know. I am creating a potential diamond. I have the raw hunk of carbon between my fingers. I will have one good chance to hone the facets. I am going into this as a non-fisher with the desire to be a fair-weather fisher. I will not be a full timer there for many years. I need a product that is relatively low maintenance. There is no electricity, and I don't anticipate juice for a couple of years. It is low and sheltered by tall timber; wind is fairly restricted, but not non-existant by any means. I have about 6 feet of water over about an acre, then another 3 acres with 3 ft or less. We continue to get good precip thru the midwest. It is realistic to think that I might pick up another 1 or 2 feet before the snow flies. I imagine a prolonged, hard freeze will penetrate about 12"? (tune-up by midwesterners, please). I keep going back to the classic BG, LMB, CC mix. Donna-ski and I are not really not fish-eaters, but we do enjoy fried catfish and perch...the "low fishiness", bland-ish fish meats. She and I both fished alot when we were kids. I would like to see this come back, full circle at mid-life.

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I have about 6 feet of water over about an acre, then another 3 acres with 3 ft or less.
Wow that is a lot of water. I agree with Sunil. Throw you some verified FH minnows from a good source in that pond.


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Do you like YP ? With low maintenance as a goal I would think about skipping BG and LMB. They require maintenance more than most.

SMB ,HSB, CC, YP , HBG , RES and FH might work for low maintenance and variety.
















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Good thinking, Eric. Maybe simplify a little more with FHM for starters; SMB, RES, and GSH as long term breeding populations, and HBG and HSB for put and take (with the HSB for dial-a-predator tweaking as needed). You think RES would be a little more assured of safe Winters in Brettski's 5+ acres as opposed to smaller ponds?

Brettski, ODNR says Ohio ponds need 8 feet of water going into Winter for the fish to make it in the absolute worst case scenario (I think that's 2 feet of ice, maybe happens every 100 years). The last 5 Winters, since I've had the pond, max ice depth was probably 6" - definitely less than a foot. You've got to be no farther North than Ohio, right? So if you have 6 or 7 feet of water in the deep holes going into ice-over, I think it's a pretty fair bet FHM would be OK (you'll have virtually no organic sediment load and low plant volume to consume O2 under the ice). I don't think I'd add anything else before next Spring. FHM should be a safe starter forage for virtually any stocking/management scheme one can come up with.


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I think the fact that B-ski's in Illinois makes me want to hear Bill Cody's impression. He knows a lot about how much maintenance is required in yellow perch ponds. I love the YP and RES options (I'm doing it myself), but I'm aware of the possibility that some of these ponds can end up with stunted YP's.

If fatheads are introduced, they must be sorted very carefully. Don't want anything with whiskers in there...especially brown things.


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Brettski, you've got a he** of a lot more water than I thought. I thought you still had about what you're latest posted pics had shown.

Like the Guvnor, I can't help but throw some kind of fish in a puddle, just like I can't not damn up a creek (when I was a kid anyway).

Even allowing flexibility in what your overall predator stocking will be, I'd load many, many pounds of fatheads in now. 10 lbs. at least like ewest said. I, also might wait on golden shiners as Theos says; I would want my predators to at least be able to eat a 3-4" long fish before I stocked 3-5" long golden shiners. I wouldn't want the golden shiners to get too much of a head start.

This is awesome, Brettski. How can you even sleep??

You're also in a great area for that SMB, HSB, etc. etc. gig. I also feel that with your ponds size, you can have some nice diversity if carefully plannned out.
Get some pictures up, Man!


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I will admit that waaay back when, as the pond idea was hatching in my little brain, YP was the plan. This thought, tho, was based solely on the fact that we both enjoy the taste and it was the predominant catch as kids. Kinda funny, lake perch is one of the top priced fish dishes in restaurants around here. As I read more about YP on these forums, it starts to come off as potentially problematic for the low-maint. pond.
I'm sittin' here, laughin' right now. I'm (presumably) a grown adult, yet you guys get me all cranked up when you start pilin' on with the collective PB enthusiasm. I start off calm and focused, and in about 6 posts, I start losin' control. This is exactly what you did to me when the dozer blade first hit the soil. Al Pacino says it best in Scarface; "lookatchoonow". My simple little plan for a puddle in the woods has reacted feverishly to the high doses of PB radiation. Please don't suggest Dolphins and Porpoises.
So, it's this pumping that I blame for subliminal stretching of the truth. I must re-consider the reality of the amount of water, tho I don't believe I was too far off. The area in front of the dam is wide and flat at 14' deep, normal pool. It is about an acre, then begins to rise into the bottom-sculpted areas thru the balance of the pond. The drain pipe filter case is 7 feet tall from the bottom of this 1 ac. plain. About 1 foot of it is still exposed. I think my estimate of the rest of the pond basin was wishful. It it probably more like 1 - 2 ac of 3' or less. The two monster holes (20' deep), are full, but the water highway that attaches them to the drain basin at the other end of the pondsite is thin and shallow right now.
This is from the building site, looking toward the dam at the far end. The little bit of grass at our feet delineates the top toe of the pad and where it breaks to slope.

The "hump" at left-center of frame is directly between the 2 monster holes. The water surrounding Sunil's mound (the closer group of tires/PVC trees) is no more than 2 - 3 feet deep.
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...a quick glance back in time. Donna-ski lends perspective, standing between the 2 monster holes before you guys talked me into dozing a ditch between/behind them and rolling the waste up to create a hump between them. Yes, she did move pre-dig.


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Thanks for posting the current pool pics.

I believe one nice thing about Yellow Perch is that they can be a viable part of the forage plan for both LMB and SMB. They do eat fatheads, however, so someone should comment on when to stock them if you decide to use them.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Considering you started out thinking YP, Brettski, I'd strongly consider considering them. There's plenty of experience here with them, between Bill Cody and Eric in NY and some others, to get the info you need on running YP with appropriate topline predator and sub-forage.

I've got zero experience with them (other than knowing they taste great), but my inexpert opinion from reading the YP threads here is they probably aren't any worse to manage than BG/LMB. Maybe they're easier?


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Your pond looks great!! I wish I had the space to go for such a nice project!!!

I can tell you that I am about 4 yrs into my FH-YP-SMB project and things are great in my pond. I started and gave a season in between each of the groups. I started in the fall with FH's pong looked very similar in nature to yours with the murkey colors...etc Then mid next summer the 2-4 inch YP went in. Then next summer the 2-4 inch SMB went in.

Even after all of that the FH's still have a nice population ( I still see schools of millions of minnows ) and the YP over the 2 years in are now in the 9-13 inch range and very fat. The SMB over the year have moved up to about 8-11 inch range and also looking very healthy.

I like the combination of YP FH and SMB. With the frogs, bugs and crawfish that are also in the pond the fish seem to be doing quite well. I havent had to really do any real work to the pond or real feedings ( I only add some pellets for the fun of seeing the fish come up to eat, and then its only the FH's )

Theo, I don't have the experience in raising other mixes like some folks do, but I personally think this mix is great and so easy to do. I have yet to have a floater in the mix I have. All of the fish are still there and very active and hit like a ton of bricks when I run the line through the water. I have some hard fighting SMB and some good tugging YP. Last year the YP started their spawn and as such I am now beginning to see a self sustaining population of them. I am hoping next year or year after SMB will do the same.

One thing I did and made a boo boo on was putting in the crawfish without enough rocks and cover for them to hide under. Because of that the past 2 years I have been plugging big holes ( man can those buggers dig!!! ) This year I re-tooled the pond and added about a 6 ft wide by 3 ft deep shelf on all of the outside edged of the pond. Thank god I talked to some folks here about my crawfish problem and they told me to add lots of rocks to the shelf. Once I did that I have not seen a problem with the crawfish digging holes in the pond walls.

All that being said I would make sure I had crawfish in the pond prior to the YP and SMB. They both love them and they make it such that I don't have to add forage for them. I would also make sure I had snails in there for the YP, but they seem to find their own way in, at least they did in mine.

Thus I enjoy the maint free pond with the right mix of fish in MHO.

P.S. I get my FH minnows at a local fishing bait shop. They charge me about $9/lb and there are about 200-350 per pound. You get all sizes but that is good too. I also added in some Rosey reds from the same place $11/lb. They already seem to be gone ( easier to see and thus eat )

I have never had a problem from the local shop getting anything other than FH minnows.

I did however have an issue when I picked up the YP, I found 2 Walleye fry in the mix. They are in the pond and doing well. About 14-16 inches but not breading.


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1/10 - 1/4 acre pond plus 16 ft deep/ Plus 40 ft by 20 ft by 6 ft deep koi and fathead minnow pond next to it. Upstate NY

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I've got this 12 second video feature on my cheesy 2 megapixel camera, so I opened another photobucket account to dedicate to videos. Cheesy quality likely lends too much credit. I will load a few of 'em in as things progress. I hope this link works...lemme know, would ya?
Liberty videos

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Those videos work great. They start on video 3 and you can click on previous for 1 and 2. Your pond is really looking good. I am excited for you. When that thing is full of water and it clears, it will be beautiful.


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Not a lot of plot, but great scenery! I give them 3 1/2 stars (out of 4)


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Theo and Ebert give it "Two thumbs up".


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