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#206786 03/05/10 05:06 PM
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Hi, would their be any benifits for me to stock any kind of freshwater shrimp in my pond to feed my perch, bluegill, walleye and HSB? If so which ones and where could I get these any info is appreciated I live in North east Indiana...

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Grass shrimp have been discussed extensively and you'll get a solid response pretty soon I'm sure. Here's some reading till then. ;\)

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If after reading that thread and the linked threads on it you still have questions feel free to ask.

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If you decide to stock shrimp, be sure to try them for bait. My BG, BC, and LMB love them. I believe they bite the shrimp more reliably than worms, grubs, minnows, and feed pellets.

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Ok so I am in North east Indiana, I read all the past posts from the links provided , so if I understand this correct, Grass shrimp would not do well in my pond because we have cold winters ? They are warm climate creatures??

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There are two different species of grass shrimp which are completely freshwater inhabitants. The eastern grass shrimp which is a warm water species being found along the Gulf Coast mostly. The other species is the Mississippi grass shrimp which we sometimes refer to as PK shrimp as the PK stands for their scientific name.

The Mississippi grass shrimp is native to much of the Mississippi drainages from the Gulf Coast up to the Great Lakes. They are cold water tolerant. TJ and I sourced our grass shrimp from a breeder in Nebraska where ponds freeze solid in excess of a month. So, if you get shrimp from that source, they should be genetically adapted to cold winter conditions.

With grass shrimp, habitat considerations in a pond would be some shallow areas with vegetation, woody structure and/or rocky crevices for them to forage in and take cover from predation. They also seem to prefer more alkaline waters as opposed to acidic waters as most shelled invertebrates do.

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I am in central Indiana and all this talk about shrimp makes we hungry. Seriously, I have three shallow ponds/wetlands that maintain between 1 to 4+ feet of water perminately (depending on the pond. I have a few questions: 1) What species of shrimp occur naturally in central Indiana? 2) Would these species survive in the shallow ponds/wetlands that I have? 3) Would they likely disrupt the existing invertibrate populations in these wetlands? I am especially interested in survival in the shallow one (which typically has at least 2+ foot of water in winter, but evaporates to as little as 1 foot in the summer) because it drains into a deeper 1 acre CC/LMB/BG/RES pond. 4) How big do these shrimp get? So many questions...

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1)There are two species of shrimp native to Indiana. The Ohio shrimp, Macrobranchium ohione and the Mississippi grass shrimp, Palaemonetes kadiakensis.

2) The Mississippi grass shrimp probably needs a fairly deep refuge where water temps remain in the 37-38 degree range. In very shallow ponds, the bottom temps may get lower than this causing high numbers to die. This is partial speculation on my part based on things I have read about this species. I would think to ensure decent survival rates, you'd want a water body with a depth that would also support fish life in the winter.

3) I doubt they would have much affect on other invertebrate populations. Other invertebrates could be crayfish, larval insects, zooplankton, etc... Mississippi grass shrimp feed mostly on dead plant and animal material and graze on small invertebrates that grow on the surface of living plants, submerged dead woody cover and rocks. I don't think they would compete with food sources with your BG or RES but rather be a food source for them along with smaller CC and LMB.

4) The Ohio shrimp actually reaches a fairly large size, plenty big enough to eat at about 4". However, due to water manipulation such as dams and channelization they have become very rare except in the lower Mississippi where their trip back to the ocean is much shorter. They must migrate back to the ocean to spawn and these manipulations have made that migration very difficult.

The Mississippi grass shrimp on the other hand do not require migrations to the ocean to reproduce. They are able to reproduce in freshwater. Females reach a maximum size of about 1.5" and males about 0.75".

I think as the word gets out and the value of grass shrimp as forage, particularly for those trying to grow quality panfish, the stocking of them will be more common. Ideally they should be stocked when you would stock your FHM. But unlike FHM, I believe they can be stocked after a fish population has been established and a reasonable expectation of them taking hold can be expected if the right conditions exist.

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Thanks a lot CGBS! I will see if I can find a souce of Mississippi grass shrimp for one of the deeper shallow ponds. Both of the deeper ones flooded and have maintained sunfish populations up till now from the local stream. It will be interesting to see if they make it through all the ice cover we had this winter. I threw in 5 LMB last summer in an attempt to keep the sunfish under control, but I am not hopeful that they will survive. One of these shallow ponds get choaked with weeds and supports lots of invertibrates. It even has a healthy bladderwort population. These were intended to be fish free, but nature had another idea. It would be cool to have shrimp in there. Thanks again!

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TJ and I got our Mississippi grass shrimp from a grower in Nebraska. Fattig Fish Took a good bit of researching to find a place that had this particular species, raised them in outdoor ponds in a more northern climate so we knew they'd be cold hardy. TJ will probably put together another group order this spring. When he does, take advantage of it as the bulk ordering lowers the price on them a good bit. I ordered 200 and stocked them last spring. I will check the two ponds I stocked them in this spring to see what kind of survival rates I have experienced. I believe TJ was finding good numbers in his ponds after he stocked them this past fall...

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Where would I look for native populations (what habitat)? The group order sounds good too but is it ok to bring them to Indiana from Nebraska?

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I honestly don't know for sure. It would be something you'd have to check with your DNR about. Make sure you mention them by their common and scientific name when you speak to the DNR. Many fisheries biologists are not familiar with them. Vegetated backwaters of larger rivers usually have decent grass shrimp populations so that would be a good start...

From another post: Glass Shrimp had the highest abundance at main channel border wing dikes(high visibility and low water velocity) and the lowest abundance in side channels. Pigg and Cheper (1998) and Page (1985) reported capturing high abundances of Glass Shrimp in areas with shallow water and low velocity. We hypothesize that Glass Shrimp inhabit wing dike scours to use the crevice habitat for hiding and/or feeding. In addition, Glass Shrimp feed on dead plant and/or animal material (Page, 1985), which is likely found in the scours when they are functioning as sediment sinks during normal to low river elevations. We found a negative correlation between Glass Shrimp abundance and depth of gear deployment, indicating that this shrimp was more abundant in shallower water in the unimpounded UMR. Glass Shrimp also were most abundant when river elevation was lower. Lower elevations occur during the summer months (e.g., sampling period 2) when water temperatures are warmer, which promotes fecundity (Hobbs, 2001). We also found that Glass Shrimp abundance was lowest in the side channels when compared to the other physical habitats. Closed side channels have low water velocity and high visibility, which are characteristic conditions for this species (Page, 1985; Barko and Herzog, 2003). Hence, the low abundance of Glass Shrimp in closed side channels was puzzling. Barko and Herzog(2003) reported high abundances of Centrarchidae in closed side channels, such as Orangespotted Sunfish (Lepomis humilis), Bluegill (L. macrochirus) and Green Sunfish (L. cyanellus). Based on the findings of Creaser (1932), we conclude that Glass Shrimp use this habitat but abundance remains low because of fish predation. Creaser (1932) reported high abundances of Glass Shrimp in pools with low fish abundance.

Some of your local lakes may also contain them... Running a dip net into vegetated areas would probably be the best method to capture them. A 1/8th inch mesh on the net would probably be a good size... I catch grass shrimp while running seines through sparsely vegetated areas on occasion as well.

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Thanks - I'll try the local reservoir when the ice goes out, and a few creeks nearby. Its supposed to hit 50 degrees this weekend!

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I would love to get some of those grass shrimp for the pond CJBS, thanks for all the info, so you say their is going to be a group order, how can I get in on that and what kind of priceing and quanites can we get?

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Hi SPC - TJ here. Like Travis I want to sample my ponds this Spring prior to making another group order. Essentially I want to verify their survival prior to recommending them to anyone else. The good news is I collected many dozens last Autumn just running a net along the banks through aquatic vegetation - as per Bobad's advice. My hopes are high.

Dale Fattig can be reached on the resource page...or if you'd prefer we try to collect several orders at a time and place them together. At least in the past pricing has been contingent on quantity. Last year we were able to drive the price down to $.25/ea and it was a flat $30 shipping charge. It takes a while for Dale to get around to seining his ponds, so patience is a virtue, but I'm happy with my orders thus far - probably 2-3% morts, but we live in the same state [NE] so that might account for my low %.

Ric Swaim was in on one of our orders last year and received a significant % of morts - however Dale shipped another batch to him for free a couple weeks later. Seems the further East one goes, the longer the shipping time, the higher the risk of morts.

I'm happy to coordinate this order for everyone as Dale thanks me by waiving my shipping fee on my part of the order [$30]. I don't in any other manner profit from this, I just want to help my PB brethren.

In summary - I am going to sample my ponds as soon as my 18" ice melts and post my sampling research on the forum. Hopefully Travis and Ric are ahead of me a few weeks - I'm anxious to see their results, too. If they survival is high, and evidence of a spawn occuring, I think I'll be placing more orders as I want to construct a forage pond dedicated to raising them and helping out the forum with another [and cheaper] source. ;\)

TJ


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Hi Tj, thanks for the info, I would love to get in on your order please let me know when you are going to do so, I have 2 ponds I would put them in, of which one is already just a forage pond..

I think this could be great forage for my current fish if they reproduce..

Thanks Jason

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Oh if all did well and you have high numbers when do you intend on doing the order? also what time of year do they normally spawn?

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TJ, make sure you give the water plenty of time to warm up after ice out before sampling the shallows. It may take the shrimp a while to migrate out of their deep water wintering grounds back into the shallows...

PK shrimp typically spawn twice a year. Once in mid spring which is their big spawn and then a second time in the late summer to early fall which is their smaller spawn. The other P. shrimp species are very similar in their spawning times. I have a lot more experience with those species. They tend to be most abundant in late summer. They kinda almost disappear after they spawn as most of the adults die off and all you're left with a small juveniles which are hard to catch in nets as they slip through the holes and very tiny larvae.

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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
They kinda almost disappear after they spawn as most of the adults die off and all you're left with a small juveniles which are hard to catch in nets as they slip through the holes and very tiny larvae.


Most of my adults disappear after spring spawn, so that tells me their lifespan is basically one year. I can still find a few adults after spring spawn, so I suppose they are the ones that will spawn late. It's almost as though there are 2 sub-sub species, both with a lifespan of 1 year. The literature says lifespan is up to 2 years, but that doesn't sound right. Seems like 2 year survivors would quickly dominate and the 1 year type genetically, and they would soon disappear. Any thoughts on that?

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My guess is that under certain conditions a shorter lived life cycle might be better due to the ability to put all energy into one large brood during optimum conditions, thus passing on these genes (its all about passing on genes). However, it is likely that every once in a while the environment is bad during this initial spawn leaving only the few late spawners to carry on. This would cause genes for this behavior to be maintained in the population. There are also differences in reproductive strategy that effect the expression of genes, so genetically identical individuals will respond differently depending on the conditions they experience. Finally, it is even possible that genes can be turned on or off in one generation and this can be passed down to offspring (epigentics). This last situation has only recently been understood. Biology is really cool.

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Interesting through bobad... I really don't know. Grass shrimp aren't well studied, so there is little research out there on them. It may be that some die from spawning stress and some don't. That perhaps most do, but a few survive or that some are just late maturing.

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anyone sampled their grass shrimp yet?

spc #208572 03/17/10 01:23 PM
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Not yet, I think its a bit too cold yet... Probably will do a sample run in early April when the water temps start poking into the 60's.

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 Originally Posted By: spc
anyone sampled their grass shrimp yet?


\:\)

Someone is as eager as I am to find out about the PK...

Tell you what SPC, when I head out to set my muskrat traps this week, provided I still have fingers after setting, I'll grab my sampling net and go around the edges and see what I see. I agree with T it's probably a little early, but I'm impatient too!


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TJ:
Hint: adjust the pan height from beneath the jaws, not between them on top! \:D

If you think getting snapped now hurts, just try it with cold numb fingers - they won't be numb after that!!!


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Only got nailed once, never again...and my fingers were VERY cold.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Isn't it funny with some lessons we only have to be told once?? \:D


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Kinda like picking pennies off a hot wood stove... The Lincoln staring back at you being burned into your thumb is a solid reminder to a 4 year old that cold pennies are much better to pick up than hot ones!

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Well did you find any?, or was it to painfull to look after the trap ordeal???lol

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Went out Saturday, ran sampling net around the pond in likely looking areas [submerged vegetation]. Second pass yielded a plump, large female and my hopes were high. All subsequent nets were only filled with aquatic insects, minnows and tadpoles. Bear in mind I still had about 20% ice coverage. May need a little more warming up before I can make any judgements.


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Most of mine are carrying eggs now. Numbers seem down from last year, but I have more grassy areas than last year for them to disperse in.

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I think you're gonna be in good shape TJ. Finding one plump female this early is a good sign.

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Any evidence for effect of shrimp introduction on bluegill and bass size?

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Too early with people trying them out to really say for certain. However, grass shrimp turn detritus into BG food, so one would think it would have an affect...

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Too early with people trying them out to really say for certain. However, grass shrimp turn detritus into BG food, so one would think it would have an affect...


Thanks. I'm moving to a farm in Lynchburg, Virginia, this summer and have picked a site where I believe I could build a 5 to 20 acre lake. I'm trying to figure out how to build a forage base, stock, and manage, to develop a true trophy bass lake. Everything is wide open right now. The site is fed by a healthy stream, and I am considering stocking FHM, GSH, and crayfish initially, followed by bass and bluegill. I'll have to scratch my head over the grass shrimp.

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If trophy bass is your goal, the grass shrimp wouldn't hurt, but I don't think they will make a big difference.

20 acres is rather large private pond for the east... Have you done much research on this?

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I think his estimate is off 5-20 acres is a broad estimate for a pond. Most landowners have more of closer idea to the size.

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
If trophy bass is your goal, the grass shrimp wouldn't hurt, but I don't think they will make a big difference.

20 acres is rather large private pond for the east... Have you done much research on this?


I have just started reseasrching it. The farm is 1700 acres, and the watershed to the lake site is several hundred acres. There is a nice sized stream running through the area. I've asked one fairly knowledgable party about what sized lake I could put in, and their answer was, "at least 10 acres".

As things stand now, I live 3 hours away from the farm, and am working nearby on weekends,staying with friends because there is no heat in my grandfather's house. The basement flooded and cracked the boiler for the steam radiators.

Once I am down here full time, likely summer of 2012, I'd like to get a consultant to come in help me get my bearings with the project, and put a plan in place. The problem is, I don't know of any good lake/pond consultants in Va.

Any ideas there?

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One person to contact is Dave Beasley who used to work at a place NY that was developing a trophy fishery. Now I think he is based in VA, not sure of the company's name. Someone may be able to help with this info. This is an article that he wrote for Jan-Feb 2009 PBoss magazine: PREPARING YOUR TROPHY FISHERY FOR ANOTHER GROWING SEASON. Dave Beasley provides numerous suggestions for developing, enhancing and maintaining a trophy fishery. Discussed are defining goals, feeder maintenance, harvest, budget, permits, general tasks, population adjustments, best sampling times, RW data, scale samples, equipment checks, spring tasks.


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Thanks! I've pulled up his website and he is in Va. I've posted the link below in case anyone else is interested.

http://www.virginialakemanagement.com/meet-the-team.php

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Deadwood,were you able to build your pond? If so could you give some details? We have a tree farm in Nelson Co. that has a spring fed stream that may be a good place for a SMB pond. Any info would be helpful. thank you

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Hey ken. I did not build the new lake yet. I did get a pre-consultation with Dave Beasley from solitude lake management and he seemed like a very knowledgeable and generally good guy. I am planning on starting the official consultation process this spring.

Your pond site sounds nice. I would really like a SMB, GSH, YP, HSB pond if I start another smaller lake on the farm.

spc #308620 10/08/12 04:15 PM
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Dave B. is a nice guy and a PB supporter. Be sure and tell him you are also.
















spc #308621 10/08/12 04:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
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Deadwood, your dream sounds like mine. Maybe we can make it happen.

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