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Just moved to a 10 yr. old pond that appears to only have plenty of stunted LMB & BG. Just starting a feeder & fertilizing program & will now stock hybrid stripers which should help thin out the existing LMB & BG population. But also want big LMB & big BG so should I still start removing some of the existing LMB & BG or leave them for the stripers? And now with a feeding program, should I go ahead & now stock some new LMB, BG & Redear for some genetic diversification? Also, would the F1 hybrid LMB (nothern/Florida)get much bigger than a northern LMB in this area? With a pond this size, would some black crappie be OK to add? And with the existing stunted LMB & BG population, does it make sense to stock some shiners & fathead minnows?

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Welcome to PB! First off, slow down a bit. grin No need to get everything done at once, even tho it's hard not to.

Start be removing every LMB that you and all your friends can catch that's under 100 Relative Weight. There's a chart in the archives.

No crappie, that will just compound your problems and create new ones for down the road.

Feed good food that is formulated for carnivore fish, not generic catfish food. While the BG aren't strict carnivores, I think they'll grow quicker on the carnivore fish food blend. The correct pellet size is important too. I'd start out with something 1/8" to 3/16" in size, feeding only what they will consume in 10-15 minutes.

You could throw some HSB in there, but make sure that they are at least 50% as big as the largest LMB in there or they might become expensive fish food for the LMB.

If you stock any minnows, I'd expect them to live less than a week. You'd get more bang for your buck with good fish food.

I don't know if the F1's would survive that far north.


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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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Thanks for recommendations. Things worked out real well & relatively fast for another pond I did a few years ago when I 1st came across Pond Boss so I'm ready to jump start this pond. And when do you think it would be prudent to introduce some new blood LMB & BG back into the pond?

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Hybrid stripers or as we commonly call them on here, HSB are not very good at eating LMB or BG. Not to say they will not eat them, however, they won't be much assistance in thinning out large numbers of stunted fish. They take to feed well and can be an excellent bonus fish that fights quite well, so I would still consider stocking them but for other reasons.

Skip the crappies, particularly with the obstacles you are facing. Most fisheries biologists agree that crappies are large water fish, say 200+ acres and some say 1000+ acres. There is plenty of info in the archives if you care to read about why...

It is usual to have both stunted LMB and stunted sunfish(BG). There may be other factors going on here. Are you sure your LMB are in fact stunted and not over fished(harvested)? I would immediately start a catch log and check the relative weight(Wr) of your bass and even your BG. Once you start getting an idea if your LMB are in fact stunted, then a serious removal plan can be started.

Redear sunfish(RES) feed in a different niche than BG and can be added to your pond for diversity. They are also an addition to your forage diversity for your LMB.

As esshup said, I doubt the F1's would survive in KY. Stick with your normal northern LMB.

It is hard to slow down a bit and take some data in before making management decisions for your pond. However, slowing down and keeping a log and truly understand what is happening in your pond and why it's happening can allow you to make the correct decisions and allow you save money, time and effort in the long run producing better results in a shorter period of time. It would be my advice to start off keeping a catch log of every species you catch. Record the species, length, weight and any other pertinent details(bait caught on, any signs of disease or parasites, etc). I would also do a seine survey this June to also get a better idea as to what the fish community of your pond is.

Once you figure out if your bass are truly stunted and need to be removed or if they are over fished then you can look into diversifying genetics. Genetics is probably the least important management aspect when it comes to growing nice bass. Habitat, forage base and crowding far exceed genetics in importance.

Good luck!

Also, take a look at the Pond Boss library. There are several books with detailed information you would be interested in as well as a subscription to the magazine if you aren't already a subscriber.

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I recently renewed my PB subscription & have the benefit of my collection of old PB issues that I recently reviewed some good articles with my neighbors about stocking, feeding, fertilizing, etc... as we formulate a game plan. I'm pretty certain the pond is not being harvested so its probably a combo of too many fish, no feeding or fertilizing program, maybe deficient habitat & possibly extensive inbreeding. So, will get the HSB & RES stocked & start weighing & measuring the existing population to help decide a LMB & BG plan.

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No chance of trespassers poaching fish?

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I don't think so. It's only 3.5 acres & surrounded by our 7 homes with my sitting on a hill overlooking it so its like watching over a nest. I just finished my home last summer & fished it alot then but also fished it over the past several years before my house. Nothing exciting fishwise which makes me think it needs some corrective stocking & harvesting strategy along with a feeding & fertilizing plan. I'm familiar with acreage stocking recommnedations but it seems a little more complicated with this kind of existing population.

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When you do stock the fish, make sure they are large enough so they won't become expensive fish food for the existing LMB.


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Thanks for the advice & we'll know more how it turns out over the next couple years.

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Have you checked your alkalinity? Although I am not familiar with Northern Kentucky water, I have found that folks that I work with here in Northern Mississippi have no need to fertilize, they mainly do it because their neighbor did. The main reason I ask, is it does take money and time, and you may be getting no benefit. Also, since your feeding, you are already adding some nutrients to the water, further fertilization could actually degrade your water quality. The only reason I bring this up, is because that is what I am seeing a lot of lately, wasted money and time...I also agree with what CJB said about HSB, research has shown that one of the reasons HSB are so popular to stock in public waters is because they really don't effect the LMB or BLG populations through predation. Like he said, I think they would be good to add, however, not for the reasons you previously mentioned. I look forward to how it turns out!!:)


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I'll check water alkalinity and clarity once all our rains stop for a few days & get back with you. But my understanding was that if you can initiate a fertilizing program before you have a weed problem & can maintain a plankton bloom (keeping visibility 18" to 22"), all the better for developing the forage base & helping with weed control. I had previously used a slow dispensing fertilizing bucket that would last about 30 days & cost about $40 so it wasn't time consuming or expensive for this size pond.


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