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#258752 05/14/11 02:16 PM
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We have built a 4 acre pond that a lot of the pond is 12 foot or deeper with the deepest part being 15 foot deep. The pond is built in a draw near a fence so we built another dam in the fenceline for the neighbor. On this other dam the water will be six foot deep. There is rip rap on the dam to prevent the dam from eroding away. We have created some structure out of pvc, quikcrete, and cinder blocks. There are willow trees at the tail end of the pond and there are a few trees that will be under water.

We want to raise large largemouth bass and a few channel cat and maybe some crappie.

What fish should we add to achieve these goals?

We were thinking fathead minnows, bluegill, crawdads, maybe grass shrimp. I am not realy sure. I am open to other ideas also.

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jludwig #258784 05/14/11 09:53 PM
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Crappies in bodies of water under 200 acres is not recommended. Some biologists feel it should be as high as 1000 acres. Largemouth bass(LMB) and channel cats(CC) are both good species to consider.

I would stock approximately 800 bluegill(BG) and 200 redear sunfish(RES) per acre this spring along with 5 pounds per acres of fathead minnows(FHM). Next spring you can stock 75-100 LMB per acres. Stock as many CC as you plan to harvest for the table per year. This stocking plan is a good basic start.

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CJ sounds good. Shiners could also be added later in the cycle before the predators.


Regarding crappie in smaller waters, my personal, non-scientific, developing feeling is that if you do want crappie in a small body of water, you have to know what to expect and what to do to keep them in check.

I think a lot of our perceptions of crappie in smaller waters were based on waters that were not aggressively managed with the specific consideration of having crappie.

Now, if the goal is to grow trophy sizes of a target fish, then really any other type of fish eating predator is going against the goal.


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."

jludwig #258821 05/15/11 11:57 AM
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What about other options of additional forage? Maybe some Coppernose Bluegill and some other smaller forage?

jludwig #258823 05/15/11 12:02 PM
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Coppernose are good and probably could be substituted where CJ says "BG."

Depending on your water temps, threadfin shad might be an additional forage base.

I wonder if Yellow Perch might be an option for you also, but they are a predator at the same time as being a forage fish. They might be considered after you have large enough LMB to keep them in check.


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."

Sunil #258825 05/15/11 01:04 PM
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What temperature do threadfin shad start to die out at?

jludwig #258827 05/15/11 01:56 PM
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Not sure...let's see if someone chimes in.


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."

Sunil #258839 05/15/11 07:05 PM
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45 F +- You are close to the limit in cent OK.

Last edited by ewest; 05/15/11 07:12 PM.















ewest #258843 05/15/11 08:57 PM
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That is very close. I know there is a healthly population of TS in Lake Texoma but the weather there is very different than up here.

jludwig #258852 05/15/11 10:07 PM
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Regardless of what species you decide to stock, any species that is mostly a forage species should be stocked first and given time to establish before the stocking of bass or other high end predators. Species under this definition would be FHM, GSH, tshad and other fusiform spine free prey. If you want them in your pond long term and not just as a short snack, they need to be stocked at the beginning. In most ponds establishing these species and others like them after predators are established can be very challenging if not impossible.

Last edited by CJBS2003; 05/15/11 10:08 PM.
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That's the problem with most ponds here. They are all stocked at once with prey and predators. It works for a bit but then the fish become stunted.

jludwig #258861 05/15/11 10:56 PM
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You could still do that, but the expense of putting all that forage fish in the pond at once would be a killer.


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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).
esshup #258874 05/16/11 07:10 AM
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As is being said, if you can put the forage base in one year before the predators, you will see outrageous growth of the predators.


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."

Sunil #258961 05/16/11 09:19 PM
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That is my plan. Now I just need everyone to go along with it.

jludwig #259504 05/21/11 11:56 AM
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We are starting to get rains more often so hopefully we will get a decent amount of water in the pond yet this summer. If that is the case, would it be better go ahead and stock the forage fish this summer or wait until next spring and starting stock. That would put adding largemouths in spring of 2013. From what I gather, I think this wait would be more than worth the additional wait.

jludwig #259536 05/21/11 09:29 PM
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I'd toss in the forage fish as soon as you could. Even if they didn't multiply that much, you'd still have more forage fish in the pond that what was stocked, and they'd be primed to go at it hard and heavy next year when the pond was full.


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esshup #261810 06/12/11 11:36 PM
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We are working on it. We finally got enough water that will support fish.

jludwig #263435 06/30/11 10:40 PM
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We have started to build the forage base. We have added about 2000 crayfish got from small water holes using a minnow seine and today added 25 pounds of fathead minnows.

jludwig #263436 06/30/11 10:48 PM
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Great start JL. Consider stocking 15-20 adult shiners from your local bait shop. You'll be amazed at their fecundity given a year.


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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TJ, did you do something similar to this with your pond?

jludwig #263443 07/01/11 12:07 AM
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Yes I did. Stocked 8 doz FHM, 3 doz papershell crayfish, and 2 doz adult golden shiners [4-6"] in the spring. I then added my RES and YP couple months later and let it stew for a year. The following Spring I could walk across the pond on the forage - and although the FHM are long gone my Crayfish and GSH population is very strong four years later.

You can add more forage as an insurance policy to ensure survival and a spawn, but if your plans call for waiting on predator stocking you don't need to break the bank. I built my forage base on $20 and that included a bag of jerky and diet pepsi. Can be done.


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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If the right habitat and spawning locations are present just a couple dozen of each species is all that's needed needed if you give your forage species "time to stew". Most forage species have very high reproductive rates and will fill the void fast without predation.

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We were talking to the guy whom we bought the fathead minnows from and he suggested we get coppernose bluegill because they are 90% female.

We are getting some more bluegill from the wildlife department in the fall. They have a program where you can get free fish to stock a new pond.

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That is the first time I have ever heard that coppernoses are 90% female. I think I would consider asking the guy where he heard that.


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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I think he's feeding you a line. Double check to see that the coppernose (CNBG) will survive your winters.

Do any strings come attached with the fish from the state?


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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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