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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.

Pictures of the Pond.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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

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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.


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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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esshup #263497 07/01/11 11:50 AM
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Yes, there is some strings attached. The game warden can pull in at any time and check everyone for a fishing license but I have a lifetime one so that's no problem.

I will do some more research on the CNBG.

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Personally I wouldn't buy any fish from a guy who says CNBG are 90% female... At a very minimum, I'd check with the forum before making any final decision. Cause it sure seems that guy is FOS!

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+1. I think you should contact Eric West directly or Dave Davidson - they know about CNBG and their cold tolerances. I have no clue about their chances in Oklahoma....but they will.

Also, that 90% female claim cannot be accurate IMO. I would strongly consider contacting a new hatchery as this is a troubling statement coming from a fisheries professional....

If you want lots of BG with great genetics give me a call a few days before you drive up here to beautiful NE. I can probably get 500 in a week - all feed trained CSBG.


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....free to a Sooner fan, of course! grin


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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Originally Posted By: jludwig
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.


Be careful.

Did you see this thread?

Warrants issued for "Free Fish" guy...

You are far enough south for successful coppernose bluegill. They are bluegill -- just slightly different from what we have further north! They look slight different, and they grow faster than their northern cousins when in the south. They should be in 50/50 - male/female. They should be pure-strain.

I'd stay away from this dealer.

Being where you are, I'd recommend contacting Bob Lusk at Pond Boss headquarters for reputable dealers in your area.


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Well I know last winter was one of the coldest ones I have ever seen in life. One morning it warmed up 50 degrees and we were still below freezing. Unheard for this area.

We will keep you in mind TJ. The main problem is whether or not we get more water in it.

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Dave, it kinda caught me off guard. Unless I heard my father, who was the one getting the fathead minnows as I had class at the time, wrong that is what he told me. That just seems like an extreme amount.

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You can probably stock CNBG there and have them survive 95% of the time. However, OK winters can get pretty severe.

Personally, and only personally, I would stock plain BG. And I would get them from a different source than the guy who has the supposed 90% female ones.


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 this pond would be deep enough to support CNBG through the winter but I am not sure.

I am glad I am not the only that thought the 90% female/male ratio of CNBG was a bit odd.

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Have a lake that has produced a lot of 10-12 lb bass and one 13 lb 4 oz bass. We started with a dry lake bed several years ago and stocked copper nose then Fla Bass and later some Northern. Problem we thought would be the other 8 lakes up the stream that drain into our lake from other farms that most go un checked. They have crappie , cat and who knows what else that we have no control over. I decided the last few years to have a crappie contest and turned the boys that have permits to fish our bass lake to challange them to catch as many crappie as they could. Must remove all caught and if too small to fillet dispose of. At best count from records this spring they cleaned around 1200 fish in the 1/2 to 2 1/2 lb range and we had some good eating. My wife loved it.
Some of the same guys just caughts several 4-5lb , 8 lb, 10lb 4 oz and various other size large mouth. We have water flowing through our lake nearly 365 days a year. Next years the boys are going to have to harvest 2400 crappie or loose their permitts. Talking about pressure !!!!!!!!!! Everyone is happy. Bass guys,crappie guys, my wife, my wife, my wife. Lake is about average size of 12 acres or so at normal pool. Located N.E. Alabama. Most ponds here that have crappie in them wind up with thousands of little crappie. Richey

richey #264208 07/09/11 08:10 AM
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Welcome to the forum richey. Sounds like you have a rare pond, eerrrr lake. Any photos of the lake and those nice fish being caught out of it? We love photos here on the forum... Jump in and share your experiences and ask some questions if you have any!

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Thanks this is the first forum I have ever participated in. That was my first response. I will get a photo of Tonys 10 lb 4 oz. bass. We are blessed to have 5 ponds here. The Richey Lake about 12 acres my son build for his FFA Environomental Project in Highschool. Our Duck Pond just behind the Richey Lake which we feed with an 8 inch pipe and valve. Our R. Brown Lake wich sits on the side of a hill about 15 feet above Richey Lake and drains into Richey Lake. I think it is about 8 acres and our Dakota Lake which is 15 feet higher than the R.Brown lake and drains into the R.Brown lake. Then we have a 1/2 pond called the Whitt pond that we grow bullfrogs in. No fish. All of these have been experimental for us. oppps didnt mean to change the subject . I get carried away sometimes. I love to build ponds and grow fish . Have some questions where in the world do I ask them on this forum without messing up someone else or being rude.

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Welcome to the forum Richey. That's a good management plan to stay ahead of the crappie! My hats off to you.

To start your own thread, go to the sub forum that you think it belongs, and right below the tab that says control panel, there is a tab that says start a new post or something like that. Click on that, fill in the title and then the body of the message.


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Don't worry richey, give it your best to place the post in the right subforum, but no one is gonna get mad at you for posting something in the "wrong" place. It just sometimes helps to put it in the most accurate subforum so the right people with interest in that area are most likely to see it...

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TJ, we might take you up on that offer but stocking is not in the picture right now.

jludwig #268870 08/28/11 03:33 PM
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Just an update. Yesterday, right or wrong we traveled to the state fish hatchery and got the fish we applied for. They were bluegill 3/4" to 1 1/2" and channel cats 1-2".

We were feeding them Aquamx 400 today and I noticed something very interesting. The feed was floating around and floated over a crawdad hole in the water. The crawdad came out of his hole and was using his pinchers to gather some Aquaxmax 400 in his mouth.

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Another update: The bluegill are reaching 2" and coming up to feed along shore and the catfish are chowing down on feed more in the middle of the pond. Have seen three crawdads that are about 8 inches in lenght.

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Those are some big crawdads!

RAH #271420 10/08/11 10:10 PM
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Those crawdads would be dinner!


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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 #271424 10/08/11 11:19 PM
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An 8 inch crawdad would basically be a lobster! Got my fork, what's the address?

Omaha #271576 10/11/11 11:00 PM
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If you can teach a fish to use a fork, I will be impressed grin

jludwig #271620 10/12/11 03:24 PM
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i'd like some of them crawdads!

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If you read the thread, you can see how we established them or pm me with questions.

jludwig #273416 11/08/11 08:56 PM
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We got finally got pond water! The current water level is about 4 foot low. Who knew we would get a pond filling rain in November.

The dock is finally ready to float. Hope to float it tomorrow afternoon.

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jludwig #294343 06/02/12 08:29 PM
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Seeing signs that the stocking of crawdads was successful. Also seen many skeletons of the crayfish.



jludwig #294346 06/02/12 08:41 PM
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Skeletons generally means they are growing and shedding their old exoskeletons as they grow. Did you stock papershells or another species?

jludwig #294347 06/02/12 08:45 PM
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I don't think they were papershells. We just siened a small pond that had thousands of them in it. We just relocated them.

jludwig #294352 06/02/12 09:14 PM
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Here is a couple of pics of the numerous exoskeltons around the pond.





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