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Joined: May 2011
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Really cool. How many each of the "exotic" forage species did you stock?


No pond yet, not even land. But working on it.

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I will be stocking 50 bluntnose minnows, 50 spotfin shiners, 50 greenfin shiners, and 30 johnny darters. I will also be stocking a couple hundred banded killifish and some lake chubsuckers this summer. The numbers of stockers are low but with no predators and plenty of spawning areas they should get established by the time I add the YP and SMB.


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On Friday I had some new fish arrive from http://www.jonahsaquarium.com/ so I headed down to the farm to stock them. I had 50 Greenfin Shiners, 50 spotfin shiners, 50 bluntnose minnows, and 30 johnny darters; all arrived alive and well packed. If you are in need of forage fish that are not readily available definitely call Mark at Jonah's Aquarium and see what he can do for you!

I got all the fish acclimated and released them, they all looked to take to the pond well except for some of the greenfin shiners. I saw 4-5 swimming in rapid circles then sinking down before spinning again. I guess they needed to be acclimated longer. An hour after release I saw 3 dead bluntnose minnows but hopefully the rest are good.

The pond is now 4" from full pool and is full of spawning fish. I saw millions of 1/3" fry swimming around the dock which I assume are fhm or gsh. There are schools of shiners swimming all over the place and the shallow areas are chock full of fatheads. I even saw a large crayfish eating what appeared to be a dead fathead. No sign of the grass shrimp and the spiral eelgrass I planted a few weeks ago appears to have disappeared with the exception of four or five plants that do not appear to have grown or spread. The hybrid lillies are still where I left them but have not grown much or spread, hopefully this summer they will take off.

I built a second CD structure for the new minnows to spawn in. On Sunday I saw several fish swimming in and around them so hopefully it is working.

Fish acclimating to the pond temperature:


Johnny Darters:






bluntnose minnows:




Shiners (not sure if these were the greenfins or the spotfins:










Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 05/21/12 11:38 AM.

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Second CD spawning structure:


Lillies in the shallows with billions of tadpoles and minnows:




My pallets totally submerged:


Overall pond pictures:








Now i just need to add some banded killifish and red ear sunfish and the forage base will be good. I am hopeful that a feeder will be ordered and ready to go within another 2 weeks (that is a whole different discussion with my Dad).


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Looks awesome... Glad the fish came in from Jonah's. Those smallies are gonna love their new home next year!

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Will darters survive after SMB are added?

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With the right habitat, yes.

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I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to Travis for meeting with me on the Potomac yesterday and helping me collect some banded killifish and tesselated darters, who would have thought that running a seign through snake infested waters could be so much fun!! We ended up with about 50 killifish and 20 darters for my pond to go along with 20 easter silvery minnows that he put in his forage pond.

After returning home with my catch in an oxygenated cooler I brought the family down to the farm to release our newest forage fish. I had also ordered more eelgrass to stock as the last crop did not seem to catch on (I planted them in 1" of water as the pond was still 15" from full pool and I don't think they survived loing enough to be fully submerged). The wife and I planted all 50 corkscrew eelgrass plants, these were much larger than the last batch I stocked and I am very confident they will take hold. The killifish and darters were acclimated for almost an hour as we planted the eelgrass, when I tipped over the cooler they took off like bats outta hell!

The pond is now at full pool and there are fathead minnows EVERYWHERE!!! The tadpoles that dominated the shoreline a few weeks ago are much sparser now, in there place are thousands of fatheads of various sizes.

Some of the hybrid lillies I planted last month appear to have established a foothold, they are not spreading but they have pads on the surface and appear to be very much alive. Unfortunately a 6-8" copperhead was seen swimming near the pads.

My wife is an expert crayfish hunter and she noticed dozens of small crayfish along the shoreline and a few larger ones eating dead fatheads.

I did not see many of the golden shiners/spotfin shiners/bluntnose minnows/greenfin shiners/grass shrimp but when I went out to the end of the dock and threw out some AM600 into the middle of the pond the shiners appeared along with bluntnose minnows and larger fatheads. The shiners and bluntnose minnows would school under the feed just out of sight and individual fish would scream up from the school to hit pellets then swim back down with their quarry where other shiners/minnows would help them break it apart.

Before feeding the fish I decided to take a plunge off the dock and the water was nice and warm until you got below 6' where the thermocline kept the water 20-30 degrees cooler. This will be a heck of a swimmin hole! My Wife and Father were on the dock and saw millions of fish scream towards the dock when I dove in.

I saw 30+ fish holding to each of my CD structures. They were 1-1.5" long and appeared to have a blue streak on their side. I am hoping they are spotfin or greenfin offspring as all the spotfin/greenfins I stocked were larger than these.

Unfortunately my phone's battery died so I did not get any pictures but I am going up on Wednesday to meet with David Beasley of Solitude Lake Management to get 100 redears stocked and to get some water samples taken to ensure I have the right alkalinity/dissolved oxygen/hardness/conductivity etc. and I will get some photos then.


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Correction: Just heard from David Beasley and our appointment has been moved to June 20th.


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Glad to hear the killifish and darters made it.

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So I took the day off yesterday and met with David Beasley from SOLitude Lake Management at the pond. We stocked 100 RES, installed a new 125lb texas hunter feeder, and he took some water samples that he is sending to the lab. The feeder came with a bad timer but David returned first thing this morning to install a new one. The RES looked very healthy and took off into their new home. David commented that we had a very good zooplankton bloom and that the forage plan was especially good!

I planted 50 new corkscrew eel grass plants three weeks ago, my Dad had told me that he didn't notice them last weekend so I wanted to check to see if they were gone. I found most of the plants where I planted them but none had spread yet and many looked like they had a brown leaf or two. I was worried that maybe my crayfish had been eating them but that did not appear to be the case. David said they looked stressed but that I shouldn't panic. The water temps were in the mid-70s which is cooler than I expected and might have something to do with the reluctance of the eel grass to take off. If the eelgrass doesn't start to rally by the 30th I will make an order of Valisneria Spiralis and see if that works better than the Valisneria Americana I had planted.

Fathead minnows are everywhere. I did not see much shiner, killifish, bluntnose, or darter activity but I did see enough to let me know they are in there. I suspect my golden shiners never spawned as they were only 2.5-4" when stocked and I have not seen any fry other than the fatheads. I will wait until at least next summer to add the yellow perch and smallmouth as I want to be sure the other species get established and I am just not seeing enough from them at this point.

After David left I skinny dipped off the dock as there was nobody in sight and it was very hot out. I don't think there is a more refreshing activity on a hot day than diving into your own pond! My dog loved the pond as well and swam many a lap!

Here is David testing the water:



Here is my dog having a blast:








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Well thanks for not showing a picture of you skinny dipping.......
Awesome pond !

Last edited by BobbyRice; 06/21/12 01:16 PM.

Goofing off is a slang term for engaging in recreation or an idle pastime while obligations of work or society are neglected........... Wikipedia
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:-) No pictures of skinny dipping


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Yes, thank you for leaving the skinny dipping photos out! HAHA

GSH often hang out away from shore and may be less visible. Did you see any of the killiefish you recently stocked? They are pretty easy to tell apart from the other species... Get that minnow trap I mentioned in the PM and let it soak next trip out and see what you come up with.

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I did not see Killifish but since there are literally millions of fhm and I stocked approximately 50 killifish I did not expect to see many.


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I am now just starting to see large numbers of YOY killifish in my pond. They are very distinct from the FHM young once you know what both look like.

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Looks great. I hope when my little slice is all finished it looks that good!



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Nice pond! I've always loved the rolling hills of VA. Very beautiful state.


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Thanks for the kind words guys!

Following CJBS2003's advice I went and bought a minnow trap but it did not arrive on Saturday so I could not try it out yesterday. According to the tracking number it will be here today and I will get a chance to try it out this upcoming Saturday and see if my various minnows are established.


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If the trap comes as shiney wire mesh it is beneficial to spary paint the trap drab colors. Minnows will often shy away from bright colored traps.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/25/12 09:58 AM.

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We are interested to hear how well this type of trap works. How big are the throat openings?


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Bill, I saw the specs:

Product Features
Crabfish Net Trap is made of nylon net with circle alloy frame design
Minnows enter the trap at both funnel shaped end holes size is 6.5cm in diameter approx
You are bidding on a Crabfish Crawdad Minnow Fishing Lure Trap Pot Cast Net
Size: 107cm length, 27.5cm width
Weight: 275g

I'm bad at converting metric to USA. wink


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Size: 42 inches long, 11 inches long. Weight: About .6 pounds. End holes 2.5 in. If I did my conversions right.

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I have had great luck with it. The biggest down side of it is since it is net material, the turtles will destroy it at times. It is also very light weight so it can be a trick to toss out from shore. Lowering from a dock is no problem though. However, because of a bigger opening it lets bigger fish in. It also has a built in bait holder.

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