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Great idea Bobby! I will try to put a few of those together. My sides are sloped pretty steep so I will need to build these in such a way that pipe comes through the bottom side so I can anchor them.


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So any advice on what I might be able to do to give my GS and YP somewhere to spawn before it warms up enough for grass and lillies to establish?


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You can get black "snow fence" rather than orange, and that will save some effort. Also plastic-coated fence will work, but a bit more pricey.

Also when planting lilies, they are big nutrition lovers. Rather than hoping there is enough natural stuff on the bottom, initially plant them in a biodegradable peat container with fertilizer, stones on the bottom of the container, and rich water-saturated soil so it doesn't float. You can also purchase specialized fertilizer that you need to make sure is trapped in the soil of your container.

Then try to excavate a bit (by hand) to set the plant into the hole, then spike the whole works down. Put fence over the top to protect it from animals. Eventually the bucket will rot out, and the roots and rhizomes will find their way across the bottom.

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I think you can just loosely bundle some brush and sink it in strategic locations. From what I have ready here, the perch just need something to drape their eggs over.

I am going to use our Christmas tree thinned out a bit to try and accomplish this. Maybe a little brush also.

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So something like these filled with soaked potting soil? http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/jiffy-peat-pots/biodegradable-pots

What kind of fertilizer should I use?


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Your GSH will spawn, I wouldn't stress over them. I'm not sure you really want a giant perch spawn in your pond anyways... A very limited one would probably meet your goals.

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It's been a while so here is an update:
I have stocked a total of 14 smallmouth bass in the pond. After trying since July 2013 to find a source that would sell me a small number I gave up and went fishing. Kept 14 6-11" smallmouth that were fat and had good WR and stocked them in the pond in late October. One of the 11" fish has grown like mad as last weekend I caught a 18" smallmouth that had to weigh 3 lbs with a swollen gut (no scale or camera with me) it was the first fish of any kind that I had caught out of the pond (although I have not had much time to fish with a 5 month old and a 3.5 year old to take care of). Bites are not easy or frequent but that is what I expected with only 14 fish stocked. Never saw any beds or evidence of spawning in the spring, I think the weather really messed them up (which is what all the hatcheries were saying as well).

There is a guy who works on the farm during the week and he has caught a few good smallies, a nice RES, and two yellow perch. He fishes with live worms in the evening. So I am pretty confident things are going well.

This past weekend my daughter and I went to the farm to plant new spiral eelgrass as none of the other eelgrass has taken hold. Planted 50 new plants and I am really hoping they take hold. If not I am going to start looking for alternatives. I don't even care if it is eurasian milfoil, I just want some vegetation!

The shallow area of the pond has silted in pretty bad in the last year. My father has decided to dig out the accumulated muck in the shallows and have a smaller pond built 150 yards up stream to collect the sediment. The new pond has a dam and overflow and is going to be 60'x30' when full. Construction will be finished this week. Obviously I am going to use this pond as a forage pond. I am hoping to stock spotfins and bluntnose when the pond is finished. This pond needs to be easily dredged so I cannot put vegetation or lots of rocks in it. I will make more CD spawning structures and I will put some easily moved bluntnose spawning structure in there as well. Anything I should be aware of in making a spotfin/bluntnose forage pond? If I can ever get them I will also be putting lake chubsuckers in this forage pond.


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Sounds like a good start. Spiral eelgrass can be a little difficult to get established since it grows somewhat slowly. I like to first grow it in a small tub and when it gets thick with plants, transplant them. If you want additional plants start with dwarf or small varieties of hardy hybrid water lilies.
As far as the minnow pond, keep the weeds to a minimum so harvest is easy and production should be good. If you feed them ground or softened pellets production numbers will be a lot better. Adding papershell to the minnow pond will enhance the poly culture experience and abundant crays will help a lot with algae and weed control plus their surplus will be good forage for smallies.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/04/14 04:51 PM.

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I will definitely be adding some papershells. I will order 1000 from Smith Creek and split them in half between the big pond and the forage pond. If I can catch some of my banded killish I will also put them in the forage pond.


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Have you seen evidence of your alternative forage fish spawning and doing well in the pond?

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FYI the bulk of a crayfish's diet is vegetable material. So establishing plants and stocking crayfish may be crossing purposes.


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I have not seen much beyond shiners hanging out at the cd structures. I have not been able to get down to the farm as often as I would like so I do not think my lack of evidence means that they did not establish. I know my golden shiners established and there is still a ton of activity when the feeder goes off so something is doing well. Having a forage pond without fathead minnows or golden shiners will allow me to track their progress better. If (and hopefully when) they get some good spawns in I can transfer some to the bigger pond.

I suspect that the crayfish have been one of the reasons that my eel grass has not established but nothing I can do about it but keep trying. The pond being spring fed means that the water temperatures are cooler than many neighboring ponds and I think that has cut into the growing season for the eel grass. I will keep trying until I get it to work.


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I think I'd look around at the ponds in your area that have good submerged vegetation, see what species that is, or just pull some out of those ponds. Should be good for your area and probably free. Some folks may even thank you for doing it. Caution: certain species in certain areas are considered invasives, so that may or may not be an issue. If you just want plants, invasives may be the way to go since they will grow well!


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Well none of the vegetation I planted took hold but the smallmouth are doing well. I caught a nice 14-15" smallmouth (didn't have a tape measure or scale) that fought like hell! Caught him on a dropshot in deep water and he repeatedly pulled line to the bottom then would scream up and jump. He appeared to be quite healthy. I had another one smack a spinnerbait but he came off after a couple of cranks. Tried to catch a YP with a small 3" jerkbait but no takers. I might need to add some more yellow perch.

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 10/06/14 09:11 AM.

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Very nice! How big were they when you stocked them and how long ago?

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One was a baby at 4", the rest were between 7-11". I stocked 7 of them last October. In June I added an additional 7.

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 10/08/14 09:57 AM.

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If you add more YP use 6"-8" sizes and survival will be better with that size SMB in the pond.


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Any idea where I can source perch that size?


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When I had trouble finding larger sized YP, I raised my own in a cage starting with fingerlings. Good quality YP of 3"-4" will grow to 6"-8" in one full summer season.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/10/14 07:25 PM.

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Just read the thread start to finish. What a lovely pond! And man have you ever put some work into it!

Give us an update when you have time. With two younguns, I suspect time is at a premium.


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Time is definitely at a premium! I went to the pond last Saturday, put on my waders and sunk my christmas tree in about 4' of water. Also added 15 terra cotta bricks I salvaged from a construction job I am invested in, they were 8-12" long, 5" tall, and 5" deep and they had 5-8 (depending on the length) rectangular holes that went all the way through or were blocked at one end by mortar. I arranged them in the shallows to be additional spawning structure for my spotfins. I also put 5 in the forage pond for the spotfins up there. The only bad thing is that my aerator compressor died so I need to get that taken care of ASAP.


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I think we got the compressor part handled! wink


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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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We certainly did! Thanks!!


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OK so I spent the 3-day weekend at the farm and noticed that a lot has changed at my pond. The fatheads are much sparser now but the pond is jumping with activity! I saw a MONSTER smallmouth on Saturday slowly cruising along near my gravel bed and I realized it was probably guarding fry. There were small black fish that were pretty quick all over the shallows and along the shoreline in deeper water, it took me till Monday to finally catch one in a small aquarium net and I am 99% sure it is was a smallmouth fry. This is the first fry we have ever seen as last years spawn must have been a bust.

After fishing a bit on Friday and Saturday with only a few bites and no landed fish (I was using a texas rigged craw with a 2/0 hook) I decided to change my approach on Monday morning, I rigged up a keitech sexy impact in silver flash (a 4" minnow imitating lure) on a Gamakatsu #4 drop shot hook rigged as a drop shot. The smaller hook was vital. I lost two 2lb+ smallmouth who spit the little hook out on jumps. I caught over 25 other fish around the christmas tree I sunk, numerous RES, at least a dozen yellow perch, and what I really hope is not a monster bluegill. I caught two other fish I thought were bluegill because they did not have red ears, they went in the frying pan, I know I should have eaten the monster one but I really wanted to believe it was a momma RES so I released it. It is clear that my Yellow Perch pulled off a spawn because I was catching 9-11" perch and 5-7" perch. I am pretty sure my RES also pulled off a spawn last year. I did not bring a ruler with me (a mistake I will not make again) and I was having too much fun catching fish to start taking pictures until the end but I took a few (I wear a size 11 shoe):

Please tell me this is a RES and not a bluegill, it was a monster! Fat as a pig!:



Pretty sure this is a stocker Yellow Perch:



Smaller Yellow Perch that I assume was from last year's spawn:



Typical smaller RES, pretty sure this was spawned last year:




My wife and daughter caught numerous crayfish which were under every patch of shallow leaves they turned over. Some were 5-6" long! Lots of evidence that they had molted recently, saw some enormous empty shells in 2-3' of water. They also caught a lot of grass shrimp with their aquarium net.

So please tell me if that big fish is a RES or a Bluegill. If bluegill are in the pond then I will keep trying to remove them and hope my larger smallmouth can keep them in check.

Should I start removing yellow perch? I want the smaller ones to be forage for my smallies but I don't want them to eat too much of the other forage fish.

There was not much activity when the feeder went off. I know the decline of the fatheads is probably the main reason for this but I still expected the GSH and Perch to feed. Maybe it was still too cold (the top 3-4' felt like low 70s and below that was much colder, only had the shallow aerator running and will turn on the deep one in early June). None of the fish I stocked were "feed trained" but I thought the GSH and YP would adapt, am I wrong? Am I wasting time and money feeding without feed trained fish?


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Or is my sudden success in catching fish along with the decline in feeder activity a sign that my Golden Shiners are being thinned out?


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