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esshup #280540 02/11/12 10:21 PM
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I have been following this topic with great interest. Leo has made some points with respect to DO2 in ground water that were new to me. It inspired me to do a bit of extra reading on the subject and a quick google search revealed that there is LOTS of information on this topic. A brief perusal of the literature demonstrates the axiom "It all depends" is correct. It appears that there are multiple variables at play including the location in the aquifer (both vertically and horizontally), rate of flow from the surface, rate of oxygen respiration (often determined by the concentration of organic compounds to be metabolized) and a myriad of other factors that would not be readily apparent without intensive study of the system in question.
Thanks to all the posters above for starting a very interesting discussion. If anyone is interested some of the sources are posted below.
Mike


Ground-water microbiology and geochemistry
By Frank Chapelle

http://info.ngwa.org/gwol/pdf/880245629.PDF

Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water
(Google eBook)

baltic pit #280542 02/11/12 10:58 PM
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It is a very interesting topic, just take it with a grain of salt!

Wishful thinking will not replace factual conditions!, and they are varied, many times over!

3 minutes till qualifying, gotta go!

JKB #280552 02/12/12 01:21 AM
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Q4 rained out. Supposed to be good weather tomorrow. Field is set.


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Leo Nguyen #280607 02/12/12 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: Leo Nguyen
Scott, last few questions to paste the pictures all together with the local knowledge of the gurus here too:

1. What are your stocked fish minimal and optimal DO levels? Remember, it may be a certain level for the northern states but it doesn't mean it's the same for the central and southern states.

Leo, here's what I found during a quick search: For many species of salmonids, exposure to low levels of dissolved oxygen
(less than approximately 5.0 - 6.0 mg.L-1) can result in mortality (Doudoroff and Shumway 1970, in Weithman and Haas 1984). For HSB, the level is 3.0-4.0 mg/L.


2. Temperature between incoming water and the deepest part of the pond on last noted measurement. It can be as far back an late fall or early winter. It'll be better if you have the latest data as the conditions allow you to do so.

Groundwater in the area is running 54F to 55F. Water temp in the pond varies from 33.6F directly under the ice to 39.9 at the pond bottom. There is no surface water entering the pond aside from snowfall or rain.

3. Location of floating/sinking bodies. Will will give a very definitely detail how they're fighting until the last moment in life. There will be some offset of location found due to wind pushing the body, the general area of death shouldn't be too far off due to ice cap on water surface, or isolation of floating bodies due to icing water.

The majority of floating bodies were in water that was 4' or less. The floaters were observed in very shallow water that had the ice melted, or under the ice. The single dead trout was observed on the bottom in approx. 3' of water. All of the dead fish that were observed in the water had open mouths and flared gills.

4. Be brave with one thing, which I forgot. Get a cup of the water near the inlet to the pond. You have to be brave on this one. Put about 2 cups of inlet water in a glass. Cover it up with a food plastic wrap. Nuke it for a good 3 minutes each time, for 2 times. Let it full cool down before removing the plastic wrap. Clean your hands well. Take one finger, dip it into the glass, and taste to see if there is a salty taste to it. Salinity will also be a key factor. If you have salinity test kit or meter, even better.

I was reminded that I have a pond water test kit. I tested the water today and the water was sampled at 3:00 p.m. Central Time. pH - 6.5, Ammonia, Phosphate and Nitrite was 0. The next highest graduation was 0.25, and none were that color.

I did the microwave water test, and I believe it confirmed what Cecils ppm salinity tester showed. Salinity isn't a problem. My taste buds detected no salt, and Cecils tester showed 0.0 ppm when the water was tested in the Fall. The water at my parents house tested 0.2 ppm, and after running thru the water softner, it read 0.1 ppm so I believe the meter was working properly. Reverse Osmosis water from the house read 0.0 ppm, the same as the water that come from my well.

Ooo..so excite on the info. Such an interesting case!


I hope that shed some more light on the winterkill.


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esshup #280620 02/12/12 09:01 PM
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Scott, looks like you have a similar case to Big Bear Lake (BBL) shallow pond areas, Lake Perris extended flood pond, and two small lake like ponds in the high deserts near our area. Here's the scenario:

1. You utilize an diffuser system within the 3' to 4' feet depth based on wind condition. Fish are now trained to go to the depth that's has the best oxygen supply.

2. As Sue indicated, summer time, oxygen at the bottom, not at the top, were consumed by biological decay (biological oxygen demand - BOD) by bottom dwelling organisms. Rather than fish remained at the bottom depth during winter to keep warm, there is no oxygen at the bottom, so they linger at the surface area, once again, trained earlier by the diffuser. DO at point of water introduction, 0mg/L. Point of DO 6 to 8ft away, 3mg/L.

3. Your soil, with just a quick glance to the best of my knowledge is great for retaining biological decays, as well as encouraged for biological growth due to nutrient retention and water diffusing down and out. Look at the surround tree groves. Beautiful growth during warm seasons.

4. Oxygen from the start was low before introduction of your fish, even though you're monitoring for the DO, which was in a low minimal standards for biological survival rate, especially for HSB. You stopped monitoring the DO, believing that the diffuser would induce enough DO into the water when there's not enough wind to stir up the water to infuse the water with oxygen. Quite few nailed that.

Now, this is the scenario that match the waters' (not so much at the Lake Perris' flood pond) conditions during cold winter when snow arrived and light ice caps were created, with similar to your pond's depths around the edge before the drop off. Rather than BBL shallow areas and ponds having diffusers, they actually have water from the local streams flowing in, or the water from the rain/snow melts flow in. The killer of the trout, carp, and catfish were the ice capped the water from the top, without wind from introducing oxygen into the water. The ice cap also prevent the water from the streams and the surrounding from being introduced into the waters. So, no DO in the waters during cold days.

Now, I'm not sure if your diffuser was running during the cold days, but it appears the fish kept on chasing for DO at the shallow area (trained from earlier) possibly where the diffuser was, since the DO was less than than tolerable DO level for HSB (minimal is 1mg/L). What made me curious is the single trout bellied up, without others being the same, unless you find others later at the bottom when the conditions allow to search. Last desperate chance was to swim to the opening the ice to create enough surface disturbance to create enough DO in the water for survival. Thermal shock between surface water temperature vs lower water temperature would be also an influence of their mortality. We did find fish tried to breath by jumping out of the water, and literally just lied on top of the ice through a small opening, yet, met their dooms.

For the time being, create a plan of approach. Have the diffuser go deeper to prevent the shallow death (I believe there was problem with fish death if diffuser in deep water from posts that I read?), and increase DO at the lower depth as DO migrate to the upper layers of the water during calmed conditions. Your water pressure may not allow you to push the air down that low, but you may have to alter your course of action.

Ensure that diffuser actually either sit on top of a large gravel bed, or sitting under a light gravel bed, to prevent pond organic fine debris from clogging the diffuser. The rock, if layered on top of the diffuser, will also increase the DO stratification in the water column.

I'll await for the sample to come, and I'll let the staff here take a poke at it, and if possible, have them use what we have available in our lab to see what's in the soil during their down time.

Hope I shed some kind of light to the darkness. If anyone see something that I cannot at the time being, please, chime in!



Last edited by Leo Nguyen; 02/13/12 12:34 AM.

Leo

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Leo Nguyen #280653 02/13/12 12:15 PM
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Leo, thanks for the time you are taking. There are 2 diffusers in the pond, one in 4' of water for winter use, one in the deepest part of the pond for summer use. They are switched when water temps are in the 40's. The diffusers are placed inside of 5 gallon buckets to prevent them from stirring up bottom sediment. The diffuser in the deepest part of the pond cannot be used during the winter because it will cool the water from 39F to less than 35F, and that could kill the fish as well, especially the RES. There are RES in the pond, and they might be the first to go with that cold of water temps in the winter. The pond is supposed to be a SMB/RES/YP pond, or BG would be stocked. SMB cannot keep up with BG fecundity.

In #4, I think the O2 was good at the time of the HSB/RBT introduction. The photoplankton bloom during the warmer months contributes a lot of O2 to the pond. The trout seemed to be happy, and when the owners son caught some for dinner, they fought well. The few that were released swam off very quickly, and didn't seem to be stressed after the fight from lack of O2. That was when the pond was still ice free.

Last year, without any diffuser running (well, the deepest diffuser was not closed 100% by mistake and couldn't be closed due to the valve being inaccesable due to ice) the DO in the pond, with a much harsher winter with heavy snow cover never dropped below 5.05mg/L at the bottom of the pond in the deepest water. The only difference between last year and this year is the addition of the HSB and RBT. I had Cecil's O2 meter to monitor the water in all the ponds on the property plus my pond last year. Looking at the data from last year, this pond (Pond #1) showed roughly 1.0 mg/L less O2 than Pond #2 consistently the whole winter. The assumption was made that since both ponds have approximately the same water volume, and that both ponds were stocked with the same amount and type of fish. that the GSF population that is in Pond #1 used up that "missing" 1 mg/L. Pond #3, which is approximately 50% larger than these two ponds, had even higher O2 levels for the whole winter.

But, pond #3 was dug in 2010, and had only about 30# of fish biomass in it. None of the ponds during the winter of 2010/2011 had the diffusers running during the winter.


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esshup #280659 02/13/12 01:08 PM
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Ahhhhh!!! Thanks for the explanation on the cool temp effect in the water during winter time aeration. I live in a warm climate, and aerators are not used in the mountain areas. So, winter time aeration to me is a new concept. I had a suspicion from reading the "fish death" with "winter time", but was not confirmed until now. I notice most ponds are in the 10ft and shallower, with the winter temperature below surface ranges roughly 5 to 7F from surface. Some fish are not cold hardy, so, they'll belly up. So much info to acquire from the cold part of the country that is extremely in tune with the fish. Wish I have a teleporter just to jump to you guys to do close monitoring.

During the prior winters with adequate DO for ponds 1 and 2, were the ice caps generated by the cold weathers and were the diffusers running at optimal conditions as well (assuming that they were)? What were the DO level monitored, if there was any info on it. I'm curious between the DO between non-aerated level vs aerated level during winters before intro of RBT and HSB. It's incredible that they consume that much DO in the water over the GSF existing population. Just like our bodies, larger body require more oxygen for respiration purposes. So, the reserved DO may not be enough when larger bodies go introduced into the larger pond.

By the way, to continue with the #4 as you provide more insights, was the DO in pond #3 remained higher than ponds 1 and 2 throughout the winter with, or without, the intro of HSB and RBT? As researches indicated the HSB is a harder group of survivors down to 1mg/L of DO. Not so much with RBT.

Looks like there may be a bacteria or pathogenic element in the mix. Could you capture a few of the species for a quick observation to see if there is red sore disease (red spots and irritation sores on their bodies)? I will make note to prep some dye detectors for bacterial and pathogenic materials coming from the soil sample you're sending.

Truly Scott, you're making my day. So much fun entails in this discussion.


Leo

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Leo Nguyen #280669 02/13/12 02:14 PM
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Leo:

When the O2 levels were monitored last winter, and found to be good, one of the ponds had a windmill diffuser running in it. Pond #2 was chosen to leave the diffuser on because that pond was almost the identical twin of Pond #1 in regards to pond age, depth, number of species and amount of fish stocked. Both ponds are constructed the same way, and judging by the surrounding trees, they both have the same amount of organic leaf litter entering the ponds.

O2 levels were checked in the deepest portion of the pond at 1' below the ice, 3' below the ice, and so on until 6" above the bottom.

Some cliff notes:
January 2011

Pond #1 7.5" ice, 6" snow
1' - temp 33.6, DO 6.54 mg/L
3' - temp 35.3, DO 5.68 mg/L
Couldn't measure deeper water due to thin ice by diffuser that wasn't shut off 100%. The diffuser valve was accidently left cracked open enough to create a wet spot or very tiny open area in the ice, no more than 2'-3' in diameter during periods of sustained winds. The same diffuser in pond #2 kept the ice open in a 20' to 40' diameter area around the diffuser. I don't think the diffuser in Pond #1 contributed much if any to the O2 levels.

Pond #2 windmill aeration in shallow area, same ice/snow as Pond #1

1' - temp 33.7, DO 7.01 mg/L
3' - temp 35.8, DO 6.69 mg/l
cannot test deeper water

Pond #3 No aeration
1' - temp 33.9, DO 11.54 mg/l
3' - temp 39.2, DO 9.01 mg/l
4' - temp 39.8, DO 7.58 mg/l
8" ice, 6" snow max water depth 4.5'

My pond no aeration 5" ice, 4" snow
1' - temp 36.2, DO 10.9 mg/l
3' - temp 37.2, DO 8.95 mg/l
5' - temp 39.1, DO 8.80 mg/l
7' - temp 39.2, DO 8.72 mg/l
9' - temp 39.2, DO 8.73 mg/l
11' - temp 39.2, DO 8.71 mg/l

February 2011
Pond #1 11" ice, 4" snow
1' - temp 33.3, DO 5.98 mg/l
3' - temp 35.2, DO 5.55 mg/l
4' - temp 35.8, DO 5.05 mg/l

Pond #2 10" ice, 4" snow
1' - temp 34.9, DO 10.4 mg/l
3' - temp 37.9, DO 10.2 mg/l
4' - temp 38.9, DO 8.85 mg/l

Pond #3 11" ice, 4" snow
1' - temp 34.8, DO 9.26 mg/l
3' - temp 38.6, DO 7.71 mg/l
4' - temp 40.1, DO 4.72 mg/l

My Pond 7" ice, 4" snow
1' - temp 34.3, DO 10.4 mg/l
3' - temp 38.9, DO 6.93 mg/l
5' - temp 39.2, DO 6.91 mg/l
7' - temp 39.2, DO 6.63 mg/l
9' - temp 39.3, DO 6.48 mg/l
11' - temp 39.3, DO 6.39 mg/l

This is all data that was before introduction of HSB/RBT. In my pond, I have a pretty high biomass of fish, I'd estimate at or exceeding 500#. No O2 data was acquired this year as I gave Cecil his O2 meter back. I added 50 RBT to my pond this year, sourced from the same supplier as the winterkilled fish, and stocked at the same time. No morts are observed in my pond this year, but I am running an electric compresser with the one membrane type diffuser set at the 7' to 8' deep mark.

On the winterkilled fish, there were no lesions, sores or any other visible signs that the deaths could be linked to a pathogen.


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esshup #280676 02/13/12 02:37 PM
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DATA!!! DATA!!! That is some awesome sets of data! You need a DO meter for yourself there Scott.

As for the data set on Feb of 2011, same diffuser setting cracked to allow a spot in the ice, say roughly 10 to 20% of total aeration capacity?

Passing the recompiled data on the Excel spreadsheet to the local staff for their input, while I get the info about the Jan and Feb aeration status.


Leo

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Leo Nguyen #280775 02/14/12 11:18 AM
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Leo, yes on the diffuser cracked open, I'd say 5%-10% at the most. It wasn't even noticed until ice had formed and there was a "wet" spot in the snow. It was so little that it really didn't keep the ice open when the ice got thicker. It was enough to keep the ice thin, making walking to the deepest part of the pond on the ice too dangerous until the ice in the rest of the was over 8" thick, and even then I was VERY careful and had multiple back-ups in place to get out if I were to go thru the ice.


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I was on the property adding cover to another pond and remembered to bring a fishign rod along. I tossed a small crankbait in the pond that had the winterkill. I walked around the pond, getting one strike from what I assume was a HSB. The lure felt like it ran into a brick wall, then nothing. There were small fish in the shallows, I think Gams.

But, in the SE corner of the pond, I caught 3 RBT in 8 casts. One probably would have tipped the scale at 3#. IIRC there's only 10-12 RBT left in the pond, so I caught at least 25% of them. (they were returned to the pond)

I think whoever said that some of the fish might have been caught in a low DO zone and didn't make it out was correct.


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Hm..looks like the assumptions were on the money. Great job everyone for nailing the issue in the head.

So, the best bet is to deploy a netting across the presumed low DO zone during the winter to prevent another winterkill?


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It would be interesting to know how often fish either get caught in a low D.O. zone or know enough to seek higher D.O. I say that because I had a catfish farm manager in Mississippi tell me that when they monitored D.O. in large catfish ponds at night, if the D.O. started to crash, they would crank up the PTO paddlewheels and the catfish would immediately head for the higher D.O. even in a 20 acre pond.


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I can't chime in for everyone who live in the cold regions, and performed DO monitoring, but I do noticed for my colder mountain areas. Trout tend to search for food sources, and will venture into the low DO zones during day time, attempting to stay in the warm zone, then end up belly up due to the lack of O2 with no food in sight. Same for carp. They would do the same thing, searching in familiar grounds that normally have dense vegetation, but during winter time, plants died off, and they end up trapped in the low DO zone with no food insight. They were unable to return to the depth where the high DO was. They became easy scavenged for predators.


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One fun study in North Dakota had transmitters in northern pike and walleye. As DO declined as winter progressed, the walleyes clustered around the openings from the aerators while the low-DO tolerant pike continued to use the entire lake.


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The plan for this year is to install an electric compressor like the other 3 ponds have that had no problems. That should fix the problem. The airline and diffusers are already in place, just need to run some electric and make a vandal resistant enclosure.


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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
It would be interesting to know how often fish either get caught in a low D.O. zone or know enough to seek higher D.O. I say that because I had a catfish farm manager in Mississippi tell me that when they monitored D.O. in large catfish ponds at night, if the D.O. started to crash, they would crank up the PTO paddlewheels and the catfish would immediately head for the higher D.O. even in a 20 acre pond.


Cecil, the guy I have grow my Tilapia to pond stocker size is also a huge catfish farmer producing over 1M pounds annually. He is Amish and has no electricity in his home, but has a $10M, fully computerized aeration system with DO monitors/alarms, paddle-wheels, liquid oxygen injection and massive powerhouse style agitators all on automated back up generators, just in case, that he has full control over from his smartphone...he commented how the fish will get stressed and and gravitate toward the aeration before the alarms go off and the system kicks on.

I find it hard to believe fish could get "trapped" in open water with no forage or low DO. The fish live there and know the patterns of their prey and when there is O2, especially if fish stocked densely for food production know where safety is going to come from in these production ponds after only one or two events.

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Rex, this is where it gets extremely interesting. It's common knowledge for an aquafauna culture to live in a preprogrammed environment vs a free for all environment have there differences. This is only through my own observation due to my scientific needs for answers. Remember, where I fish, work, and play, all environment are non-monitored or intervened with gadget galore.

In private ponds, where aerators and monitoring equipment are used to introduce oxygen into the water in order to prevent private stocks from going south, the fish population will of course learn that there are sources of oxygen to head to when time of DO became a lack there of. What happen when you have a water body that has no such equipment to provide, and DO may only exist in a spot within that water body, in which all species compete for the limited DO within that area? Food sources became scarce due to competition, then what? They prey on one another, yet, once the smaller size preys have been exhausted, then how do they manage to survive without venturing to other areas for sustenance?

This is where my observation kicked in, and deduction had to be made based on what had transpired, and prior season's notes required for field analysis and eliminating possible and probably causes. What you're exposed to is a systematic protocols to save your stocks, or possibly lack there of. What I'm exposed is nature do-or-die scenarios. I take everything into consideration before presenting knowledge and facts, since I hate presenting something half hearted without a light of proof somewhere. Truly, it's hard to believe at time when you're working with controlled environment. But reality is, the truth can be harder to swallow when you're staring at it face on.

I'm always out to learn and acquire new knowledge and expertise. This is why I venture so hard far and wide to gain more knowledge to either improve on what I've learn, and debunk what I've attained, or utilize the info I've been shared with as is. Do share your view points, and know that my ears do listen, and my eyes are opened wide to receive the new info. However, your presentation of information is one sided, without considering the other side of the coin into the argument. Please, correct if I'm wrong in anyway. I'm always listening and watching for new experience.

Last edited by Leo Nguyen; 03/09/12 01:02 AM.

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Originally Posted By: Rainman
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
It would be interesting to know how often fish either get caught in a low D.O. zone or know enough to seek higher D.O. I say that because I had a catfish farm manager in Mississippi tell me that when they monitored D.O. in large catfish ponds at night, if the D.O. started to crash, they would crank up the PTO paddlewheels and the catfish would immediately head for the higher D.O. even in a 20 acre pond.


Cecil, the guy I have grow my Tilapia to pond stocker size is also a huge catfish farmer producing over 1M pounds annually. He is Amish and has no electricity in his home, but has a $10M, fully computerized aeration system with DO monitors/alarms, paddle-wheels, liquid oxygen injection and massive powerhouse style agitators all on automated back up generators, just in case, that he has full control over from his smartphone...he commented how the fish will get stressed and and gravitate toward the aeration before the alarms go off and the system kicks on.

I find it hard to believe fish could get "trapped" in open water with no forage or low DO. The fish live there and know the patterns of their prey and when there is O2, especially if fish stocked densely for food production know where safety is going to come from in these production ponds after only one or two events.



Makes sense Rex.

Funny about the Amish. I have several Amish friends that had cell phones before I did. In fact I still don't have one! (I live near one of the largest Amish communities in the U.S.)

An Amish taxidermist friend has a Palm Pilot (I don't have one of those either) and was just telling me he was headed to the local library to get on the Internet. grin

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 03/09/12 01:03 AM.

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Remember, this pond had a windmill aeration system, and it was cloudy/low to non-existant winds for a 2 week period. The windmill aeration system is spotty in it's aeration here due to the intermittent winds. It doesn't help that it's 30' to the West of a treeline that is taller than it is, and has another treeline about 75' to the South that is taller than the windmills too. Maybe it was spotty enough that the fish never realized where the O2 was the highest because it wasn't continuous?

Maybe enough larger fish died and that reduced the O2 consumption so the remainder of the fish lived?

All I know is that I'm really puzzled why some RBT survived while about 1/2 of the HSB perished.


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Scott, that's why your situation bugged the crap out of me since I read up on your posting. I asked DFG personnel that I know for prior observation they noted, with those who work in fisheries as well. They're all scratching their heads when I mentioned about the HSB and RBT. All they could come up with the possible scenario was the RBT possibly had already adjusted to the environment before the HSB, and geared toward survival mode rather than hunting mode, allowing them to fit for survival over the HSB, which are pure eating machine.

The staff joked (with a hint of seriousness) that, even with low DO, HSB will forage to satisfy their need for foods over their needs for breathing. They even shown me a few photos of striped bass would swallow other species they recognized are of the same size as their own bodies, and bellied up. I believe they shown me a YouTube segment where bass of the same size would swallow each other alive, risking their own lives just to satisfy their needs to feed. So, it's not too far fetch where HSB would ventured beyond the areas of high DO to just forage, and rather risk dying than starving due to fierce competition already existed at the comfort zone.


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Leo:

Interesting! The trout caught today were leaner, more resmbling a trout from the wild vs. a fed trout. Which makes sense because there is no pellet feeding program in the pond. I'll have to check my records because I think that both the HSB and RBT were stocked within a few weeks of each other.

The reason HSB were put in the pond was because of a Green Sunfish problem. Many small ones. The pond is slated to be a SMB/RES/YP pond, so the owner wanted to get the GSF out of there. There is no sign of YOY recruitment of either the YP or RES due to the GSF in the pond. Another pond of the same age, same stocking minus the GSF has signs of RES reproduction during the summer of 2011. No SMB have been stocked yet. I Fyke Netted the pond during the late summer/fall, and thought the HSB and trout could continue working on the small GSF all winter long. Plus the trout were caught on a small crankbait that somewhat mimics the size and color of the small GSF that are in the pond.

It's still undecided on whether the pond will be drained/killed and dug deeper, or leave it alone and add the electric compressor. Even if it does get dug deeper, the electric and windmill aeration systems will be in the pond.


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I am impressed that some Amish are so up to date with technology. Back in the 50's a friend and I were fishing and the car was stuck in mud when we tried to leave. We walked for miles in Amish country (Indiana) (most were very shy and would just look out their windows at us) trying to find someone that had a car and could pull us out.

A friend's uncle was a veterinarian in the 30's in Northern Indiana and looked after their animals. He started buying up ordinary things from the Amish that were actually valuable antiques. He was worth millions when he died and my friend received a nice inheritance. Sorry for getting off message.


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