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Hello all, I am brand new not only to this forum, but to pond management. Over the last couple of days, I have been reading several of the threads to try to get an idea of what I needed to know to attempt to try to grow some fish. I have a couple of ponds. One is an acre and completely over run with 3" green sunfish, and the other is about 1/2 to 3/4 of an acre surrounded by woods. I talked to KDFW and the biologist said I needed to put around 60 6-8 inch LMB in, and let them eradicate the greenies, then stock BG. I guess this is ok? The pond right now has no cover or structure at all and I might need some ideas about that also. The smaller pond I was wanting to put SMB in. I researched how to make spawning beds and so on, and planned to do that this weekend. Is this possible to grow SMB in a small pond like this?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 09:11 PM.

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I would do something a little different with that pond filled with green sunfish. Umm...it would be poisoned, drained, remodeled and started over. Green sunfish are a menace that you do not want in your pond ever.

Is there any way that you can enlarge or combine the two ponds?

Small ponds like that are often very touchy to manage.

Smallmouth can and will spawn in smaller ponds, but the problem is that if they do spawn you are going to spend most of your time harvesting smallies to keep them from overpopulating such a small pond.


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I think you got good advice from the biologist. That will give a lot of forage for the bass. As greatwhite mentioned, you might also think about draining or poisoning the pond. There are a number of ways of doing it. A rented, or purchased, trash pump should drain it in a couple days. Liming the pond at that point will kill whatever is left. You can also search this site for rotenone, which will kill the fish in the pond, but is non-toxic to most other life. I believe you need a licensed professional in KY for rotenone application.

I personally like smaller ponds, and would rather have two smaller ponds than one slightly larger pond. It gives you more options.

Smallies will work, just not in the presence of largemouth. You'll need a long term forage base like bluegill to keep them going. They just aren't as easy to manage as largemouth.

We have a lot of people here on the forum who have experience with your type of issues.

By the way, how did the greenies get in the pond. After you get rid of them, is it possible that more can get in?

Ken


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Ken, I have no clue how the GSF got into the pond. Haven't had it that long. I did think about having someone apply rotenone, but think that all the GSF would create a feeding frenzy for the fish we stock and help th to grow quickly. I don't think they coils get back in as the closest water source is my other pond that has nothing in it, and it is a half mile away.
Great white, is having too many smallies ever a bad thing??? My plan is to keep the two species separate, and have one pond for bigger LMB, and the smallmouth are more of a project. I really enjoy catching SMB and would not care to take the appropriate number out to keep them in check. If I can keep forage (what should I use?) and I selectively harvest can I grow 2-3 pound SMB in a pond that size?


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I have a small pond as well that was full of GSF, but I did not know this until I stocked it and started catching them a year later trying to pull out some HBG and CC.

I was worried as well since many say they are a pain, but since LMB were stocked in the pond along with BG, I catch very few GSF any more. Plus when I do catch one they are usually larger 6-8 inch fish which are plenty big enough for me to keep and cook up.

GSF make for a wonderful meal and their meat tends to be thicker then my BG so even though the fillet is small it is still a solid piece of fish.

I do however wish I would have moved some to one of the other ponds first before trying to eradicate them. As I have a pond that can not grow much of anything do to being only 3-5 foot deep and plan to turn it into a bait fish pond (at least until we can renovate it) so it will get some use.

Thanks

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I believe the advice given by the KY biologist is sound as well. Any pond that was over run with GSF but was later stocked with LMB and BG ends up with the few GSF surviving and those left being larger in size. There is no doubt GSF will compete some with BG and smaller bass, but they aren't as big of a problem as other species in my opinion.

If you decide to try a SMB pond, skip the BG. SMB can't keep up with their reproduction. Ask TJ about his experiences in SMB(along with HSB and WE) controlling BG numbers. It's a never ending battle. Sunfish species like RES and RBS would be better options as they are less prolific. PS and possibly even LES could be considered as well. Good forage options that are sunfish would be YP, spotfin shiners, LCS, FHM, BNM and FHM among others.

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The only reason I do not want to put them in my other pond is because I REALLY want smallmouth in it. I have heard that they are nest robbers and since it will be such a tough Job getting SMB recruitment, I want to some other option for forage in my little pond.


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Don't forget golden shiners.


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I plan on putting FHM and golden shiners in as forage. My only concern abouty SMB pond is that it is completely surrounded by woods. It has some decaying plant matter at the bottom of the pond. How will I know what needs to be done to ensure water quality?


Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." -
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Bottom aeration is the biggest help in mitigating the leaves accumulating issue.

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I just drove out to the pond to drop off some cover and supplies fir SMB spawning beds. Water is way low because of the drought, but it has also been completely cover by duckweed! I have to remove the duckweed before I put in forage fish? How can I remove the duckweed and ensure that it doesn't come back? My pond management has now encountered it's first major problem! PLEASE HELP!!!


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Sounds like you need to start over.. Poison, renovate, use one pond for the SMB setup your wanting the other for forage or grow out.. 2 ponds are better than one..


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Duckweed in a newly built pond? That is rare since duckweed is characteristic of older, organic laden, eutrophic ponds. If the pond is new DWeed may not return after the pond has stabilized next year. Annual duck weed problems indicate poor and risky water quality for raising SMB who prefer higher DO concentrations. Expect frequent DO sags in ponds infested with DW.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 09:15 PM.

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I don't think the ponds new.. I think it's new too him..


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Froggy,

I can only sympathize with your drought. It has been a couple of years for us since we had those problems, and I almost lost my tractor cleaning out the visible muck.

As for your duckweed, it shouldn't affect your introduction of forage fish.

I'll let my friends talk about duckweed control. I've only experienced it on my dog when he recently thought it was a beautiful extension of a friend's lawn -- and he thought he could walk on it! (He was power washed downstream of my ponds.)

Regards,
Ken


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Bluegillerkiller, I don't have any fish in it at all right now,
So I am basically starting fresh.
Bill Cody- it is a very old pond, just new-ish to me. This weekend I plan on taking as much brush and junk trees as possible with the frontend loader. I know that I need to have better aeration, and plan to add it as soon as it is feasible. Is there anything short of draining the pond that I can do to eradicate sludge and duckweed.

Guys, thanks for all the help and answers that you are providing.


Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." -
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FoggyJ - your long term plan for this pond should be a draining and scraping or deepening the basin. You will 'limp along and apply band-aids' until then. It is the old organic deep muck accumulations and possibly nutrient enriched runoff that are affecting / adjusting the water quality (eutrophy) that are creating conditions condusive to growing duckweed - watermeal. Change the conditions and that will change what plants will grow there. Certain plants tend to be indicators of certain water conditions - we call them water quality indicators. Duck weed is an indicator. All types of aquatic habitats have them. Trout are another good common example of a water quality indicator.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 09:17 PM.

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Mr Cody, thanks, even though that is not what I want to hear, if that is the best solution, that is what I will do. If I go ahead and drain and re-shape the pond now, I can probably put forage in it in the spring? When should I look at adding my SMB? I can drain it tomorrow while I am out clearing all the underbrush away. Again, thanks for all of the help guys!


Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." -
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If you want to do a smallmouth bass pond it is best to stock forage and then give the forage a year to multiply before adding predators. I am 6 months into the waiting game with my forage and I have decided to wait until fall of 2013 to add my Yellow Perch and Smallmouth.

Once the pond is ready add some golden shiners, crayfish, grass shrimp,red eared sunfish, bluntnose minnows, banded killifish, and spotfin shiners (sourcing the last three can be tough but http://www.jonahsaquarium.com/ has them, get 50 of each, the prices for bulk orders are WAY better than what is online). Three months before you intend on stocking predators add 1000 fathead minnows. Be sure to plant some small hybrid lillies and try to get some beneficial grasses going. Get plenty of wood, rock, and PVC structure set up as well. In order to get the spotfins to spawn you will need to create some crevice structures like this one I made out of blank CDs, electrical wire, and metal spacers (these pictures are from when I first hung the cd structures before the pond was at full pool, they are now submerged):




Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 08/10/12 11:02 AM.

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To help your forage get a good jump start on growth you should consider adding a feeder and/or starting a fertilization program. I added a Texas Hunter Feeder with 125lb capacity and have been feeding my forage Aquamax 400 and 500 for two months now. The growth of the fish and number of offspring is amazing since I added that feeder!


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Rockville, thanks so much for that info. I guess I'm gonna bring the dozed over tonight to prepare for draining tomorrow. I will start setting structure as soon as the bottom gets reshaped and will add spawning beds then also. If pond gets water in it later this fall, can I start to add forage this year and add the bass next fall?


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You can add the forage in the fall with no problems.


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I'd wait to stock the GSH until you stock the SMB. If given too big of a start they can be serious bait stealers and produce so many YOY they become too abundant outcompeting other species and eating their fry and small YOY. When you stock your SMB, stock breeder size GSH, 3"-5" fish. Just a pound per acre is fine for a SMB pond.

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What size SMB can I grow in a 3/4 acre pond with proper management and ample forage? I might need some info on how to reshape pond after the drain. Is there a thread on here for that? Sorry I am so new to all of this, but I guess we were all new at one time or another!


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I grew some SMB to 21" in a 1/3 acre pond. So it can be done, and I used Aquamax high protein fish pellets to suppliment the growth of fish that I pellet trained myself. Thus I hand picked the stockers. Sorry no pics, so it becomes just a 'fish' story. I am confident that some of the largest fish could have made it to 22" maybe 23" since they were only 7 yrs old when I drained and restocked the pond. A 21" SMB should be easily gain 1/2" per year if the fish is well fed. A 21" SMB should weigh 5.5 lbs and a 23"er should weigh 7.3 lbs.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 03:32 PM.

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