I'm just so glad you guys are getting the badly needed rain! A fair amount of the CNBG may very well make it. Since they were not stressed with transport from the hatchery, they have a higher chance of surviving in my opinion.
Well here's the latest. Yesterday we went to check the feeders and get our John Deere unburied. Don't even ask.
I always throw a handful of food out of all the feeders, just to see if the CNB are hanging around, and as I was walking around my CNB breeder pond, I saw a LMB cruising the bank. I came back a little while later with a ultralight and a roadrunner, and caught a 4 pound LMB on the first cast.
The heavy rains we've had here in East TX created a problem I should have foreseen. The quickly rising water levels basically joined both my waters on 3 separate occasions, and I'm thinking my CNB only tank has been hosed.
So, after spending all the time/money/effort for this project, I'll have to rethink all this.
So here's my plan. 1) Seine the CNB pond and check the population for CNB and LMB. 2) Add another galvanized culvert to reroute runoff to the big lake. 3) Add several yards of course rock to the runoff area on the CNB pond to control fish movement between the ponds.
Nothing has been a deal breaker yet, but after figuring out how to pump water into the CNB pond when needed, I never even considered the opposite situation.
FireIsHot. Lusk gave me some good advice many years ago when I stocked about a dozen LMB on top of CNBG/RES initial forage stocking. "Stock seven hand size BG for each LMB and spawn will restore forage base."
It worked and is the basis for our successful CNBG program.
N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds Original george #173 (22 June 2002)
george1, I know you're correct, but it was just one of those oh s... moments. I stocked 1,500 CNB fingerlings, and 30 6"+ CNB, but the smile on that very fat bass when I caught him irked me. If they didn't migrate to the big lake I'll be fine.
Also, thank you very much for the PM info. Very good advice, and I am happy with the choice. I think my big boy rods are staying in the boat for awhile.
Well, I made another trip to our lake and other than FHM nibbling at the Aquamax 500, there is no activity when the feeder throws.
I decided to cut it back to one 1 second throw a day, and just wait.
There are FHM roaming the shallow water, so they stayed put. The palettes I put in for FHM breeder habitat have served me well, and the plastic beer pallets seemed like a good decision. They float well and fluctuate with the water level, so they're always on top.
Until I get rock put in, and reroute the runoff, I think I just have a pretty little pond, and can't think of a reason to restock til that is done.
On the plus side, my big lake feeders are bringing very large CNB in at every feeding.
We are thinking about putting in a hatchery pond as well. We have two lakes on the property and would benefit from being able to add extra forage when every we wanted to. Our Location would not be in jeopardy of flooding like yours. How did the project end up? Have you established a BG seine yet?
Well, the verdict is in. As a brood pond, this failed. I did not foresee the volume of water that would run through the pond, and flow back into the main lake. My feedings have have no results for several weeks, and I'm moving the TX Hunter feeder to another location in my big water. Obviously, the initial stocked CNB followed the water flow, and left the pond.
But, I learned a lot and will reattempt this project next Spring. I think I have come up with a plan that will allow the water to pass, but will keep the fish from getting out. Pics of that, down the road.
On a great note, Momma and I made a "cull trip" this weekend, and stopped fishing when the ice chest was to full to close. We probably caught 50 LMB in 3 hours, including several over 8 pounds. Every LMB under 14" was pulled, so it turned out to be a productive trip.
The best part was the incredible volume of CNB we saw. The lake was literally stacked with forage, and I have no doubt that under any circumstances, my lake is very healthy. Fry to plate size CNB were seen.
And last, thanks to George1 for all his advice on fly fishing, and equipment. My first CNB on a fly rod couldn't have weighed more than 6 ozs, and it was my prize catch of the weekend.
Well, here's the latest update. I let my Texas Hunter Feeder throw til it was empty, to get it ready for it's move to the big lake. When I checked it, it probably had a palm full of food that remained, so I just threw it out by hand into the CNBG pond. Immediately a dozen 2" to 3" CNBG hit the food.
Now I'm really confused. The CNBG were smaller than what I had stocked, and no fish had been added to this pond since the original stocking.
I had decided to wait until my water test results got back from A&M to make any future decisions, but the water came back fine. It had slightly elevated iron numbers, which I expected, but everything else was within range. A beautiful bloom has started, and now I'm back in the brood pond business. I'll net some small CNBG from the big lake and start the whole process again.
I had seen thousands of what I had assumed were FHM swimming around the bank, but they nibbled on the food also.
I refilled the feeder, reset it for 2 1 second throws a day, and decided that maybe the fish and water should dictate my future actions, not me. So, I guess I'm dumber than CNBG fry.
Well, it's been a month, and here's the latest. Both CNBG and FHM are feeding aggressively. I was surprised at the number of CNBG that were feeding, and they were obviously smaller than those originally stocked. So, I'm assuming some of the fish stayed in the pond during the washout. This makes me happy.
I've had to add about a foot of water to keep the pond at pool, and backing it up to the big lake turned out to be a great idea. One semi trash pump, 2 sections of 20' of hose, and 6 gallons of gas later, it's full again.
One thing I noticed was that the FHM really flocked around the pump discharge after I set it just below the water line. It created a vortex, and pulled lot's of air into the pond with the water. The FHM literally swam all around the outflow including the very end.
I also had noticed that the vast majority of CNBG didn't eat the Aquamax when thrown. They waited until it hit the shade, then gobbled it up. Since the pond has no structure, so it's easy to seine later, I had a Pinky and the Brain moment, and tried this. I shot this pic late this afternoon, and shade from the trees had already covered this area.
I built a figure 8 pvc floater that's tied to each bank. I zip tied barricade fencing to it, and pulled it out into the throw area. Today, the CNBG fed in that area also.
I guess the artificial shade increased their range, and I'll be interested to see if it continues. If so, I'll try a better more permanent method using a larger mesh fish netting.
The Lilies I planted are healthy and already opening, and the spiral eel grass looks awful. I'll check back in a week, and hopefully the eel grass will recover from the transplant shock. I was really hoping they would make it.
I do believe the CNBG are from this year, but I've yet to see any of the larger stocked fish hit the feeders.
Birds I don't think are an issue, but still not sure about LMB. I've taken 2 out after multiple line and lure attempts, but have not caught one in the last 3 months. If there's one left, I bet he's fat and happy.
Water temp (related shade) do play a big part in feeding. With no predators present it plays a bigger part as the fish are not as worried about predation but rather optimum feeding conditions. Lots to this when sight advantaged predators (LMB) are present. Then the BG/CNBG are not so inclined to shade where the LMB have the advantage even when the shade provides a little better temp.
We went back to the farm this weekend, and added another 2 pump runs of water. Since I'm blessed with rock hard red clay, this pond is holding water well through the summer heat. Approximately half the pond is covered in shade from afternoon on, so evaporation from the heat seems to be less than my big lake which is dropping quickly now.
Two things I noticed this weekend. One, if you pump water out of one BOW with Naiad, you will get it in the other BOW. I found very small clumps of it several places, and sprayed it accordingly. Who would have thought that?
And two, fish in both BOW were eating very lightly this trip. I have all my feeders spaced 10 minutes apart so I can check them all throw and although the fish fed, there were not the volumes of fish feeding that there were even 3 weeks ago. The heat, water dropping, and summer fronts have all slowed down the buffet. Another couple of weeks, and I'll move all my feeders to hit some deeper water and see if that helps.
The Lilly pads are thriving but the spiral eel grass seems to have died a horrible death. I will try replanting next spring, but I would hesitate to purchase any more plants by mail right now. The heat related to shipping hosed these plants, and although they were packed with cold packs, they just did not survive. I'm not blaming the vender for this, and I will hopefully just learn from my experience.
Well, it's been 5 months, and most of my original fears seemed to just be impatience on my part. I had a work day at the farm yesterday, and there seemed to be thousands of CNBG swimming happily around the small pond. The sizes ranged from 1 1/2" to 6", and there was a good mix of both stocked and newly hatched fish.
They all seemed to eat well now that the Summer heat has eased up a bit, and the FHM were still there by the thousands.
I had purposely left some Naiad and Primrose around the edges of the pond to have an easy visual of the fry's interaction with it, and it was as I expected. Both FHM and CNBG were clustering around the vegetation, so I added porcupines to the deeper part of the pond. Almost immediately after sinking, the FHM moved away from the bank and started ganging up around the added structure.
With my water clarity at around 18" I was able to see large numbers of the larger CNBG in the shallow water that I had graded for a spawning area. To me, that was a good sign.
I also had to load the feeder with Sportman's Choice fish food since I was unable to get my Aquamax 500 prior to the trip. They seemed to eat it well, but hopefully I'll be able to get my Aquamax this next week. My feed store has only been receiving short orders of Purina fish products for the last month or so, so I'll be curious to see if this trend continues. Not sure if the recipe change is causing this, but this has never been an issue before.
I did remove 2 LMB that apparently swam up into the pond during the Spring, when the pond flooded. That's a total of 6 that I've removed since June. They were reluctant to leave to say the least. Unlimited forage, and no protective cover made them fat and happy.
So, other than the few LMB that swam up into the pond, which was my fault, the brood pond is looking to be a huge success. I should have the ability to self stock my big lake next Spring, and that should pay for the dirt work within 2 years.
Lot's of fun, and a good investment also. This has turned into a win win for me.
Just got back from the farm, and the CNBG pond is still doing well. Removed 2 more LMB, so a better runoff barrier is still a priority before the Spring rains. The big lake area next to this pond is extremely shallow, and does not hold fish throughout the year. But, apparently when fresh rain water came in, they immediately tried to swim up stream.
I moved the floating figure 8 almost directly over the porcupines, and had far more CNBG and FHM feed inside it.
Since the weather has cooled off, I only had to add 2 runs of the trash pump to get the pond full again.
Primrose and Naiad are still growing in the pond, but both are manageable. I'm not inclined to chemically remove the primrose since it provides cover for the fry, and the fish really gravitate to it. Since my banks slope quickly, I'm able to just rake out sections of the primrose if needed.
The Naiad on the other hand is harder to manage. I've pulled it out by hand, as the water clarity seems to keep it pinned to the bank. Note to self, good rich water keeps the Naiad from spreading as the available sunlight is diminished.
I also tired some Hydrothol on patches on it with limited results. Who would have thought Kelly Duffie would be correct. I purchased some Aquathol Super K, and will try this next. I did have 1 dead CNBG about 2" long within 8 hours of spreading the Hydrothol, so it's becoming less attractive in this confined pond.
The lilly pads look great, and the dead curly eel grass is spreading nicely. Again, I gave up on it too quickly. It should have a 3rd of the banks nicely covered by next Summer.
So the one question I have is, has anybody tried course rock in a over flow area? The 2 options I see are, a outlet pipe at least as big as the inlet pipe, or dumping approximately a 10' span of coarse rock just to keep the fish from traveling from lake to pond. Has anybody tried this method?
Took no pictures this trip. To be honest, I trapped another beaver and moving and setting new traps kind of took over the weekend. I told my wife several months ago that I had decided to be a mountain man when I retired and just trap for a hobby. Now, I've changed my mine. I'd starve to death. No "live action" for me.
The 8's are doing exactly what I had hoped. They're covered with algae, and the FHM have gravitated away from the bank, and FHM and CNGB are holding and feeding around them.