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#317183 01/11/13 12:07 AM
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We plan on building a 1-2 acre self-sufficient, spring fed pond. What are the basic food items to add to our pond and maybe some possible bonus fish? Smallies are our target fish.

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1) Make sure you have the correct amount and type of cover for the forage fish. Make rockpiles for crayfish to hide in. Have the cover ready to place in the pond basin before the pond is completed.

2) Get the forage base established before stocking predators.

3) Make sure you have SMB spawning areas.

4) FHM to get the predators off to a good start. Get PaperShells introduced at the start. Grass Shrimp need vegetation for cover.

5) This is not a "set in stone" list, nor is it all inclusive:

RES
GSH
any other native minnow species
Grass Shrimp
Papershell Crayfish
YP
SMB
HSB
Seasonal stocking of Trout
Seasonal stocking of Tilapia


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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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Will YP help with the SMB? Should GSH be stocked with the FHM or with the SMB (or in between)? Will stocking HSB potentially risk establishment of SMB?

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How long do you wait to stock smb after stocking fhm or gsh?

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I have a lot of patience. I'd stock SMB fingerlings the next year. That'd give the forage fish a year to reproduce, and get ahead size wise of the SMB.


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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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If you want GSH (know the pros&cons) stock them early with the FHM. This allows them to get to a larger size so the original GSH broodstock tends to often be too big for the larger SMB to eat. Adding HSB to a pond with GSH will put extra predation pressure on the GSH population. Too many predators will probably eliminate the GSH recruitment??? Cover and habitat become more important for maintaing GSH when the predaor population is "strong", numerous, with some large SMB &/or HSB. IMO GSH should be 4"-5" long when fingerling SMB are initially stocked. It takes several years for GSH to grow to 7",8",9",and even 10". GSH can live to be 7-9 yrs old. Female GSH tend to be slightly larger than the males. Spawning occurs at temps near 20-21C (67F), often in central, northern US - May-Aug depending on location.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/14/13 08:59 AM.

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Bill - While I have added some SMB breeding areas, there will not be much rock cover compared to the pond size (way too muck hauling of rocks). I will be adding lots of emergent plants and water lilies which I hope will provide cover. I do not yet know how many submerged plants will grow. I plan to definitely add FHM this spring, but am still unsure of GSH because I am concerned that they will interfere with SMB recruitment, but I am leaning toward it since I will not be feeding. Based on your recommendations, would there be any advantage in adding the FHM this spring, the GSH next spring, and the SMB the following spring, or is it just as good to add both FHM and GSH this spring.

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GSH reportedly eat bass fry and no doubt fry of a lot of other fish species, but a lot of other fish species also eat fish fry. However There is a 0.3 ac pond (25-30yrs old) 1 mi north of me that has SMB, GSH, RES, and now for several years some pellet eating YP. SMB do recruit in this pond. GSH are not real common and RES spawn annually. YP do not seem to get a lot of recruitment so far. The pond has minimal vegetation (some Chara) and some turbidity (vis abt 16"-2ft) due to 1 grass carp -GC. The turbidity may aid recruitment of some of the fish, by reducing the sight feeding ability of some of the adult fish when fish fry are common. The pondowner cannot get the GC out so he can plant lilies.

If you add FHM this spring you could add SMB fingerlings this fall. FHM over the summer could produce lots of young FHM for the fingerling SMB. SMB are often very hard to locate in Spring due to short supply and the demand for them in fall. I would focus on getting some crayfish (40-100) in the pond ASAP this spring to take advantage of the crayfish spawn so you get a crayfish hatch this year. Crayfish are easily shipped during cool tempeatures using less expensive 2 day delivery.

IF you want GSH I think it is good to get some adults established well before adding SMB.

YP & SMB do very well together if they are both fed a high protein pellet such as Aquamax 500 & 600. By doing very well I mean fast growing fish and numerous fish. Without pellet feeding the production is a lot less and growth rates are noticably slower. Traditionally with pellet feeding we saw significiant amounts of filamentous algae FA, but when blue tilapia are used with pellet feeding FA in minimized. Numerous baby tilapia also help boost the food chain.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/12/13 10:01 AM.

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Bill thank you again. No YP then since I will not be feeding. I'll catch and release as many crayfish as I can this spring (we have a lot around). I am pretty patient so maybe add FHM in spring, GSH in fall, and SMB the following fall. This should allow the FHB population to build to feed the GSH, and let some GSH grow before adding the SMB. I may start with few SMB because they are expensive. Lots of fun! Maybe if we really are able to schedule an Indiana get together, you will be able to make the trip to central Indiana. I'd love to pick your brain on a lot of topics. I know much of the info is available on past posts, but I seem to learn best from discussion.

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Why not add a few GSH (40-100) in spring with the FHM and some crayfish? Start trapping crayfish in late March through May to get the gravid females. Eggs will be already fertilized on females carrying eggs. By fall you could have lots of all three species as forage.

If you allow these 3 species to reproduce all summer you might not get that much more actual forage production or biomass the next (2nd) summer due to these species reaching or achieving pond carrying capacity fairly quickly (one spawn season). Thus the second summer would mostly be wasted time as far as increasing the amount of minnow, shiner crayfish forage.

Fingerling SMB (2"-3") are cheaper and more available compared to larger sizes of SMB. Stocking the fingerlings does not put a lot of predation pressure on the adult spawning FHM, GSH or Crayfish until the SMB get to 9"-11" after they have been in the pond for 1-2yrs. Stocking fingerling SMB in the 1st fall allows the larger adult FHM and GS to produce spawns the 2nd year before the predation pressure gets intense. If you dobn't have a lot of SMB per acre this allows the forage base to maintain high density for a longer period.

The bigger the stocker SMB the more rare they are to locate and the price quickly increases for larger individuals.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/12/13 11:20 AM.

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Now I understand. I was not considering the stocking of fingerling SMB. At this size (2-3"), how many should be stocked per acre? Also, when and at what size should the RES be stocked?

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From my limited experience with RES and SMB, I would stock fingerling RES (1"-3") with the FHM or in fall with fingerling SMB. RES fingerling stocked in spring would then produce a limited spawn the next summer as 4"-6" fish, and limited spawn due to the RES not big individuals. Plus RES are not prolific anyway even as big spawners. RERS stocked in fall would only produce offspring the next spring if the stockers were mature at 5"-7".

How many SMB per acre to stock? Well that is a good question. I think the lower densities of 30-60/ac will result in faster growing smallies and it will allow the forage fish to continue building a strong forage base until the 1st SMB stockers produce their offspring that grows to 6"-8". I have seen SMB fingerlings stocked in fall as 3"-4" fingerlings grow to 8" to 10" long after one full year in a small pond with optimum conditions, i.e. lots of food including crayfish. The first juvenile set of SMB offspring will likely "hammer" the FHM really hard and then focus on crayfish and GSH as the juveniles grow to 10"-12".

If you stock SMB fingerlings at the higher density of 70-100/ac the whole process of reduced forage noted above happens faster and results in slower overall growth and smaller top end size of the first stocking of SMB. In other words the original SMB will not get to be as big, but overall they will usually be more numerous. Growing bigger predators is all about keeping forage abundant, having it to be various sizes of small to larger suitable items, and managing the predator numbers, usually selective harvest, so they do not over eat the food source.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/12/13 11:58 AM.

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Thank you once again. I am trying to spread the cost out to get free shipping from Jones hatchery, so I will need to see how it works out. Having flexibility with the RES will help with that. I would not have guessed at stocking rates as low as 30 per acre for fingerling SMB, so that is an eye opener.

P.S.

From Jones Hatchery:
Fingerling SMB are $5 each, so I will order 40 in fall for $200 (expensive!).
For this spring, I am thinking 10 lbs of FHM ($95) + ?? RES at $0.92/fish + ?? GSH at $13/lbs. I sent an email to Jones hatchery to see how many GSH there are per pound so that I can order less tha 100 fish. I can then see how to split things up to reach the $200 minimum for free shipping. Is 10 lbs/acre a good number for the FHM? If need be, I could try a paddlefish to reach the $200.

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You do pay for free shipping. Nice fingerling SMB can be 'had' for $1.5 to $2.60 ea. But one has to be willing to travel in my case 3 hrs one way to get them so shipping cost vs time & $ spent traveling may be similar. Did you check with this place in Indiana for fish? Of course if they don't have or can't get the fish then they are not reliable. Often a fish farm will take your order for SMB but provide only an excuse when it comes time to deliver the fish. Reliability and dependability is sometimes worth a little extra money. http://clearcreekfisheries.net/

GSH per pound will depend on size of fish. At 3.5"-3.75" equals 100/lb; at 4" about 50-55/lb; at 5" about 35-38/lb. You can order more than 100 GSH breeders if you desire to by fall have more GSH. Depending on delivery time and stress one can loose a high numberr of GSH due to handling and hauling stress. YOu want to insure the minnow shiner delivery is pre spawn timing.

10 lbs of breeder FHM is about 250/lb at 2.25" long = around 2500 fish. Recomended number of stocker brood stock for breeding adult FHM is 500-600/acre to produce without any predators 200,000 minnows/ac (about 328 lbs/ac) (Kentucky) by fall. Adult shiners will eat some newly hatched FHM fry to reduce the final FHM production. So adding 1000 FHM/ac is not unreasonable.

When stocking minnows allow for some mortality depending on the provider and time or air temperatures for delivery.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/12/13 09:09 PM.

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I purchased 200 SMB fingerlings(3-4") in Nov. of last year for $2 each. I had to drive 3 hours to get them. They were actually finishing seining when I got there. 4 hours in a bag and they were in wonderful shape (50 to a bag). It was a wonderful excuse for a road trip.

So at $3 each savings.....$600. I feel as if I more than paid for my trip.

I even got a few pellet trained WE thrown in for my aquarium!


Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer.
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I have been to Clear Creek and they seem like a fine operation. They do seem to stock everything that I need except golden shiners. Maybe I should just see if I can get them somewhere else. Any recomendations on someone that can ship 100 GSH to central Indiana for a reasonable cost? I am leary about purchasing them at a bait shop.

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I may hold off on the crayfish until I get water lilies established so they won't wipe them out.

RAH #317535 01/13/13 10:47 AM
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RAH,

http://www.andersonminnows.com/

I'll bet the ones from Jones are 3"-4" max.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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I saw the site above when I did a google search, but the web site was pretty bad about giving particulars concerning price and delivery. I am always leery of businesses that post pages full of glitz and low on the info you need to make a purchase, but I guess a lot of good businesses just have poor web designers. If I left this page frustrated, I am sure so have many others. Just give price, description, and how they will be shipped.

RAH #317573 01/13/13 05:31 PM
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I've used them and so has another pondmeister near me. Good service good product and they seemed as concerned about the fish as I was.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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Jones Fish Hatchery has a branch in Ft.Wayne. IF they would have some GSH you could drive up there and get them or meet the fish truck when it arrives. Sometimes you can meet the fish truck when it is in your area for fewer fish than $200. Call or contact them for options. Does Aquatic Control in Seymore IN still have fish???


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I'll check into these options, and maybe see if a local bait shop uses any of these suppliers.

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Often bait shops that sell GSH get them from Andersons Minnow Farm or an another large minnow farm. Bait shops will often tell you their supplier for GSH.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/13/13 06:43 PM.

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That is what I am hoping. So my new plan is 5 lbs of FHM, 100 GSH, and 50 fingerling RES this spring, and then 50 fingerling SMB in fall. I will try and pile some bricks in the water and add crayfish after the water lilies establish, although I expect them to show up on their own before that since we have the type that digs holes on the shore to breed, and they move everywhere. I have had poor luck establishing water lilies once the crayfish get going.

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Will threadfin shad survive in central Indiana ponds? It appears that this might be too far north.

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TShad will not make it up there in ponds unless you have a source of warm water. If you get ice for more than a day or two they are toast.
















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I'm not sure that I would even suggest threadfins for a northern pond even if they did survive cooler water. I am not saying that SMB won't do well with threadfins because big smallies are produced in some waters with threadfins. But on the other side big smallies are also produced without threadfins as noted by others and more recently by BobbyRice, a member here.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=25055&Number=317191#Post317191
Also see "Talking Points: Smallmouth Bass" by Dave Willis and Bill Cody in Jan-Feb 2013 Pond Boss Magazine.

Threadfins are filter plankton feeders and work well with lots of plankton which means one would likely have to fertilize to get good results or truly worthwhile benefits from threadfins. With a limited amount of plankton the threadfins may actually end competing heaavily with the smallie fry and other desired fish in the pond by eating too many zooplankton needed by the more desirable fish. Fertilizing northern ponds or any pond with SMB is risky and dangerous due to possible plankton crashes and associated DO sags. Risky and dangerous expecially if one is not well versed in fertilizing and being able to properly monitor the blooms.

Smallmouth are IMO more sensitive to DO sags compared to largemouth bass. So in trying to properly maintain threadfins with good plankton blooms to enhance smallmouths, one might end up killing the smallmouths due periodic to lower annual water quality events; which is sort of like 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'. The chances of periodic DO sags happening would depend on many interacting variables of the pond ecosystem and ambient conditions. It is too risky a plan IMO if you really value the smallies once you have raised them to 16+".

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/22/13 09:46 AM.

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Couple of things, why has'nt anyone mentioned the drawbacks of certian crawdads (reds? are'nt they the ones that burrow?) If papershells are available that may be the way to go. Have you considered HSB instead of SMB? After much conversation with BC and research i went with HSB and it works very well. In my opinion they are as fun to catch, pellet trained, grow rapidly and are very easy to manage. Also, BC recomended to me to stock Bluntnose and Spotfin shiners. After I ignored his advice to only stock 12-15 HSB (1/4 acre pond) I soon had 30 very plump HSB and NO flatheads. Thank goodness for the Blunts and Spots. Thined the HSB down to 12 the first fall and now have ones that about pull the rod from ya. Just my 2 cents.


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I will not be feeding or restocking (maybe a pipe dream), so I want fish that can breed (SMB vs. HSB). I may not have luck with the SMB due to my watershed for this pond being a soybean/corn field on adjacent land. Even with a settling pond, I expect fertilizer input depending on the timing of rains, so I will need to see if I get algal blooms. If things look good, I may add paddlefish which are also filter feeders, but will not contribute otherwise to the food chain (I hope). I am now thinking about going slow with 5 lbs of FHM and collected forage species (BNM, darters, creek chubs, etc.) this spring followed by RES and GSH this fall, and SMB the following fall. I could go faster, but I want to be sure that the forage species are plentiful before I add the SMB. I also want to get aquatic plants established before adding crayfish, but they will likely add themselves. I will be pushing dead spruce trees out on the ice this weekend and may start adding honey locust branches as a plant protector for geese.

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If you are going to add creek chubs you will be better served to add golden shiners. Both species will be nuisance biters for small live bait users. Chubs will be more of a nuisance since their mouth gape is much larger than that for golden shiner. Larger creek chubs can eat a sizable item. Plus shiners will repopulate and chubs will not.

I would add crayfish and not rely on immigrants because the stocked, reproducting and colonized crays will make it harder for the more problematic invaders to become established although some invading crays are very competitive and can crowd out dense populations of the more beneficial ones such as less aggressive papershell crayfish (Orconectes immunis). The crayfish species of water nymph crayfish (Orconectes nais) and northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis), both common pond species with less tendency to make chimney burrows, may be good ones to stock as forage. Another fairly large type species found in ponds is the White River Crayfish (Procambarus acutus) which occurs along the east coast and in states of the main Mississpi Rv drainage. The White River cray will readily burrow and make a simple vertical chimney. These three species are a little larger than papershells and may be better competitors to some of the immigrant ditch burrowing crayfish belonging the genus Cambarus or Procambarus. Established ponds with good crayfish habitat and nearby streams have more than one species of crayfish in the pond due to immmigration.

IMPORTANT NOTE: when adding crayfish it is best to use one of the species native to your region - do your homework. Crayfish are good short distance overland travelers and migrators from adjacent streams and ponds. Any crayfish species not native to your locale is considered an invasive species and when established in your local surface waters can cause problems with the native crayfish species and the surrounding ecosystem. So when stocking crayfish choose the more beneficial ones that are already reported for your state.
Crayfish by State:
http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/crayfish/country_pages/species_by_state.htm

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/23/13 11:39 AM.

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I plan on adding shiners too. Will adding creek chubs hurt the shiners? If so, I will try to avoid them, especially if they will not reproduce. We have a lot of burrowing crayfish in the area. Will these be unable to overwelm other species if they are stocked. The "native" burrowers do not represent a problem for my dams based on width of my dams. I was planning to add collected crayfish after getting water plants established. Will adding golden shiners with the FHM significantly slow the reproduction of the FHM? If not, I'll add both in spring. My goal is to get a lot of aquatic plants and forage established so that I favor a sustained population of forage for the SMB. I really want to get the eelgrass established. I have no concern for bait stealers since we only use artificial bait.

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P.S. I'll be adding GSH in Spring, not Fall.

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IMO the creek chubs will grow to 8"-10" long. They will eat big insects and small fish including SMB fry. Shiners will do the same thing but to a lesser extent - IMO. IMO chubs would be only good to add as wounded individuals to feed adult bass. Adult chubs will not "hurt" shiners unless you consider chubs eating shiner fry hurting them. Shiners and fathead minnows are compatable IMO and experience.

Normally the crays will only be abundant or even common until the smallies get to 10"-12" and their offspring is big enough to eat baby crays then the crays will be scarce or even rare. Smallies really put the 'hurt' on crays even in the best of pond habitats. IMO to maintain good crayfish populations in a pond the pond would need 70% to 100% of the shoreline lined with coarse rip rap (broken concrete etc) as refuge for the crays and that might not be enough in a pond with a 'strong' smallie population (60-80/ac subadult & adults).

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Will adding golden shiners with the FHM significantly slow the reproduction of the FHM?


I work a small bait pond tear drop shaped 100 ft by 60 ft with both GSH and FH. I catch both and fair numbers with traps and cast net, and I doubt I over harvest this pond. I get very mature FH and not a lot of small ones. There is a lack of cover in this pond also.
I doubt the Shiners hinder the reproduction but would be they do hinder the recruitment.

Do you think you have enough cover for fry to hide in? as it will help all species not just the FH. (every one says the fathead will be gobbled up right away anyways once you have a predetor base)


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I forgot to say that this pond has always had FHM, and added the GSH about 5 years ago.


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I'll leave the creek chubs out.

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FHM and GSH egg sites ready for the ice to melt. Also showing how steep the grade is on the dam.




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I hope you have those tree weighted down so they don't float all over the place when the ice melts. FHM will not do a lot of spawning on those trees. Fatheads will prefer the area with the larger rocks in the foreground. Try to get some more concrete or tethered floating boards near those rocky areas. Golden shiners prefer shallow grassy areas near the shore for laying eggs. They will sometimes use filamentous algae mats at the shoreline.


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They will have to find their own resting place like the ones I used in my old pond. I read that FHM will lay on the bottom of logs and branches. No? Also I will be adding lily pads which they apparently really like and do well on. I can add waxed cardboard if needed.

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Pallets, placed in shallow water, work very well for FHM spawning structure. Tie them to a piece of PVC or rebar so they don't float away. They will get waterlogged, and sink, so keep them shallow. I don't know if FHM will spawn on pallets laying on the bottom of 6' depth. Pallets are easy to source and can be picked up for free pretty easily.


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We all have our quirks. I like to use natural materials where I can. I used a bunch of branches and trees in my first pond. Most lodged in shallow water. They all appear gone now, but I currently have lots of emergent plants and lily pads to provide cover. I have read that waxed cardboard disappears pretty quickly, but lasts long enough for a season of FHM breeding. I am patient, so we will see how long it takes for the forage species to get thick. I have a lot of plant material to use on the new pond from this older pond. I just need to keep the geese at bay. I am after diverse wildlife habitat, but some trophy SMB would be a nice bonus.







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Nice pond setting there!

How long did it take to get those lilys established and about how many did you start with?

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These pictures were taken 6 or 7 years after the pond was built. I started with 4 different lily plants bought at Lowes, The pink, yellow, and white did fine, but the orange died. A couple years later, a friend then gave us a bunch of nicer flowering ones from his pond, which also mostly did well. The best performer has been the pink from Lowes. One of the reds is really nice, but not so hardy. I have dug and transplanted yearly from this initial stock, into this pond, a couple wetlands, and a friends pond. One of the wetlands and the friends pond has lilies doing well, but a couple deeper wetlands near our stream have been tough on them. The turtles and crayfish are my best guess at the culprits, but keeping the muskrats out has also been a continuing challenge. The pond in the pictures gets fewer plant eaters in it and can tolerate more damage without showing it. The pond in the picture has significantly more water lilies now due to continuing transplanting, and will be where we get transplants for the new pond. It is quite nice to sit on our dock during mornings when they are all blooming along with the iris, pickerelweed, and other flowers. A great stress reliever!

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Lots of good golden shiner spawning areas alone the shoreline in the old pond.


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Can anyone difinitively ID this fish?






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Looks like a Golden Shiner to me.


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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My pictures are not very good, but the fish has a dark stripe that can be seen along its side in the second picture. Is that common for small golden shiners?

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RAH, I beleive it's a Creek Chub like you find in the local streams.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semotilus_atromaculatus

It'll live in the pond, but I doubt that it'll reproduce there.


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Maybe a silly question, but would FHMs spawn under RAH's lilly pads? They're flat, keep constant at surface level, and quickly return when the weather warms up. Seems like a perfect option.


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It is more like a creek chub than a shiner. Definately not a g.shiner.

Fatheads could spawn under lily pads but with bass present they would be "sitting ducks" and very vulnerable to predators attacking from underneath. Some lily pads have a gelatinous undersurface making it hard to get the eggs to stick to the leaf. If fatheads can spawn close or next to the sediment/bottom in close quarters under an overhanging flat surface that is ideal as it offers protection and a nest that is easily defended by the male parent resulting in a high hatch rate for the eggs.


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Thanks Bill that's what was hoping.

Not trying to hijack thread, but this is what I was trying.


It's a mix of hardy lilly pad's and primrose on a shallow bank in my brood pond. The FHM seem to like it, and I was hoping it would help them spawn also.


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I stand corrected.
Cody's note - it was a good guess and guesses and opinions are always welcome at Pond Boss.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/23/13 01:56 PM.

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How do you tell a creek chub from a BNM?

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Several ways to tell creek chubs from bluntnose minnows. Some of the more prominent ways are:
1. compare the mouth of a bluntnose and creek chub. Mouth shape and location on the snout are completely different. Mouth will be noticably larger on a chub vs BNM. BNM have a rounded nose with the small mouth slightly below the rounded snout and c.chub has a more pointed snout, not rounded, and mouth of c.chub starts at the point or end of snout and slants back and downward- notice that on the last picture above.
2. BNM has a more prominent spot at the base of the tail compared to a c.chub. What appears to be a spot at the base of the tail in the above picture is actually the end of the lateral dark band on the side of the c.chub above. Body color can vary based on spawning condition and the water quality where the fish was collected - light, dark, clear, stained, greenish, gray-muddy-dirty.
3. Look at the scales on top and in front of the dorsal fin of the c.chub above. Compare the top view and the picture below it of the nice side view. Those scales do not "stand-out" or appear distinctly separate. On a bluntnose, those scales will always "stand-out, be individually distinct looking and appear "crowded" toward the front especially when viewed from above. See the picture of a BNM in this link. I'm still looking for a good picture. Try this from nanfa. You will have to type in bluntnose minnow in the Search Gallery located in the upper left hand corner.
http://gallery.nanfa.org/main.php
4. In cross section the bluntnose is round while the body of the c.chub is more compressed and slightly higher bodied.
5. If you have a bluntnose or c.chub and it is longer than 4", it is very likely a c.chub. BNM will get to 5" but is it very rare for them to get 5" long. And when BMN are 4" long they appear distinctly different from a c.chub the same length. When c.chubs are 1"-2.5" long they appear similar to the bluntnose and could be difficult for the novice without experience to recognize.

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Thank you Bill once again! I'll throw these in my LMB pond as food and not in the new SMB pond. I was hoping to catch some BNM and get a population going, but no such luck.

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Are there any watchouts concerning putting stream collected darters into a new pond that will hopefully be a SMB pond? Will they do any damage or good?

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This looks like a sucker. It is about 4" long. Can anyone ID this fish? I have a new pond destined to be a smallmouth pond. I will be adding FHM and GS this spring. Is there any harm in letting this sucker go in the pond?


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Stoneroller?

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CJ can provide more info on this topic. IMO RAH is correct - a stoneroller, one close to breeding colors and probably a male. I don't see any negative to adding stonerollers to a pond for SMB. Stonerollers have a special mouth structure to clean and scrape attached growths, usually algae, from rocks and stones. I doubt that they will spawn in a pond habitat without stream access and I assume it was collected from a stream their natural and often exclusive habitat.
PS Pretty good picture and neat idea "fish in a bag" for photographing an unknown fish.

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We actually bought a rectangular "fish-bagger" so that I could get pictures to post on pondboss of unkown fish. It was collected in a small stream that runs through our place. Thank you for your many helpful posts Bill! This is the first fish in the pond.

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With some good luck several may spawn in a proper pond setting. Since they are a fusiform soft rayed fish that does not get overly large, I initially considered them as forage for SMB and YP, but regretfully could not get them to spawn in a pond.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/14...=21101941903757

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1577/1548-8659(1935)65%5B148%3ATBHOTS%5D2.0.CO%3B2

Quote from: Identification Manual of Fishes found in Old Woman Creek (OWC) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) and State Nature Preserve (SNP)

""Reproduction: Central stonerollers spawn between March and late-May when males dig spawning pits in shallow, swift riffles and occasionally in quiet pools. Males construct the pits by driving their heads into the gravel and they transport gravel from the pits by nudging stones out with their snout (hence the name stoneroller) or by transporting them with their mouth. Males compete aggressively for favored spawning areas while females remain in deeper water near the spawning pits and enter the pits individually or in groups to deposit eggs. The adhesive eggs become lodged in the gravel and are abandoned prior to hatching. Most stonerollers become sexually mature in their second or third summer. OWC Distribution/Frequency: Sites A, C and D/very common (Brammell et al. 2009)"".


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They are awesome aquarium fish. You will never have algae on the walls of your tank if you have a few in there. However, I don't see them spawning in a pond, even one that was gravel bottomed. So many neat fish out there, so few that can actually spawn in ponds.

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I doubt may pond will allow spawning, but now I have one little fish in a big pond. Maybe I will be able to trap more. I did think about putting it in one of my son's aquariums, but he does not really have algae problems because he seems to have the lighting right.

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I've had very good luck with Anderson Minnow Farm as compared to another vendor for fathead minnows.


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Did you have Anderson ship you the fish? If so, is shipping expensive? Do they have a minimum order size? I wish to get both FHM and GS.

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RAH, check with the bait dealer' wholesaler in your area. The guy that does it around here sells them to me wholesale(fatheads,gold. shiners and rosey reds). They are8-10 bucks a lb.


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I found a bait shop that says they can help me out, but I want to be sure that I get the species that I am supposed to. I am not very good at identifying little fish, and would hate to start off the pond with the wrong species.

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Darter in full color - what species?


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Orange-throated?

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Orangethroat darter, it is one of the more common darter species along with the rainbow darter, and Johnny darter. That is a male approaching full spawning coloration as it will be spawning season here in a month or so... There is a lot of variation in coloration depending on what subspecies/drainage the specimen comes from. Not a pond candidate but they make awesome aquarium fish!

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I know that they will not spawn, but I added it to a pond destined for SMB along with 2 stone rollers. I will be adding FHM and GSH in a month or so. I am adding creek chubs to a LMB pond also. Is there any harm in this?

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I don't think so.


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Thanks - Just trying fo some variety. Not sure how long they will last after adding the SMB which I am planning to add in the Spring of 2014 if the FHM and GSH population gets high.

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With a little feeding to the pond of ground or crushed pellets this summer-fall you will not believe how many small fish you will have present. Feeding will make the early and later hatches grow well. The water will be dark with minnows when you fed them.


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I have a bag of fish food that I bought from Tractor Supply, but I just use it to to watch the fish in the older LMB pond (not used every day). I am hoping that I can get a good food chain going, but if it takes an extra year to get the forage population built up in the new pond, I am OK with that. I will be planting water lilies and want then to get established before adding crayfish, so it may take a little longer anyway.

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RAH, I'd grind up the pellets and feed the forage fish to get them to grow as quick as possible, so you could stock the SMB ASAP. That way if another predator is accidentally introduced, it won't have the unlimited forage w/no predation scenario.

Ran into that with GSF in one pond before SMB were stocked. GSF either ate or suppressed the RES/YP YOY hatches for 2 years. Ended up killing the whole pond to start over. Very few GSH & FHM in the pond too.


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Well, I thought that I had a good source of golden shiners at a local bait shop, but when I asked for their supplier it was another bait shop (and I could not verify the species). Anyone know of a hatchery that can economically ship golden shiners to central Indiana? I only need enough to get forage going in an acre pond. I added 5 pounds of FHM yesterday. No one within a reasonable driving distance seems to raise them.

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Does the pond have anything in it right now other than FHM? If it doesn't, you could consider GSH fry from Andersons...

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Andersons ships all sizes of GSH.


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I recently saw that Anderson's have a thing going right now that will ship a box of something like 250,000 fry. They claim it is cheaper than buying fewer large ones.

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I don't know how well they'd do if stocked in a pond that has an existing fish population, especially if it doesn't have any submerged vegetation in it for protective cover.

Great success rates when stocked in a newly constructed pond without predators and a good bloom.


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Nothing but FHM and a couple stonerollers + 1 orange-throated darter. I sent Anderson an email, but I think they only ship larger orders. I don't need many to get them started in a 1 acre pond.

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Originally Posted By: esshup
I don't know how well they'd do if stocked in a pond that has an existing fish population, especially if it doesn't have any submerged vegetation in it for protective cover.

Great success rates when stocked in a newly constructed pond without predators and a good bloom.


That's what I was thinking too. They did mention habitat. They must think that out of those numbers there must be some who survive for a while. Esshup, I can post a link to that page if you want.

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Anyone bought golden shiners from Haley's Fish Farm in Indianapolis or American Pond & Lake Management in Russiaville, Indiana?

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Anyone bought golden shiners from Haley's Fish Farm in Indianapolis or American Pond & Lake Management in Russiaville, Indiana?


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Originally Posted By: RAH
Well, I thought that I had a good source of golden shiners at a local bait shop, but when I asked for their supplier it was another bait shop (and I could not verify the species). Anyone know of a hatchery that can economically ship golden shiners to central Indiana? I only need enough to get forage going in an acre pond. I added 5 pounds of FHM yesterday. No one within a reasonable driving distance seems to raise them.


Local bait shop is a good source, that's where I got my brood fish - took the few dozen largest they had. They are easy to identify - you could always buy one, post photo on forum, and we could help verify species prior to stocking.


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esshup - So these guys are good source?

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If I was closer I'd give them a try.


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Thanks - when this snow gets outa here, I will.

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RAH,

Are you anywhere near Birdseye, Indiana. I know the owner personally and he's a good egg. He serves on my board of director. He hauls all over the state too.

Lyle Andry of Andry's fish farm. It's on the Internet.


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Too far for me to go if I can get them much closer. My issue is that delivery seems too expensive for a few GSH. Shipping may be affordable though. I have a couple email inquiries in. I am 30 miles west of Indy.

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""Anyone bought golden shiners from Haley's Fish Farm in Indianapolis or American Pond & Lake Management in Russiaville, Indiana?""

I would at least give them a call to see if they have GSH. If they do, then stock them before the water gets to 65F since they haul and handle better at less than 65F.

IF you buy from a bait shop and you are not getting more than 40-80 they will be easy to sort this amount using an aquarium net to catch and look at them before adding to the pond. This will insure you don't get any sunfish or other odd fish.

If you get your shiners from a hatchery they always can plastic bag and oxygenate the fish for a 2 to 3 hour drive home. That method has always worked well for me.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/24/13 03:46 PM.

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I'll probably take a ride up to Russiaville once the weather breaks (snow melts). I brought FHM back from Martinsville in a bag with oxygen and they did great.

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You need the phone number of American Pond & Lk Management?


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I have the contact info from the Indiana DNR list. I'll call before I drive up. Thanks.

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I have a phone number but does anyone have an email for American Pond & Lk Management in Russiaville, Indiana?

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I'd call and ask for the email address.


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You would think that hatcheries would monitor this site???

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Well, American Pond & Lk Management in Russiaville, Indiana does not yet have any GSH. The fellow also had trouble hearing me on the phone which is one reason that I like email.

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RAH - Did you get an email address for AP&L Mgmt?


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I had some luck today in finding a bait suppier that gets golden shiners out or Arkansas and provides them to a local bait shop. I'll stop by the bait shop this weekend and set things up.

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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57

Local bait shop is a good source, that's where I got my brood fish - took the few dozen largest they had. They are easy to identify - you could always buy one, post photo on forum, and we could help verify species prior to stocking.


Good call, Rah. Probably the simplest route. If you are worried about species ID just tank them and take a few up close photos for us, we can help verify before you stock.

I think you're going to love your SMB pond, welcome to the club, soon!


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FWIW, SMB stocked at 4" in a pond with lots of forage in early summer last year are now 10" fish. I should get some pics tomorrow.


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Fish ID?




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Looks like a "creek chub" in my opinion.



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Thought so at first too, but the mouth is wrong. Creek chub have a much more blunt nose and more purple color to them.

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http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_diseases/neascus.html

That's why looking over wild fish carefully is important. If snails aren't present, then the "disease" won't continue. I think disease is a misnomer, it really should be called a parasite I think.


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I don't know if it's a creek chub, but it sure has black spot grubs...likely came from a bow with snails present. Travis or Cody can ID the fish I'll bet.


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Mouth is large. Possible another specie of chub. Definately not a shiner. Travis may recognize it. Container walls may be distorting the mouth shape?


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http://www.indiana.edu/~inbsarc/divfish_files/divfish_lifehistory.html



Semotilus atromaculatus?

http://gallery.nanfa.org/v/members/Uland...b+2000.jpg.html







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Dang - I threw it in the largemouth pond.

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RAH, where did you catch it?


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It could also be a female Hornyhead chub.

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/species_...47/Default.aspx




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True, but dorsal fin has black spot on it.


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I noticed that too but since the mouth size has people leaning to other kinds of chubs I thought I would toss it out there, Hornyheads do have a larger mouth and a female chub will be duller in color than a male.

Do we have a chub expert in the house? I know it's NOT me. I still think it is a creek chub, just my opinion of course. grin

Here is a female creek chub.
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/species_a_to_z/SpeciesGuideIndex/creekchub/tabid/6599/Default.aspx




Last edited by Shorty; 04/16/13 08:05 AM. Reason: added picture


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Originally Posted By: RAH
Dang - I threw it in the largemouth pond.


Creek chubs make great LMB bait, I wouldn't worry about it. wink



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I think now he's more worried about the black spot than the fish.......


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It is a is very common parasite and likely already present.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_52259_10950-27376--,00.html

Quote:
A common disease in earthen bottom ponds and lakes, this disease is caused by a parasite (larval trematode) that burrows into the skin of a fish causing the formation of a cyst approximately one millimeter in diameter. This parasite has a complex life cycle that requires fish eating birds or mammals, snails, and fish at different stages in order to survive.

In general, even heavy infestations of these parasites do relatively little damage to the fish. There is some evidence that heavily infested juvenile fish may experience excessive blood loss, physiological stress, and even death. Also, fish with heavy infestations on the eyes may be blinded.


Quote:
Control of this parasite is really not necessary as these parasites are incapable of infesting humans and the fish are safe to eat. It may be more aesthetically pleasing to skin a heavily infested fish prior to eating. In any case, cooking kills the parasites.



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I caught the fish in a very small stream where I have previously caught creek chubs (without spots). The spots through me off, but next time I see them. I'll toss the fish in the grass!

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It could easily be a creek chub. A faint - faded basal dorsal spot is present on FAH's pictured fish above. Fish colors and hues easily change or fade on fish depending on conditions. Something that concerns me is the slope and shape of the forehead snout, however it is similar to that in the picture of a female creek chub. I'm not an expert on chubs unless I have it in my hand to check specific features of the different chub species.


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I would say it is a creek chub. Based on where it was caught, there really aren't many options that it could also be.

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Thank you all. I learn something every time I am on this site. Most recent learning: Pretty spots are not a good thing...

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How about some smallie pics???


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Will the muddy water from all of our recent rain kill GSH if I add them to the pond now? The bait shop finally got them in.

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No, the GSH will be OK.

Now, that's assuming that it's just muddy water and not some other kind of toxic inclusion.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Thank you - If something toxic comes in, then I will have more to worry about since the SMB that I hope to add next year will likely not do well!

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I hope this is a golden shiner because I hade to dump them in the pond because they were dying. Got them from a bait shop and they did not have O2 to add to the bag.


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Looks like one to me.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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That's great!

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Other than crayfish, FHM, and GSH, are there any other good forage species?

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Could consider:

Lake Chubsucker
Bluntnose Minnow
Spotfin Shiner
Johnny Darter
Banded Kilifish

Discussion Thread

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I assume that I would need to catch these rather than find then at a fishery?

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Read through that thread I attached when you get a chance. We're trying to get some together through a source TJ found. Add your interest to that thread if you want in. I need some very soon as well.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Other than crayfish, FHM, and GSH, are there any other good forage species?


How about freshwater shrimp. Either Mississippi Ghosts (talk to TEEJAY) or a more local smaller variety.


TJ Im sure I butchered your screen name, sorry!!

Last edited by fishm_n; 04/19/13 06:08 PM.

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Yep, here to help on alternative forage species and shrimp, just fire me a PM. Happy to assist, have already helped many here.


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I assumed that crayfish would eat water plants, specifically newly planted water lillies. Am I off base?

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Can anyone ID this fish?


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It is a shiner. Lets start eliminating what it is not: not golden, nor spotfin, nor spottail, nor common shiner, nor striped, nor redfin, nor rosefin, nor ribbon, nor red, nor emerald, nor ironcolor, nor silver, nor sand, nor mimic, nor ghost, nor channel, nor bigeye, nor blackchin, nor bigmouth. Can't see the mouth very well which is often helpful. I assume you caught it in the creek or small stream?? In the picture it doesn't look like a steelcolor shiner to me cause the scales don't look big enough and distinct enough. I can't see the mouth and snout which are unique to steelcolor shiners. It might be a river shiner? CJ will have to provide an opinion. A steelcolor shiner is a good spawner in ponds. I wish I had a few of them.

Minnows and shiners of Indiana.

http://www.indiana.edu/~inbsarc/divfish_files/species_files/checklist%20of%20indiana%20fishes.pdf

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/11/13 03:48 PM.

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I put it in the LMB pond because I thought it might be a pale-colored creek chub which is what the other fish in the trap were. I wish that I had put it in the forage pond destined to be a SMB pond. If I catch more, that's where they will go. I was afraid to leave it in the bucket all day.

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Can you give me a little more help with this one. How long is it?

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If it is less than 3.5" or so, I would say a male FHM that isn't in spawning colors. I base this on the first ray of the dorsal fin is distinctly shorter than the next one, there is a fattening of the caudal fin at the base along the bottom and upper edges of it, these traits along with the general shape of the fish is indicative of a FHM male.

A rare FHM male may be almost 4" but that would be a freak. If the fish is longer then 4", well then I am pretty stumped and will have to reevaluate the picture.

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About 2.5" long

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Then it is with 90%+ certainty a FHM.

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Not as exciting as a different species of shiner, but I guess they are pretty common in small streams.

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The fish in the plastic bag sure does not look like a FHM to me. The bag must be distorting the image assuming CJ is correct. Maybe try another picture showing the mouth? Body shape is also not charactistic of a FHM. Some shiners have the first dorsal ray 1/2 teh length of the 2 dorsal ray. But the first dorsal ray of the FHM is thickened compared to that of most shiners. FHM are at times similar appearing to other fish, but FHM are pretty easy to differentiate from shiners. Try to get us a couple more pics. FHM do live in streams but in my experience are not real common in streams - but it all depends.


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I agree Bill, FHM are pretty rare in streams. About the only time I catch them in streams is when they are getting flushed out of a pond upstream from the point I am catching them.

I just don't know of any species that has the 1/2 length first dorsal ray so distinct along with the thickness of the caudal fin edges like this specimen does, other than FHM. What about the shape makes you not think it is a male FHM? When not spawning, male FHM are still chunky like this fish is.

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I released it already, but If I catch another, I'll try to get better pictures. It seemed that it was disproportionately taller than the creek chubs that I caught with it (although the picture did not show this clearly.

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CJ - the fish in the bag just does not look like a FHM to me. The head length appears too long and the midbody height appears too tall for the total length and more like a spotfin body shape. Snout shape will be a key feature of identification for me. Shapes and body dimensions could easily be distorted by the fish being in a plastic bag.


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This fish is in a rectangular plastic fish bagger, but the corners do distort the mouth since the plastic rolls arounfd the corners. The little buggers always stick their heads in the corners!

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My pond was stocked with FHM and GS this spring. I want a SMB pond. I want to wait until the fall of 2014 to add the SMB to get lots of forage established. I'll add collected crayfish starting next spring. Is there any reason not to add YP and RES this fall (I found a source within driving distance)?

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