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I posted this in my habitat thread, but I think it will get more exposure here.

This stocking plan is for a one acre dug pond that we are going to be excavating hard this week since the weather has finally helped out.

Here are my plans to date and subject to change as you guys help me out even more...

I'm thinking I stock 200 GSH, 100 FHM, 100 Papershells, 50 1-3" RES and 20 4-6" RES this fall if the pond fills in time. If not, then next spring.

The following fall or spring depending on my first stocking date, stock 40 3-4" SMB and 100 1-3" YP both feed trained.

I also have thought about adding Grass Shrimp to the mix depending on my vegetation growth.

I plan to line two shores of the pond and a couple underwater peninsulas with rip rap and broken concrete to help the crayfish and SMB.

Any adjustments, comments or ideas on my stocking plan?

Any other minnows that I could add to help diversify and help the pond?


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I would bump the # of FHM by 900 or so, and get them in asap, even before the GSH. If you have 3-4 feet of water in it, stock the FHM and they should make it thru the winter. As for the YP/SMB, I would try to stock larger YP. At the size that you listed, the SMB can eat them, which is what you don't want with your stockers.


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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 thought that giving the FHM an entire spawning/growing season before introducing the SMB that 100 would be enough, but adding more is not a problem.

Noted on the YP size.


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The fingerling 1"-3" YP - SMB will not IMO stay on feed. They are too small, with too short of feed training habituation and when added to the pond will go "off feed" to utilize all the abundant natural foods. It is instinct overpowering pellet training. If you are lucky some will later resort to eating pellets, but I think the number will be few 10%-20%. I hope I am wrong.

Grass shrimp are distributed as far north as the lower part of lower MI. Be aware they may not survive in your area.
http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2620

Crayfish, if you can create good habitat for their long term survival, will be a better forage item than grass shrimp in your planned fishery. With good habitat, numerous other invertebrates will fill the forage item gap in the lack of grass shrimp.

If you want a strong YP population, I would stock more YP and at 2 to 3 size classes (3-5 YP for every SMB). A good option is to stock the SMB after the YP have spawned the first time. This way the SMB eat YP and other items allowing the other food items to increase and better establish. In good conditions SMB can over power the numbers of recruitment YP resulting in low numbers of recruited YP after the initial stocker YP are harvested or naturally die outin years 5-9.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/15/13 03:15 PM.

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Is there any danger of YP growing large enough to take SMB if small SMB are added later?

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That makes perfect sense to me. What minimum size/age of YP/SMB do you need to get so they don't relapse as much?

Depending on water levels, would it make sense to stock the bigger YP this fall or just wait to give the bait fish longer to reproduce?


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Hmaster says""What minimum size/age of YP/SMB do you need to get so they don't relapse as much?"" That is a gray area. Generally the longer the fish have eaten pellets the more likely they will stay on pellets. Example: fingerling YP will often go off pellets when stocked into a food rich pond - it is instinct, and YP that have been on pellets for 17-24 months rarely eat minnows and are almost exclusive pellet eaters. I generally put pellet trained fish 3"-6" in a cage and continue to pellet feed them, strengthening the pellet eating habit for another 3-12 months.

"... would it make sense to stock the bigger YP this fall or just wait to give the bait fish longer to reproduce?"" I would wait until spring to stock pellet trained perch. Stocking them in the fall allows them and forces them to be in the pond overwinter to weaken or loose the pellet eating urge - lessons. Spring stocking is best IMO since they will likely or hopefully resume pellet eating within 3-10 days and continue pellet feeding for the summer months strengthening the pellet eating habit. It helps to have other or older pellet eating YP or fish ('teacher fish') in the pond to lead the new pellet eaters to the pellet feeding area. If you are not interested in pellet fed fish then fall stocking is okay.

RAH - "" Is there any danger of YP growing large enough to take SMB if small SMB are added later?"" It depends on how habituated or how strong the welfare mentality is to pellets that the perch are. Strong welfare pellet perch rarely eat a minnow even slow swimming FHM. I've seen welfare perch starve in the presence of lots of FHM, bluntnose minnows and grass shrimp. However 5" to 8" aggressive minnow eating perch could eat weak or disoriented SMB fingerlings (1"-2"), but not likely the healthy SMB fingerlings that are 3"+. From my experience 10"-12" YP generally do not eat 3"+ healthy rapid swimming fish but will take disabled or hampered 4" minnows on a hook. Fingerling SMB of 3"+ have experienced enough cannibalism that they are fairly predator savvy. Good dense habitat that is fairly extensive plays a role in survival of newly stocked small fish.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/16/13 02:01 PM.

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Maybe my plan to add a low density of both species + RES this fall is a good option? The FHM (and/or GSH) seem to have produced a lot of fry. I have had a hard time finding eelgrass in local water but found a couple plants last night and put them in the pond. Hopefully they will take. My two tries at getting purchased spiral eelgrass to take in more established waters failed in the past. This may have been due to crayfish, but who knows?

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RAH - You going to the Hoosier Pond Gathering at esshup's on Saturday? If so, I'll bring you some eel grass.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/16/13 02:02 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Hmaster says""What minimum size/age of YP/SMB do you need to get so they don't relapse as much?"" That is a gray area. Generally the longer the fish have eaten pellets the more likely they will stay on pellets. Example: fingerling YP will often go off pellets when stocked into a food rich pond - it is instinct, and YP that have been on pellets for 17-24 months rarely eat minnows and are almost exclusive pellet eaters. I generally put pellet trained fish 3"-6" in a cage and continue to pellet feed them, strengthening the pellet eating habit for another 3-12 months.

"... would it make sense to stock the bigger YP this fall or just wait to give the bait fish longer to reproduce?"" I would wait until spring to stock pellet trained perch. Stocking them in the fall allows them and forces them to be in the pond overwinter to weaken or loose the pellet eating urge - lessons. Spring stocking is best IMO since they will likely or hopefully resume pellet eating within 3-10 days and continue pellet feeding for the summer months strengthening the pellet eating habit. It helps to have other or older pellet eating YP or fish ('teacher fish') in the pond to lead the new pellet eaters to the pellet feeding area. If you are not interested in pellet fed fish then fall stocking is okay.


RAH - "" Is there any danger of YP growing large enough to take SMB if small SMB are added later?"" It depends on how habituated or how strong the welfare mentality is to pellets that the perch are. Strong welfare pellet perch rarely eat a minnow even slow swimming FHM. I've seen welfare perch starve in the presence of lots of FHM, bluntnose minnows and grass shrimp. However 5" to 8" aggressive minnow eating perch could eat weak or disoriented SMB fingerlings (1"-2", but not likely healthy SMB fingerlings that are 3"+. From my experience 10"-12" YP generally do not eat 3"+ healthy rapid swimming fish but will take disabled or hampered 4" minnows on a hook. Fingerling SMB of 3"+ have experienced enough cannibalism that they are fairly predator savvy. Good dense habitat that is fairly extensive plays a role in survival of newly stocked small fish.

If stocking in the fall will pellet trained 4" - 6"SMB and 3" - 5" YP resume pellet eating in the spring? This is assuming not caged in a 3/4 acre pond. I plan on feeding when water temps 60+ only.

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08TR - for those sizes of fish, the percentage that will eat pellets in spring will be a lot higher if you can get them early enough in fall so they are eating pellets (3-5wks) before the water temps decrease to 55F-60F. If pellet eating in spring is very slow, I would buy some more perch (6"-8") maybe 20-50 that are pellet trained. YP 6"-8" are more likely to quickly resume eating pellets compared to 4"-6"ers. They should within 7-14 days resume eating pellets and then lead many of the fall stocked pellet eaters (SMB&YP) back to the pellet eating habit. Sometimes the minnows have to be depleted before feed trained fish return to pellet eating. Shelby Fish Farm in Anna OH has very good pellet eating YP, but ask about feed training feature before ordering the fish. Their blue tilapia are also high quality.

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Bill is Blue tilpia a fish that winter over in Ohio waters? Do they serve as a forage fish? Sorry I know very, very little about Tilpia except my wife always orders them when we have seafood.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
If you want a strong YP population, I would stock more YP and at 2 to 3 size classes (3-5 YP for every SMB). A good option is to stock the SMB after the YP have spawned the first time. This way the SMB eat YP and other items allowing the other food items to increase and better establish. In good conditions SMB can over power the numbers of recruitment YP resulting in low numbers of recruited YP after the initial stocker YP are harvested or naturally die outin years 5-9.


I would like to be have a strong YP population so I can use them for the dinner table. With that being the case, how many more YP would be needed?

Would doubling the YP and using a mix something like 50 - 4-6", 100 - 6-8" and 50 - 8-10" stocked in the spring of 2014 accomplish the goal? Then hold off on the SMB (4-6" min) stocking until the the fall of 2014.

Also, is my plan for the RES in the ball park?

Last edited by Huntmaster; 07/16/13 04:06 PM.

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08TR - Blue tilapia and all species of tilapia will not overwinter in Ohio. They are sort of expensive but so are the algaecides that are used to kill algae problems. Four big benefits to tilapia for algae control are: 1. No chemicals, 2. You can eat your algae control agents at the end of the year; try that with algacides. 3. Young tilapia are a food source for the predators in the pond, although lots of predators eating the army of small tilapia is not all that good until the young tilapia are struggling, dying and easy prey in late fall. 4. Algae getting consumed is getting some nutrients bound into fish biomass; some nutrients are extruded in manure. 'Free' or dissolved nutrients grow algae. If the tilapia are harvested, eaten, or removed nutrients are leaving the pond - a good thing. None of those 4 things occur when using algacides so maybe a little extra cost is beneficial.


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Hmaster asks ""Would doubling the YP and using a mix something like 50 - 4-6", 100 - 6-8" and 50 - 8-10" stocked in the spring of 2014 accomplish the goal? Then hold off on the SMB (4-6" min) stocking until the the fall of 2014." Yes this is a better option. For one acre with a planned YP harvest in fall of 2014 more YP could be even be safely added next spring (up to 100). With new planned numbers and to save some $$ you can use proportions of 100-150-4"-6", 50-75 6"-8" and 25 8"-10". The two larger sizes of perch will lead the 4"-6" pellet trained perch to resume pellet eating. With lots of minnows and pellet feeding expect good growth by fall 2014. The 4"-6" will be 7"-9.5", the 6"-8" should be 8"-11" and the 8"-10 to be 10"-13". You will be surprised how well these pellet trained perch will grow esp. those from Shelby Fish Farm (I know his high quality source of YP). Plus if stocked before Apr 1-7 there will be a YP spawn in 2014 and there will be quite a few small perch 2"-5" and minnows in the fall of 2014 as forage for the stocked SMB. YP in your area YP spawn in mid-March to Apr 10. If possible get your YP stocked mid March 2014.

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Bill - I wish that I could make it. There is just too much to do on the farm. Thank you for the offer!

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Perfect thanks Bill!

While reviewing other threads, I saw where you didn't like GSH because they are bait stealers or something along those lines.

Are there other minnow species that are reasonably available that may be a better choice for my pond?


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I am in Ontario Canada just north of London and loaded my pond with emerald shiners, golden shiners, and just some fathead minnows.

I have nothing but pellet trained Yellow perch in my pond this year now. I really think the fathead is the minnow of choice for my small pond. They populate like crazy. After learning more the emerald shiners are fast but may not spawn in a small pond and the golden shiner only spawns once a year and has a 78 day gestation or along that lines.

After putting in the fatheads the population of super small minnows has doubled.

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Hmaster. You can get some spotfin shiners in NW Ohio. A Saturday drive would work out for this fall or next spring. PM me for source. Actually the GSH may be a better choice with SMB in the pond esp if weeds are scarce or not present. SMB I suspect will quickly eliminate the spotfins and other smaller types of minnows - too strong of predation pressure. GSH can get big enough to survive long term with adult bass present.

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I'm sure some of you have seen my build thread in the habitat section, but I wanted to make sure there was a link in here for future searches.

You guys have been a ton of help getting this thing going and I'm glad to say that we finally started the hole yesterday!! cool

Thanks for all of the help!!

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=344907&#Post344907


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OK guys. I have over 10' of water in the pond and adding more daily.

Is it to early to think about adding my FHM? GSH?


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Originally Posted By: Huntmaster
OK guys. I have over 10' of water in the pond and adding more daily.

Is it to early to think about adding my FHM? GSH?


10 feet of water is MORE than enough to get that forage base going!

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I will add, if it hasn't been mentioned before, that you'll want some spawning habitat in there when you stock the fatheads and shiners. Fatheads are good with pallets or something else to spawn underneath while I think shiners prefer vegetation.

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I figured that was plenty...most of it all came with yesterdays rain!!

I didn't plan on putting pallets down low, but I could place them no problem tonight before it fills up any more. I do have some concrete piles and whole cement block that they could spawn on under water right now.

Vegetation is another thing. That's probably going to take mother nature for that.


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You can stock FHM in 10" of water let alone 10'!

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OK, I have a local line on the FHM now, so they should be swimming soon.

I was thinking about adding 75 RES this fall as well. I think I found some in the 3-4" range. Is that enough based on my other plans down the road?


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It is good to give the RES a head start since they tend to struggle with bass present. 75 is a good start and I would add another 75-100 (2"-4") to result in 150/ac total when you add the SMB. You could even add enough RES for a total of 200/ac when finished stocking. RES are very rarely a problem fish.

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Originally Posted By: Bocomo
You can stock FHM in 10" of water let alone 10'!


The Great Blue Herons prefer under 2 feet. grin


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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
You can stock FHM in 10" of water let alone 10'!


The Great Blue Herons prefer under 2 feet. grin


Had the first visit from a White heron today...


I have it setup to get my RES and FHM this week, but I'm still looking for GSH. Any SE MI or NW Ohio fisheries that have a good stock of them?

I was going to wait a month or so on the RES, but the supplier (Finfarm) said it should be fine to stock them now. I figured that saves me a drive and gets them in the pond.


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Might be okay to stock them now, but check with one of the PBF experts first. Fish farms want to sell fish.

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Try Imlay City Fish Farms, Imlay City, MI, they are your local supplier.

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If you can get the RES now, I wouldn't sweat stocking them.

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Well I Made The Trip Down To finfarm Today And I Now Have 75 Res And 10 Lbs Of Fhm In The Pond.

They Looked Pretty Strong When They Swam Away. Should I Feed Them At All? I Have Only Had Water In The Pond For Two Weeks.


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I would put out some limited feed around the shore where you see FH. It will help some. Just about any floating fish food would work for FH.

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Try grinding or crushing several handfuls of pellets. Scatter some or 1/2 handful each day in the same area same time. After several days you should see some activity of minnows feeding. Did he say if the RES were pellet trained or not? Sometimes his RES are somewhat or feebly pellet trained.


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My kids Talked Me Into A Bag Of Food, So I'll go Ahead And Feed Them In The Evening.

I Asked If The RES Would Eat The Feed And The Kid Helping Me Out Said They Would, But I Didn't Specifically Ask If They Had Been Feed Trained.

sorry For The CAPS, I Can't Change It When I Post From My Phone.


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FinFarm has contact info on their website. Try emailing them and ask if the size of RES that you bought on Aug 24 were pellet trained? The owner should be responding to the FFarm emails. Let's see what kind of response you get, if any?

It may take several days for the fatheads to figure out when and where you are adding the food. Some of the finest crushed food will float for several feet before sinking. Minnows often search the surface waters for food and may fairly quickly figure out the feeding pattern. If RES were used to eating pellet food they will soon follow the lead of the minnows.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/25/13 01:31 PM.

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Well, No Response From My email...

On A Good Note, Tonight I Did See What My Kids Described AS Swimming Eye Balls... After searching Google, They Definitely Look Like FHM Eggs I Saw In Pics. iT Didn't Take Them Long To Spawn If That's The Case.


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OK - I am going to pick up the YP and RES in the next couple weeks for a pond stocked with FHM and GSH this spring. Lots of fry but not many submerged or emergent plants yet. The pond is about an acre in size. I was considering just stocking about 20 of each of these species depending on cost and size. If I also stocked 20 SMB at the same time would that present a problem ( would 10 be better to allow the other species to establish). I am not in a hurry and my eventual goal is trophy SMB. I have not added crayfish yet so that the water lilies can establish, but some have already shown up on their own. I hope to pile bricks on the Ice this winter (I have access to free bricks) in 2-3' of water for crayfish habitat. Any feedback on the plan is appreciated. Again, I just want to get the population going and am not in a hurry. I just want big SMB, not necessarily a lot of them.

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With stocking that light of a forage base (YP and RES) I wouldn't stock any SMB at this time. What size YP and RES are you stocking? Why such a light number instead of 200 each?


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You suggest 200 each of RE and YP, and wait until next fall to get the SMB?

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No, just used that number to see if you forgot a zero on the end of the 20 figure.


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No, I just want enough to have a good chance of getting a population going for each species. Not sure if so few will find each other to breed.

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RAH, I'd make LOTS of piles of bricks for crayfish habitat.

YP - check with your supplier as to what sized YP are available. If they can supply large sized YP (8+" or so) I'd stock 50-75 of them. The larger ones have a higher probability of being female, and there should be a few males with good genetics mixed in. Then in the Spring they'd pull off a spawn. I'd look at stocking 100-200 4"-6" RES this Fall if they are available. Then next Spring, stock 75 2"-4" SMB.

Make sure you have habitat for the YP to spawn on in the pond.

If you stocked smaller YP this Fall, I'd bet the majority of them will be males or slower growing females. Stocking small fingerling SMB at this time of the year equates to stocking slow growing fish - whether due to genetics or restricted food intake.

RES, if the larger ones aren't available, get whatever you can, because they aren't the easiest fish to source. (they aren't the hardest either.....)

You can stock more YP/RES, it all depends on your budget.


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I though that I remember it being hard to get smb in spring. Am I mistaken?

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I usually have no problem getting them from Laggis in Mi. Feed trained to boot.


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I will try to get larger YP, but will likely buy a lot less and maybe wait longer to stock SMB (or stock very few SMB as breeders, maybe only 10).

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Stock SMB in fall after YP spawn once. Using feed trained SMB will result in larger SMB quicker. Stock 15 to 25 panfish to every SMB. SMB can be hard to source in spring based on location. Laggis usually has feed trained YP especially in spring.


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Before I place my fall stocking order, I just wanted to double check to make sure my quantities are good. Already stocked 10#'s FHM and 75 RES a couple months ago.

I'm planning on stocking 4#'s or ~668 of 2 1/2" GSH and 200 Papershell Crayfish.

I think I'm just going to mail order both of them instead of running around to find them since spare time is short for the next few weeks...


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Sounds good to me...

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We will have to compare notes as things proceed.

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Huntmaster's stocking numbers for this fall are also okay IMO. If you stocked FHM breeder sized FHM 2 months ago (1st Week of Aug) you should be seeing some FHM minnow fry about 3/4" long.


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Perfect, I'll get them ordered right away.

Is it cool enough right now to ship the crayfish two day from NY to MI to try to save a few $$$?

I actually stocked the FHM on August 24th and have only had time to walk the pond during daylight a handful of times since. I haven't seen any fry yet, just a hand full of the original fish. Never have seen the stocker RES since stocking, but my visibility isn't the greatest yet either.


Last edited by Huntmaster; 10/08/13 07:16 AM.

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For what the crayfish cost, spend the extra $ and have one day shipping. It's not the temp, it's the amount of O2 in the bag. The bags, when they arrived here were about 1/2 full of water.

Remember, they're swimming/crawling in their own pee and poop for 2 days.......

A client had some shipped 2nd day, and it wasn't pretty. sick

The ones that were shipped next day came thru fine.


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If you got 4-5 inch RES that had not spawned this year they may have spawned in your pond. If they were 2 inch RES likely no spawn yet (next spring).
















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The Cray fish are on their way next day air...

I only stocked the 2-3" RES, so I didn't expect to see them spawn this year.


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OK, I ordered 35 4-6" RES and 35 6-8" YP to put in my 1 acre pond that was stocked with FHM and GSH this spring. Hopefully I will be ready for SMB in two years!

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Where did you order your crayfish from that does next day air shipping?

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Here's where I ordered them from - http://www.smithcreekfishfarm.com

They are to ship tomorrow with a Wednesday delivery. I'll post up some pics how they arrive, etc.


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Thanks

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Nice pricing - $2.00/ea for 1-3" BG? Is that the shipped price I wonder? 4-5" WE are $25/ea! That's a 1100% markup from my local price. Guess I'm in the wrong business - I give my CSBG away for free.


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Time for you to get cardboard boxes, double wall bags, insulation and an O2 tank. Start shipping!!!


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Ah, those are shipped prices then I guess. No clue the complexities of the shipping game - not interested in learning, either.


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There is quite an industry for native aquarium fish...

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With 35 6-8" YP in the pond this fall (in a 1 acre pond stocked with FHM and GSH this past spring), would one expect a good base for SMB in the fall of 2015?

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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Ah, those are shipped prices then I guess.


I don't think they are shipped prices...they weren't on my crayfish order.

Last edited by Huntmaster; 10/15/13 08:18 AM.

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RAH-""With 35 6-8" YP in the pond this fall (in a 1 acre pond stocked with FHM and GSH this past spring), would one expect a good base for SMB in the fall of 2015?"" More than enough forage available in fall of 2015 and adequate amount in spring-summer of 2014. For SMB, Try to get some crayfish in March to mid-April before they hatch eggs.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/15/13 06:43 PM.

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Great! I have 35 4-6" RES coming with the YP also. I will put piles of bricks on the ice in shallow water this winter. Volunteer crayfish that make the "volcanoes" have already shown up on their own. I am hoping that the water lilies that I planted this summer become established before the crayfish wreck havoc with them! I may add some SMB early as you suggested, but fewer and count on recruitment, if that makes sense?

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Where did you get your RES?

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Jones fish hatchery in Ohio. I have not got them yet, but they are the ones that stocked my other pond quite a few years back.

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Adding a few SMB early has benefits. It allows fast growth of those few stockers and causes minimal predation pressure on the forage base which continues strong expansion until the stocker SMB reproduce and the offspring become rapid growing juveniles.


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Well maybe I'll add a small number of small SMB in spring and just wait for them to stock the pond for me.

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I got my RES from Finfarm in Ohio.

After reading through some of the WE threads, it seems that I might be able to add a few of those to the mix down the road. I would guess I could likely add some when I add my SMB or wait until the SMB are established and then add say 30 or so WE. Any thoughts on that approach?


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IMO 30 WE in one acre with reproducing SMB will soon over eat your food source which is okay if you don't expect fast growth and larger quality sized fish. The goal in best fish management is to have the fishery produce quality sized and numbers of fish over the long term, not just the first several years. Most pond owners 'fall into the hole' of adding or having too many predators over eating the food supply due to predator reproduction and lack of adequate harvest. It is best to not have to constantly add forage fish to maintain the existing predator base. This is a sign that there are too many predators and the fishery is out of balance.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/16/13 10:05 AM.

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Fair enough Bill, I'll stick with my original plan. I thought maybe a specialty fish (WE) added in might not be to much of a hammer on the food supply and also add something else to the dinner table.


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When the pond becomes stabilized after 6 to 8 yrs and it appears you have too many forage fish then you can start the WE addition by adding 6-10WE and removing one SMB for each walleye added. Keep in mind that each WE will eat around 1000 small fish per year which is why you should remove an adult smallie (10"-14") for each new walleye.


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Please help. The fish hatchery (in Ohio) is telling me they only have <5" YP due to slow growth this year. Would you think that these are mostly male?

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Good conclusion. Slow growth this year of YP is possibly due to mostly males or lack of food. If fish are pellet trained then more likely mostly graded males. I would look somewhere else. Do you have the ability to haul fish yourself to travel about 100mi for better perch? PM me the name of the fish farm and I will give you options.

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PM sent

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Any other ideas where to get 6"+ YP at a reasonable cost near 30 miles west of Indianapolis?

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Any other ideas where to get 6"+ YP at a reasonable cost near 30 miles west of Indianapolis?


If you find some close, I would appreciate hearing about it also.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Will do

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Can small (2-3") redear be reliably ID'd by the red spot above the gill? I want to check each fish before I put them in the pond because I do not want BG.

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No, at that small of a size many will not show any red/orange/white. Other features can fairly accurately give them away but that isn't 100%.

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Well, we'll get the 3-4" and only put ones with red in the new pond. We can put some of the others in a fish tank and the rest in the LMB pond. Better to have fewer RES and no BG in the future SMB pond.

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My only concern if you may go male heavy by doing that as the males tend to have the more noticeable coloration...

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Is there typically a problem with RES being contaminated with BG?

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Suppose it is dependent on the source. Look up a thread by John Wann. He bought some RES for his HBG pond and ended up with BG getting in.

Edit...I was just at a fish supplier here in eastern Ohio. I was asking about adult BG 6-9" size. He said all he had was a mix bag of BG and RES. Last year when I wanted adult RES he didn't have any. Some of what I saw this year looked really good.

Here is the link to Wann's thread. here

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I better check every fish for a red patch. I think BG will ruin hopes of a SMB pond.

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What do folks know about Herman Brothers out of Peoria, IL? I am still looking for YP.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
What do folks know about Herman Brothers out of Peoria, IL? I am still looking for YP.


Top notch! AND, Nate Herman is a regular on here....goes by n8ly

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showprofile&User=2670


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Great - Sent him a request for info from their website. Maybe they can help me out. I'll let you know. Maybe we can work out a package dealon delivery if you are still interested in YP too?

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I still want some, but I'm just looking for a few to try and overwinter in a cage.....I doubt I could be of much use, quantity wise. I was hoping to find some close and would just be able to run over and get 30-40, as an experiment.

These things are harder to find than I thought they would be.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I only need the enough to get a population going, but 180 mile each way is a long drive!

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sprkplug - yellow perch at sizes of 4"-8" will overwinter real well in a cage. Once they get bigger than 8"-9" they get a little territorial and begin beating each other up in small spaces, thus the cage needs to be bigger or fish fewer density per cuft.


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Thanks Bill. This all came about after talking with you at Esshup's place this past summer. Your encouragement and enthusiasm was all the motivation I needed. Wish me luck.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Make a trip up here with a cooler and an aerator! I think we could catch some out of the pond.


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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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Thanks Scott....I've got one more lead to pursue, and if that doesn't work out......


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Any guess on the percent females in YP purchased under 5" at this time of year?

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Well - We are going to chance it and get some of these today unless someone feels all these smaller YP are males. Even if 10% are females, at least I can start to build a population. My thanks to sprkplug for the lead!

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The saga continues - they actually do not have them yet available at the fishery...

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Sorry RAH....apparently I've misunderstood something, somewhere.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I have conflicting information on availability of perch sizes (in writing) from another supplier, so my guess is that its not confusion on your part.

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I have another YP question. I just ordered 25 8-10" YP and 25 2-4" RES from a supplier (the perch were very expensive!). If I put these in my 1 acre pond (in late November), will the YP eat the RES? There are a lot of FHM fry already in the pond.

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YP are piscivorous and yes a 8-10" YP can utilize a 2" YP as forage. 3"+ are probably safe from YP. Doesn't mean they will be hammered, but could be. The densest forage type is likely to be utilized as forage primarily - in your case, FHM. Still that's a low stocking density for a 1 acre fishery. Typical stocking rate recommendations are for 250 RES/ac.


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I am planning to build some 8'L x 4'D x 4'w cages. Maybe I should put those RES under 3" in there? I know the stocking rate is low. I am hoping for reproduction.

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RES will likely die in cages...very difficult to feed train them, unless you want to feed them crawlers, shrimp, mealworms etc. If you're going to cage anything, the YP are the best bet. Many of us here cage and grow out YP with success. I have 400 in 2 cages myself right now waiting for Spring gender ID and release.

What is your goal with the RES? Establish self sustaining and viable population I figure? If so, and you don't want to stock 250/ac prior to adding the SMB and maybe YP or other predator fish, then you can stock larger RES to escape predation now or in Spring.

I think your 3-4" RES are ok even with YP there...if you want to err on the side of caution stock more RES, try for 3"+ fish. When stocking such low numbers one isn't afforded much margin for error or predation...


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My gut feeling after feed training RES over the summer is that RES likely have eyes that are super sensitive to light, more so than other sunfish. I believe this is the reason they do not feed train well.

Shaded cages and feeding times at dusk and dawn, or even after dark will likely lead to a higher percentage of RES becoming feed trained. That is the hypothesis I am going to test next year.

I should mention that I have a few of my feed trained RES in in an aquarium in my basement. I started feeding them rosey red FHM last week to see how they might utilize the abundant GSH hatches in my pond. Guess what? 95% of the RRFHM that have been captured and eaten have been after the lights go out in almost pitch black conditions. During the day hardly any RRFHM vanish. Last Friday after work I added 23 small RRFHM minnows to the tank, my RES ignored them all evening when the tank lights were on. When I got up the next morning and turned the lights on there were just four left. shocked

There is a reason RES like to hang out in deeper water during the day.



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That is really cool stuff Shorty.

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I'll just release all the fish and see what happens. I'll ask the neighbor that fishes my LMB pond if he will move any large RES he catches to the new pond.

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With abundant FHM available, I doubt many if any of the 2"-4" RES will be eaten by your 8"-10" YP. Especially if more of the RES are leaning more towards the 4" size...

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We will see when they come. The main goal is big SMB, so I think that the RES are a bonus anyway.

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My experiences agree with CJBS. The large YP of 8"-10" will eat mostly the FHM that are 1"-1.5" long. When those individuals become scarce the perch will focus on eating 1.7"-2" FHM. Largest FHM 2.5"-3" will be still present for spawning season. If the YP are feed trained even fewer minnows will be eaten. I think the larger perch will pretty much ignore the 2"-4" Res as long as FHM are common. Plan on most of the RES to be in the smaller sizes of 2"-4". Let us know about the sizes you receive.


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Thank you - I may add larger RES next spring. Hopefully, only 25 YP in a 1 acre pond that had 5 lbs of FHM added this spring will keep them happy. Not sure how the 50 GSH did.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Not sure how the 50 GSH did.


Based on my initial stocking of 3 dozen GSH in 2011 I am guessing your GSH are fat, happy, and too big for your YP to eat. wink



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That is encouraging!

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The YP will eat the FHM before eating very many shiners.


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Looking forward to next years stocking and trying to locate fish or at least find potential places that may have availability, I wanted to recap where I'm at now and what my initial plans were moving forward.

Current Recap

Pond dug in Summer of 2013 has completely filled and has minimal to no vegetation.

Stocked in 2013

Aug 24th - 10# - FHM
Aug 24th - 75 - 2-3" RES
Oct 17th - 200 - Papershell Crayfish
Oct 25th - 600 - 2 1/4" GSH

2014 Plans

Install feeder prior to stocking in 2014
Early March 2014 - 150 - 4-6" YP Feed trained
Early March 2014 - 75 - 6-8" YP Feed trained
Early March 2014 - 25 - 8-10" YP Feed trained

Fall 2014 - 40 - 4-6" SMB
Fall 2014 - 100 - 2-3" RES


Since the FHM likely didn't spawn this year (haven't even seen them since stocking), does it still make sense to stock the perch in the spring of 2014 or should I push my 2014 plans off until 2015? Or will the feed and existing FHM in the pond be enough to keep the perch occupied so they don't clean out the pond before I add the SMB in the fall?


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
The YP will eat the FHM before eating very many shiners.


Yep seen this first hand this year. The FHM are really hard to find even after one year. All I have is these odd shiners of some sort. They are much faster and harder to catch. I just hope what ever happened for the spawn of the shiners this past year keeps up next. This 2014 year perch spawn for us is going to be much bigger now that all 400 are 6-9"s.

Cheers Don.


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Huntmaster, I would give your FHM and GSH another year before stocking... I would stock your YP in the fall of next year. You can stock the additional RES this spring if you like. You can consider stocking the SMB next fall as well with the YP. I think you will be OK, not waiting for the following year to stock the SMB...

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Huntmaster - a 2nd option is in March early Apr stock only the 150 4"-6" pellet trained perch, and some (25-30) of the 6"-8" YP. Then in fall stock the 25 8"-10". perch with the SMB. If you regularly feed the 4"-6" YP and a few larger YP they will essentially stay fat on pellets and will not eat very many of the minnows. The spring stocking of a few of the larger 6"-8" YP will insure a YP spawn in Apr of 2014. A spring YP spawn prior to the later SMB stocking results in a strong population of YP that will be the backbone of the SMB forage base.

A 3rd option is to stock all 3 sizes and numbers of the YP as planned and in addition add another 10 lbs of FHM in spring before the FHM start spawning. This will still provide you with lot of minnows for the fall SMB-RES stocking.

I find that both above options work well. Try one of them and next fall report back here telling us how many FHM and shiners you are seeing. FHM and Shiners should both be very apparent and eating pellets along with the YP.

Very doubtful you had a FHM spawn from the August stocking of FHM. You are not seeing them because they stay deep when there are no predators pushing minnows to the shallows for cover-refuge areas.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/29/13 08:03 PM.

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Would you expect 8-10" YP stocked this fall (delivered today) to spawn next year? How can I tell when I should add SMB? I want to add a small number of SMB and let them reproduce (1 acre pond). If there is someone interested in documenting and publishing the results of my yp/smb experience in Indiana, this may be an opportunity to get this scenario documented in the peer-reviewed literature. I have published a bit, but not remotely in this area, but if someone with more fishery biology experience is interested, I would welcome the collaboration.

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Fall Stocked YP at 8"-10" long will definitely spawn the next spring assuming they have a maintenance diet late fall and overwinter. Often 6"-8" long female perch are capable of spawning. Well fed YP will go into winter with enough body fat to finish egg development for the spring spawn. Midwestern and northern yellow perch start egg development in August.

I would add SMB after you verify that you had a perch spawn in spring. Presence of YOY perch takes some of the SMB predation pressure off the minnows/shiners/invertebreates.

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Thank you - When should perch stop being fed (water temp or date) in central Indiana?

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Mine have quit actively feeding on the surface about a week ago at water temps around 54F-52F. I still feed the YP some moist sinking pellets on warm days. They will eat little amounts of sinking food at temps below 50F.

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It has been raining since we added the YP, and the water is likely muddy right now. My wife through in some pellets between the rain showers yesterday, but there were no takers. The good news is that there were also no floaters. The pond may be as large as 1 acre, so 25 fish may have a hard time locating the pellets, I would think?

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I think trying to feed pellets to 25 newly stocked YP in a 1 acre pond that has a good number of fathead minnows when water temp is in the low 50's or high 40's is a waste of pellets, waste of time, and pellet decay could cause additional FA algae growth. Wait until water warms to 55F-60F in spring before trying to feed pellets. Then add pellets only a few at a time until the perch locate the feeding area and feeding time. The minnows will find the pellets before the perch. Minnow feeding activity will lead perch to the pellets. It could take some time for perch to resume actively e3atig pellets as long as FHM are abundant. It also may require adding more YP to increase feeding competition before YP resume feeding on pellets. Time will complete this story.

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I haven't read this whole thread so this might be repeat info. When I started my YP Bill suggested I thump on my pier post to help bring em to the feed area. That definitely did make a difference. I hope someone takes you up on your offer, I wish I had documented what has occurred in my pond over the last 6 yrs. Not bragging because I completely owe my success to Bill and Cecil. I Have 14"
YP, 17" WE, 17" SMB and 20" HSB. Again I acknowledge that without the help of those guys I'd probably have a pond full of Carp and Black Suckers.


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As long as these YP breed in spring, I think that I will be on my way. Hopefully I will get some significant submerged plant growth going to provide some cover for fry. I suppose I should wait for the YP fry to get to about 3" before adding SMB?

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RAH says "I suppose I should wait for the YP fry to get to about 3" before adding SMB?". Not necessarily. If you can find some 3"-5" SMB in spring of 2014 (May), then you can stock them at full or less than full rate. Full rate would be around 60-80/ac. If only larger SMB stockers are only available, I would wait until fall of 2014 and stock fingerlings SMB 2"-4" &/or 5"-7" ones. You could stock one size or a combination of both sizes at that time. Some of the larger sizes will provide larger bass quicker. Stocking only the smaller ones allows the forage to gain strength of numbers for another season. Larger ones would immediately start eating the YOY perch and minnows, whereas the smaller 2"-4" ones would eat perch from mainly the 2015 hatch year class. As long as the FHM are common to abundant plan on all the SMB to eat primarily fatheads until FHM are in short supply. Stocking pellet trained SMB is beneficial since it takes pressure off the forage fish base while still producing a high quality SMB fishery.

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Thank you again. If I can get small SMB in spring, I will probably stock at less than full rate to be sure everything has plenty to eat. My only concern would be the larger perch eating the small SMB, but I think anything over 3" would probably be OK?

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Originally Posted By: Bob-O
I haven't read this whole thread so this might be repeat info. When I started my YP Bill suggested I thump on my pier post to help bring em to the feed area. That definitely did make a difference. I hope someone takes you up on your offer, I wish I had documented what has occurred in my pond over the last 6 yrs. Not bragging because I completely owe my success to Bill and Cecil. I Have 14"
YP, 17" WE, 17" SMB and 20" HSB. Again I acknowledge that without the help of those guys I'd probably have a pond full of Carp and Black Suckers.


Love it, well done Bob-O. Gotta see this dream fishery of yours sometime!


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Time for crayfish habitat. When adding bricks as crayfish habitat, how big should the piles be, what shape, and in what depth of water? My pond usually stays within 1 foot of full pool, and our crayfish seem to be mostly the type that burrow and make "mini-volcanoes". Is it better to have many small piles (what size)distributed around the pond, or fewer large piles (what size and shape). Are there other "natural" materials besides rocks, that can be more easily placed as crayfish habitat? Are there any artificial crayfish habitats sold that are recommended and cost efficient? Will submerged and marginal plants work as well as rock or brick piles? I understand that there are probably not a lot of scientific studies comparing such things, but I sure welcome opinions based on your observations. This will hopefully be a SMB pond, and it has FHM, GS, RES, and YP in it from this years stocking in spring and fall.

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No suggestions?

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Send Bill Cody a private message to make sure he sees this.

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Craws and SMB live in the same type areas (rocks). Both like rock piles and ruble (not pea gravel). Quarter to basketball size rock. Concrete chunks work well also and grow stuff ( periphyton) for the craws to eat well.

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RAH, I added 4"x8" limestone rip rap to the top 10' of slope on two shores of my pond along with an under water peninsula that is covered with broken brick and block that extends down to about 15' of water. If you visit my build thread, it will give you some pics of what I did to create ample habitat for the crayfish in my pond.

In a small pond like ours, the goal is to give the crayfish holes and pockets to be able to hide in long enough to reproduce. If they can't hide, the SMB will make short work of them once they are big enough to eat them and clean out the pond.


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With a limited number of bricks, I might be best making a number of small piles so they don't fight so much?

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Try to source broken concrete - it's generally free as those folks digging up their sidewalks or driveways have to pay to dump it. Slabs work great as crays can tunnel under the shelf and remain protected. You don't need piles of it, either, just a couple slabs placed in 2-3' depth every 15-20' would be more than enough in my experience. Don't underestimate your vegetation structure/cover also. If you have abundant rooted vegetation it will provide a lot of predation protection from SMB and other predators. Of course use all the bricks you have on hand, just letting your know concrete works great [learned from Cody].


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I have some concrete also, but it is large and will be more difficult to move due to location. I wish that I had a small, narrow, heavy-duty trailer.

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Contact some small time local concrete contractors and they will bring you free concrete from their renovation projects. As TJ says with concrete slabs you don't really need piles, just areas with pieces laid flat. Flat pieces of concrete also prevent weeds from growing in that area which creates open areas in weed beds to fish - great type of habitat.


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Put the slabs one down and a smaller one on its side or angled next to the flat piece to form good structure (like an L on its back). Like this ___| .

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Thanks - Now I just need to do it! Maybe on ice if we get some.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Thanks - Now I just need to do it! Maybe on ice if we get some.


Not if, RAH.....when! Gotta' remain optimistic. Bring on that hardwater!


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Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
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This weekend looks cold. Maybe too cold for a morning muzzle-loader hunt.

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Originally Posted By: Omaha


Pictures are always worth a thousand words. Beautiful cover!!

Here's some ice for you guys... I probably have two inches out in the center already!!



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Originally Posted By: RAH
This weekend looks cold. Maybe too cold for a morning muzzle-loader hunt.


I'll borrow your stand, its never to cold to hunt...


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They often move later after a cold night, so I may go out around 9.

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My pond destined for SMB just appeared on Google maps/earth. I estimated it was 1 acre before and using the area tool it came out at 0.95 acres (sometimes you get lucky!). I plan to raise the water level 12 inches (in small increments) over the next 5 years, so it may come out right at one acre in the end.

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Since I still have 15" of ice and it's looking like it's going to be the end of March before I have open water to allow me to stock my perch, does that change anything?

Based on Bill's recommendation a couple pages back, I was prepared to go with the following this spring;

150 4-6" YP
30 6-8" YP

When is the latest I should try to stock the above mix?

Last edited by Huntmaster; 03/11/14 06:40 AM.

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Huntmaster, I assume your goal is for a YP spawn this spring... If so I think it's all about water temps. If YP are in temps 50 degrees or higher they will spawn. So at least in my mind the spawn will be a bit later this year as winter has been more severe than normal. I think the real key is to make sure that you get fish that have been kept in water that's colder than 50 degrees and you would be good.

Not sure if you've been following my thread, but I'm in a very similar stocking situation as you and Bill Cody has recommended that I wait until after spawn to stock my YP in order to time next years spawn with fall stocked SMB. So I really think you would be fine either way. I was a little concerned about the explosion of the YP before the SMB would be able to control the numbers. Hopefully Bill will see this and chime in. I'd really be interested to see his reply as to what the differences may be in stocking YP this early vs. post spawn.

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JamieE,

Yeah, that was the plan based on Bill's recommendation a couple pages back. I thought I read some where that perch weren't all about water temps, so I figured I'd check back here to see if I should potentially change things up.

I did see your thread and kinda wondered the same thing as to why he recommended for you to stock perch post spawn and for me to stock pre-spawn with similar conditions.

Heck with 6-10" more snow coming tonight, I'm not so sure I'll see the ice leave by April... Good thing the pond is brand new and has very few fish in it or I'd be concerned with fish loss.


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Stocking YP pre or post spawn primarily depends on if you want to have lots of young YP this summer or next summer. If you don't have predators present to consume the small YP then I would stock post spawn. If you are trying stock a new pond with only a few adult perch to save money then stock pre-spawn. There are various reasons for stocking pre or post spawn. Each pond situation can be unique.


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Well the ice finally moved out all at once today and yesterday. The wife said we had white caps with all of the wind we had today.



So now should I go ahead and get my perch in the pond or should I wait until I know my stocked perch have spawned already? I probably could make a run to Shelby next weekend to pickup my stocker perch.


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Perch availability is delayed here by 2-3 weeks, check with your supplier.


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Huntmaster, I just talked to them at Shelby a week or so ago and he said it was too late to move perch that were full of eggs. He thought his perch would spawn anytime given the way they looked. I'm waiting until mid to late may to stock mine and feel pretty good about it. You could end up with a lot of perch if they pulled off a good spawn the first year without predators to keep them knocked down.

I seen in your thread you got papershell crayfish from Smith creek last season. Were you happy with what you got from them? I'm looking at spending a pretty penny to get enough stocker crayfish for my 3 acres. Bill recommended 1000/ac so I'll be making a pretty sizeable investment in them.

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One can stock fewer than 1000/ac if you don't have predators that will right away eat the stockers. Lower stock densities for production before predators are added can be 400-600/ac.


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The papershell's that I got from Smith Creek were very active when they arrived. I can't speak to how many made it through the winter, but based on what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to order more from them.

I have Shelby on my list to contact today...


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Huntmaster - Isn't Laggis Fish farm in Gobbles MI closer to you than Anna OH? Shelby and Laggis have the same strain and broodstock of YP.


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Bill, I plan to stock perch in middle of May and 5-7" SMB in October at a reduced rate... Something like 50-60 SMB for the 3 acres. With these stocking numbers in mind what number of crayfish would you suggest? I'm sure that the bass will put some pressure on the crayfish before they get to reproduce the first time so I assumed I should stock at the higher rate.

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Bill,

I checked that last fall when you mentioned both and Shelby is about 20 minutes closer to me. Also, I'm down the 75 corridor a little more than I am out by Gobbles.

I talked to Steve yesterday and he didn't think his perch spawned yet, but I don't think I'm going to be able to make it down until next weekend, so I may be after the spawn. Based on what I've heard here lately, that may not be all that bad anyways.


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Originally Posted By: Huntmaster
The papershell's that I got from Smith Creek were very active when they arrived. I can't speak to how many made it through the winter, but based on what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to order more from them.

I have Shelby on my list to contact today...


How big were they?

ETA: I looked them up, they say 3"-4", did they come in as advertised?

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This is kind of interesting. Calico crayfish in Kansas

So much for the "non-burrowing".

Although this shows as being native north of where I live, I wonder if we do not already have these. I will have to catch some local ones (bunch every spring right out in our front road ditch as it holds water seasonally) and try to identify them.

I may be able to just use native ones.


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I finally made it around to getting my perch in the pond.

150 4-6" perch were planted last week. Kids were excited to help put the new fish in the pond.



The older two wanted to put some in and show them off.



And away they go...



One that the kids squeezed a little to much while putting it in the pond.



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Forgive me for not reading this entire thread, but I am interested. Are you putting the YP in your pond for table fare? If so, what slot size will you be harvesting and which ones will you let go back in the pond?

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Calico crayfish burrow primarily when the pond goes low or dry to persist until water returns. Burrows are generally shallow and not complex. Shelter in generally under or among rocks in most high water ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/29/14 08:23 PM.

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A little over a year after we planted the perch, I took the kids out fishing for an hour or so and here are two perch we caught.








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Here's an average GSH that we caught.




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And then there is this guy... Either made its way in with my FHM or with my RES. Is there anything I can really do or do I just live with them?



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Its interesting to see the progress of your pond as my pond is basically a few months behind yours. Nice YP and GSH! Are you feeding pellets?

Sorry to see the greenie...

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Huntmaster, I agree with Jamie. What size were those when stocked?
Janie, good ta hear from ya as it's been awhile. You need ta bring us up to date about your pond. I was happy that you got those nice YP from Cecil. Was that last summer and weren't they around 7-8"s? You and your son are still welcome to come fish up here.


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If you scroll up a few posts, I have pics of our stocking. They were 4-6" and stocked in late May 2014.

I have been feeding three times a day for 20 seconds each feeding this year. We caught a bunch of GSH around the feeder and the smaller YP. That one swallowed the hook, so it ended up dieing. The GSF and the bigger YP were caught on the opposite side of the pond in one of my shallow bays.


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Hello Bob! I stocked the perch from Cecil in late Sept. Last year. They were more like 4-6" when stocked, but they are growing well. I just posted an update a few days ago.

What kind of feed do you guys feed and what protein level is it?

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We caught 3 or 4 more YP today and they all looked good. Unfortunately we also caught several GSF of various sizes, so it looks like they've pulled off a spawn last year before I had any predators in the pond.

I'm going to get a SMB lure in the water today since we haven't caught one yet.


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Surprised to here the GSF pulled off a spawn already. They must of came in with your RES if they were big enough to spawn.

When did you stock SMB and how many?

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I stocked my RES and FHM in August of 2013, so the GSF had last year to spawn.

I stocked 40 4-6" SMB in October of 2014. I tried catching some yesterday to see how they are doing, but I didn't get any to cooperate.


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You didn't catch any SMB probably because the smallies were full of FHM.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
You didn't catch any SMB probably because the smallies were full of FHM.


Very likely, there are FHM all over the pond!

Bill, Any recommendations on how to manage the GSF that are in the pond now?


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Remove every GSF you catch and use fish/minnow traps frequently. Traps for GSF do not need to be baited when traps are set near shore and parallel to shore. As GSF become abundant expect the FHM numbers to significantly decline. GSF prey heavily on all types of fish fry.

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My minnow trap showed up yesterday, so the kids and I put them in the water and went for a walk around the pond. 45 minutes later the kids wanted to see if we caught any, so I went and checked them. One trap had two and the other had around 30 GSF that quick! So I purged those and reset.

I just went out and checked them and collected another 70. They all measured 2-3" in length. That was way more than I figured I'd catch. I'll keep checking the traps and moving their location occasionally.

Can you use a bigger trap to catch the adults in the same fashion?


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Isn't a fyke net just a minnow trap on steroids? smile


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Pulled the minnow traps for the third time and we now have a total of 190 GSF out of the pond. I caught one that was about 7" yesterday. Put up a pretty good fight. I used it for fertilizer, but how do they taste in the frying pan?


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GSF and bluegill have a very similar meat texture and flavor. Quite good, both of them. You get a little meatier fillet from a GSF compared to a BG.

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Well, I've, my kids actually, have continued to catch GSF with the minnow traps and we have removed several hundred of them so far. They have been enjoying the journey as they are catching varying sizes of GSF just about every other cast...if nothing else they are having fun and that's the reason I built the pond in the first place.

We have caught some pure GSF (pics in above posts) and also some of these other hybrid's as I'd call them as they have different markings on them.








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After fishing the pond pretty heavy for the past month or so, for the first time last night we caught three of these. Look like BH's to me. Surprised that this is the first time we caught any.






1 Acre Pond with SMB, YP, LMB, GSF, RES, FHM, GSH, Papershell Crayfish, Pike
5.5 Acre Pond with LMB, BG

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Yep. BH. BH have straight tails, CC have forked tails.

Hey! You got a pond just like mine! GSF and Bh's

You likely will start seeing BH fry soon, depending on where you live. I had three big black balls of them out in my old pond this last week. Last year the balls of BH fry hugged the banks and I actually dip netted a bunch of them out. This year they seem to be out in open water. That may be because I have a half dozen LMB in the 12"-16" range and did not when the BH spawn was last year.

Once the BH fry get a couple inches long and get away from the protection of the male BH, you will also start trapping them in the minnow traps. You can trap BH up to about 4" long in the minnow trap. They will need some bait to lure them in though.

Keep up with the GSF trapping and catching. You can make a difference. I thinned a bunch out last year and the ones I missed are now in the 5" range. Been pulling some of them out by hook and line. Catching about 50-50 GSF to BG ratio now so I know I'm making progress.

Me personally, I would return the good looking hybrids. But that is just me. They are some of the best fighting sunfish in the pond. I actually returned a 8" GSF to the pond after catching it. Just looked like too nice of a fish. I want to see how big it will get. That and I've been hanging around Dave Davidson too much........... grin He likes those greenies!

A regular fish trap will trap the larger BH's pretty well. The main problem is keeping the little GSF from eating all the bait before the BH get in the trap. I mash up small GSF and put in as bait for the BH, although they really like fish food better.

My intention in my old pond with GSF and BH is to let the BG eventually out reproduce the GSF and the LMB to control the BH recruitment. And the pond will eventually turn around while I enjoy managing the GSF and eating the larger BH that make it past the LMB predation. BH taste pretty good when fed fish food and are young and grow fast.

As I see it, if you just want fun fishing for kids, you don't mind taking some time and some management to turn the pond around, and don't mind feeding a lot of fish that you eventually are going to kill (I kill them and put them back in the pond for CC and BH food), from what I have read you can turn a pond around.

Now if you are wanting to raise trophy fish in record time, GSF and BH might not be a good plan. But I have learned to make lemonade out of the lemons, and they are ok. You will definitely get a lot of line action while fishing with BH and GSF in the pond. grin

You only need to wait about 15 minutes between checking traps. Especially if you bait them with fish food.

Last edited by snrub; 07/27/15 05:24 PM.

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P.S.

I also have a 3 acre pond that DOES NOT have BH and GSF, so I have the luxury of having a pond without those "problems". My GSF and BH are in my old 1 acre pond.

I might view the situation differently if my only pond had the problem.

But if I can't beg a bite in the big pond, I can ALWAYS go and catch something out of the old pond. Those greenies and BH are not afraid to bite a hook.


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Originally Posted By: snrub
As I see it, if you just want fun fishing for kids, you don't mind taking some time and some management to turn the pond around, and don't mind feeding a lot of fish that you eventually are going to kill (I kill them and put them back in the pond for CC and BH food), from what I have read you can turn a pond around.

Now if you are wanting to raise trophy fish in record time, GSF and BH might not be a good plan. But I have learned to make lemonade out of the lemons, and they are ok. You will definitely get a lot of line action while fishing with BH and GSF in the pond. grin


When I caught the first GSF, I was somewhat disappointed knowing it was going to create havoc in the pond. But after watching the kids have all kinds of fun with them, I don't really care that much any more. Now with the bullheads, it looks like it will be a slow process to move the pond forward.


1 Acre Pond with SMB, YP, LMB, GSF, RES, FHM, GSH, Papershell Crayfish, Pike
5.5 Acre Pond with LMB, BG

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Since this thread is getting quite long and I'm moving to management mode, I figured I'd start a new thread with a slightly different focus.


My Management Thread

Last edited by Huntmaster; 07/28/15 12:11 PM.

1 Acre Pond with SMB, YP, LMB, GSF, RES, FHM, GSH, Papershell Crayfish, Pike
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Huntmaster,
Maybe it's just an iPad quirk, but your link is taking me back to this same page, every time. I had the impression it would take me to a new thread?
Just thought I'd mention it..


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Huntmaster,
Maybe it's just an iPad quirk, but your link is taking me back to this same page, every time. I had the impression it would take me to a new thread?
Just thought I'd mention it..


Thanks!

I just fixed it...I copied the wrong page, but it should be working now.


1 Acre Pond with SMB, YP, LMB, GSF, RES, FHM, GSH, Papershell Crayfish, Pike
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