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#370828 03/31/14 10:09 PM
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http://www.zimmermansfish.com/Price.html

Currently in stock and available at $6 a pop. Ouch! But, in a pond that is being stocked from scratch with no predators, only a couple dozen, maybe even less is all it would take to get them established. I only stocked 27 into my pond and now have thousands. So, for those of you who are looking for a larger forage species that is adapted to pond life, here you go!

Also, several other interesting forage species available as well. I suspect if you buy in bulk, you may be able to get the price down a dollar or two per fish.

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Also, for those who are interested in banded killifish, Zimmerman has the western subspecies available as well. I have the eastern subspecies and stocked only 12 adults into my pond and now have thousands. So, again. If you are starting fresh or have a forage pond... Just a few is all it takes.

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Thanks for the link Travis...looks a lot like Jonah's aquarium. I wonder if LCS could be pellet trained and caged until they reach 3-4"?


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Would raising 10 LCS up in an aquarium and adding them to a future SMB pond which currently has FHM, GSH, and YP be worthwhile as a forage item for future SMB? How large would they likely need to be before releasing them? Does anyone have experience with this supplier? They guarantee replacement of fish that arrive dead, but the customer has to pay for the new shipping which could be more than the cost of the replacement fish.

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I have bought from Zimmerman's in the past and have always been treated well. IN is not far from OH, so shipping should be a lot cheaper. Pending just where you are in IN and where he is in OH, you may be able to make a drive.

I have raised LCS in aquariums in the past. At first they are picky eaters, but they will eventually take frozen blood worms and the like and will move up to freeze dried foods and eventually sinking shrimp pellets. I suspect, with some time they would even take Aquamax pellets, I doubt they would take them from the surface though, but hydrated would likely work...

In my opinion LCS would be an excellent forage fish for a SMB pond. I'd want them to be at least 1/2 the size of the largest SMB in the pond to stock them, especially at this price... From my experience with them in my pond, they are fairly prolific. They spawn in April in my area and by June you see schools of dozens to near 100 cruising the shallows feeding on the bottom. I was concerned they would muddy the bottom but I have never seen an issue. The only time they seem to stir the bottom up is in the spring when they come very shallow to spawn. Even then, they don't stir up the bottom much and it is just in isolated areas where they are clearing the bottom to lay their eggs. It is about the only time I ever see the adults. They go shallow for about a week when you will see 3-4 males cruising around looking for a receptive female to spawn with.

As I said, I stocked just 27 into my pond in 2009. By 2012 they were 7"-9" and spawning. I have had successful spawns every year since. The pond they are in is .34 acres, clay/mud/detritus bottomed, moderate clarity and neutral pH. Under predation from SMB, having at least moderate submerged aquatic vegetation for the YOY and sub adults to take cover in would be advised. My original stockers are now in the 10"-12" range and will top out around 14". They live to be 8-10 years old... They feed on food items that are not a major diet source for most other game and forage fish.

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As far as I can tell they are not on the susceptible species list for VHS so no pre-importation permit needed in Indiana from BOAH to ship them in.

Not sure if you would need an aquaculture permit from the INDNR as I can't tell if they are on the approved species list or not.

Unfortunately something to keep in mind bringing in fish to Great Lakes states or shipping to other Great Lakes states.

Not that I think VHS wasn't totally blow out of proportion, but I won't go there.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/01/14 10:16 AM.

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Travis, You should make them available....

do you have extras?

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A study by Bennett & Childers (The Lake Chubsucker as a Forage Species) in Prog Fish Culturist 1966 used chubsucker with SMB in 5 ponds & lakes in IL. They used stocking rates of 22-34/ac for LCS. SMB yields in the 5 ponds were 27-80lb/ac. They concluded the LCS was "a very satisfactory forage species" if BG are not wanted. They stated the LCS rarely grew more than 10"-11".

Another study by Eberts, Santucci and Wahl 1998 (Suitability of LCS as Pred for LMB in Small Impoundments; N.Am J.Fish Mgmt) concluded LCS be not stocked as prey in waters with LMB and BG or other abundant prey, nor stock LCS outside their native range. Ponds contained milfoil. They conclude LCS would benefit LMB in small impoundments that did not have BG. Stomach analyses of LCS yielded cladocerans, ostracods, (both zooplakters) and midge larvae comprised 86% of the foods eaten. Insect larvae were more abundant in stomachs of larger LCS. In the lab studies LMB struck at LCS more than BG. In field studies BG were eaten more than LCS. Behavior avoidance was used to explain the difference.

Shipping of pond fish is always much more successful if it is done in cooler weather such as Mar-Apr and Oct-Nov.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/01/14 10:38 AM.

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Thanks to all. I may try 10 of them and see how they grow in a fish tank.

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If you go that route, go to a pet store and purchase frozen blood worms, glass worms, daphnia, etc. They will readily eat those. As they become more acclimated to your tank, you can generally get them to switch to dried foods of the same type and eventually prepared flake or pellet foods. They grow fairly fast. If you picked up 1-2" ones in the next month or so, expect by Sept for them to be 4"-5".

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I think that we have too many projects going this year. If they are unlikely to take to flaked food, I think I will wait. I will likely have another pond built in the next few years, so I may add some when establishing forage in the new pond. I do have a floating cage built, but I am guessing that they would not survive in there with what swims by.

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Change of plans again. I emailed the supplier and he wrote that they are not too picky and eat flaked food.

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LCS love shrimp pellets, and will transition quickly to flakes if that's all that is available. They'll also eat those pill sized pellets that are sold for herbivores readily.

They'll do extremely well in a tank, as CJ said, and they're really interesting to watch as they pick through gravel for food. Very cool fish.

I think they're pretty tough, too-I overwintered some in a cage in my pond with pretty minimal care and most survived.

Got mine last year from Brian Zimmerman-he was great to deal with and based on that [admittedly single] experience I would highly recommend him.

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I wonder if the LCS get more fragile as they get older/larger?


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Good thought, I remember Greg had a lot of morts when he tried to transport older, adult fish. I had one single mort from the fish Brian shipped me, and they were in the mail for about 48 hours. All survived a couple weeks in an aquarium before being transferred to the cage, and they did well in the cage overwintering.

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If I wanted to try another minnow species like LCS or others on the site above in my 1/3 acre pond in W MI, do I have to wait for a certain water temp? I don't have a warm water holding tank and have to time things correctly with shipping. I have no predators so I'd like to get a wide variety of forage started, providing the minnows will have a chance of overwintering. (still have about a foot of ice on 90% of pond with rim of open water on the edges as of today) I see no dead frogs, it will be a wonder if frogs and turtles make it through.

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You could stock a few LCS when the ice is off probably in 3 weeks would be good. Place your order now so he reserves some for you and doesn't sell out. Place the order for later delivery / shipping yet hopefully still in April at latest 1st week in May. IMO 12-20 LCS would be enough to establish some brood stock. Release them directly into the pond after checking water temperatures to make sure they are within 4-5F. LCS need to be minimum 2 yrs old before they spawn.

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Thanks Bill. What is the reason to avoid later than the first week of May? If they have to just enjoy the pond for 2 years before spawning does it matter if they go in later in May or June? Just puts them out for a third year (waiting for the third spring for spawn?)

Beyond LCS, is there another species of minnow on that same web page that would be a good addition with the FHM, perhaps with GSH as I build my forage base?

I assume the sentence about 'make sure they are within 4-5F means the water in the bag they get shipped in and the water in the pond are within 4-5 before putting them in. A process that may take 20 minutes or so?

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You want to avoid shipping fish later than May1 is because it gets pretty hot in the trucks, staging and sorting areas. Heat is the worst factor when it comes to shipping fish. Metabolism and bacterial action is slower in cooler water and oxygen stays higher, longer in cooler water. You want the air temps to always be as cool as possible when UPS, Fed-Ex shipping fish. Always minimize stress as much as possible with handling and especially shipping fish.

Temperature acclimation. Check water temps of shipping water and pond. If more than 5F add pond water by 12oz - 16 oz slowly every 3 to 5 min to slowly bring the water to equal the surface pond temperature. Slower is better. At least that is how I do it for bagged fish. Normally the fish are not shipped with a lot of water, maybe 1-2gallons?

Other fish. IMO his fish are very pricey, thus I would only buy very hard to locate fish from him. GSH are usually commonly available and not $4.00ea. If you will not have bass you could buy 6-10 western banded killifish.

Zimmerman's fish is located in the middle of Ohio; not far NE of Columbus.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/02/14 08:06 PM.

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Zimmerman's LCS are likely raised from a young age on prepared foods, rather than seined from a pond where they had no experience with wild food. This would likely make them far easier to deal with...

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I wasn't sure what the difference was between the creek chubs I keep for bait, and the lake chubsuckers mentioned above. I must say that I was quite surprised when I Googled images for "chubsucker". I'll just say that many photos fell into the XXX-ratings category -- and it wasn't pretty. Those weren't all fish on the Google Images page.

Yeesh. Sometimes I feel really niave.


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I've been looking to stock additional species of prey fish for the SMB I'll be stocking. Sounds like LCS would be a good fish to consider in my 3 ac pond. Would it be feasible to stock them in April and 4-6" perch in Mid-May along with 5-7" SMB in the fall?

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I was doing some more research like JamieE and was surprised to see how big these fish can get. Up to 11 or 12"? How are these same or different from what we called 'creek chubs' growing up, or from 'suckers' that spawned in the lakes in the spring (maybe they were white suckers?) Is this a cross between chubs and suckers?

In the first year or maybe 2 I may not have many predators, that will allow the LCS to get large. Once they get 6" or more I would assume SMB or HSB would not be able to eat them, so they may live on untouched? Except for maybe the possibility of a heron, or an aerial attack from an eagle or osprey or similar hunting bird?

Bill C, if I only stocked a small number of these or of the killfish (say only 6-10) they somehow still get the right female male ration and figure out how to 'find' each other in the middle of a host of other types of minnows of other sizes and shapes to arrange for making babies smile?

Thanks for clarification on acclimation and I agree I would find GSH from another source closer by (baitshop or other supplier)

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
I was doing some more research like JamieE and was surprised to see how big these fish can get. Up to 11 or 12"? How are these same or different from what we called 'creek chubs' growing up, or from 'suckers' that spawned in the lakes in the spring (maybe they were white suckers?) Is this a cross between chubs and suckers?


Travis (CJ), can elaborate, but to address your questions about the creek chubs and white suckers, both would be incredible forage options, if they could spawn in a pond. Both, for sure creek chubs and Travis can confirm about the white sucker, require moving water to spawn.

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I know Creek Chubs won't spawn in ponds, and don't believe White Suckers will either. Also, after I researched White Suckers a while back Travis and Cody indicated they top out at 20" and 6 pounds. I wouldn't want a pond full of 20" suckers in my fishery...

Think GSH, LCS, YP, Crays, and some minnow or other shiner species for SMB forage. Along with a pellet program the SMB won't stress the forage base too much. My SMB are all well over 100 WR on forage base of pellets, YP, BG and GSH.


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LCS are very different from creek chubs. LCS are very capable of spawning in ponds. Both creek chubs and white suckers can live in ponds with no issues. The problem is just like the creek chub, the white sucker needs moving water to spawn. Many lakes have large white sucker populations. Those white sucker ascend feeder creeks/rivers and spawn in them and then come back into the lake. As TJ mentioned, white suckers can also get very large. Not as ideal as LCS.

LCS can get fairly large, 12"-14", but it takes 5+ years for them to get to that size. If I had a pond that was predator free and I was building a food chain, LCS would be high on my list to acquire. I would be willing to wait an extra year before stocking predators to ensure the LCS I stocked were large enough to avoid predation. By giving this extra year, you can also stock other non-conventional species of forage such as spotfin shiners, bluntnose minnows and banded killifish in lower numbers and allow them to spawn for a year not being preyed on to build their numbers. This would also allow your grass shrimp and crayfish to build their numbers. Giving up one year to allow your forage numbers to explode would in the long run mean your predators would reach larger sizes faster.

Patience is a virtue, even in pond management.

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I agree with this advice above 100%.


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I'm a little confused about the info shared by Bill Cody that says LCS makes great forage as long as BG are not wanted in the pond. I plan to stock RES in my pond, would their be an issue with stocking LCS with them?

Also, I want to say thanks to CJ for sharing this link. The timing for my pond couldn't be any better as I am just getting ready to begin building my forage base for SMB. LCS sounds like a perfect fit for a SMB pond!

The addition of these fish into the pond has got me looking at not stocking SMB and YP until the fall of 2015 instead of 2014. I was able to get a few larger 3-4" LCS and several in the 1-2" range (30 fish total) so I'm hopeful the 8-10 larger fish will pull off a spawn next spring. This should put them well on their way to becoming established.

Any of you IN guys try LCS in your ponds yet?

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Where did you get your LCS from?

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No, RES are not the same as BG management wise and stocking RES with LCS wouldn't be an issue.

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RAH, getting them from Zimmermans. Not sure they have any left though as it sounded like he was pretty limited on his numbers.

Thanks CJ, I assume that they aren't good with the BG because of the fact that both species reproduce at pretty astounding rates?

CJ, do you think that these LCS will reproduce next spring for me in the pond? Brian said that the 3-4" fish are old enough now to reproduce now, but probably wouldn't because they've been in his tank and not in the pond. From what I've heard from you and Bill the LCS need to be 2-3 yrs old to reproduce. Is it realistic to plan to stock bass in the fall of 2015?

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Hi,
Western vs Eastern killfish and why one vs the other for my SW Michigan pond?

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Canyon, you want to select the one that is native to your area. Sorry I cant help you with that, but I'd guess Western...

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I think that I will hold off on the LCS. I did not realize that I could not order them online. I was hoping to take advantage of the cooler weather this week for shipping, but without the ability to get hem ordered this weekend in time to ship this week, I do not want to risk it.

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If they have any left over I'm sure he could ship them out to you in the morning when mine go out... I don't think the temps are going to get too warm anytime soon.

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I do not have a PayPal account and it will take time for a check to arrive. No credit cards are accepted. The web site says they ship after being paid, which is fair enough, but takes time.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
I do not have a PayPal account and it will take time for a check to arrive. No credit cards are accepted. The web site says they ship after being paid, which is fair enough, but takes time.


You don't need a paypal account, You can simply just make a payment with out creating an account.

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I am now wondering how small a pond, and what dimensions might be a minimum to build LCS forage pond. Perhaps I could team up with a hatchery and sell some of these since they are so hard to source. I have an artesian well that I might supply water to it if it is small.

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It would be great RAH if there were sources that included larger numbers, whether another assisted in shipping or provided zimmerman's business with a ready supply...

I sent an email but no response. I hope that isn't bad news about supply...

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Originally Posted By: RAH
I am now wondering how small a pond, and what dimensions might be a minimum to build LCS forage pond. Perhaps I could team up with a hatchery and sell some of these since they are so hard to source. I have an artesian well that I might supply water to it if it is small.


There are a few variables that can make a smaller pond better/worse, but I am looking to do the same thing as you are and am shooting for a 70x70 (ish) size forage pond.

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I am looking at much smaller to save on excavation costs. In the location near the artesian well, all the soil would need to be excavated. I was hoping that 30' by 30' with a max depth of 8' might work, but I want to keep the slopes gradual near shore for safety. Maybe someone will volunteer to dig it:) I need to put a new roof and furnace in this year. The rate of shingle loss has escalated!

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Hi,
Western vs Eastern killfish and why one vs the other for my SW Michigan pond?


Eastern and western banded killifish are the same species, just different subspecies. The western appears to be a little less hardy and affected by water quality issues. I however have little experience with it. The eastern I have extensive experience with and can say they are very adaptable and hardy. I've collected them in swampy back waters, to crystal clear mountain lakes to turbid tidal creeks.

The eastern has been spread into areas of the Midwest. How much the two subspecies have hybridized is uncertain. It does appear the eastern subspecies tends to out compete the western, so I would not stock the eastern in an area where it is not native or at a minimum already introduced.

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I wanted to circle back and share Brian Zimmerman's reply. He sent a great email and asked me to feel free to share it. Hopefully others who are interested and have the skills to do so will start raising some of these species of minnows. He gives several good suggestions but I'm not aware of any way to source many of them that he suggests. I may simply use my pond to raise these minnows if I could learn more about how to do it, and learn how to get set up to keep them all separate, feed them, ship them etc. I bet the learning curve is quite steep and long...

From Brian:

Nope none left at this time. Seems there has been some talk about my fish lately and I sold out of those two species real fast. I do think your pond is ideal for these two. You could also potentially add several species of minnows. Fathead Minnows would probably work for a while but are unlikely to persist long term there are better choices. Also definitely do not stock eastern banded killifish in your area they are invasive and probably illegal in your area. I will have more of both western banded killifish and lake chubsuckers by mid to late July and could sell you some then. You are correct that you should not need a large number of them to get them going in a fishless pond. Other fish you should consider would be blacknose shiner, blackchin shiner, and golden shiner. You could also stock Iowa Darter, Least Darter, and Central Mudminnow. If you would like a small predator your pond would also be suitable for Grass Pickerel if you do not plan to stock bass, they do not compete well with bass. If your just trying to grow some big redears then having a diverse forage base and a small predator to keep the number of young sunfish low that will help the redears not get too abundant and get large. I would also consider looking into getting ghost shrimp, also native to natural lakes and wetlands in MI. If you want other sunfish species maybe consider Northern Longear Sunfish or Warmouth Sunfish.

Pass this info along to others on the pond boss forum...

I'm sorry I don't have much right now but I do this as a hobby on 1 acre of land in a dozen little rubber lined ponds so I can only produce so much each year. Check back in July or August and I should be able to help you with small groups of fish to get things going. I am happy to provide fish to stock in ponds that are native to your area. I'm also happy to give advice as to what species might work in your situation and pond. I have limited experience with stocking ponds but I have a great deal of knowledge of what habitat and spawning requirements and native distribution is for a wide variety of non-game fish. I enjoy working with people who want to think outside the box for fish stocking in private ponds and have a new or empty pond to start from.

thanks

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What do folks know about grass pickerel in ponds?

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Brian Zimmerman was a pleasure to work with through my purchase of LCS and WKF. He's Very knowledgeable and didn't hesitate to help with any and all questions. I haven't received my fish yet, but I'm confident that he will deliver exactly what he promises with them.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
What do folks know about grass pickerel in ponds?


Arent they the same thing as Chain Pickerel?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: RAH
What do folks know about grass pickerel in ponds?


Arent they the same thing as Chain Pickerel?


Nope.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-grass-pickerel-wisconsin-s-forgotten-gamefish


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O.K. I see 3 different species of pickerel.

Grass

Redfin

Chain

But searching fishbase, they have the same information for both the grass and redfin pickerels. Even the same picture. Another place said grass pickerel don't get larger than 9" while redfin are supposed to reach 15.5 inches, while chain pickerel could reach up to 30".

But, with any of the pickerels, where to source them for a pond? How well would they do in a pond with any typd of Bass, given their fusiform shape?


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Originally Posted By: esshup
O.K. I see 3 different species of pickerel.

Grass

Redfin

Chain

But searching fishbase, they have the same information for both the grass and redfin pickerels. Even the same picture. Another place said grass pickerel don't get larger than 9" while redfin are supposed to reach 15.5 inches, while chain pickerel could reach up to 30".

But, with any of the pickerels, where to source them for a pond? How well would they do in a pond with any typd of Bass, given their fusiform shape?


I always thought a chain pickerel x musky hybrid would be sportfish that might work for more southern waters.


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I think the smaller pickerel would be great BG management devices in cool water species ponds - a pickerel that maxed out at 15" would be perfect for those 4" BG I think.


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Using small predators for consuming small fish is using the correct tool for the job. There are opportunities for fish farms that are willing to grow some specialty fish and invertebrtates such as grass shrimp and beneficial pond dwelling crayfish. As an example B.Zimmerman is sold out of some fish already this spring. IMO too many fish farms are 'stuck' or focused on the standard pond species and are not willing to explore new opportunities. However to raise specialty fish it does require one to have a fair amount of creativity and fish raising knowledge, thus many fish farmers do not think 'outside the box'.


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Not saying that I am knowledgeable, but I have the the right type of land to consider doing some of this, and I am starting to think about it on a small scale. I would want to work with someone who would handle the permits and business side of things though, And I would need to see some reasonable recouping of excavation costs etc. A small LCS pond might be a good start.

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If Zimmerman can grow many of these fish in small rubber lined pools, the fish can surely be raised in small earth bottom ponds. IMO one would have to start doing this as a hobby and as you became proficient realize a profit. Zimmerman does have a biology degree with some emphasis in fisheries. The ideal situation is to have a fish farm and raise new species as bonus fish or in polyculture. Raising LCS is apparently not easy, as evidenced by Todd Overton who raised LCS only one year and evidently found it not real profitable.

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Redfin pickerel and grass pickerel are the same species. They are different subspecies, with the redfin in the east and the grass in the West. In native habitats they do best in shallow weed choked waters. They do not compete well with LMB. 6"-8" is average for an adult fish with a 12" fish being quite large. They also seem to do better in acidic waters. I commonly catch them in old shallow oxbow ponds choked with weeds. I'll commonly see them with other fish like fliers, banded sunfish, bluespotted sunfish and swamp daters.

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I think with Todd, there was a lack of interest in them.

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Could someone explain to me why LCS aren't recommended to be stocked for forage in addition to BG? Is the problem that using the 2 together could create an issue of one or both of the species over populating?

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Originally Posted By: JamieE
Could someone explain to me why LCS aren't recommended to be stocked for forage in addition to BG? Is the problem that using the 2 together could create an issue of one or both of the species over populating?


I can't think of a reason that they couldn't be stocked together-except that, in the context of a pond with SMB as the main predator, anything that detracts from SMB predation on BG will exacerbate the inevitable [without a lot of intervention to prevent it] overpopuation of BG.

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I'm aware that BG will over populate even without LCS in a pond where the primary predator is SMB, but from earlier posts it appeared it's not recommended to mix the two even with large mouth as the primary predator.

My long term backup plan to the SMB,YP stocking is to add BG and LMB. Hope it doesn't come to that, but it's always nice to plan for the worst if something doesn't workout with the original stocking.

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I do not see any reason why stocking BG and LCS together in a LMB pond would be an issue. I think LCS are of less value in a LMB pond though.

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Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I do not see any reason why stocking BG and LCS together in a LMB pond would be an issue. I think LCS are of less value in a LMB pond though.


I believe either you or Bill have stated that only under certain situations, i.e. habitat and population control, would LCS thrive in the presence of LMB.

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Alright, I guess I just misunderstood the data Bill posted earlier. Thanks for helping me clear that up.

CJ, since you've had the LCS in your pond for several years now I'd like to ask if you see any downside at all to stocking them? Do you see them being any problem in a pond that will also be used for swimming?

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The only time I ever see them is in mid to late April when they for about 1-2 weeks come into shallow areas to spawn. They muddy up small areas while fanning and laying eggs. Then the adults are gone and I never see them. The YOY I see in schools of 20-100 fish working the bottom in the shallow areas from about June when they are 1" to the end of summer when they are 2" or so. I occasionally catch them in cylinder minnow traps. The LCS are not noticeable for the most part...

Keep in mind, the pond they are in is not stocked in a normal manner. They were stocked in 2009 into this .34 acre pond which only had BNM and BKF in it at the time. Since then, the pond has seen tessellated darters, spotfin and satinfin shiners, eastern silvery minnows, spottail shiners, FHM and inland silversides stocked into it as well. It has been nothing more than a non conventional forage fish research platform. Now that I have access to other ponds to continue my redsearch, I have also placed, HSB and CC in low numbers into the pond along with 25 fingerling RES and a couple dozen all male BG. I am slowly beginning to see how predation affects the forage species in the pond. From past experience in other ponds, I have a pretty good idea but I am always wanting learn more about non conventional forage species.

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Okay, now I understand why your population has grown so much since 2009. Without predation you now have "1000s" in your pond. I was wondering if your prey species were struggling to keep the numbers under control in the pond. In another 3-4 years you will learn a lot about using LCS as a prey species.

I guess the unknown is what makes me a little nervous, so now I'm second guessing my decision to stock them.

Sounds like your experience with them has been positive thus far. I'm sure that the population in your pond is much higher than it would ever be in my pond as I'm planning to stock SMB in fall of 2015. I guess I have just been envisioning a pond full of 14" suckers swimming around 10 years down the road. It's probably more likely that the population will be suffering by that time.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.

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Originally Posted By: JamieE
It's probably more likely that the population will be suffering by that time..

I agree completely-as Bill said in a previous post, the predatory effect of a reproducing population of SMB on minnow shaped, soft rayed prey shouldn't be underestimated. Heck, after 5 years, they're coming pretty close to controlling my BG population-they are voracious. Also, at least from my observations of smaller LCS in aquarium/cage setting, they seem to be highly bottom oriented feeders. I don't think a modest population would interfere with BG much if at all, not quite so confident about RES, but they have really tiny mouths.

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I just got off the phone with Brian Zimmerman and he reassured me that the potential for LCS to get over populated with a predator like SMB in the pond is HIGHLY unlikely. He stated that if he were stocking a pond with SMB he would be trying hard to get them established in his own pond to serve as a forage fish.

So given the conversation with Brian and the experience of CJ with his pond I feel pretty good stocking them in the pond. Time will tell how well they do getting established.

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Another nice email from Brian Zimmerman that I thought I would share. He would like to work with someone from this forum to help them do the same thing he is doing. Sounds like there is an untapped market for these unusual species of minnows/forage fish and many are eager to buy them.

from Brian:
Yes sourcing these sort of fish is an issue. I collect all my own brood stock from wild populations and when doing so you have to be sure you have all the proper permits and so on to do so. I can get all of the species I mentioned but as I also mentioned most of the time I can only have relatively small numbers on the order of a couple hundred not thousands. In new empty ponds this is not an issue and you can create a population with a couple dozen or even less with most species.

As far as predators for you the smallmouth probably would not work real well in your pond without adding a lot of rock and it sounds a little small for them. Pickerel do not require deep water and typically live in shallow weedy ponds or marshes which is why I recommended them. Also they would never get large enough to eat your adult redear but would eat young ones to help thin the population.

With an empty pond you would be better off getting small numbers of fatheads and golden shiners from a local bait shop rather than buying large quantity and having them shipped. There is also a very good chance you will get unwanted fish in those large orders. Most of those places are not real good at keeping everything separate and you could get bluegill, bass, green sunfish mixed in.

I would be willing to work with people to help set up ponds to produce larger numbers of these fish, I would like to do this myself but just don't have the means to do so right now. So I guess if someone is interested in info on how to do so sent them my way.















Brian Zimmerman

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The issue is 99.9% of pond owners can barely tell the different between FHM and GSH. People still call all small fish "minnows". So, the vast majority of people who aren't on Pond Boss and reading this information would have no idea in the benefits of stocking other forage. Todd Overton already tried the LCS. After one year, he stopped. I am not sure he ever came on here and said why, but I am guessing lack of interest. No point in propagating LCS if you can't make a profit. Maybe things will change as more people begin to venture away from the everyday LMB/BG pond and begin experimenting with other fish combinations. The vast majority of these species would be a waste in a reproducing LMB pond as they just couldn't handle the predation that would occur. Even with SMB, most of these species wouldn't do well. Especially if proper habitat wasn't present...

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I am interested in LCS, if for no other reason, to stock my own ponds. I would also be interested in whether their might be some market, but I am not interested in interfacing with government regulation or customers, so I would need a partner. I have a couple good areas for forage ponds, but cannot swing the cost of excavation this year. I would also like to give chain pickerel a try if I could source some. I would not trust my own fish ID either, so I definitely would need help with stockers. When I am ready, maybe I'll see if there are any Purdue students interested in getting involved.

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I've read this entire thread and wish I would have been paying more attention to brians page. I have dealt with him before and he is very professional and really likes dealing with Native fish.

Once the weather warms up a little, I'll catch a few pumpkin seeds that he sent me and take some pictures.

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