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#372462 04/15/14 12:34 PM
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I'm seeing quite a few dead or dying redear sunfish in my Northern Ohio pond. Just yesterday I walked around the 1/2 acre pond and saw about six dead fish near the edge and two that were still alive but dying - all 4 to 5 inches. Last week I saw a fish near the middle flopping around, obviously dying.

I don't know much about fish diseases, so would appreciate any suggestions.

123 #372463 04/15/14 12:41 PM
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It's been a tough winter for redears. They're actually native to parts south, and even there they are dying, as there will be a shortage this year from suppliers in Arkansas.

That said, there is some conjecture on the site among some of us that considering many of the redears that are sold for pond stocking originate in Arkansas, they may not be as adaptable to our winters, especially like the severe one we just had. Add to that ponds being small bodies of water are subject to fast water temp drops in fall and early winter, which may be stressful to a fish that is living in marginal conditions already. And adding a diffuser to prevent winterkill may drop water temps under the ice, which could be another stressor.

The redears that are living in northern waters for several generations since being naturalized may have adapted through natural selection. OTOH they may be better able to survive in deeper lakes that have more stable water temps.


Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/15/14 12:44 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Cecil Baird1 #372482 04/15/14 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
It's been a tough winter for redears. They're actually native to parts south, and even there they are dying, as there will be a shortage this year from suppliers in Arkansas.

That said, there is some conjecture on the site among some of us that considering many of the redears that are sold for pond stocking originate in Arkansas, they may not be as adaptable to our winters, especially like the severe one we just had. Add to that ponds being small bodies of water are subject to fast water temp drops in fall and early winter, which may be stressful to a fish that is living in marginal conditions already. And adding a diffuser to prevent winterkill may drop water temps under the ice, which could be another stressor.

The redears that are living in northern waters for several generations since being naturalized may have adapted through natural selection. OTOH they may be better able to survive in deeper lakes that have more stable water temps.



I appreciate the information. Thanks.

123 #372821 04/17/14 04:36 PM
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Is it possible for 2-3" RES stocked in early Fall of last year to be 6 to 7 inches long now (and fat)? I only put 25 in a 1 acre pond full of FHM, and just saw a dead sunfish this size washed up on the bank (maybe bigger). The coloration was gone.

123 #372824 04/17/14 04:51 PM
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I don't believe so. To much growth for early fall, no growth in the winter and now we are just getting out of record or near record lows for spring so far.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 04/17/14 04:51 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






123 #372828 04/17/14 06:24 PM
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I am doubtful myself, but I am at a loss for how this fish got into the pond.

RAH #372829 04/17/14 06:50 PM
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Maybe a sunfish snuck in with your FHM stock????

When did you stock FHM's?

Last edited by snrub; 04/17/14 06:51 PM.

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123 #372830 04/17/14 06:58 PM
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I went through them before adding, but maybe I missed one.

123 #373042 04/19/14 09:17 AM
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This sunfish has a hole through it, maybe made by a blue heron. There is a pond about 100 yards away that has bluegill, but there is absolutely no way for them to swim into my pond, even during heavy flooding. The dead fish is still laying there and is about 8 to 9 inches long. I am hoping a heron might have carried it over and was unable to swallow it. I did move plants in from a bond with bluegill, but only eggs could reasonably been with them (water lilies and emergent plants). I did not think that sunfish attached eggs to plants?

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I've been dragging some FA out of the pond around part of the shoreline. Occasionally I will find a little 3/4 to 1" BG flopping around when I pull the FA out. Who knows how many might be stuck in the thick matte. If there are that size in there most likely there are even smaller ones that I don't see.

Maybe some tiny fish got transferred with the plant material?

Just ideas of potential possibilities.


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123 #373050 04/19/14 10:56 AM
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Anything is possible, but I was only relocating emergents and lily pads. If I got a pair of BG in there, my plans for a SMB pond are shot.

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It is possible for a heron to carry one that far.. I'd been skeptical a few weeks ago if I hadn't seen one fly off with one speared out of my pond just recently and it was pushing 8 inches..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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RAH #373062 04/19/14 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: RAH
I am doubtful myself, but I am at a loss for how this fish got into the pond.


Forgive me if I missed it but is this a new pond, drained and dried, drained and standing water, or what?

We've all seen herons spear something they can't swallow but I've never seen them move ir very far. But I have seen others animals move dead fish a good distance including dogs and cats after the heron spears them.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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It was a new pond dug in a dry gully two years ago. I stocked FHM and GSH the first year, and RES and YP last fall. I did move water lilies and reeds in from another pond with BG, but I am pretty sure that I did not move in small fish though, but maybe eggs on the foliage. I have not seen a single sunfish nest (or any other nest) ever in this new pond. The coloration is gone from this dead fish, but it is between 8 and 9 inches long and pretty stout.

RAH #373068 04/19/14 01:47 PM
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RAH, you sure the RES were 100% RES?


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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).
esshup #373069 04/19/14 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: esshup
RAH, you sure the RES were 100% RES?


Bingo Johnny


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

[Linked Image from i90.photobucket.com]
123 #373071 04/19/14 01:59 PM
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Can you take a photo of your dead fish? Even with the colors washed out on it, I or another member should be able to ID which species it is...

123 #373092 04/19/14 05:45 PM
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I think that it is now gone. Every redear was checked for a red spot, but I cannot imagine that a 3 inch bluegill could grow to 8 inches since last fall. Am I wrong?

123 #373096 04/19/14 06:41 PM
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It would be highly unlikely to impossible in my opinion.

123 #373097 04/19/14 06:49 PM
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My ignorant thoughts exactly.

123 #373102 04/19/14 07:16 PM
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All the res put in were 3" or larger?
And every single one was Checked for the red ear..??


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

[Linked Image from i90.photobucket.com]
RAH #373106 04/19/14 07:33 PM
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Could a friend or neighbor have "helped" you put some fish in your pond?



123 #373149 04/20/14 06:52 AM
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All had a red ear, and were 2 to 3" long. We only put in 25, so checking them was not hard. I do not think that anyone put any fish in based on its location, but I cannot be sure. I really am hoping that this fish got to the bank of the pond after it was dead.

123 #373154 04/20/14 08:05 AM
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Set you out some traps if there was an 8" BG there is a good chance there was another and they could of spawned only way to tell is to check the fish population in the pond..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

[Linked Image from i90.photobucket.com]
123 #373163 04/20/14 10:32 AM
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Picture of the dead fish.


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