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Hi, i currently have a trianglular pond that is around 1/2 acre and it is 1'-2' in one of the corners, 2'-4' in the second corner and 6'-10' in the final corner. Both of the shallower corners have rush planted in them and the deeper corner has gravel. Each corner segment is around 10'x10'. The entire rest of the pind is 15' deep. What kind of fish should I get and how many of each. I need something like 20 largemouth bass, 10 bluegil...etc.
I will use this pond for recreational fishing and most likely the apex predator will be LMB. Please suggest a food chain.

Thanks

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If you are set on a Largemouth/Bluegill pond, stock Bluegills at the rate of 15-30 for every Largemouth you put in the pond. This is for fingerling fish. Figure 75-100 LMB per acre so adjust your LMB/BG numbers accordingly.

If it was my pond, and I could feed the fish, (and could stock the following species) I'd look into Hybrid Striped Bass, Hybrid Bluegills and Redear Sunfish.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Can you provide exacr numbers?

Ex: 25 lmb
500 BG
200 Gsh
150 RED EAR SUNFISH
12 crayfish
1 qt daphnia
100 fatheads
Maybe:
12 Yp
5 channel cats

Realize I pulled those numbers out of my a*s, but something along those lines would help me a lot.

Thanks

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2 options; one is the lmb pond, another is a chain pickerel pond. Please list species for each as I did above. How is the physical pond layout though?

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For chain pickerel are you willing to have CP and no LMB?

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Yeah. Please leave suggestions

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CP are no commercially available so they would have to be caught from a public body of water and transferred to a pond... Just an FYI.

What is it you are looking to get out of this pond? How much fishing pressure will it see? Are there currently any fish in it? Are you willing to feed the fish pellets and/or aerate the pond? Answering these questions will get you better advice...

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I have a place where I can catch 15 to 20 inch pickerel. I will stock it with all of the baitfish, please leave a suggestion in the style I had above. Before all of the pickerel. I will stock baitfish in june and maybe the pickerel in october this year or may next year. There are no fish in it currently. I will fish in the pond every so often on the weekend. No I wont feed the fish because im only there on the weekend. Please reply with BOTH pickerel and bass suggestions. Thanks

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I have no experience with pickerel in ponds. There are fish feeders that are battery powered and have a solar panel to keep the battery charged so they work when you aren't there.


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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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Im not interested in using a fish feeder period. I just need suggestions of a foodbchain for both lmb and cp like the farmat above. Esshup, I iknow your knowledgeable about stocking so please make a lmb one and if you had to make a cp one please tell me a setup. Thanks

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Originally Posted By: esshup
If you are set on a Largemouth/Bluegill pond, stock Bluegills at the rate of 15-30 for every Largemouth you put in the pond. This is for fingerling fish. Figure 75-100 LMB per acre so adjust your LMB/BG numbers accordingly.

If it was my pond, and I could feed the fish, (and could stock the following species) I'd look into Hybrid Striped Bass, Hybrid Bluegills and Redear Sunfish.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
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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What is that? Can you leave a suggestion for the pickerel and bass pond?

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All I want is suggestions for fish in the format above, no links or any other side questions. Sorry to sound rude but I just need 1 answer, not 1000.

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Ponds are not perfect or absolute, and many times the answers to pond related questions are delivered in the same fashion. Everyone here is trying to help, but as is often said here at PB, the numbers you're asking about sometime "depend" on a multitude of variables, which is why you are receiving so many questions.

Trying to reduce everything to a mathematical formula would be nice, but it doesn't always work that way with ponds and fish, at least not before first establishing all of the particulars.


"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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Originally Posted By: esshup
If you are set on a Largemouth/Bluegill pond, stock Bluegills at the rate of 15-30 for every Largemouth you put in the pond. This is for fingerling fish. Figure 75-100 LMB per acre so adjust your LMB/BG numbers accordingly.


so the math is

1/2 acre pond.

low side 37.5 LMB / 562.5 - 1,125 BG

High Side 50 LMB / 750 - 1,500 BG

it all depends on your specific goals really ... so the answer to your question really depends on lots of things.

Last edited by BobbyRice; 05/27/14 10:39 AM.

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Bass and bluegill only? Fhm yp gsh cc crayfish daphnia? Wont they all help? Please include pickerel setup also. I can include many fish. I have quite a bit of money.

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Having a lot of money is certainly a valuable asset where pond management is concerned. So is patience, however.

Have you given any thought to hiring a professional pond consultant? Many of these individuals or companies will travel great distances to check out your pond, and having eyes on the project is always beneficial. They will be able to answer all of your questions, and provide guidance in whichever direction you decide to go. Probably even source the fish for you, and place them into the BOW directly. It's all on your dime of course, but if money is no object it will be hard to beat that level of service for prompt results.


"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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Can someone please answer the original question on what fish to include for a bass pond setup and a pickerel pond setup. Please use the format I have shown. That is ALL I need, please no other opinions or other things. All I need is options on THAT question. No others. Once again, sorry if I sound rude but please just answer what I asked. Everyone please chime in.

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Originally Posted By: BobbyRice
Originally Posted By: esshup
If you are set on a Largemouth/Bluegill pond, stock Bluegills at the rate of 15-30 for every Largemouth you put in the pond. This is for fingerling fish. Figure 75-100 LMB per acre so adjust your LMB/BG numbers accordingly.


so the simple math is

1/2 acre pond.

low side 37.5 LMB / 562.5 - 1,125 BG

High Side 50 LMB / 750 - 1,500 BG



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Once again, I dont just want bg and bass. I would like cc yp gsh fhm crayfish maybe daphnia. Also PLEASE USE THE FORMAT that is somewhere near the start of the form. Also please say a pickerel setup.

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I would put some pickerel in there, maybe some perch, how bout some forage, maybe some minnows? I had some other thoughts too..

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as mentioned its not that simple.

Are you wanting lots of little bass or a few bass that are larger.

same with BG......


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For both setups, fish 1.5 lbs and up. The apex predators, not the yp or anything else. Just the cc cp and lmb

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aetain:

I'm sorry that I couldn't answer your question in more detail sooner. I was with clients today answering their questions about their ponds. They actually pay me money to answer their questions (who would have thunk?). I like having money to pay my bills, so I had to do that rather than stay by the computer.

If you don't have habitat in the pond to support your fish population, then no matter how perfect your fish stocking strategy is, it won't work. Fish don't do well living in a bathtub. Your forage fish won't have the correct habitat to spawn, and you won't have the correct habitat for the YOY fish to grow. No, I'm not going to go into details on what habitat to put in the pond. There is a whole thread in the archives that will tell you that. I don't mean to be rude, but like was said earlier, there are pond consultants that will come to your place and lay out a complete pond strategy if that is what you want vs. learning about how to do it yourself. (and yes, I'm one of them)

I can't and won't give you stocking strategy for the CP pond. I haven't managed any ponds with CP in them and don't want to give you a wrong answer.

Here's the LMB/BG pond stocking strategy that I would tell a client of mine if they asked.
So, heres the LMB pond:
1/2 acre pond.

low side 37.5 LMB / 562.5 - 1,125 BG

High Side 50 LMB / 750 - 1,500 BG
(Thanks BobbyRice)
10# GSH
10# FHM
If you have the habitat for the crayfish to survive LMB predation (Id go with at least 1/4th of the shoreline from waters edge down to 10 deep in 8 -10 dia rip-rap at least 2, preferably 3 rocks thick, then Id stock 500 3-4 Papershell crayfish. If you dont have the habitat for them, then dont stock them.

Id make 20% of the Bluegill numbers RES. You do the math for number of fish that is.

If you want YP, Id recommend 40-50.

I wouldnt recommend stocking CC. Same with the daphnia.

All fish are fingerling size, with the exception of GSH and FHM. Get what sizes are available.

Stock the GSH, FHM, & Papershells 6-8 months before stocking the other fish to let them multiply.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Thank you esshup, thays what im looking for. Nownif anyone can chime in for a CP pond, please go ahead. Thanks

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Cripes aetain, you're getting some great info on here. Daphnia will show up. CC's , if you like eating them (food hogs). But you will need a whole lot more fatheads even for half of the summer.

Get the fatheads in now. Give them a chance to breed. They won't be there long when the predators are introduced.

Personally, I'd go with walleyes instead of CC's. Just a fish choice on my side though.

Good luck to you and your pond (and remember its your pond) wink grin.

Last edited by hang_loose; 05/27/14 08:47 PM.
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Forget the cc. My bass setup is complete then thanks to esshup. All I need now is a cp setup. Anyone have ideas?

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1,000,000 CP per acre.

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Serious answers please...

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This quote below from CJ was from a prior thread you had started a while back:

Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I'd stock BKF, FHM and GSH and around 10 CP.


Within that thread was also some good info. The CP discussion begins about half way down the page. I will include the link below because there are some folks who do have a hard time with the search feature within the site.


http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=334647&page=1

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I forgot about that. I cant find where to buy kilifish. How many #s of gsh and fhm. Also would yp be beneficial?

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Aetain, this is probably the friendliest forum I am a member of. The members continuing to help even when you've pretty much stated you're being rude is a testament to that. Pond management isn't just a set of numbers on a page.

BKF are pretty much not available commercially. Either one wild collects them, they get them from me or they contact one of the aquarium breeders that sell them for $$$$.

Last edited by CJBS2003; 05/28/14 10:33 AM.
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I'm not too sure the BKF would be very beneficial as productive forage for bass or CP. Forage for LMB and CP should be more sunfish-shiner oriented for bass and YP oriented for CP with maybe GSF or some other sunfish since the goal is not harvestable panfish. Do the homework for stocking numbers which will be based a lot on productivity of the pond. NJ soils may be sandy and conducive to lower natural production, thus expect lower standing stocks.


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The pond is in the catskills. Its all clay where I am so im fine with the soil. So I already have a bass setup, and for pickerel, here is what I think:

YP
GSH
CP
FHM
Papershell Crayfish

I just need numbers for those? Can anyone give me a set amount of numbers for the species I just listed? Also feel free to make any changes. Thank s

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In 1/2 ac put in now 4 to 5 lbs FHM, 3-4 lbs adult GSH, and 200YP (100 3"-4"; 100 4"-6", or any mix of sizes), 400-500 crayfish. Fall or next spring add 20CP. Then after 2 years and you still have common numbers of GSH and young 4"-6" YP add 10-14 CP. With this number of CP per acre do not expect them to get longer than 16"-20". To get bigger CP the total number should be around 8-14 per 0.5ac.

It would actually be better in the small 0.25-0.5 ac pond, to stock 3-6 each year until you get the numbers of CP to where the forage-YP-GSH balance appears acceptable. As you add CP you will see a decline in certain sizes of forage species, if you regularly monitor the entire forage fish community (all sizes FHM-GSH-YP). Lots of forage and numerous smaller thin bodied YP (4"-6"), then add a few more CP. Too few surviving harvestable YP (8"-12"), very few adult shiners, then remove some CP. You should be able to harvest in a natural clear water pond around 12-20 lb of YP/acre. FYI four 8" YP weigh about a pound. The quality of management determines the quality of the fishery.

The lake chubsucker as a supplemental forage fish would be a good fish to experiment with for producing either LMB or CP. The chubsucker would be a better forage fish compared to BKF because the LCS inhabits similar areas (bottom structures) as the predator (LMB-CP)compared to the surface dwelling BKF. If interested in harvestable panfish, I would not hesitate to add HBG in a CP-YP-GSH pond.


For good habitat use fallen timer and hardy hybrid water lilies. Large, long rock piles in shallow water will benefit production of crayfish. If you allow the pond to develop weed beds expect some recruitment of the CP which will make the average size of the CP smaller.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/28/14 08:56 PM.

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I have rush planted and gravel. So my final setup is
Bass: 50 lmb
30 yp
10# fhm
10# gsh
500 crayfish
800 bluegill
200 red ear sunfish
Fhm, crayfish, and gsh stocked in june while the rest are stocked next may

Pickerel: 5# fhm
4# adult gsh
200 yp (100 2-3"--100 4-6")
500 crayfish
20 cp
Fhm, crayfish, yp, gsh stocked in june while the rest are stocked next may

Bill,
1. could I get away stocking 20 cp and then not again because thell spawn?
2. Can I stock the cp at any size since I will have to catch them?
3. How many fish and what species will I have to harvest out of each setup of pond?

Any changes to the pond setups, please address them and thank you for your help.

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Also, could I use f1 bass in the catskills ny? And since my pond is .5 acres and 15 ft deep in the middle, do I need an aeration unit?

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Pickerel.
1. could I get away stocking 20 cp and then not again because thell spawn? INITIALLY I WOULD NOT DEPEND ON CP SPAWNING. IF THEY SPAWN THEN 'WORK THROUGH' THE RESULTING RECRUITMENT BASED ON HOW MANY SURVIVE TO 7" TO 10". GENERALLY THE LARGER THE STOCKER SIZES THE FEWER THAT ARE STOCKED.

2. Can I stock the cp at any size since I will have to catch them? IMO THE LARGER THE STOCKER CP THE FEWER THAT SHOULD BE STOCKED DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF LARGER SIZED FISH THAT EACH CP WILL EAT. I ASSUME YOUR GOAL IS LARGER SIZED CP OF 20"-28"? EXPECT EACH ONE OF THEM TO EAT 8-10 LBS OF FISH EACH YEAR. AN UNFERTILIZED, NON-PELLET FED POND WITH FAIRLY CLEAR WATER (4-6FT) WILL NOT GROW VERY MANY FORAGE FISH POUNDS PER 0.5 ACRE. IMO YOU DO NOT WANT A FOOD SHORTAGE TO OCCUR AND THE CP NOT TO GROW. THIS BECOMES MORE COMPLICATED IF THE CP ARE SPAWNING AND RECRUITING MORE CP INTO THE POND. TOO MANY PREDATORS OVEREATING THE FORAGE FISH IS NOT GOOD FISH MANAGEMENT.

3. How many fish and what species will I have to harvest out of each setup of pond? HARVEST RATE WILL BE DEPENDENT ON POND FERTILITY AND WHAT IT CAN PRODUCE IN TERMS OF FISH PONDS PER ACRE. A 0.5 AC CLEAR WATER POND IMO WILL NOT PRODUCE FOR HARVEST MORE THAN 2 LBS OF PREDATOR AND 10 LBS OF PANFISH PER 1/2 ACRE. IF THE CP AER NOT SPAWNING - RECRUITING THEIR HARVEST WILL BE A PUT & TAKE SITUATION. WITH WATER CLARITY OF 8-12FT THE HARVEST RATES WILL BE LESS DUE TO LESS PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY. The 2 pounds of predator harvest may have to consist of CP 6"-10" long if CP are recruiting new predators each year. A similar situation will apply to LMbass. IMO ideally you want enough panfish to survive each year to replace what is harvested and still have enough panfish broodstock to provide the crop for next year. You determine this by regularly monitoring the numbers and sizes of intermediate sized panfish. Too few intermediates = too many predators. Too many intermediates with few adults = too few predators. It is a balancing act.

I would not use F1 bass in NY. If the fish balance is correct you can easily grow 3-4 lb northern bass in 3-5 yrs. In 10-12 yrs expect a well fed northern bass to be 6-8lbs; a very nice bass anywhere.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/29/14 11:23 AM.

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So should I use the bass or pickerel setup? If the pickerel, can I not resrock the pickerel but instead restock gsh and fhm? So I ahould harvest 2 lbs of lmb or pik each year?

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I cannot make the stocking choices for you. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each based on your ultimate goals and ability to manage the fishery. As noted earlier, harvest rate will depend on fertility which is usually determined by the monthly secchi disk readings (transparency) and general water hue or color. In my experiences, without very good, best type, frequent management, don't expect a lot of fish harvest from a 1/2 acre natural production pond; usually minimal at best and generally the fish harvested are very average to smaller sized.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/29/14 11:28 AM.

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Which setup do you think is better for recreational fishing personally?

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Since you you say you have a lot of money and you say you want a good pond for recreational fishing, I'd settle for nothing less than a pond of 2 acres or bigger, and 10 acres makes a lot more sense. You can't make a 1/2 acre pond into an ideal fishing pond in the sense that you would have a self-sustaining fishery....which is what Bill Cody is saying. Stocking apex predators in very small numbers and then catching the same stocked apex predators back out again is not recreational fishing according to most folks who usually fish in natural bodies of water.

Bill Cody says "A 0.5 AC CLEAR WATER POND IMO WILL NOT PRODUCE FOR HARVEST MORE THAN 2 LBS OF PREDATOR AND 10 LBS OF PANFISH PER 1/2 ACRE. IF THE CP AER NOT SPAWNING - RECRUITING THEIR HARVEST WILL BE A PUT & TAKE SITUATION"

Having your buddies over and breaking out the fishing poles to fish for a 2 pound predator is not on a parallel track with a goal of having a ideal fishing pond.

As many pond experts have taught me over the few months that I've tried to learn from this awesome forum, the best time spent is the time spent thinking of what your priorities are and then setting REALISTIC goals. If money is not the limiting factor then perhaps you would do better with a single larger pond or 2 larger ponds with the same breakout of apex predators that you describe above.

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The pond would have been bigger, but there is no room to put it. If I had to stick with a .5 acre pond, what would it be? My friend has a 1 acre pond with bass pickerel bluegill perch and it holds up fine. Should I get the lmb or cp?

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That's like asking if I should get the red one, or the blue one? It's completely a personal preference. Do what makes YOU happy. It's your pond.


"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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A 0.5 ac will raise about 1/2 of what a 1 ac pond will raise - 50% less assuming the proper and same balance as the 1 acre example.


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Ok. My friend has 7 lb bass in his pond. Like 2 or 3. Would it be realistic if I had 3 or 4 pound bass?

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If your friend grows 7 lb bass, he might know the secret formula. I'd ask him his stocking ratios, and how many fish he removes per year vs how many new fish he is putting back in. Then if you do half that much you might be on to the secret recipe.

He might be able to donate some pickerel as well.

I don't think a pond half the size always (or is limited somehow) to grow fish only exactly half the size. Big bass can thrive in small ponds. The formula has more to do with ratio of predator fish to forage fish and also the competition between similar sized predators in the same pond.

One of the best quotes I read on this forum is that if you don't have enough FHM or other forage fish so that you can walk on the water without sinking..... then you aren't ready to put bigger fish in yet.

That might take a summer/fall to achieve that in a 1/2 acre pond and then you can keep reading/learning and then do some more stocking next spring?

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Some are good at using math to predict fish growth and stocking outcomes.

I found this equation which might be helpful:

1 is LMB stocking size
2 is chain pickerel stocking size
c is how many FHM are there at the time of the LMB stocking
h is the size of the smaller pond
g is the size of the larger pond

The arrows show stocking in one pond vs the other
A arrow from right to left means adding more
the (-1) means taking bass out after 1 year

D1 is days after first stocking
D2 is days after the first removal of any apex predator larger than 15"

f is not a third pond but the net effect of doing everything at once rather than following only one arrow at once

Attached Images
formula.gif
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My friend does nothing to maintain his pond. It came with the house and he hasn't done anything with it except fish. And thanks canyon.

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canyoncreek, I need to go back to high school confused grin. Would you please explain it in a system I can understand (just for me)?

I'm terrible about math (but my check book is always to the penny grin.

Thank You canyon!!!

I've looked at that equation 3 times and it still baffles me confused.

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If you do things correctly you should be able to have 2 to 3 3-4 lb bass (17"-19")in 1/2 acre where there are abundant forage fish and not a lot of other smaller bass as predators. I have seen that occur in a few 1/2 ac ponds. Again pounds of fish per 1/2 acre will depend on the pond's productivity - food chain - food web; starting with a good phytoplankton community and/or pellet fed fish. A good fertile pond can maintain around 25 to 35 lbs of bass per 1/2 acre and not so fertile 10 to 18 lbs of bass per 1/2 ac. Those bass could all be single sex population, preferably females.


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So I should get 25 female bass or 50 female bass or both male and female and harvest some. Also can I stock f1 bass in ny?

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Single sex bass will have to be caught off nests or during spawning season so you can recognize sex. I know of no fish farm that will sell you single sex bass. Single sex or mixed sex will depend on your goals and abilities. Decide that and then proceed. IMO F1 bass will not grow much faster nor much bigger than northern bass in a 1/2 ac pond that has lower nutrients, not pellet fed and will likely have limited forage items due to lack of natural productivity.

For good growth each bass when 8"-16" will likely "want" to eat 250-300 forage fish per year minimum. Those larger bass 14"-16" will grow better on the larger fish forage items (4"-6") not 2" minnows. For 25 bass,,,, that amounts to 6,250 - 8,000 small fish/yr (50-60lbs) consumed. In reality, EACH of those 25 bass are capable of eating 8-10 lbs of fish per year - 200 - 250 total lbs of fish consumed for each to grow 1 lb per yr. I suspect the 25 bass will be food limited in the pond you have described so far. So IMO using F1 or regular bass will not result in significant growth differences based on the stated plan.

This all means that don't expect 25 bass to grow the best that can occur in a natural pond. Plus if you allow them to spawn the pond will have more than 25 bass. You have to keep the bass numbers at the correct density that allows optimum growth based on the available food sources or you end up as may other pond owners with a pond with lots of crowded small bass. It is a management thing of keeping the predator numbers that match the forage numbers based on the goals for the fishery. IMO you will learn that having reproducing predators is not always a good thing in a small pond. It all depends.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/30/14 10:59 AM.

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So I should get all female bass since they grow bigger? How many do you think?

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The fewer you put in the bigger the average size will be.


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So what do you think I should put in, the amount?

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The answer is 25 female LMB


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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25 is too confident of an answer. I think 19 is best because the extra 6 bass to get to 25 might cause the changes in the extra variables described above (like carrying capacity/metabolic load/pellet protein percentage/waste ammonia levels/transport stress/and early mortality equations) to change again.

But 25 is still a reasonable target, it all depends.

what if you think you have 25 female LMB and one isn't female, will you try to correct the ratio later?

aetain, if you want a number I'd go with one of the numbers here. If you want to rely on the fact that this number is the correct one then you had better not go any further into owning a pond and stocking it, as there is no way to correct or plan for all these variables.

I think you are missing out on the fun that can be had when you don't know how things will turn out, yet you jump in both feet anyway!

Seriously, how do you dare buy green bananas? And how do you know how many to buy?

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek


Seriously, how do you dare buy green bananas? And how do you know how many to buy?



laugh good one.

We in this house struggle with those two questions nearly every week! laugh

Also seriously, my wife and I will discuss some trivial matter or purchase for weeks and vacillate over the decision then make some business decision that involves many thousands of times the money in a tiny fraction of the time. Boggles my mind sometimes what we spend our time worrying about.

Sometimes you just gotta do it and see how it turns out, without knowing ahead of time what the results will be.


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The best answer IMO is to add female bass gradually starting with 10-14, if you are interested in good growth of bass. It is usually best to have too many forage fish with predators growing the best and fastest,,, than to be short on forage fish. This will then be the best the pond can be based on what you started with.

As the pond progresses after a 18 to 48 months and you get a 'feel' for management and how the predator-prey balance is progressing then you can add a few female bass per year. It is a balancing act. This way you also have several year classes or sizes of bass. Different sizes of bass usually grow best eating larger sizes of forage items as the fish grow larger. Smaller bass will better help control the smaller perch. Large bass may often ignore smallest perch.

As you see bass growth slowing, relative weights decreasing, and/or forage fish amounts decreasing then you are getting too many bass for what the pond can support. Reduce predator numbers.

I still think with out pellet feeding and allowing the pond to develop naturally with the Catskill's soils the natural fertility will be relatively low, water clarity fairly high, thus overall fish production will be low. If the 1/2 ac pond has 20 bass averaging 3 lbs (17"-18") this equates to 120 lbs of bass per acre which is a very large carrying capacity for a natural based pond and it usually cannot be achieved. IMO about 40-50-60 bass pounds per acre is average for most natural production ponds that have relatively low fertility. Pond fertility and soil type 'dictates' natural systems.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/31/14 09:51 AM.

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So ill add 12 bass and have the same amount of forage fish. What size should the bass be? How big do you think the bass will be if I stock 12?

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IMO the 12-14 bass can be any size as long as they are females. I think it is easier to add a few bass each year as you harvest them compared to trying to control reproduction from numerous small too many bass. But if you want to spend lots of time fishing for small bass then add mixed sex any size once the forage species have spawned one full summer. It is probably too late in the year to get just female bass and you will likely have to wait until prespawn bass angling next year. In the mean time you can get minnows and YP established. Sunfish can always be added later it needed, but you can't get sunfish all out without killing the entire pond.

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Alot of fun to be had thinning down LMB population. wink

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In NY you might be able to recognize spawned out females for a couple weeks after spawning. Cecil Baird posted about how to recognize female bass during spawning season due to the shape of the genial orifice. Maybe some one can provide the link to the post?

See this from the Common Q&A Archives about recognizing male and female LMbass. If you are interested in managing LMB you should spend time reading through the lots of informational posts about LMB in the archives section.
Male vs Female LMB Recognizing
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255390#Post255390
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=21595#Post21595

From the Archives - LMB Culling & Management. Know all this information and you will grow big largemouths.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=255372#Post255372

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Ty bill. Will do. So I can get like 2.5 lb bas and put em in the pond?

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
25 is too confident of an answer.


It was a facetious reply.

On another note, thanks for all the great science, Bill. Your feedback is invaluable as ever.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Larger bass of 1.5 to 2.5 lb (14"-16") are okay if you have larger food items for them to eat such as 3-4" sunfish or 5"-6" perch. If those larger bass only have minnows to eat they will not grow and smaller bass that prefer minnows will out grow the larger stockers as the pond ages. IMO you are better off stocking LMB 6"-10" long. As I understand your situation the pond is not stocked yet so get the forage growing now including YP, shiners, maybe some HBG, etc., and next spring add the bass when you can best determine females.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/01/14 07:41 PM.

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I still cant understand how to distinguish males from females. I will add yellow perch bluegill red ear sunfish fatheads golden shiners crayfish sometime this sunmer. Ill add a ton so they can overpopulate and the bass will be fine next year.

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Few can ID LMB sex reliably unless they are on beds. This allows you a 2-3 week period annually to collect. Males will milt when squeezed gently and they will be much skinnier than the females who will be obviously gravid and their vents swollen.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Ok. There any other ways to tell?

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No.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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The period for sexing LMB is a short time period window. You have to be prepared and focus lots of effort during that time period to catch and select the female bass. If you make a mistake then be prepared to manage a mixed sex LMB pond. At that point you could add some larger CP (14"-16") to help control the excess numbers of small bass.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/02/14 08:29 AM.

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Ok. Wont the bass eat the cp though.

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It would take a gigantic bass to eat a 14" CP. The CP would be there to eat LMB YOY to reduce LMB recruitment.

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Yes don't stock 6"-8" CP. Bass of 16"-18" could eat small CP which could control CP numbers if they are recruiting new individuals into the pond. Create some habitat that is conducive to CP resting and hunting areas. Do some homework on the species.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/03/14 09:08 AM.

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What is CP


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Chain Pickerel.

I had to go look that one up. smile

Commonly used acronyms

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Lets say I wanted a pond with maybe like 5 big fish over 3-4 lbs and the rest small. Would I be better off stocking cp or bass? Male or female or mixed? Numbers?

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It is a matter of opinion and you will get lots of opinions. If you want a few larger bass and others 0.5 to 2 lb (8"-15")then I think you are better off to use mixed LMB with a few to several CP. I would only add a few CP after the first bass spawn then wait and watch the progress. As you see the bass recruiting numerous new small bass then you can add a couple more CP (12"-14"), then wait and watch. Watch for apparent numbers of smaller bass (4"-6") each fall and your ability to catch small bass. When small bass are scare, then remove at least 1 CP maybe two. Then the next fall small bass should be more apparent or appear in angler's catches. When you have 20 to maybe 27 mixed sizes of bass in the 1/2 ac expect to not see hardly any smaller 4"-7" YP. Then you may have to resort to using BG and/or HBG being your main panfishes. Yellow perch have a very hard time thriving with LMB and with CP present,,, I would be surprised if any hatchling YP survive to be 8" long. Save all this information as reference for when the pond is 2-8 yrs old. Then you will need and appreciate the advice.

IMO 25-30 bass up to 4 lb in 1/2 acre will be hard to achieve in a clear water natural production pond. You may have to strive to keep the LMB numbers in the range of 12 to 15 individuals if you want the larger sizes.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/03/14 08:14 PM.

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Mixed sizes are fine. So I should stock bass and cp. The baitfish are crawfish yp gsh fhm res bg

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You may have to eventually have to resort to BG as the main forage fish. Time, pond productivity, and your management techniques will tell the rest of the story. You goals may even change once you live with the pond for 2-6 years. Remember, IMO, do not put CP in until you see numerous small bass yearling bass in late summer or fall. Others may have different opinions. Pick the ideas that fit your goals.


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Sorry I wasnt on. My main goal is to have a fishing spot where I can fish every weekend that has fish to catch and that occasional lunker.

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