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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.


John

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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.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/31/14 02:49 PM.

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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

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/31/14 09:23 PM.

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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.


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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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