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#414458 06/07/15 10:12 PM
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With the recent heavy rains we've received here in North Texas, my pond that has been no more than a mud pit for the past two years is now 8 1/2 feet at its deepest and 1.5 acres. I've already bucket stocked ~110 green sunfish ranging from 2 to 7 inches and an ample supply of frogs, tadpoles, and mosquito larvae are available as a food source right now. I'm aware that this food source will soon be much more scarce, so I plan on stocking 150 threadfin shad along with providing supplemental pelleted feed. My question is, are threadfin shad recommemded for stocking in ponds this size and are they the correct choice for forage in a pond managed for trophy green sunfish?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:19 AM.
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Connor, The GSF will feed on the shad OK and the shad should reproduce. GSF only spawn annually so should never be a biomass problem.

The potential downsides that I see are:

150 threadfins aren't much for 1.5 acres but somehow I guess they will find each other enough to spawn.

The biggest downside that I see for our area is that the shad can''t tolerate a really cold winter. I don't recall what temp they die at. But, as I recall, they freeze out here about every 2 to 3 years.


Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:23 AM.

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What would be the ideal forage fish for this pond's goal?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:23 AM.
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My question is, are threadfin shad recommemded for stocking in ponds this size no usually 3 acres or larger _ need a good plankton bloom and are they the correct choice for forage in a pond managed for trophy green sunfish not the best but will help?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:24 AM.















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Conner, welcome to the forum! If you want "trophy" anything, you would normally have very few in the water.

I most often get asked how to live with, or get rid of greenies rather than how to raise them...lol

I'd think growing big GSF would be similar to growing really big bluegill, and have lots of small, stunted, starving Large Mouth Bass, lurking to eat all but the fastest growing, smartest GSF.

Absent an effective predator, you would need to manage GSF more like a food fish operation to get size on them. Lots of seining and culling so only larger fish eat pellets and to reduce bio-demand on the body of water.

I'd think in your area, Fathead Minnows, Gambusia, Crayfish, and freshwater shrimp would be your best forage species. Those might be hard to keep with a bunch of hungry LMB though.

This should become an interesting and informative topic!

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:24 AM.


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Rex said "I'd think growing big GSF would be similar to growing really big bluegill" -- I agree with the same food items and pellets.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:25 AM.















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How large are you shooting for on those trophy GSF, CK?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:25 AM.

"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?
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There's a very good soure of gambusia nearby that I can trap and bucket stock to the pond. I'm confident in my ability to distinguish between gambusia and the adolescent stages of other fish, because I used to raise them for bait. My initial thought too was to stock FHM @ 4 or 5 lbs, I was just not sure if they would be able to sustain a population after a considerable number of GSF reached the desired 7+ inch range. Would it be more cost effective to omit the FHM and start feeding twice a day? Also, should the bass be fingerling sized or larger when they are stocked, I'm assuming, next spring?

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Conner, if your goal is a "considerable number" of 7" GSF, I'd suggest as much forage as you can and managing more toward a food fish grow-out plan. It might be very difficult to grow GSF to large sizes in large numbers.

Growing large GSF and using LMB to limit GSF survival only the best of the best of the best will mean few GSF in the pond.

As I mentioned earlier, I've never been asked to help manage for large GSF, but the first thing that comes to mind is that a large 7"+ GSF can be eaten pretty easily by a 14-16" LMB because GSF have a much more fusiform body than a large Bluegill. If a predator is used to aggressively control GSF offspring, the predator will have to have a maximum gape smaller than a midsized GSF.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:26 AM.


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Guys, Connor is a young teen who has dug ponds, gotten the opportunity to play with other ponds, etc.

At his age, options might be a little bit limited.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:27 AM.

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Originally Posted By: Rainman
Conner, if your goal is a "considerable number" of 7" GSF, I'd suggest as much forage as you can and managing more toward a food fish grow-out plan. It might be very difficult to grow GSF to large sizes in large numbers.

Growing large GSF and using LMB to limit GSF survival only the best of the best of the best will mean few GSF in the pond.

As I mentioned earlier, I've never been asked to help manage for large GSF, but the first thing that comes to mind is that a large 7"+ GSF can be eaten pretty easily by a 14-16" LMB because GSF have a much more fusiform body than a large Bluegill. If a predator is used to aggressively control GSF offspring, the predator will have to have a maximum gape smaller than a midsized GSF.


So do you think HSB might be a better match for Connor's GSF?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:28 AM.

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Though I genuinely appreciate your consideration Dave, at this point I'm fortunate enough to be able to say that resources (financial or time-related) are not going to be a hindrance for this project like they would've been in 2011-2012. It is true that I would prefer a management strategy that is more time consuming than costly, but I don't want to rule out other options simply because of their cost. I would like to hear all possible routes to my goal, and I feel that this forum is the best environment available in which my passion for fishing and pond management can grow.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:28 AM.
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So what I'm inferring from your strategy Rainman is that I'll have to bass fish a lot? I think I could endure such a chore...

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Hey Connor, you've grown some. You impressed me and others in the past. I think you will do well.

When I said options I meant that you most likely didn't have the $$$$$ that a lot of us older guys can throw at a pond.

Think of it this way. Predators and prey always have to be in balance. And that is the challenge that we all face. The GSF only spawn annually as versus other sunfish like bluegills that have multiple(rolling) spawns. The stuff like larvae, small frogs, etc will carry them just so far. They need groceries and the highly prolific shad will certainly supply that if the GSF can find them in a 1.5 acre pond.

However, if we have a nasty winter, the threadfins will die off when the water temp hits about 45 degrees. The pellets will really help but they will still need more natural food. Since they will only spawn annually, their young won't make much of a meal in 1.5 acres.

I would add some bluegills if I could and maybe some more green sunfish. You have a lot of water to fill and bluegills will do a better job than the greenies. If resources are available, I would, at this time, add about 1,000 bluegills and 10 pounds of fathead minnows.

I wouldn't mess with bass yet. You don't have enough to feed them.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:29 AM.

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Alright, what size bluegill do you recommend? Can I start feeding ASAP? If so, what feed? I was thinking aquamax carnivore @ 41% protein. I'm almost certain that the catfish feed at the local feedstore is 18% protein, a long ways off from what I think I'll be needing.

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2 inch bluegills ought to work and BG do just fine on catfish feed. The trick is to find out what makes up the protein. Some brands make high protein food but use questionable ingredients that really aren't all that good for the fish. I've never had a problem with anything that Purina makes but right now they seem to have a supply problem.

Some here like the stuff that Tractor Supply sells. I personally haven't tried it but I expect that it's OK.

BG do just fine on 32% protein but do better on the 41%.

Yeah, you can start feeding ASAP. However, with that amount of GSF scattered over 1.5 acres, it might take a while for enough of them to find it. Don't get discouraged if they aren't where you want them to be.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:30 AM.

It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Originally Posted By: Rainman
Conner, if your goal is a "considerable number" of 7" GSF, I'd suggest as much forage as you can and managing more toward a food fish grow-out plan. It might be very difficult to grow GSF to large sizes in large numbers.

Growing large GSF and using LMB to limit GSF survival only the best of the best of the best will mean few GSF in the pond.

As I mentioned earlier, I've never been asked to help manage for large GSF, but the first thing that comes to mind is that a large 7"+ GSF can be eaten pretty easily by a 14-16" LMB because GSF have a much more fusiform body than a large Bluegill. If a predator is used to aggressively control GSF offspring, the predator will have to have a maximum gape smaller than a midsized GSF.


So do you think HSB might be a better match for Connor's GSF?


No Bill, I don't. HSB would have a near perfect gape size and not be able to take out a larger GSF, but HSB LOVE pellets. The HSB would hang out and eat pellets over munching on small GSF.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:31 AM.


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Conner all the catfish feed I have seen in farm stores and feed stores has been 32%. Tractor Supply sells some Cargill (called either game fish or sport fish) multi- species 36% that I have been feeding. It has a range of pellet sizes (some pretty small) with a portion of it sinking but most floating and it seems to work well for feeding small GSF and BG.

I have an old pond with GSF, and I can say with some confidence that you will not have a lot of trouble feed training GSF. Those little buggers do like their feed and hit it with gusto. The BG have to work their butts off to get to a pellet before a GSF gets to it.

Dave I don't think GSF will have a problem filling the biomass in the pond. It has been years ago, but used to take our kids when they were small fishing in a pond that was filled with stunted 4" GSF. It was a major chore taking fish off the hooks and putting worms on. Soon as the hook hit the water it was fish on. Pond was not that big (maybe half acre) and shallow and my guess now would be it had a winter fish kill at some point and the only thing that survived was the GSF, so no bass predators.

My GSF have been growing like crazy on feed pellets. I kill and throw them back in as many as I catch for catfish food, knowing that there are plenty more of them and by removing what I can the remaining ones will get to a size worth having. Lots of 4-5" ones right now.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:31 AM.

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Dave, if Conner is wanting trophy GSF, my recommendation would be to stock some RES instead of the BG.

Although my personal preference would be to add the BG because they get bigger than the GSF. But if GSF are really his passion, don't know that the BG would be needed.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:32 AM.

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Connor, here are a couple of links to old threads about GSF. Be forewarned that most people are trying to get rid of GSF so this is mostly what the threads are about. But as I recall I posted some links within those threads that were even older where some GSF fans talked about the GSF fan club and had some funny as well as informative stuff. Also some ID pictures and other things you might find interesting.

100% GSF

GSF

You also might want to check out the Sunfish primer in the archives.

Also, good luck with your project and keep us informed. Dave Davidson has rubbed off some of his GSF enthusiasm on me and some of the small ones I have been removing from my sediment pond have actually been adding them into my main pond. So I guess I have become hooked on some GSF genes in my ponds also. I guess my philosophy has become, if I can't eliminate them, learn to embrace them. grin

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:36 AM.

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Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:33 AM.















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I attatched these photos to give an idea of the current and projected condition of the pond.

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P_20150609_134115.jpg P_20150609_133833.jpg P_20150609_133459.jpg Screenshot_2015-06-09-14-47-17.jpg
Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:34 AM.
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Dave and I discussed that since the pond is likely to lose a large portion of its surface area, it would be best to add 500-600 BG in the 2-3 inch size range along with 5 lbs. FHM and as many GSF as I could catch, follwed by 25 LMB in year 2.

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The GSF will act as LMB in the <9" size range (regarding the size of fish that they can eat).

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:34 AM.

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First off, I'm happy to say that I found a source of 32% protein pellets and began feeding 6 days ago. Today I saw a single fish eating the pellets, and I assume over the next few days that number will snowball. I added 20 more green sunfish in the 3-5 inch range, along with 15 7-8 inch green sunfish. My only hesitation to adding more of the larger size is that the pond won't be able to support them right now with such a low density of fish. Can I keep adding GSF without discretion to size?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:35 AM.
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