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Those 7-8" GSF will work on fish a third their size pretty hard. Somewhere in one of my old posts there is a picture of a GSF caught in my minnow trap that I pulled a FHM out of its mouth with just the tip of the minnows tail hanging out. The minnow was 3/4 as long as the GSF.

They are voracious predators.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:37 AM.

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If feeding is limited you should hold off adding any more predators until your natural food supply is established.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:38 AM.















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Update: Chara has made a solid carpet on the pond bottom over the past two months. The bluegill have gotten off at least one spawn and I'm sure the recruitment was aided by heavy vegetation. Water clarity has improved greatly and depth is a little over 7 1/2 feet in the middle. Frog population is holding well and the past few evenings I've gone out to the pond the water almost seems to be boiling with the fish action I'm seeing. I took the fish off feed about a month ago due to concern for water quality and high surface temps. (which is, in hindsight, a decision that should've brought up sooner) I have not done any relative weight research, but the ones I've caught all have been in good condition. My question is, is it too late in the year to start back up on feed?

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If your fish will eat, I see no reason not to restart feed. You could add Tilapia to help control the Chara, still this season or next spring. If adding Tilapia, plan on removing the stockers once water temps hit 55*

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I bought a minnow trap this past weekend and started doing daily fish samples at different locations around the pond. My results and observations indicate the following 1) a healthy population of snails and water fleas has become established 2) bluegill have spawned 3) it may be hard to tell in the juvenile stage, but I believe some of the GSF were stocked pre-spawn when added in late June 4) depth has dropped to 7 feet 5) water clarity continues to improve
My question is, should an attempt be made to establish RES or will the bluegill and GSF control them adequately?

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Connor, My water level has also dropped quite a bit. The La Nina is pretty nasty.

I know nothing about water fleas but small BG and GSF seem to eat everything that moves.

I would try some RES. I'm not impressed with GSF or BG controlling small snails.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:40 AM.

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I agree with DD1 if you want snail control get some RES into the pond. Since they do not spawn as prolifically as GSF and BG do not hesitate to add a more than a few. Most ponds needing snail control can use an initial stocking of 100-200 or even 300 or more RES per ac.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:40 AM.

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Should I be concerned with the 100 perecent coverage of vegetation in the pond? The chara only grows 4 inches tall, so it's not a hindrance to my angling efforts. My concern is that so much cover is making it too difficult for my stocker green sunfish to find food. Should I rake out as much of this as I can, or leave most of the vegetation for now until the forage base is a little better established?

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Yeah, I think I would try to get rid of some of it. 100% is asking for a fish kill.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:41 AM.

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At feeding time yesterday I sat out a trap for around ten minutes. The results were very encouraging (or discouraging) as there were at least 25 fish in the trap all appearing to be from the same spawn. I was under the impression that gsf only spawn once annually, and that I had stocked after their 2015 spawn. My hope was to get my stocker GSF all up to 6+ inches in a relatively empty pond before more bluegill were added so that recruitment of YOY fish was as limited as possible. I have caught stocker GSF (all in the 7+ inches) that are in excellent condition and stocker bluegill in the 5+ inch range (also in excellent condition). Each day I see increased activity during feeding, and I assume that many smaller fish are being eaten by the stocker GSF as they try to eat pellets. My question is, should I be concerned with a stunting issue next spring/summer or is the abundance of what I assume are young GSF advantageous to my goal?

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GSF are prolific and will make good forage mainly for LMB who are effective predators of them. GSF relate strongly to shallow water habitat that serves as very good refuge for them. This in turn helps shelter them from certain types of predator behavior.

They could easily have an extended spawning period that spawns the summer depending mainly when the individual reaches maturity. The spawn event for them is 59F to 82F thus spawning period can be spread out over the summer.

GSF often do not grow real fast so YOY are usually 1"-1.5" by end of the first summer; maybe 3" in southern areas such as TX. Second year with abundant food expect some of them to be 5"-6".

I think your main concern is the tendency to get too many GSF and other sunfish to the point they overeat the natural foods available and stunting occurs. Stunting and slow growth is common in ponds with GSF and a low density of bass predators. If you are catching more GSF in the traps than BG I would start removing GSF so remaining ones grow fast. One option is to place some 1yr old gsf (2.5"-3") in a cage (3-5/cuft) and feed them pellets for two years when they should be 7"-8" long. GSF readily adapt to life eating pellets in a cage. You may have to initially soften the pellets to train the GSF to eat pellets. I just finished a pellet feeding study using a high protein pellet 41% and the new Optima fish food. GSF grew significantly better on the Optimal fish food. Get some next year shipped to your door if you want to grow big GSF fairly quickly.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=426239&page=1

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I've been following that particular thread closely and plan to order enough to get me through the next growing season!

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Caught these two today at feeding time. Both seem to be in pretty good condition for gsf, but I think the first fish is a hybrid... The picture of the second fish doesn't do it justice, as it was much longer and not quite as thick as the first. Any thoughts? I know body score can always improve, but with the limited information from the pictures, how am I sitting? Also, I'm feeding a coffee can per day (probably 3/4 pound) right now, and the fish are cleaning it all up within around 7 minutes. Should I increase daily feed?

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First fish pic could easily be a HBG of some sort. 2nd one looks more like a GSF. Nice size to both fish. Keep thinning out the smaller ones so more food is available to the larger ones. A higher number of larger GSF will eat some fry helping somewhat as predation. Fish traps boughten or homemade are good ways to catch lots of GSF 1"-3".

Try adding a little more food to see if they eat it. When you feed you should add the food as they eat it instead of dumping it all in at once. This way you get a better idea of how hungry they are after adding the coffee can per day. If they are still aggressively eating after 7 min add some more food until feeding slows down significantly. Then you know they are getting full. When they are eating more food than in your budget reduce the number of fish eating food.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:44 AM.

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I agree with Bill. Was there any border around the opercular on that first fish? Hard to tell from the photo.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:44 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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Sorry about the flash in the photo, it was getting dark and I'm still learning how to hold a fish in one hand and take pictures in the other. Yes, there was a thin white border on the opercular flap. I'm assuming that with the presence of the white border and the smaller mouth size than is typical for gsf, this fish is a hybrid?

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The more fusiform shape of that first fish is interesting to my uneducated eye. Looks different to me than HBG photos I have seen posted. Anybody know what HBG x GSF looks like?

Connor I see in an earlier post (I think 7/15), you stocked 20 GSF during one of your stockings. Where did the fish come from?

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All gsf were from the same source, while the bluegill came from a different location altogether. I know I only stocked bluegill from that location, so I find it interesting that there would be hybrid bluegill in a pond that I have never caught any pure bluegill in.

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Originally Posted By: Connor Kelley
Sorry about the flash in the photo, it was getting dark and I'm still learning how to hold a fish in one hand and take pictures in the other. Yes, there was a thin white border on the opercular flap. I'm assuming that with the presence of the white border and the smaller mouth size than is typical for gsf, this fish is a hybrid?


That's what I thought. To my untrained eye, the fish in the first photo looks a lot like a female LES?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:46 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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I went fishing today at the same spot I've gotten all of my Green Sunfish from and was surprised to find that 6+ inch fish are still easy to catch. (even caught a 9 incher) Since my feeding program is rolling pretty well and it was mentioned before I may need to start thinning out this year's spawn, I'm curious as to whether or not adding more large gsf to the pond will be detrimental to my goal. I realize that the purpose of thinning the smaller fish is to allow the bigger fish more food, but I also understand that it takes close to two years to get a gsf from fry to over 6 inches.

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Connor, GSF are easier catch than BG or CNBG. The bigger fish should thin the fry but only up to a point. Remember that the GSF only spawn annually but BG/CNBG spawn multiple times.

It won't hurt to remove smaller fish but it's tough to catch enough to make a real difference. If you can seine it, that might help with over crowding.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:47 AM.

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Caught this one, along with 3 others the same size give or take a 1/4 inch, today after lunch. Water temps are at around 68 degrees, but the fish are feeding better than ever. I know green sunfish are much more fusiform than bg, especially at larger sizes, but does this fish (8.5 inches) look a bit thin?

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Yeah, it does have a lean and hungry look. Are you feeding them?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:48 AM.

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Fish 1 and 2 from the early part of the thread look like HBG possibly Fx (GSF x BG) but look to have higher % GSF genes. The pic above looks like the highest % GSF and may be a very high % GSF . I would call it a GSF not a hybrid.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:48 AM.















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They're being fed but not as often as I'd like, probably 4 out of seven days a week. With me getting home at or past 5:45 every night, it's becoming a mad dash to the pond to try and throw out food before it's pitch dark. Realizing I can't make more daylight and that I don't have time before school to feed, I'm leaning heavily towards buying a feeder with a timer. Cost isn't too prohibitive, but I'd really like to stay away from spending upwards of $600, closer to $200, on one. If anyone could recommend a quality feeder for a reasonable price, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/19/16 06:49 AM.
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