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Mark,

I added this post to the bottom of another one where you were discussing hybrid striper stocking but I guess it got buried. Anyone else with an opinion please feel free to chime in.

My situation is slightly different. I'm not stocking hybrids in a established pond but in a new one. I'm in the process of building a 4-5 acre pond in southern Il. I plan to stock minnows this fall as the pond fills and then blue gill in the spring. Depending on water levels LMB will follow in the fall. I would also like to stock some Hybrid Stripers for sport fishing but the main purpose will be for LMB/bluegill. I probably won't be feeding at the start since the pond is about a hour away from home and don't currently have power at the site

Is it ok to stock the hybrids if I won't be feeding? Should the Hybrids be stocked at the same time as the LMB or wait and stock larger hybrids later? From your note I was planning on using the 5/acre rate you recomended. Should this rate be different if I'm stocking the LMB and stripers at the same time? Also should I reduce the LMB stock rate to compensate for the stripers?

Thanks for your help. Keep up the good work with the magazine.

Kevin

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Hey Kevin,

I have also wondered how Hybrid-Stripers would do in small ponds. My pond is just an acre in size, so I have been advised against stocking LMB. I have read several posts that said that Hybrid-Stripers were perfect for small ponds and that they do well on pellet feed.

I went to Bass Pro Shop in Katy, Texas yesterday and was lucky enough to catch feeding time. Boy, when the feed hit the tank you could not imagine the strikes that it provoked form the Hybrids. It was really an incredible sight to behold. So my question is, what would be the stocking rate for my size pond or is it even possible. I do have catfish and bluegill already in the pond and eating me out of house and home.

Thanks, Newbee

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Guys:

As you will read in the November-December issue of Pond Boss magazine, the hybrid striper ("wiper") is a good fish for ponds for a variety of reasons. Chief among them are:

* They are readily available from fish farmers and brokers, thus competitively priced.

* Hybrid stripers can be stocked at a fairly high density, even in a pond no larger than 1 surface acre, because you can supplement their natural forage supply with high protein pellets.

* Hybrids are sterile, so you have the ultimate control over their numbers. No real risk of them spawning themselves out of balance with other populations.

* Hybrids commonly grow to weights of 8-to-10 pounds and when hooked, hybrids fight like the cross between a smallmouth and a flathead catfish.

One or two considerations . . . I have stocked them in a lake with an established population of LMB, and received strong performances by all species.

I would not, however, place 15-inch hybrids in a small puddle with 8-inch LMB. In that scenario, your bass would become expensive lunch.

Mark McDonald
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I have a 1/3 acre pond with 189 hybrid striper ( before the cranes visited) and 110 channel cat stocked last fall. The local fish farm guy, Harrel Arms, said it is best to stock the fingerlings in a fishless pond to ensure that they accept feed but seems that some of the Pond Bosses aren't having problems putting them in an established pond.
I feed them Aquamax 41% protein feed. I haven't tried to catch them lately but they make a big splash when they eat. The channel cats however are ranging up to two pounds. They are hogging much of the feed so I'm catching and eating them.
The problems that I'm having are :
1. The catfish scoop up mouthfulls and the striper eat one at a time so I don't think the hybrids are as big as the cats .
2. I have a lot of moss and weeds that are causing an oxygen shortage. The catfish will still come to feed when the hybrid striper are gulping for air. So make sure you have high D.O. if your're going to pay good money for them.

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Brian:

Hope you read this soon. You sound as though you are on the brink of a fish-kill.

Water temperatures are high in Central Texas right now. Water loses its capacity to hold dissolved oxygen when that happens.

You also say you have well in excess of 200 head in your one-third acre pond. Eeesh.

Most any fisheries biologist would say the D.O. problem in your one-third acre pond is accelerated by overcrowded fish. Without an aerator, you're trying to carry too many fish for the tiny system to support.

The third element working against your success is the aquatic vegetation. Just as those weeds add oxygen to the water, they also take it away.

Fish gulping on the surface is a bad, bad sign. Hope they survive through the night.

ASAP, suggest you add an aerator or remove some fish. Otherwise, Mother Nature is about to remove them for you.

Mark McDonald
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Mark,

I still want to know how many stripers you would recommend stocking in an one acre pond (with an Aerator). Thanks a lot for your time! \:\)

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Stocking hybrid stripers at a rate of 25-to-30 per acre should be plenty of fish to stretch your string. If it's not quite enough fish to keep you busy, bump up your numbers by, say, 10 fish per acre.

I tend to be conservative when stocking predators, whether the lake is a renovation or a new start-up. Here's why: In a 50-acre lake near Seguin, TX, I once added seven sub-adult bass 14 inches long per acre and four 12-inch hybrid stripers per acre to an established bass-bluegill fishery.

Three days later, the fishing improved dramatically. Catch-rates soared, and my club members were ecstatic. Those 14-inch bass cost $7 apiece, plus my expenses for hauling them from Oklahoma, but it was money well-spent I thought.

See previous. Note that the fish salesman sold our unsuspecting Pond Boss brother 189 hybrids for a one-third acre pond, a stocking rate of nearly 600 fish per acre. Six hundred.

Now that the pond is suffering through water quality issues and a potential die-off, ask whether the rate was good for the pond owner or good for the fish salesman. Draw your own conclusions.

Mark McDonald
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Stockers of Hybrid Stripers: M. McDonald is giving you excellent advice. Believe it and follow it closely. He speaks with good experience with the hyb. stripers. They can even work in a 1/4 acre pond but you have to follow his guidelines. I raise them in a circular cage.


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Mark,

It is recomended to stock 1000 pounds per acre. There are no other fish in this pond. I didn't know that the catfish were that big so yes, I am exceeding 300 puonds in 1/3 acre. I'm pulling some out but fed catfish aren't easy to catch more than one at a time.

I have a air diffuser that is helping a lot.

My biggest problem is moss. Mid-August the duckweed bloomed so fast that it covered most of the tank. Shade no good. The hybrids came to the top so I took a johnboat and a dipnet and pulled out a bunch. It help almost immediately.

Now I have algae, duckweed, and brushy pondweed in about 80% of the surface. I temporarily put in a utility pump that makes a pretty good splash. The fish haven't come to the top yet but they aren't eating much (I slowed way down on my feeding anyway). I'm hoping that it gets me to cooler weather.

I am waiting on a stupid permit from stupid Texas Wildlife Whatever for stupid grass carp ( what a pain in the butt). I'm hoping next year will be better.

Anyway, I am aware of the problem and am trying to fix it. Thank you for your concern. You have started a great magazine and a great website. Just what the fish freak ordered.

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Suggestion for your one-third acre pond: With water temperatures so high and dissolved oxygen a real issue this time of year, could you remove some of the vegetation through mechanical or physical means?

See the pages of Pond Boss for the weed rake. Goofy little thing works.

Another idea: Get a thick rope, toss it into the water and pull it through to the shoreline. The belly of the "C" should fill with vegetation. Pull it to the bank and watch it rot in the sun.

Idea 3: Take a small gate to a chain-link fence and tie a rope to it. Chunk the gate into an infested area. Use the gate to pull the gate from the water.

I recommend you do this between now and the start of the next growing season. Next spring, get ahead of the weeds by starting in March with physical control methods, a dose of herbicides and/or, as you mentioned, grass carp.

Buena suerte,
Mark McDonald
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I am waiting on a stupid permit from stupid Texas Wildlife Whatever for stupid grass carp ( what a pain in the butt)

Oh come on, play nicely! \:\) In all seriousness, if you've been waiting for more than 6 weeks and you haven't got your permit, let me know. Hamilton county is in my district and those permits come across my desk. It's rare but sometimes they are misplaced.

Without the permitting process, it's possible that unscrupulous fish dealers might take advantage of pond owners and try and sell them more grass carp than they need. One also doesn't have to look very far north to see the havoc that a reproducing population of grass carp can cause. The Missouri River is absolutely full of them. The Texas Parks and Wildlife permitting system is far from perfect, but it's not that bad.

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Brian-- Be glad you can get get the grass carp by jumping thru the hoops for Texas F&W. Here in Michigan it is illegal to bring them into the state.
If you have access to a tractor, I made a nifty gizmo for clearing weeds out to 22' from shore. I took an old 3 point sprayer frame I bought for $10 and welded a 10" piece of 2" ID square tubing with a hole thru the sides on to it just like the receiver hitch on your truck. I got a 22' long piece of 2" OD x 3/16 square tubing and an old 3 point 5' landscape rake that I took just the rake part off. I welded another 10" piece of 2" ID square tubing with a hole thru the sides onto the center of the bar that the rake tines
are attached to.
Put the 3 point frame on the tractor, slide the long bar into the receiver, put a pin thru it, put the rake on the other end of the bar with another pin and you're good to go. Raise the 3 point, back up the the edge of the water, drop the three point and pull forward bring everything in its path with it.
I only do the area on both sides of the 2 docks as that is the only places I can pull straight away from the shore for more than 22 feet. I can bring in what seems like tons of wet, slimy heavy weeds in a very short time. In about 3 days you can put the tons of dried weeds into a bushel basket and cart away. I go very slow with the tractor to allow any fish or creatures time to get out of the way and there are no serious obstructions like big rocks or stumps in the areas I rake. It works really well for me and I don't have to worry about decomposing plants eating up the oxygen or becoming more silt on the bottom.
Dan


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Sorry Fishman. Going to town to get it notarized and paying $21 for three carp seemed a little much. These fish are supposed to be sterile so wouldn't it be good enough to just limit the numbers sold in each area? I do agree that it does serve a purpose.

I have pulled out a lot of the pondweed around the sides with a rake but the string al;gae doesn't come out as good. Now the algae is thick on top of the pondweed and althoug not killing it, it is slowing down it's growth. The pondweed has started growing out in the deeper water in the center where I have pulled out the algae and duckweed by johnboat. There is just too much.

Question: If the grass carp catch up and eat all the moss and recycle it in their wastes, will this not cause a too thick plankton algae bloom and give me more trouble? I'm hoping that the carp will leave a few weeds that I can remove along with the nutrients and have somewhat clear water. Is this just a pipe dream?

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The "stringy" stuff you describe sounds like filamentous algae. Don't expect to have much luck removing it by hand. Try applying one of the chelated copper products, readily available through one of our advertisers.

Neither should you expect grass carp to eat every green stem in your pond. That seldom happens. It COULD, of course, but only if the fish are introduced in extraordinarily high density, in violation of state regs limiting grass carp to the max stocking rate of 7/acre.

Better, analyze your pond. You sound as though your pond is ultra-high in nutrients. Find out why.

Do you have lots of livestock? If so, in the interest of a fishery, fence them out of all but a small area at the upper end where they can come to water.

Mark McDonald
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Mark,

I'm surprised your not growing tired of this exchange--I'm sure everyone else has.

Before my research on the net and Pondboss days, I lost lots of fish due to dairy cows. Now I have diverted most of the water ( some goes in on the bigger rains ) and am running in a small stream from a well. The nutrients are still there which is why backbreaking removal of moss isn't so bad. I throw it way up on the bank.

Without flushing rains, will those nutrients always be there or will they layer under mud and eventualy be gone?

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Mark,
Since hybrid striper grow to large sizes and are aggressive as they are how will this effect the possibility of growing large bass? What have been the long-term effects of mixing LM bass and Hstripers in the same tank?
Thanks,
Shannon

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Brian - For what it is worth, duckweek AND bushy pondweed (Nejas spp.) are easily controlled with approximately 12 oz. of SONAR AS in a 1/3-acre pond. A 5-gal bucket is sufficient for "application equipment".
However, such a herbicide treatment should be conducted much earlier in the season, to maximize its effectiveness and to reduce the risk of D.O. problems.
Your pond water is probably very clear. If so, and a herbicide treatment is considered, you may wish to consider a fertilization program to get a plankton bloom going next spring - before filamentous algae kicks into gear. Otherwise, the filamentous algae will make ready use of the bottom-nutients being released from the decomposing plants. The plankons' ability to reduce sunlight penetration should help reduce your filamentous algae problems later in the season.


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