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Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436045 01/28/16 10:34 AM
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Great question RC51 WE all assume that the never to be seen again tilapia that die in winter in northern ponds are 'eaten by turtles' If someone had a feeder and could net them with a cast net at will, has anyone tried tagging the largest of the adults and releasing them again?

Or tag some of the larger ones at time of stocking?

Would the tags hold up in the gut of a larger LMB so if a LMB was harvested the gut contents would tell us where that particular tilapia went smile?

If land based predators are coming at night, going into the shallow water and dragging them out and eating them, wouldn't there be plastic tags on the shore line?

If they are sinking to the bottom and staying there then the tags would not decompose and in theory you could rake the shallows to rake the tags in or you could snorkel and see the colored tags?

I don't have enough turtles to consume my 100 or more tilapia, or at least it wouldn't seem possible.

It amazes me that the tilapia vanish without a trace. Only the 2 or 3 largest tilapia that were belly up in the shallows were eaten or partially eaten at the shore line as evidence by partial skeletons or bare skeletons.

I hope to snorkel in the spring to see how many fish bone skeletons I can see on the bottom. I was pretty certain I didn't have any predators so there should be at least 100 of them since the crayfish can't eat the bones!

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436047 01/28/16 11:11 AM
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Tracy, while I was reading your post, casting net kept running thru my mine. I saw a few youtube videos with people catching with bread. I would think the bread deal would work good when the feeder went off.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
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Re: Wannabe Lake
RC51 #436048 01/28/16 11:19 AM
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Not sure if you were asking me or Tracy. I've only seen one that was in bad shape and I netted him up and filleted him. Have not seen any dead ones at all floating and I go to the pond daily..... Not sure where they are

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436050 01/28/16 11:27 AM
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strange that so many tilapia can disappear with no trace...

Besides snorkeling one of my wish list items is to get a wifi game camera pointed at the shore line to see if in the fall when the tilapia are going belly up that there truly is a family of hungry coons or some other predator (bobcat?) that is wading in and finishing them off?

Re: Wannabe Lake
canyoncreek #436055 01/28/16 12:12 PM
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There was a bobcat picked up on a trail cam in Lake County, Indiana last month.


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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).
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436085 01/28/16 02:44 PM
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I would imagine that most fox, coon, opossum, etc, will take a dead fish and eat it elsewhere, away from the competition.

FWIW, in growout raceways, you'd better have solid soles on your boots, because other tilapia will eat dead fish, and kill weak ones, leaving only the largest of bones behind. Rarely have I seen rib bones or even vertebrae that are under 1/2"-3/4" in diameter.

Last edited by Rainman; 01/28/16 02:48 PM.
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436086 01/28/16 02:44 PM
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Saw a large one dead on the side of the road where Route Six intersects with Route 33 South in Kosciusko county. (North of Syracuse)


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Wannabe Lake
Rainman #436089 01/28/16 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Rainman
I would imagine that most fox, coon, opossum, etc, will take a dead fish and eat it elsewhere, away from the competition.

FWIW, in growout raceways, you'd better have solid soles on your boots, because other tilapia will eat dead fish, and kill weak ones, leaving only the largest of bones behind. Rarely have I seen rib bones or even vertebrae that are under 1/2"-3/4" in diameter.


Seriously!! Tilapia are carvnivores? Cannibals? and eat bones up to 1/2" I've never seen a fish bone that was 1/2" in diameter?

I'm missing something here....

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436096 01/28/16 03:49 PM
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Tilapia can get nutrition from almost anything...even dead leaves and sticks. They generally eat the foods available that are least competed for. Tilapia won't expend much energy chasing a fish when they can lazily browse on algae or muck...

Re: Wannabe Lake
esshup #436100 01/28/16 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: esshup
There was a bobcat picked up on a trail cam in Lake County, Indiana last month.


Are they rare up there? Our neighbor's son got two in one day last week on the line.

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436101 01/28/16 04:05 PM
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Wow, great to know! How do they eat and digest fish bones? And will they serious attack their own young? Is this why in my pond the adults school up together in tight bunches and the 2-3" ones all school together in tight bunches?

Re: Wannabe Lake
Bocomo #436111 01/28/16 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bocomo
Originally Posted By: esshup
There was a bobcat picked up on a trail cam in Lake County, Indiana last month.


Are they rare up there? Our neighbor's son got two in one day last week on the line.


There are none in Northern Indiana, a few are in the southern part of the state. To have one show up on a trail cam here is an event!


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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).
Re: Wannabe Lake
esshup #436119 01/28/16 04:48 PM
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We have lots of Bobcats around here and they are cool to see.... Got to see a momma and two of her kittens going they through the woods during bow season

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436133 01/28/16 06:19 PM
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To continue with my first years experience with Tilapia in a new pond, I will tell what I have seen. As I tried to explain in my earlier post is to say the Tp reproduced in what I would call large numbers of fish, especially when I started with 24, 6" stockers. Stocked April 1st 2015, within a short time period of say 30 days or so, I started seeing larger spawning beds. And then checking minnow traps I started seeing 1/2" fry. Before long I was seeing schools of 4" Tp and the stockers were now in the 10" or better in size. Fish numbers continued to grow until I would have estimated see numbers in the 500 count range and by Dec. I was seeing many schools with fish sizes of 12+ " but not seeing many in the 3 to 4" size when we had our surface water temps start dropping to 51 and the Tp were sickly looking, to the point I did not want to eat them, but I think that is when the lmb have a feast. And then the weather got warmer and I started seeing a lot of them in a condition I would eat. And at or around Jan 15th, 2016 the water temps began cooling again and I started seeing extremely stressed Tp along with some dead floaters. I have continued seeing this, and even today I saw a small 2" one, a stressed one, near the shoreline. Surface water temps are hanging around 51. I have seen Bald Eagles eating the slow movers and cormorants have feasted on them. And the dead ones that have floated to the shore, including maybe some 14" ones have been eaten by all types of animals, coons and etc. And Vultures are all along the shore eating their share. In fact, I figure most all of the things that are around a pond might feast on them. Turtles, crawfish, FHM's etc. The dead ones are disappearing one at a time.

Tracy


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436160 01/28/16 07:56 PM
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thanks for sharing your experience Tracy!

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436202 01/29/16 10:52 AM
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So, do you think TP would be a benefit to, or at least not hurt, a new pond, with stocking the forage fish in March then LMB and HSB in early/mid summer? Maybe better to stock TP early summer so their fry will be available and better size for LMB?


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436245 01/29/16 07:38 PM
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Brian if you can wait til nex spring to add bass you will be much much better off

Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436256 01/29/16 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: BrianL
So, do you think TP would be a benefit to, or at least not hurt, a new pond, with stocking the forage fish in March then LMB and HSB in early/mid summer? Maybe better to stock TP early summer so their fry will be available and better size for LMB?


BrianL,
I'm going to have to agree with Pat W. Your forage base will not have enough time to evolve if you go ahead and put your predators in a few months after the forage fish. My pond was completed in the month of August 2014. I immediately stocked BG, RES, and FHM. I did not add any predators until the following May 30th (~10 months). It paid big dividends, as the forage base was allowed to propagate and thrive. Patience is a virtue when stocking a new BOW.


...when in doubt...set the hook...
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436272 01/30/16 07:26 AM
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My theory and practice is to stock bass when they can go to sleep with their mouth open and wake up with a full belly.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Wannabe Lake
esshup #436274 01/30/16 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: esshup
There was a bobcat picked up on a trail cam in Lake County, Indiana last month.


This guy shows up periodically at my place. Not sure what he's after, but I've noticed that we have a bumper crop of rabbits this year. It is an impressive specimen, though...during the last couple of weeks of deer season, I was set up on a new ladder stand that I'd just built. Right at dusk, a cat (not sure if it was this one), walks not 15' from me...then, just headed off into the woods...



...when in doubt...set the hook...
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436276 01/30/16 08:12 AM
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BrianL, There is a saying here on the Forum, "It Depends". I think it is possible to get your brim forage in a pond in as late as early February here in Texas (Paris) and put lmb in the pond in the June. But like most things, All it Takes is Money. Dave said "Couch Potato Bass" are you familiar with this term? For discussion, if you can add large numbers of 4 to 6" CNBG and RES and 100rds of pounds of FHM's in Feb. And then add your Tp in early April, I think you might get where you want to be in a short time. But it will take some big dollars to get there. If you wait till mid summer for lmb stocking, then I would think the lmb might be in the 6 to 8" size and so if you are going to add the lmb, add them as fingerlings in June, so they will feed on the FHM's. giving time for the cnbg and res to have a spawn or two. Add the Tp in April, Oh !! I forgot to mention TFS, those need to be added also in Feb. (remember Couch Potato bass?) See, I think it can be done but not going to be cheap frown HSB would be added in the fall, they become stressed when moved in the summer. So, going back to what was said, "It DEPENDS"

Tracy


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436365 01/31/16 07:21 AM
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I wouldn't get in a hurry. I am assuming from the pics that the suspended soils have gone to the bottom.

You need a good planktonic base(zoo and phyto) before stocking. And a lot of East Texas Ponds(pine tree country) lack the fertility you need to get that base. Step one, for me, would be to do a sechi disk test. If you can see over about 24 inches, the phyto isn't there yet. You may need to fertilize and maybe lime prior to fertilization.

Give it about a month and then send a water sample to TAMU for testing. That will tell you the natural fertility of the soils/water. Another indicator are local cattle and hay raisers. Do they have to lime and fertilize their grasses?

OTOH, fathead minnows can live in a nuclear waste dump. But their eggs and fry can't make it in sterile water. You want fatheads to do their job and reproduce.

Like Tracy said, stocking is expensive. However, it will turn out to be the cheapest part of the process.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #436459 02/01/16 11:44 AM
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Water is really clearing up, and turning a nice green tint. I need to get/make one of those disc to see how far I can see, but in guessing close to 18". I'm thinking the alfalfa I put in, and the fertilizer from the spreader when planting grass around the dam and terrace got the plankton a jump start. I also need to put a water test on the to do list asap.

I'm not in the pine country, more bottom land black/gray/red clay post oak Savannah area. Not sure what that means chemically, but I do know it is much different than the piney woods area about 60 miles south of us.


1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #437846 02/16/16 03:23 PM
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Forage fish showed up today!

2000 small CNB
150 medium CNB
100 Adult CNB
500 RES
30# of FHM




Being supervised



Last edited by BrianL; 07/17/17 01:02 PM.

1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
Re: Wannabe Lake
BrianL #437847 02/16/16 03:30 PM
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Haven't got back TAMU water test yet, but bought pond testing kit to do basic test myself then compare to what I get back.

Per my test:

Ph 7.5
Alkalinity 40
PO 0
NO 0
Ammonia 0

20" on secchi disc.

Trophy Hunter feeder setup and ready to start throwing feed in the morning.

Last edited by BrianL; 02/16/16 03:43 PM.

1.8 acre pond with CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.
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