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FireIsHot #394998 12/16/14 06:10 AM
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OK John, go ahead and rub it in.


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
FireIsHot #395086 12/17/14 07:26 AM
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First, thanks again for the good advice on this thread, it was greatly appreciated.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=30689&Number=393829#Post393829

When we seined this brood pond in preparation for the trout stocking, 90% of what we did worked well.

The seine itself was correctly sized for the pond, was knot-less to prevent damage to the CNBG, we had two 110 gallon tubs set up close to the pond for sorting, 150 quart aerated coolers were loaded in the Mule for the transport to the habituation area, and logistically, everything ran smoothly. Unfortunately, the other 10%, which was the most important part, was clean sorting tank water, and proper O2. That was where I dropped the ball.

The tub that we put the fish in immediately after they were pulled from the pond became muddier, and muddier, and at that point we should have stopped the process, drained the tubs and add clean water, and regroup. The larger CNBG did fine once they hit the second tub, and the vast majority of those fish did just fine once they were settled in the big pond. A few 2-4" morts (less than 30) were found the next morning in the habituation area, but very few in relation to the amount of fish that were moved. All these fish came from the second tub, which was much cleaner than the first tub. In the first tub, which was extremely muddy, and held more fish while the others were being sorted, the fish fared very poorly.

After a week of reflection, there are 2 things that immediately come to mind, and I can do better. One, slow down and only move as many fish as my tubs can comfortably handle, and stop if O2 or the water quality in the sorting tubs becomes compromised. And two, I need more O2 in those tubs. Because I have 2 remote ponds, I decided to stay with the 110 gallon tubs because each one can fit in the back of a Mule, go with salt and stay away from aftermarket solutions, and use Point Four micro bubble diffusers during sorting.

We have a cattle tank with GSF only that well seine next month in preparation for future stockings, and get the process down better.

It's hard to see because of the light, but the banks in the brood pond were covered in CNBG beds. I have easy access to water from the big puddle, so this pond stays at a constant level. I have to admit I was surprised how shallow the beds were. Most were less than 18" from the surface.




The non-structured floating net did great. All the GSF went in here for easy retrieval during LMB feedings.


The tubs used to hold and sort fish.


This is our habituation area. It's 3' deep gut, and is close to the area I want the CNBG to stay. After 24 hours, I just pulled the end of the net back, and the newly stocked CNBG wandered out when they were ready. I don't mean to get off topic on my own thread, but I greatly underestimated the value of habituation in ponds that have large alpha predators. Over the course of 8 months, I released close to 100 single CNBG at the feeder, and easily 30% to 40% were singled out and targeted by my LMB. If it was panic, or a different colorization because of the difference in water clarity, I don't know. But even when schools of resident CNBG were present, these single fish were actively targeted by multiple LMB. Ewest and others have excellent documentation on habituation, and I thank them for that. If you have the time, and have an older pond with large predators, then habituation makes sense to me now. It took a while, but I finally got it.


Finally, a short video of CNBG ready to be sorted into smaller batches, and moved.


AL

FireIsHot #395089 12/17/14 07:52 AM
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Looks like a great setup Al. It's been my experience that even when I think I have all the bases covered, a glitch or two usually manifests themselves. I think that's par for the course when developing a strategy that works.

Next time it will run even smoother! Thanks for sharing the photos...it gives me an idea or two.


"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?
PB answer: It depends.
FireIsHot #395093 12/17/14 08:49 AM
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Al, What happened to the hood on your Mule?


1 ac pond LMB, BG, RES, CC
FireIsHot #395096 12/17/14 09:02 AM
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Thanks for the report. Looks like something I may be trying to do about next fall, hopefully if my fish do well in the forage and sediment ponds.

In my old pond, the BG and GSF nests are very shallow just like yours in the picture.


John

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djstauder #395100 12/17/14 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted By: djstauder
Al, What happened to the hood on your Mule?

We had a massive front roll though this winter with 50 mph winds. I was out retrieving a 5X5X4 fish cage that was rolling through the hay meadow, and forgot to park into the wind. Very shortly thereafter, I was chasing a cage and a hood through the hay meadow.


AL

FireIsHot #395119 12/17/14 01:32 PM
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The non-structured net to hold the GSF for feeding the bass is a neat idea. It looks like a giant....... well never mind.

Do you keep the GSF in this next to your dock? Dip them out with a dip net? Do you cut the fins off before feeding the GSF to the predators?


John

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FireIsHot #395121 12/17/14 02:57 PM
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Yes it does look like one. I just pull it up on shore, net what I want, then throw it back out. The greenies get their tail fins cut off.

Snrub one of the online pond supply places has nets very similar to these, and I thought they were a bit expensive, so I made that one out of irrigation tubing and noodles, which I already had. The netting is available at any commercial net store by the foot, so they can be made any diameter, and with any net size you want. I've got about $30 in this one, including the netting. I'm not sure I would keep fish in it for any length of time, but it does work well for what I'm wanting.


AL

FireIsHot #395138 12/17/14 07:40 PM
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Al:

Could you post a link to where you got your seine? Also could you elaborate on how it was constructed?

What Cecil and I noticed was the same thing that you did. The first tank where the fish were transferred to from the seine got muddy and had FA floating in it. We ran an electric sump pump from the pond to the tank, letting the FA float out with the water, and the inflow of fresh(er) clear(er) water helped mitigate muddy water issues with the fish fills. IIRC the sump pump ran the whole time we were seining, and the excess water just ran back into the pond.

If you get a bait handlers net, which has a flat bottom, it's easier to scoop the fish from the seine and from the tanks.



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FireIsHot #395146 12/17/14 08:52 PM
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Great informative read Al. I really like the GSF holding net setup.


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FireIsHot #395159 12/18/14 08:05 AM
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Scott, here's the link.
Miller Nets

I also have a fyke net from Miller, but so far its management value is just an urban myth to me. I know you'll change that in Feb after the conference.

As far as the selection of the net itself, I decided to go with a 75' X 10' net which gave me the most options for my particular ponds. 1/2" knotless netting was used to help keep the fish abrasion to a minimum, and hopefully let fry pass through. Also, 1/2" netting seemed easier to pull than my smaller 1/4" nets. If someone wants to remove as many small fish as possible, then maybe 1/4" should used?

I also added a heavier top and bottom rope for help with abrasion, heavier bottom weights to keep the net pinned to the bottom, and a treatment to the net to make sure it lasted as long as possible. A buy once kind of thing.

This was my first "big" net purchase, and I'm very happy with it. From shopping and comparing pricing at various net companies, it's far, far cheaper to just buy the net you may ultimately need, instead of trying to save a few dollars, and get stuck 10' short down the road. Quality nets certainly aren't cheap, but adding 10' to 15' to a purchased net is way cheaper than underestimating your needs, and needing a bigger net 6 months later. Again, it's a buy once not twice decision.

There are several great net companies out there, and they will help you purchase the correctly sized net with just a phone call. Know what you want and need, and they'll help you all they can. Most larger nets are custom made, so it makes sense that the net makers, or their venders, want you to be happy the first time.

There are some very experienced seiners on the forum, so maybe they'll post their net criteria. The above was just what I wanted.


AL

FireIsHot #406048 03/31/15 06:15 AM
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So, a more detailed spring update is coming soon, but here's the latest permanent addition to the brood/growout pond.

It occurred to us that we spent a good deal of time and effort on this small pond, so a dock that allowed us to manage cages, and ease the transfer of fish would be warranted.

Tony, notice anything missing? Yep, no feeder. The TH feeder was moved to the big puddle, and all feedings will be done by hand where consumption and waste can be monitored. If the fish are eating, I feed them. If they're not, I don't waste food.

esshup and I knocked this one out pretty quickly by using Tommy Dock hardware (at my request), and it was almost lego-like construction wise. The final size was 8X20'.



AL

FireIsHot #406058 03/31/15 08:15 AM
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Al, I think I might be headed in the same direction, someday with growout pond. Thanks for your story here. I have put a star by your name today in the classroom.

Tracy


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


Tracy
FireIsHot #406148 03/31/15 08:10 PM
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Looks great Al. You guys have been busy!

Feeders are great, and I know they have a place on a great many ponds, and certainly in a great many circumstances. But I still believe that the versatility offered by hand feeding offers a certain, interactive benefit that no feeder can match.


"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?
PB answer: It depends.
FireIsHot #406150 03/31/15 08:19 PM
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+1 I will always feed by hand, just as a supplement, so I can enjoy watching the fish feed and not throw a bunch of food when they are not feeding. I know this is not an option for the folks that do not live next to their ponds so auto feeders are the way to go.

Last edited by Bill D.; 03/31/15 08:46 PM. Reason: Clarification

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Bill D. #406155 03/31/15 09:01 PM
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Agree- that's why I have FA! I'm Not there all the time


Pat

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 03/31/15 10:27 PM.
FireIsHot #406187 04/01/15 06:21 AM
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Tracy, if you decide to build a brood pond, get with me, TJ, highflyer, or Snrub. Lot's of ideas that would really ease the movement and maintenance on a brood pond.

I did keep a feeder on this pond for 2 years, and may still add another one at some point. But, small ponds like these can really kludge up if too much food gets wasted. In my particular case, I lightly dye this pond to cut down clarity and help control algae, and my fish won't eat for a couple of day while they adjust. Even 2 or 3 days of uneaten food is not a good thing on a pond this size.


AL

FireIsHot #406197 04/01/15 07:28 AM
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Al, I have the perfect spot for a grow out pond. One that is just above and to the right of the LMB pond. I would say it will be a smaller pond than what yours looks like from the pictures. I think I can build this one to where I could open a valve and it would drain over into the big pond, making it easy to move the forage fish to the big pond. I will be bringing in a track hoe for some work on the place when it dry's out and I might just do it then. And thanks for your offering you help. I am also thinking. offering your friends help, they might just say to you, "You did what"?? lol

Tracy


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


Tracy
FireIsHot #434480 01/15/16 07:34 AM
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I haven't updated the status of our brood/growout pond in a while, and I'll post a more complete picture of what we did soon.

In short, 2015 was the year we hammered this 1/4 acre pond pretty heavily. It's continued to produce large numbers of both forage and breeder sized CNBG, winter Rainbow Trout for recreational fun, grown out HSB to sizes survivable in the big puddle, and lastly, Lone Star Legacy Bass that were also grown out to survivable sizes this last fall.

Here's a pic of one of the Legacy Bass we stocked on 07/09/2015. I'm guessing around 2 oz, and most in the 6-7" range.


These pics are what they look like 6 months after we stocked them. As per Todd Overton's recommendation, a bolus of late season 2-3" tilapia were added on 09/22/2015. These fish were fin clipped, and added to the big puddle on 01/14/2016.



AL

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Al, those Bass sure look healthy. Like football shaped fatties. Did you keep a couple of them in the growout pond or did you add them all to the big pond?

Tracy


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Tracy
FireIsHot #434493 01/15/16 09:56 AM
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Glad to see you keep this thread going. It was one of the threads that I read start to finish that got me interested in building a forage pond.

Nice looking LMB

Last edited by snrub; 01/15/16 09:56 AM.

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Tracy, we'll put all the Legacy's in the big puddle. I'll probably head a different direction with the brood pond this year, so I'll drain and kill the pond in a few weeks. I need to try to make sure it's fish free before I continue.

Snrub, glad it helped. I was negligent in updates last year, but the big puddle's coontail infestation took priority over everything else. Guys like you will push these ponds even further, and that makes me happy. Me, I choose to see how far I can push the pond owner 101 stuff. No voodoo here, just my attempt to get better and better at the basics. My fish will tell me what they need, it's my job to interpret that info correctly.


AL

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FireisHot, since you ran the seine through the pond at least once, what did the forage fish population look like in the pond?


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FireIsHot #434814 01/18/16 02:12 PM
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Scott, 2 things I noticed. One, the total number of forage we seined out on the initial pull was probably only around 100 pounds. That was a good deal less than normal.

And two, almost the entire 2-5" size class of all forage was nonexistent. Tons of fry up to 2-2.5", and plenty of larger CNBG that were over 5". These LMB sure showed me their preferred food size. If they stayed in this particlar pond another month or so, I think the calories expended to feed would start affecting the results.

I also seined up some dead tilapia, and all were over 5". Nothing smaller was netted, but I'm sure turtles got a few.

#Gapedoesmatter.


AL

FireIsHot #434822 01/18/16 03:34 PM
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So you are saying that the forage fish that are 20% to 33% of the LMB length are almost completely missing from the pond?

Where have we seen "LMB prefer to eat forage between 1/4 and 1/3 their body length" before? laugh

How many LMB were stocked in the pond?

What fish were in the pond for forage? Did they prefer to eat any species over the other?

Since you found only a few 5" Tilapia dead on the bottom, I will have to assume that most were eaten while alive, or on their way out. How many were stocked?

What did the LMB weigh when you transferred them?


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