Pond Boss Magazine
https://www.pondboss.com/images/userfiles/image/20130301193901_6_150by50orangewhyshouldsubscribejpeg.jpg
Advertisment
Newest Members
etx-pond-c, Painterpond, Energymble, Kendal, BoomerTC35D
18,534 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums36
Topics41,019
Posts558,559
Members18,535
Most Online3,612
Jan 10th, 2023
Top Posters
esshup 28,606
ewest 21,513
Cecil Baird1 20,043
Bill Cody 15,160
Who's Online Now
2 members (liquidsquid, catscratch), 365 guests, and 203 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
BACKGROUND: I stocked a family friend's acre-large pond 20 minutes outside of Athens, GA. We split the cost. We stocked 65 LMB and 600 blue gill. We had wanted to stock 150 shell crackers as well, but stock was out. The guy sold us on the idea of stocking larger shell crackers in the fall...

THE PROBLEM: We paid $0.60 per bluegill as they were 3-4 inches. In reality, about 5-10 were that size. The rest were about 1.5-2 inches.

I'm afraid that stocking 150-250 "3-4 inch" (really: 1.5-2 inch) shell crackers in the fall will simply be providing expensive bass feed.

QUESTIONS:

1. Was I ripped off?

2. Can I actually find 3-4" shell crackers to stock in the fall? Or are the 2" ones the standard?

3. Can I stock the shell crackers in the fall with any hope of them surviving the fury of the bass?

4. Or... should I give up on shell crackers? If so, should I stock more blue gill?

I have more questions, but this is a start.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 340
Likes: 3
D
Offline
D
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 340
Likes: 3
Entirely depends how big the LMB are now / will be when RES stocked. What was LMB size range?

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 340
Likes: 3
D
Offline
D
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 340
Likes: 3
Here's a quick rundown on last year's stocking prices .. here in a few Indiana/OH fisheries. Just a point of reference.


Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: DNickolaus
Here's a quick rundown on last year's stocking prices .. here in a few Indiana/OH fisheries. Just a point of reference.



Nice. Is it common though that you pay for 3-4" and the fish you receive are mostly much smaller?

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: DNickolaus
Entirely depends how big the LMB are now / will be when RES stocked. What was LMB size range?


I stocked the LMB and the BG on Thursday, May 12th. The largemouth bass were one inch when stocked.

Shell crackers will be available in the Fall, around September. We bought Aqua Max fish feed and the pond owners are going to feed the fish daily.

By September, do you think the LMB will be big enough to wipe out the shell cracker that we stock?

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
H
Offline
H
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
Are there any forage fish/minnows in the pond?
FHM would be a good idea to get started.
A LMB at 1" today is unlikely to be a big threat four or five months from now to a three inch panfish. Next year... It's lunch.


Pond Boss subscriber

Would those that say "it can't be done" please refrain from interrupting those that are doing it...
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Hollywood
Are there any forage fish/minnows in the pond?
FHM would be a good idea to get started.
A LMB at 1" today is unlikely to be a big threat four or five months from now to a three inch panfish. Next year... It's lunch.


The problem is that I paid for 3-4" BG, but most of them were 2". I am afraid that my only local option will charge me for 3-4" RES and deliver 2" RES. In 5 months, will these LMB be big enough to tear up 1-2" RES?

AGAIN, the problem is that I paid for bigger BG than I got. I am afraid that I will once again pay for 3-4" RES and end up receiving 1-2" RES.

By the way, do I need Flathead Minnows?

Last edited by CiceroServetus; 05/15/16 02:05 PM.
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
H
Offline
H
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
Well... We don't ever need to accept less than we pay for, regardless of what it is.
FHM ( fathead) are commonly suggested forage minnows to get a pond established. Your LMB would likely focus on them instead of your other fish until they are depleted. If you look through this site you'll find a lot of good direction to help you start out right.


Pond Boss subscriber

Would those that say "it can't be done" please refrain from interrupting those that are doing it...
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Hollywood
Well... We don't ever need to accept less than we pay for, regardless of what it is.
FHM ( fathead) are commonly suggested forage minnows to get a pond established. Your LMB would likely focus on them instead of your other fish until they are depleted. If you look through this site you'll find a lot of good direction to help you start out right.


I can't thank you enough. I'm just unsure as to what I should expect, which is why I didn't kick up a fuss. This is all new territory to me.

I would prefer to stock around 750 to 800 bream overall so stocking the RES is definitely desirable. I was going to stock 150 RES before, but I may stock 200 to 250 in the fall to make up for the number of BG that are going to spawn over the summer and to make up for the number of RES that are going to be bass food over the winter.

So are you saying that if I put a couple of pounds of fathead minnows in the pond, I could protect that shell crackers until they get big enough to be safe from the bass.

Last edited by CiceroServetus; 05/15/16 02:52 PM.
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
H
Offline
H
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 249
Originally Posted By: CiceroServetus
[quote=Hollywood

So are you saying that if I put a couple of pounds of fathead minnows in the pond, I could protect that shell crackers until they get big enough to be safe from the bass.


Ideally the FHM go in and do what they do, spawn like crazy. Females are capable of spawning every two weeks producing 200-400 each time. This gives your fish an all you can eat buffet of various sized FHM. I added five pounds to my 1/4 acre pond. They were $10 a pound locally. Besides the food you said they'd be given, what else is there for them to eat? How old is the pond?


Pond Boss subscriber

Would those that say "it can't be done" please refrain from interrupting those that are doing it...
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 368
T
Offline
T
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 368
Since late last fall, I haven't been able to find any RES larger than a couple inches, so those are what I stocked. In my case, I'm probably just feeding LMB. In your case, I'd get the largest I could find in the area. If you're dissatisfied with the supplier you used, I'd look for someone else. And I'd stock sooner rather than later. The fish will probably grow faster in your pond than in the supplier's. The same with the FHM or anything else. If you can find something better in the fall, you can add more. As the LMB get bigger, you'll get less bang from your buck stocking forage fish.

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Hollywood
Originally Posted By: CiceroServetus
[quote=Hollywood

So are you saying that if I put a couple of pounds of fathead minnows in the pond, I could protect that shell crackers until they get big enough to be safe from the bass.


Ideally the FHM go in and do what they do, spawn like crazy. Females are capable of spawning every two weeks producing 200-400 each time. This gives your fish an all you can eat buffet of various sized FHM. I added five pounds to my 1/4 acre pond. They were $10 a pound locally. Besides the food you said they'd be given, what else is there for them to eat? How old is the pond?


The pond is quite old. It used to be a dynamite catfish pond, but the owner got tired of fishing and when a river otter came through, he allowed it to basically purge the pond before it moved on. A year later he drained the pond. That was about five to six years ago. The pond has been full for about four years. It is an acre in size, about 15-18 feet deep, surrounded by woods, fed by a creek from a nearby cow pasture, and it is teeming with insects and frogs. It is not artificially fertilized, but the pond's owner has begun throwing out fish feed daily.

Are fathead minnows the only type I should get? I have called a pet store to see if they can get some from a supplier for me.

My friend knows a guy who stocked his pond with these minnows who get about 1.5" long and apparently provide great food for the bass. Would that work? I should know the species by tomorrow.

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
Since late last fall, I haven't been able to find any RES larger than a couple inches, so those are what I stocked. In my case, I'm probably just feeding LMB. In your case, I'd get the largest I could find in the area. If you're dissatisfied with the supplier you used, I'd look for someone else. And I'd stock sooner rather than later. The fish will probably grow faster in your pond than in the supplier's. The same with the FHM or anything else. If you can find something better in the fall, you can add more. As the LMB get bigger, you'll get less bang from your buck stocking forage fish.


I stocked about 600 BG. The preferred ratio would be 20% RES, 80% BG. I would stock RES right now, but the only two local suppliers I know are out. The local dealer I dealt with this time was the only guy within an hour. The other guy promised me RES for about two weeks and when it came time to order, he only then decided to talk to his supplier... Who was out. Apparently, it seems like they're dealing with a supplier or suppliers multiple hours away, towards South Georgia.

150 would be the perfect number of RES to complement the 600 BG, but I won't be able to get them until the Fall. Since the LMB were stocked at 1", I'm pretty sure that after four months in the pond, the LMB will be 0.25 to 0.5 pounds AT THE MOST. If I can get BIG RES, I will stock about 150 to 200. If I can't get any bigger than 2", I may stock 250 to make up for attrition from predators and from winter fish kills.

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,088
Likes: 96
S
Offline
S
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,088
Likes: 96
I think the rule of thumb is a LMB can eat a fish 1/3 its length. That depends on the shape of the fish, so just approximate.

Are you sure the pond is devoid of fish? From your description my guess is there is already fish in the pond. "Creek fed" makes me suspect.

Last edited by snrub; 05/15/16 06:21 PM.

John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: snrub
I think the rule of thumb is a LMB can eat a fish 1/3 its length. That depends on the shape of the fish, so just approximate.

Are you sure the pond is devoid of fish? From your description my guess is there is already fish in the pond. "Creek fed" makes me suspect.


The creek is dry most of the time. I should have worded that differently. We've never had anything in there but catfish and bream.

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 368
T
Offline
T
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 368
You might keep trying tp find another supplier. There may be more around than you realize. Not all have web sites. The State might be able to provide you with a list of fish farms. Some who sell from trucks will go surprising distances. You should be able to find more info on forage species too. There may be a lot you can do between now and fall.

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,071
Likes: 280
D
Moderator
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Lunker
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,071
Likes: 280
My recipe for the pond, at this time, would be 10 pounds of fathead minnows, another 1,400 BG and 100 to 200 redears. At this time, without bigger fish, your forage fish shouldn't experience a lot of predation. However, when the bass grow and spawn, they can and generally do over eat the food supply. The redears are not absolutely necessary.

You have this small window of time to do it right before the bass grow enough to wipe out the forage base.

BTW, in pond management, initial stocking is the cheapest thing but most critical thing you will do.

After the 2nd year, remove any bass that is 13 inches or less. Catch and release and too small to keep generally ruin private ponds. Bass are eating and spawning machines.


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
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
My recipe for the pond, at this time, would be 10 pounds of fathead minnows, another 1,400 BG and 100 to 200 redears. At this time, without bigger fish, your forage fish shouldn't experience a lot of predation. However, when the bass grow and spawn, they can and generally do over eat the food supply. The redears are not absolutely necessary.

You have this small window of time to do it right before the bass grow enough to wipe out the forage base.

BTW, in pond management, initial stocking is the cheapest thing but most critical thing you will do.

After the 2nd year, remove any bass that is 13 inches or less. Catch and release and too small to keep generally ruin private ponds. Bass are eating and spawning machines.


You would stock 2100 bream in a one acre pond? I was hoping to get about 1,000 in before the end of the year.

The BIGGER question: The small window of time to do it right... When does it close? I am fresh out of grad school, but I will be teaching full time in the Fall. My funds will be much more open for fish. I could probably stock another 500-750 bream in the fall (if that's not too late).

The redear are only necessary due to the fact that the other guy who is paying for half of the pond management is head over heels for shellcrackers. I don't get it, but he's basically family and he's paying.

Important Question: Stocking 1,100 bream in a 1 acre pond... How much will I need to harvest each year? And since I stocked 60 bass, when should I start keeping them?

Thank you for everything. This is great advice!

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,606
Likes: 861
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,606
Likes: 861
The amount of fish of each species is determined by your goals. If your goal is to grow large LMB, stock 30 to 50 Bluegills per Largemouth.

If your goal is large Bluegills, then only stock 10 Bluegills per Largemouth.

I would stock 10%-25% of the Bluegill population as Redears.

For a goal of larger sized LMB, stock 50-75 LMB per acre. For a goal of large BG, stock 100-150 per acre and remove any bass that exceeds 14".

Talk to the fish supplier as to what size of fish are available, and what size the fish are in that particular size "slot".

Fish aren't laid out on a table and measured with a ruler, they are graded by width. Fish of a certain width typically are "X" length. There is no way possible to measure 100's let alone 1,000's of BG for length in a timely manner.

The way I view fish sales, if a hatchery says fish are from 2"-4" in length, then the majority of fish will be 2" and a few 4".

Another thing, fish are sold on the wholesale market per pound, but they are sold on the retail market by the individual fish. Even though I sell fish as part of the business, I don't like that method, but until someone comes up with a better method, there isn't anything I can do about it.

Google "SRAC" and then click on the "publications" tab. Read about how fish are graded according to size.

Some other cliff notes:

Stock fish in a pond of a size that the "stockers" won't be eaten by the predators, unless they are stocked specifically as forage fish. Typically that means fish 1/3 or larger than the largest LMB in the pond.

Look in the archives and print out the relative weight charts. Harvest the under performers in your pond.

Last edited by esshup; 05/16/16 08:15 AM.

www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,513
Likes: 271
E
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Hall of Fame 2014
Lunker
E
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 21,513
Likes: 271
If you could fine even a few adult RES (male and female)that would be a start. They would reproduce and some yoy RES would survive.
















Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,318
Likes: 6
Ambassador
Lunker
Offline
Ambassador
Lunker
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,318
Likes: 6
Hey Cicero,

You are getting a lot of good advise here. Information overload....lol

Let me say this quick. I have a 1 acre pond my pond was not new when I bought it, it had a lot of small 13 inch stunted bass I took them out as I could, but I still stocked my pond with CNBG and RES, I like you had no other choice but to buy the 2 inch CNBG. I bought 250 of them then and 75 RES. They were all in the 2 inch range. I wasn't sure how many would make it but some will find a way. It only takes a few to start having babies and your off and running. Remember a lot of good habitat can help those small fish live too. Places to hide sure can help. Just keep that in mind. I did however that fall stock 75 4to6 inch CNBG I got from a hatchery here. I got lucky on those. Seems down here anyway best time to get bigger fish is in February.

Im not gonna say this is good or bad... but if you know a good place you can possibly catch some bigger BG, well do what you got to do is all I'm saying.... You read between the lines. Sometimes if you have no other choice you do what you got to do as long as it's legal... lol.

IMO RES are essential to a pond and keeping it clean... They break the parasite chain that can easily happen without them....

Good Luck man,

RC

Last edited by RC51; 05/16/16 08:55 AM.

The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
So would 1,200 bream and 60 bass, 20 bream per bass, be a good compromise? I would love some large BG, but I would also like to eventually start pulling in some 2-5 pound LMB.

And if I stocked 1" LMB on 5/12/2016, how big do you think they'll be by 9/12/2016? Will I still be in the safe zone 4 months in to go ahead and stock bream without too much worry about them being quickly devoured?

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,318
Likes: 6
Ambassador
Lunker
Offline
Ambassador
Lunker
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,318
Likes: 6
I think exact stocking rates can be different. Look at my situation. I only stocked a total of 325 CNBG and 75 RES and now look what I have after 5 years. My stocking numbers were low for sure but I still ended up with nice fish when all said and done.

RC

Attached Images
3.5 pound bass.JPG 9.5 inch Blue Gill.jpg

The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,071
Likes: 280
D
Moderator
Lunker
Offline
Moderator
Lunker
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,071
Likes: 280
Yep, I would stock 2,000 bluegills in a new one acre pond. The window closes when the bass get big enough to wipe out the small BG as an easy snack. In the presence of bass you will probably not have to harvest and/or cull bluegills. But, it certainly doesn't hurt to keep some for the table. Most of us NEVER cull or even keep our BIG spawning bluegills.

Ponds 101:

Bass are eating and spawning machines. Further, BG have a rolling spawn in the Southern US. They will spawn 3 or 4 times per year but bass only once. And the bass still clobber them. Since you stocked tiny bass, 1-1.5 inch bluegills(cheap) should suffice at this time. The BG will spawn at 3.5-4 inches to keep the forage base going. If you wait until the bass get any bigger, they will be a quick snack.

Bass need food that is 1/4 to 1/3 their body size. And the bass need 10 pounds of forage(BG) to gain one pound. That's a lot of groceries.

95%, or more, fish that spawn will never grow big enough to reach sexual maturity. All small fish are groceries to everything bigger.

After the 2nd year, cull every bass that you catch under 13 inches to keep them from over eating the food supply and stunting. Don't worry; it will be dang tough to catch too many of them. Catch and release and too small to keep works great on public lakes but not in private ponds.

A couple of examples of the predator/prey relationship relating to the forage base.

Number one is coyotes and rabbits. When the coyotes get too abundant, they overeat the rabbit population. Then, the next years, they can't feed their pups. The pups die and the adults have a problem getting enough food to stay healthy. So, their population diminishes. Then, the rabbits boom again in the absence of predators. Nature cycles that way. But a private pond is a closed loop/environment and can't cycle unless the bass starve and die. After the bass get a good head of steam, it is almost impossible to get enough forage for them.

Next is a cattle rancher. The best cattleman is a grass farmer. The cow is the predator of the grass. If he has too many cows for the grass, the cows over graze the grass. Then the sun bakes the ground and the grass dies. If he has enough land, he practices rotational grazing. If not, he has to sell(eliminate) enough cows to meet the forage base availability prior to damaging the forage base. I did this once during a drought and had to sell all of the cows.

Coyotes/rabbits, cows/grass and bass/bluegills have a symbiotic relationship. They need each other to maintain balance. Without bass or another top predator, the bluegills will over run the pond and, more than likely, there will be an oxygen drop resulting in a fish kill to balance the numbers.

The initial stocking of bluegills would be OK had you let their numbers increase for a couple of years before adding the ultimate predator.

Redears/Shellcrackers are a great dual purpose fish. They also eat the mussels that produce flukes that attach themselves to the fish. You will see this as sores on the fish. They only spawn annually so I would stock about 200 at this time. Especially since your buddy likes them.

BTW, congrats on getting the Masters. What major?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 05/16/16 09:11 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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
C
OP Offline
C
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 27
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
The window closes when the bass get big enough to wipe out the small BG as an easy snack.

...

Since you stocked tiny bass, 1-1.5 inch bluegills(cheap) should suffice at this time. The BG will spawn at 3.5-4 inches to keep the forage base going. If you wait until the bass get any bigger, they will be a quick snack.

Bass need food that is 1/4 to 1/3 their body size. And the bass need 10 pounds of forage(BG) to gain one pound. That's a lot of groceries.

95%, or more, fish that spawn will never grow big enough to reach sexual maturity. All small fish are groceries to everything bigger.

After the 2nd year, cull every bass that you catch under 13 inches to keep them from over eating the food supply and stunting. Don't worry; it will be dang tough to catch too many of them. Catch and release and too small to keep works great on public lakes but not in private ponds.

...

BTW, congrats on getting the Masters. What major?


Thanks! I got my masters in social studies education. I've been subbing this spring and will have a position as a high school teacher in the fall.

As for the stocking, how big do you think the LMB will get by the fall? I know it's an inexact science given the multitude of variables, but I'm unsure as to how big they're going to be then. If the bass will only be five or so inches after four months of growth, then the two inch bream should be fine.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Today's Birthdays
Bonvillian, lownums, Skywave
Recent Posts
Stocking a new 17 acre, 25 ft deep pond in KC, MO
by fletchccc - 05/20/24 12:05 AM
What did you do at your pond today?
by Boondoggle - 05/19/24 04:54 PM
Spillway recovery from record rains
by Boondoggle - 05/19/24 04:37 PM
TadpolePalooza!
by Boondoggle - 05/19/24 11:20 AM
Can a pond lose just one species of fish?
by FishinRod - 05/19/24 09:06 AM
Trapping the Crays
by Boondoggle - 05/18/24 05:17 PM
What Kind of Moss?
by FishinRod - 05/18/24 04:37 PM
Spotfin Shiners - Habitat, Cover and Structure
by canyoncreek - 05/17/24 11:57 AM
recommendations for northern YP/SMB/BT pond
by H20fwler - 05/17/24 10:51 AM
Bird Deter for patio furniture....
by Energymble - 05/17/24 04:46 AM
BG sex?
by Bill Cody - 05/16/24 08:50 PM
Spawn Identification
by Fishingadventure - 05/16/24 05:03 PM
Newly Uploaded Images
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
by Tbar, December 10
Deer at Theo's 2023
Deer at Theo's 2023
by Theo Gallus, November 13
Minnow identification
Minnow identification
by Mike Troyer, October 6
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12

� 2014 POND BOSS INC. all rights reserved USA and Worldwide

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5