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#465576 03/02/17 03:42 PM
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Hello.

The first time I make a pond the second year I put 100 Rainbow trout, I give them pellets all the summer, at the Autumn they were big and fat, but in Winter I let the ice cover all the pond with snow, I didn't put aerator and I didn't make a hole in the ice for the gaz to escape.

So in the spring, Surprise all the fish was dead.

After I bought some books and I find Pond Boss.

And you, what is your biggest mistake in your pond

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Ooh....that's a toughie.

1 - not doing enough research/reading/planning before I built mine
2 - ladder stocking expensive fish that were too small to escape predation - AKA 'expensive fish food'
3 - believing 'a fish kill' and 'a TOTAL fish kill' are one in the same when trying to kill off a pond for restocking.

Not necessarily in that order.


Dale



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If I could have a "do over" it would be to take more time to establish a diverse forage base before stocking predators. I would have stocked SFS, BNM and PSC at the same time as I stocked the FHM. Adding diversity to the forage base after the predators are stocked is both difficult and expensive. frown


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I haven't made my biggest mistake yet. I always make my wife leave T Overton's office when I write him checks. If I ever forget to do that, that would definitely be my biggest mistake.

2nd to that would just be general neglect of my pond, and the effort it takes to correct that. It's far easier and cheaper to keep up, than to catch up.


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I have been wanting to post this somewhere for newcomers. When you design your pond and place structure in the bottom based on the pond at "full pool" you are overlooking one simple fact. The pond will rarely be at full pool!!!.I placed gobs of structure in mine before any water was in it but had the shore marked where full pool would be. Most would be in 5 foot water at full pool. Problem is... my pond stays about 2-3 ft low most all the time!!! one mistake I hope others realize before starting their projects.


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1. Not being on PB before the pond was renovated, and not paying enough attention to compaction.

2. Same as above, placing a lot of the structure based on full pool, and most of the time it is a foot to 2.5 feet low, so some structure is exposed or shallow.

3. Not screening my FHM well enough, likely leading to stocking of a few 2-3 inch bass, that are now 10-12".

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John,

I didn't check my FHM, I didn't even know I needed to. I hope I don't have any LMB, that's all I'd need. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but I'd prefer not to have any.



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Farm
I bet a bunch of PBers like my self had a start of LMB from FHMs or bucket stocking from helpful neighbors..... not the end but they WILL eat everything up causing problems for a while. Make the best from the situation

My biggest mistake so far is not having a good forage base before the aforementioned unwanted stocking

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 03/02/17 07:41 PM.
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I have made so many over the years hard to pin down one...

1) Thinking I can ever control mother nature. For example

Pond has become infested with bullheads.
Step 1) Take a class to get my RUP license.
Step 2) Buy Rotenone (spend money)
Step 3) Apply Rotenone and watch all my "good" fish parish with those bad whiskered fish
Step 4) Clean up mess
Step 5) Restock "good" fish (spend more money)
Step 6) Wait for growth
Step 7) The entire process, along with money and time, a waste. They came back.

Work with mother nature and understand if it happened once, it's most certainly going to happen again

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Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
Farm
I bet a bunch of PBers like my self had a start of LMB from FHMs or bucket stocking from helpful neighbors..... not the end but they WILL eat everything up causing problems for a while. Make the best from the situation

My biggest mistake so far is not having a good forage base before the aforementioned unwanted stocking


Yes, it seems that in a batch of 500 FHM, about 3 to 5 of them might spontaneously turn into LMB. LOL

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MNFISH, how did the bullhead get back in after rotenone?

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Far and away, without question, my biggest pond management mistakes over the last 40+ years have been

1. not harvesting enough intermediate sized bass
2. not keeping records (i.e., numbers and relative weights)

both of these closely followed by

3. not replacing deteriorating cover and structure in my three 60+ year old ponds. Forage had no place to hide as all the woody/brushy cover rotted away.

Working hard (and hopefully smart) to correct all of these mistakes over the last 18 months....and making slow progress. BM61

Last edited by bassmaster61; 03/03/17 08:36 AM.

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I can't say it was MY biggest mistake, but as the muck was being pushed over the dam as my small pond was being renovated it was, of course, very soupy and it managed to continue to ooze down the backside until it overran on old hand dug well and filled in the rock lined catch basin that collects water and guides it into a culvert. I am now hand digging the dried muck out and reworking the rock lining as the operator tried to clean it out and managed to dislodge many of the rocks. I don't believe the operator realized that as he added muck to the top of the pile it was pushing more muck down the hill creating a lot of exercise for me. I guess it beats jogging and pushups.
My pond only has about 18" of water in at this point, so, I have plenty of opportunities for MY biggest mistakes ahead. I will use this thread to learn from others and add some more rock piles and such well below full pool and fine tune my patience when it comes to establishing my forage base.


Fish on!,
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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
MNFISH, how did the bullhead get back in after rotenone?


My ponds are dug outs and surrounded by wetlands. These BOW's are filled with "trash" fish (BH,stickleback,mud minnows, darters, ect). I'm guessing a high water event(s) but truly unknown. LMB and WE have since mitigated the bullhead problem in my ponds.

Side note: In the spirit of the phrase lemons make lemonade, I have been using fish combinations in smaller ponds that utilize BH as forage.

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MNFISH2 - Mudminnows are good food for bass - correct? Once predators are added don't the mudminnows become scarce? I tend to think mudminnows are a good forage fish?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/03/17 07:49 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
MNFISH2 - Mudminnows are good food for bass - correct? Once predators are added don't the mudminnows become scarce? I tend to think mudminnows are a good forage fish?


Totally agree. Bait guys around here call them trash minnows. Probably because there is no market for them?

I like mud minnows and really like sticklebacks. We are going to shoot a little film this summer showing how the pond fish around here respond to different kinds of bait. IME- BCP's prefer BG yoy first, sticklebacks second, and everything else, including fatheads, a distant third

My ponds and the ones I work with are very small and have well established fish populations.(less than 2 acres with most around 1/2 acre). Minnows don't have much of a chance to establish.

Last edited by MNFISH2; 03/03/17 09:24 PM.
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Originally Posted By: MNFISH2
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
MNFISH2 - Mudminnows are good food for bass - correct? Once predators are added don't the mudminnows become scarce? I tend to think mudminnows are a good forage fish?


Totally agree. Bait guys around here call them trash minnows. Probably because there is no market for them?

I like mud minnows and really like sticklebacks. We are going to shoot a little film this summer showing how the pond fish around here respond to different kinds of bait. IME- BCP's prefer BG yoy first, sticklebacks second, and everything else, including fatheads, a distant third

My ponds and the ones I work with are very small and have well established fish populations.(less than 2 acres with most around 1/2 acre). Minnows don't have much of a chance to establish.



Being honest or fescltious ? They lime stickler back? Or just when they are young?


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My biggest mistake this year!! Is saving fish under 22" of ice in only 6" of water and not getting it on film.. but the year is young... last year was a great drought year, had to watch a few trout ponds go belly up, some other good ponds winter killed, great minnows and all. Stocked /bought some RES and there happened to be lmb and bg I noted after 3/4 of the tank was empty. Went to fish "catfish" at a pond a guy said had tons of them, we'll they did have whiskers.......

Not getting involved In pond management earlier


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MNFish2 says: "My ponds and the ones I work with are very small and have well established fish populations.(less than 2 acres with most around 1/2 acre). Minnows don't have much of a chance to establish."
You already know this but for others, Almost always for minnows to stay established it takes LOTS of good habitat or a noticeably low number of predators. As the amount of habitat increases the predator number can increase. Minnows and small fish need 'dense' rather than 'fluffy' refuge areas to survive a specific amount of predation. Some small fish are better at escaping predation than other species.

I once saw a 0.25 ac pond where they were growing lots of mosquito fish for use by the metroparks for restocking the mosquito fish for mosquito control in wetland areas. There was one bass, healthy and fat in the pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/04/17 10:00 AM.

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First, I have to applaud you for speaking two languages.

Second, my only mistake I wish I could change was to like many others pay close attention to the minnows stocked. A few white suckers made it into the pond some how.


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fish_mn- IME, with dugout ponds, in wetlands type areas, here in mn, sticklebacks are the number two bait behind BG yoy..straight up.

To Bill's point of the difficulty to establish a forage fish food chain in the types of water I see. Please do not do this in your pond. Please do not do this in your pond...Going into our second year testing the use of BH yoy for forage. 5 year old,1/2 acre pond, with BCP and LMB. Trying to find a more economical way to feed small established ponds with live food

Last edited by MNFISH2; 03/04/17 11:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Two biggest mistakes:

1) Not enough lime. Originally put 2 tons per acre, then added 2 more, but that wasn't enough given heavy rains on acidic watershed last year. Pond too acidic for fertilization, which meant newly hatched CNBG starved.

2) Put in FHM, then added 3 to 5 inch tilapia months later. Tilapia found little algae, so they dined on FHM. When 3 - 4 inch LMB stocked a month after TP, the FHM were gone, small BG were scarce, and TP were too big to eat. The only LMB that grew were cannibals.

Last edited by anthropic; 03/04/17 06:22 PM.

7ac, 2015 CNBG, RES, FHM; 2016 TP, FLMB. 2017 NLMB & GSH,L. 2018 TP & 70 HSB, PK. 2019 TP, RBT,. 2020 TFS,TP, 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT, -206. 2021 TFS,TP, GSH,L,-312




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Azteca,

IMO starting this thread was a great idea! If folks continue to contribute, it will be an awesome resource for newbies as well veteran pond meisters! We very often learn more when things go wrong than when they go right.

Bill D.


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Bill, I agree 100%.


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My biggest mistake? That seems to change daily.


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
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