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to cull or not to cull?
#470246 04/23/17 05:38 PM
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tim k Offline OP
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I purchased a property with an existing one acre pond. It had gone dry previously so what I currently have is a ton of bait fish. Hybrid perch, etc. I also have a good number of small bass along with a few nicer ones (1-2 lbs)

My question is whether or not I should cull some of the small bass I catch or just leave alone and let the existing bass grow?

Re: to cull or not to cull?
tim k #470256 04/23/17 07:43 PM
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This gets back to Bob Lusk's #1 question, and what so many of us ask when we get this question -- what are your pond goals?

Do you want big bluegill/sunfish? I'm assuming the bait fish and "Hybrid perch" you mention are of the bluegill/green sunfish/redear sunfish families.

Do, you want big bass? Or, do you want kind of a mix between the bass and the sunfish?

Your pond can only sustain a certain amount of biomass (fish). As an example, figure that your 1 acre pond can sustain 300 pounds of fish. It greatly depends on your water fertility and food available from the very bottom of the food chain. It can generally be increased, maybe double that amount, ore more, with a good feeding program, including the possibility of fertilizing the pond water.

Fewer bass will usually result in bigger bass because there is more food for those fewer mouths to feed. Those are the forage fish you mention. But, the forage fish must be healthy and well fed to grow those big bass.

Having lots of small and hungry bass will usually result in larger bluegill/sunfish because the bass are thinning out the population of bluegill/sunfish. Those bluegill still need lots to eat to populate and grow.

Posting more information on your goals can help a lot.

Regards,
Ken


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Re: to cull or not to cull?
catmandoo #470267 04/23/17 08:35 PM
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thanks for the information - yes I have plenty of the bluegill varieties you mentioned. My goal is to end up with some nice larger bass in the 4-6 lb range. The bluegill are fine to catch but mostly there to provide a food source for the bass. I am feeding the bluegill 4 times per day - so I would assume I need to not cull for a season or two in order to make sure the bass population continues to increase and then start culling

Re: to cull or not to cull?
tim k #470278 04/24/17 04:27 AM
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The general answer is to cull all bass under 14 inches after the second year. It's a good trick but has to be done or the bass will over spawn and all but wipe out the forage base.

The mythical balanced pond generally lasts for about 15 minutes. To cull bass, try using a free swimming 4 inch bluegill.


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Re: to cull or not to cull?
tim k #470316 04/24/17 12:27 PM
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Weigh and measure some bass, and look at your relative weights of bass. Feed the bluegills, look for reproduction and then decide what bass to cull and what to release.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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