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Hi everyone: I am new to the site. I have a pond of about 1/4 acre and 6-7' deep in southeastern Pennsylvania. It is an old pond with an established population of bass and bluegills.

There was a time when the pond was loaded with golden shiners but one of our neighbors began stocking it with mature lm bass and the shiners were eventually wiped out. This was about 20 years ago.

The bass in the pond have returned to normal levels and there are a variety of size between the bass. Some are 1" and a few are around 20" or more.

I would like to reestablish a baitfish population. I have tried fatheads without success. My plan is to fish out a bunch of bass and larger bluegills, then stock a few pounds (probably 6 lbs) of golden shiners.

6 pounds of 4" shiners would be about 150 fish.
6 pounds of 2" shiners would be about 1,200 fish.

Here is my question: Should I get large shiners (4"+) so that the remaining bass are less likely to eat them? My thought was that this might allow them to live long enough to reproduce.

The other option is to buy several pounds of 2" shiners and hope that the increased number would allow them to get established and reproduce. What do you think? Would the 2" grow fast enough that they would end up becoming more than 150 4 inchers before the bass ate them?

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by Theeck; 05/04/17 10:39 AM.
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Welcome Theeck!

I don't have any experience with reintroducing forage fish into an LMB environment, But I can tell you that if a smaller fish will fit in the predator's mouth, it will be eaten. 4 inch shiners will be fish feed with bass around even in the 12 inch range. You probably know this, hence your questioning. There are many experts with a lot of experience here who will likely have some valuable suggestions.

Habitat for the shiners will be key here and, of course, spawning environment. What types of both are available in your pond?

I personally would doubt that 6 pound of either size would be enough, but I'm real new to all this. Let's stay tuned for true words of wisdom...


Fish on!,
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Welcome to the forum Theeck. You will get good advice here. It may be hard to take and to implement, but it will be rock solid.

Where in se Pa. are you? I grew up in Berks County near Colebrookdale and cut my fishing teeth on the Ironstone Creek and Manatawny Creek. There were a few farm ponds in our area back then (1950s and '60s), but they were off limits to young people wanting to fish for reasons I never quite accepted.

I'm in the process of establishing BG and GSF in my pond in Colorado. Part of the journey is ruthlessly removing every LMB that I catch, whether 5" or 15". I'm getting there.

Once again, welcome. Post often, ask lots of questions, share your experiences.

Roger

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Thanks guys. I am leaning toward the smaller ones. I looked into fry but I am not looking to spend $300 on minnows (minimum order from the source that I found).

I will probably put 10-12 pounds in since the 6 pounds sounds too little to you guys. Maybe more over time but I have an hour drive to the hatchery and don't want them to die from overcrowding/low oxygen on the way to the pond.

The shiners are $13.50 per pound. I'll probably do 2 trips (one this weekend and 1 in a few weeks) unless I can find another aerator by Saturday.

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Do you have any way to cage off part of the pond for the shiners? I had the luxury of adding mine before predators were added. I put 25 in a 1 acre pond, and have enough now that I find some coming through the outlet pipe. If the shiners do not have a sanctuary, they might just become expensive fish food.

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My inexpert opinion on shiners is that you need lots of water veggies for them to hide & spawn in, otherwise the bass will do a number on them. Also, they are egg eaters, which is good if you want to keep LMB numbers in check, but bad if you have low recruitment.

However, the real professionals here may soon point out where I go astray! blush

Last edited by anthropic; 05/04/17 12:40 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 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think there is a practical way to make an enclosure for the shiners unless it is very small. Maybe I should just forget the idea and let the bass eat the bluegills.

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The bass in a pond are the typical bluegill control. And BG need that in most cases to keep from overpopulating.

Last edited by Quarter Acre; 05/04/17 03:58 PM.

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I think I'll give it a try with the smaller shiners. I'm going to fish out the pond as much as possible first. The last time that I tried (with flatheads). I was able to catch 50+ bluegills over 6" and about 10 bass in a couple hours. I'll do that again but get ride of even more. I'm going to try to do it this weekend. I'll post results. Thanks

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Theeck,

FWIW...

When I stocked SFS (Spotfin Shiners) and BNM (Bluntnose minnows) into my pond, which is just a little bigger than yours, spring of 2016, I faced the same situation that you have in that I had mature predators. To distract the predators, I stocked 10 lbs of fathead minnows(FHM) before the SFS and BNM. This gave my predators an abundance of slow moving baitfish to be distracted by while my faster swimming BNM and SFS had a chance to get acclimated. As of fall 2017, I know at least some of my SFS and BNM survived. Fall of 2016 I also stocked another 10 lbs of FHM to keep the pressure off the BNM and SFS during the winter. I guess I will see if I was successful at keeping brood stock of the desired SFS and BNM alive later this year. As mentioned by others, IMO another key is having the correct habitat for the newbies.

Good Luck,

Bill D.

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/04/17 07:33 PM.

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i just stocked my new pond with 4 lbs of shiners with many of them being 5+ inches. I also had way more than 150 of them. I would say it all depends on your structure/habitat on how well they survive. they need vegetation to spawn on . I would think the bigger ones would be faster and better at avoiding predation and would be breeders with best chance to make babies. good luck.


.75 acre pond dug in September 2016. YP, HBG, HSB, SMB, and RES.
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I stopped by Tractor Supply last night and saw that they sell 8' diameter stock tanks that are 2' deep. I have a spring that I could flow water into it. I might. It one and try to raise shiners in it and transfer them to the pond over time. With the right additions (gravel, food) would it be feasible to have shiners reproduce in something of that size?

Oxygen will not be an issue.

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Check out this thread on GSH spawning.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=427356

Perhaps food for thought...

Flow thru spring water may be too cold to induce the GSH to spawn and will lack the tiny critters the new spawn will need to survive. IMO I would consider pumping your pond water thru the tank instead of the spring water. That should also eliminate the need to acclimate fish you want to transfer from the tank to the pond.

Last edited by Bill D.; 05/06/17 08:20 AM.

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Building on what Bill suggested, if you have a spot below the pond, you could siphon water from the pond through a hose into the livestock tank and use a valve to control flow rate. If you thread a pipe into the tank drain and then end the pipe up toward the top of the tank, you could also control how full the tank gets without it just overflowing the top.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I was concerned about the temperature too but I think it will warm up enough if I restrict the flow. There is no way that I can run the pond water into the basin.

What we have is an old pool/trout pond that my father drained 45 years ago out of fear that one of us kids would fall in and drown. The concrete structure is still there but it is in such disrepair that it would be a major project to fix.

Here is the old pool:






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My son had a good time working on clearing out predator fish today.













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Originally Posted By: Theeck
Thanks guys. I am leaning toward the smaller ones. I looked into fry but I am not looking to spend $300 on minnows (minimum order from the source that I found).

I will probably put 10-12 pounds in since the 6 pounds sounds too little to you guys. Maybe more over time but I have an hour drive to the hatchery and don't want them to die from overcrowding/low oxygen on the way to the pond.

The shiners are $13.50 per pound. I'll probably do 2 trips (one this weekend and 1 in a few weeks) unless I can find another aerator by Saturday.


Theeck, stocking any fish into a mature pond is expensive. You would get more gain from spending your $13.50/lb GShiner price on a 50 pound bag of cheap catfish food for your BG and YP to eat than small fish.

Golden Shiners under 4" would be a complete waste of your money as none would avoid predation, and live long enough to reproduce. Same with fry. Four inch plus, emphasis on the plus, are brood stock and would provide not only your best chance of GShiners establishing, it's really your only chance.

You will also need proper habita.... considerably dense "grassy" type vegetation, as anthropic mentioned. Not only for fry to hide in, but for brooders to spawn in also. I see your son caught some Yellow Perch....YP are a GREAT forage species for LMB!!! A 12" LMB can make a pound packing meal out of a 10" YP.



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Thanks, Rainman. That was my initial thought to get the biggest shiners I could. I remember years ago catching 10" shiners from the pond on small Rebel minnows.

I have kind of put together a plan. I'm going to keep on working on removing all of the bigger fish from the pond. In the meantime, I bought a 700 gallon stock tank. I am going to add gravel, some muck and spawning structure to it. I'll restrict the spring water flow so the temperature is decent. I'm going to add a bucket or 2 of water from my pond to introduce algae and plankton and fertilize it. Once I get things put together I will add some golden shiners and flatheads. I hope to be able to grow some baitfish in the tank.

I'll add the biggest golden shiners I can get to the pond once the predator fish level is at a much lower level. I hope to be able to supplement that stocking from what I can grow in the tank. Once I get fry in the tank (being optimistic), I'll transfer the breeders to the pond and continue the process.

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Update: I started with the minnow tank. It is filling now. We'll see how it








Last edited by Theeck; 05/07/17 05:24 PM.
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Maybe this thread should be moved to another forum. I kind of got off track.

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Your moving along quickly!!!

Originally Posted By: Theeck
Maybe this thread should be moved to another forum. I kind of got off track.

I don't know about that. You, the OP, can edit the title of your post is you desire.

If you find the water is still too cold, you may be able to take a very long stretch of that black hose and coil it around and around, laying it flat, before it goes into the tub. Being black and the further it goes will help warm it. Possibly lay it on a black sheet. The more the sun can warm it up, the better.

You might also be prepared to have a cover ready to go. Critters like a free meal!!!

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If it were me I would clean the muck out of the pool and add a liner, then extend the water inflow down close to where the pool overflows and exits.



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Just an FYI, I bought a dozen GS from a bait store a couple years ago and put them in my 1/20th acre forage pond that had only RES and FHM in it and a few GSF that were not supposed to be there. Now it has a huge population of shiners. Last year I trapped dozens and probably ten dozen or more so far this spring (put them in my main pond). The FHM eventually were gone (put some more in last fall) but the shiners are still thick.

One of a few large GS I caught from my forage pond by hook and line. Most I trap are bait store size.
GS caught by hook

Forage pond thread

Last edited by snrub; 05/08/17 08:46 AM.

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Here is one I caught by hook and line a week and half ago, I am going to start culling all GSH over 7".




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Originally Posted By: Shorty
If it were me I would clean the muck out of the pool and add a liner, then extend the water inflow down close to where the pool overflows and exits.


You mean the whole pool, not the tank, right?

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