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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...


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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








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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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That's a big shiner. I hope I can grow some like that.

Thanks for the tips. Maybe I'll scrap the fathead idea ands just raise shiners.

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Originally Posted By: Theeck
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?


Yes, the old pool/trout pond, not the galvanized steel tank.

Now if memory serves me right fish can have issues with galvanized steel but I don't remember the particulars.



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Maybe the flow-through will keep the zinc levels low enough in the water?

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Originally Posted By: Shorty
Originally Posted By: Theeck
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?


Yes, the old pool/trout pond, not the galvanized steel tank.

Now if memory serves me right fish can have issues with galvanized steel but I don't remember the particulars.


I have thought about framing the inside and having concret delivered to repair the pool but it's a pretty big job for a weekend place. It would probably be costly too. We did use some kind of plastic sheet years ago and fill it up. The plastic eventually started leaking so I removed it. One day, when I have some money I'd like to have it repaired properly. I can afford it right now.

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I didn't know zinc was harmful. If it causes a problem, I could drain it easily and paint the interior. I'd imagine that that would seal it.

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Originally Posted By: Theeck
I have thought about framing the inside and having concret delivered to repair the pool but it's a pretty big job for a weekend place. It would probably be costly too. We did use some kind of plastic sheet years ago and fill it up. The plastic eventually started leaking so I removed it. One day, when I have some money I'd like to have it repaired properly. I can afford it right now.


Google EPDM pond liner, or EPDM roof liner, either will likely be cheaper than pouring new concrete to make repairs. Have you measured the old pool?

https://www.justliners.com/epdm.htm



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I haven't measured it but it's about 14' x 30' x 30 inches deep. It would need the back wall replaced to dam it up.

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That would make a great forage pond. A 20 ft seine net would clean it out so you could transfer forage to the bigger pond and it could also double as a grow out pond. Can the back wall be rebuilt with concrete block with some dirt/rock behind it to hold it in place? Then add the liner and some sort of drain system and you are off.



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Great info, thanks. I may do the epoxy thing. I'm on the fence whether to let the sides get a algae coating or to go right to the epoxy.

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Thanks, Shorty. Maybe I'll do that eventually but I'm not looking to do that right now. The walls are stone with mortal and are probably 100 years old. The biggest problem is that there is a steady flow of water into the pool that makes it really difficult to do cement work. I don't know, I'll think it over.

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Can you add to the pipe inflow and bypass the pool while the work is being done? There should be a way to divert the water around the pool so it can be worked on.



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Yes, I could but it would take some digging. There is old, broken terra-catta (sp?) pipe that runs from a basin up father (the thing with the roof over it). It's the excess from a spring house that supplies water to the cabin. I would have to dig up the old pipe and remove it. Right now, the black plastic pipe carries about 1/2 of the flow. It is inside the old terra-cotta pipe and about 1/2 of the flow gets into the old pipe passage.

It something that I'll probably do in a few years. I have a lot of small projects filling my schedule right now. Between food plots, equipment repair and fishing/hunting time, young kids, building a camping cabin, etc., I don't have the time or motivation right now. If I was wealthy, I'd hire someone to do it. Unfortunately, I'm not.

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Golden shiners will need phytoplankton to grow on, proper spawning material (commercially available), and a low density stocking to live. Golden shiners are notoriously difficult to keep alive outside an earthen bottom, fertile pond.



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



Steve you should cut and feed to your SMB...they'll grow fast.


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Originally Posted By: Rainman
Golden shiners will need phytoplankton to grow on, proper spawning material (commercially available), and a low density stocking to live. Golden shiners are notoriously difficult to keep alive outside an earthen bottom, fertile pond.


I guess I jumped in too fast. Now I am thinking about lining the pool and probably just wasted $370 on the stock tank.

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With all the flow-through, you might throw a couple small fish in from you pond and see what happens. I think a scum layer on the metal can also decrease zinc leaching, so you might want to wait a couple weeks and try again. If the water is coming from the ground, you might want to have it tumble over something to aerate it.

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FWIW

I've seen a product called Pond Shield that, IIRC, is a two part epoxy that is supposed to stick to pretty much anything.


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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Steve you should cut and feed to your SMB...they'll grow fast.


I am pretty sure my larger SMB are catching and eating some of the 7-8" GSH in my pond.



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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
FWIW

I've seen a product called Pond Shield that, IIRC, is a two part epoxy that is supposed to stick to pretty much anything.


Thanks, Bill. The property is about a hour and a half from where I live. I am normally only there on the weekends. I'm going to try to go up there on Saturday. I think I will drain it and take a look. If there is too much pond scum already, I'll probably leave it be. If not, I think I'll take the tank out and paint it. I'all see if I can find Pond Sheild around locally. Thanks again.

(I need to learn to be less impulsive. I tend to make quick decisions and jump into things - sometimes without adequate research)

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Originally Posted By: Shorty
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Steve you should cut and feed to your SMB...they'll grow fast.


I am pretty sure my larger SMB are catching and eating some of the 7-8" GSH in my pond.


There's one way to find out...nose hook live line and hold on!


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TJ, I found an 8" GSH floating along the bank a few days ago that looked liked it had been coughed up. I may have to try nose hooking one. grin



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Originally Posted By: Shorty
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Steve you should cut and feed to your SMB...they'll grow fast.


I am pretty sure my larger SMB are catching and eating some of the 7-8" GSH in my pond.


Shorty, Your Smb that can eat 7 to 8" gsh, WOW ! I got to get me some of those SMB smile Great job with your SMB and RES. And I might be wrong here, but I seam to remember your interest in HSB in the same pond. If so, I think you will grow some nice ones, based on your others in the pond.


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Originally Posted By: Theeck

(I need to learn to be less impulsive. I tend to make quick decisions and jump into things - sometimes without adequate research)


Welcome to the club.. I'm guilty of the exact same thing. wink

Your place looks neat. Your Dad picked a cool spot years ago, and it looks like you're really improving it. Im enjoying reading along.

Plus, I just found out SMB could eat a bigger GSH than I thought they could. Good to know.

Last edited by SetterGuy; 05/10/17 07:24 AM.

9 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (only one seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) Have seen one of these.
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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If you can get some cider concert block to rebuild the wall start saving the fish that are big enough to eat and have the whole family up grandparents aunts uncles and have a a crew to help you then at then end as a thank you have a fish fry you can have people help dig place concert blocks patch holes and get things moving a lot quicker and get to enjoy your property instead of doing just work good luck I will be following along

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Hi guys. As an update, I coated the tank with black epoxy paint. I stocked it with 5 pounds of medium shiners (the only size available). I'm planning to grow them in the tank and hopefully get some fry (ordered spawning mat). Once I have fry, I'll transfer most of my bigger shiners to the pond and focus on raising the fry.

I bought a mechanical feeder that should work if I can keep the bears away. I am feeding Purina 200 starter. I also added fertilizer to try to stimulate algae growth.

Here is my issue, the water entering the tank is 50 degrees F. It is still only hitting highs around 70 most days here and the tank temperature is about 54-55 F. I would like to add a heater to get the temp to 70+. The problem is that all of the heaters that I have seen for sale are de-icers. They have a thermo-regulated shut off and I don't know if the heater would shut off below 70. Anyone know?

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Last edited by Theeck; 06/04/17 06:56 PM.
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I also dug a hole by one of the inlets into the pond. I flooded it and added fertilizer and some branches. Then I put about a dozen shiners into it as an experiment. We'll see how they do.








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This is an old thread but I wanted to update my efforts. I tried a few times and have not been able to successfully reestablish shiners in the pond. I used fish raised artificially for bait and it seems the bass ate them all without th reproducing.

I just started what will likely be my last attempt. I put a 35’ minnow seine across a narrow section of the pond. I wrapped and zip-tied a metal chain around the bottom to get a good seal. Now there is an enclosed area of about 30’ x 30’. The depth of this section ranges from a couple inches up to about 4 feet. The bottom is mud and I threw branches in for cover and hopefully a place for eggs to be deposited.

I was able to locate a pond loaded with wild shiners but it is an hour and a half away. On Saturday, I caught 50 shiners averaging about 5-6 inches. I used a small hook and line. I put 20 in the enclosure and released 30 into the main part of the pond. I probably should have put them all in the enclosure but chose to see if these bigger, wild fish might be able to evade the bass. That was probably a mistake. I may go get 50 more this weekend. I let you know if it works.

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Theeck, thanks for coming back to post an update.

Every pond is unique. Personally, I love reading about other people's experiments. Even when it didn't work, I usually learn at least one more tidbit of information.

Good luck on your most recent experiment. It is OK if a few GSH escape your net, but not good if some predators manage to break in. Maybe fish for predators in your "safe zone" sometimes when you are at the pond to make sure they are NOT in there? Then you can determine if you have a reproduction problem or a predator problem stopping your establishment of GSH.

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Thanks. Good idea. I tried to chase any bass out by walking around in the water but it got so murky, I really couldn’t see. I’ll probably try to stock 50 more on Saturday if I can catch them. Our daily creel limit for baitfish is 50.

Last edited by Theeck; 04/08/24 04:37 PM.
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Update: I took my son so the creel limit doubled. I stocked 100 more averaging about 6". Based on my research, a 6" shiner should weigh about 4 to 5 oz. That means I have stocked about 35 pounds, maybe more. I removed 6 bass at around 10" - 12" and added more brush piles. I hope the shiners spawn soon before they get eaten. I also removed 9 big mussels (or clams). I figure they compete with the fry for plankton.

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Originally Posted by Theeck
Update: I took my son so the creel limit doubled. I stocked 100 more averaging about 6". Based on my research, a 6" shiner should weigh about 4 to 5 oz. That means I have stocked about 35 pounds, maybe more. I removed 6 bass at around 10" - 12" and added more brush piles. I hope the shiners spawn soon before they get eaten. I also removed 9 big mussels (or clams). I figure they compete with the fry for plankton.

Shiners don't spawn on brush, they spawn on submerged grass and dense submerged underwater weeds in shallow water - think 6"-18"........ Good luck!!

A customer has them reproducing in his pond. His pond naturally lowers in mid summer, grass grows to the waters edge, then in the Spring the pond water level rises and the grass is covered 6"12" with water. They spawn like crazy in those grassy areas..


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I thought I heard a mention of shiners possibly spawning on live or dead grass/hay. There was another post here on the forum that said shag carpet "might" work or a coco fiber spawning mat.

Might be worth a couple of different tests.


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Would be awesome if they spawned on coontail. I've got coontail for them! (they might, I don't know)

I am really curious if they will spawn on dead vegetation. We had a 2yr drought and when the water came up this spring it submerged a lot of weeds that had been growing out there. I could probably use a big flush of shiners.

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I was reading that they would spawn on brush like cedar branches. If not, I better get some spawning mats. There are some light weeds in the pond summer but not a whole lot. There is also some filamentous algae at times.

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Since esshup let me know that shiners don't spawn on brush, I ordered some spawning mats to put out. I actually had shiners nipping at a Rooster Tail yesterday so there are shiners surviving in the pond. I took the net down to chase any bass out and put it back up. Hopefully that takes care of the problem with the enclosure. Now I need to get some more shiners to put in the enclosure since the shiners probably left for the main pond too.

Here's the pond:
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/vx6XVgcg/013.avif[/img]

Some grass (Japanese Stiltgrass) hanging into the water (possible spawning cover in addition to the mats I ordered):

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/p5DzvDmZ/015.avif[/img]


The enclosure:

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/RqjgzRDc/016.avif[/img]

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/R3gNcgHy/018.avif[/img]

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I caught this one in a nearby swamp yesterday.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


It was the only shiner I caught there (bluegills were pretty plentiful). I read somewhere that mature shiners are normally sterile because of some parasite but I stocked it in our pond anyway.

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Golden Shiners as small as 4"-5" will spawn. So, keep trying!


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So this one is too big to spawn? Thanks for the help.

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Originally Posted by Theeck
So this one is too big to spawn? Thanks for the help.

No, it's not too big to spawn. Here's an article by the owner of this forum. https://americansportfish.com/golden-shiners/

I honestly don't know any way to tell if a particular shiner is infected or not.


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Anderson says they stock 2.5" in spring in new production ponds and have excellent results with reproduction that year.
Now, this is obviously without predation, so take that into account.

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I stocked 100 more this weekend. In total, I put 375 shiners averaging about 5.5 inches into the pond this spring. The pond is no more than 1/4 acre so I think I put enough in. They should be close to spawning and the 100 we caught on Saturday and put in the pond seemed to be ready (a lot of them appeared to be full of eggs). I think I am done stocking for this year. We'll see how it goes. There are still a lot of bass in the pond but I did remove some. There are shiners that have survived from the earlier stockings though. He's a pic (not real clear) where you can see a few swimming off the edge of a brush pile.

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/Tyz409vy/112.avif[/img]

https://i.postimg.cc/vHhRVwpv/125.jpg

Last edited by Theeck; 05/13/24 10:11 AM.
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