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#487261 03/15/18 11:35 PM
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I currently have a 3 acre pond with LMB, BG, crappie and gizzard shad. My LMB are few in numbers with some larger ones but most are slightly below relative weight. I will be re-purposing some clay on my land for something else and plan to create a hatchery pond or two. I would like to put fingerling LMB in one and provide both FHM and supplemental feed so they can get a kick start and grow quick so I can eventually release them in my larger pond. I would also like another hatchery pond to grow more BG to be used to feed the LMB in the 3 acre pond. Question #1, what is the minimum size each hatchery pond should be? Question #2, does anyone have any lessons learned or advise if you have tried something similar? Thanks for the help.

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See this link from our Common Q&A Archive Section for lots of Pond Boss Forum member information about building forage or hatchery ponds.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=487274&#Post487274

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/16/18 10:19 AM.

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The link Bill provided should have most of the info you need.

When I build my next hatchery pond, I'll buy another commercial net that fits my budget first, then build the pond around it. Raising fish is easy, but getting them out in a timely and easily manageable manner often isn't. IF you want to move forage out several times a year, as opposed to long term projects, then I'd always go with a shoe box shaped pond. Most commercial hatchery ponds are shaped that way.


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Thanks Bill for pointing me in the right direction. FireIsHot, thanks for the tip as well. That makes a lot of sense.

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One concept not explored here much is the raceway concept similar to what is used by trout growers. Build a long narrow trough with relatively vertical walls. Make it water tight. Use either water pumps or air lift method for moving water through the raceway. Circulate the water from a source pond through the raceway and then back into the source pond. Rate of flow will determine how many fish can be grown in each raceway.


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Good luck on your pond masterbasser316!

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Here is a link to a thread that has lots of specialty ponds with several of them being forage ponds. I started this list when I did searches for information about building my forage pond and decided to keep the list up in case others also wanted to see the old threads.

Thread with list of old threads about different types of specialty ponds


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I have given some thought on a raceway system to grow some bg along with other types for restocking my pond for hsb and lmb forage. I'm thinking how to get reproduction(if I could) in this type of system. Or is it simply to be used as a grow out only system. Also may need solar power for aeration in this type of raceway system. Like said, been giving it some thought.


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Well, Tracy, with you thought tends to lead to action! Should be interesting to see where you end up.


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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Frank, Just the pond itself has been an interesting ride already smile My thoughts on the raceway was because of possible location along with harvest or transplanting into the existing pond. Another reason was because where I planned on a forage pond wound up being 100% sand from surface to 15' down. Not good for a forage pond where I could lift a lever and drain fish and water into big pond. Once, we discussed fresh water shrimp for lmb forage and a raceway might work with Tp and prawns for forage. Another reason why I have looked into a raceway. I am not sure it can be cost effective because of the necessity to feed Tp and the prawns verses growing out bg. Needs more thought lol


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The advantage of TP is that they spawn even faster than BG, plus they eat cheaper feed. Also, if you raised prawns (or maybe even PK shrimp) with them, the TP would leave them alone.

The disadvantage, of course, is that TP are seasonal and must be purchased every year


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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The key with tilapia is the much higher survival rate of the yoy. Both tilapia and BG can (not will but can) spawn quickly and often, BG can spawn at 4/5 mths and every 28 days while tilapia also 4 mths and IIRC every 21 days. This assumes proper temp , water quality and food resources. BG usually have higher total yearly offspring numbers but much lower yoy survival rate.
















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All fish reared in a hatchery pond have to be removed at some point. Tilapia are like tiny angry ninjas when crowded (as in a seine net), and will beat up BG if they're in the mix. Here at least, tilapia and BG are never mixed in my hatchery pond unless a small number of tilapia are stocked for algae control. Preferably single sex.


Last edited by FireIsHot; 11/05/18 01:42 PM.

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Originally Posted By: TGW1
Frank, Just the pond itself has been an interesting ride already smile My thoughts on the raceway was because of possible location along with harvest or transplanting into the existing pond. Another reason was because where I planned on a forage pond wound up being 100% sand from surface to 15' down. Not good for a forage pond where I could lift a lever and drain fish and water into big pond. Once, we discussed fresh water shrimp for lmb forage and a raceway might work with Tp and prawns for forage. Another reason why I have looked into a raceway. I am not sure it can be cost effective because of the necessity to feed Tp and the prawns verses growing out bg. Needs more thought lol


Tracy, could you dig a hatchery pond in the sand close to your big pond, and just use a liner? A close proximity to the big pond puts plumbing into play. A gate valve and piping could eliminate big nets and sore backs.

Just a thought. I like spending other people's money.


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Al, the pond with the valve thingy is where I was going when I ran into all that sand. smile It was the only place where I could put that system up. I did some looking around and decided the liner was more than I wanted to spend and was thinking I would be repairing holes all the time. I found a pretty good sized used above ground pool at an estate sale but I missed that item when it came up for bid, my bad. As I grow older bathrooms come into play more often, I was in the pottie when the bid came up frown I am not sure a raceway is the way to go either, but I have the perfect place for it where it could easily drain into the big pond. I am a fish guy, been one as far back as I can remember. Fishing or feeding them I really enjoy. But, it may be much cheeper to just buy more forage when needed rather than building and maintaining a raceway. Or have you checked out the price for an excavator lately? smile I have even been considering selling my 427 vet that has very low mileage, driven only a few days per year. Use that money to buy an excavator, but I have that NEED for Speed every once in a while smile

Last edited by TGW1; 11/07/18 07:11 AM.

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