Hi, I have a small (less than 1/4 acre, about 14' deep) pond on my property in Lee's Summit, Mo. 8 years ago I drained it and dug it out, there was no fish only bullfrogs. I have not stocked any fish in it, but now it is full of goldfish. These goldfish are about 3" long, and they cover the whole pond, pretty amazing there can be that many fish. I was thinking about stocking some HSB. I thought that might be fun. I don't think I want LMB. Do you have any Ideas what might be fun to do? Thanks John
With that kind of forage base you could stock some HSB and get some fast growth for the first year or two depending on how many goldfish are in the pond. Harrison's Fishery has some larger HSB now, but I would wait until this fall to stock them in your pond due to the higher water temps we are seeing now. YOu would need to establigh another forage base, like HBG, within a year or so to keep the HSB fed. My main concern is...will the gold fish out grow the newly stocked HSB before they were under control...
Are there any large gold carp in there? Usually, your fairground prize goldfish get bigger than 3 inches. I would not be surprise if the little ones you are seeing came from a mothership (or two or more), meaning you have some larger buggars to deal with.
A more particular pond meister would nuke the pond and start fresh with "the big plan", but if our not into the extra effort. HSB would be fun.
Armchair Advice here: Even run through a predator that is a lot of biomass for a puddle your size. I would suggest getting those varmints coming to the dinner bell with feed and then using a cast net to remove as many as you can. Maybe casting once every week or so. Might even get lucky and get a big boy if they're sniffing around too.
I'm in no place to advise on stocking amounts (too little real pond experience), but I'll stick my neck out and say that 20 to 40 would be a good range. The more you put in, the sooner the goldfish population will fall and you have to figure out what to stock next so that the HSB will continue to have something to eat. The fewer you put in, the longer the golden forage will last. I would definitely put in the biggest you can get your hands on (8 inches or bigger - like 10"). A 10" HSB will have a mouth gape at about 1" and that will be important so that they can suck down those 3" long goldfish.
All my rambling advise is assuming that you just want to have some fun with your current conditions without spending much money or time. If you are feeling serious about managing the pond...that's a whole different set of advise.
Your photo is very blurry. Can you get a better pic, and does that cloud of gold represent all the surface area at an instant in time or is it just a small corner of your pond while the remainder is rather void of visible fish? I'm trying to get feel of how many goldfish are in your pond.
Thanks Dave for checking on me! I need all the help I can get. The method to my madness is based on my two year old 1/4 acre pond having been stocked with 40 HSB and 600 panfish that had tons of FHM ready for the eating. My quick draw suggestion would assume that no other fish were stocked. I think 20 to 40 HSB would be fun to throw in small pond plum full of goldfish.
I think knowing the exact size of the pond and how many goldfish are in there and their size classes would be most beneficial for an expert to advise. Obviously, not me, I am just throwing out fun ideas.
Rethinking that 8 or 10 HSB number. I didn't count on natural mortality. I have an approximately 1/4 acre pond with CC, BG and GSF. It had BG and GSF. About 4 years ago I added 25 4 inch cats. There are now about 14 cats and have never had a successful spawn due to predation. That's OK, just Mama Nature at work. But, they are controlling the sunfish numbers. From a pond control standpoint, I see no difference in HSB and cats. Either will rule the pond and are eating machines.
I rarely fish it because it's about 3/8 mile from the house. I throw feed when I go there but it takes a 4 wheeler to even get to it. They don't get the opportunity to live on pellets so have to be predators.
Another predator concern. It will take time for HSB to grow large enough to start mopping up on the goldfish. In the meantime, they will be growing and further spawning. I think I would start with chunking a cast net to reduce the biomass. Then use the HSB as maintenance.
Just realized that I know zero about goldfish spawning but figure they will eat their young like all fish. Anybody have experience with that?
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
I think just slipping in a few HSB, 2 in spring, 2 in the fall, will prevent an ecosystem crash. Ladder stocking if you will. What I don't think you want is putting in too many HSB, and they empty the goldfish forage out in a very short period of time, then starve. You want a balance where the fish are reproducing just a little bit slower than consumption while you also try to get a new forage base established, like bluegills or some other panfish.
Too many predators, and you will have trouble keeping them happy once the forage base is gone.