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Gambusia as RES forage?
#524247 08/03/20 09:20 AM
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Working on my 4th pond and starting to think about stocking. I know RES like snails and clams and those will go in, but what is known on the forage potential of mosquito fish for RES? Thinking of trying to see if I can raise some big ones as apex predators. Also looking for other ideas for a different fish mix. I have a BG/LMB pond, a YP/SMB pond, and my 3rd pond will hopefully be a black-crappie/blue-catfish pond. Have RES in the first 2 ponds as well, but not really big ones that anyone has caught (nice size, but nothing special). If I could source pumkinseed and chain pickerel i Indiana, then I would do that in the 4th pond. Just looking at ideas. Want species that will spawn in pond.

Last edited by RAH; 08/03/20 09:40 AM. Reason: addition
Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524249 08/03/20 09:29 AM
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Consider a pond with only Walleye as the apex predator, and then figure out what you want your 'panfish' size fish and your forage to be.
YP/Walleye an interesting trial, or you could do a crappie/WE pond.

Those of us with northern ponds need too find and try to build a network for growing and distributing pumpkinseed. They have several advantages over bluegill, are scrappy fighters, aggressive at hitting bait, fun to catch and hardy.

Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
canyoncreek #524250 08/03/20 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I neglected to mention that I want species that will reproduce in the pond.

Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524251 08/03/20 09:57 AM
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There are tons of long nose gar in the large river (Grand) feeding into Lake MI. We see them thrashing around at the surface on summer nights. The mating ritual must be quite a risky affair with all those sharp teeth slashing every which way..

There are posts online of folks who have had gar reproduce every year in their pond.

Longnose Gar in ponds



It probably would take a very prolific reproduction capable fish (crappie? northern bluegill?) to keep up with the appetite of the gar. (i'm thinking of spotted or longnose, not alligator gar)

although I can't offer them at this time to others (the goal was to find a way to easily trap, seperate, sort and ship on a case by case basis to fellow PB members), I am more and more impressed with the ability of my spotfin shiners to keep ahead of the predators in my pond. Last night after dark the shallows were boiling with SFS of all sizes going crazy swimming, launching themselves out of the water and generally having a great time. They swim terribly fast, dart every which direction...if predators can catch them, there is a huge biomass of available food and no signs of them slowing down on the reproduction.

Last edited by canyoncreek; 08/03/20 10:07 AM.
Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524329 08/04/20 07:56 AM
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Gar are cool fish! Do they spawn in ponds?

Last edited by RAH; 08/04/20 07:59 AM. Reason: addition
Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524330 08/04/20 08:02 AM
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I like the Chain Pickerel idea. We have a few lakes around here that have them. Some of these lakes produce alot of the Pickerel where other lakes do have reproduction but survival or spawning is lower in those lakes. Here my largest caught is close to 4lbs +-. A 4 lb pickerel gives a good fight and I would think if you provide enough forage you could produce some nice ones. Golden shiners might be a good forage fish that should reproduce if vegetation is available.


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Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524335 08/04/20 09:06 AM
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I know of no one who has tried it but there are reports on other forums that they readily spawn in ponds.

Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
TGW1 #524351 08/04/20 12:15 PM
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Wish that I could source chain pickerel in Indiana, but clearly the demand is not great enough to create a supply.

Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524365 08/04/20 03:29 PM
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Are they hard to catch locally?

Re: Gambusia as RES forage?
RAH #524377 08/04/20 06:48 PM
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I think so based on internet searching.


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