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Glad to try and help. The concept has merit and possibilities but the how to is uncertain. There are a lot of talented/smart/knowledgeable members here - a whole lot more than 3. Some have "book smarts" , some have decades of extensive actual experience and others have some to lots of both. If you ask all the knowledgeable posters I think the consensus would be that we are not sure there is a expert here on any subject with the exception of Bill (on all matters plankton). Everyone of those talented/smart/knowledgeable members will tell you there are far more questions than answers and that there is likely no one correct answer - we just don't know. One thing to keep in mind is there are a lot of visitors (many non-posters) who know little, that are looking for help and like doctors we have to be careful to do no harm (lead them to misunderstood conclusions and bad results).

The way it works now is unstructured , as you would expect given all the characters and approaches. The Mods and talented/smart/knowledgeable members watch the active topics and chime in where they want. Most times there is no need IMO for 6 or 7 knowledgeable people to chime in if they agree with how one of their compatriots addresses a topic. Especially on subjects that have been addressed (see archives) numerous times. Sometimes we just say "we agree" or " + 1".

Thoughts ?
















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FishinRod, There are a few others that have Admin capabilities, but Bob has the final say in regards to changing things with the layout of the forum.

Speaking for myself, I don't want the Admin capabilities, I'd be too afraid of screwing something up permanently.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

I definitely was not looking for "consensus", because that is not science. When I see a reply from one of the people that I know is knowledgeable on that topic, that usually settles it for me. Seeing a +1 or "I agree" certainly serves to remove all doubt!

I was just spit-balling ideas. Unfortunately, I thread-jacked this post a little. (Sorry, Gpugh!)

However, I was struck by the idea while observing three of our experts each discuss the same topic from three slightly different points of view.

I was also thinking along the lines of ewest's comments about book smarts and years of experience. There could be some synergistic value in having a collaboration between the person that did their masters thesis on the topic with the person that has managed ponds for 25 years based on that research.

Thanks again for all you do! I think Pond Boss provides an awesome knowledge base. I am also amazed at how well-stocked our big pond is with truly "good folks".

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FishinRod - I think you should present your idea to the Pond Boss editor. It could be a new or an occassional feature in the magazine. Lusk is always looking for ways to improve the magazine. ewest's post above very well summarizes the activities, mission and participation of the forum .

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/28/21 08:16 PM.

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Bill,

+1!

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Just sent Bill some pics of a HSB a friend caught out of my pond this evening, I sacrificed it to see what it has been eating. I sent the pics of the fish and it’s stomach contents to Bill and he said they were GSF, YESSSS!!! There is hope after all!
Thank you very much Bill and everyone else who pitched in with all your knowledge, this site is absolutely amazing! Looks like if I can keep removing the larger GSF, my babies ( HSB ) can keep the youngsters under control.

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You should be somewhat able to monitor how well the HSB are controlling the greenies. The partially decomposed GSF eaten looked close to 1.5 to 1.7" long as original sized fish. Use cloverleaf fish traps to sample how many GSF that you are able to catch each fall during a week or set number of days of setting a consistent number of traps. Keep track of how many GSF that you catch. As the numbers each year goes up or down will give you a good indication of how many greenies that are present compared to prior years. When numbers of greenies increase for a year I would add more HSB or other bass species. Plan on each bass to eat 260-340 small fish each year if bass are not eating lots of pellets daily.


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Do those GSF look comparable to this?

[Linked Image]

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/09/21 07:21 PM.

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Jpsdad, yep they are about like that expect they are all different sizes

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Gpugh, my daughter caught that fish at a nearby pond on a popping bug that was half the length of that fish! She was so proud of it ... she made me take a picture. She framed it well I thought. Anyways, she's becoming a pretty good fly fisher and caught many good sized ones too. In order of prevalence of number caught GSF (probably 75%), LES(probably 15%), HBG (probably 10%), and finally BG (~5%). I would bet the greatest number and weight, however, are BG which tend to have the largest proportion of standing weight. BG are just pickier about taking flies I guess.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Jpsdad, she can fish my pond anytime, hell she might even catch a bigger one here if these greenies keep growing like they are, if not the HSB are waiting for her, lol

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Gpugh, That would be great. She loves to fish. Don't know when or if I will ever be in the neighborhood but if close I will make an effort to reach out to see if it can happen. We could sip some tea or beer while she shows us how! LOL. This reminds me of when my wife and I were young and I was just taking up fly fishing. She wanted a fly outfit too and we got one prior to a trip to Colorado. So she fished and so did I. One day we went to Roaring Judy near Gunnison and fished the ponds below the hatchery. I was struggling that day but when I circled back without a fish I saw my bride with 4 or 5 folks sitting behind her while she casted ... asking questions like ... "Is it hard" ... "How long have you been fishing" ...etc. She had already landed and strung up 5 fish. I couldn't have been more pleased. I just sat down with the others and soaked it in. Its a really fond memory I like to recall from time to time. Its all about making memories worth remembering, Gpugh. I know you'll make a lot great ones there.


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Update on my pond.
HSB are growing like crazy, my wife caught one about 17 inches earlier this week, really a nice looking fish, she also caught one that was about 12 inches, she really liked the fight, I told her to wait and see what they are like when they start getting five or six pounds……
The FHM are about all gone now, I added another ten pounds last spring and they lasted about a week. Now the GSF are really getting hammered, I see about a third of what I used to see from the dock and shoreline, I am sure the HSB are putting them on the menu, and I hope the WE are joining in on the feast.You know, they are not as bad as I thought they would be, something in there sure likes em, they seem to be pretty good forage, so far…. Have not caught or seen a YP this whole season, hope they are still there. I just stocked another 15 HSB and 15 more WE today, they were all about 7 inches, I hope they can survive the gauntlet. Pond is down around 3 ft and the creek has almost dried up, just sporadic pools holding water, thank goodness I had the pond dug deep!! One question if you all don’t mind, do you think 40 HSB and 40 WE total are too many for my pond? I still see plenty of GSH anywhere from 5-8 inches, just not a lot of FHM,
Thanks, Gregg

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It's been my experience that YP will slowly disappear if too many WAE are present..
My YP are nearly absent this year in the 0-6" stage.. I also have a very strong population of WAE from 10-17" of which I have removed about 25 this fall. My original thought was a few WAE would help control BG reproduction. I think they worked my YP over more than the young BG.

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Snipe,
Thanks for the reply.
I was kinda wondering the same thing regarding my YP.
I stocked the HSB and WE to control the GSF and for the fun of catching them and eating them for sure.
The HSB are for sure putting a hurting on the GSF, just don’t know if the WE are big enough yet to be feeding on my perch, the last perch I caught was around 10 inches, haven’t seen or caught one since then. I stocked them last fall, they were around 6-8 inches when I stocked them, I stocked 25 at that time, and added 15 more yesterday. That’s a total of 40 in a 1 1/4 acre pond. I stocked at that rate so my wife would be able to pretty readily catch them, don’t have to be trophies, just really nice sized and easy to catch. Any ideas as to what size they should be after one year in the pond. I was feeding Optimal but quit feeding later in the summer to make the HSB and WE earn their keep by having to prey on the greenies, seems to be working cause the GSF numbers are way down, just didn’t want to put the hammer on my YP.
Gregg

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Gpugh pond stock history "new pond last nov. it's one and one fourth acre, 22 ft deep with a 10 ft wide, 5 ft deep channel down the middle that makes it 27 ft deep in the channel. I filled the pond from a creek on the back side of my property, filled with a 2 inch trash pump. I stocked the pond with 11 pounds of fathead minnows last dec then added 20 more pounds in February. In April I stocked 10 lbs of golden shiners, 215 yellow perch, and 100 red ear sunfish. I also added 5 dozen creek chubs, 6 dozen craw dads, from the creek below the pond, same one I filled the pond with. A friend has been catching shiners and minnows ( he calls them blood shiners and ozark minnows) from the Nianga river in southern mo. About 10 dozen of these."
"I now have thousands of minnows in the pond. I have been feeding them Optimal Jr and a special lab mix that Dustin from Optimal said would really turbo charge these fish (90 dollars a bag) and man it really turbo charged em ! The perch were 2-3 inches when stocked, now they are 8-9 inches. Shiners were 2 inches and are now 4-5 inches and about 2 inches from back to belly. Don't know how big the red ears are because I haven't seen or caught any."

At Oct 30 = 32HSB/ac. Remember as the fish grow this increases the fish poundage of resident fishes. Larger predators will then be eating more and larger forage fish. If you want growth to continue harvest is needed to keep carrying capacity at a reasonable amount and not put excessive predation on the small fish. Generally the fewer the predators the more they will have capacity / ability to grow.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/30/22 06:20 PM.

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Thank you Bill, I will be harvesting some hsb before winter sets in here. Do you think 32lbs per acre is too many? The reason I stocked at 40 lbs per acre is so my wife would have better odds at catching them and not having it to be such a long time between catches but still be at reasonable sizes for the fight and also good eating size. They are definitely eating the GSF which is one reason I released the hounds. I was looking at the size of my GSH and the mouth gape of the HSB, looks like the HSB have a little ways to go before they can start in on the shiners, but at least the GSH are still doing well compared to the FHM. Anouther reason I added 15 more yesterday was to do some ladder stocking so I have different size classes. I was going to keep it at around 40 per acre, but if you think so, I will thin them down a bit

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Bill, the pond was built in 2020, it’s two years old now
Thanks
Gregg

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Number of HSB to have present and them growing fast has really a lot to do with goals for how big or top end size do you want the largest HSB to be. If you keep thinning out the largest ones, maintain most of the top end size numbers around the 3 - 5 lb range and replace with ladder stocked individuals then probably 40/ac is okay. The more HSB present in the 6-10 lb weight range, this puts unsafe fish biomass stress on the ecosystem. 30/ac HSB at 8 lb each (24") equates to 200 lbs of predator per acre. IMO this is too high predator biomass on the pond system. Ideally safe predator weight per acre should be around 100-150lbs/ac , maybe with good aeration and watchful management 200 lb/ac of all predator species - IMO. If it were LMB based this would be 50 3-5lb bass per acre.

Long term it will be very helpful if you keep a written record of numbers stocked, when stocked , and the numbers and lengths harvested. Have your roommate keep the records; she's probably the main angler. It is a numbers game. Also pay attention to relative numbers of shiners at pellet feeding time. As their numbers visually noticeably decrease harvest more HSB per year and reduce ladder stocking numbers to allow the shiners to repopulate.

Surviving young of year YOY perch should be in the 4-7" range each fall and early the next spring. Have your angler - fish in shallow areas with pieces of worm on long shank #10 hook under a bobber 3-6ft deep. This will catch good representatives of small fishes present. This can/will also catch some small - medium HSB. Keep records of sizes of individuals caught and time fished. One hour a week in enough during the warm season. This helps determine small fish relative density and overall fishery balance.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/02/22 05:42 PM.

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The angler catch data will over the years allow you to see if numbers of small fishes are staying constant, decreasing or increasing. Numbers and sizes of your forage community are a very important component for a quality fishery. Most high quality sport fish ponds for the long term fail due to a poor or failing forage fish community.

I suspect with 40 HSB per ac the numbers of small fishes caught per hour will gradually decrease as HSB grow beyond 1 lb. Hopefully the decrease of forage is not rapid for your situation. Feeding the HSB has pros and cons for your stated goals. Decreased catch rate of small fishes indicates one or a combination of several things: too many predators, inadequate forage spawning, poor survival of hatchlings, need for more and larger refuge areas, or there is a need to stock more forage fish. If you put more harvest pressure on the larger HSB and restock with fewer smaller HSB this could(?) help forage fish numbers rebound? As the HSB growth per year "hits the wall" and relative weight of HSB drops below 85%-80%, this indicates they are becoming food limited. Food limited HSB could be a positive condition for your 'favorite angler' goals. HSB biomass is reduced, pond water quality is not degrading rapidly, plant growth is less and more controllable, nutrient accumulation rate is lower, catchability is still relatively high and angler is happy. As I noted earlier managing a pond for a quality fishery is a "numbers game".

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/01/22 08:11 PM. Reason: better wording

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These are comments to Gpugh's questions that I have not worked on as answers. Readers pay attention the the " " marks that indicate Gpugh's posts information.

Gpugh says “I stocked the pond with 11 pounds of fathead minnows last Dec 2020 and 10 lb of FHM that lasted about a week in spring 2021. Then added 20 more pounds FHM in February 2022. “In April 2022 I stocked 10 lbs of golden shiners, 215 yellow perch, and 100 red ear sunfish into 1.2ac. I also added 5 dozen creek chubs, 6 dozen craw dads, from the creek below the pond, same one I filled the pond with. A friend has been catching shiners and minnows ( he calls them blood shiners and ozark minnows) from the Nianga river in southern mo. About 10 dozen of these."

"I now have thousands of minnows in the pond. I have been feeding them Optimal Jr and a special lab mix that Dustin from Optimal said would really turbo charge these fish (90 dollars a bag) and man it really turbo charged em ! The perch were 2-3 inches when stocked Apr 22, now (fall 2022) they are 8-9 inches. Shiners were 2 inches stocked size and are now 4-5 inches and about 2 inches from back to belly. Don't know how big the red ears are because I haven't seen or caught any."

Redears - RES are hard to catch compared to BG or HBG. IMO do not expect to catch very many redears(RES), assuming you actually stocked RES instead of green sunfish(GSF) , unless you use special angling methods to dependably catch RES or fish for RES during their beach spawn activities. I suspect all the GSF came from unfiltered creek-water that you used to fill the pond. This is an excellent way to get GSF into a pond by filling it with unfiltered creek or ditch water. GSF fry can often be 3/8" long and very common in all drainage ditches and streams. It only takes two.

Your blood shiners are very likely more correctly called bleeding shiners. They primarily spawn in riffles of streams over and in the gravel nests and pits made by other fish usually hornyhead chubs and stonerollers. Ozark minnows mature in 2nd year and lay their eggs in nests of horny-head chubs and often hybridize with other shiners that lay eggs in steam fish nests. Creek chubs will in my experience will not pond spawn and also are primarily or exclusively stream spawners where they build nests in gravel that typically has a current flowing through the gravel. The chubs sense this stream gravel unique current as places to build nests. The current in the gravel nest keeps the eggs well oxygenated.

From what we read above about blood shiners, Ozark minnows, and chubs, they are not pond spawning species, so most likely practically all of the 1000’s of minnows now present from what you see, we assume to be golden shiners (GSH) and hopefully some fatheads(FHM) as survivors. Both can be very prolific in pond habitats. Small 1"-1.5" fish can also be small GSF, although GSF will swim and behave a lot different compared to shiners and FHM.

YP – “”The last perch I caught was around 10 inches, haven’t seen or caught one YP since then.”
I think the easiest and best time to catch the most YP is soon after spawning when they feed heavily to regain body fat from winter and spring spawning. If YP are being fed pellets, the fall is also a good time to catch YP.

Walleye – Your fall 2022 walleye total is now 40 stocked in two sessions. 25 in Oct 2021 and 15 in Oct 30 2022. “I stocked them(WE) last fall, they were around 6-8 inches when I stocked them, “” I just don’t know if the WE are big enough yet to be feeding on my perch. IMO walleye @ 6"-8" stocked in Oct 2021 and in fall 2022 will be around 10” to maybe 13” after one year in the pond. Walleye in a pond are DEFINITELY not as easy to catch as HSB.
“”Just sent Bill some pics of a HSB …….. to see what it has been eating. I sent the pics of the fish and it’s stomach contents and he said they were GSF,. Now the GSF are really getting hammered, I see about a third of what I used to see from the dock and shoreline.””

The fewer GSF are most likely due to predation from the 40 HSB rather than from 40 walleye(WE). I think this because WE do not grow very fast and large in pond environments compared to HSB. Not growing fast indicates these individuals (WE) are not eating as much food as faster growing fish (HSB). Food creates growth.

The other factor for HSB eating more GSF than WE is because the GSF seek refuge in shallow shoreline areas. HSB in small ponds will always frequent shoreline areas more often where GSF are hiding compared to WE. Interaction leads to predation.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/03/22 09:19 AM.

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Bill,
Thank you very much for the knowledge and advice on my fish and pond. I will definitely be removing about 10 of the larger HSB this fall. I added more structure yesterday, it’s about a 40 foot ash tree, I put almost on top of another one from the shore towards the middle of the pond, just trying to make it a little denser and thick for the fry to get some cover.
I did see quite a few YOY about one inch long, just can’t tell at this time what they are, I assume they are GSF. As I said before, I really don’t mind them now, kinda fun to watch when the HSB hit them while feeding, and you are absolutely correct when you say they will move into the shoreline to feast on them, those HSB are wicked fast!
There are still quite a few of the bleeding shiners and ozark minnows, I like seeing that, even if they don’t last long. I also have some sort of shiner that has a turquoise to blue back, they about 6 inches long, also came from the Niagara river in southern missouri. I don’t expect them to reproduce, but that’s ok, it’s worth a try. I am getting ready to have the dam covered with 6-8 inch rip-rap, probably going to have it extend into the water about four feet for safety and cover for hopefully some spawning. I have no vegetation growing in the pond except for a few cat tails. The pond stays an emerald green most of the year, visability is about eight to ten inches, ain’t gonna get much sunlight for the plants. The crawdads nip them off before they really get a foothold, looks just like someone walked around the pond with scissors cutting them off. I have people stop by and ask what kind of dye I am putting I the water, neighbor down the road still thinks I am dying the water…..
I just want to thank you and everybody else for your guidance on my little project, I am going to try like hell to make this stocking work!!!
Thank you again for your time and expert advice
Gregg

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The large (6") shiner with turquoise/blue back could be a common or striped shiner; both look similar. They will grow to around 7" to maybe 8" . They usually spawn on and in spawning pit nests in usually gravel riffles of various chub species. Spawning act for these shiners is similar to that of creek chubs.

Water clarity of around 10" is helping GSF survive predation from HSB and WE. Visual based predators have to see them to best eat them. Predators are pretty adaptable. You can do some trapping to help manually remove GSF when you think they are too abundant. The GSF will like the new 6"-8" rock as cover - refuge areas. Please keep us advised as to the pond's progress. Let us know when you catch your first WE and or RES. We can learn more about growth rate of WE in MO ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/04/22 12:12 PM.

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