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First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
#525830 09/12/20 08:27 PM
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First time post, though I've been following this incredible resource for months and subscribe to the magazine.

I moved into a home ~1.5 years ago in central Illinois with three ponds on the property, two of which I'm managing. Both ponds are old limestone quarries (great alkalinity!) and have been around for ~50 years. the smaller pond is an acre in size and averages ~11' deep, the other is 7 acres in size and averages ~8' deep. Had an electro-survey done the first spring and both ponds had low BG populations, a fair population of small LMB, a few bigger bass (up to 3.5 lbs) and too many carp (one is to many as far as I'm concerned). Zero CC and WC were identified during the survey, but as the waters warmed they showed up in my catches.

My goal at the time was to have a LMB/Sunfish pond with one additional species to be determined (pike, musky or walleye). I also want to get the CC and carp totally out of both ponds (easier said then done).

Since the survey, I started removing LMB <14", GSF, WC, CC, and carp. Added 40 and 10 brush piles so far to the 7 and 1 acre ponds, respectively. Plan to add another 20 to the larger pond before next spring. The fish removal numbers from the 7 ac pond since I started managing it are as follows.

LMB: 225, CC: 145, GSF: 200, WC:44, Carp:6 Zero harvest on the BG as I want them to grow in number and size.

Added a fish feeder to the small pond last summer, primarily to help the BG. This spring I added 50 pellet fed LMB and 50 HSB, both are growing well.
Added a fish feeder to the larger pond this spring for the BG and to concentrate the CC. BG are getting bigger and the CC #'s are going down (only see ~30 at feeding time). Plan to add a second feeder next spring on a different area of the lake. Should also note that I'm catching more ~15"+ LMB this year than last and in general they have better girths. Checked a couple of the larger ones on the length/weight scale and they were in the 90th percentile on weight.

I've also reached a tentative decision on my pond goals, but need guidance on whether this is achievable. My new goal is to have LMB, HSB, and sunfish in the 7 acre pond. The one acre pond will be used for the pellet fed LMB, HSB, and BG. Emphasis is on the LMB and HSB size rather than trying to grow large BG.

Also plan to add 750 and 250 1-2" RES to the 7 and 1 acre ponds this fall.

My issue is that I'm not sure I have enough forage fish (primarily BG) in the 7 acre pond for both the LMB and HSB. I'm not so concerned about the LMB because the BG population looks to be improving. The HSB is another story. I believe they prefer open water feeding and I will be adding supplemental feed, but I'm not sure there will be enough food for them to get big and fat. So is it a wise move to add the HSB to the pond? If it is, are there management approaches I should change? Should I consider another forage fish besides the BG? I'm out of my league on how to address these questions, so I'll appreciate all the help you can offer. Thanks!

Jeff

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525841 09/13/20 10:41 AM
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Is killing the ponds and restarting an option? If there is an overpopulation of carp especially

it may be worthwhile to dig out a small forage pond.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525844 09/13/20 11:50 AM
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I gave killing the ponds serious consideration after the electrofishing survey but decided against it since there were a few decent sized bass and the survey was performed on a frosty morning (suspected most of the fish were deep).

In terms of carp numbers, based on what I see hanging around the mulberry trees and their spawning sites, I think there are <20 in the pond. Plus, I only see big ones (15 lbs+) and never small ones, so my guess is that the BG and LMB are eating the young.

Likewise with the CC, all of them are ~1.5 - 3.0 lbs in size and I have seen zero small ones. I found out last year that one of the previous owners stocked the pond w/CC, so I'm hopeful that time is on my side. By that I mean through harvesting, more BG eating the young, and fish dying of old age will hopefully knock the population down to where it's not a big factor in the pond.

I do have a smaller "pond" that I tried using to raise FHM and RES this spring, but it gets very weed choked. In short, putting the fish in was easy, so far getting any of them out has been a challenge.

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525846 09/13/20 04:09 PM
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If you want a top end predator like northern pike or muskie, I recommend Tiger Muskie. They don't reproduce so won't get out of hand, and they can survive warmer temps than either parent stock.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20, 190




Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525849 09/13/20 07:01 PM
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If you know where the carp hang out then i would learn how to cast an extra large cast net. And make sure i could throw it where it opened every cast. You might be able to catch a few of the catfish and the carp. The cast net should work if the water is not too deep. Using the large one might assist in trapping several at one throw.


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy
Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525870 09/14/20 11:17 AM
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I see no problem with both LMB and HSB. I have them. The only issue will be stocking large enough HSB to escape LMB predation. But some will make it.


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
Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525872 09/14/20 11:25 AM
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Agree with Dave - HSB and LMB can do well together. I do have concern that forage may be to low. You have no open water type forage in your plan.
















Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525889 09/14/20 02:01 PM
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Encouraged to learn that the HSB are compatible with the LMB. What do you recommend as an open water forage fish?

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525907 09/15/20 10:19 AM
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HSB do well with TFS - you are to far north for TFS to work. Not sure what grazing open water fish are available in IL. GS may get to large and take up to much room (biomass). YP could be an option as forage but they are not open water grazers.
















Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
ewest #525914 09/15/20 11:27 AM
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This may be a stretch for a northern open water forage fish, but what the heck. What about white crappie? They're already in the pond, although in relatively small numbers as far as the electrofishing survey and my fishing indicate. I also understand that they are less likely to overwhelm a pond like black crappie due to irregular spawning and the newborns move out to open water to grow up (not sure how accurate this is). Another plus is that they won't eat my fish food leaving it for the BG and HSB. I suppose the risk is that they will grow bigger than the HSB and LMB can eat, but that can in part be addressed by harvesting the larger ones that I can eat. What do you think?

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525915 09/15/20 11:27 AM
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This may be a stretch for a northern open water forage fish, but what the heck. What about white crappie? They're already in the pond, although in relatively small numbers as far as the electrofishing survey and my fishing indicate. I also understand that they are less likely to overwhelm a pond like black crappie due to irregular spawning and the newborns move out to open water to grow up (not sure how accurate this is). Another plus is that they won't eat my fish food leaving it for the BG and HSB. I suppose the risk is that they will grow bigger than the HSB and LMB can eat, but that can in part be addressed by harvesting the larger ones that I can eat. What do you think?

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525935 09/15/20 04:02 PM
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There have been experiments with using HSB to control crappie, and it did work. The issue is, HSB have much smaller mouths than LMB, and the size of crappie they can eat is limited. I'd probably recommend GSH, but since you already have predators established, it will be hard to get them to take root before becoming tasty snacks.

White Crappie are better suited for muddier ponds or ponds with persistent plankton blooms.
Black Crappie do better in clearer ponds with visibility greater than 3'.

But, like you mentioned, Crappie are very irregular spawners. You might get nothing or very little one year, and the next year you can't throw a stick without hitting one. Just something to think about. I don't think Crappie would be the ideal forage fish dedicated to feeding your HSB. Shiners (and pellets) are the best way to go, imo, since you're too far north for Shad.

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525973 09/16/20 04:03 PM
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I have shiners in my pond and the I think my LMB prefer them to BG. I see schools of them jumping out of the water when the bass get after them. However, I'm having a time with my BG. I added 200 RES this year just to get some sunfish that don't compete with the GSHs for food. I highly doubt I will ever have decent size BG with the shiners in the pond based on the last few years. Will HSB eat Tilapia? LMB will gorge themselves on them.

Re: First Time Post - LMB and HSB?
3Ponds #525989 09/17/20 07:32 AM
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HSB will eat Tp if they are not to large where they wont fit in their mouth.


Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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