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Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527128 10/27/20 07:13 AM
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Going back, how many lbs of fish per acre is where I get lost in all of this. I have not found a way to figure it out.

If you think this is important to the management of your pond ... you should probably figure it out well enough to make good management decisions.

I would just add this. Even you have found "no way" to make estimates of standing weights doesn't mean others can't make reasonable enough estimations of this important factor to make good and beneficial harvest and management decisions.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/27/20 07:58 AM.
Re: Fish holding capacity
jpsdad #527138 10/27/20 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jpsdad
.

I can't help my skeptical nature. It's just the way I am geared to think and I will challenge any hypothesis/conclusion that doesn't have support from evidence. I do have a different philosophy about pond management, this is for sure. I don't think the food chain is broken by the lack of formulated feed for example. I think population management is the best approach to meeting goals. And I think a pond should be managed to limit its biomass of fish to safe and sustainable levels that do not carry as much risk of fish kills. To me, this is the best way to approach pond management.

See below - my comments in blue.

I can't help my skeptical nature. Don't try - that is a good trait and leads to much scientific advancement. It's just the way I am geared to think and I will challenge any hypothesis/conclusion that doesn't have support from evidence. Agree but have learned (from reading thousands of studies and from hands on experience - mine and others)) that evidence can and often is misunderstood or wrongly applied. I do have a different philosophy about pond management, this is for sure. I don't think the food chain is broken by the lack of formulated feed for example. Feeding just increases what is already there - its up to the manager to manage the population. I think population management is the best approach to meeting goals. Agree and not sure if there is another solution/option. And I think a pond should be managed to limit its biomass of fish to safe and sustainable levels that do not carry as much risk of fish kills. Agree but others goals are often more aggressive and they will opt for more risk to attain the goal. To me, this is the best way to approach pond management Population management starts with understanding total mortalities ( = natural deaths + harvest). Harvest is the easier to manage. Managing natural mortalities is very hard and requires all the knowledge and techniques we can get/use. The other part of population management is understanding reproduction - another hard to manage area.

Last edited by ewest; 10/27/20 11:20 AM.















Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527142 10/27/20 02:19 PM
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Eric,

I find myself in complete agreement with your comments above. After re-reading these posts I realize I don't understand the depth the kill Tracy experienced at his pond. I read only enough of his original thread to understand that HSB died and after offering encouragement I didn't return to it. To be sure, I think as long as a person understands what's at stake he can push the envelope implementing things like feeding, aeration, and algaecides to mitigate risks. I do know that Tracy voiced concerns about his BOW in an earlier thread saying he had a good thing going and didn't want to push it over the edge. I made similar comments in that thread but we couldn't agree that a plan limiting numbers of fish could be implemented successfully due to unforeseen natural mortality.

You make an excellent point, as did Tracy, that it is difficult to understand natural mortality and this is recurring object of discussion when we talk about harvest and in particular risks of over-harvest. I think the best we can do when opting to limit weights is to work with a plan where the goal is to limit the number of adult fish through a process of selecting (or potentially stocking) a specific number of them annually while fishing or surveying the water. Its a different mindset to work to limit the numbers/weight and a person will have fewer than wanted/planned due to mortality that was unplanned. So its not perfect, but when selecting rigorously and following growth it is possible to make reasonable estimates of standing weights of this group on the trophy path and what their forage requirements are.

Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527152 10/28/20 07:08 AM
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Natural mortalities do effect the populations of fish and is something that I experienced at my pond. It is hard to determine how much they effect the pond but they do effect it. Over the past 6 yrs I have had at least 7 or 8 otters that showed up at different times and it might take days before you see they are there. I did find fish bones and fish scales along with scatt where the otters dined. And the Osprey that shows up every year, i have seen it carry off some pretty good sized cnbg. Then there is the Bald Eagle that shows up and stays around for a while. They can easily carry off a 5 lb lmb. And those Great Blue Herron that's there most every day of the year. Not to mention the lmb that are large enough to eat an 8" or better lmb. I am pretty sure that happened alot at my pond prior to the fish kill. Takes me back to how many lbs per acre of fish in the pond?


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Re: Fish holding capacity
TGW1 #527158 10/28/20 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TGW1
Natural mortalities do effect the populations of fish and is something that I experienced at my pond. It is hard to determine how much they effect the pond but they do effect it. Over the past 6 yrs I have had at least 7 or 8 otters that showed up at different times and it might take days before you see they are there. I did find fish bones and fish scales along with scatt where the otters dined. And the Osprey that shows up every year, i have seen it carry off some pretty good sized cnbg. Then there is the Bald Eagle that shows up and stays around for a while. They can easily carry off a 5 lb lmb. And those Great Blue Herron that's there most every day of the year. Not to mention the lmb that are large enough to eat an 8" or better lmb. I am pretty sure that happened alot at my pond prior to the fish kill. Takes me back to how many lbs per acre of fish in the pond?

Tracy, one thing is for sure. It was the combined weight of all fish that tipped the balance. So we can't blame the weight of predators in a vacuum and just target them in our attempts to manage standing weight. Most ponds have three times the predators standing weight in forage fish. But it most cases, the majority of these fish are only contributing to forage the predators can eat by reproducing. At any given moment in time, the standing weight of forage the predators are actually eating is small in relation to the standing weight of forage fish and the standing weight of the pond as whole.

Consequently, harvest should be targeted both for predators having attained target weights (or ages) and for forage fish that can longer contribute to the food chain except by reproduction. Most of the harvested weight, therefore should be concentrated in forage fish too large to contribute significantly as food for predators. This will also stimulate production of prey the predators can eat. It isn't a static system, it quickly reaches stalling limits and only intervention by managers or nature (through mortality) can bring the system below the limit again.

There is an exception to this. When the predators are so numerous and of small lengths, they are able to prevent the prey fish from overpopulating. Under these conditions the system remains below capacity and growth rates and conditions of the prey fish are very good but the predators tend to be lean. This is natures way of achieving sustainable balance.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/28/20 08:28 AM.
Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527159 10/28/20 10:00 AM
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Pond - Black Swann events are very difficult to anticipate and or plan for by definition . Buffering space is one concept that helps. If you have room in your pond for all factors you are way ahead. By buffering space I mean - Something that lessens or absorbs the shock of an impact or one that protects by intercepting or moderating adverse pressures or influences.

Absent an unknown water quality issue I have from the outset thought Tracy's event was a carrying capacity issue.

Quantifying things is doable even if it is estimated based on tools we understand like RW , RC , water quality measures , plankton densities , seine surveys , electrofishing, etc. . The most important concept to keep in mind is that we are always working behind the curve. That is, those tools give us a point of reference in time that will change rapidly in advance of our management actions (delayed effect). The real gift , the "art" part of fisheries management - is the ability to foresee/anticipate future results from current info and management actions and be able to adjust to changing (unanticipated) conditions , often in mid-stream.
















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Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527186 10/29/20 03:26 AM
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Hind sight is 20/20. Yes I agree fish weight per acre was to high. But remember the bushy pond weed covered 75% of the pond. That and the weather in combination killed the fish. I should have harvested more of the hsb. In my opinion, I did not have to many lmb. Here is why. The pond never had many yoy of lmb. Using fishing, and e survey never showed any numbers of small lmb. I'm talking lmb under 14" . You could not thin or cull those lmb because you almost never caught one. I removed 7 the year of the kill. That is all I caught. And almost never saw one in the pond. Never shocked one up except that first year when we shocked 10 months after stocking. We shocked up 5 in that size range so we restocked using 1 to 1/2lb legacy lmb from Overtons. As I said earlier, the pond was never in the norm. None or little lmb reproduction or yoy lmb survival the first 3 yrs. Since the fish kill, I am seeing some yoy lmb this year.

Eric, I forgot to mention those Blk Swann (Cormants) events along with all those other fish eating birds that I delt with at the pond. Did I mention those fish eating gators? smile

Last edited by TGW1; 10/29/20 03:43 AM.

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Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527189 10/29/20 06:58 AM
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These observations you made probably do indicate that the LMB should not have been harvested. Removing any HSB would have given more food to the LMB. You might have been justified to harvest HSB for that reason alone but even if you had the event would likely have taken some fish.

These observations suggest that you have had very good populations of intermediate sized bluegill in addition to the larger BG. In a situation where the predator population doesn't support harvest, or harvest is not prudent, there would be no other population to target other than the forage adults.

There isn't any 20/20 hindsight and no way to know if the event you encountered would have left you with any more fish than you have now even if you had you harvested. Counting harvest and the possibility of fish losses from the event, the final outcome might have been very similar. I would like to know more about how the standing weights going into events like this may exacerbate or lessen the severity. By this I mean "Is dip of carrying capacity of the event more severe if standing weights are higher going into the event?" I think this question isn't adequately answered and until it is we don't know that harvest will help one carry more fish through an event like this. Harvest may allow one to influence what survives a fish kill event and put one in favorable position have a more favorable population structure after a limiting event but we can't take that for granted.

The carrying capacity is always less the than potential standing weights that occur during favorable periods. This is especially true for ponds with above average or exceptional fertility. Here in the south, late summer is probably most limiting where in the North it is the winter. Every year fish are lost to these limiting periods and standing weights are restored to carrying capacity. Carrying capacity isn't the same year to year either and a person should manage around the norm as opposed to the exceptions.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/31/20 03:11 AM.
Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527191 10/29/20 07:33 AM
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I'm, as usual, going with Lusk on this. he says 2 things that are pertinent.

1. Cull small bass, under approx 12 inches, as they can over eat their food supply of bluegills and RES.. Unless it has an exceptional RW. Then keep it.

2. 95% of the eggs laid and hatched will never see their first birthday. They get eaten.

Channel cats rarely successful spawners in a pond environment. They go everywhere in a school, swim slowly and are too easy for predators to pick off.


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: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527210 10/30/20 05:47 AM
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It's time for a new game plan smile


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Tracy
Re: Fish holding capacity
Phonzie #527219 10/30/20 07:54 PM
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I find that my fish holding capacity is more limited with hybrid stripers than any other fish. They are so strong & their gill plates so sharp that it is all I can do to hold on when they get up to around four or five pounds.


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, 206




Re: Fish holding capacity
anthropic #527220 10/30/20 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
I find that my fish holding capacity is more limited with hybrid stripers than any other fish. They are so strong & their gill plates so sharp that it is all I can do to hold on when they get up to around four or five pounds.

Lol, I see what you did there!

Re: Fish holding capacity
Steve_ #527227 10/30/20 10:35 PM
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On a serious note, hybrid stripers ought to come with a warning. You're fine holding them by the mouth, but those gill plates slice like a razor. Three people have found that out at my place the hard way!


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, 206




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