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Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
#527114 10/26/20 03:09 PM
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Hello everyone,

I know many of you are familiar by now with my somewhat odd pond situation. I have a 1 acre 16' deep trout pond in Ontario, Canada that was stocked with brown trout (80x 8-10") three years ago. It then accidentally got bass added which have now populated the pond with a lot of smaller 4-10" bass.

You can read about it here: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=526302#Post526302

and here: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=509811&gonew=1#UNREAD

I've finally decided I want to leave the bass in the pond other than the ones I catch and also add more trout, giving the pond 12 months of fishing (bass in summer, trout in fall and spring and through the ice). I just talked to the local hatchery and I've decided to go with 80 10-12" brown trout to be stocked this fall, probably in the next week or two. The hatchery recommend that I also feed the trout when I'm able to, probably twice a week given how often I'm at the pond.

Does this sound like a reasonable idea given the situation? I've realized the pond in its current state probably won't grow any trophies but should provide good fishing and good eating bass and trout 12 months a year.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Fyfer123; 10/26/20 03:11 PM.

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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527116 10/26/20 05:00 PM
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What kind of forage do you have for the trout & bass, Adam?


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 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,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 5




Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527121 10/26/20 08:25 PM
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If you can protect the feeder from the bears, I would put a Texas Hunter feeder on the pond to feed the fish. Set up an electric fence around the feeder to keep the bears away.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
anthropic #527140 10/27/20 12:47 PM
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This is talked about a lot in the posts I linked above. The pond certainly does not have an abundance of forage. There are no bait fish other than the few minnows, if any, that remain after the LMB were added. There used to be lots of insects and some crayfish, but those seem to be limited as well now. I would say there are still a lot of leeches, which I assume is good for the fish.

That's why I took a long time to decide whether I wanted to restock trout or not and why I came to the conclusion that the trout will be fed. We will see how it goes... I've realized trophy fish are less important to me than good fishing and good eating 12 months a year, so that's what the current goal is.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
esshup #527141 10/27/20 12:48 PM
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Is a feeder required? I believe hand feeding was recommended by the hatchery. Bears are not an issue here, but if anything it would be racoons I imagine that would cause problems.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527143 10/27/20 02:25 PM
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Fyfer,

I think you could hand feed and that it could help mitigate some of competition the trout experience with the LMB. I have a few ideas you might consider.

You have a range of options, one is to support the brown trout sufficiently to make up for losses of forage to the LMB. Under this scenario you would expect the brown trout to grow similarly to the ones that are already in the pond. Over three years, they grew ~2.5 lbs or a little over 3/4 lbs per year. Excluding mortality, it would take about 120 lbs of feed annually plus maintenance to grow 240 lbs of trout. I don't think you need to supplement this much to make up for competition with LMB. So just keep in mind that the pond will still support some maintenance and growth and that probably all the feed is going to be converted into biomass at about a 2 to 1 ratio. So instead of growing 3 lb trout in three years ... they might exceed 5 lbs and if the numbers remain high could weigh in at over 400 lbs if the feed rate is 120 lbs/year.

Because of this you should keep in mind how that standing weight and additional nutrients could affect water quality and potentially the water's ability to support the trout through summer. Were it me, I might start with a 40 or 50 lb bag and see how your fish (and water) fare on that during the first year. Spread over the days the water is ice free and they are very active, this isn't a very big nutrient load and might allow you to feed two or three times a week instead of daily if that is more convenient. I would keep the feeding quantity between 1/2 and 1 lb per feeding. When it used up your fish should have gained an addition .25 lb than they would have otherwise. This should more than make up for the foods that the LMB will be taking.

At the other end of the spectrum you could "get after it" and feed them as much as they will eat or as much as you want. There is the potential to grow really big trout. Just keep in mind that you would like them to survive from year to year so be careful it is not over done.

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/27/20 08:13 PM.
Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
jpsdad #527202 10/29/20 06:30 PM
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Thanks for this great advice. I think I will hand feed as much as the trout need to grow to the size of the current ones in the same amount of time. As in, feed the 10-12" trout so that they are 20" in 3 years. I don't need any massive trout if that's going to risk their Survival rates and cost more in food. I will have ice from December until March, making feeding tough, but the hatchery actually said I can feed through the ice. I might use that as a way to feed and chum my ice fishing spots.

It definitely seems like feeding is a great way to take some stress off of the pond's forage and grow some nice fish. Thanks again for your advice and I'll update everyone as this progresses.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527204 10/29/20 08:20 PM
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Good luck, Adam. Speaking solely from my experience, with moderate feeding my rainbow trout grew 1.5 to 2 lbs in two to three months. Some even grew 3 lbs in four months, but then they stopped growing in May as temps rose. Don't know if brown trout would do the same, but rainbows are about the most aggressive feeders I've ever seen.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 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,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 5




Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527211 10/30/20 07:56 AM
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Adam, your plan for the new trout sounds very good to me. Please update us throughout the winter and into spring. I'm particularly interested in your expectation of feeding when the pond is ice covered.

I've tried Optimal BG dropped into holes cut in the ice while ice fishing with no visible takers. I didn't expect the fish to come all the way to the surface, but pellets that were drifting down also didn't get visibly grabbed. I only have a few trout though in winter, as few as 5 or as many as 15, so I didn't expect to see much. I'll also hand throw some Optimal into the open water created by aeration without any visible feeding by trout.
The pellets eventually do get eaten by wild mallards who move in to the feed trough. Grrrr.

It may be that my trout, whether RBT, BRNT, or TT, are easily filling up on bass, sunfish, perch, or crayfish and just aren't hungry for pellets.

If you are able, post pics of your ice fishing experiences.

Thanks again for this interesting thread.

Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
anthropic #527296 11/03/20 05:23 PM
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We will see how it goes after I stock on Saturday. I will keep updating this forum with how it's going.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
4CornersPuddle #527297 11/03/20 05:26 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

I will definitely update how the winter feeding goes. I mostly just want to see if any trout will eat through the ice. I will try and feed in one spot, and then see if I can see or catch any trout there. I think if they eat the pellets in the winter, using pellets in a spawn sac (mainly used for steelhead fishing with roe) on a hook will be a great way to catch them. I am interested to see if trout through the ice in my pond taste better than the ones caught in open water season.

Last edited by Fyfer123; 11/03/20 05:27 PM.

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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527298 11/03/20 07:32 PM
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You can get the trout to eat pellets during winter if you keep some open water available with aeration. Another way to get trout to eat during ice cover is to soften and roll the pellets to squeeze the air from the pellets and drop them into a hole cut in the ice. Another option would be to feed sinking pellets through a hole in the ice. .


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Bill Cody #527390 11/07/20 05:38 PM
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Thanks for your reply, Bill.

We finally stocked today and purchased some floating food from the hatchery. I will try your tips in the winter, but I'm also hoping that I can grow them a good amount this fall. We should have a decent amount of time before ice, depending on the weather, of course. I'm hoping that the food will take away from some of the trout-bass competition. I'm interested to see how the fish grow, as this is my first time pellet feeding my pond.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #527412 11/08/20 05:45 PM
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Here's a quick update for everyone...

We are trying to train the trout to eat the pellets when we throw them. Today, I saw the newly stocked trout jumping and eating something at the surface. I thought this was a good opportunity to try and feed them, as they had not come for the food before. I threw it out and it seems like a few went over and gulped in that area, so I think they were eating it. It definitely wasn't a feeding frenzy, but I assume it takes time to get them in to a feeding routine.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528259 11/30/20 02:40 PM
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Here's another update for anyone who is interested.

The trout have been visibly feeding almost every day when the pellets are thrown (we decided to feed daily). We have not found even one belly up fish, and I haven't seen any signs to suggest they are not doing well.

One major change has happened, though, the trout have become extremely difficult to catch since we have started feeding. I have not been able to catch a older fish or a newly stocked one. I have tried everything from lures to powerbait to roe bags. I used to have good luck with lures and roe bags, and once those were not working, I decided to try powerbait, since I thought they might bite it because it is similar to trout pellets. But, nothing has worked. Is it possible that since there is a lot of new food in the pond, since the fish are being fed, they are much less likely to hit a lure or bait? Does feeding fish effect catch rates?

If anyone has some advice on how I can catch them, that would be great. I would like to catch some for the freezer before the pond freezes. Thanks.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528262 11/30/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Here's another update for anyone who is interested.

The trout have been visibly feeding almost every day when the pellets are thrown (we decided to feed daily). We have not found even one belly up fish, and I haven't seen any signs to suggest they are not doing well.

One major change has happened, though, the trout have become extremely difficult to catch since we have started feeding. I have not been able to catch a older fish or a newly stocked one. I have tried everything from lures to powerbait to roe bags. I used to have good luck with lures and roe bags, and once those were not working, I decided to try powerbait, since I thought they might bite it because it is similar to trout pellets. But, nothing has worked. Is it possible that since there is a lot of new food in the pond, since the fish are being fed, they are much less likely to hit a lure or bait? Does feeding fish effect catch rates?

If anyone has some advice on how I can catch them, that would be great. I would like to catch some for the freezer before the pond freezes. Thanks.

I have a (hopefully) simple answer for you. Just call Stacy or place an order on-line. https://stubbysteve.com/


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528266 11/30/20 04:50 PM
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Withholding the pellets for 2-3 days prior to fishing might improve your results.

Then when you're ready, toss a handful of pellets, wait for the frenzy to start, and then toss out a pellet fly or a small chunk of nightcrawler.

Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528269 11/30/20 05:18 PM
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Stubby's are good, and another option is a Glo Bug fly. I buy them in white and pink, and just color them with a brown magic marker.


AL
Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528342 12/01/20 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll try it all out and let everyone know how it goes. Thanks again.


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Re: Stocking Trout in my Accidental Bass Pond
Fyfer123 #528534 12/05/20 05:39 PM
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I was finally able to catch one today on a very small spoon. I fished a few different things and that's what ended up working. It was below zero and the water was beginning to form ice crystals, so that goes to show you how these fish will be active in very cold water. It was one of the original Trout, so it was a nice big one that I kept. The smaller ones were all over my lures, but never committed.

A couple of interesting things...

The flesh of the trout was very, very pale. I'll attach a photo of these fillets (I did not do a good job on them, be warned) VS fillets I took off of another similar sized trout from the pond a couple of months ago. I believe this was a male and I know the other one was a female (eggs), but I'm not sure if that has something to do with it. Anyways, is there a reason why the meat quality would go down in one fish VS another from the same BoW?

Also, I did seem to find black mush in the trout's stomach, so I believe was eating pellets. It's interesting that the older trout are eating pellets even though they haven't seen them for three years since they were stocked.

Fillet from two months ago: http://imgur.com/a/m1ZGbHy
Fillet from today: http://imgur.com/a/09OVbJx

Last edited by Fyfer123; 12/05/20 06:08 PM.

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