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Help with pond after fish kill
#526124 09/20/20 07:11 PM
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We have about a 4 acre lake on our property. Two years ago ( August 2018) we had a fish kill that killed basically all the large bass and catfish of catchable size. Water was low and we had an algae bloom I believe and a neighbor drove by and saw tons of fish floating. The next two years we didn't catch a fish at all no matter what technique we tried. We would see lots of small perch and bait fish. I was planning on restocking but life got in the way the best couple of years. This summer I have finally started catching some small bass. Usually only 2-3 in any session and sometimes days with no luck. Usually the fish are small ( 6-8 inches). Biggest was about 1.5 pound until a few days ago I caught
One about 3.5 lbs Still more perch than you can imagine. Can catch them all day if you want on worms. Also some big enough to catch on crank baits , spinner baits , etc
So my question to this who might have some knowledge or advise is should I still stock some bass or are they going to come back naturally ? We had never had a fish kill like this in the 12 years we have had the place. Just any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Before the fish died off we could usually catch 15-20 in a few hrs and had a good many in the 7-8 pound range. Biggest we ever caught was about 9 pounds.
Thanks in advance

Re: Help with pond after fish kill
Shakebaker #526133 09/21/20 06:41 AM
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What caused the kill? Most in Texas are caused by O2 depletion due to being over stocked. You might want to add aeration.

My kill has been cormorant visits the last 2 years. I restocked bluegills and figured to let them get established before adding bass. But, I'm catching some juvenile bass and saw about a 3 pound one cruise by while feeding. The 6 to 8 inch bass should grow and repopulate with that many bluegills for food. You can restock bass but, due to predation, it will have to be larger fish.

Lusk says: A pond is like a garden. You have to harvest.

What part of Texas?


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
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Re: Help with pond after fish kill
Shakebaker #526137 09/21/20 07:38 AM
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We are in Gatesville. Pretty sure the kill was an O2 problem. That summer the lake was down a good bit , 5-6 feet at least. The day before it had been around 114 degrees. We also have a lot of coon tails. The neighbor that found the fish floating said it was 100 and 100s by the time I got there next they were gone of course. I imagine a few small ones must have survived evidently. Never really thought about to many fish leading to the problem just assumed it was from the heat and excess vegetation. The lake drops every summer but that summer was more than normal. Was just trying to find out if we were back on track to eventually having a more fishable population or needed to help it along. Maybe there are more than I think and they just are living good in the perch and avoiding artificial baits.

Re: Help with pond after fish kill
Shakebaker #526144 09/21/20 09:57 AM
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Shakebaker,

Losing 5 to 6 feet of depth may have substantially reduced the surface area of your pond. If so then the LBS/Acre of fish would be higher than what is normally carried. Should this happen again, you may consider removing LMB and BG in proportion to the loss of surface water. This may prevent a kill.

Should it happen again, you might also consider broadcasting a combination legume/grass mix across the exposed pond bottom. If it hatches and the pond fills slowly until late winter rain events there is potential for a big boost in fertility for the remaining population the next year.

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Re: Help with pond after fish kill
Shakebaker #528307 12/01/20 10:02 AM
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A little late but wanted to respond with my experience. We had some type of disease hit our pond two years ago. Ironically enough it was right around the time I started to get a management plan together. Typical overcrowded LMB with lots of large BG.

Not sure how many fish died but almost every fish I could see had the same issue (white growth) somewhere on them. Eventually I just didn't spot many fish. It actually turned out to be a good reset for the pond. We started seeing healthy fish again. I put in new cover for the BG and added tilapia in the spring. We're catching bigger and healthier bass than I have seen in a long time.

That said, there are small bass everywhere now. To the point where I have started culling again. If you give it time I would say the lake will repopulate on its own.


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Re: Help with pond after fish kill
MWCEO #528325 12/01/20 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MWCEO
That said, there are small bass everywhere now. To the point where I have started culling again. If you give it time I would say the lake will repopulate on its own.


Yes but the question is how/what will it populate into. That is where information is the key to management.
















Re: Help with pond after fish kill
MWCEO #528327 12/01/20 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MWCEO
A little late but wanted to respond with my experience. We had some type of disease hit our pond two years ago. Ironically enough it was right around the time I started to get a management plan together. Typical overcrowded LMB with lots of large BG.

Not sure how many fish died but almost every fish I could see had the same issue (white growth) somewhere on them. Eventually I just didn't spot many fish. It actually turned out to be a good reset for the pond. We started seeing healthy fish again. I put in new cover for the BG and added tilapia in the spring. We're catching bigger and healthier bass than I have seen in a long time.

That said, there are small bass everywhere now. To the point where I have started culling again. If you give it time I would say the lake will repopulate on its own.

I had same issue this fall - white fungus on all the fish I could see with dozens dying - your post is encouraging.

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