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Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
#531617 03/07/21 08:46 AM
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I have a 2 acre pond in coastal Virginia. Max depth 15 ft. This area is warmer than most of Virginia.

My water is nearly always green to some extent, and I have introduced grass carp to control rooted vegetation, which has been a problem in the past. I aerate about 5 hours every night. There is considerable organic goop on the bottom.

My problem is that with a mix of bluegill, redear sunfish and bass, there is nothing to utilize the plankton that the bass can eat.

If I were 200 miles south, I would put threadfin shad in the pond, but they aren't even available here. I have considered crawfish to eat the detritus before it fertilizes the water to create the plankton bloom. I have also considered gizzard shad for the same purpose but the VA Dept of Wildlife Resources discourages, but does not prohibit, that.

Another pond owner suggested mussels, which would clear the water but not make bass food.

So, is there a filter feeder choice that would convert that lush plankton to bass food?

Last edited by Don Tabor; 03/07/21 08:47 AM.

Don Tabor
Chesapeake VA
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531636 03/07/21 02:15 PM
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Golden Shiner?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
CityDad #531637 03/07/21 02:45 PM
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Tried shiners, but they were just expensive fish food. They don't survive long enough to maintain a population.

I need something where the adults are too large for the bass to eat, but make a lot of juveniles.

But thanks for the reply


Don Tabor
Chesapeake VA
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531640 03/07/21 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Tabor
Tried shiners, but they were just expensive fish food. They don't survive long enough to maintain a population.

I need something where the adults are too large for the bass to eat, but make a lot of juveniles.

But thanks for the reply

The Gizzard Shad will do what you are wanting to do, but since the adults can grow very quickly to a size that the bass cannot eat, relatively quickly you will have a pond with more Gizzard Shad biomass than any other species of fish. I would NOT recommend stocking them. Their number can be controlled with a light dose of Rotenone that will only affect them, but I still wouldn't stock them.

Have habitat for the shiners to reproduce on, habitat to help hide in, and stock a lot of them.

The bloom is there not only because of the Nitrogen (N) but because of the Phosphorous (P). You could use some of the P strippers out there, and that will help limit the amount of phytoplankton bloom.


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Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
esshup #531644 03/07/21 05:46 PM
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OK, thanks, no gizzard shad.

There are a lot of willows around the pond, I could fell a couple of dozen of them into the pond for cover. How much is a lot of shiners for a 2 acre pond?

What about crawfish for the detritus?


Don Tabor
Chesapeake VA
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531652 03/07/21 10:42 PM
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Crawfish can't hurt, but without cover to hide in they will be quick snacks too. The Golden Shiners spawn on grassy areas that are submerged or underwater weeds that are within a few feet of the water surface. I've seen them spawning on a flooded lawn that was only 6" deep. Willows will help but I'd be careful with them because the shoots that you cut off could sprout in the pond and root, making more willows that you might have to battle later.


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Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531677 03/08/21 03:11 PM
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@esshup

Do you have a stocking recomendation for adding shiners to an existing pond, or is the answer "how deep is your wallet?"


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531679 03/08/21 03:22 PM
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Something that popped into my head while reading this was that Crappies are primarily filter feeders until they reach around 6" in length. Could be worth a shot? Of course, once they reach 6", they become primarily piscivorous and might compete with Bass for food, but their offspring would also become food for the Bass, so maybe it'd even out.

I know, I know, there's no such as a balanced pond. It's always leaning in one direction or the other.

Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
CityDad #531691 03/08/21 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
@esshup

Do you have a stocking recomendation for adding shiners to an existing pond, or is the answer "how deep is your wallet?"


Since you already have bass in there, the first thing I would do is make sure that I had habitat in place for the shiners to reproduce and to help them hide from predation. Then it's see how fat your wallet is. LOL

I have little habitat in my pond for reproduction and for cover because of the water fluctuating in depth all year long. The only rhyme or reason is due to the amount of rainfall. When I say fluctuation, I mean it. Take now for example. My pond was at full pool June 2020. If my pond was only 9 feet deep, right now I would have less than 24" of water in the deepest part. It's gone from roughly 1.2 surface acres to less than 0.5 surface acres. All due to the ground water levels here in this area.

I stocked 200 Golden Shiners in my pond that were 9"-11" long. I had a Largemouth Bass population in there, and larger Channel Cats. Those GS didn't last more than 1-2 months.

Doesn't matter what fish it is, if there are LMB in the pond the majority of the stockers will get eaten if there isn't cover/habitat in there to help them evade predation. One year I netted out close to 3,000 Bluegill from a clients pond, in addition to close to 1,000 mutt goldfish. The goldfish went to feed the buzzards and 'coons, the Bluegill (2"-5") went into my pond. This was in October and when Spring rolled around I didn't see any coming to feed - the predators in the pond ate them all, or the majority of them over the winter.


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Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531734 03/09/21 12:49 PM
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Shiners like chilling in grass when they aren't in open water right? Yea I've got a good spot for that, and a big spot of lillypads.

https://imgur.com/a/qQGL9Jv
^^^ Link to map and notes on my pond structure.

Last edited by CityDad; 03/09/21 01:26 PM.

Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531743 03/09/21 01:27 PM
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Shiners are more of an open water species, and only go to the grassy areas to spawn.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #531790 03/09/21 08:25 PM
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I have plenty of that.... Not sure what structure I'd put in for them to hide in?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
CityDad #532024 03/13/21 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
I have plenty of that.... Not sure what structure I'd put in for them to hide in?


Shiners don't "hide" much, they are more of an open water fish as adults. The key is to have ample spawning habitat for them. https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=107951

Last edited by esshup; 03/13/21 01:40 PM.

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Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #532485 03/19/21 03:20 PM
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I have tons of shiners in my pond. They will help with your green pond issue, no doubt. However, they will be competing with your panfish. If you use feeders they will eat the feed. If bass is your priority, shiners are probably a good way to go. If panfish are your priority I'd avoid them.

You might try tilapia when it warms. Good thing about them is they die off when it gets cold so you don't have to worry about them causing long term damage to your pond balance. Plus they make great bass food because they reproduce like crazy when it gets warm enough. I'm adding some this year just for the bass forage.

Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
Don Tabor #532562 03/21/21 06:06 PM
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Don't the bluegill fry and plankton make use of the bloom?

I added 70lbs of shiners to my slightly less than 2 ac pond last year and not many survived to breed. That said I think I may be seeing a few surviors now tho they may just be large fathead minnows. Suprisingly the fathead minnows seem to have become well established.

Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
nvcdl #532568 03/21/21 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nvcdl
Don't the bluegill fry and plankton make use of the bloom?

I added 70lbs of shiners to my slightly less than 2 ac pond last year and not many survived to breed. That said I think I may be seeing a few surviors now tho they may just be large fathead minnows. Suprisingly the fathead minnows seem to have become well established.

The shiners may have been consumed over the winter by any bass in the pond. If you can stock some more in the next few weeks, and you have grassy areas that are in less than 24" of water they might pull off a spawn this Spring if you can get shiners 3"-4" in length.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
esshup #532849 03/25/21 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by nvcdl
Don't the bluegill fry and plankton make use of the bloom?

I added 70lbs of shiners to my slightly less than 2 ac pond last year and not many survived to breed. That said I think I may be seeing a few surviors now tho they may just be large fathead minnows. Suprisingly the fathead minnows seem to have become well established.

The shiners may have been consumed over the winter by any bass in the pond. If you can stock some more in the next few weeks, and you have grassy areas that are in less than 24" of water they might pull off a spawn this Spring if you can get shiners 3"-4" in length.

I stocked plenty of larger ones last year. i figure if none survived it is pointless to stock more.

Re: Bridging the gap between plankton and bass
nvcdl #532853 03/25/21 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nvcdl
Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by nvcdl
Don't the bluegill fry and plankton make use of the bloom?

I added 70lbs of shiners to my slightly less than 2 ac pond last year and not many survived to breed. That said I think I may be seeing a few surviors now tho they may just be large fathead minnows. Suprisingly the fathead minnows seem to have become well established.

The shiners may have been consumed over the winter by any bass in the pond. If you can stock some more in the next few weeks, and you have grassy areas that are in less than 24" of water they might pull off a spawn this Spring if you can get shiners 3"-4" in length.

I stocked plenty of larger ones last year. i figure if none survived it is pointless to stock more.

That depends. If some survive and can pull off a spawn, you might have more survive than you stocked originally. It all depends on the cover you have in the pond. I stocked over 200 @ 9"-11" and they didn't last a year but that was because I didn't have cover for them to pull off a successful spawn.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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