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16 lb bass
#535270 05/17/21 10:15 AM
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I oversee our POA 4 acre lake. We have a thriving CNBG population, FHM, and growing LMB population. A new resident has a strange request. She has this 16+ pound bass that Texas Parks and Wildlife will relocate to our POA lake. She is asking for permission to add it to our lake. My first thought is YES. But then how would this affect other fish and will our lake be able to adequately "grow" this bass? Our lake is about 5 years old and our largest bass caught to date is around 7+ pounds.

I've tentatively given her the go-ahead. Do I need to do anything to accommodate this bass? I'm thinking of adding more structure deeper in the lake to give it some better loafing areas.

Suggestions are very appreciated!
David

Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535275 05/17/21 11:02 AM
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Good question. My concern will be the chance of stress on a fish that size by restocking. Can you feed it? Bass need prey that is approximately 1/4 to 1/3 their size. It’s a matter of calories obtained vs energy expended.


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Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535288 05/17/21 01:41 PM
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travlinman, how is your population of 7.25 to 9.5 inch BG? If bass really need prey that is 1/4 to 1/3 their length, and you have a lot of them, then it should easily grow to 20 lbs in year and you could boast the state record. But if you have a whole bunch of 7.25 to 9.5 in BG and it really needs 5 to 6 in BG, its going to start starving from the time you put it in.

IMHO the 7 lb bass that represent the top of your food chain will allow very little food to pass to the size this 16 lb LMB optimally needs. But if there are a lot of 7.25 to 9.5 inch BG while BG in the 5in to 7in sizes are relatively uncommon ... this would be a great test of whether that big bass needs 7.25 to 9.5 BG or whether it need 5" to 6" BG. Here are the risks to you:

If the 16 lb LMB needs 7.25 to 9.5 in BG, you might find that consumption of these BG will stress the production of BG YOY that will be evident a year from now as reduced LMB RW of the existing population. You would see good growth and relative weight of the 16 lb LMB.

If the 16 lb LMB needs 5 to 6 in BG, there is little risk to you. The 16 lber will probably decline substantially while the existing population is not much affected. The choice is yours but I think the likely outcome is the second one.


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Re: 16 lb bass
Dave Davidson1 #535291 05/17/21 02:00 PM
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thanks for the reply's. I have a healthy population of CNBG up to about 1.5 lbs. They are fed every day and I monitor their health monthly.
I've got the ok to add Tilapia to the lake and larger golden shiners. Tilapia last year did well.....until the storm of the century. But the tilapia that were in the lake before the freeze were up to about 2 pounds before they bit the dust. Also have a very good population of Red Ear which had a very good hatch this year. Those 5 YO RE were over 1 pound.

Another question........at what depth does a 16 pound bass spend it's summers? Max lake depth is 20 feet. I'm considering adding structure to the deepest section (away from the reach of land-based fisher-kids) to give the big lady (Gertrude) some loafing cover.

Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535292 05/17/21 02:06 PM
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IMHO, this fish will likely never grow, in fact it's more likely it will decline and die.
Lusk had a very good example of a gent spending many 1,000's of dollars on large fish to make a trophy pond, including stocking 1000's of appropriate sized BG to support them.
When they are grown in one place they are programmed to continue in the same manner, which we know can never be duplicated.
My personal opinion.

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Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535294 05/17/21 02:11 PM
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I don't think it will grow, and will probably decline and die, from what I have read. The bigger bass around here (up to 11 lbs) in farm ponds thrive on gizzard shad.

Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535295 05/17/21 02:55 PM
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Lusk says 30-40% of mature fish stocked decline following introduction to new environment - good to remember this intel based on his professional experience.

If it were me, I would build a 10x10x5 floating cage and hand feed the fish until it routinely feeds on BG, Tilapia or Catfish fillets, etc. Once trained I would release and likely would have a resident trophy "pet" living beneath my dock I could feed at my leisure. I do this with my WE, SMB, YP, and BCP and feed 5x weekly - they're always present and ready to hammer cut BG and grow very fast.


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Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535298 05/17/21 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Lusk had a very good example of a gent spending many 1,000's of dollars on large fish to make a trophy pond, including stocking 1000's of appropriate sized BG to support them.

Snipe, I think for a transplant to be successful the pond must show its capable of producing LMB of that size. If the fish in pond are not on track to grow to 16 lbs ... there is no way there is sufficient forage to support LMB of that size. This is simply a matter of food availability.

I doubt that Lusk advised the man but someone probably did and there is ... where advice goes awry ... a tendency to find a scapegoat for the recipe failing. I'll mention, that ideas about appropriate sized BG are evolving toward smaller sizes. The original assumptions of laterally compressed prey between 1/4 and 1/3 LMB length were formed many years ago. They were not formed from observations of LMB naturally feeding, they were formed by taking measurements of gape and prey dimensions and whether a fish of a given size could be pushed into the gullet. No evidence exists from sampling wild fish that such preconceived optimum lengths are realized. The opinion that these prey lengths are optimum is so ingrained that authors of the paper demonstrating contrary evidence have been especially careful to allow the possibility of the status quo. They did this despite the complete absence of any evidence supporting the consensus being careful to distinguish between "realized" and "optimum or preferred". Of course, if we allow that "realized" prey are not "optimum or preferred" then we entertain the idea that we are allowed to believe in things unsupported by evidence. Old ideas sometime die very slowly and this is but one example.

If in the case above, the pond owner and his advisor stocked 1000's of appropriately sized BG that in retrospect were too large and too many based on new evidence ... they sealed the fate of those large bass from the beginning irrespective of any habits the big old bass may have had. I do agree, that LMB become tuned to successfully capture prey they grew up with. But on the other hand, if the LMB were raised on BG ... why wouldn't BG be sufficient prey upon transfer? I wouldn't think it would be too difficult replicate prey availability. Probably more important are cover and other factors like water clarity and quality. In the end, I would bet that the pond could never have grown the bass at the number and weights stocked so it was doomed as it was imagined.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/18/21 06:33 PM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535300 05/17/21 07:30 PM
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In my uninformed opinion, 16 lb LMB are extremely rare because the conditions necessary for such growth are extremely rare. Not just genetics.


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, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 207



Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535310 05/18/21 05:02 AM
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If I had access to a 16lb bass and could transplant it safety, then I would do it. At least I would know that I had the genetics in the pond. My biggest so far was 6.4lbs. But consider that I am hoping to start a small blue catfish and black crappie pond, so I like to experiment. Now I just need a local source of blue catfish.

Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535311 05/18/21 06:20 AM
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This is an opportunity that won't ever come up again, Take the trophy and wish and hope it makes it through next year's spawn. It might make it through the transfer and survive. Maybe net off a large area where you can provide the right size and type of forage the fish wants. I think that would give the large lmb a good shot at surviving the transfer. Then after a time-release the fish by dropping the net and let it swim off into the sunset.


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Re: 16 lb bass
TGW1 #535318 05/18/21 10:55 AM
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All great information. I have no illusions that this fish will gain weight. In fact it will probably be the opposite. I do want to create an environment where it will be relatively stress-free and allowed to reproduce at least one time. This lake was only stocked 5 years ago so the fact that we currently have 7+ pound bass seems to be an indicator that the conditions are pretty good.

I've been aggressive taking out smaller bass to make sure the forage base is maximized. In the past three years I've taken out well over 350 pounds of bass under 14 inches.

Any ideas on "loafing cover" for Gertrude?

Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535322 05/18/21 01:00 PM
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Add structure from deep (bottom) to surface in several spots and let her choose. See structure archive for ideas.
















Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535324 05/18/21 01:10 PM
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Would think a 16# bass would likely eat the largest forage that smaller bass couldn't eat. Even if it doesn't grow it would add it's genetics to the pond if it can spawn.

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Re: 16 lb bass
travlinman #535325 05/18/21 01:46 PM
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JUST DO IT.

And add more feeders and some additional forage maybe, since it will eat a LOT (we hope)


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


5-20 Acres in Florida. Bass/Tilapia/Bowfin/Gator
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