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#536706 06/19/21 10:48 PM
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My 1/2acre pond is 2 years old and was stocked with bass and bluegill/hybrid sunfish about 1.5 years ago. I have added 5-10lbs FHM 3 times over the last 2 years and I am feeding twice per day 3 seconds, all the food gets eaten within 3 minutes. Initially stocked with 75 LMB and 500 BG/HBG added 100 RES since. Any advice? Should I harvest, add more forage, feed more, etc? [Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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The Hybrid Bluegills won't reproduce enough to produce enough forage for the bass, neither will the Redears. Fatheads won't do much, it's like you trying to gain weight picking up pieces of popcorn off the living room floor to eat. Bass over about 8" have to expend more calories to catch one than they get in return.

To put one pound of weight on one bass it has to eat 10# of fish..... Are your bass feed trained and eating the food?

I'd up the feeding time and make sure you are feeding a good quality food. I have all my customers that feed using Optimal Fish Food - the fish do really well on it.

I'd also start taking out the skinny bass, take out 15 pounds this year.

If we stock ponds where the pond owner wants the bass to grow fast, we stock 30 bluegill to 1 bass. (Not Hybrid Bluegills - regular bluegills)


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The bass do not eat the feed. So I should harvest some of the small ones, maybe add more copper nose bluegill and possibly add some golden shiners? Should I harvest any hybrids now or would that make any difference in the growth of the bass?

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+1 what esshup suggested.


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Are the skinny ones the small ones? Definitely add more CNBG, BUT you will have to add adults that are about 1/2 the length of the bass or add a LOT of smaller ones because 50% or more most likely will get eaten. Better to remove 15# of bass first then add the CNBG. With the bass in there now, and being that body condition, I doubt many Golden Shiners will survive.


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All the ones I catch seem to be about the same size and body type I guess. I'm gonna start on removing 15lbs. Thanks for the advice.

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That's typical of a LMB stunted pond. They have enough food to get to the length that they are, but once that size not enough food to sustain them.

Your initial stocking was 150 LMB per acre which is fine for a pond where you want to manage for large panfish, but if you want LMB of any size you need to remove a lot. Once you get out the 15# of LMB (remember I said pounds, not number of fish) then you can think about adding more CNBG. If you don't add more CNBG, then take out probably closer to 20# and you might have to do that every year. You will need to remove a minimum of 10# of LMB per year once you get the LMB back up to 100% relative weight. There is a chart for that in the archives.


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Fish fry next weekend! Thanks again for your help.

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With LMB the size shown in the pic you can add 5 in BG to help with forage reproduction. That size BG will spawn this summer. But be sure to habituate the BG at stocking to help with survival. Also remove LMB as suggested.
















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Like others have said, the Hybrid Bluegills were probably the reason for the small bass, due to their lack of reproduction. I believe they can only spawn with other BGs and GSF, but not themselves, so if you only stocked Hybrids, they're not spawning at all, and your Bass are starving. Golden Shiners might be worth it if you can get some bigger ones that won't get eaten immediately. Best bet, stock adult Bluegills, take out the skinny bass and maybe take out some of the Hybrid BGs as well (if your goal is to grow large bass - you don't need/want them). They're not supplying any forage for your bass.


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I initially stocked with 250 1-2" Coppernose BG and 50 RES and 5 lbs Fathead minnows in August of 2019.

Then in Nov. 2019 I ordered from a company called Jones Fish Hatcheries out of Ohio which delivered 100 4-6 "Bluegill Sunfish" (this is what I thought was regular bluegill but I'm now thinking that they were hybrids) and 50 6-8 inch "Bluegill Sunfish" , also 75 3-4" LMB and their supplemental forage fish stocking for 1/2 acre.

I am thinking now that I added way more hybrid BG and way less regular BG than I had intended. They have on their website "Bluegill Sunfish" and "Hybrid Bluegill" but I am now wondering if they accidentally sent me the hybrids... I attached a pic and now that I look at it the "Bluegill Sunfish" in the pic from the website doesn't really look like a regular bluegill to me with the bright yellow belly? I dunno...

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Those are all artist renderings, so they sometimes take liberty with colors.....


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Originally Posted by Steve_
...I believe they can only spawn with other BGs and GSF, but not themselves, so if you only stocked Hybrids...

This is a common misconception. I think fish suppliers pass this on for some reason.. Just for the record, HBG can reproduce all by themselves. The first cross bred results have a very high male to female ratio [mostly male]. This high ratio to males continues into the next generations, but it is said to equalize as the generations continue. Some even say that future generations take on more of the GSF traits. This high male count is what limits them as a forage producer, hence the lack of food for LMB.

I recently added CC to my hybrid only pond and added straight BG as well to help with forage. The HBG have spawned every year since they were stocked 4 years ago, but not alot. Certainly mot enough to feed CC let alone LMB.


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there is much we don't know - info from prior threads

There is some scientific evidence that HBG can't backcross with BG and some to the contrary. In all the cases I have found even if HBG can back cross with BG the fecundity is very low ( several hundred vs 20 to 50 thousand for BG X BG).

I know I have posted this before but the studies are in conflict wrt the ability of HBG to backcross with either parental species. One says yes one says no. Both were well done studies and some very good scientists were involved and so far there is no answer for the different results. Some of us have even contacted fisheries geneticist PhDs at the highest level who have written on sunfish genetics and they have no answer as most have not studied HBG cross genetics.

Stop and think about that. If HBG can not backcross with parentals then they can not ever create or get genetically close producing GSF , even through repeated spawning attempts with GSF. If they can backcross then through repeated crossing of HBG with GSF for generations the population as a whole will have a higher content of GSF genes.

GSF can not come from crossing BG and HBG. There is even a question if HBG can backcross with either parent species. IMO best guess is they can backcross. GSF are a species and BG are a species and HBG are a cross between the two. Over time certain traits (good or bad) can become more predominate through outbreeding depression or hybrid vigor. Over very long periods of time a distinct population can change so that its outward traits (not necessarily genetics) are closer to GSF or BG.

Pros and cons of HBG? - Pond Boss Forum https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthre...ords=backcross&Search=true#Post24189 - Finally, we found that reciprocal crosses often show asymmetrical hybrid viabilities.

We discuss several alternative explanations for this result including possible deleterious cytonuclear interactions

Last edited by ewest; 06/22/21 10:45 AM.















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I have been catching some bigger ones today, 14 inches and 1.4lbs isn't that skinny right? I have taken out a couple 1.2 ponders that were also around 14" but I released the ones that were a bit bigger. I still plan to take out 10 pounds total today and have a fish fry tonight. I just wanna make sure I'm not taking out the healthier ones.

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Originally Posted by Quarter Acre
Originally Posted by Steve_
...I believe they can only spawn with other BGs and GSF, but not themselves, so if you only stocked Hybrids...

This is a common misconception. I think fish suppliers pass this on for some reason.. Just for the record, HBG can reproduce all by themselves. The first cross bred results have a very high male to female ratio [mostly male]. This high ratio to males continues into the next generations, but it is said to equalize as the generations continue. Some even say that future generations take on more of the GSF traits. This high male count is what limits them as a forage producer, hence the lack of food for LMB.

I recently added CC to my hybrid only pond and added straight BG as well to help with forage. The HBG have spawned every year since they were stocked 4 years ago, but not alot. Certainly mot enough to feed CC let alone LMB.

Well, between your post and what ewest said, I'm really confused now lol. I could've swore I even heard Mr. Lusk on one of his videos state the HBG can only breed with their parental species and not each other. Or maybe its due to the fact that ~90% of HBG are males (or am I wrong about that, too?).

Either way, I think its an accurate statement to conclude that you don't want HBG as your main forage fish if you're trying to grow LMB. Also, when hybrids of any species reproduce, aren't their F2 offspring inferior to their F1 parents? And don't they continue to get more inferior as they create F3, F4, etc. offspring?

Originally Posted by volguy9595
I have been catching some bigger ones today, 14 inches and 1.4lbs isn't that skinny right? I have taken out a couple 1.2 ponders that were also around 14" but I released the ones that were a bit bigger. I still plan to take out 10 pounds total today and have a fish fry tonight. I just wanna make sure I'm not taking out the healthier ones.

A 14-inch bass should weigh 1.5 pounds, so your 1.4 pounder is around 93% relative weight. Not skinny, but slightly underweight.

https://www.aces.edu/blog/topics/fi...easy-to-measure-index-of-fish-condition/

Last edited by Steve_; 06/25/21 03:22 PM.

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Steve_, the high proportion of males has a lot to do with lower reproduction. As to fertility and viability the literature isn't always in agreement. Fertility is the ability of crosses to produce gametes and engage in reproductive activities. Viability deals with whether those gametes can form viable unions that result in hatch fry that can grow up. As far as I know, all lepomis first generation crosses highly proportioned to be fertile and viable. They sometimes do not succeed in attracting mates with parental species. Some work and some researchers challenge even hybrid vigor ... but to be sure there is out depression and the offspring of lepomis Fx can be an odd lot.

I have read that although the F1 generation can generally cross and backcross ... subsequent Fx have much lower fertility and viability rates which greatly affects reproduction. This is true of F1 backcrosses and F1 crosses with F1s. There is at least one F1 cross that produces completely infertile polyploid offspring (BG x PKS). It is thought that lower fertility and viability of Fx offspring provides barriers to genetic infusion between species of lepomis. In other words, it is widely thought that hybridization doesn't lead to new species or help to bring new genes into a species from another. Environment and genetic mutation are thought to contribute most to speciation.


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Thanks for the info. I’ve heard several times from reputable sources that Hybrid Bluegill (BGxGSF) cannot spawn with their own kind. I’ve also heard, like you said, that the high male to female ratio is what makes their reproduction low, not that they aren’t viable, which makes more sense. Ability vs. viability.


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Could you guys tell me from this video if most of these are HBG or BG?

video

Last edited by volguy9595; 06/26/21 03:10 PM.
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Those look like regular Bluegills, but to be sure you need to get one in your hand and take a good clear picture of the side of the fish paying attention to it's cheek and the anal/dorsal fin posterior margins.

Last edited by esshup; 06/26/21 04:20 PM.

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