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I’m in the mountains of north Georgia and have a small 1/8 acre pond with a few bass and no forage fish population yet. I’m in the process of building some rock pile habitats to help establish the forage. This pond is fed by a continuous inflow of creek water from a 2” pvc pipe so the water stays at or below 70 degrees and relatively clean.

I have 2 creeks on the property and I see some pools with a lot of small fish I have not yet identified but I I’d like to catch some and introduce them to the pond and see if they can establish a sustaining population. Most of them are 2”-3” but in one larger pool there are some 6”-8”.

Would there be a good reason not to catch some of these and put them in with the bass and if it’s ok, what type of traps would you recommend I use to try and catch some of these? The creeks are preset small and shallow but the pools are maybe 2-4 feet deep.

Thanks,
Bruce

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Bruce,

If you have a 2" pipe running from the creek into your pond, then some (all?) of the creek species are going to eventually end up in your pond!

IMHO, actively managing your bass(?) pond will yield much better results than just stocking a few possible forage fish from the creeks. I would recommend you decide on your goals for the pond, then search the forum for stocking advice for your type of pond. Your bass absolutely need an established forage population. They will quickly eliminate most types of minnows. Your best bet in Georgia is probably some type of Bluegill & Bass pond. (You should have several options on the type of Bluegill you choose, depending upon your area of Georgia.)

Only having a 1/8th of an acre pond will put some limitations on your management options. But on the other hand, if your pond gets out of balance, then you can easily drain it and start over!

Once you come up with your main plan, THEN you can decide if any of the creek species are beneficial, and which absolutely must be excluded! (Try to learn as much fish identification as you can for the species in your creeks. You can post pictures on the forum for help on the ones you cannot identify.)

I had a similar problem for my pond design, since I was pumping water from a creek with many species of game fish and forage fish. Below is a link to that thread where I was given lots of good advice.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=527981#Post527981

Good luck on your new pond project!

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Thanks for your insight and suggestions Rod. My long term plan is do just as you mention, establish some habitat and then stock a couple of different forage species as permanent populations. With the small size of this pond I don’t expect to pull many bass out each year but that’s ok.

This thread was intended more for getting info about trapping and identifying the native creek species I have here to possibly serve as near term forage for the bass while I work towards getting everything in place for the long term solution.

Where the 2” pipe inlet is located, the creek is small and flow is fast so I don’t think any of the native fish are making it into the pond. With the constant flow of water thru the pond, it is relatively clear so it’s easy to see what’s there and I don’t see any small fish other than the few spawning bass which is the reason for considering introducing some just to see what happens.

I’m thinking about trying the torpedo shaped minnow traps to at least catch some and identify what’s in the creek. We occasionally throw out some pellet game fish food and they readily feed on it. The bass will have nothing to do with it in the pond so they are living off the limited insect and frog populations.

Bruce.

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Bruce,

Here are some links to some recent "minnow trap" threads. (There are further links to older posts inside of both of those threads.)

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=530977#Post530977

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=524393#Post524393

Have fun determining the fish populations of your creeks!

P.S. Hopefully, you have some "legal child labor" to help you with this project. My kids always liked the surprises you would find when you checked the traps!

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The common pill shaped minnow traps with the two inverted cones on either end work well for creek use. Make sure you get the "minnow" trap and not the crawdad trap. They look identical, but the crawdad trap has larger holes in the ends of the cones. My pill shaped "crawdad" trap rarely keeps a fish due to the larger hole, but does great for the craws. The cloverleaf traps in Rod's second link work really well for small creek fish and craws, but better for the fish. A similar trap to the cloverleaf called a "Z" trap has a good reputation too.

I think your goal should be to get a reproducing forage fish population going asap, as I think you know. You will be hard pressed to trap enough creek fish to merely feed the LMB. My creek harbors a large variety of pan fish. Mostly GSF, some BG, and mixed/hybrids of GSF & BG. The creek also has some very vibrant sunfish, maybe long-ears or red-breasted and a variety of minnows. Like you, I sampled my creek and tried to ID it's inhabitants and found that the minnows were not suited for pond life and that I was not fond of transplanting miscellaneous panfish into a pond that I wanted more control of with regards to my goals. It was a fun and informative venture, however. Your options may differ since you have a constant throughput of water.

I suspect with a small LMB pond, you will need plenty of forage fish and that the LMB will produce their own to cannibalize. Your pond will produce copious amount of LMB, but without routine harvesting of the LMB...they will overpopulate quickly and stunt. Expect to remove many LMB at the 10-14" range each year. This will remove many hungry mouths and leave more food for the remaining LMB to grow on.

Look into Relative Weights of LMB. This will help you determine if a caught fish is growing well or if it is lacking in food. This will also help to decide which fish to cull and which to return to the pond.


Fish on!,
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I’ve been trapping some of the native creek species over last couple of weekends and need a little help identifying what I’ve caught. I think the first photo is creek chub which is the most prevalent but not sure about the second one. Any help is much appreciated.
Bruce.


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I think you have the first fish correctly identified as a creek chub. Creek chubs are a very common fish in all of eastern USA. Best photos of the any unknown fish are taken with the fish in water in a small snack sized plastic bag so the fins are held out naturally. Fin shape, location, and structure is very important for identifying fish.
Georgia has some unique to the SE USA freshwater fishes so many members here are not familiar with all the available options for correct names of GA fishes. For your best information, check out and study the link that has some pretty good pictures for fishes of GA. Then when you decide on a name for your specimen, do some further internet searching of your choice to help you verify if it is reasonably correct. Get us some better more natural pictures of your unknowns and we can try and help verify your choice of a name.

http://fishesofgeorgia.uga.edu/index.php?page=home

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/15/21 10:41 AM.

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
I think you have the first fish correctly identified as a creek chub. Creek chubs are a very common fish in all of eastern USA. Best photos of the any unknown fish are taken with the fish in water in a small snack sized plastic bag so the fins are held out naturally. Fin shape, location, and structure is very important for identifying fish.
Georgia has some unique to the SE USA freshwater fishes so many members here are not familiar with all the available options for correct names of GA fishes. For your best information, check out and study the link that has some pretty good pictures for fishes of GA. Then when you decide on a name for your specimen, do some further internet searching of your choice to help you verify if it is reasonably correct. Get us some better more natural pictures of your unknowns and we can try and help verify your choice of a name.

http://fishesofgeorgia.uga.edu/index.php?page=home


To add to what Bill is saying, sometimes you have to count the rays in the fins to properly ID a fish species.That's why getting a picture of the fins being held out naturally is important.


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Dahlonega is a beautiful place BTW.

I was trying to get a pond up in that area for myself but ended up buying one here in FL


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


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Good job on the creek trapping, Bruce!

And you know the old saying,

"A minnow in the hand is worth a 1,000 in the creek."

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I'm still working to trap another of those unidentified fish i had posted a photo of. Tried some raw bacon in the minnow trap for a couple of days and nothing. I was stunned that there is a living creature out there that doesn't love bacon...lol.

Now that tropical storm Fred has passed thru north Ga, I can go back out to reset traps tonight.

Bruce.

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Originally Posted by BruceC
I'm still working to trap another of those unidentified fish i had posted a photo of. Tried some raw bacon in the minnow trap for a couple of days and nothing. I was stunned that there is a living creature out there that doesn't love bacon...lol.

Now that tropical storm Fred has passed thru north Ga, I can go back out to reset traps tonight.

Bruce.

Try commercial fish food. like you would feed to the fish in the pond.


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Fish food pellets is a great trap bait. Dog food works well too. Haven't tried cat food, but I'd bet on it. Put it in a sock and bread tie it to the inside of the trap.


Fish on!,
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Cheesy Poofs are the best, but they don't hold up well if there's much current.

Cheap, greasy, dog food is my go-to when I want to catch creek minnows.

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I used fish pellets wrapped in cheese cloth to do my initial trapping which worked fine. I really just tried the bacon to see what would happen and got surprised at the result.


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