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#534413 04/26/21 08:17 PM
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Stocked 100 YP April 2019. 1/2 acre in Central Ohio. Bottom Aeration.

Just took my first fish survey measurements. It appears I have two class of fish that I'm currently catching by hook and line.

Those in the 9.75 - 10.25" range and those in the 7.5" range.

I'm at around 85% RW across the 10 YP I sampled.

I have no idea what this means other than feed more pellets... I guess?

Last edited by bcraley; 04/26/21 08:18 PM.
bcraley #534423 04/27/21 06:20 AM
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You may be seeing sexual dimorphism in action - larger females, smaller males.

Maybe Bill Cody will grace us with a more knowledgeable response.


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Theo Gallus #534465 04/27/21 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
You may be seeing sexual dimorphism in action - larger females, smaller males.

Maybe Bill Cody will grace us with a more knowledgeable response.

That's my immediate thought.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
esshup #534496 04/28/21 11:42 AM
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Good thought. I hadn't even considered the difference in size between the females and males.

How much of a concern is my 85% RW average?

bcraley #534497 04/28/21 12:56 PM
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Hungry fish are probably the most likely to take bait.

100 YP does not seem too many for 1/2 acre.

What else is in the pond for them to eat and to compete with them?

If they take pellets, keep feeding. High protein fish feed (> 40%).


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bcraley #534514 04/28/21 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bcraley
How much of a concern is my 85% RW average?


I wouldn't worry yet, they are post spawn.


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bcraley #534520 04/28/21 08:25 PM
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esshup has it correct. Your low RW yellow perch soon after post spawn is normal. Recheck and compare the RW in mid to late June when the YP have had some time to eat and add body weight and some fat deposits.


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Bill Cody #539089 08/23/21 11:19 AM
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Little late on this, but figured an update was in order.

Had family in town and we fished a bunch over the weekend. I'll get RW info posted soon. But my YP and SMB are in excellent body shape. There's nothing skinny about either species.

I attempted to source SpotFin Shiners locally last spring, but failed, mostly due to timing. So I did a small stocking of GSH last Fall to supplement my FHM that were diminishing. I must of had some GSH make it through the winter because I have quite a few GSH YOY in the pond. I regularly see these schools of YOY being crashed by predators. I know I've been told that a large population of GSH will diminish my YP recruitment. I intentionally stocked a small number so that they are controlled, but give my predators another option in the lunch line. I hope to try again next spring for SpotFins.


What I did learn this weekend, however, is that my RES have absolutely had a population explosion. We are catching RES that are 3-5" one after another. Using a clover leaf trap, I'll have 5-6 RES in the trap after only a short 15 minute soak. Also had a few small less than 6" YP in the trap. So there's also some YP recruitment. We caught several YP over 10".

I've also learned that I've had quite a bit of SMB recruitment, catching quite a few SMB under 8 inches. So much so that I need to come up with a culling program IMO. Also of note, is that I'm seeing some of my newly recruited SMB feeding on pellets.

So my question is, how do I keep things going where I'm growing large YP and decent SMB. I don't care too much about the RES as they are primarily a forage source for the SMB. Slot limits? If so, how do I set those in term of sizes to take out of each species?

bcraley #539096 08/23/21 01:50 PM
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Many questions here and most will fall back on if you want large SMB, large YP, etc..
One thing I can add on your hunt for additional forage is SFS are very specific in their habitat requirements for spawning. I've spent 3 yrs playing with the spotfin and have had very little success. Bill Cody probably has had more success than anyone else I know of.
I have also been playing with Red shiner and Bluntnose minnow-both are recruiting outstandingly. In fact, in my 3 ponds I have FHM and BNM, the BNM is out-producing the FHM. The red shiners have exploded also. This years fry are 75% BNM, 25% FHM.
I'm trying to trap and separate RSH but they just keep showing up. I'm seeing lots of fry the last couple of weeks in my main pond of which I am pretty sure are Red shiner because I see the same late fry stages in my other ponds right now,
You need to decide what your main goal is and a plan can be implemented to start culling where needed. I don't think the RES will be a problem but large YP and large SMB will be a bit more complicated. Decide what you want and I'm sure you'll be directed in the right manner to get close to what it is you expect.
I will add one more thing.. The SMB are not keying on RES in a major way or you would see much fewer.. To me this indicates SMB are keying in on another forage type.

Last edited by Snipe; 08/23/21 01:52 PM.
bcraley #539101 08/23/21 04:30 PM
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Snipe, I'd love to know what you tried and how you struggled with the spotfins. Maybe we can combine our experience and find out what is different.

I have really done nothing unusual in my pond. The SFS are exploding. The first 2 summers I put in a few spawning devices (2 stacks of CDs, 2 stacks of plastic cardboard) The CDs had eggs, the plastic cardboard did not. I saw a couple different spawns the first two years.

This summer I placed only 2 CD stacks but also put in 4 pallets and also a tire with exposed treads (meaning not a bald tire) under the deeper end of the pallet to keep it level on a slope. We have so many SFS fry I fear overpopulation.

The only other change this year is that due to being way too busy and not very strong physically, I left all the algae go. I have algae covering the water from shore out at least 15-20 feet most of the way around the pond. Probably 40% of the total surface area is one mass of algae. But it probably gave lots of cover for the minnows that they didn't have in the past. In the past I chased every strand of algae down and removed it. Whether that is it or not I don't know.

I think the bigger issue may be water chemistry. I'm wondering if a certain pH or hardness or calcium content or lack of calcium or whatever is really the key here. I have a ground water pond, I can fill from my well but have not had to this year as we have had a group of rain events come through that gave enough run off to keep the pond fairly full with soft rain water.

My initial stocked GSH from 7 years ago are pretty much done having any young GSH, I only have the large adult GSH left (6-9" long). No FHM survived after multiple stocking attempts. Probably I could stock now and they would have a place to hide in all those SFS.

Predators are only YP. My attempts to establish RES and LES failed. I'm putting a few bonus pumpkinseed in but so far do not have a reproducing population.

Snipe #539112 08/23/21 07:51 PM
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Snipe -

My goal is to consistently grow large YP. I enjoy them more than I expected.

So ideally, my goal is to grow large yellow perch while also having some SMB to have some fun with. Though they don’t need to be trophy class SMB, with that said, I don’t want the population of SMB to go unchecked and have major stunting. The smallmouth we caught this weekend were puking tiny yoy Golden Shinners. Which I think answers what they are keying on. I assume thruster fairly easy prey since they pretty much just hang out in the open.

Bill Cody sent me info for building spawning discs for SFS, but I either didn’t pick the right creek or I didn’t get them in at the correct time for egg collection. Will try again next spring.

Snipe #539122 08/23/21 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Many questions here and most will fall back on if you want large SMB, large YP, etc..
One thing I can add on your hunt for additional forage is SFS are very specific in their habitat requirements for spawning. I've spent 3 yrs playing with the spotfin and have had very little success. Bill Cody probably has had more success than anyone else I know of.
I have also been playing with Red shiner and Bluntnose minnow-both are recruiting outstandingly. In fact, in my 3 ponds I have FHM and BNM, the BNM is out-producing the FHM. The red shiners have exploded also. This years fry are 75% BNM, 25% FHM.
I'm trying to trap and separate RSH but they just keep showing up. I'm seeing lots of fry the last couple of weeks in my main pond of which I am pretty sure are Red shiner because I see the same late fry stages in my other ponds right now,
You need to decide what your main goal is and a plan can be implemented to start culling where needed. I don't think the RES will be a problem but large YP and large SMB will be a bit more complicated. Decide what you want and I'm sure you'll be directed in the right manner to get close to what it is you expect.
I will add one more thing.. The SMB are not keying on RES in a major way or you would see much fewer.. To me this indicates SMB are keying in on another forage type.

Snipe, that sounds like multiple threads you could start this winter when you get snowed in and stuck on your computer.

What went wrong on the spotfins, what went right on the Red Shiners and the Bluntnose minnows, etc.

bcraley #539123 08/23/21 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bcraley
My goal is to consistently grow large YP. I enjoy them more than I expected.

bcraley,

What exactly are you enjoying the most about your YP?

I only catch them when I go up to my aunt's place in Canada, but I love them. When the walleye aren't biting, the "manly men" get a little pouty. However, I just take the kids out and catch YP. They are fun to catch and mighty tasty!

I want to try a YP pond here in southern Kansas, but I am going to be pushing their desired conditions. I am trying to decide how much I want to spend the extra money for the additional pond depth.

bcraley #539125 08/24/21 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bcraley
Snipe -

My goal is to consistently grow large YP. I enjoy them more than I expected.

So ideally, my goal is to grow large yellow perch while also having some SMB to have some fun with. Though they don’t need to be trophy class SMB, with that said, I don’t want the population of SMB to go unchecked and have major stunting. The smallmouth we caught this weekend were puking tiny yoy Golden Shinners. Which I think answers what they are keying on. I assume thruster fairly easy prey since they pretty much just hang out in the open.

Bill Cody sent me info for building spawning discs for SFS, but I either didn’t pick the right creek or I didn’t get them in at the correct time for egg collection. Will try again next spring.

Ok, Cody can correct me if I get off track but I've found my YP began to suffer at 10-11", or that's where WR dropped below 100%.
The determination was my SMB were consuming forage that was also needed for the same general size of YP. At first I thought maybe I needed to thin my YP but the opposite was the case... I needed to thin the SMB to leave more forage available. I culled about 70 SMB from 7-10" last summer and the results have been positive in the changes I see this summer with 13-14" YP with 100-105 WR.
The remaining SMB are faster growing as well so I believe some selective harvest is needed there removing all but the heaviest, healthiest specimens.
I think with the reproductive possibilities of YP, continued effort to remove the mid sizes will be important, and I think I would focus my efforts on removing 7-9" YP. Leave a few of the 5-7" to help with keeping male numbers sufficient for proper fertilization-which in hind-sight, may be best if only 1/3 to 1/2 of the ribbons were actually fertile. A lot depends on how well your YP reproduce so that's something you'll have to monitor and manage accordingly. Some ponds have very high reproduction, others have very little-same with SMB- that can go either way but in 3-1/2 yrs i've found my SMB reproduction has been fairly stable, always have YOY showing up.
I'm going to take a piece from an article Cody wrote because I believe in his substance...Remove any SMB caught that is skinny or sub-par health-wise, it has suffered a lack of food and will never reach it's potential. I believe the same for YP-if they are not staying above 97-98% WR, I don't think these fish will achieve large, healthy condition. If they start dropping below 95%+/- WR, it's time to make some changes. Just like any forage fish, some have to make it through to satisfy the larger sizes of predators. In this case, to get larger YP you may have to remove more SMB AND mid-size YP to get some giants.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by bcraley
My goal is to consistently grow large YP. I enjoy them more than I expected.

bcraley,

What exactly are you enjoying the most about your YP?

I only catch them when I go up to my aunt's place in Canada, but I love them. When the walleye aren't biting, the "manly men" get a little pouty. However, I just take the kids out and catch YP. They are fun to catch and mighty tasty!

I want to try a YP pond here in southern Kansas, but I am going to be pushing their desired conditions. I am trying to decide how much I want to spend the extra money for the additional pond depth.


They are fairly easy to catch, fight hard, take pellets really well and they taste great! What is not to like?

And they spawn only one time per year, which in my mind makes them easier to manage than say BG that spawn almost constantly during warm months.

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bcraley #539134 08/24/21 08:51 AM
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FishinRod, no need to stress about extra deep pond, the YP will do fine where you are at. It must be a myth that they need deep and cold water, as long as you have don't aerate to mix all the water to 80 degrees or warmer they will be fine. I have a shallow pond with a little bit of stratification of temps so that at the 8-10' mark there still is a bit of temp change and they do fine. I try to aerate at night in the warm summer months to try to keep surface temps down a bit.

Go for it!

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Snipe #539135 08/24/21 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Originally Posted by bcraley
Snipe -

My goal is to consistently grow large YP. I enjoy them more than I expected.

So ideally, my goal is to grow large yellow perch while also having some SMB to have some fun with. Though they don’t need to be trophy class SMB, with that said, I don’t want the population of SMB to go unchecked and have major stunting. The smallmouth we caught this weekend were puking tiny yoy Golden Shinners. Which I think answers what they are keying on. I assume thruster fairly easy prey since they pretty much just hang out in the open.

Bill Cody sent me info for building spawning discs for SFS, but I either didn’t pick the right creek or I didn’t get them in at the correct time for egg collection. Will try again next spring.

Ok, Cody can correct me if I get off track but I've found my YP began to suffer at 10-11", or that's where WR dropped below 100%.
The determination was my SMB were consuming forage that was also needed for the same general size of YP. At first I thought maybe I needed to thin my YP but the opposite was the case... I needed to thin the SMB to leave more forage available. I culled about 70 SMB from 7-10" last summer and the results have been positive in the changes I see this summer with 13-14" YP with 100-105 WR.
The remaining SMB are faster growing as well so I believe some selective harvest is needed there removing all but the heaviest, healthiest specimens.
I think with the reproductive possibilities of YP, continued effort to remove the mid sizes will be important, and I think I would focus my efforts on removing 7-9" YP. Leave a few of the 5-7" to help with keeping male numbers sufficient for proper fertilization-which in hind-sight, may be best if only 1/3 to 1/2 of the ribbons were actually fertile. A lot depends on how well your YP reproduce so that's something you'll have to monitor and manage accordingly. Some ponds have very high reproduction, others have very little-same with SMB- that can go either way but in 3-1/2 yrs i've found my SMB reproduction has been fairly stable, always have YOY showing up.
I'm going to take a piece from an article Cody wrote because I believe in his substance...Remove any SMB caught that is skinny or sub-par health-wise, it has suffered a lack of food and will never reach it's potential. I believe the same for YP-if they are not staying above 97-98% WR, I don't think these fish will achieve large, healthy condition. If they start dropping below 95%+/- WR, it's time to make some changes. Just like any forage fish,

some have to make it through to satisfy the larger sizes of predators. In this case, to get larger YP you may have to remove more SMB AND mid-size YP to get some giants.


Snipe - Thank you! I'm curious about what size body of water you are working with?

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5/8 acre..

canyoncreek #539140 08/24/21 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
Go for it!

My temps in southern Kansas are warmer than Snipe's AND I possess about 1/1,000th of his fish management skills!

Our high for today is forecast to be 102 with only a 4-hour window tomorrow morning of temps below 80.

5AM 79
6AM 78
7AM 77
8AM 77

I am worried that my margin for error is going to be pretty thin.

Can you save me some of your cold water next spring right after ice out, and then send it via PM in August when I really need it? laugh

I am pretty sure I could have a good SMB/YP pond under those conditions.

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I can see how your summer temps are higher. Certainly if you went a little deeper that couldn't hurt. The air temp is not the critical issue. The WATER temp is the critical thing. So you would have to sample your water temps right about now and different depths and see if there still is some type of thermal drop off or thermocline that the fish could still get in and have a little cooler water available to them. I agree that Texas ponds where surface temps are 90 and deep temps are nearly 90 are not going to work well with standard YP. The Rio Grande YP strain may be able to tolerate more heat.

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I'm in Central Ohio. I run bottom diffused aeration 24/7 from approx. April to Oct w/ a pond that is 8 feet at it's deepest point. I have not taken a temp recently, but it has to be near or even above 80 with the 90+ heat we've had over the past week.

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Don't overheat your water!! Not sure there is a need to aerate during the day in the summer even in Ohio

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I discussed this idea of turning the aeration off during the day with a few aeration people when I was in the market for purchasing my diffused aeration. I was told by more than one that running it 24/7 will not overheat the water and that the difference in pond water temps running 24/7 v only running at night is negligible and not worth the effort and wear on the pump to turn it on and off. Thought it might save a little on the electric bill.

I'm no expert, but my understanding is that the point of running aeration is to homogenize the entire pond and so therefore turning it off if you pond isn't being completely mixed is somewhat defeating the purpose of aeration.

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Well, esshup and others are much better at aeration theory than I, but I have read alot and listened to the Pond Boss on this topic.

You can calculate air lift and therefore water lift based on your pond size and diffuser lift ability. You can then do fairly simple math and figure how much water you are moving from bottom to top per 24 hours. It isn't bad to turn the whole pond water over (or around and around) once per 24 hours, but you do not need to move the bottom water to the top multiple time in 24 hours. To figure this out you need some knowledge of the brand diffuser disk, the pore size or rating of the membranes, then how many membranes and what depth they are at.

At 8 feet deep you will move more bottom water in all directions as you don't have as far to go up, you actually go up and out all at the same time.

Your depth, aeration membrane efficiency which means how many bubbles and how tiny those bubbles are will make a big difference in how much 'lift' or water movement you get. If you have really good water movement and the water in the bottom of the pond is turning over to the top more than one time a day then it certainly has a chance to get closer to the surface water temps which is NOT what you want.

Cooler water holds more O2, cooler water helps fish stay less stressed, cooler water is your friend when it comes to slowing down algae growth.

I would say the point of aeration is to make sure that there isn't a completely dead zone of low oxygen water below the thermocline. Getting some oxygen to the bottom also helps the air breathing bacteria do their thing to break down muck. Aeration helps avoid build up of toxic sulfide gas that will lead to a fish kill if that dead, toxic water suddenly flips over due to a big rain event or temp swing.

But you can definitely achieve the positive sides of aeration and still avoid overwarming the bottom zone and super heating the pond. I have never heard that it is the goal of aeration to make all the water homogenous in the pond. Certainly i can think of no advantage to having all the water in the pond the same (homogenous) temperature.

I also can't believe I'm adding wear and tear and higher electric costs by turning the pump on once in 24 hours and turning it off once in 24 hours vs keeping it on all the time. Certainly electric costs are low both ways and I would not figure cost into the equation in your scenario.

Can someone else really into aeration help here?
I think it would still be very helpful to know with 24/7 aeration what your temps are say at 2', 4', 6' and 8' depth. IF you still have good stratification despite 24/7 aeration then you are welcome to do as you are unless you desire the bottom to stay a bit cooler, which in that case, you would purposely aerate only during coolest hours of the day during the hottest months of the year.

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I have been running my aeration system in my 10 foot deep pond 24/7 this year and it is the same temp from the bottom to just a few inches from the top or at least within a few degrees. I have also done O2 tests when the system had been running 24/7 and the O2 levels do get better towards the top, but they are much more consistent from top to bottom with the aeration running more than not. I do not get a thermocline in my 1/4 acre pond and my lowest diffuser is 3 feet off the bottom in 10 foot of water. My systems turns my pond over about 4 times a day. I have abandoned the thought of over-heating my pond with 24/7 aeration. I do not have any hard data to support this decision, but I feel that it is better for my pond to have higher DO than lower temps. And, I'm not convinced that it actually heats up the pond.

My heat transfer is very rusty (let's just say non-existent - lol), but the pond soaks up the day's heat regardless of aeration...with aeration on during the day, the pond soaks that heat and it is distributed throughout the churned water column. Without aeration on during the day, the pond soaks up that heat and it stays near the surface. My surface temps get several degrees warmer with the air off. Now, when the air gets turned on at night, all that heat gets mixed into the depths of the pond and what have we done? Pushed that heat back into the water column.

One could argue that the heat could dissipate off the surface at night before the air gets turned on and they could be right. I'd love to see a simple study on that. How many hours would it take? Maybe start the air at midnight and back off at sunrise...maybe?

All I really know is that I got tired of watching my DO and water temps cycle every day and I decided to leave it on 24/7. I believe my fish like to have more consistency in their water conditions compared to slightly cooler (maybe) water and cycling DO and Temperatures.

The end of this week will be a good time to check my pond temps and see what 24/7 aeration has done compared to last years off/on settings. This will be the hottest and most humid week of the year for me.


Fish on!,
Noel
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