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#541194 11/05/21 02:03 PM
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Pond is currently under construction and will fall somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of an acre with 6-12' depth.

My dream goal for the pond is for it to raise large BG, Black Crappie, and Yellow Perch... a tall task as I have been researching. I have no problem investing alot of time into the pond as I'm an avid fish lover. On the other side, my wife wants to pond to be nice and clean for swimming as well.

Here's where I'm at

-Find aeration (looking at a bottom diffuser aeration system based on research here)

-Stocking - Any advice here? I know crappie are challenging but I do have a fish farm nearby that swears they have a strain of pellet trained Black Crappie and Yellow Perch. What do you think about this? I was thinking about HSB as the predator fish along side the frying pan at times

-Structure - What do you recommend for these species? I saw some recommendations for pallets.

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Welcome to Pond Boss.

All first three types of fish you mention like brush piles/X-mas trees as structure, but that structure degrades over the years and needs replaced as time goes on; there are other types of man-made material structures that you can use too.

Yellow Perch and Black Crappies are predators, so maybe HSB may not be needed, or at least may take some 'food' away from the crappie and YP.

You may want to get fathead minnows stocked as soon as you have even a foot or two of water in there, but if that shallow over the winter, you could freeze solid which would kill most of the fatheads if not all of them.

Some swimmers say that bluegill actually bite them when swimming. I've never experienced that, but others swear by it, so keep that in mind.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Some swimmers say that bluegill actually bite them when swimming. I've never experienced that, but others swear by it, so keep that in mind.

Look closely at Sunil's thumbnail photo. Rumor has it, that it pictures him in his actual swimming attire. The heavy jacket and the black, long-distance hole punching device are quite a deterrent to most bluegill! laugh

Lots of people in the forum (including myself) do report that bluegill like to nip swimmers. However, bluegill are the backbone of many productive fishing lakes in the U.S.

There are many threads on the forum that discuss blocking nets, etc. to exclude fish from certain areas of the pond. It may be possible for you to have your bluegills and have you eat THEM, rather than the other way around!

Good luck on your new pond project!

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Thanks for the info!

I was thinking about HSB because it seems like over reproduction can be an issue with Black Crappie and I was worried about LMB hammering the perch. If I’m supplementing fat head minnows as well as pellets do you think I’ll have a shot at a successful endeavor ?

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Rod, I must say that the 'hole-punching device' belongs to Todd3138, and some bluegill may have been killed or injured in usage of said device.

tylerd, I missed that you want some LMB in the mix. Both black crappie and YP need to eat a lot of other forage fish to survive and thrive, so just be aware of if you have enough natural forage for them to eat. If you add in LMB and HSB, they need the same forage base as the BC and YP.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Rod, I must say that the 'hole-punching device' belongs to Todd3138, and some bluegill may have been killed or injured in usage of said device.

tylerd, I missed that you want some LMB in the mix. Both black crappie and YP need to eat a lot of other forage fish to survive and thrive, so just be aware of if you have enough natural forage for them to eat. If you add in LMB and HSB, they need the same forage base as the BC and YP.


No I do not want LMB... I didn't want them because I thought they'd be too large of a predator for the perch. Thanks for the help... pond is near completion so I need to start considering what structure to layout before it fills up!

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I had real good luck with GSH and FHM using 3 of these pallet structures placed in 4-5ft of water along with rock piles. They ended up only have 15 RES as roommates for the first 5-6mo and absolutely took off.

http://www.telwoodworking.com/item-fish-habitat.html

I have not added LMB and will not, just HBS, HBG and YP as main predators with a few SMB and 20 RBT for winter fishing. So far so good, things seem quite happy, hoping for a good spring YP & GSH spawn to keep the cycle going.

Take care and good luck!

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Originally Posted by tylerd1994
Originally Posted by Sunil
Rod, I must say that the 'hole-punching device' belongs to Todd3138, and some bluegill may have been killed or injured in usage of said device.

tylerd, I missed that you want some LMB in the mix. Both black crappie and YP need to eat a lot of other forage fish to survive and thrive, so just be aware of if you have enough natural forage for them to eat. If you add in LMB and HSB, they need the same forage base as the BC and YP.


No I do not want LMB... I didn't want them because I thought they'd be too large of a predator for the perch. Thanks for the help... pond is near completion so I need to start considering what structure to layout before it fills up!

Tylerd, what’s the contour of the pond right now?

Agree with you on the LMB. Consider male only BG and female only YP. And no BC. Easily controllable this way, so you can add HSB without issue. Also, consider bluntnose minnows and spotfin shiners as additional forage to the aforementioned fatheads. As soon as you can.

As far as structure, 3-6’ is the sweet spot. Along with what Sunil suggested, rocks and/or concrete is very good. Especially for those forage species.

A feeding program is awesome. The BG will absolutely gorge themselves. Then the HSB will too.

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Originally Posted by Omaha
Originally Posted by tylerd1994
Originally Posted by Sunil
Rod, I must say that the 'hole-punching device' belongs to Todd3138, and some bluegill may have been killed or injured in usage of said device.

tylerd, I missed that you want some LMB in the mix. Both black crappie and YP need to eat a lot of other forage fish to survive and thrive, so just be aware of if you have enough natural forage for them to eat. If you add in LMB and HSB, they need the same forage base as the BC and YP.


No I do not want LMB... I didn't want them because I thought they'd be too large of a predator for the perch. Thanks for the help... pond is near completion so I need to start considering what structure to layout before it fills up!

Tylerd, what’s the contour of the pond right now?

Agree with you on the LMB. Consider male only BG and female only YP. And no BC. Easily controllable this way, so you can add HSB without issue. Also, consider bluntnose minnows and spotfin shiners as additional forage to the aforementioned fatheads. As soon as you can.

As far as structure, 3-6’ is the sweet spot. Along with what Sunil suggested, rocks and/or concrete is very good. Especially for those forage species.

A feeding program is awesome. The BG will absolutely gorge themselves. Then the HSB will too.


A good question is...can bluegill be a forage base for Crappie and Yellow Perch?? I've got to think a 1 year old BC or YP, or older, will feast on baby bluegill. Now, once a bluegill gets to 4"+, it may be fearless of the BC or YP,.

Structure will help baby bluegill to survive, so that's a variable to the question.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Omaha
Originally Posted by tylerd1994
Originally Posted by Sunil
Rod, I must say that the 'hole-punching device' belongs to Todd3138, and some bluegill may have been killed or injured in usage of said device.

tylerd, I missed that you want some LMB in the mix. Both black crappie and YP need to eat a lot of other forage fish to survive and thrive, so just be aware of if you have enough natural forage for them to eat. If you add in LMB and HSB, they need the same forage base as the BC and YP.


No I do not want LMB... I didn't want them because I thought they'd be too large of a predator for the perch. Thanks for the help... pond is near completion so I need to start considering what structure to layout before it fills up!

Tylerd, what’s the contour of the pond right now?

Agree with you on the LMB. Consider male only BG and female only YP. And no BC. Easily controllable this way, so you can add HSB without issue. Also, consider bluntnose minnows and spotfin shiners as additional forage to the aforementioned fatheads. As soon as you can.

As far as structure, 3-6’ is the sweet spot. Along with what Sunil suggested, rocks and/or concrete is very good. Especially for those forage species.

A feeding program is awesome. The BG will absolutely gorge themselves. Then the HSB will too.

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Sounds like my plans are in line with y'alls thinking so far. I have two shallow sections of the pond and it is tear dropped shaped. In one shallow section I was going to do a beachy sand area for swimmers and RES spawn. On the other shallow side I was going to do large rock piles, and some plastic skid stacks and a laydown. In the deep section I was also going to sink a DIY tree type structure for ice fishing.

I have an easy 4' of water right now as he hit the water table/ ground water and should start filling with the next rain. My plan was to add FHM and GSH to the mix as soon as possible and let them get through a full spawning cycle. I won't have power out there until late summer next year and I wanted to get my aeration in and going before I add my YP, BCP, RES, and HSB. I'm going to be cautious with the BCP, I just would really like to get them as they are a favorite of mine. I was thinking to steer clear of BG just because of the biting swimmers issue. Is this a recipe for disaster? I imagine with feed the YP and HSB will be happy, but I'll need to keep a stock of FHM in for the BCP and RES especially if the RES don't take to feed.

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I'd consider waiting on adding the GSH until your predators are established. GSH have voracious appetites, and given a head start ahead of your more desirable species, they likely will outcompete them in the early going.

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A good question is...can bluegill be a forage base for Crappie and Yellow Perch?? I've got to think a 1 year old BC or YP, or older, will feast on baby bluegill. Now, once a bluegill gets to 4"+, it may be fearless of the BC or YP,.

Structure will help baby bluegill to survive, so that's a variable to the question.[/quote]



So I'm still thinking about this RES, YP, BCP, HSB stocking..

The spawn of the BCP, RES and YP should be forage for each other correct as well as the HSP? With supplemental GSH and FHM and pellets I wonder how this would go? I could see the BCP getting too big to be forage and needing pulled out by me at 4-8".

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Like Omaha said, you may want to wait on Golden Shiners. The magic there is to time their stocking so the adults don't become too large to be eaten by anything in the pond. They can easily get to 7"+, and they become nest thieves eating a lot of eggs that you want to hatch to become forage for the other fish.

RES (Redear Sunfish) are good for snail control which are a parasite vector, but I'm not sure that RES provide enough forage via reproduction. I think Pond Boss conventional wisdom says that standard Bluegill produce the best forage base.

"The spawn of the BCP, RES and YP should be forage for each other correct as well as the HSP?" -I really don't know the answer to that question. My guess would be no, the BCP, RES, and YP won't provide enough forage for any of the species to thrive. IIRC, all three of those species may only breed once a year, whereas standard bluegilll may spawn 2-3 times a year thus providing more forage base.

FHM and feeding will all help things, yet FHM populations will usually dwindle quickly to where if they even continue to exist, the numbers are too low to make a huge difference.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Sunil I appreciate your responses!

Sounds like I have too many predators and need more prey...back to the drawing boards... in your experience have you seen less complaints about biting swimmers with traditional BG vs HBG?

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tyler, I don't feel like you have to go back to square one, and truly, you may find satisfaction in whatever mix you end up trying.

If you are looking for some 'most dependable' things to do, then fathead minnows and perhaps some of the other minnows that Omaha mentioned are all good towards your goals with no real down sides.

Regarding the swimming with bluegills and their biting people, I've never experienced it, yet I don't spend a lot of time swimming in my ponds.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Regarding the swimming with bluegills and their biting people, I've never experienced it, yet I don't spend a lot of time swimming in my ponds.

I agree - I have not had that problem.
















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Originally Posted by ewest
Originally Posted by Sunil
Regarding the swimming with bluegills and their biting people, I've never experienced it, yet I don't spend a lot of time swimming in my ponds.

I agree - I have not had that problem.


But we have had several members talk about experiencing this 'problem.' It makes me wonder if those ponds, where the BG bite, are very concentrated with BG, or maybe the BG are undernourished.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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A sound analysis. I have seen the issue with HBG (and GSF) but not with BG that are in good condition (enough food).

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So the question is... if I introduce BG.. do I have enough predators to handle them? (BCP, RES, YP, HSB) - Or am I better served utilzing HBG and RES and see what breeding occurs.

I will add my father and I enjoy catfishing the local river and have no issue pulling out 1.5-3" bluegill each year for bait purposes. Maybe that would help?

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If it were me, I wouldn't add any straight BG. Really, the only predator that is able to keep up with their fecundity are LMB, and you had stated they are not part of your plan.

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I can state with utter certainty that the BG in my pond are not the least bit under-nourished.

Crossbred with piranhas maybe, but definitely not under-nourished.

Maybe you guys just don't taste good?

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I've had BGs nibble on me, but never bothered me. I was talking to a HOA about their lake a couple years ago. One of my points was boosting the BG population, but apparently the president's wife can't stand the BG nibble, so was taken completely off the table.

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Originally Posted by Omaha
I've had BGs nibble on me, but never bothered me. I was talking to a HOA about their lake a couple years ago. One of my points was boosting the BG population, but apparently the president's wife can't stand the BG nibble, so was taken completely off the table.


Well, I mean, it's natural.....if you've got something small enough for the BG to nibble on.....


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Originally Posted by Sunil
Originally Posted by Omaha
I've had BGs nibble on me, but never bothered me. I was talking to a HOA about their lake a couple years ago. One of my points was boosting the BG population, but apparently the president's wife can't stand the BG nibble, so was taken completely off the table.


Well, I mean, it's natural.....if you've got something small enough for the BG to nibble on.....
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