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I am considering stocking some fish into a pond that will be subject to overbank flooding every 1-3 years.

Obviously the pond management will be imperfect, so I was hoping for some recommendations on which species of gamefish could be stocked (in Kansas) that would be the LEAST likely to move out of the pond during flooding events.

This pond would have escape routes for fish that want to swim downstream with the current, AND have escape routes for fish that want to swim upstream.

Based on your experiences with flooding in your own ponds (or on research), what are some recommendations for fish that would prefer to "stay" in the pond?



Here is the link to my previous post about the particulars of the pond:

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=541640#Post541640

Thanks,
FishinRod

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Rod,

That's a good question. My dad used to say that catfish, carp, sandies, gar and buffalo swim up in high water. All of these will become concentrated at obstacles like low water bridges in my own experience. But I think they also swim down as the water descends in volume. My dad used to say that LMB will not swim up but will invariably swim down.


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


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I have seen almost all of your "swim up" fish in our little tributary creek. There are also LMB. I thought they also swam up from the river, but I suppose they could have been flushed out of someone's farm pond upstream of our property.

I might have to put up some fencing at my lowest spots to try to contain any of the bigger fish in the pond.

The problem is that an uprooted tree going past in the floodwaters has bent over my t-posts and torn out barbed wire fencing on several occasions. If I put up some weld wire, then the smaller the grid on the fence, the more flotsam it catches - and the more pressure to tear out the fencing.

I think my long, narrow oxbow pond would be a cool project if I could build up some berms around it, but that is not legal in the floodplain. (With good reason.)

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Rod,

It may well be LMB move up too. My dad just formed an opinion when my granddads pond overflowed in a huge rain event. The bass fishing declined dramatically after that and was never the same as the large LMB seemed to have disappeared. Some flathead made it into that pond in that event too.

I am reminded of Grand Lake in Northeastern OK. When I was a young adult, I loved to go there when the overflow was running over. Fish would pile in in the pool below and it was just great fishing. Depending on the time for spawning you might find different species in concentration. For example, if this occurred in February, the walleye would be there. In March, an abundance of large sand bass. In April large crappie would be in good numbers. I have hooked HUGE fish many of which I couldn't land with the ultra-light fishing tackle I preferred to take. There are paddlefish, huge FH, and gar that were FAT and may 6 to 8 feet long. Anyways, lots of fish move in high water.

I might suggest that you consider another tack if you haven't already. I grew up on a creek that had amazing flathead. There was a stretch of water that I had access that had some good snags and some bends that beaver had burrowed. It didn't take long to fish out the water because FH don't attain a high density and don't share water well ... but ... each of these highly favorable ambush locations attracted new FH every time the water flowed heavy. After the water settled down, they could be caught in the holes I had prior fished out. Sooooo ..... may be you could approach this problem with the tack of attracting migrants? It might be hard to keep the desired fish in but if you could exploit the migrants providing habitat improvements that might attract them in high water ... this might be the solution to the dilemma.


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


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Originally Posted by jpsdad
It may well be LMB move up too. My dad just formed an opinion when my granddads pond overflowed in a huge rain event. The bass fishing declined dramatically after that and was never the same as the large LMB seemed to have disappeared. Some flathead made it into that pond in that event too.

jpsdad,

I didn't think there would be good study data available, so I am happy that you at least provided the forum with a personal anecdote!

I had the same idea as you about just improving the pools and fish habitat of the stream. However, our little creek actively works to eradicate any pools that form.

Pools are formed after each big flood, and they persist for a while, until the next moderate rain event. At that time, the increased stream flows start eroding the sides of the adjacent sand bars that are 4-6' higher than the normal water level. Once the pool beside a high sand bar is filled, the sand aggrades downstream until it fills the next pool.

If I owned a skidsteer, I could probably create 5-8 pools along our stretch of the creek and develop some pretty good fishing while they lasted - which could be up to 12 months for some years.

However, I suspect I would be violating the regulations regarding altering the channel of a stream.

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FishingRod,

I don't know the reasonableness of the folks there in KS, but, if you own the land under the creek and if you do not impede its flow by damming things up, then what gripe do they have coming? I recently acquired a property in OK with an intermittent creek on it. But this creek actually carries a substantial amount of water having a watershed of several thousand acres. I have 1/4 mile of the creek. Most of the time it flows as it is feed by many springs but in dry weather the flow is below the sandy bottom. I can tell you that the previous owner constructed a bypass that cut short a bend in the creek in order to ease that bend's impediment to flow. This eases flooding but this creek and another about 1/2 mile away can flood and do so periodically (both creeks affect the property in terms of flooding). The sand is clean and I have given some thought to mining it when I retire. It may be possible to even to create some pools in doing so. So the focus would be selling the sand which is a renewable resource at my location on the creek. So two pools, where the first catches new sediments (the primary source of new sand) seems possible. On the other hand, if there is too much sedimentation, I would at least be able sell some sand. If pools are possible, I would probably have to mine the sand by dredging once they are made.

Whether pools could be made and sustained would depend on the quantity of sand moving during the high water events, the rate you can remove from the sedimentation pit, and finally demand for your sand. If all three came together, you might sell sand and have some really nice pools for fishing ... without impeding flow of the creek whatsoever. The best situation would be where the movement of sand is moderate and below what your demand would be. You could get the extra sand by making pools to fish in.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/01/21 04:31 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


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"Go big, or go home!"

Solid advice, jpsdad.

I may go through the relevant regulations with a fine-toothed comb. If I keep my toes just on the right side of the line, then our creek could certainly be a very fun fishing resource.

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Rod, I've had a flooding event every couple of years. What I've noticed is that when the water recedes, almost 100 percent of the stranded fish are small BG. Not bass, and not large BG.

Of course, my flooding is only maybe half a foot deep over the spillway maximum, could be different if outflow was greater.

Last edited by anthropic; 12/02/21 01:01 AM.

7ac, 2015 CNBG, RES, FHM; 2016 TP, FLMB. 2017 NLMB & GSH,L. 2018 TP & 70 HSB, PK. 2019 TP, RBT,. 2020 TFS,TP, 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT, -206. 2021 TFS,TP, GSH,L,-312




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Originally Posted by anthropic
Rod, I've had a flooding event every couple of years. What I've noticed is that when the water recedes, almost 100 percent of the stranded fish are small BG. Not bass, and not large BG.

Of course, my flooding is only maybe half a foot deep over the spillway maximum, could be different if outflow was greater.

By "stranded fish", do you means the ones that made it OVER your dam, and you then observed in your outlet pool/stream after the flood waters receded back to normal pool?

If so, then that result is not too bad. My flooding in the proposed oxbow would probably be similar in most years. There will be slow moving water going out over a wide area.



P.S. Do any of your tilapia sneak out of your pond when you get a big flood?


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