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Our pond which is 26 acres has some issues. We have gizzard shad and common carp and buffalo carp, we are trying to keep them in check. Due to the gizzard shad and over population of catfish our bluegill numbers are just ok with no upper size class as biggest sampled was 7” and few in the 1-3” range. LMB population is relatively low with few in the under 8” size range but good size in upper size classes by length. Relative weights could be better. Crappie are doing well and catfish are all over. The company who shocked recommends to help control carp and shad with stocking walleye or hybrid striped bass in any combination of up to 10 per acre per year and possibly stocking some tiger musky 1-2 per acre. My personal thoughts are the HSB may be more useful than walleye for controlling the shad and small carp but would like to have an opinion from more experienced pond mnagers. Also I think 2 dozen tiger Muskie would also benefit as when they get bigger they can predate on the larger shad. Both the Muskie and HSB should help control crappie as well. He also recommended possibly stocking more small LMB due to low numbers of that size but have no quantity recommendation. Anyone have any thoughts on which fish would be most benefitial and in what quantities for that size of lake. Not much structure or vegetation on this Old sandpit as it’s surrounded by houses. Advice/thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

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You could also put a larger mesh gill net in there. Just be sure to run it 2x day and remove any fish that you want to keep in the lake. Removing them quickly from the gill net shouldn't harm them.


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HSB and Tiger Muskie would be an awesome combination! Neither reproduce much or at all in ponds, so you don't have to worry about them taking over. Tiger Muskie in particular get big enough to put a hurting on even big gizzard shad.


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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Agree with esshup - run a net to start removing unwanted fish. Shock boat will work also. You would need some very big predators to eat these GShad


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Last edited by ewest; 12/08/21 10:13 AM.















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We experience this fishery type in sandpits near rivers in NE which have historically flooded. HSB and BC are our most effective tools to help manage Gshd. BC will actively pursue Gshd schools and their gape allows them to target adults. HSB will also hammer schools but due to more limited gape will focus on smaller fish. I would recommend 10-15/ac on HSB annual ladder stocking and 5/ac for BC. TM are ambush predators I believe they’d serve as a less effective management tool and would also inhabit similar habitat as your BG and LMB - both species you’d likely prefer not to be diminished through predation.

I agree that gill netting as many adult invasive species is a great strategy - no predator present is going to take down a 15# Buffalo, carp, or gar. If you employ periodic gill netting in addition to supplemental stocking of specific predators I think you can experience a level of management and add a couple fun species for angling. It’s essential to record WR of both species in order to determine stocking strategy in the future. IE: if all HSB exhibit WR 110+ you could elect to bump your annual stocking qty - inverse is likewise applicable of course.

I would also spend some time focusing on adding some structure to the lake to enable your BG and LMB populations to benefit. Groups of 4-5 cedars weighted with a cinder block in 3-6’ is cheap and easy. Ping me if you want to talk sometime as I have experience with these sandpit HOAs all over Nebraska along Platte, Elkhorn and Missouri River.

EDIT: I researched TM a bit more and found some studies stating Gshd are a preferred, soft rayed forage item for TM, so TM recommendation seems to be accurate. I still wonder if TM will be midlake chasing schools of Gshd, but one should defer to the scientific study not my gut instinct. Studies also stated TM prefer forage 30-35% their body length. Once TM enter the 30 - 40" range they would be capable of handling Gshd up to 10-14" but this still may leave largest adult Gshd invulnerable to TM predation. That's where the BC seem to play an important role preying upon larger adults and Carp, Buffalo and Gar. 3/AC seems a prudent stocking strategy. Colorado is using TM to control White Sucker populations in their reservoirs and have reported reducing WS biomass by 50% and TM are growing fast...obviously.

My recommendation would be HSB to focus on age 0, TM to focus on age 1+, and BC to focus on larger adults. Scott and Eric's gill net strategy should also be employed to periodically remove significant biomass of the adult fish largely invulnerable to predation. This combo strategy seems to offer the highest chance of success to manage the invasive species population. If you choose to harvest those collected fish via nets I know guys who could use frozen fillets to feed their apex predators...myself included. Feel free to reach out anytime!

Last edited by teehjaeh57; 12/08/21 02:51 PM. Reason: TM research

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Originally Posted by ewest
Agree with esshup - run a net to start removing unwanted fish. Shock boat will work also. You would need some very big predators to eat these GShad


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ewest,

If you can convince Whole Foods that Gizzard Shad are a rare and tasty delicacy, you will be a wealthy, wealthy, man!

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Once had a co-worker (became a state legislator) who was absolutely certain that we could buy a ship load of watermelons in south MS and ship them to Japan and make a fortune. Maybe we could do that with GShad - to Japan.

Last edited by ewest; 12/09/21 10:21 AM.















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Originally Posted by teehjaeh57
We experience this fishery type in sandpits near rivers in NE which have historically flooded. ... TM are ambush predators I believe they’d serve as a less effective management tool and would also inhabit similar habitat as your BG and LMB - both species you’d likely prefer not to be diminished through predation. ....

EDIT: I researched TM a bit more and found some studies stating Gshd are a preferred, soft rayed forage item for TM, so TM recommendation seems to be accurate. I still wonder if TM will be midlake chasing schools of Gshd, but one should defer to the scientific study not my gut instinct. Studies also stated TM prefer forage 30-35% their body length. Once TM enter the 30 - 40" range they would be capable of handling Gshd up to 10-14" but this still may leave largest adult Gshd invulnerable to TM predation. That's where the BC seem to play an important role preying upon larger adults and Carp, Buffalo and Gar. 3/AC seems a prudent stocking strategy. Colorado is using TM to control White Sucker populations in their reservoirs and have reported reducing WS biomass by 50% and TM are growing fast...obviously.

See red! . Not so fast my friend! I think your gut instinct is better in this case. In the studies you would have to examine just what the lake conditions were - the TM may not have had any option but to chase GShad. Also the population dynamics - the study lakes likely had a very large portion of available forage in GShad. Did the studies have the same situation as a pond/lake in question? My guess is the TM would go for the energetically best option first (BG &, LMB etc. ) . Then they would chase GShad in open water next.


Diets of Muskellunge in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
Michael A. Bozek
,
Thomas M. Burri
&
Richard V. Frie



Abstract
The muskellunge Esox masquinongy is an important sport fish in Wisconsin and elsewhere, but more information about its diet is needed to better understand its role in aquatic systems and its effects on other fish. Stomach contents were examined for 1,092 muskellunge (226–1,180 mm total length, TL) captured in the littoral zone from 34 Wisconsin water bodies from Jul 1991 to Oct 1994. Food occurred in 34.3% (N = 375) of the stomachs, with most (74%) containing a single item. Overall, the proportion of muskellunge with food differed significantly among seasons, with the greatest proportion occurring in fall (69.0%), followed by summer (53.5%) and then spring (25.4%). Prey items consisted of 547 fish, representing 12 families and 31 species, along with 35 nonfish items; fish composed 98% of the diet. Relative importance values of diet items varied by taxa, season, and water body, but the main food items eaten by muskellunge in each season were yellow perch Perca flavescens and white sucker Catostomous commersoni. Black basses Micropterus spp., northern pike Esox lucius, walleye Stizostedion vitreum, cyprinids, and other taxa were less common in the diet. Prey fish ranged in size from 6% to 47% of muskellunge total length and prey length increased significantly as muskellunge size increased. Yet the size of prey in proportion to muskellunge size remained the same for all sizes of muskellunge. The results of this study indicate that, if readily available, yellow perch and catostomids will compose a large proportion of the muskellunge diet. Additional studies assessing muskellunge diet among lakes having different prey community types and assessing diet in deeper offshore areas of lakes are needed to better understand the role that muskellunge play in aquatic communities.

Last edited by ewest; 12/09/21 11:10 AM.















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I would love to find fish that would listen to me when I tell them to only eat "X" species.


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Coming soon, Optimal "Unwanted Species" Pellets!

Feed your YOY predator fish on our specialized pellets to train them to prefer that taste when they mature. Please list the target unwanted species as well as your predator species when you place your order.

** Because these pellets are made from the fish protein of undesirable species, our prices are usually 40-60% lower than the prices on our more popular feeds.


/wishful thinking mode off

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Seems absurd that people would eat gizzard shad, but I can remember back when catfish and crawfish were considered fit only for poor folks who didn't know better. Heck, redfish were thought trash fish in many quarters before Paul Prudhomme made blackening them popular in the 1980s!

I know efforts are being made to popularize carp. Biggest markets are overseas, but that might change. Even sea lampreys in Great Lakes are edible; eels are considered a delicacy in many cultures.

Last edited by anthropic; 12/09/21 09:38 PM.

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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Meet an aquaculturist a few years back who provided an overview of feeding the world. They grew tilapia in several tropical locations (like catfish ponds) to the tune of 10,000 + lbs. per acre. He described the processing procedures - essentially grind up the whole fish and process into patties for human consumption.
















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I have a BIL that did a stint in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic.

The project was to use Tilapia to add protein to the diet of subsistence farmers. The Peace Corps helped make shallow ponds suitable for Tilapia that were located between the villages and the crop fields.

The villagers were supposed to throw in some vegetation on their way to the fields, and then again on the way home to feed the Tilapia.

Unfortunately, the projects failed.

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My brother tried something similar for poor villagers in Central America, only this involved planting mahogany and, in another area, coffee trees. Sadly, it failed due to lack of enforceable private property rights, as squatters simply took over & govt did little.

Basic economic tenet: Growth is difficult without private property rights.


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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