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I am planning to begin excavation on what I hope to be a 3-acre SMB/YP pond located 15 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona, with an expectation that I may also add RES and a few WE at some point in the future. I am having difficulty finding suppliers who will provide me with these species locally in adequate numbers at a reasonable cost (if at all), and I am wondering if any of the members here would be able to refer me to a willing, reputable supplier for my project. Also, I intend to establish an early forage base primarily consisting of FHM, but am considering mixing in GSH as additional forage. Can anyone here advise me as to whether the GSH are likely to outgrow the gape on the SMB and eventually become a burden to my pond’s carrying capacity when they reach adulthood?

I have lurked on this forum for some time now and have been very impressed with the level of discussion that I have found here. I thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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With a potentially 3 acre pond, you may want over (150) SMB to stock, so you probably need a delivery.

Hartley's Fish Farm out of Kansas used to ship SMB, but that would be in lower quantities. They seem to have Walleye also, but don't list Yellow Perch on their website. It would be best to call them.

Regarding Golden Shiners, they can certainly get to a size where a SMB needs to be 20" + to eat them. Conventional wisdom says to stock them after your predator fish are in for a year. However, Anderson Fish Farms ships quantities of 250,000 Golden Shiner Fry each spring, and that could be an interesting way to start off your forage if you can time that with predators. For instance, if you went with the GS fry in the spring, and were able to stock 5" SMB in the fall, it could work.


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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HSB could be stocked to help control excess numbers of GSH. You will need them (GSH) for forage for the SMB. How large do you want the SMB to grow?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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).
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Sunil, thank you very much for sharing your insights. I truly appreciate it. When you mention that Hartley would ship only “lower quantities” of SMB, approximately what do you recall their upper limit to be?

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esshup,

Thank you very much for your reply. I would shy away from HSB simply because I do not care to feed them, and I understand that is pretty much mandatory if one wishes to stock them. As for the optimal size of my SMB, I would definitely like to be able to pull large ones out of my pond, at least 2-3 lbs.+.

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I'm actually closer than Hartley by several hundred miles-and I have YP as well as SMB and WAE. If Hartley can't fix ya up, give me a shout, I'll try and help.

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Originally Posted by Az_Newbie
esshup,

Thank you very much for your reply. I would shy away from HSB simply because I do not care to feed them, and I understand that is pretty much mandatory if one wishes to stock them. As for the optimal size of my SMB, I would definitely like to be able to pull large ones out of my pond, at least 2-3 lbs.+.

You don't "have to" feed them, they will consume fish all on their own, and will target the more open water fish vs. the fish at the bottom of the pond. I catch HSB on fish imitating crank baits in my pond as well as on imitation pellet lures. It all depends on how fast you want the fish to grow. Feeding them a good fish food will increase their growth rates. How much depends on how much you feed them. You can supplementally feed them, or feed them enough so that the food is the mainstay of their diet. The fish will always predate on other fish though.

IF GSH get too large in your pond for SMB to consume, after 4-5 years the HSB should be large enough to predate on the adults.

GSH adults frequent more open water, SMB stick closer to the cover. So, the GSH are a good choice for a SMB pond because some of the breeding adults will evade predation by the SMB to reproduce providing you have the correct spawning habitat for them.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Originally Posted by Az_Newbie
Sunil, thank you very much for sharing your insights. I truly appreciate it. When you mention that Hartley would ship only “lower quantities” of SMB, approximately what do you recall their upper limit to be?

I guess I meant that overnight shipping would be very expensive to get larger quantities, not that they may not be willing to ship larger quantities.

But as Snipe stated, he seems to have everything you want, so I would absolutely check in with him.


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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esshup, I guess I was hoping that perhaps I could establish a long-term, self-sustaining forage base comprised of FHM alone, if I were able to provide enough protective structure and breeding substrate for them. But, based on your comments here, it would seem that those hopes were not practical. If I truly need GSH to support the SMB, what would you suggest as an upper limit for my stocking density in order to provide adequate SMB forage, while concurrently minimizing the prospect of having a horde of oversized adult GSH taxing my pond’s carrying capacity at some point in the future?

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Snipe, thank you very, VERY much! I will definitely keep you in mind!

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Understood, Sunil. Thanks for the clarification.

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FHM will only feed fish up to around 10" or so. Larger fish than that need a larger forage base so they aren't expending more calories to catch the fish than they get from catching it. Remember that fish don't catch a meal every time they try to catch one.

Make sure you have spawning habitat available at the correct time and I think you'd be OK with 10# of each species per surface acre as a minimum. Again, it all depends on how fast you want the fish to grow and what else they have in there to eat.

If the fish in the pond are eating primarily other fish for forage, to grow 150 SMB from fingerling to 1# each, they will have to eat approximately 1500# of minnows.........

A customer stocked his 4 ac pond with 100# of Fatheads and 100# of Golden Shiners. That was 5 years ago and he still has Golden Shiners reproducing in his pond. SMB/YP/HBG/RES pond. SMB aren't growing as fast as expected, we will change up the genetics this Fall with some SMB from Snipe. He feeds the fish in the pond Optimal Bluegill/Bass food, and feeds approximately 1/2 pallet per year. He will start ice fishing shortly and I will hopefully have some pictures to share.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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).
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Thank all of you for your valuable input. I now have a much clearer vision of the path before me than I did when I composed my initial post, and feel much relieved to have my mental burden eased. You have all been extremely helpful. Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart.

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Az Newbie and Snipe,
If and when you two arrange a fish hauling/stocking trip, I'll be interested in SMB and possibly fresh YP for my pond.

Snipe, I'm a mere 5 miles north of Cortez and US 160, the route you will probably drive from your home to Flag. I'll put you up for the night on either or both legs of your drive.

Roger

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Thanks Roger, appreciate that. I will mention this for other folks reference, any fish going to PB members, I'm increasing my donation amount monthly to PB as a thank you to Bob and everyone else here that has helped me. Lots of good people here.


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