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Bill Cody - The goal is to grow fast. I want it to be a fun fishing lake - with a couple really large LMB, but lots of good size bass. I would not mind a couple of large catfish, but certainly dont want them to take over. BG for eating would be great - do not want it to be full of tiny BG that seem to be the only thing in the pond.

I see the advantages of your stocking method - worry the load of fish will crash my water quality/fish health since I am new to this and it could happen faster than I notice. I continue to read and read and read.

Will post once we add fish. Thanks for chiming in.

jpsdad #545525 03/22/22 08:25 PM
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jpsdad - "With a small number of breeding BG? adults and a smaller number of LMB there will be very rapid growth of LMB and many small BG which will inhibit LMB recruitment in the early going, perhaps as long as 3 or 4 years."

Can you explain this? inhibiting LMB recruitment - is this good or bad if my goal is to grow XL LMB fast? I am not worried about trophy bluegill - pan size is great though.

Thoughts on having a couple of CC? They are fun to catch but I worry about them taking over.

Thank you for responding. I wish there was someone nearby to help me with management.

NEOHIO #545537 03/23/22 09:18 AM
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Agree on the cats. Some people don’t. I love to watch bigger cats feed. They feed differently than bass and sunfish. Bluegills come up and “hit” the piece of feed. Cats swim along the top sucking a bunch of it. My kids called them Hoovers since they vacuum the pellets rather than hitting them.


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NEOHIO #545561 03/23/22 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NEOHIO
jpsdad - "With a small number of breeding BG? adults and a smaller number of LMB there will be very rapid growth of LMB and many small BG which will inhibit LMB recruitment in the early going, perhaps as long as 3 or 4 years."

Can you explain this? .

Sure. Year 1 BG (second summer) in excess of 4" should spawn fairly soon after stocking especially if fed. They could get off a couple spawns in fact. But these breeders will not have to contend with other smaller BG harassing the nest until the first crop gets about 3" in length. So the recipe for maximizing 1" to 2" BG fry production is 20-40 lbs of BG pairs or roughly 40 pairs to the acre. Best would be brooders 6" to 8" in length but smaller fish (4" to 6") should be OK. You might add smaller ones sooner than July 1 ... say maybe June 1 instead.

This stocking density of brooders will maximize production of fry because they won't consume as many as a larger population of adults will. There is just more room for fry to grow, more food available to them, and less predation. When a hatchery does it they are hoping to produce a crop of 100,000 to 250,000 1" to 2" fry in 45 to 60 days. Your pond wont make that many because there will be a population of minnow they will compete with and there will of course be 50 growing bass. But if you can get 10,000 to 20,000 to make it to 1" you will "BE SET" for forage to continue the growth of your LMB. The LMB are going to greatly reduce the FHM and target them preferentially. The BG will then be consumed more prominently. By this time in early Fall, if everything went as planned, there will be much fewer FHM and the BG will be in the 1" to 3" lengths and dominate the forage weight taking the LMB into winter with a very good standing population of BG. There should be enough survive the winter to prevent LMB reproduction the following year. The problem for the LMB is that BG will work together to raid the nest. While the LMB chases one raider ... in dart two or three from the other direction. Under sufficient harassment, the LMB is worn down and gives up the nest. When there are a lot of BG its very hard to get recruitment of LMB because the sheer numbers of raiders overwhelm the nest caretakers. Limiting the number of LMB makes large LMB possible. A single bumper crop of 0 year LMB can drastically reduce the number of BG growing to the sizes the larger LMB need.

A pond can only grow so much forage. The more adult BG the more fry ... but only to a point. The fry need space to grow into and they need BG carrying capacity. If there are too many adult BG, there won't be enough in situ forage production. Taking this tack will skew the numbers of BG to slow growth. This favors the LMB keeping the BG small enough to eat for extended time. The BG fishing could be good for those initial brooders for the first 2 to 3 years however and you could grow some large ones if feeding. I would feed them a large pellet so that that their offspring can not compete for it. Focus on the brooders when it come to feed. As for the offspring ... probably slow growth. So just keep in mind. EVERY pond is compromise. After growing some monster LMB, you may actually welcome in time the normal pond it will tend to transition to, where there are more but smaller bass and fewer but larger BG.

Quote
inhibiting LMB recruitment - is this good or bad if my goal is to grow XL LMB fast? I am not worried about trophy bluegill - pan size is great though.

Thoughts on having a couple of CC? They are fun to catch but I worry about them taking over.

Thank you for responding. I wish there was someone nearby to help me with management

Inhibiting recruit makes it easier to limit the number of LMB. It is not sustainable however, you eventually need recruits but the original 50 are enough LMB to take you through the first 6 to 8 years. Beyond that you'll need replacements but by then you will probably already have more than you want of them via natural recruitment.

You are going to need to cull even with a stocking rate of 50 if the goal is big bass. In the second and third years you should try to take 10 under-performers each year. Beginning the 4 year if there is still no recruitment you might starting taking stock and working on a plan for recruitment whether naturally or artificially. If artificially, you are still controlling recruitment and growing bass maximally. Once the LMB begin to recruit, you must lower your expectations of ultimate weights.

If you want a couple of CC in there, put them in. If you don't want them to reproduce dig through my posts. There was a post I made to guy in Utah on how to sex CC. If it is bigger than 18" ... have someone hold it upside down with the tail facing you. Run a pencil across the genital pores, If it catches (or sticks) its female. Females have a smaller head width than body width also.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/23/22 05:08 PM.

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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NEOHIO #545572 03/23/22 08:43 PM
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If you want only a couple CC ask your fish farm owner if he can save you a few of the white CC in one of his deliveries.. Usually there are a few per several 100 CC delivered. If jpsdad's plan sounds reasonable and doable for you,,, go for it. The plan is one acceptable method of options available to stock a new pond for producing larger LMB and harvestable BG. Remember it was his advice not the consensus of the Forum members. Use him as your main mentor and advisor for success with his plan.


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NEOHIO #545677 03/25/22 11:38 PM
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We have had good success in growing bigger BG AND larger LMB up here 30 miles S of the Indiana/Michigan border by stocking 3,000 BG ( 50/50 mix of 1"-2.5" and 4"-5"), 30# FHM and 50 LMB a few months later per surface acre and feeding the BG. The LMB that were stocked in May grew from 2"-3" to 13" in late September. The next year the pond owner said they were catching BG in the 7"-8" range and LMB were pushing 3 pounds in the middle of the summer. The LMB were feed trained too.

Like Bill said, pick what stocking plan you want to go with and ask the people that recommended that stocking plan for help if you have any questions the next few years. They should have plenty of info to help you reach your goals (since they have experience in growing fish with the plan that they recommended) with whatever plan you go with.


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