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As always thanks for your help Bill. I’ll see what Fender can get me for big RES. Do you have an opinion on the hybrid specklebelly brim? I tried doing some research but didn’t see much info?

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This is what one of our member moderators (Theo Gallus) says about SBS.
"If you are referring to Jonesfish, "Specklebelly" (SBS) is what I believe they are calling their BGxRES hybrid (based on their webpage and the conversation I had with the young man from Jones who treats one of my ponds).

I love my BGxRES (developed naturally from male BG and slutty RES females as opposed to purchased). They do indeed take very well to pelleted fish food. My current record is 13.25" long and a little over 2 1/2 pounds.

They have one negative that may be of importance to your pond - they will breed in higher numbers than RES (although not as high as straight BG). I suspect you will have insufficient predation to keep their numbers in check with just 12 HSB. I have breeding populations of YP and SMB in my 1/2 acre pond with RES and BGxRES, and remove 400-500 BGxRES annually to (try and) keep their numbers to what I consider optimum. (I feed fairly heavily, and about 1/3 of these are eating sized.)

As with all hybrids, subsequent generations are not a pure BGxRES, but random mixes of these two sets of genes. This has caused variation in appearances but no noticeable negatives or problems in my pond (my first BGxRES appeared in 2008, so I have had several generations of grandchildren and backcrosses with RES).

We do not swim in this pond, so I cannot comment on whether BGxRES will "nip" at swimmers as BG, but not RES, are sometimes complained about doing. FWIW my family has never had a problem with BG "nipping" at us while swimming in our other pond. (Perhaps we taste bad.)"

IMO I would wait until you have your other fishes established and doing well before adding SBS. If they have offspring that becomes mature the genetics could over several generations revert towards the more prolific specie which would be some sort of F generation of BG. If you decide to use Hybrid crappie HBCP, I would not stock SBS because both would be producing wide bodied offspring that could become too prolific that would require LMB as population control which may be okay for your goals. LMB would eventually eliminate or make the YP a very rare fish.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/13/22 07:01 PM.

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Any recommendations for shallow water artificial structure that helps maintain forage species such as GSH, BNM, SFS, etc?

I know I've seen Bill Cody recommend grass like structure for significant portions of the pond. Any recommendations for dense artificial structure that would get the job done in 1-2' of water? I have a nice area behind the spider like structure to lay 15-20' of dense structure. I just don't want an eyesore sticking out of the water.

Thanks!

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Unless your pond is unique, the water level of your new pond will fluctuate 1ft-2ft during wet and dry years. IMO it will be hard to put something in 18" of water and not have it stick out of the water during a dry summer.


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Originally Posted by tylerd1994
Any recommendations for shallow water artificial structure that helps maintain forage species such as GSH, BNM, SFS, etc?

I just don't want an eyesore sticking out of the water.

I have seen numerous posters tie structure, spawning habitat, etc. to the shore. If the water goes down, you can haul it out and throw it behind the shed.

Alternatively, your could pick it up and throw it back into the pond to a spot that is currently 18" deep during a low water period. Then when the water goes back up to normal pool, you can just drag it back up the slope.

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Good point Bill!

Any recommendations for that dense structure other than Christmas trees ?

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Tyler, I saw a PB ad for Texas Hunter artificial grass structure that might fit your needs. One is 2 feet long, the other 4 feet. You may wish to give them a call.


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 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by anthropic
Tyler, I saw a PB ad for Texas Hunter artificial grass structure that might fit your needs. One is 2 feet long, the other 4 feet. You may wish to give them a call.
Yes I was thinking that looked perfect, I'll have to see if they have it distributed yet.

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Got the drag out yesterday and got the ground leveled out and some grass seed down before todays rain. Haven't seen any of my 5lbs of FHM or 75 YP as of yet, I've been tossing small amounts of feed out every few days to see if any will come up, but no takers yet. Hopefully that changes soon! Next steps will be getting some large RES for the pond and to continue to work on structure. When my home build is finished in July I'll be able to run some power out to the pond and get aeration started. The pond is getting a ton of wind action on it which I assume really helps in mixing the water as of now.

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Good job on getting the grass seed down on your bare ground!

Do you have running water at the house yet? The reason I ask, is that it is important to get your grass thick and healthy before you get a frog strangler rainstorm so that you don't wash a bunch of sediment into your new pond.

Work hard on that grass this entire year, especially in the main flow path that supplies your pond - and your pond will thank you later!

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We have running water next door which is my parents house. The plan would be to water as needed! Unfortunately we have had a lot of rain before I was able to get any seed down this spring. I'm hoping to mitigate as much as I can. I likely will reseed in the fall as well. Any other pointers for the grass?

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I am certainly not a grass expert!

However, I would definitely try to apply the recommended amount of fertilizer (for the correct stage of growth) now to get that grass established. A little fertilizer will probably wash into the pond, but right now the pond probably has low fertility, so it is the best time to have some fertilizer reach the pond.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
I am certainly not a grass expert!

However, I would definitely try to apply the recommended amount of fertilizer (for the correct stage of growth) now to get that grass established. A little fertilizer will probably wash into the pond, but right now the pond probably has low fertility, so it is the best time to have some fertilizer reach the pond.


Yep! If you wanted to save some $$, get a soil test done specifically for turfgrass. That will tell you exactly what fertilizer and lime is needed so you don't over fertilize. A $10-$12 soil test is a lot cheaper than buying too much fertilizer.

I'd also get some jute erosion matting and lay that down over the newly seeded area. That will stop any future rains from washing topsoil away and will help keep the seed and fertilizer in place. Don't use the plastic erosion mats with straw in them, the straw will degrade and leave the plastic netting behind. That netting, if below full pool in the pond, can act as a gill net for smaller fish.


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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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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by FishinRod
I am certainly not a grass expert!

However, I would definitely try to apply the recommended amount of fertilizer (for the correct stage of growth) now to get that grass established. A little fertilizer will probably wash into the pond, but right now the pond probably has low fertility, so it is the best time to have some fertilizer reach the pond.


Yep! If you wanted to save some $$, get a soil test done specifically for turfgrass. That will tell you exactly what fertilizer and lime is needed so you don't over fertilize. A $10-$12 soil test is a lot cheaper than buying too much fertilizer.

Especially important now that events in Russia & Ukraine have sent fertilizer prices skyward!


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 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Thank you for the grass suggestions!

At this time I'm heavily considering what forms of habitat I'll be creating for the minnows and forage in the pond while at the same time trying to balance the physical appearance. My wife isn't very found of seeing the black plastic piping and buckets, so I'm hesistant to add more artificial structure and cedar/brush in shallow water that will be seen in water fluctuations.

That has led me to the rabbit hole of pond plants! I see there is tremendous amounts of converstaion about hybrid water lilies, and a few other non invasive species. I'm attaching the area that I believe would serve as a good place for plants as it is relatively shallow and comes close to my spider armies. The green area I was thinking would be a great area for plants, and then the black area for some rip rap or whatever rock I can find over time.

For plants I was considering dwarf hybrid water lilies planted in containers and managed for spread, and potentially another plant. From my research here I have seen flag iris, pickerel weed, and arrowhead reccomended. Does anyone have a reccomendation out of those that would work well in 1-3' submergent? With this being a small pond I do not mind some maintenance for spread, but I've heard a lot of tales of rapid spread and nightmare. So I'm open to suggestion! Is this a crazy idea? I think it would look quite attractive vs large groups of brush and artifical structure.

Thanks as usual!

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Also considering corkscrew/spiral eelgrass and dwarf Saggitaria. They may be a btter opiton than pickerel weed/arrowhead since they would be submerged and give denser cover.

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Been hand feeding pellets every few evenings and the FHM have been eating them up. No signs of the YP eating pellets yet. Is it likely they are full on FHM and not keen on the pellets ?

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Just stocked 75 RES and 75 Hybrid Crappie. Thanks to Scott at Hoosier helping me get the hybrids and helping sort through the RES to make sure they weren't BG.

That puts me at

75 YP 5-6"
75 2-4" RES
75 2-4" Hybrid Crappie
5# FHM

The perch are starting to feed aggressively on pellets, and it looks as the FHM are gearing up to spawn. Next steps are to keep analyzing the minnow population and feeding, as well as adding structure where possible. Looking to do a few HSB in fall or next spring.

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Sounds like the makings of a very interesting fishery!

Thanks for the updates, and good luck growing your little fishes to big fishes.

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When I had those Hybrid Crappie in a holding tank last year, about 75% converted over to feeding on Optimal Bluegill Jr when I'd feed about 20 min past sunset.


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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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Thanks for info, Eric.

What is the advantage of hybrid crappie? Lower reproduction, greater aggression, better health?

I have a good population of large HSB at my place, kinda wondering if the hybrid crappie might be a candidate for inclusion.


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 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Lower reproduction rate, hybrid vigor in regards to growth.


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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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Originally Posted by esshup
Lower reproduction rate, hybrid vigor in regards to growth.

Thanks esshup.

Do the subsequent generations after the F1 hybrids experience slower growth and vigor in crappie?

If so, should a pond owner subsequently cull all small crappie in hand that are certainly not of the original hybrid stocking?

Further, should the pond owner plan on some type of ladder stocking scenario if they intend to create a hybrid crappie fishery?

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Good questions, Rod. That strategy makes sense, but I don't know if it would actually work. Guess it would depend on how big a spawn they have.


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 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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If them boys are like my BCP they don’t spawn at all.

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