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#553437 11/12/22 12:00 PM
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New member here; thanks for having me. I inherited an old one acre catfish pond in SE Alabama and it needs to be restocked. It was very badly overgrown around the edges and I has cleaned that up. I’m pretty sure the catfish are gone but there are lots of green sunfish. I want to restock it to LMB and BG. The overflow pipe has broken off under water so I can’t drain it that way. The pond is currently about 1-2 feet low due to drought. A local company wants $2500 to rotenone; is this reasonable? I don’t know if rotenone is easily available or I’d tackle the job myself. I guess I could rent a trash pump and pump the pond down but how long would that take? The state biologist suggested another option that may or may not work is to release 15-20 LMB 12-14” long into the pond for them to work on the green sunfish and then in the spring release some adult BG. Thanks for any suggestions and advise.
Thanks

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Hi Edwardo. Welcome to Pond Boss!

I think anything other than 100% elimination of the green sunfish will cause you more problems in the future. I don't think stocking the larger LMB will get you down to zero GSF.

I also think you need to repair your outlet pipe before you start spending money and time to stock your pond for LMB and BG.

Therefore, IMO now is a perfect time to drain the pond down and then rotenone.

Rotenone is a restricted use pesticide in many states, so it must be applied by a pro in those circumstances. (I don't know the rules for AL.) I don't know if the $2500 bid is reasonable, but there are some pond management people on the forum that do know the appropriate price.

How deep is your pond? Some of the Alabama catfish ponds can be fairly shallow. If you are only going to draw down a few feet, then a trash pump is a viable option. If you are going to move a very large volume of water, then it might be easier to just set up a siphon.

Do you have an area that is a few feet lower than the bottom of the pond for the siphon outlet? If so, you can use some of the cheap corrugated flexible pipe to siphon down your pond. (Or make a nice siphon out of PVC if you just need to go over the berm/dam.)

A LMB/BG pond in Alabama that is starting with a clean slate should rapidly grow those fish for you. If you fix the outlet and rotenone soon, you can probably still put in some fathead minnows this fall so you can stock the other species next spring.

Good luck on your pond rehab project!

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You have several reasonable options depending on your final goals for this pond.

Good numbers of LMB will eventually just about eliminate GSF because GSF are easy for LMB to catch. LMB will catch GSF easier compared to BG because GSF I think swim slower and tend to stay in shallower water than BG. LMB like hunting in shallow water. Stocking 8"-10" LMB and large adult BG 4"-6" will eventually in 3-5 years convert this pond into a basic BG-LMB fishery having the occasional rare large GSF.

Siphon system is good if you have a low area to operate and drain the water. Put a pencil to renting a 3" trash pump and cost of fuel and size and gph of pump compared to cost of $2700 for rotenone. You need to reasonably close calculate the water volume based of average pond depth/s. It will not take much money to kill a puddle of water that was once 1ac. Also there are construction contractors that have large 4"-6" dewatering pumps that could drain your pond. Also there are some farmers that have portable irrigation pumps. Maybe check for farmer names with your University Extension office for advice. Do your homework and Get quotes. Also for a puddle of water some here have used a high concentration of hydrated lime to kill fish in a small water volume after a draining.

Draining the pond would be an excellent time to fix the drain pipe problem. Drains in ponds are useful esp for a catfish pond - drain and seine fish. Maybe Plug drain and build a nice spillway. Or drain pond and rebuild the drain with PVC pipe. Several decent options here also. Do more homework.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/13/22 05:03 PM.

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Crazy thought here but what would happen if one drained or siphoned the pond down to a low point and then dumped some pool chlorine in it? we know that fish cant survive in chlorinated water. and after a period of time the chlorine will dissipate as it does in every other scenario. why wouldn't that work? asking for a friend.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
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I know nothing about the efficacy of chlorine as a fish kill product.

However, at the level required to be toxic to macro organisms like fish, you might kill off 100% of your small fauna and much of your algae and other beneficial flora.

Of course that could be beneficial if you were really trying to get an old pond returned to a clean slate?

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I just yesterday got the pond treated with rotenone for $880. Lots of green sunfish, lots of shiners, some darters, and 3 big catfish. I’m getting a price on a siphon drain system.

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Sounds like a great start!


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