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#553762 11/27/22 06:36 PM
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Good evening everyone and I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving.

During this time off over the holiday I have spent many hours on YouTube watching the Pond Boss videos and have a few questions. In his videos he discusses the requirements for a pond to be productive which includes having "Healthy Water". I had the water tested about 3 years ago and I cannot seem to locate my results but I recall that lime was recommended. The fishery guy that surveys my pond and supplies my fish recommended that I not lime the pond because of the amount of flow through that I have so I have not. I asked him recently about fertilization and he strongly discouraged that as well. I have owned the pond for almost 4 years and do not think that I have ever seen a plankton bloom. Is this common or am I just missing something? I have a water clarity of around 40" and the water usually has a brown tint to it most of the year. I have been working on developing this pond into a possible trophy bass pond with fish in the double digit range. The pond is 5 acres and has a constant flow. The pond is always full. Maximum depth is around 9' with the majority of the pond being 5' to 6' deep.

Here's what I have done thus far:

2 Texas feeders feeding the forage. Been feeding 3 times a day for 2+ years and I have an abundance of all sizes of BG and shiners.
The milfoil was chemically removed last summer.
I have added lots of structure in deep and shallow water.
I have been removing all LMB 14" and under. I had the shocker boat remove around 60 LMB a couple months ago.
The fishery guy has recommended improving the genetics of the bass because of the poor growth habits of the current bass. He is adding 50 F1 bass 6"+ tomorrow.
I added 800 4 to 5 inch BG in the spring of 2021
This past year I have added around 3000 BG (all sizes)


Question 1. What time of the year should I have the water tested again?
Question 2. Is liming a pond with such a flow through a waste of money?
Question 3. Why have I not witnessed a plankton bloom?
Question 4. Can a pond with flow through not be fertilized?
Question 5. What am I missing?

Thanks,

Dean

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Question 1. What time of the year should I have the water tested again?

Now. That will give you a baseline when the majority of P isn't bound up in phytoplankton or plants. Test for alkalinity, N and P. BUT without alkalinity that is a minimum of 40 ppm, any nutrients won't be able to be utilized if the alkalinity isn't at least that high

Question 2. Is liming a pond with such a flow through a waste of money?

You never stated how much flow through the pond had. How much does it have?

Question 3. Why have I not witnessed a plankton bloom?

Possibly see the answer for question #1.

Question 4. Can a pond with flow through not be fertilized?

Sure, but if the alkalinity isn't over 40 ppm, then you will keep seeing the results you are having.

Question 5. What am I missing?

How old is the pond?

What is the RW of the bass that are in there now, and how big (in length) are the larger LMB now? How does the RW compare from this year to the previous years? Does the RW of the LMB stay consistent throughout the different year classes of LMB or does the RW vary greatly between the year classes? How is the BG population, when you say abundance, how many do you estimate and what are the size ranges? Are you seeing plentiful BG of all age classes? How many LMB are you harvesting every year (in pounds)? By adding 6" F1's, they could become food for the LMB that are in there now if there are LMB in there over 18"..... What was the reason why the fishery guy didn't want to add straight Northern or straight Florida strain LMB?

When you say abundant, how abundant? To get LMB to grow quickly, you want to have fish that are between 1/3 and 1/4 the length of the LMB in there, and at a ratio of 2,000:1 to 3,000:1 for the fastest growth. (forage fish to LMB)

If you were to estimate the amount of structure and cover in the pond in surface acres, how much is there? i.e 1/4 acre, 1/2 acre, etc. Is the cover made of things that have different sizes of openings in there or are they all one thing (i.e . brush piles).


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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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esshup #553773 11/28/22 08:04 AM
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Thank you for the reply esshup,

Question 2. Is liming a pond with such a flow through a waste of money?

You never stated how much flow through the pond had. How much does it have?

How is this determined? I have a concrete overflow that has a constant flow of water going over it.



Question 5. What am I missing?

How old is the pond?

The pond dam and overflow was reconstructed before I purchased the property approximately 12 years ago. I have no details concerning stocking.

What is the RW of the bass that are in there now, and how big (in length) are the larger LMB now? How does the RW compare from this year to the previous years? Does the RW of the LMB stay consistent throughout the different year classes of LMB or does the RW vary greatly between the year classes? How is the BG population, when you say abundance, how many do you estimate and what are the size ranges? Are you seeing plentiful BG of all age classes? How many LMB are you harvesting every year (in pounds)? By adding 6" F1's, they could become food for the LMB that are in there now if there are LMB in there over 18"..... What was the reason why the fishery guy didn't want to add straight Northern or straight Florida strain LMB?

The RW of the LMB range from 60% RW to 80% RW with most falling into the 70% RW. I have seen slight increases in RW over the last couple years but many of the larger LMB are considerably under weight. In Oct when I had the 60 LMB removed there were 2 LMB that measured 24" and both weighed under 7 pounds. All other LMD were 70 to 80% RW. The fishery guy recommended that we add some better genetics into the pond- F1 Bass. The F1 LMB will be 6" and larger. He stated that the BG population looked very good in all size classes with an exceptional amount of shiners in the pond. I witnessed the forage population as he shocked the pond. As far as poundage removed, I currently remove all bass under 14" and probably remove around 100 pounds a year. Most LMB that I catch are in the 16" to 17" size.

When you say abundant, how abundant? To get LMB to grow quickly, you want to have fish that are between 1/3 and 1/4 the length of the LMB in there, and at a ratio of 2,000:1 to 3,000:1 for the fastest growth. (forage fish to LMB)

If you were to estimate the amount of structure and cover in the pond in surface acres, how much is there? i.e 1/4 acre, 1/2 acre, etc. Is the cover made of things that have different sizes of openings in there or are they all one thing (i.e . brush piles).

The pond was build where a natural creek flows through the property. The upper shallow end is full of vegetation, trees, and fallen trees. I have added man made plastic structures, 3 large brush piles, and a colony of cedar limbs cemented into concrete block which stand up like Christmas trees- group of 6 spaced 6' to 8' apart. in deeper water.

Therefore, I would estimate that there is close to 20% structure with the majority being in the shallow part of the pond.

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Originally Posted by Deancutler
Thank you for the reply esshup,

Question 2. Is liming a pond with such a flow through a waste of money?

You never stated how much flow through the pond had. How much does it have?

How is this determined? I have a concrete overflow that has a constant flow of water going over it.

There are a number of ways to measure the flow in a stream.
1) Measure volume of water in a stream

or 2) measure the height and width of the water going over the concrete overflow and get a Price AA current meter to measure the flow. Maybe check with the local NRCS office to see if they have one or if they know where to borrow one. They run around $1,500 - $1,800.


USGS stream flow measurement



Question 5. What am I missing?

How old is the pond?

The pond dam and overflow was reconstructed before I purchased the property approximately 12 years ago. I have no details concerning stocking.

What is the RW of the bass that are in there now, and how big (in length) are the larger LMB now? How does the RW compare from this year to the previous years? Does the RW of the LMB stay consistent throughout the different year classes of LMB or does the RW vary greatly between the year classes? How is the BG population, when you say abundance, how many do you estimate and what are the size ranges? Are you seeing plentiful BG of all age classes? How many LMB are you harvesting every year (in pounds)? By adding 6" F1's, they could become food for the LMB that are in there now if there are LMB in there over 18"..... What was the reason why the fishery guy didn't want to add straight Northern or straight Florida strain LMB?

The RW of the LMB range from 60% RW to 80% RW with most falling into the 70% RW. I have seen slight increases in RW over the last couple years but many of the larger LMB are considerably under weight. In Oct when I had the 60 LMB removed there were 2 LMB that measured 24" and both weighed under 7 pounds. All other LMD were 70 to 80% RW. The fishery guy recommended that we add some better genetics into the pond- F1 Bass. The F1 LMB will be 6" and larger. He stated that the BG population looked very good in all size classes with an exceptional amount of shiners in the pond. I witnessed the forage population as he shocked the pond. As far as poundage removed, I currently remove all bass under 14" and probably remove around 100 pounds a year. Most LMB that I catch are in the 16" to 17" size.

The amount of bass you are removing is enough just to keep the status quo, with a RW that low I'd look at removing double that amount per year for the next few years. Any LMB that are added I would fin clip so that you aren't removing the stocked bass if caught.

When you say abundant, how abundant? To get LMB to grow quickly, you want to have fish that are between 1/3 and 1/4 the length of the LMB in there, and at a ratio of 2,000:1 to 3,000:1 for the fastest growth. (forage fish to LMB)

If you were to estimate the amount of structure and cover in the pond in surface acres, how much is there? i.e 1/4 acre, 1/2 acre, etc. Is the cover made of things that have different sizes of openings in there or are they all one thing (i.e . brush piles).

The pond was build where a natural creek flows through the property. The upper shallow end is full of vegetation, trees, and fallen trees. I have added man made plastic structures, 3 large brush piles, and a colony of cedar limbs cemented into concrete block which stand up like Christmas trees- group of 6 spaced 6' to 8' apart. in deeper water.

Therefore, I would estimate that there is close to 20% structure with the majority being in the shallow part of the pond.

This is a tough one to figure out from a distance, but I think you are on the correct track getting a water test done. Bob Lusk helped Richmond Mills up their fishery (a flow through system like yours) by adding a bunch of fish feeders and feeding the fish. That put a lot more nutrients in the water and even though they didn't adjust the water quality, the added food helped the BG grow fast. I would set up 2 Texas Hunter Feeders and feed a mixture of Optimal Bluegill and Optimal Bass food. I would also stock feed trained pure Florida strain LMB, and 2-3 years down the road add a Texas Avenger feeder or a Sweeney Bigmouth Feeder and feed the Optimal Hand Throw Pellets to the feed trained LMB.

Adding a bunch of lime to the pond might help, and adding a bunch of limestone and lime in the stream that feeds the pond might help a lot too, but until the amount of water flowing through the pond and the retention time of the water that is in the pond is determined that is a big IF. Once you get those numbers and get the test results from the water test then a plan can be formulated.

A bass needs to eat food that is 1/4 to 1/3 it's body length to maximize the food intake for the calories expended. It takes approximately 10# of fish to put one pound of weight on one bass, so you can see the battle you are up against. A 4.5"-5.5" BG is the size that 14"-19" LMB need to eat. There are between 60 and 99 pounds of BG in 1,000 BG of that size. You can see how the more bass are in a pond the more BG need to be in the pond for them to grow quickly. 16"-17" LMB that are 70%-80% RW are roughly 1.47 to 2.08 pounds each. So if you take out 100# of LMB that size you are only removing 48-68 fish. I would remove at least 2x that number of fish for the next 2 years and track the RW of the fish caught during that time. Even if they are coon food, that will help the pond immensely.

If you stock feed trained bass, they should have a FCR of 1.4 to 2.6 while eating fish pellets.

Feed conversion ratio (FCR) is the conventional measure of production efficiency: the weight of feed intake divided by weight gained by the animal.

With a good commercial fish food like Optimal you can see that it's cheaper to grow a pound of bass on fish food pellets vs. forage fish if you have to purchase the forage fish.

Talk to your fishery guy to see if he can estimate the amount of BG that are in the pond and the age class distribution that is in the pond. That should be an indicator of whether the LMB have enough forage to grow in the pond, or if a LOT more LMB have to be removed. Here is some data for you, you can run the numbers to calculate the amount of BG in the pond if you can get an idea of how many BG of what size he saw when electroshocking the pond.

BG
1"-2.5" 4-11#/1,000 fish
2.5"-3.5" 12-24#/1,000
3.5"-4.5" 25-59#/1,000
4.5"-5.5" 60-99#/1,000
5.5"-6"+ 100+#/1,000

So given those numbers, a single 17" LMB that weighs 2.08# will need to eat 100 5.5" BG to add one pound of weight, 170 4.5" BG, over 400 3.5" BG, etc. That is for ONE LMB. Now multiply those numbers by the amount of LMB that are in your pond and you can see what you are up against.

Feeding the BG a good commercial fish food will give them more body weight, which will allow the females to produce more eggs. More BG, the faster the LMB in the pond will grow.

Last edited by esshup; 11/28/22 02:20 PM.

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