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#555729 02/20/23 02:53 PM
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I'm in the process of building a .4-.5 acre pond with a max depth of 10-12'. My goal is to raise eating sized bluegill, and some decent 2-3# large mouth bass. Mainly just a fun place for the kiddos to fish and to be able to support a fish fry a couple times a year. When it comes to habitat I was thinking of doing a few pallet structures, some rock piles, and a pea gravel section of a bank. Then a couple tree tops stacked on top of each other. Am i missing anything? also, i'd love some suggestions on stocking.
Thanks!

bob_esper12 #555730 02/20/23 03:58 PM
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If you are anywhere near Middle TN check with Mike Gray before moving any dirt. This fellow is one of the BEST pond builders in the whole TN region. Tell him Pond Boss sent you.
http://www.grayconstruction.net/

Your goals are very achievable for a 0.4ac pond. Best results for the BG and achieving your 2lb to 3 lb LMB goal is to be sure to buy pellet trained LMB and feed them pellets with a minimum of 40% protein. Optimal fish food grows big BG the fastest, Optimal also has a special bass pellet. With high quality protein pellets and good bottom aeration you will grow some amazing fish in terms of numbers and sizes a small pond that size. Start with fatheads and small BG, feed them, allow them to grow and then in Fall or the next spring add the juvenile 4”-6”LMB. If available for you, also consider adding some specklebelly sunfish. They will cross with BG but the initial stockers will be impressive to the sizes they obtain. These hybrid cross of BGXRES can grow to 2+ pounds with pellet feeding. If it were my pond I would use the LMB as 4"-6" size that have a longer pellet training - eating growth time to insure best pellet habituation and fastest growth once stocked. In 24-30 months done right, 2 lb LMB could be produced.

When establishing structure the best fishery is produced when the structure encompasses 15% -20% of the shoreline. Create fish cities of structure groupings not just some scattered fish attractor structures. Grouping the structures is important to improving the overall fishery. They do not need to be in the bottom and deepest area; best placement is in 12" to 5ft of water. The best structure refuge areas provide cover and protection of small fish and the larger fish will learn to be near those areas or groupings. Learn more about proper habitat:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/976324/3322504-episode-001-fish-habitats


Ideas
https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/20/23 03:59 PM.

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bob_esper12 #555731 02/20/23 04:09 PM
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Dirt is being moved as I type so a little late on that front haha. I will have to see if I can find the Specklebelly any near by to stock. I'm planning on hopefully buying a cheaper auto feeder. If that doesn't work feeding will be a fun thing to do with the boys i guess.. I'm also looking into some DIY solar aerators, the pond is about 750 ft away from any existing power and i don't want to trench through the woods that separating it from my house/shop power.

bob_esper12 #555732 02/20/23 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Dirt is being moved as I type so a little late on that front haha. I will have to see if I can find the Specklebelly any near by to stock. I'm planning on hopefully buying a cheaper auto feeder. If that doesn't work feeding will be a fun thing to do with the boys i guess.. I'm also looking into some DIY solar aerators, the pond is about 750 ft away from any existing power and i don't want to trench through the woods that separating it from my house/shop power.

You can directionally bore the aeration tubing underground cheaper than buying a solar aerator. The fish need aeration at night the most, so without a big enough battery bank the solar will only work during the day.

The only "cheap" feeder that I'd recommend is a hanging deer type feeder that throws food in a 360° circle. you can put a shield on part of it to stop it from throwing towards the pier. If you need to put it on the bank, you will need some sort of pivoting hanger that will allow you to hang it out over the water about 10'-15' from shore but pivot it back to shore to fill it. Filling it from a boat is a royal PITA. Been there, done that and won't do it again.


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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).
bob_esper12 #555733 02/20/23 04:25 PM
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I figured if I could run a solar setup 3-5 hours at night off a battery bank it would be much better than nothing. Also, that's exactly the type of feeder i was thinking of. I'm going to build a small dock i think and i would hang it off the corner and shield it like you said.

bob_esper12 #555786 02/23/23 11:29 AM
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What's everyone's thoughts on stocking 200 or so PK shrimp when i first stock the pond? Will they use tree tops and my other structures as enough cover? or do they have to have vegetation to hide in?

bob_esper12 #555789 02/23/23 11:40 AM
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Putting PK Shrimp in won't hurt anything, and you're right to make sure they have proper structure to thrive.


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."

Sunil #555790 02/23/23 11:50 AM
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I also would put them in…. Mine went ape in my pond and now can’t scoop up a bucket of water without catching some. They are thick in the slender spike rush that is all around the pond out to6-8’ deep

Sunil #555791 02/23/23 11:55 AM
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Will wood piles and that type of structure be enough? or do I need vegetation growing? Pat, I'm assuming that it's been a huge boom to your BG and Largemouth?

bob_esper12 #555797 02/23/23 01:00 PM
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See the structure archive for ideas. Wood piles are good. Importantly bunch structure together with some at all depths and some off the banks.
















bob_esper12 #556128 03/07/23 10:20 AM
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How well do pine trees work for cover? I have many more pine trees than I care to have so it would be handy to throw a few tops in the pond. Didn't know if they could somehow mess up PH or something like that. That'd be about my luck haha.

bob_esper12 #556131 03/07/23 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
How well do pine trees work for cover? I have many more pine trees than I care to have so it would be handy to throw a few tops in the pond. Didn't know if they could somehow mess up PH or something like that. That'd be about my luck haha.

Cut them, let them turn brown on shore, see if you can knock the majority of the needles off. Just less material to go into the pond to add to the nutrient load.


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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).
bob_esper12 #556394 03/14/23 03:04 PM
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While waiting on the weather to dry out and warm up i've been thinking a fair amount about the pond. Any have thoughts on YP or Tilapia in middle TN? I especially like the idea of some YP. Think it'd be a neat fish to grow and harvest.

bob_esper12 #556410 03/14/23 08:41 PM
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Most everyone who has YP in their pond has reported only upsides and no downsides. Never heard of anyone who didn't like eating them. If you get pellet trained YP you will find they grow very well and are active feeders in lower light times of day. They have many advantages over other panfish (including easy to control their numbers)

Tilapia if legal are also a great forage fish option with little downside or interference with your other goals for your stocked fish.

bob_esper12 #556415 03/14/23 10:41 PM
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Tilapia have the advantage of algae control, though they will prey on smaller fish at times. Good to eat when taken from clean water. The only issue is that they can be hard to catch, unlike perch.


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 RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




bob_esper12 #556430 03/15/23 01:15 PM
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From what i've read the only real downside to YP is that if there is LMB in the pond they'll eat most of the YP fry? If i put them in at same time as BG and let them spawn 1-2 times before I add bass there should be a decent enough number of them in the pond. And if i have to supplement every couple years that's not a huge deal. I love the idea of some variety in the pond.

bob_esper12 #556437 03/15/23 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
How well do pine trees work for cover? I have many more pine trees than I care to have so it would be handy to throw a few tops in the pond. Didn't know if they could somehow mess up PH or something like that. That'd be about my luck haha.

You could just add a little lime to offset any effect. No big deal.
















bob_esper12 #556438 03/15/23 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
From what i've read the only real downside to YP is that if there is LMB in the pond they'll eat most of the YP fry? If i put them in at same time as BG and let them spawn 1-2 times before I add bass there should be a decent enough number of them in the pond. And if i have to supplement every couple years that's not a huge deal. I love the idea of some variety in the pond.

Is your water cool enough for good YP growth?
















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Originally Posted by ewest
Is your water cool enough for good YP growth?

Bob is well south of I-40, one of our important fish geographic break points.

However, Snipe's YP seem to be thriving at his location in NW Kansas.

I believe Snipe's AVERAGE water temperature will be significantly lower than the OP's pond. However, I am not sure that the summer peak water temperature in the OP's pond would be too much higher than Snipe's water temperature. (He is located in an area with a huge seasonal temperature differential.)

I don't know which number is most important for YP to thrive outside of their "ideal" range. I will leave that discussion up to the actual fish experts.

bob_esper12 #556465 03/16/23 12:39 PM
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I'm not sure on temps yet due to pond not being finished yet. But i know some rivers/lakes south of me have yellow perch populations so i wouldn't think it'd be completely out of the question.

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bob_esper12 #556474 03/16/23 08:09 PM
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YP will probably thrive in your pond. I would worry more about LMB for problems with YP than temperature problems. If you let the YP grow to 6"-8" before adding fingerling LMB and you have ample habitat cover as in 25% of the shoreline the YP should be able to maintain a breeding population providing you regularly harvest LMB and do not let them become abundant. Numbers of small perch the anglers are catching will give you a good idea or estimate of bass numbers. LMB at 15"-16" do not only eat YP fry but also they easily eat perch up to 7"-8". If you are a 16" LMB why spend hours catching 1"-2" YP when one 6" YP makes you very happy. Maintain ample cover for young mid size 1-2 year old YP. Feed all the fish good quality high protein pellets and all will grow well.

PK shrimp will create enough numbers to grow fish unless you have ample weed cover as noted by Pat Williamson. PK need vegetation to thrive and avoid predation. High protein pellets can take the place of PK shrimp. You ample habitat will grow a good community of invertebrates to sustain the lower food chain.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/16/23 08:16 PM.

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bob_esper12 #556483 03/16/23 11:17 PM
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If YP are elected, choose a supplier closest to your region/climate.

bob_esper12 #556496 03/17/23 10:50 AM
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I'm planning on dumping a few hundred PK shrimp in as soon as I have water and crossing my fingers they can get something going. i will feed, but am also hoping if they get going i can feed less. . I can also buy yellow perch out of Nashville, so that should be close enough i'd imagine.

bob_esper12 #556498 03/17/23 12:00 PM
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I would ask the folks in Nashville where their fish came from and then where they Really (I mean originally before that stop!) came from. Nashville may be a drop off hub from a fish farm in Ohio or Indiana (or Kansas) etc. I'm learning that genetics is important but where the fish learned their 'habitat' in what the water is like, what they ate, how they fed etc etc determines how well they will do in your pond.

bob_esper12 #556500 03/17/23 12:52 PM
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Good suggestion! Can never hurt to be more thorough.

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