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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.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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.

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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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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.

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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.

bob_esper12 #556515 03/17/23 10:18 PM
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If the Nashville's supplier has a home office in Ohio, then I'd be suspecting that the fish came from Ohio.....


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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 #557071 04/05/23 12:45 PM
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Looks like i've found a fairly local source for Grass Shrimp at 79 cents a piece. So once this thing gets dug i'm going to dump some shrimp and FHM in it and let them procreate for a couple months before dumping in my BG and possibly YP if i can find them. The YP supplier i found is now out of stock.

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Bob, who was your YP Supplier?

Before you dump the Grass Shrimp in there make sure you have the correct habitat for them to survive and procreate.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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 #557074 04/05/23 02:11 PM
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Jones out of Nashville is the only people i've found in TN to have the YP available. When it comes to the grass shrimp I will be making sure I have some vegetation going and lots of brush and junk for them to hang around.

bob_esper12 #557079 04/05/23 04:38 PM
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I picked up some YP from my supplier on Friday and will pick up more in a few weeks.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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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Grass shrimp need more finely divided submerged habitat that brush and junk. Think large patches of small narrow leaf pond weeds; Small Pond Weed (Potamogeton) species is one good example. For a brand new pond for stocking grass shrimp, you might as well toss dollar bills into the pond. Same long term benefit. Unless you have actually collected grass shrimp in wild pond lake habitats one does not realize what type of cover they require to thrive.

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Bill,
If I was to have some normal grass planted along the banks before the water comes up would that be sufficient? Or do I need to wait until I get any proper water weeds? Any way to speed up that process? I definitely think it'd be better to do it before any predators are added into the pond. At 70 cents a piece I don't want to throw away a few hundred bucks in wasted shrimp haha.

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Submerged terrestrial grass along inundated shoreline will initially for month or two provide some shelter for the GS. However what cover will they have for continued dense refuge and survival as the grass quickly decomposes? Grass shrimp are a great addition however dense habitat needs to be present for the population to thrive year to year. IMO most pond owners really don't understand the full concept of proper sport fish habitat. Ideally grass shrimp should be raised in their own small forage pond with minnows and then moved to the main grow out pond.


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bob_esper12 #557107 04/06/23 10:01 AM
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Bill, I'm obviously very new to all this. However, we have several local lakes with lots of aquatic vegetation. It would be very easy to take the boat out and dig up some small pods of it to transfer to the pond to get it kicked off. Assuming that I take pictures of it and yall confirm that it would be a good candidate for the pond of course. Would that speed things up significantly? My concern is that if i have to wait a long time for aquatic vegetation to get going then by that time I will most likely already have BG in the pond and then when I dump in GS they will just be immediately gobbled up. Maybe I'm just underestimating how resilient they can be if they have the proper existing habitat though.

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Bob,

When the water level drops in a pond or lake, it is frequently terrestrial (land based) weeds and vegetation that start growing on the newly exposed pond bottom. This does provide excellent cover for forage species when the water levels go back up and re-flood that vegetation. However, that is a short-term benefit - those terrestrial plants will die when flooded. (I think your edge grass plantings would be a poor investment.)

I do agree with your next to last sentence. You don't want your GS gobbled up immediately, you want a breeding population with places to hide and thrive and are only occasionally gobbled up!

I personally (non-expert) would agree with transplanting some beneficial water plants during this stage of your pond management. However, I suspect there may be some rules against taking plants from state lakes. (And they could have zebra mussels.) Try and look up the rules, or ask a park ranger.

Any buddies with ponds where they would let you harvest?

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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Bill,
If I was to have some normal grass planted along the banks before the water comes up would that be sufficient? Or do I need to wait until I get any proper water weeds? Any way to speed up that process? I definitely think it'd be better to do it before any predators are added into the pond. At 70 cents a piece I don't want to throw away a few hundred bucks in wasted shrimp haha.

Small sample size anecdotal information follows:

I gave my pond a year to develop vegetation before I added grass shrimp. I bought 20 of them from the ebay guy.
A year later there were thousands of them swimming in the pond.

Patience is your friend when starting a new pond.

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Augie that's really good to hear. Were they the first thing you added to the pond?

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FHM, GSH in the spring, then RES and some accidental BG were stocked in June of that year.
I also added daphnia and scuds that first spring.
It was late August/early September time frame when the grass shrimp went in.
There was a ton of weed growth in the water, along with 100-ish eastern red cedars, by the time I added the shrimp.

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Augie used the wisest method to get grass shrimp established.

Going back and reading your fishery goals: "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."
Then IMO You really do not need grass shrimp to achieve growing high quality fish for your stated goals. Your primary 1st concern is to stock proven high quality fish from a reputable grower or supplier and not something bought off a traveling fish truck. Ask where the stocker fish came from and what is known about the genetic background of the fish.

2nd concern is seek and find pellet raised fish that you buy. The larger the stockers are the more habituated they are to eat pellets.

3rd is to buy the appropriate sized stocker fish for the time when you stock them. Do not by the smallest size of the species available as those are likely to be the runts and slower growers which is usually the small size available in spring. Also smallest fish have the least time trained to eat pellets which means they may not resume eating pellets very well - poorly habituated to pellets. Pellets grow fish better compared eating grass shrimp.

4th is feed the fish a high quality fish food such as Optimal Bluegill or Purina sport fish food. Best first year plan is to buy some (1/2 bag) high protein food from the supplier of the fish. For your small pond I would not buy a whole 40-50 lb bag because you will only need 12 to 20 lbs of food for the rest of the year of feeding for the 0.4ac new small fish pond. It is best to not store and use fish food for over a year old.

Because you are somewhere in TN and if your really care about getting your pond started off very good, I would at least contact this TN pond company for an opinion and an estimate for getting your fish; even if you have to drive 3 hrs to pick them up. I agree with his stocking strategy and pond start-up philosophy. He is reputable for quality fish and concerned about his reputation for growing quality fish.
https://www.trophypond.com/pond-stocking-tennessee-fish-stocking

See his referenced article near the page bottom about grass shrimp – note in the article they are usually associated with abundant vegetation. Vegetation is a key item for grass shrimp success.
https://www.trophypond.com/resources
Article Quotes -
"They reproduce and survive best in the weedy habitat found in many ponds. They do not become abundant when stocked in larger lakes and reservoirs-or in ponds containing sport fish and few aquatic weeds. adults can be caught in May and June by seining or dip-netting in weedy areas of ponds, ditches and streams. They are not common, however….. In August 1973 we collected 81 bluegill from a pond filled with aquatic vegetation. Most were less than 5 inches long, but some were as long as 8 inches. Shrimp were present in the stomachs of 64% of the fish,"

IMO you are best spending your money on better quality fish and high quality fish food to produce quality fish compared to trying to establish grass shrimp in a new bare bottom pond.

Keep us updated as to the progress of your pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/07/23 02:01 PM.

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bob_esper12 #557327 04/12/23 01:54 PM
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So I'm getting ready to start putting my habitat together. I've got an almost unlimited amount of pallets I can get for free from work. I am planning on having a bunch of 3 sided pyramids/triangles made and then some "bridges" that'll consist of 2 stacks of 3 pallets with a pallet on top connecting the two stacks. Any other suggestions on ways to use pallets? Also, is there such thing as too many pallets? I'm also going to do some busted up concrete and rocks. Along with at least one pea gravel bed for bluegills.

bob_esper12 #557329 04/12/23 05:16 PM
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Sounds good


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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I am going to read back on your project Bob. Sounds fun!

As with most things, you can have too much of a good thing. Including pallets. First, pallets are usually treated. Not usually enough to do any damage, but the potential is there. They will gradually degrade, but not for years. Second, pallets catch hooks. Snags. A lot of folks like PVC structures instead. An array of pallets in different shapes and sizes will be fun to put together and place. Try to mark them so they're easy to find when the pond fills up. Concrete and rocks are great! I don't know if you can have too much rocky substrate. But it's definitely labor intensive. I encourage you to check out the structure thread that Bill Cody posted earlier. Great ideas there.

Edit - With regard to the concrete and rocks. As the pond silts in, as they all do (Lusk says every pond wants to be dry land), a large majority of your rocky intentions will be covered in mud/silt. So on the bottom of the pond, unless it's a pile, kind of defeats the purpose. But on the shoreline, like the first 4-6 feet deep or so, is wonderful habitat for an array of species. Bouncing jigs off rocks is serious fun too. All depends on how much work you want to put into it.

Last edited by Omaha; 04/12/23 05:55 PM. Reason: rocky edit
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Looks like i've found a fairly local source for Grass Shrimp at 79 cents a piece. So once this thing gets dug i'm going to dump some shrimp and FHM in it and let them procreate for a couple months before dumping in my BG and possibly YP if i can find them. The YP supplier i found is now out of stock.

Bob, be sure to check the alkalinity. Grass shrimp need lots of calcium to thrive.


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 #557384 04/14/23 10:56 AM
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Since I won't have vegetation right away I will hold off on the Grass Shrimp. Trying to get my initial stocking plan put together. I'm thinking (100) 2-3" pure BG, (100) SBS and then 10# of FHM. Then later in the fall when available I may dump in a few YP just to see how they do. I'll pellet feed, but when I think i have enough vegetation i will also add some Shrimp. Bass will go in next spring.

Thoughts? Pond still isn't dug, but should be .4-.6 acres.

bob_esper12 #557404 04/14/23 08:15 PM
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I looked back on your Feb 20 post and you said they were moving dirt as you typed?

If you plan on feeding the fish pellets and if your YP are supposed to be pellet trained then I think you can add the YP with the BG. Buy your YP as 4"-6" size when you stock BG. It it were me I would mix the YP 4"-6" in with several of the 6"-8" sizes. The bigger size YP from Jones are quite a bit more expensive however you would not need very many. Thus I would reduce the number of BG to compensate for the added cost of YP. This will insure a good YP spawn Spring 2024. Pellet eating YP will not eat hardly any minnows if good quality pellet food is available. I just looked at Jones website and they are sold out of all their YP. One has to get them ordered March - early April.

Please be sure to return to this thread with pond updates to share with us how well the SBS grow compared to BG. Your fishery plan will be a good learning experience for all of us. Thanks.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/14/23 08:32 PM.

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Bill Cody #557468 04/17/23 08:11 AM
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Bill, They were ripping out the trees and getting the site prepped back in Feb. Then they had to take off to go finish another job. Me and the guy are trading some services around so we have never had a super defined time line. Just that we would both be done before summer. I'm almost finished with his job and he supposed to be dropping his equipment off any day to get started. Since Jones is out of YP do you think it'd be ok to dump them in this fall when they're available? They said they will have more in stock after this summer. Then maybe wait until next summer/fall to dump in the bass? That way they can get a spawn off in the spring.

bob_esper12 #557482 04/17/23 02:22 PM
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YP can be added in fall; you will just lose the 2" to 4" of growth that would have occurred this summer. This fall buy most of the stockers at 4"-6" and also several of those 6"-8" to insure a good 2024 spawn of YP. The 2"-3" YP this fall will be mostly the smaller males of the 2023 year class. The majority of the 2023 well fed year class SHOULD be 4"-7" by fall - October. YP will very little if any during winter and if eating good amounts of winter cold water food the YP will maintain good plump body weight for the early spring spawn. YP do actively feed in cold water under ice cover.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/17/23 02:27 PM.

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Good to know. I'm assuming I don't have to worry about the BG, FHM, or YP really running rampant and causing crowding issues? If anything there will just be an abundance of bait for when I dump bass in next spring I'd assume.

bob_esper12 #557668 04/21/23 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Good to know. I'm assuming I don't have to worry about the BG, FHM, or YP really running rampant and causing crowding issues? If anything there will just be an abundance of bait for when I dump bass in next spring I'd assume.

Correct, the bass will help control the numbers once they get big enough to eat them.


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bob_esper12 #557955 05/01/23 07:59 AM
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Well, digging has finally begun. They've had dump trucks taking off dirt all day Saturday and again today. My builder told me when he showed up that he had enough places to send the dirt that we was going to go to 15' in the deeper 1/4 of the pond. He's got the deepest section roughed out and is starting on the rest today. It's great to see progress happening. Since the pond is so deep i'm assuming it'd really benefit from aeration? I've got a buddy with a trencher, so i was thinking i would look into what it would take to get it setup in my shop and then just run the lines to the pond. Anyone got a good pump recommendation? Do i just use PEX tubing to move the air to the pond?

bob_esper12 #557962 05/01/23 09:25 AM
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This link may help. The run to the pond you have several options and diameters to consider depending on slope and length of run. You DON'T want water settling in low spots in your transmission line if possible. Then you will want proper weighted line in the pond itself.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=557954#Post557954

Last edited by canyoncreek; 05/01/23 09:26 AM.
bob_esper12 #557963 05/01/23 09:28 AM
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That seems to solve the question of the lines. How about the pump itself? I'd imagine that'd be the expensive part? I've no clue how to size it.

bob_esper12 #557965 05/01/23 09:53 AM
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I'm not an expert on aeration but there are many threads where the basics are laid out. Using google search you may come up with several pondboss threads that help. The bottom line is you want to turn over (lift and move to the surface) roughly the entire water mass every 24 hours or so.

Most aeration companies will have specs on their pumps for lift or gallons per hour lift. You calculate how many gallons are in your pond by estimating a term called acre feet (google) To estimate acre feet you also need to know a bit about what the slope of your bottom is so you can guesstimate how much water is in your pond. A lot depends on surface area and then how gradual you go to depth and then how much of the depth is at the deep part.

I have a pond that probably is about half of yours. I"m about 0.25 acres at maximum fill and most of the time sits at about 0.22 acres surface area. My max depth is about 8' and my banks are typical about 2.5 to 3' run to every 1 foot drop in depth.

I chose the Vertex 1/4hp pump with a 2 membrane diffuser choosing a package that included the cabinet and weighted hose. I paid more for the package but also got help with sizing from their sales team and also help for years after the sale. I had to rebuild my vertex pump once due to known factory issues with the teflon wear parts. The rebuild kit was inexpensive and the new parts are improved with much longer expected life expectancy. I"m in MI and most northern pond owners only need to run their pump from say mid May to early Sept as we have plenty of cool air temps and wind action to aerate our pond without need for supplemental aeration. I don't put that many hours on and my cabinet stays cool and the filters really stay pretty clean from year to year.

If you get us an idea of gallons of water we can help size it. Since I have one base station, one output weighted hose and 2 diffuser heads my setup is fairly simple. It turns over the water at least once in 24 hours which is the right sizing for me. Once you know your water volume and layout of the pond you can decide if you want 2 separate base stations (some want one near a deep zone and one in a shallow zone to avoid having to move the deep one to shallow in the winter) Winter aeration is only needed if you feel conditions are right for winterkill. I never aerate in winter and have never had a recognized winter kill.

Last edited by canyoncreek; 05/01/23 12:10 PM.
bob_esper12 #557966 05/01/23 10:45 AM
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Looks like I may be able to aerate for around 1k. Once it's finished being dug i'll "dig deeper" into the numbers and see what's actually required. If that's the case i will probably pursue that this spring. I like the idea of getting the most Biomass possible in this smaller of a pond.

bob_esper12 #557970 05/01/23 11:46 AM
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I read my last post and there was an unintentional pun that the aeration experts probably are rolling their eyes about.

I said this... The 'bottom line' is that.....

Yes, keeping the line on the bottom is critical!!

The compressor, its air supply and its housing or protection to keep it cool is the part that is worth spending money on to get a good one. After that you can source your own tubing, design a manifold if you want 2 or 3 separate air lines although probably not needed in your scenario. You can buy the diffuser membranes and use standard PVC plumbing to attach to a base. Several threads show examples of ways to support the diffuser heads so they don't tip over and so that the plume is raised sufficiently off the bottom to not stir up mud.

bob_esper12 #557972 05/01/23 12:44 PM
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I'm planning on keeping the pump inside my shop and just running the line out to the pond (~500') away.

bob_esper12 #557977 05/01/23 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
I'm planning on keeping the pump inside my shop and just running the line out to the pond (~500') away.

The cleaner air in the shop should serve to increase your pump life.

Is the shop well vented? Heat build-up is the enemy of compressor pumps.

bob_esper12 #558016 05/03/23 10:38 AM
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Looking like the pond will be finished this week. We have several days of rain on the way so I'm expecting I'll have a decent amount of water in it a week from now. How long do I need to wait before adding FHM and BG? Do I need to do a PH check on it before dumping fish in it? Fertilizer?

bob_esper12 #558020 05/03/23 04:43 PM
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PH and alkilinity. At first, it will be muddy. Hold off on fish until it clears and you can check water quality. Watch it for awhile to assure that it is holding water.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
bob_esper12 #558033 05/04/23 07:31 AM
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Just use some pool test strips? Or is there something specific i need?

bob_esper12 #558035 05/04/23 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Just use some pool test strips? Or is there something specific i need?


Correct. Just make sure they aren't out of date. You might want to check them against a known water supply if you have one, like water in the house.


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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 #558040 05/04/23 10:28 AM
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I've got some strips for our hot tub, so that should be easy to do. I've wanted to put a pond on this property since we bought it a few years ago. It's super nice to see it finally coming together.

bob_esper12 #558132 05/08/23 11:42 AM
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What should i do for the deep water? i'll have about 40'x40' are thats a good 15' deep. Should i throw some stumps down in it?

bob_esper12 #558134 05/08/23 12:39 PM
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There is a current thread on that exact topic.

Open Water Cover

Hope that helps!

bob_esper12 #558137 05/08/23 12:52 PM
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I have a customer that doesn't want cover in his ponds. There are a few stumps and that's about it. He constantly struggles with low fish population and thin fish. The fish are swimming all the time and not loafing, so they are like marathon runners burning up calories.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

That's a 14" SMB that was 13 ounces.


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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).
esshup #558138 05/08/23 01:18 PM
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I'm planning on putting tons of cover in the areas less than 8'. Just curious if something 12-15' below the surface would get much use.

bob_esper12 #558804 05/30/23 10:34 AM
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Still digging away. Some of the deeper holes will be right around 15-17’ deep with total surface acreage right over 1/2 acre.

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Don't you average over 50" of rain/year around your place?

I think 17' should be deep enough, unless you are going to have lots of incoming sediment and/or organic matter.

The carrying capacity of a pond is more strongly dependent on surface acres, rather than depth.

Either way - congrats on your pond build project getting closer to fruition!

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We do, however it’s not costing me any extra so I’m just letting him dig away lol. If aerated I’d imagine that’d give me some cooler water year round?

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More water depth for free? I think EVERYONE on Pond Boss would take that deal!

Is he still digging in good clay? You might check in the deepest couple of spots and confirm that you have not reached a sand or gravel layer.

There is some debate on Pond Boss, but I think aerating in summer from the deepest part of the pond results in a higher average pond temperature. Maybe aerate from 12' deep? Or the depth of your deepest structure? That way, your pond stays cooler, but the fish located on or near the deepest structure will be in the column of aerated water.

bob_esper12 #559186 06/16/23 02:38 PM
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We are finally wrapping this project up. The dozer is finishing up the contouring today and Monday. Supposed to get several rains next week to add to the 2' thats already in the pond from the only real rain we've gotten since the initial hole was dug. . Unfortunately we've been really dry so i'm not sure how much run off will actually make it to the pond. My stocking plan now is to wait a couple weeks and test the water and then dump in some 3-5" BG with FHM and pellet feed all summer and let them make as many babies as possible. Thoughts?

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May be optimistic. Your first rain(s) will disappear into the new dirt. Wait until you get a water level that is being sustained.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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"Thoughts?"

Seed, seed, seed!

Any area of bare dirt that is done being run over by equipment should be seeded for erosion protection ASAP!

You want the first bit of fill up that makes it to the pond to be clean water, NOT silt-laden mud.

Congrats on your almost finished pond!

bob_esper12 #559245 06/20/23 07:25 AM
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Well, the pond level has been set. Spill way is in and dirt work is almost completely finished. They just have one corner they have to dig out a little bit once it dries up enough to get trucks backed in to load them. Looking like we will be right at 1/3 acre, not the 1/2 I was hopeful for. He was concerned we wouldn't have enough water to fill up a much larger pond. Probably got 2-3 acre watershed right now. If in a year or two we have a full pond that stays full then It'll be easy enough to add 2' to the dam height.As it is the dam is only maybe 2-3' tall at most. That would get us right to 1/2 acre. We went ahead and dropped in the stumps we were saving. We've got 10-12 large stumps in 4-8' of water. Ready for this week of rain to hit and start hopefully putting some more water in the thing.

Last edited by bob_esper12; 06/20/23 07:53 AM.
bob_esper12 #559251 06/20/23 10:29 AM
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Yay on completing the pond!

10-12 stumps is what the bass call a "good start". Read the old structure threads and see if there are some good ideas that might work for your pond.

Structure - Pond Boss Archives


It is way easier to add structure now, compared to when the pond is full!

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I'm adding a bunch of busted concrete and some more rock as well. .then sprinkling in some pallet structures. . The stumps are just what I required the excavators for. They're BIG stumps too, from 24" wide oak trees.

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bob_esper12 #559258 06/20/23 12:17 PM
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What do yall think of adding crayfish to a pond line mine? i know they can dig holes in dams, but my pond is 15' in the deeper corner with only 2-3' of that being from the actual dam. I plan on sprinkling in some small mouth once I get everything squared away. Not expecting any real reproduction, just wanted to get more variety.

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I am a big thumbs up on adding crayfish. Especially with the areas of busted concrete. That should give them a refuge where they can have ongoing reproduction in the pond.

Make sure to read the some of the crayfish threads and get the right ones for your area. The preferred species burrow to a much lesser degree.

bob_esper12 #559267 06/20/23 03:28 PM
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I need to find out what we have in the local river. They don't burrow as much i don't think. They just hide under rocks. Never seen their little tunnels there.

bob_esper12 #559269 06/20/23 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
I need to find out what we have in the local river. They don't burrow as much i don't think. They just hide under rocks. Never seen their little tunnels there.

Yep, local is always good. Maybe catch a few and post them on the forum for identification. Fortunately, we do have some crayfish experts on PB.

bob_esper12 #559270 06/20/23 03:45 PM
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Just found out all my local places that I can find wont sell fish until after summer. So I guess I wont be putting any BG in until then. I'd love to catch some locally and dump them in, but i just know i'd get some GSF in and mess it all up haha.

bob_esper12 #559273 06/20/23 07:09 PM
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While I love crayfish in a pond, I'd wait to put them in until you have the underwater plants established. Adding the crayfish first will make adding plants later difficult.


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bob_esper12 #559288 06/21/23 09:48 AM
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Sounds good, i'll hold off then. Had a decent rain the last few days. Added a few inches to the couple feet that was in it. I'm going to get a rain gauge out there so I can start tracking it some.

bob_esper12 #559382 06/26/23 09:49 AM
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We've got 4-6' of water in the pond depending on where you are standing. Yes, I walked out with a stick checking the depth haha. I'm going to dump a few (50 of each)RES and SBS in the pond next week along with a few pounds of FHM. My thinking is it'll give me and the boys something to feed this summer, but with the decreased surface of water in the pond I won't have to worry about huge spawns of fish taking up room.Then once the pond has more surface area I can dump in my Copper Nose and let them do their thing.

bob_esper12 #559413 06/27/23 09:38 AM
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Since I'm FINALLY getting ready to stock I was thinking about how I wanted the pond to end up. I really want as much diversity in the pond as possible with a few fish frys a year. . My thinking is what if i did a SMB/YP/RES pond with some SBS and a few HSB and added some crawfish as additional forage forage. The SMB would eat off the crayfish, and some of the panfish fry, and then the HSB would take care of some of the larger panfish. With YP,SBS and RES I wouldn't have any huge spawns of panfish to control. Then every year once I get things settle I could just ladder stock a set amount of YP and SBS to keep the population up. Thoughts? I figured if it failed I could always dump in some LMB and Coppernose. I'd be fine stocking a couple hundred bucks worth of fish in the pond yearly.

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IMO try your plan and please keep us updated in this thread as the progress of the fishery.


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bob_esper12 #559420 06/27/23 02:12 PM
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So it doesn't sound like a complete waste of time haha?

bob_esper12 #559428 06/28/23 06:41 AM
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Your theories sound great, keep in mind tho, transporting and stocking fish in the heat of summer is tough, there will be some attrition.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
bob_esper12 #559432 06/28/23 08:11 AM
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Yea, i was hoping to have my initial stocking a good month ago at least. . but It is what it is at this point.

bob_esper12 #559563 07/05/23 08:36 AM
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Got my first load of fish going in today. 75 RES, 75 specklebelly and 5 pounds of fat heads. So my understanding is I just need to set the bags in the pond water for 15-30 minutes to let the temps equalize and then just dump them in? I gotta put a couple pallet structures in for the FHM asap so they can start spawning. Thanks to our wet last couple weeks I have some grass going on the dam. So hopefully my water will start clearing up as I wash in less mud. It's nice to see everything finally get close to completion. How often would you plan to feed these fish? I'm assuming there is little to no food in my "mudhole" as of now, so I'd think the pellets will be almost there only source of food.

bob_esper12 #559571 07/05/23 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Got my first load of fish going in today. 75 RES, 75 specklebelly and 5 pounds of fat heads. So my understanding is I just need to set the bags in the pond water for 15-30 minutes to let the temps equalize and then just dump them in? I gotta put a couple pallet structures in for the FHM asap so they can start spawning. Thanks to our wet last couple weeks I have some grass going on the dam. So hopefully my water will start clearing up as I wash in less mud. It's nice to see everything finally get close to completion. How often would you plan to feed these fish? I'm assuming there is little to no food in my "mudhole" as of now, so I'd think the pellets will be almost there only source of food.
After tempering it wouldn’t hurt to mix pond water in bag after opening to kinda get the ph close to the same so not to ph shock them if ph is different

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bob_esper12 #559590 07/06/23 08:44 AM
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Got my fish in the pond yesterday. It was ungodly hot so I was expecting some casualties. Honestly i think quite a few died in the bag as they were tempering. Woke up to about 20 dead panfish. I didn't have high expectations for a perfect survival rate given the time of year. BUT, the majority of everything survived. Hopefully get some spawning FHM soon to replace what died.

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Do you have an inventory of all the deaths?
What were the sizes of those fish that were added?.
What is the water clarity of the "mud hole"???.

Sometimes it is better to let the pond develop some water clarity and develop natural fish foods before stocking sport fish. Muddy turbid water suppresses plankton growth that is the basis of the food chain. Feeding some pellets could benefit those fish used to eating fish food otherwise the food goes uneaten and bulids unnecessary nutrients. FHM would be the 1st fish to find the pellets in a new muddy water pond. Start real slow until you see fish eating pellets; then gradually increase as more and more fish eat the food. Brand new small fish will not eat very many pellets each day. Many will eat no pellets and lose weight in a muddy water pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/07/23 09:29 AM.

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bob_esper12 #559619 07/07/23 09:36 AM
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I ended up only getting RES and FHM. The RES were 2-3" with most being closer to 3". They didn't have any speckle on the truck. So about 20 dead RES out of 150, and 30-40 FHM out of the 5#. Visibility is about 1'. I'm going to let the pond just keep filling and clear up before doing anything else this fall. Hopefully a couple months will help it clear up. I've started to get good grass coverage on a good portion of the dirt around it. Should cut down on the mud some.

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Depending on pond conditions and type of clay bottom and amount of exposed shoreline to wind action, it may take 1 to a few years for the clarity to achieve 4 to 5 ft of water visibility. Almost always the pond is clearest in late winter or early spring. Ice melt is usually the clearest water for us in NW Ohio.


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bob_esper12 #559826 07/17/23 01:59 PM
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Well, The pond is 100% finished. Now I just gotta wait on the rain. We've only had about 1.5" in the last few weeks. So we are still sitting around 5' deep. We have gotten some better clarity though and at least some of my FHM are still alive. Going to add a draining pipe under my driveway to divert another acre or so of runoff into the pond. Gotta add some gravel/rock prior to water coming up but I should have plenty of time. Gonna basically let her sit until this fall and then throw in some Specklebelly and YP.

bob_esper12 #560118 08/01/23 08:04 AM
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What's everyone's thoughts on running well water into a pond this small for a few days here and there. Basically it's ungodly hot outside, and whenever we get a good storm it'll jump up a foot or two. Then when it doesn't rain for 2 weeks it'll lose half of what it gained. I think part of the problem is it's getting to the point of spilling over a shelf in the pond and doubling in surface size. But when i get 4-6" of water up on that shelf it's getting really hot and evaporating off extra soon. But I need to run a hose out to the pond anyways to water grass that i'm trying to get going to help combat the mud. So it's little to no effort to drop it in the pond and run it a few nights. Thoughts?

bob_esper12 #560128 08/01/23 01:28 PM
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How many gpm are you getting out of the hose where it runs into the pond? (how long to fill a 5 gal bucket?)


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bob_esper12 #560133 08/01/23 01:47 PM
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Honestly not sure. I can check tonight. I wanna say we have 50-60 psi on our system. I'm not thinking it'll just fill the pond up over a week or anything like that. I'd be happy if running it every other night would keep up with evaporation haha. I've gotta run the hoses all the way down to water the grass. Not much more work to drop it in the pond and walk away.

Maybe also dumping in clean water would help clear it up a little?

Last edited by bob_esper12; 08/01/23 01:51 PM.
bob_esper12 #560134 08/01/23 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Honestly not sure. I can check tonight. I wanna say we have 50-60 psi on our system. I'm not thinking it'll just fill the pond up over a week or anything like that. I'd be happy if running it every other night would keep up with evaporation haha. I've gotta run the hoses all the way down to water the grass. Not much more work to drop it in the pond and walk away.

Maybe also dumping in clean water would help clear it up a little?

No way to tell without knowing how much water is going in, but my guess is it'd be like whizzing in the ocean. 0 change or rather the cost of the electricity and wear/tear on the pump shutting on and off wouldn't be worth it.

For instance. my well pumps 25 gpm if I direct it all to the pond (I rigged up a 3" dia pipe going from the well to the pond). My pond, at 3' below full pool leaks 18 gpm. Is it worth it to keep pumping water into the pond AND have 0 water pressure in the house? The answer is no.


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bob_esper12 #560157 08/02/23 07:53 AM
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Bob, just noticed your decision to use oak stumps. I wouldn’t.

My experience. When my pond was dug(long time ago), some big oak trees were taken down. I had them piled up for fish structure. We got some good rains so I stocked. Within a couple of weeks the water blackened, all fish died and the crawdads I stocked were crawling out of the water. They also died.

I did some research and found that oaks contain tanins which are lethal to fish. I tested with a bucket of the water and some minnows. The minnows died within hours.

I pumped the whole thing out and let Texas summer dry everything out. Then burnt the whole works.

I doubt that a small amount would be a big deal but, I doubt that fish will orient on them. And, I don’t want anything that affects water quality. I now use cedars.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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My stumps are now under water. So short of paying someone to bring an excavator and tear up all my lawn there is not much i can do. I will avoid adding any more oaks though. Would pines be safer? i have a ton of pine trees at my disposal. I was planning on dropping a few small oaks in a corner of the pond to create structure from the very bottom all the way up the water column. But now hearing this I won't risk the additional oaks.

bob_esper12 #560159 08/02/23 09:31 AM
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bob,

There have been multiple threads on the forum where people killed fish or had a failure to thrive after the initial pond fill-up with numerous oak trees in the pond.

There have also been people replying in those threads, that they had oaks in their ponds, but did not observe any problems.

Therefore, I would speculate that oaks MIGHT be a problem! But since we know oaks CAN be a problem, I would definitely err on the side of caution.

In addition to the absolute concentrations of tannins in the pond water, the local chemistry of your water and pond soil probably also makes a difference?

Perhaps get your FHMs in the pond now that the oaks are covered and observe their ongoing survival.

In my experience with oak forest ponds, tannin-rich pond water has a characteristic look. The waters that I have seen, are quite clear, but stained various shades of brown. Like weak tea to very strong tea.

If you are worried, you might be able to flush some tannins now that your stumps are submerged. If you are experiencing sufficient rainfall to fill your pond in the desired time frame, you could let out some water now. Maybe drain so the top of the stumps are exposed, and then let the rain submerge them again.

P.S. In the tannins/fish kill threads, I do not recall anyone mentioning any problems with any tree types other than oaks.

Last edited by FishinRod; 08/03/23 11:01 PM. Reason: Forgot some detail.
bob_esper12 #560160 08/02/23 09:40 AM
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I've had some FHM and RES in the pond for right at a month. I lost some immediately due to stresses from the transfer in ungodly hot weather. But since that first day I've only seen one dead FHM and I've seen none of the 90 or so crawfish I've stocked.

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Rod, test it with some fish in a tub, bucket or… I won’t try it again.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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bob_esper12 #560204 08/03/23 02:21 PM
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I got ahold of the company who dug my well. He pulled up the data off my well and said it was tested to refill at a rate of at least 50 gpm and he'd have no concern leaving a hose going 24/7 for a while. So I think i'll run it a few nights after this current rain storm moves through to hopefully hold off some evaporation before the next stretch of rain comes through. I'll just be glad if i can get some grass growing from the 1/2 of the pond bank I can reach haha. I really want to put some more fish in this fall, but I want the water to be a bit higher before I do any more stocking.

bob_esper12 #560369 08/09/23 08:20 AM
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I'm finally getting some good grass sprouting on 3/4 of the banks. Assuming i can keep it alive through the rest of this summer and stop the mass inflow of mud into the pond i would like to try and clear it up some more before putting in any more fish this fall. Where can I buy large amounts of gypsum? I can buy 40# bags at lowes, but if i remember correctly i'll never several hundred pounds for my .4 acre pond.

bob_esper12 #560390 08/09/23 07:26 PM
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I would use alum if it's turbidity, but that's just me.


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bob_esper12 #560397 08/10/23 07:50 AM
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Isn't that liable to mess up PH though? Gypsum seemed like the safer option for someone who doesn't know what they're really doing haha.

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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
Isn't that liable to mess up PH though? Gypsum seemed like the safer option for someone who doesn't know what they're really doing haha.

True if you don't use hydrated lime to buffer it, but sometimes Gypsum doesn't work as well as alum. Time will tell though!


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Bob , just a though from an amateur. Others may correct me . My first fish, was told to put bag in pond to equalize temperatures , then add fish . Near Disaster. Lost several fish, both BCP &CC . mmm FHM also . The clear bag heated up the water fast , like leaving a puppy in a car with windows up ( mid September in Western Oklahoma ) . I've since added thousands of fish, I always use an thermometer , check pond water , check bag water temperature ,shooting for a 5F or less difference. If bag water is warm, very gently add cooler pond water , until bag water cools to match pond . Once again , my experience , FWI EMCM , Temperature is #1 5F maximum difference . PH is somewhere down the list, I've moved fish from North Central Missouri , From 3 different locations in Eastern Oklahoma , and bought off a truck from Arkansas, got water temperature correct , zero mortality . So far, from 5 different locations, , zero loss at installation . Experts , please add to or delete , I don't wish to mislead. So far, I just haven't seen a big difference in PH, I may be fortunate to have middle of road PH pond water . Bob may have extreme PH water in Tn and I suppose it could be an issue. Just my opinions , FWIW , proverbial 2 cents .


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I agree with Fishingadventure for release of fish that have been bagged for delivery. I try to haul bagged fish out of the sunshine. Gradually adding pond water to the bag of fish is a good reliable method. Also important is telling the fish seller how far you need to drive to get home. If it is a longer distance the fish seller could add fewer fish to each bag.


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I think you're absolutely right on the the bag causing them to heat up to fast. When I dump more fish in this fall I will use a different method for sure. We've been blessed with some good rains this week. I'm probably 5-6' from full pool so I should have at least 8' of water in it. The water level is finally up to most of the structure i've put in. So hopefully i will be getting some good FHM spawns going. I've stuck a fish trap in it and caught several FHM, a couple crayfish, and a ton of tadpoles.

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I believe I've gotten my stocking plan for the pond moderately figured out.

I've got FHM, crayfish, and RES as of now. This fall I will buy some Speckle belly and hopefully transfer some wild YP to the pond. Then next spring I will put in some SMB. My thinking is the RES and Speckle won't reproduce a ton so they will be easily controlled and I can just stock some every spring to counter what we harvest and what's eaten before it can get too large. The YP will eat the small YP, along with some crayfish and any remaining FHM. The SMB will help control the remaining young YP and crayfish. If the YP needs more controlling I can drop in a few HSB as well. I'm hoping this arrangement along with some pellet feeding will be moderately balanced. If it falls apart in a year or two it should be easy enough to drop in some CNB and LMB. If I ever get enough vegetation i will try some grass shrimp, but does anyone have any other recommendations for forage? Shiners?

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If there isn't enough habitat for the panfish to hide from the SMB, then the SMB will also control some of them. I have a customer that has YP, RES, SMB in a pond along with some HSB that someone bucket stocked. VERY little cover in the pond for the fish to hide in. The SMB are stunted and there are very little other species that grow to adulthood. The SMB control all the other species, and actually they do too good of a job. More SMB need to be harvested, and if I can convince the owner to put the correct amount of cover in the pond it would be a good fishery in a few years. Right now not enough SMB harvest is going on.

Remember you need roughly 20%-25% of the surface area of the pond in cover for the fish, from shallow water to deep water. Small openings in the cover for small fish, larger openings for larger fish and predators.


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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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bob_esper12 #560711 08/21/23 08:03 AM
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I did an alum treatment Friday evening. Went from maybe 6" visibility at best to now a good 24". I've been occasionally feeding the pond since stocked with zero action that i could notice. However, this morning I threw some feed out and it started getting hammered by FHM and I'm 95% sure I had some RES feeding. I only have FHM and RES and some of the fish coming to the feed looked at least 3" long and pan fish shaped. . Definitely going to be feeding morning and evening now. How late into the year will FHM spawn? I wanna make sure they have a bunch of spawns before dumping in YP this fall.

bob_esper12 #560817 08/23/23 07:55 AM
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Lots of RES eating feed every morning now. They're taking to it at least as good as the FHM are. Am I just lucky? Or maybe they were just malnourished from the new pond not having enough forage for them so they readily took to pellets once the water cleared? Either way, I'm glad their eating so well. Would be nice to put some weight/size on them before it gets cold.

bob_esper12 #560822 08/23/23 10:24 AM
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Bob, what brand of fish food are you using? When I bought my RES last year I was told they wouldn't come to my feeder, but I hear some members are having luck with it. My sunfish hit the pellets so fast I can't tell if RES are mixed in with the CNBG.

bob_esper12 #560823 08/23/23 10:34 AM
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Purina Grower 400. I'm throwing out a few small handfulls every morning and evening. I stocked 150 of them, 25 or so died due to stress of being stocked in July. Hopefully they will put on some size in a hurry now.

bob_esper12 #560979 08/30/23 08:17 AM
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Saw my first baby FHM this morning. How late in the year can I expect to see them spawn? End of September or longer?

bob_esper12 #560981 08/30/23 08:23 AM
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IIRC, adult fatheads spawn about every (2) weeks when the water temps are 70 degrees or higher.


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Sunil #560984 08/30/23 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunil
IIRC, adult fatheads spawn about every (2) weeks when the water temps are 70 degrees or higher.

With this being said, I have heard different stories or theories on this.
I stocked FHM in a fresh pond back in early May, I'm sure they have been spawning repeatedly since day one, but have been told that they stop in Late July or early August.
either way I have millions of them, as of yesterday, some look like baby hatchlings meaning they have never stopped reproducing

Jason D #560989 08/30/23 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason D
Originally Posted by Sunil
IIRC, adult fatheads spawn about every (2) weeks when the water temps are 70 degrees or higher.

With this being said, I have heard different stories or theories on this.
I stocked FHM in a fresh pond back in early May, I'm sure they have been spawning repeatedly since day one, but have been told that they stop in Late July or early August.
either way I have millions of them, as of yesterday, some look like baby hatchlings meaning they have never stopped reproducing


In neighbor's, Lee, pond, I've seen fathead fry in January with water temps in the 40's. These were so small, I can't believe they would be from a late summer/early fall spawn.


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."

bob_esper12 #560990 08/30/23 10:25 AM
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Good deal, so maybe not impossible to expect another 1-2 spawns this year then. Water is still plenty warm.

bob_esper12 #560991 08/30/23 10:35 AM
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They do sometimes back way off in the heat. But they tend to start again as temps drop slightly and day length begins to shorten.
Keep in mind when talking of the spawn of FHM, females are laying eggs throughout the day, every day so you have fry hatching non-stop 24-7. Each individual female may lay again in 11-20 days but there are always active, egg-laying females at all hours, doing their thing.

bob_esper12 #560993 08/30/23 03:33 PM
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Oh wow, I figured they were tied to a lunar cycle or something. Hopefully i'll be dropping in some YP in about 2 months. Hopefully i'll have enough of a population by then to survive.

bob_esper12 #561018 09/01/23 09:37 AM
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Netted some of my "RES" last night. Looks alot like a normal bluegill. Couple that with the fact they're taking feed and i'm assuming they are just normal BG. Regardless, they seem to be putting on size well.

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bob_esper12 #561040 09/02/23 08:10 PM
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Yeah, probably are bg, when you said they were feeding , I had a bad feeling. My experience, RES under 3" and you'll get a lot of BG and GSF . Sorry, I'm fighting an uphill battle into hurricane winds trying to remove BG and GSF . Should be #1 rule to buying sunfish species, 3" at least or don't buy. Experts can thump me if I'm way wrong. Absolutes have exceptions, nearly always, may be species that defy the 3" rule, in Sunfish or situations that do. Mine is a SMB and YP pond also. wanted RES for the multitudes of snails. Contamination of different species mixed in with other species , and not just SF , seems to be an issue at a lot of fish sellers .


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bob_esper12 #561329 09/11/23 07:42 AM
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Im crossing my fingers I didn't get any GSF in there. Hopefully they just scooped out from the BG tank instead of the RES like they were supposed to.

bob_esper12 #561368 09/12/23 08:20 AM
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Came back from vacation yesterday to a frenzy of baby FHM and new BG. I had 4-5 small spawning beds formed right before I left. Going to have to step up my feeding to keep up. Going to try and do some more netting and make sure I can't find any GSF. Now if only it'd rain. . .

bob_esper12 #561384 09/13/23 08:26 AM
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Any idea what this little guy is? I netted another 7 or so fish last night when feeding and the rest are pretty clearly BG or RES.

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bob_esper12 #561385 09/13/23 08:39 AM
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uh oh...green sunfish or hybrid.

bob_esper12 #561386 09/13/23 08:44 AM
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That was my fear. . . nuke the pond? Or just remove all the ones i see from now on?

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Originally Posted by Fishingadventure
Yeah, probably are bg, when you said they were feeding , I had a bad feeling. My experience, RES under 3" and you'll get a lot of BG and GSF . Sorry, I'm fighting an uphill battle into hurricane winds trying to remove BG and GSF . Should be #1 rule to buying sunfish species, 3" at least or don't buy. Experts can thump me if I'm way wrong. Absolutes have exceptions, nearly always, may be species that defy the 3" rule, in Sunfish or situations that do. Mine is a SMB and YP pond also. wanted RES for the multitudes of snails. Contamination of different species mixed in with other species , and not just SF , seems to be an issue at a lot of fish sellers .

If you are buying BG and plan on having LMB in there, then purchasing under 3" BG is OK. I can sort BG from GSF/HBG as small as 1" but I have to handle and look at EVERY fish to do that. If you are stocking RES for a SMB/RES pond, then I completely agree with you that 3" fish (maybe 4" fish) are the minimum size RES to purchase. With that said, trying to find RES that size now is VERY hard to do. My fish suppliers have RES, but they weigh 4# per 1,000 fish so you are talking about RES that are 1" or a hair bigger.


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bob_esper12 #561389 09/13/23 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bob_esper12
That was my fear. . . nuke the pond? Or just remove all the ones i see from now on?

Bob, what are the fishery goals for the pond again, and how big is the pond?


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bob_esper12 #561393 09/13/23 10:14 AM
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The pond will be right under 1/2 acre when completed with a max depth of 15-16'. My original goal was to try a SM/YP/RES pond. . but then I found some of the RES I bought ended up being BG instead. I'm still planning on trying to go that route. Worst case scenario I can dump in some LMB and change over to a LMB/BG pond. Or at least that was my plan until I found these GSF.

Overall I'm not concerned about growing any trophy fish. I plan on feeding pellets and trying to raise a decent amount of plump YP/RES/BG for a couple fish frys a year with some larger predator fish mixed in as well. Mainly wanting a fun little fishing pond for the kiddos with ability to pull some meat out. I'd prefer to not catch a million 3-4" GSF when trying to catch some larger 6"+ panfish though.

bob_esper12 #561403 09/13/23 12:24 PM
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I personally wouldn't nuke a pond just because GSF got introduced. IMO SM/LMB prefer GSF over BG/RES due to their shape and softer body. Plus, GSF don't reproduce like BG. In 1/2 acre you can probably get them under control with a little patience and fishing pressure. Just toss everything that has neon blue/green gills out on the bank when you catch them. Use barbless hooks so you can easily release the BG/RES when they bite. This will also give you a good idea on the relative weights of your fish...get a small digital scale (I got my 5x7 inch scale online at Temu for under $10 with free shipping) Good luck culling them out!

Also GSF can get much larger than 3-4".

Last edited by Eastland; 09/13/23 12:25 PM.
bob_esper12 #561404 09/13/23 01:12 PM
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Good deal, i'll just keep an eye on them and keep a trap in the pond to weed some out.

bob_esper12 #561412 09/13/23 09:13 PM
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Bob, I'd only throw in LMB as a VERY LAST resort. I'd stock some HSB first. GSF can reproduce @ 2" body length, and they will eat a LOT of the smaller YOY fish. If you only have a small amount of fish in there, I'd consider nuking the pond. Easier to do now then after 1-3 years when you will lose that fish growth if you decide to start all over.


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bob_esper12 #561441 09/14/23 05:35 PM
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I'd demand a refund from your hatchery at a minimum, or threaten to litigate to drain, seine, nuke, and start over with new stocking. A hatchery selling contaminated stock should be brought to justice and should NOT be in business. If you want an invoice from a pond and fishery management professional I might know someone who would help. This is complete BS - don't bend over.

Per Scott I would not abandon your dreams of a cool water species fishery - they're my speciality and are a true joy to manage. I manage SMB/WE/HSB/YP fisheries with BG present and their [BG] population management is a chore. I think a restart is a good idea, but only if the hatchery is going to be held responsible. If you want help thinking through this reach out anytime. Whatever you do don't stock LMB and give up! We can still make it.

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bob_esper12 #561456 09/15/23 08:26 AM
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I'd consider trying to get some Saugeye in the mix! From Snipe's recent research, they seem to be quite effective for BG.


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bob_esper12 #561476 09/17/23 09:22 AM
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I am doubtful that litigation would be successful in this case, here locally the damn GSF seem to show up in pretty much every water hole that may or may not have even been stocked, kind of like mud cats, No idea how they get in there but they do.

My pond is loaded with the darn things, GSF, and I never stocked any, I can see a few slipping through but definitely not many, but they are everywhere now in just a few yrs.


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Hey guys, trying to get a plan together for the pond this year. Last year I stocked some BG, RES, and unfortunately a few Green sunfish as well. I also dumped around 8-9 pounds of FHM in the pond. After that we had about 2-3 months before we started experiencing our drought. Before the water levels started dropping in the fall I noticed a few spawning BG beds so I'm assuming we had some reproduction last year. Now i'm wondering when to start adding some SMB and HSB. Since my pond is small (1/3-1/2 acre) I plan on just bucket stocking these from local water ways. Is this spring too early to start throwing a few predators in? Or should I let the BG get some more spawns off before dumping in predators later this year?

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