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Joined: Jul 2021
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So after the drought drying up my pond requiring a restart (after I had dug two deep spots) that would hold water in low water times. Anyway I planted FHM and 1-1.5" BG fall of 21, drought continued through the next summer limiting the fish to the two small deep spots which were maybe 50' diameter and 5' deep area between had about 12" of water connecting them. By late summer the BG were palm size and I did see some FHM fry throughout the summer. Fall of 22 introduced 5-6 (4-6") LMB due to extremely small size of pond. Drought broke over winter and totally filled the approx. 1/3 acre pond, so far this spring I'm seeing tons of polywogs from the frog population, minnow traps have varied from zero to 50 FHM per night, now starting to see some small groups of FHM fry.. (I'm only seeing 2-6 fish at a time, seems like last time I seen clouds of FHM fry) Couple questions I guess I have, 1. I assume the gill should spawn this year, but so far I haven't seen any offspring for them, how can I tell if they are doing their job? 2. Is my timing with the planting schedule correct per your recommendations? 3. Approximately how big should the BG and LMB be this year? (I am not feeding them, but the pond is very fertile and full of bugs and other fish food.) 4. When will the LMB begin spawning? 5. I know patience is required when developing a good pond, and I am shooting for a mostly self sustaining pond model, but I'd really like to start fishing, when do you suspect I will be able to begin catching some fish? (I did catch a few BG last summer on the small fly), but I haven't seen any signs of the BG since last summer when the water was shallow and I could see them, I know they should be there, but ... 6. Is the small groups of FHM mean the predators are working them over and so just small bunches of them remain? The water depth in the pond now varies from 5-10 fow so I'm not used to a deeper pond, do the fish stay out of sight better in deeper water, so I just may not be seeing them? Anyway sorry for all the questions, but was just looking to see if what I'm doing is correct and if I can start to expect to see some happy results before too much longer... Thanks J

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Yes, your fish are working over the FHM. The BG will spawn when water temp hits 72°F right before and during a full moon. They spawn in shallow gravel or sandy areas. Look for saucers scooped out of the bottom of the pond. The bluegill fry, if they spawned last month will be just eyeballs and a..holes right now, very hard to see. Wait a few months and toss out a Gee minnow trap to see what you catch.


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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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Thank you, I'll check for the nests. It's been a cool summer so far, I'll have to check the water temp in the pond, but with 40 some degree nights and highs in the mid 70's top so far, we may not have hit the magic temperature yet... But supposed to warm up in the next few days into the 80's so it's probably about time if it hasn't been there before... Thanks for the info.. J

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Noticed today that the first batch of FHM spawn for the year must be gone I don't see any of them anywhere in the pond anymore, but I also noticed thousands of tiny fry everywhere in the pond, so I suspect the next spawn is just hatching and looks like a good start numbers wise. Between the first spawn and now the weeds in the pond have grown up, so there is quite a bit of cover now, so hopefully a few more of this spawn will survive. Seems like the FHM don't live too long, so I'm hoping I have some fish grow to maturity to keep the forage base alive for a while longer... I know the gill fry will soon become the new forage base, but I'm really hoping I can keep the FHM's going, I think they really help the bigger fish grow fast... Still haven't seen any of the gill or the LMB, but I'm pretty sure they are still in there... Really hard at this point waiting to see the results... Later J

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So the polliwogs have turned into frogs and there are hundreds of tiger frogs in and around my pond right now. I'm sure the LMB are still too small to eat a frog, but dang there is a lot of food for them right now. Hope the minnows are increasing in numbers like the frogs... If so I look forward to next year...

After reading more posts, I'm wishing i would have planted all female bass, so I don't have to worry about bass over population and yet they would keep the BG under control so they didn't over populate either.. Guess we'll have to wait and see what I get, but with 5 bass there's a pretty good chance we'll get some of both sexes, so they will likely be reproducing in there sooner or later... I guess this year will be the one that starts the BG off to a sustaining population, so I'm very interested in seeing what I have for numbers come this fall. So far it seems like there aren't many fish in the pond, except for the FHM spawn that is showing up everywhere now, even though they are really small so far... At least that is pretty encouraging to me... Later J

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FHM population is really exploding, but they are still small... Lots of the frogs are leaving the pond and I'm seeing them all across the farm now. It was amazing how many frogs were produced in the pond this year, I guess when the droughts break nature really over compensates to make sure there are enough to outlast the next dry spell.

My water clarity is starting to decline, seems like it's went from 3' to maybe 16" now with a brownish green cast to it... Hope that is an okay thing... I prefer the crystal clear water, but I know there isn't a lot of food in that for the fish, and with my new numbers of FHM it's good there will be lots of food for them. Been reading posts about FHM, BG and LMB ponds and I'm curious what to expect to happen next since the FHM seem to be thickening pretty well this summer. The BG are likely spawning well this summer, up to this point they have been very limited in numbers, the LMB all 5 of them haven't been seen since they were introduced last fall. Do you expect to see the FHM numbers to turn into clouds of fish by this fall? I know they seem to be on a full time spawn this summer, each day there seems to be new tiny fish and the older ones keep getting bigger and bigger. I'm assuming this year will be the one that starts to show what the pond can become, even though the bass will likely still be too small to control the BG, but I assume that is part of the plan so they get a good sustainable number before the predators start keeping them in check. Trying to be patient, but too excited to wait like I know I need to... Later J

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Sounds like you are on course. Keep up the work and observation.
















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How long does it take for BG spawn to get large enough to catch in a minnow trap? Starting to think I should see what is in there... Been holding off due to frog mortality... Last time I put out the trap, I got some pollywogs in the trap and when they couldn't surface they drowned, so I haven't wanted to put the trap back out, even though all the pollywogs are frogs by now, I'm pretty sure frogs could still get into the trap...But the frogs have really spread out and ninety percent have left the pond, so I don't think there is as much danger of catching one now... I'm not sure the FHM are big enough to get caught in the trap yet, so maybe the BG would be too small as well... But it looks like FHM are 1.25" on down to .5", lots of sizes of little FHM all over, it looks good for feed to get the predators going... One of these days I'll get something good to bite... Later J


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