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#559217 06/19/23 09:09 AM
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I stocked 10 pounds of shiners in our little pond (maybe 1/4 acre) last spring (2022). The pond is old and already holds bass. The bass were feasting when I put the shiners in and I didn't think any survived. On Saturday, I stopped by the pond and noticed a nice school of minnows. I believe these are golden shiner fry. I am happy that there was reproduction but small bass seemed to be feasting on the fry. I am wondering if I should stock more or if these minnows will sustain themselves. I have a video but can't figure out how to load it.

What do you think? Will they make it to reproductive age or should I keep stocking? Maybe I should fish some of the bass out to help them get established? Thanks

Here's a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/GoZGAKHyIig

Last edited by Theeck; 06/19/23 10:07 AM.
Theeck #559219 06/19/23 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Theeck
What do you think? Will they make it to reproductive age or should I keep stocking? Maybe I should fish some of the bass out to help them get established? Thanks

If your bass were in a fish tank, then they certainly would eat 100% of your shiners. In your pond, it depends on lots of factors. Clearly some of the adult shiners you stocked survived long enough to reproduce.

If you have decent cover for your shiners, then SOME should reproduce every year. If you enhance the habitat for the shiners, then perhaps they could become a significant food source for your bass.

As regards fishing out some bass, you probably need a good sampling of your bass population to determine the correct future management of your pond. Read a few threads about stunting and relative weights of bass, then start your sampling and keep some good notes.

It is difficult to keep a 1/3-acre pond in good shape without some good data and active management. Maybe come back to the forum and post your results and some of the actual experts (not me) can give you some good advice on your next steps.

Theeck #559220 06/19/23 09:27 AM
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Thanks. The pond has been there for about 100 years and has gone through a lot of changes. We used to have a lot of bullheads but over time they disappeared. My son caught a bunch of bullheads (9 if I recall) from another pond and we transferred them to our pond. This was 2 summers ago and last summer we had schools of baby bullheads. The mature bullheads were swimming with the fry to protect them.

Now the shiners seem to have reproduced. I have stocked them before but they never seemed to survive. Last year, I netted off a portion of the pond to protect the shiners but most got past the barrier and other fish got in. I though that was the end but apparently not so. I think I am going to replace the net with a more sturdy one and try again. I figure it can't hurt.

I updated the original post with a video link. I would appreciate it if someone knowledgeable would confirm whether the fish in the video are golden shiner fry. The only other species in the pond are various sunfish, bass, and maybe a few perch.

Theeck #559221 06/19/23 09:55 AM
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Those are not shiner fry, those are LMB swim-up fry, late stage.

Last edited by Snipe; 06/19/23 09:57 AM.
Snipe #559222 06/19/23 10:08 AM
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So those are young bass? Are you sure?

Theeck #559223 06/19/23 10:11 AM
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I've collected about 7 million in the last 3 weeks.. I'm 99.8% sure..
Also, Golden shiner are nearly transparent and don't school quite like that.

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Theeck #559224 06/19/23 10:14 AM
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This has been a frustrating process. The bass are just too plentiful for me to establish shiners, I guess. When I was a kid, the pond was loaded with shiners but back them there were no bass. The pond held bullheads, bluegills and other sunfish, and we had trout stocked in it. A neighbor introduced bass and the pond seems to no longer be able to support minnows. I guess I am going to stop wasting time and money. There are a couple bass over 20" so they are finding food so I guess I will just leave them be.

Theeck #559225 06/19/23 10:18 AM
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How much cover/habitat and types are present?
25-30% of 1-4' water should have dense cover. Cedars, cattails, softstem bulrush, rock piles etc..

Theeck #559226 06/19/23 10:20 AM
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GSH do well in vegetation types like sago pondweed, southern naiad, curlyleaf pondweed, chara algal growth, even FA.

Theeck #559227 06/19/23 10:24 AM
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Thanks, I changed the video title so I don't mess up someone else's identification.

Snipe #559228 06/19/23 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
How much cover/habitat and types are present?
25-30% of 1-4' water should have dense cover. Cedars, cattails, softstem bulrush, rock piles etc..

Not much. There is nutsedge fringing the pond that hangs over and touches the edge of the water. There are some underwater weeds that sprout in the summer. Other than that, there are submerged brush piles but no lily pads or cattail. I have no intention of adding them either. I guess the shiners used to survive simply because there were no bass. It was worth a try but I am done trying to establish them. It's been a waste of time and money.

Theeck #559229 06/19/23 10:37 AM
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Several things can be taking place here, but cover to hide some adult shiners is the only way to have enough brooders to provide ample forage consistently. A few have got to have refuge from predation to carry on the generations of forage-this is true of any forage type-craws, BG-anything, some have to survive to reproduce.

Snipe #559230 06/19/23 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Several things can be taking place here, but cover to hide some adult shiners is the only way to have enough brooders to provide ample forage consistently. A few have got to have refuge from predation to carry on the generations of forage-this is true of any forage type-craws, BG-anything, some have to survive to reproduce.

Yeah, there probably is not enough vegetation. Oh well. If I have to choose between bass and shiners, I guess I'll keep the bass.

Theeck #559231 06/19/23 10:43 AM
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If you have BG, you need to have 8"+ to provide reproduction to avoid the 20" bass, but 20" bass don't pick on 1-3" BG so there must be some 8-12" bass as well-those are the ones you need to target and get as many out as possible to leave some meat to make it to sizes suitable for 15"+ Bass to eat. The 20" bass are not wiping out the shiners at 1-3" unless they have nothing else to eat which indicates the yearlings have nowhere to hide and grow.

Theeck #559232 06/19/23 10:46 AM
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I have to add that raising LMB in 1/4 acre requires more hands-on than a 10 acre pond with LMB..

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Snipe #559235 06/19/23 12:38 PM
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Thanks guys. I decided that I am done managing the pond. I am going to let the fish fend for themselves. There are bluegills from 1/2" through 9"+ inch so I think the bass will well enough to entertain the kids. I think the bigger bass (only 2 in the 20" range that I've seen) seem to be eating frogs. When I see them, they are usually within a couple feet of the bank and looking toward land. My son caugh a bullfrog one day and when he through it back a big bass came up and ate it. I was thinking shiners would be cool and would help growth but I think that is beyond the pond's capability. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Theeck #559237 06/19/23 01:00 PM
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A couple of 10' cedar trees may be all it takes to turn the corner, didn't mean to scare you off!

Last edited by Snipe; 06/19/23 01:01 PM.
Theeck #559244 06/19/23 07:06 PM
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Golden shiners are probably not needed in a small pond like yours with your goals. Evidently the fishery is pretty well balanced currently with BG-LMB for your goals. BG ranging from 1/2" - 9" are pretty good sizes for a 1/4 ac pond and the LMB are evidently thriving based on the large school of late stage fry in your video.


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Bill Cody #559246 06/20/23 09:00 AM
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Thanks, guys. I think my interest in shiners is nostalgic as much as practical. I grew up playing in this pond (it is at a cabin that has been in my family for over 50 years). I used to love catching them in traps and using them to catch bass. We used to have some that were at least 10" long. After bass were introduced, the fishing was amazing for a few years but then it petered out. There are still good numbers of bass but most are under 12".

I think I might just forget about getting them established. They were there and died out due to the bass so that is probably just repeating itself. There is a chance I will try to section off a small area (maybe 20' X 30' and max depth of 2 1/2 feet and throw a couple pounds of shiners in. I think it is the only chance of having them survive. If they manage to reproduce, I will transfer most of them and continue the process. We'll see. Shiners are $20 a pound here and I have probably put 25 pounds in over the last 10 years. It starts to feel like I am throwing money away. I guess that's not a lot of money but I have a lot of expensive hobbies that bleed me dry.

Theeck #559260 06/20/23 11:37 AM
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Removing some small LMB will help with shiner introduction. As long as you have overcrowded LMB (many 12<) it will be hard to introduce any prey species.

















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