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I am looking for a ballpark figure: The average # of pounds per acre per day that people are feeding their forage fish during the warm months? pounds per acre per month?

I hand throw & seconds on a feeder does not help me.

Anyone else having trouble getting food? Tractor Supply says that they can't get the food they regularly carry in store, the manufacturer can't get the ingredients? First time I have had a problem in 30yrs.

Last edited by J. E. Craig; 09/28/23 09:33 AM.
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I used to order from esshup's online store, HoosierPondPros.com, but he's fixing some things, so now I order direct from Optimal and they ship to your door, and the cost is included in the price, IIRC.

I hand feed (3) sizes of feed (Bluegill, Bass, and Hand Throw).

For my 1/4 acre neighborhood pond, I usually feed about 300 lbs. worth of feed a year. That breaks down to about (2) bags of each of (3) sizes of feed. Some of the feed bags are 40 lbs, so you could say 240 - 300 lbs of feed a year.


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I feed 400-500 pounds of Aquamax 500/600 in two ponds totaling about 6/5 of an acre.

I feed from March through October most years, but with slower feeding rates early and late, it probably is about 6 months worth of feeding at the top rate,


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Originally Posted by J. E. Craig
I am looking for a ballpark figure: The average # of pounds per acre per day that people are feeding their forage fish during the warm months? pounds per acre per month?

I hand throw & seconds on a feeder does not help me.

Anyone else having trouble getting food? Tractor Supply says that they can't get the food they regularly carry in store, the manufacturer can't get the ingredients? First time I have had a problem in 30yrs.


Feeding different food will change how much you feed. 120# of Tractor Supply feed will grow roughly the same amount of fish flesh as 40# of Optimal due to the better digestibility of the Optimal feed.

This might or might not help you, but figure on feeding 1%-5% fish food of the fish weight that is in the pond. What I do is just feed what my pocketbook can afford, the max is no feed floating on the surface 15 minutes after the first pellet hits the surface. The fish in my pond can eat 100# of Optimal Bass and Bluegill feed in less than 3 weeks and still be looking for more to eat.........


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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I was interested in the amount being fed in ponds with a more normal or ideal populations. Mine has a LMB overpopulation for 20 years with an under population of forage fish. All LMB caught have a RW of 75% or less. The 2# that I throw at night disappears in 5 minutes, but the large male tilapia, grass carp, & turtles get their share. I suspected that I have a bream population that is smaller than ideal. What I see when I feed confirms this. Grass Carp just Hoover it in.

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J.E. Craig, unless you have feed trained LMB, feeding the fish in the pond won't help (much) in putting more weight on those LMB. You HAVE TO remove a bunch of them to ensure that there is enough forage fish of the correct size in the pond to feed those LMB.

Just like having too many cows in a pasture, fertilizing the pasture won't grow enough grass to feed them all. Supplemental feeding the cows will work, but ONLY if they are eating the feed.

Go buy a couple packages of Stubby Steves artificial fish food pellets and use them to fish with. Catch and release the TGC, they will swear off of the food for a while once caught. Catch the large male Tilapia and eat a few, ditto with the turtles, or just remove the excess from the pond.


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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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J.E.C. your pond problem commonly occurs. esshup has some good fish management information. LMB under weight and an underpopulation of forage fish strongly suggest that there are too many predators eating too many smaller fish. I don't think the basic answer is adding more food or forage fish to the problem. The best solution of too many predators is reducing the number of predators until the small fish numbers gradually increases their ability to reproduce, and the young ones live long enough to reproduce. In some situations it can help to temporarily add some breeder forage fish until fewer bass are present and more young fish are present (survive). Depending on the habitat some cover habitat may need to be added to temporarily or permanently help more young forage fish survive to larger more fruitful and beneficial sizes.

If you had 10 or 12 lions or wolves in a pen or confined area and they were skinny or overly lean but still reproducing more youngsters per year, would your solution be to always keep adding more food for them to now keep more of them all fat and healthy? After a year or two their numbers could more than double and then quadruple after a few more years. Now you have 24 to 50 lions/wolves. I don't think that plan would be the best, wisest management unless you are in the commercial farming business of growing lions/wolves. . Best management would be to reduce the number of them to the best, healthiest reproducing individuals so their numbers would usually stay around 6 to maybe 10 in the pen. Selective breeding and population management for the size of the pen.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/08/23 02:42 PM.

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Thank you for your time & ideas. I agree & have started to institute most all of them. I have been keeping a log since May of this year with 23 LMB removed & 6 Bullhead catfish. All have been measured & weighed. Right at the moment I can't give you the total weight, I am thinking about numbers not pounds. My goal was to remove 30 LMB. The Bass now seem to be hook shy. I catch one now & then. I will try more fishing from my canoe when I have time.

Bream smaller than 6" & LMB smaller than 10" are almost non existent in the pond. While I have not determined the relative weights of the bream. The ones I have caught appear on the skinny side. My reason for feeding the bream is to have them in their best breeding condition for next spring's spawn. I am thinking a better spawn & more fry. Allowing weeds to develop near shore to become areas for small fish to hide. The pond has almost weed free for the last 25 years. An idea came to mind after seeing some plastic expensive spawning beds on the internet. The pond has only one good spawning area that I have been able to find. I made 12 "Craig's Canoodling Beds for Bream" for less than $15. each. We will see if there is a second spawning bed next spring. If successful, I will share their construction.

Had not thought about the Stubby Steve's. There is only one TGC 3+' & about 10 years old he should not have to many years left. I could tolerate the tilapia if I knew I had some females. Pond gets cold enough to slow them down & make them easy prey but not kill them all.

Goals for '24: Take out as many predator fish as I can. Continue to keep accurate log. Feed forage fish to get good spawns. For the life of me I have no idea if I have any female Tilapias in the pond. If I see a better population of bream & the relative weights of the LMB shift, I will consider adding tilapia again.

My question about the amount of feed/acre was to help me confirm I was on the right tract. I got to many skinny LMB & much to few skinny forage fish.


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