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Joined: Dec 2023
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bmicek Offline OP
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There’s a lot of info I currently don’t have that I know is important to answering this question.

I recently got permission to fish some pasture ponds in West/Central Kansas. One being 1.2ac and an unknown water depth. It has no fish in it and I was given permission to have at it with stocking it. Last spring with no growing algae, it visibly looked deep. The farmer tells me it’s deep. This summer when I went back to stock some fatheads, it had cattle in a portion of the pond which heavily muddied the water along with having ~65-70% of the surface covered in a mat of string algae. My plan is to check depth before I consider anything else.

My goal for the pond initially was a yellow perch/saugeye pond or bluegill/bass/saugeye pond. After seeing the murky water and heavy algae, it made me pump the brakes. Is there any way a heavy stocking of Tilapia every spring once water temps exceeds ~55 degrees would be sufficient at keeping it at bay? Mechanical removal in all honesty may not be feasible. I’m ready to walk away from the pond if it comes to it.

Blake

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Blake:

Welcome to the forum. If you have a slip bobber and a weight that is enough to sink the slip bobber, you can cast it around the pond and keep adjusting the stop knot until the bobber just barely sinks. Then you can measure the depth without getting out there in a boat.

Send Snipe here on PB a Personal Message. He's more familiar to KS waters than I am. For us here in N. Central Indiana, we have to stock 40# of Tilapia per surface acre to control algae. If there is algae growing in the pond prior to stocking the Tilapia, we HAVE TO kill it with a copper based algaecide, like Cutrine Plus liquid or granular, then stock the Tilapia within 4-5 days on either side of the treatment. So, you'd probably have to stock 50#.

BUT before you stock, get a water depth reading. If there are no fish in there, there is a reason why. Could be winterkill, could be too much cow poop, could be a lot of things. You don't want to spend $$$ stocking a pond that isn't yours to find out that the fish won't live from year to year. You will need 2-3 years of growth to get good sized fish unless you are feeding them every day.


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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Blake and I talked Scott, I got him the FHM this spring.
I also recommended the same depth check method and Blake, if you can confirm this, I think we can make an educated decision on what to try here.

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I'm interested to hear where this goes. I'm in South Central KS and my experience with ponds is that they either maintain fish or they don't. I don't know what separates the 2 ponds though as a lot of times the ponds that don't keep fish seem to be similar to the ponds that do. In addition it seems all ponds have a personality all their own. We have a pond that you won't catch much in but what you do will be really nice LMB and Crappie, another pond seems to only have green sunfish in it, another pond is choke full of little bass but nothing else. All ponds within a half mile of each other, each with cattle usage. Plus I've had interest in Tilapia stocking but haven't tried it. Would be cool to see a local (somewhat) give it a try.


Please keep this thread updated!
Jason

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I have fished multiple ponds where cattle had access to the pond.

The shallow ponds NEVER held fish, except one that had stunted bullheads.

Every pond that held fish had significant areas of deep water. These were either watershed ponds subsidized/built by the state for flood control that had deep water near the massive dams, or smaller ponds where the landowner built a dam between two steep hills and created deep water.

The shallow upper end of these ponds were full of dense algae due to the cow fertilization, but the deep water areas sometimes had excellent fishing.


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