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I have been searching through so many posts and looking at as much information as I can possibly find and I am absolutely intrigued by the options available for forage.

When I read through a ton of these posts about your typical forage species I thought that I had my food chain all picked out. I figured that I would go with something pretty traditional.

Fathead Minnows
Golden Shiners
Lake Chubsuckers
Mississippi Grass Shrimp
Crayfish (species to be determined)
Threadfin Shad
Red Ear Sunfish
Bluegills
Largemouth Bass

I figured I would try my hand at breeding Tilapia to add to the pond every spring and had considered stocking Rainbow Trout over the winter, but only if it became necessary.

Then I started coming across things that were less common, but started making more sense.

Bluntnose Minnows
Spotfin Shiners
Eastern Mudminnows

What other species are there that would do well in a South Carolina pond that are maybe not as common or discussed as frequently. I've been trying to use the search function and also tried looking for some kind of list of native forage species to South Carolina on the internet, but it has yielded poor results.

Does anyone have any resources?

I don't even mind having to source them from the wild and attempting to breed them up in a small forage pond myself IF they are not available for purchase.

Thanks in advance.

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This is a pretty good publication to give you some more background on some of your listed forage species.

Forage Fish - SE U.S.

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I also like this resource guide if you are considering using some of your local native species.

It is not perfect for every watershed, but I think it gives you a decent idea of what species may be commonly found in your area.

Fish Map of Your Local Watershed

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
I also like this resource guide if you are considering using some of your local native species.

It is not perfect for every watershed, but I think it gives you a decent idea of what species may be commonly found in your area.

Fish Map of Your Local Watershed

This map is pretty interesting. It seems that there are a lot of moving water species.

I saw some stuff like:

Eastern Silvery Minnows

Fieryblack Shiners

Spottail Shiners

That live in moving water, but either spawn over vegetation or in crevices in logs or under rocks. They might be candidates for pond life?

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I have a live creek on my farm, so have posted some similar questions to yours.

I did get some good responses from our experts.

Basically, they said that some of the stream/creek species will thrive in a pond. Other species will not, especially if their spawning behavior depends on moving water.

You might try a few species in your forage pond at the same time. Make a slightly different environmental niche for each as indicated by the literature. Whichever species thrives in your forage pond should also do well in the main pond.

Perhaps in a few years YOU will be the expert on a couple of those species!

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
I have a live creek on my farm, so have posted some similar questions to yours.

I did get some good responses from our experts.

Basically, they said that some of the stream/creek species will thrive in a pond. Other species will not, especially if their spawning behavior depends on moving water.

You might try a few species in your forage pond at the same time. Make a slightly different environmental niche for each as indicated by the literature. Whichever species thrives in your forage pond should also do well in the main pond.

Perhaps in a few years YOU will be the expert on a couple of those species!

I would think that species that broadcast spawn over vegetation and species that are crevice spawners would be able to reproduce in ponds and lakes as opposed to streams and rivers.

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Basically you just have to try some of your local species and see what spawns. Trial and error. Many stream species will live in a pond but will not successfully reproduce due to lack of running water.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
Basically you just have to try some of your local species and see what spawns. Trial and error. Many stream species will live in a pond but will not successfully reproduce due to lack of running water.

This is the list that I have come across so far that seems like they would be worthwhile:

Fathead Minnows
Bluntnose Minnows
Banded Killifish
Eastern Mud minnows
Golden Shiners
Spotfin Shiners
Satinfin Shiners
Red Shiners
Spottail Shiners
Lake Chubsuckers

I have been doing a lot of research on the caloric value of certain forages over another, but finding one suitable for life in a bass ponds has been tough. Research shows that carp are HIGHLY calorically dense and that in areas where you find giant flathead catfish, they are usually hammering carp. I know that common carp are a no no, but might there be a smaller species of carp that could make a suitable prey item that would be high in lipids to grow bigger bass? Maybe some species of carp where a true giant was only a few pounds and the majority of them could be gobbled up by bigger bass? Again, I'm ignorant to all of this lol. Just asking opinions

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I have Banded Killifish in our creek. They are beautiful fish!

They were by far the heaviest of any of the "minnow type" fish in our creek.

I was going to try them in a forage pond and see if they thrived. If so, then I was going to determine if they would also thrive/reproduce in a pond with predators.

(Unfortunately, we took a hit to the family budget on the pond plans.)

I didn't manage to weigh any, but I am pretty sure they had 5-8X the mass of my largest Gambusia for example.

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Snipe actually works with the state fishery people in Kansas.

They have a program to quickly raise large bass and put them in the public reservoirs.

He said they actually use koi (a type of carp) to provide the maximum calories to the bass.

He did a thread on that topic and said that was NOT recommended for private ponds. I believe(?) the reason was that some of the koi will grow beyond the mouth gape of your biggest bass and then you have giant koi constantly stirring up the sediment in your pond and messing up all of the OTHER food chains.

I think you may be overthinking this a little. I believe ALL of the experts on Pond Boss believe BG are the by far the best source of food for bass after they get to a decent size. (I am not an expert.)

If you really wanted to help your bass, then one option would be to collect population samples in your pond of the bass and the BG. If you ever find a size class of bass that only has a small supply of the optimal size of BG, then you could raise BG in your forage pond to that size class and then move a very numerous population over to the main pond.

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Grimes on Trophy Bass


This really reinforces all the things I've seen and heard here. LMB and BG/RES are the way to go. Anything else we do seems to be a test to see if it will work. There are some things we can do to help for sure but if we miss the first part we'll be paying the tax until we get it fixed.

Grimes did have another video where he talked about goldfish and trout as well and an enhancement but that chain will still start with the BG/RES combo.

Trophy Bass Stocking

I don't know this guy personally but his comments seem to be right in line with most everybody I've seen here.

GL on the stocking plan. Show those BG some love.

Last edited by Boondoggle; 02/04/24 11:20 PM.

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I would consider Greg Grimes to be in the upper echelon of Bass fishery management, one of the top in the industry.

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I appreciate all of the comments and information guys. I'm just trying to think outside of the box a little. Kind of like the guy that started using freshwater prawn. Someone has to be crazy and try new things 😂

For the record, I plan on stocking bluegill obviously. I plan on feeding my bluegill to keep them happy, growing, and pumping out new bass food. I get that the bluegill is the backbone of the bass buffet. I'm on board with that for sure.

I'm just trying to find as many possible other forage opportunities as possible. California knocked it out of the park with Rainbow Trout. I've seen Spots that look like cartoons in lakes with Kokanee salmon. So, it has me trying to connect the dots and trying to find the next fatty little niche in this game.

A pond is full of nutrients, depths, habitat and various abilities. The more of that we are able to use, the more productive our ponds will be. It's like adding sheep to your herd of beef cattle. The sheep eat something that the cattle leave behind and now your dollar value per acre increases. Your land holding stayed the same and your production went up by making more efficient use of the space you have available. That's kind of what I'm trying to figure out.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm not trying to be stubborn or difficult. I'm just trying to find that diamond in the rough that might make a difference for all of us 🤷

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I think the carp you mentioned above is kind of linked to the Koi type application Rod mentioned. Grimes uses goldfish for this as they don't get as big, slow moving, and are brightly colored / easy to see.
- Would need to do the research on it though. Not sure if they would muddy the water, or what it would take for them to spawn if they would spawn.

Good luck on the search and the research.


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Originally Posted by 22LB6OZ
Someone has to be crazy and try new things 😂

Plenty of crazy is warmly embraced on Pond Boss!


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