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#568096 06/23/24 12:18 PM
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Hello, Friends! New member, but I have been reading threads on the forum for some time.

We have a new 55 acre homestead in southeast Kansas, and plan on building a ~2 acre fishing pond in the near future. My goal is to have as close to a self sustaining (I know that’s impossible) CC pond as I can get. A source of food is the primary goal, but catfish are my favorite to fish for and catch in general.

I’m not interested in other fish than CC for this pond, and would only add them if it was beneficial to the CC, and my goals. I understand that I can restock fingerlings annually, and pellet feed them, and keep it a purely CC pond. I probably will feed them for the foreseeable future, and restock as needed. We are sort of “preppers” though, and in the event that feed becomes too expensive, or CC fingerlings become unavailable for whatever reason, I’d like the idea of my fishery being able to keep itself going, in regard to forage, and reproduction. I know that encouraging CC reproduction is oftentimes discouraged, but it will be fished quite aggressively, and I’d like for them to be able to reproduce naturally. I understand that BG would be a good source of forage for the CC as they get larger and more predacious, but also may very well wipe out an entire CC spawn. Could golden shiners fill a similar role? Is my dream of a somewhat self-sustaining CC fishery even realistic? This is all hypothetical, as we haven’t even started digging the pond yet. I’m just thinking ahead for the future.

Thanks so much for your help and advice, everyone!

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Welcome to the forum. I'm curious is Redear might fill a role in your forage options. While very similar to BG on size and shape they don't reproduce as vigorously while also helping with some parasite control.

Golden shiners may also be helpful but they are nest raiders for eggs and predator only limited by mouth size.

Will be interesting to see what others have on advice.


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Thank you! I will look into redears. I did not know that about shiners.

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Welcome to Pond Boss!!

A man's got to have dreams and goals! You can do things to create spawning habitat/structure for CC, and a such, you should be able to get reproduction. Years down the road, you may want to introduce CC from another source to mix genetics.

Your idea of having it be self sustaining, IMO, is truly only possible if you feed, especially without any kind of fish forage base.

Also, I don't know if feed-grown CC taste different than natural-grown CC.


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My dad has a CC pond. He adds fingerlings every couple of yrs, and feeds on a non-regular basis. Loves to catch and eat them. He also stocks fathead minnows every time he buys fingerlings. It's not the system you want but it works for him.

Being a self-sufficient type of person is catching baby channels out of local creeks and bucket stocking an option? I've caught plenty of young CC while seineing riffles or setting traps.

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Catscratch, I hadn’t thought of that. It would probably work in a pinch.

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I'd only stock fingerlings caught out of a public BOW (or creek) if I was 200% sure that they were CC fingerlings. As cheap as they are, why take the chance on stocking something else? As for becoming unavailable, I'd bet that in our lifetime that will never happen. (Due to their popularity)

As for feeding, they will grow a LOT faster on feed. With them being as smart as they are, I wouldn't recommend doing ANY C&R with them. Catch and keep. They can be impossible to catch after caught a few times. I had them in my personal pond and guys would tell me BS, I can catch them. I should have put a $100 bounty on each fish caught. If none were caught then they'd pay me $100 per fishing "try". I'd have paid for my annual food budget with the money I would have collected.

Over 3#, they turn to being piscivorous, and I'd use BG to feed them. RES would be a good addition to deal with snails, but I don't think they'd reproduce enough to feed them. GSH occupy a different niche in the pond, and unless you have proper spawning habitat for them, I don't think they'd the proper food source either.


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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'm glad you brought up snails! My dad's pond is full of snails and the CC LOVE them! Used to set a line without bait. We'd catch CC because over night the snails would crawl up on the line and the CC would scoot along it sucking them off. Their bellies would be full of snails when we'd clean them.


As esshup stated... they are smart! My youngest and a friend went fishing 2 days ago at dad's pond. I told they couldn't catch more than 2 before they quit biting. They caught exactly 2! They'll still feed on pellets but you won't hook one after a couple have been pulled out.


Locally the only cat look-a-likes are bullhead and flatheads. I find it very easy to ID each and differentiate from CC.

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Red ear would be great. If you can get them speckle belly hybrids are really cool and very little reproduction most (95 percent or so) are male. They grow great and take pellets well.


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