skennedy, I was hoping some of the pros would jump in on this subject, but they are in their busiest season of the year, so I’ll share my experience with you.
There is a ton of information in the archives on “wipers” (I prefer the term Hybrid Stiped Bass):
READER NOTE: SOME OF THE LINKS BUY GEORGE DO NOT WORK BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER LINKS IN LATER POSTS THAT PROVIDE VERY GOOD INFORMATION. http://forums.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=003579
HYBRID STRIPED BASS
HSB study results
Winter feeding HSBTopic: Winter feeding HSB Topic: Winter feeding HSB
HSB Stress & Deaths in Cold Water.http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=448898#Post448898
HSB in Hot Summer Weather
HSB do get very stressed, sometimes to the point of death during the angler-fish fight. The warmer the water the more they become stressed. It is not wise to fish for HSB when water is in the 80F+ range unless you are willing to tolerate some HSB mortality. George1 has a special proceedure to rejuvenate or revive heavily stressed HSB before releasing them back into the pond so they rarely die after an exhausting mid-summer battle with an angler. If George or another member knows the title of the thread that explains his reviving method using oxygen please post it below. Also see link later in this thread.
Warm water and HSB extracted from the link above:
1. At what surface water temp. do you consider lethal when angling HSB? (81 degrees?)
There is no set lethal temperature. Remember that when water is warmer it loses some of it's ability to hold dissolved oxygen. HSB survive without angling in temperatures well into the 80's, but when you combine this with the stress of angling, lower oxygen, and long fights, these fish can and DO die.
2. At what water temp. would you expect to loose say 50 %.
50% is a high number. I'd say long fight at 81-85 degrees might see a mortality rate this high.
3. At what temp. do you consider maximum for near 100% survival? Using proper angling techniques (i.e. Quick catch and proper release, proper hooks, etc.)
To assure survival, I don't angle for my HSB at water temperatures above 75.
4. As you mention, larger fish are much more vulnerable to “fight to the death” syndrome. Are there standards you use for say 3#, 4# fish, etc.?
When HSB reach about 20 inches, the "death curve" starts to steepen.
5. You can increase oxygen available to fatigued muscle tissue by moving fish through the water (FORWARD) with it's mouth held open, if you don't have pure O2 available. It definitely helps. Keep in mind that a fish with massive lactic acid buildup essentially goes into a cramp. He can't recover if his mouth is cramped shut. I've seen this where you try to release a warm water captured hybrid and he gets a curve in his back and his mouth is locked shut. You put him in the water and he just lays there. He's suffering from oxygen deprivation just as much as if he's sitting on the bank. Maybe even more so. The fish on the bank is just drying out. The one in the water is suffocating.
6. HSB, and other fish as well, probably have significantly higher mortality if some of their handling occurs on a boat deck, or on the ground. Removing the slime layer is known to produced
some delayed mortality in addition to the immediate mortality being discussed above.
HSB Lifespan Info
HSB Pond Record
HSB/Striped Bass Analogy
My experience with HSB in a ”put and take fishery” has been very successful.
As you read, or have read in the archives, the problem with stocking them in an existing pond is predation from adult LMB.
With a new pond and your stocking plan, you do not have this problem.
This presents an excellent opportunity to avoid the predation issue, and acquire stocker HSB at economical prices when this years crop becomes available.
I am not familiar with suppliers in your area but I’m sure someone on the forum will advise you.
I would stock the smallest and least expensive HSB available, at the rate of 100/acre, and supplement each fall with numbers you intend to harvest.
In this way you create a yearly "ladder" for harvest and sport fishing.
There is no finer pond fish than HSB for sport and table fare.
A feeding program with high protein pellets is an optimum program.
A good aeration system is a plus for the goals you have outlined, but I have had success in a ¼ acre “grow-out pond” used for transferring HSB to our 2 acre pond, having survived two record breaking, low water drought ridden summers.
Good luck and keep us posted