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Please help me pick stocking numbers and timing.

A synopsis of the pond: Size will be 0.4 to 0.5 acre; Max depth will be 11+ feet; Watershed is about 5 acres of pasture/hayfield. Pond has a thin treeline to the East and medium thick woods to the West. Electrical aeration should be provided about the time the predators are stocked, certainly before biomass peaks in 2-3 years. Pond will be hand fed (40% Aquamax Carnivore, appropriately sized) once a day, 5+ days per week, in season.

Goal is to have breeding populations of RES, YP, and SMB, plus bonus trophy male-only BG. YP and RES will be utilized for the table; YP/SMB/RES will be transferred to the main pond in small numbers if a surplus of any are available. I would also like to use the pond to grow out a few HSB regularly (anually/semi-annually); since it should not have as large a mouth size predator as my main (LMB/BG/RES/CC) pond, I should be able to get by with a size smaller HSB stockers with minimal predation loss.

The story of constructing this pond can be seen in My Second Pond: Ground Breaking! Assume suitable spawning structures will be available for the RES/YP/SMB; I'm sure working on them.

Stocking Plan Species:
RES/YP/SMB plus male-only BG and HSB for grow out. See Brettski's Help me adopt my fish family for a discussion of the first three species.

Strategy and Tactics:
1) Already Pretty Much Decided: Forage Stocking
Spring 2008, I will purchase FHM (5-10 lbs) and Gambusia (100-200) and stock them when they are available for delivery. Also, once water temps are conducive to pellet feeding, I will stock 20 adult feed-trained RES currently camped out in my basement.

Additional adult RES (in what will probably be small numbers, probably another dozen or so) will be added as they are caught during the Summer. Certifiably male BG will be added also as they are caught.

I expect to get a RES spawn in this new pond next year, to add to the forage base available for predators on top of the young the FHM and Gambusia produce. I am also planning to add moderate numbers of juvenile RES to the pond in the August/September time frame (perhaps 3 dozen or so) as they are seined out of the existing pond, to provide an additional year-class and, eventually, additional brood stock.

2) Up for Grabs:SMB/YP/HSB Numbers and Timing
I would really like your input as to numbers and timing for stocking these three species.

I am planning on initially stocking small fingerlings of all three of these - 3-4" SMB, 3-4" HSB, and either 2-3" or 4-6" YP. SMB are, of course, the most expensive and hardest to get; I feel decisions on stocking the other two species should be secondary to obtaining a good, healthy population of Smallies to grow (and hopefully spawn, after they reach adulthood) in the pond. QUESTION: Could 6" YP eat 2-3" SMB/HSB? If so, no medium YP stocked concurrently with small bass.

My current WAG on these is to stock 50 SMB, 50 HSB, and 100 YP in either Fall 2008 (provided the forage base looks as good as it should) or Spring 2009, based on the availability of the small SMB. They can be stocked at completely different times, if it is best for the SMB.

HSB will be fed and grown out until they reach roughly 12" in size, and then will be transferred to the main pond as they are caught.

Please let me know your thoughts on this stocking plan. Thanks.

Last edited by Theo Gallus; 11/13/08 06:41 PM. Reason: Got rid of those certifiable BG

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This may help a little.

In Michigan lakes with slow-growing
bluegill populations, the mean bluegill length at
first annulus (Figure 8) is often larger than the
mean lengths used in our pond studies. In
samples from 16 lakes over several years, most
young bluegill were 25-60 mm TL during their
12
first winter. A 25-mm bluegill is predicted to
have a maximum body depth of 6.3 mm
(Equation 12). Therefore, to ingest that bluegill
a walleye needs to be at least 63 mm (EMw) and
a yellow perch needs to be at least 78 mm (EMp)
or 72 mm (MMp). A 60-mm bluegill has a body
depth (17.9 mm) equal to the estimated mouth
width of a 158-mm walleye and a 193-mm
yellow perch. However, the majority of age-0
bluegill are less than 50 mm and could be
ingested by any walleye likely to be present and
by any yellow perch over 158 mm. \:\)
















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Theo - If your YP are truly pellet trained -raised then I've found that they do not eat very many fish, thus your pellet eating 4"-6" YP should not eat lots of the fingerling SMB esp if minnows are available. YP that have been eating pellets for only a short time, it will result in a large percentage of them "going off feed". Also if the hatchery collects their pellet eating YP from a pond situation, some or numerous of the YP in the pond will not be pellet eaters. I suggest that you get your YP from Bill Lynch (Mill Creek Perch Farms) slightly northwest of Columbus - near Marysville. He does high quality YP with great brood stock . Another great YP supplier near Lynch is Jim Brehm, West Liberty OH. Both deal in very high quality fingerling and young adult DEPENDABLE pellet raised YP that have been domesticated for many years; I know of the lineage and original broodstock of their fish.

Have you considered holding a crop of YP or SMB in a cage to instill additional training on pellets?. An extra month or two in cage will weed out some of the non-pellet eaters before their final stocking. If you are interested in some quick YP for table use then stock some 4"-6" young YP adults along with the 2"-4"ers. With pellet feeding you can easily stock up to 300-600 YP-RES combination in your 0.5 acre. If the YP are truly pellet trained you can stock them right away with the minnows and not worry about YP severly depleating minnows during the first spring-summer. In spring '08' consider stocking initial forage, and confine pellet eating YP and or SMB to a cage in spring until fall. Those YP when released will not eat a lot of minnows except an occassional minnow during late fall to early spring. YP, even 12"-13"ers, will rarely ever eat a 3"-4" HSB due to behavior and body profile of the HSB.

Pellet eating SMB will likey grow faster than regular SMB. You may not be able to find fingerling SMB in spring. SMB 2"-3" in spring are stunted. Well fed YOY SMB should be 4" by fall. My neighbor currently (mid Aug) has some YOY SMB 3.5" and they are slightly stunted. They were growing great on zooplankton and invertebrates until they got to 2.5", then without fish, their growth slowed. Fender always has SMB in fall usu approx 3", but never in spring, and never has pellet raised SMB. You have to pellet train them yourself. If you have a few coarse gravel beds you will have SMB recruitment to transfer to the large pond - guaranteed.

Another idea is to get some (20-40)fingerling SMB this fall. Cage, and pellet train them. Feed them till fall of 2008 and release them as 6"-8" fish.

I think you should add some papershell crayfish (50-300 Orconectes immunis) when minnows are added. Papershells will help control FA and some submerged vegetation if SMB don't eat too many of the caryfish. Provide papershells some rock piles or riprap for refugia. YP and maybe RES will feed supplimentally on crayfish.
If you stock 50 HSB in your plan above, they will dominate the feeding at the suppression of all other fish (esp YP&RES) feeding except maybe a few of the SMB. If it were me, I would raise all the HSB in a cage in either pond until they are 10"-12" long then transfer all of them to the large pond. I suggest you raise 10-20 per year in a cage for transfer. This way you always have varying year classes with all sizes. You will discover that after the HSB get 16" long, they will be the worst food fish that you are raising. AS HSB get larger than 20" they will tend to dominate the pellet feeding even when they are with LMB, esp if HSB numbers are greater than 20-25 fish. This is because the HSB are faster, more powerfull swimmers. When the HSB are 26"-28" they will control the feeding area, most everyone even large bass get out of their way.


RES stocking plan is good. Only your RAS redears will feed on pellets. You may have to raise RES in RAS every couple years to keep a good group of active pellet feeders. RES will also not compete well when feeding with HSB. Do not expect "great things" overall from RES compared to BG and YP. RES will work but I doubt they will out perform your YP & BG. Your male only BG is a good plan.


I would not stock Gambusia. They will eat too many fish fry, unless fry predation is in your plan. I doubt gambusia will be able tolerate ice cover combined with SMB predation for very long. Do not expect much bemefit from them in your area and your pond situation. However, with your stocking plan you should make a serious effort to stock some bluntnose minnows anytime between now and mid-May of 2008. Numbers are not really important but at least 100 would be good, 50 is okay. You will collect them from your local creeks and large ditches. Discard those with any sign of black spot or grubs. Try to find a population of those that appear clean externally. Their spawning substrate is same as for FHM. Contact me for identification information and suggestions if needed. Bluntnose will survive much, much longer in your area than the FHM or gambusia, and if you have some weed cover such as lilies and or eelgrass bluntnose will perist long term if SMB do not become to abundant.

I think I covered most of your questions. Let me know if I missed anything. Do you have my 3 YP articles from Farm Pond Harvest?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/18/07 08:25 AM.

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Theo aka JW, Here are a few more comments as they come into my thoughts about your situation.

1. SMB, esp recruited, non pellet eating SMB, will feed heavily on papershells. Get your papershells (Orconectes immunis) from a reliable source that has pure cultures - Fender has "papershell" crayfish, but they are mixed with rusty caryfish. Do everything in your power to keep rusty crayfish out of your pond.

2. continued in a post below


Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/18/07 10:04 PM.

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Hi Bill. I was kind of hoping you'd respond.

I am now strongly considering backing off having HSB any part of this initial stocking effort. Right now, I do not have infrastructure conducive to easy cage culture - my existing dock (built for swimming and canoe access) only goes out to about 3' of depth when the pond is full, about a foot less this Summer - but I have pilings in for a bigger dock that should make it out to deeper water in the existing pond, and I will try to pick a spot for a dock in the new pond that will access deep water. Anyway, the possibilities for cage growout of HSB (or anything else in cages) should be better in the future, and I could use that to add more HSB later.

I stocked 50 8"-10" HSB in the main pond last Fall, and so far they have not had a huge presence (3 caught by hook and no confirmed HSB feeding observed - maybe they're eating pellets, but I haven't been able to see and I.D. them). So if I hold off until "later" to add more HSB, I should have a better feel for what they will do in my pond(s).

[Adding a new pond, I will have plenty to play with WITHOUT adding any wipers at the same time. Ya gotta spread out your toy acquisitions to truly appreciate all of them.]

WRT RES in the new pond, I'm hoping after they are established I can transfer some fingerlings and juveniles over to the old pond each year to help maintain the RES presence there amid BG competition. I should be able to seine some out each year, even if I don't catch very many. But I will try to use the relatively BG-free (tens of BG, rather than tens of thousands) environment in the new pond to learn more about angling for Redears. Nowadays, I seldom catch any after their spawn each year. If YP fishing is so good I still can't catch many Redears, I'll just have to live with that!

I figure a few feed-trained RES are just a bonus; I can always run another batch through training in the PBR when I want to. My hope for the first feed-trained batch is that the pellets will help them have enough to eat in the new pond and maybe improve their initial spawn. OTOH they could have so much to eat there that they go off pellets; it will be interesting to see.

Are there any good commercial sources for papershells or bluntnoses around? I wouldn't trust my taxonomic identification skills on either enough to stock someone else's pond (even if I didn't like them very much). And I don't really have much time to go stream-slogging, either. Sure loved it as a kid, though. Now, if you can recommend a good forage species of butterfly for Smallies, those I've got identifying down cold! \:D

Once again, the dichotomous argument on Gambusia rears it's head. They won't last and they eat too many fry. I wouldn't mind fry predation at all in my main pond. If I put them in the new pond during the initial stocking, I have to worry about them ruining YOY RES & FHM numbers, which I want high for the forage base. Consternation and tarnation!!!!! \:\(

How about this for a (slightly) more evolved general plan: RES & small forage (as available) Spring 2008, YP & SMB fingerlings Fall 2008. Maybe 200-300 YP and 75 SMB???

Comments from individuals whose knowledge falls anywhere in the vast gap in between myself and Dr. Perca (or on either side) are also solicited. Please?


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Theo, my knowledge gap is so far below your and Mr. Cody’s, that I have no business responding to your post, but a question and a comment might be OK?

Do I recall that you hand feed only in you existing pond?

The reason I ask is that in our case it takes time and patience to feed train hatchery raised fish, not only from risk of predation, but fish that are dominate species at the hatchery, become a smaller submissive fish in a new environment.

Our 10 – 12 inch HSB stocked in our main pond are observed on the outer edges of automatic feeder pattern – they are spooked by near shore feeding frenzy.



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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I don't accept your knowledge level being below mine, george. After all, I was the top analog filter man in the digital systems laboratory back in Grad School.

Correct, hand-feeding only. I chuck it out as far as I can. On days with a good wind-assist, it makes it most of the way across the pond. I hope the HSB are feeding way out there, but it's too far for me to identify them if they are.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them.


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Theo aka JW,
Your stocking plan is not a tried and tested stocking combination. Brettsiki is also trying something similar to what you are doing. His plan is just slightly different. I have experience with most of these fish, but not as an entire combination so I just gesstimate here for you what will happen. It will be interesting for me to see how both of these similar combinations develope.

Gambusia would be an option for the new pond, but just don't expect them to persist once the SMB are stocked after 1-2yrs. If the Gambusia last until SMB spawn, young SMB (3"-5"), will feed heavily on the surface swimming Gambusia. A good year class of 1 year old SMB should be able to wipe out all sizes of the Gambusia. If not, then when the water freezes the Gambusia cannot jump-skip to avoid the predators including YP. When water is 39F during our fairly long winters, Gambusia (warmwater preference) will not fair well due to predation from cool tolerant and quite active YP and SMB. Unless I miss my guess during most of our winters, your predators will eliminate every existing Gambusia. If the cold doesn't get the Gambusia, the predators will.

For your smallish 0.5 acre pond, 75 SMB may be a little high for the stocking density unless you don't mind slightly slower growth rates esp after year 2-3. Some of this will depend on SMB size at stocking. At this hearty stocking rate of 75, SMB will prey hard initially on existing forage to fairly quickly eliminate the fatheads (yr 2-3), unless you allow submerged weed beds to develop. If you have some weed beds, In yr 2 and 3 watch as the ratio of FHM to bluntnose dramatically changes from one dominated by FHM to one dominated by bluntnose. By Yr 3 it will be difficult to find a FHM.

A higher percentage of Pellet trained SMB will allow minnow forage to sustain itself for a longer period until the first SMB spawn develops. Then expect even more intense predation from 3 directions on minnow populations. Direction 1 will be adult SMB on largest minnows, and direction 2 will be young SMB on all smallish to medium minnows, direction 3 will be YP predation on various minnows depending on size of YP. I currently have a couple 2.7" SMB in buckets eating 1.2"-1.3" minnows. Handling time of SMB with the minnows is quite short. Maintaining a strong population of pellet eating YP will also help take predation pressure off minnows. First spawns of YP & SMB (pond yr2-3) could result in elimination of FHM, bluntnose and any reminant population of Gambusia; all depending on refugia available. You will now have YOY SMB eating YOY minnows,YP eating intermediate minnows and adult SMB eating lots of adult minnows possibly to almost the exclusion of SMB & YP predation on RES due to forage shape and presence of spines. If you stock 75 SMB watch the relative abundance of especially adult minnows closely, as the SMB get to 7"-10". If you see a quick decline in numbers start removing largest SMB to the larger pond. Without a stong minnow forage, non-pellet eaters will grow fairly slowly with RES as the only forage. Crayfish if not eliminated early, could help prop up the SMB size and quality. This will depend on strength of your crayfish population.

Theo you say: "OTOH they could have so much to eat there that they go off pellets; it will be interesting to see." I think with very abundant natural forage going off pellets by some to numerous fish is likely especialy if the fish were not strongly imprinted to pellets. That is why I say, it is important to hold fingerlings in a cage for a summer or longer to strengthen the pellet feeding habit. This is not as improtant if you are buying second year pellet raised fish. Currently I think the availability of natural forage can be an important factor in maintaining pellet fed fish.

You will learn numerous things from the developments of this second pond. There are a lot of "it all depends" for your new pond.

Since you live fairly close to me I can arrange for you to get pure stockings of papershell crayfish and bluntnose minnows. I can also provide some spotfin shiners if you want them. Currently I am experimenting with spotfins in YP ponds that have various fish combinations. I think your drive to me is about 2.2-2.5 hrs. Do you want your forage species this fall?




Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/18/07 10:26 PM.

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 Quote:
If you stock 75 SMB watch the relative abundance of especially adult minnows closely, as the SMB get to 7"-10". If you see a quick decline in numbers start removing largest SMB to the larger pond.
Current contingency plan modified with size information.

 Quote:
Without a stong minnow forage, non-pellet eaters will grow fairly slowly with RES as the only forage.
Undoubtedly true. Knowing my personal preferences, if I try to optimize size management for one species in this pond, it will be YP. I'm trusting the RES won't stunt because they breed like, well, Redears. Bass stunting - that's a tool I already use.

 Quote:
Since you live fairly close to me I can arrange for you to get pure stockings of papershell crayfish and bluntnose minnows. I can also provide some spotfin shiners if you want them. Currently I am experimenting with spotfins in YP ponds that have various fish combinations. I think your drive to me is about 2.2-2.5 hrs. Do you want your forage species this fall?
I really doubt I will be able to put anything in until next Spring. Based on history from the filling of the first pond, which is 150 yards away with roughly the same watershed ratio and the same watershed type (the two watersheds are directly adjacent), modified for how very dry things are this year, I will be extremely (actually need a stronger superlative here) surprised if any significant amount of water builds up before soils get saturated this Winter and runoff can actually occur. Right now, a 2" rain doesn't do more than dampen the top few inches of soil for a couple of days. And you know how common 2" rains are in late Summer/early Fall.

But I do expect it will fill sometime during the Winter.

Alternate forage availability is very interesting and would be an excellent excuse to visit Wild Bill's Fish Farm.


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Theo you can make a cheap 3 foot deep cage or blocking net out of 2 Wal-Mart 20 ft seines to keep raising FH for forage or other fish. See GW or Shorty's version.
















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THE FISH TRUCK CAME TODAY!

I got my FHM and 100 Bullfrog Tadpoles for Mrs. Gallus (she's part Portuguese - that's close to France).

I was not able to be home when the forage fish were delivered for my first pond, so this was a new experience. I got to see the FHM being weighed - you tare the bucket and water and then add drained minnows to get 10 lbs net:


Here are some of the tadpoles. I didn't notice until I downloaded the camera, but there is a very lonely and/or sick looking, what?, Rosey Red FHM in with them.


After an incredibly sloppy walk back to pond #2 (it rained last night), the FHM and tads were tempered and then released.


My daughter had me keep one of the Bullfrog Tadpoles for her. She wants to put it in her 5 gallon aquarium and observe. I think it would be neat to get a day-by-day look at the tad-to-frog transformation.

I am also starting an experiment today, one that is somewhat more sinister. I kept about 3 dozen FHM and after they get warmed up today, I will put them in the PBR with 20 RES ranging from 7'-9'. Anyone want to get up a pool on 1) will they all get eaten, and 2) how long will it take?

Here are the unsuspecting subjects:


P.S. The biggest laugh I will stifle all day was when the fish guy asked me "Have you got any structure in there?" \:D

Last edited by Theo Gallus; 03/28/08 02:53 PM.

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Congrats on the new addition!

I'm guessing that YES, the RES will eat the FHs. I don't know how long it will take, though.

I'm just sorry that y'all still needed jackets today. It's downright balmy here.


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My wife and kids are upstate in Toledo today, visiting the university, and they have 6" of snow there.


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OK!!! Party at Theo's house!!!!!!!!


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Stocking day is a blast. I am sure glad the stocking guy did not see the sunken skeletons and leave with your fish. You are going to throw out some pellets for the FH correct ?

Sunil I had a friend that let a couple of his friends know the parents were out of town. The next thing he knew there were 100 friends including a few bikers going wild in his house. A biker road through a window and up the stairs. The bikers left just before the cops showed up and arrested the lot of the kids. The house was totally trashed.
















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 Originally Posted By: ewest
Stocking day is a blast. I am sure glad the stocking guy did not see the sunken skeletons and leave with your fish. You are going to throw out some pellets for the FH correct ?

Yeah - what's the minimum water temp for FHM to surface feed?

 Quote:
Sunil I had a friend that let a couple of his friends know the parents were out of town. The next thing he knew there were 100 friends including a few bikers going wild in his house. A biker road through a window and up the stairs. The bikers left just before the cops showed up and arrested the lot of the kids. The house was totally trashed.

I've seen that movie, too.



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Somehow, I'm familiar with the same story. Go figure.

But in the story I heard, the cops never came.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Congrat's dude!
RES, YP, and SMB this fall...right?

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Gambusia when received in a month or so. RES later this Spring when the water's over 60 F (20 PBR refugees) and continuing on through the year as caught/seined. YP/SMB this fall.


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REDEARS PLACED IN POND

Yesterday I moved my 20 feedtrained RES from the PBR in my basement to the new pond. These guys have been eating or trying to eat FHM in their 100 gallon home since the Fatheads were stocked a month ago and managed to consume 35 to 40 in the first 3 weeks or so. 5 minutes after I put them in the pond, I think one of them chased a fathead out of the water about 10 feet from where the RES went in. The fatheads were definitely more tentative eating pellets todays than they have been; whether the Redears are responsible is anyone's guess.


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a memorable day for you and yer RES, congratulations theo!


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Here you can borrow this guy untill you can post your on.


















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I've got baby Fatheads! Little, itty-bitty ones about 3/8" - 1/2" long. The foodchain has begun!

Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can get a RES spawn.


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Gambusias Arrive

The friendly BBT (big brown truck) arrived today with my Gambusias (quantity of 100) on board. The UPS driver was really surprised to find out he was hauling live fish; "I didn't know we did that."

Mrs. Gallus hung around the house for me today to handle receiving, stocking, and taking photos. Here is the package of Gams, out of the box but still in their double bag:


She took them back to Pond #2 and tempered them by floating the bag in the pond for a while to warm it up, then mixed pond & bag water and released them.
Freedom, Sweet, Horrible Freedom:


Finally, thanks to the marvels of miniaturization, I am able to introduce you to GAMCAM (tm) and this release time Mosquito Fish-eye view of my second pond:


The Gambusia seemed very well and active, with only one mort in transit.


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The fish stockers sweetest dream....minimal morts. \:\)


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...and away we go. Looks like pond #2 has completed the formative stages of self-sustenance. Let the hammering begin.

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Contratulations Theo! Sheesh look at the condition of the box, looks like the poor Gams got thrown around the warehouse some.

A Gam Cam? Glad I didn't have one of those or my Gam stocking event would have been even more tramatic.


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Theo what is the rest of the timeline ? Tell Mrs. good job - the fish even swam out in orderly fashion. Glad she tempered them and got them out of the bag.

Everyone note that it is very important to get them out of the bag quick once the bag is opened. As they are packed with 100% O2 , once the bag is open the O2 level drops quickly and there is not enough to support the large # of fish. As noted temper them in the closed bag then quickly add water if needed and get them in the pond.
















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 Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
Contratulations Theo! Sheesh look at the condition of the box, looks like the poor Gams got thrown around the warehouse some.

In addition to the Gams, the box held biodegradeable styrofoam peanuts and some (2 or more, I'm not sure how many) coldpacks (seem to be like the blue ice I use in my lunchbox to keep my DMD and BG leftovers cold). The coldpacks had sweat a lot, the box was wet at the bottom (my wife feared a fish bag leak, but that proved not to be the case), and the biodegradeable peanuts had started to biodegrade.


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 Originally Posted By: ewest
Theo what is the rest of the timeline ?

Not sure exactly what you are asking.

She took a good long time letting the temperature adjust before opening the bag; there is an hour and 10 minute spread between the unpacking photo and the last picture she took as the Gams swam off. She compared temperatures every few minutes until the pond and the bag felt about the same. Probably 30 to 45 minutes.

BTW, that was much more careful and considerate than I probably (okay, definitely) would have been.

WRT pond status, it now has the stocked RES (24 adults so far), FHM, Gams, and Bullfrogs (I think the first BF Tads have finished changing in the pond; the one my daughter has been keeping in the house finished metamorphosis 2-3 weeks ago, but it was warmer all along than the pond was), plus volunteer Green Frogs and several types of water bugs. This year's American Toad spectacle concluded about a week ago, with the last of the 1/2" long Bufo americanus hopping onto dry land like so many tiny crickets. There are HUGE numbers of little FHM, from about 3/4" down to whatever size is too small for you to see. No sign of a RES spawn yet, but I will not really be expecting them until I see 2008 YOY BG/RES in my main pond.


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For the fish stocking (SMB) and what size. Not on the gam release - all my comments on that were for those who have not done the bag method before.

I knew she did a good job when I saw the gams swimming out in formation.
















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I should* be stocking 75 SMB and 200 YP, both in the 3"-4" range, this Fall. That is heavy on the SMB wrt YP numbers (IIRC Cody recommended 50 SMB), but the Smallies are so much more $ that I want to be sure the SMB succeed at a slight risk to the YP population. The perch are much cheaper to add more later in any size.

I think I will stock a couple of Grass Carp (10") this Fall as well.

* Given SMB availablity - I'm on the list as ordered and they say they'll have them.


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Keep in touch with the supplier all summer. The more you are talking to them the less chance for them to sell your fish to someone else.
















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Have you put in a deposit? Of course there's risk involved with that, but just think of the emotional feelings you're going to have when you let freedom ring for these smallies. It'll bring a tear to your eye.

Mrs. Gallus: "Theo, are you crying?"

Theo: "No, never, never. I just got some dust in my eye."


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I have big male BG (or possibly some of the 20 feed-trained RES) vigorously eating pellets now!

One took a couple pellets on Saturday and last night there were 4 of them eating. There are so few fish eating spread out over the 1/3 of the shore I am feeding minnows on that it is very easy to count how many surface hits each one makes. This data confirms that the Condello "4 pellets per BG per feeding" rule applies to Ohio as well as Nebraska (although one fish came up 5 times - glutton). They also are amazingly consistent on where they surface at - repeatable within 3" or so.

I noticed that the aquatic insects which had been the most prevalent on the water have all but disappeared. I am not sure what kind they are (I can't even remember what we called them when I was a kid) but they look kind of like this, except they lack the prominent legs sticking out on the sides:


A couple of weeks ago, there were thousands of these little bugs on the pond. They would form up in communal rafts, one of which must have covered 25 square feet. They are just about the right size to make a mouthful for a big BG. Now that they are mostly gone, the male BG (which have been in the pond for about a month, as I have increased their number to 8) have become interested in eating fish feed again. Coincidence?


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Those look like Whirligig beetles. The larger ones smell like green apple when you shake them up.

Don't try this with the small ones.

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 Quote:
Whirligig beetles

Yeah, that's what we called them. They're sure frantic little devils!


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Fish Wife was kind enough to check in with my fish supplier yesterday. They will begin their Fall fish hauling season the first of next month and anticipate bringing my 200 YP, 75 SMB, and 2 Grass Carp about the middle of October. My belly button is puckering and unpuckering just thinking about it! \:\)


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 Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
My belly button is puckering and unpuckering just thinking about it! \:\)


THAT IS JUST WRONG!!!!!!!!!! \:D

That's a mental picture I just did NOT need!

Thanks Theo



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Me to Rainman - it is not as unappealing as thinking of Sunil in a 2 piece with a wax job - but still \:o

I am looking forward to the pics - of the fish - thank you.


Last edited by ewest; 09/23/08 01:25 PM.















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Just because I don't know any better, I'll take that as a compliment, ewest!

Please give some advance warning of the stocking date and time so B.I.S.A. can execute the necessary rites and rituals, and of course, the necessary billing.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Yes it is a compliment Sunil. Guys over 40 doing things out of character can be unsightly or unimaginable. Bench presses, fishing or lifting a few cans are good - 2 pieces and body waxing are not.
















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I'VE GOT YELLOW PERCH!

The fish truck just left after stocking 200 YP (nominally 2" - 4", but by my observation 3" - 5" with a couple better than 6"), 2 Triploid Grass Carp, and (ta-dah) 1 Walleye about 6" long that was in the tank with the YP (the driver asked if I wanted the WE thrown in and I thought about it for about 5 seconds before saying "Yes!" I mean, I have a Walleye now, and how much can 1 WE screw things up, anyway?) (Drs. Willis and Perca, don't answer that last question if it's really bad news.)

My Smallies weren't available at this time, and will be shipped later (after they round some up from elsewhere, I presume). So back off, Sunil, no fund raising for BISA yet. ;\)

Some of my new swimming fillets:


My 2 new Vegetation Control Officers:



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Yahoo!!!!!!!!! Stocking always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Sorry about the smallies though. The walleye is a nice distraction for now.

You should get a few more walleye when they bring the smallies next time.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Theo - From the sizes it appears to me that the YP you got were all from this year's hatch. Typically the YOY perch are in the 2"-4" range for fall fish sales. When the hatch is less and individuals are not as crowded in the pond growth will be a little better thus some fish in the 5"-6" group. It is good to know that Jones did not grade/sort the fish and sell you just those in the 2"-4" group which would have been mostly males. You should see good growth from them, esp the larger ones. Were they supposed to be pellet trained?
The main negative to the WE IMO is they are hard to catch when the pond is dominated by or has numerous YP - the YP get to the bait before the WE. Thus the catch rate for WE is very low. WE at 20+" will start harassing the 7" YP. 16"-18" WE eat quite a few 3"-4" YP per yr probably around 200-300 per fish. Consider that fact when deciding how many more WE to add to the pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/24/08 02:22 PM.

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Bill:

No idea on feed trained status. IIRC they should take feed not as easy as BG, but easier than LMB, so I figure at least some of them will start eating pellets when they get hungry. I will be giving them the opportunity to do so all next year.

I don't plan on stocking any more WE in this pond (Pond #3, construction date TBD but far in the future, is tentatively pencilled in as a WE pond with crowded YP and GSH). I only regularly take advice from Sunil on drinking and driving. ;\)

Question:

Could 6" 2008 YOY YP possibly grow enough on plentiful Gambusia/FHM this Winter to spawn next year? I have been assuming my first YP spawn would be no sooner than 2010.


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A few walleye won't hurt that much (although I always defer to Cody).

Live a little bit; stop being such a purist. You already have bullhead in there.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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 Originally Posted By: Sunil
A few walleye won't hurt that much (although I always defer to Cody).

Live a little bit; stop being such a purist. You already have bullhead in there.




DUDE!!! That was HARSH!!!



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Ah Rainman, they are PBoss LLII, bunkroom, shuttle riding hopefull brothers, not to worry.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/24/08 09:05 PM.

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Congratulations, Theo! Jones' came by my pond today also!


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FHM, GSH, GSF, BG, PS, RES, LES, YP, SMB, LMB, HSB, RBT, WE, CC, FHC, and Grass Shrimp
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 Originally Posted By: Rainman
 Originally Posted By: Sunil
You already have bullhead in there.




DUDE!!! That was HARSH!!!

Harsh? It was a dirty rotten lie!

The fish in question have informed me in no uncertain terms that they are "Junior Channel Cats". (smug)


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Bullheads have rights too, so says the AFLCIO.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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GOT SMALLIES?

I do, now.

The BBT (Big Brown Truck) came today and delivered 75 baby bronzebacks. All appeared to be healthy, active, and as advertised, size-wise (nominally 3"-4", they ranged from a good solid 3" up to one which was over 6" long).

Fish Wife unpacked them and set them in the pond to temper, and after about an hour I made it home and we released them. They are now snug in there beds for the Winter, sharing a Summer's worth of FHM and Gambusia reproduction with 200 YP, 29 RES, 15 male BG, and a lonely, confused Walleye.

In the innermost shipping bag:


Being released (you can see the big one coming out!):


Recovering from their shipping tranquilizer in the pond:


To make it a perfect day, Fish Wife picked up half a hog from our butcher, with an extra 20 lbs of bacon. Life is very good.


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Those fish are SOOOO beautiful.

Now it's definitely ME who's jealous of YOU. :green with envy:


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theo, a hearty congrats from el dorado, tippin the carbonated adult beverage to you as we speak.

in that first pic, i love the war paint on their little faces. those are gonna be some REALLY fun fish to catch in a year or two.


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Good news !!! Those are good looking fish. On a good date 11-13-08 as well. Full moon and a new home. I bet they are stalking FH and gams right now.

Last edited by ewest; 11/13/08 08:55 PM.















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Completely awesome.

That's your most diversified pond now, right?

SMB
YP
RES
FH
BG
WE
Bullhead


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 Originally Posted By: Sunil
Completely awesome.

That's your most diversified pond now, right?

SMB
YP
RES
FH
BG
WE
Bullhead

SMB
YP
RES
FH
BG
WE
Bullhead Gambusia :P

Poor Fish Wife was looking at the SMB stocking pictures here yesterday and, falling victim to misinformation, asked me "Do we have Bullheads?"


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No Golden Shriners?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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They're only in Pond #1, with the Redneck Sunfish.


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Congrats, Small-daddy.
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Sunil; something about a BISA bill...?

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 Quote:

Poor Fish Wife was looking at the SMB stocking pictures here yesterday and, falling victim to misinformation, asked me "Do we have Bullheads?"


I just didn't know that Bullheads come in the fin variety too. I know we raise them in the four legged and two legged varieties here on the farm. I learn something new every day


One person's pond is another person's borrow pit.
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Figure 1: The FatA** Minnow


Figure 3: The Golden Shriner


Figure 4: The Redneck Sunfish (Summer form)

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=6488&Number=62097#Post62097
















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I gotta get me some of them Redneck Sunfish! \:D

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The only problem with the redneck sunfish is that they need a steady supply of pork rinds and cheap beer to thrive. The positive side of redneck sunfish is that they can fix anything with duct tape.



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and they breed out of control

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