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#561826 10/04/23 08:07 AM
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I have read through a lot of the old threads and seen a million questions about goldenshiners, I think mine's a little bit different. I have stocked golden shiners in my pond on several occasions, and as far as I can tell they've all gotten devoured. I used to see schools of them in the shallow end but their presence dwindled. I've tried sitting traps out and never caught any so I'm thinking they've all been eaten. I want to try it again but with a little bit more of a plan. I don't have anywhere nearby to purchase in quantity so I've ordered from Anderson minnow in the past. I was thinking of ordering a thousand of the small ones and 5 lb of the brooders. I do have a lot of cover in my pond, both vegetation and wood. The thought was it would give the brooders more of a chance to survive if there were a bunch of small ones for the bass and perch to Target. My main objective is to get a successful spawn as I don't think I ever have. Would it make sense to stock them at this time of year, or just wait till the spring? I've also thought about putting the brooders in a cage and trying to get them up to maybe 6 in or so before releasing them so that they have a better chance of survival. If I were going to do the cage route would it make sense to stock them this late in the year? Any opinions are appreciated

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It'll be 7 months before they begin to spawn again. I have a hard time spending somebody's money on stocking minnows that are going to experience 7 months of morts before they get a chance to spawn. Also, depending on the size of Bass and perch, they are going to seek the best size and number to feed on, they may not want to feed on 1.5" minnows and will track down the larger sized ones'-depending on size of the predators.

Last edited by Snipe; 10/04/23 11:05 AM.
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Thanks for the response. I thought that might be the case with wintertime predation. Would you bother with trying to grow them in a cage now or in the spring at all? I do have a lot of good plant cover but it is a small pond.

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The flip size of the coin is to stock them with the hope that some will survive the winter. The remainder will help feed the fish over the winter when you can't feed pellets.


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Originally Posted by Freg
Thanks for the response. I thought that might be the case with wintertime predation. Would you bother with trying to grow them in a cage now or in the spring at all? I do have a lot of good plant cover but it is a small pond.

How do they eat if they're in a cage ?

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Just throw fish feed into the cage. I pellet feed all winter (perch and trout)

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Fish do experience some stress when caged. It's important to try and keep the cage frame and 'netting' clean, which may be easier said than done depending on where you have the cage in the pond.


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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Every time I've caged shiners for more than a couple days they tore their faces off trying to escape.
That was using a wire mesh cage. They might do better in a nylon mesh cage, but I wouldn't attempt it over winter.

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Appreciate the responses, guess I should just hold off till the spring

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Scale fish don't do well in cages. Cage culture was really developed for catfish and works great for them. Scale fish get to many bacterial infections from the stress and rubbing on the cage.

I always tell my customers they get better bang for their buck stocking forage minnows (fathead minnows or golden shiners) in the spring vs the fall. Only real reason to forage stock in the fall would be if you feel your gamefishes relative weights are too low and they won't have ample fat reserves for the winter months.

What part of TN are you in? I may know a producer or pond management company in your area, I have sold fish to several retailers south of me.

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I'm in East Tennessee. I decided to hold off on stocking this fall. Actually decided to dig a forage pond and I'm going to try to raise shiners in it to transfer into my main pond in the spring. I have so many predators in my pond that I don't know the shiners whatever get established.

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Originally Posted by Freg
Actually decided to dig a forage pond and I'm going to try to raise shiners in it to transfer into my main pond in the spring.

Nice!!!

There are multiple threads on Pond Boss for forage pond designs. Mostly to make the seining operation easier.

Good luck on your shiner pond. Please report back on your pond design and shiner rearing results, because I suspect a lot of people will be interested in that thread.

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Freg, good for you. The important thing about forage ponds is designing them so that they are easy to get the forage fish out of. Think large numbers of fish to be removed, not just a few hundred.


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I started the forage pond project as somewhat of an accident (needed fill dirt). Decided why not give it a try as I think I have too many predators in my main pond (1/8th acre) to establish shiners. The forage pond is about 12 ft X 10 ft and around 3.5 ft deep. I can run aeration if needed. I kept the pond small as I didn't have a ton of space and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be too difficult to seine or net fish out.

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