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#530333 02/07/21 08:05 PM
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Just purchased several acres in east texas. Old pasture land, has about a half acre pond that has been a cow watering hole for many years.
Previous owner has had the land 11 years, says pond has never dried out, and has never maintained it.

500+ above sea level, no spring/stream, clay bottom (Under who knows how many inches of pine needles and sweet gum leaves...)

There is a ravine to the side of it with an overflow drain leading to it, and terminating in my neighbor's pond a few hundred yards away.
So I assume it is simply a large pool that gets replenished by rain or groundwater leeching from surrounding higher land.

It is is bad shape and this is my first pond, so manual cleaning was my first priority, what is not water and detritus is what appears to be filamentous and planktonic alga (Looks like green horse hair and green slime)
Mats of the stringy stuff glued together with the slimy stuff, and bottom pretty much covered with the slimy stuff.

I figured manual cleaning was best place to start before chemicals.
So I built a floating box of .5" hardware cloth, floated it on pool noodles and started dragging it back and forth to skim off the top floating stuff.
Have removed hundreds of pounds of green mats, but also noticed various sizes of these in the basket from time to time. I was not expecting to find fish!

I stopped after the first day, and approached the pond in the morning after, and just observed, I saw several of both types, significantly larger.
I am guessing the rounder ones to be bream of some sort, not the bluegills I caught from rivers and streams growing up n FL.
They went into the deeps before I could get a really good look, but the fit the profile of the baby as well. About hand sized.

The other I am assuming is a chain pickerel? What we used to call jackfish colloquially, never heard of one in a pond since I would assume they would eat everything and then turn to cannibalism!
They were considered pretty voracious predators where I used to fish.
The larger ones of these were maybe 10" and I saw only three, whereas maybe a dozen of the presumed bream.

Of the smaller, I would estimate a few dozen of both types.

Since I found / observed what seemed like three generations of sizes, I *think* I can assume a breeding population of both.

But it begs the question of how could a dense population of predator and prey live so freely and apparently well in a confined environment.

And where the heck did they come from?

Comments on how to best handle the alga/muck problem without wiping them out would be welcome as well.
I was considering a season of overstocked tilapia to eat all, as they should not live through winter here. But not sure what the competition would do there either.

Please and thank you,
--Gene
Last edited by Quixotic; 02/10/21 09:06 PM. Reason: added more pics
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Quixotic #530335 02/08/21 12:03 AM
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Looks like chain pickerel and possibly warmouth. Not 100% sure on the 2nd ID, if a bigger one is found that will help. Interesting pond for sure!


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Quixotic #530339 02/08/21 11:19 AM
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see this link re CP.

https://www.efish.fishwild.vt.edu/families/chainpick.html

other looks like a lepomis (sunfish) cross - very different

Last edited by ewest; 02/08/21 11:20 AM.















Quixotic #530349 02/08/21 12:39 PM
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Thank you both, I was almost certain on the chain pickerel, it just did not (and still does not) make sense how one adult did not kill and eat anything that swam. much less two adults breeding unless that thing is deep with lots of places to hide, and even then... I am wondering if the mats and congestion may have been all that allowed the little ones to stay alive long enough to breed.

if I zoom out of the map, there are no rivers and no large ponds even within a mile radius, just a few other small pasture water holes. So I have to assume even under the worst of floods that made that ravine, it did not wash these guys from any natural source to me. So someone at sometime many years ago had to have put them there and by luck got a mating pair of each, because stocking a pond this size that way sounds silly.


Added maps for reference.

Chances I could spray down the alga with copper sulfate after manual removal of what I can, and then let muckaway eat the rest, without killing them all?

And add catfish/tilapia (Both, neither, or either?) to finish the cleanup job, with the intent tilapia will die come fall, catfish will not?
Aeration is next on the to do list after cleanup.

Like I said, first pond, but a LOT of research. I do IT and software development for a living, so I do not start many projects without a well researched plan.

I will catch some of the bigger for positive ID later and will update as well for posterity. But I did not want to chance injuring them as I was wrecking and rebuilding their environment.

The prospect of a pond where I can catch fun fish and food fish in such a tight space intrigues me for sure.

Quixotic #530351 02/08/21 12:48 PM
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Better off using Cutrine Plus Liquid to kill the FA, then stock Tilapia at the recommended rate for your area within a few days of killing the TIlapia. Give Todd Overton at Overton Fisheries a shout, he's in Buffalo Texas. I don't know if that's close enough to you or not. https://overtonfisheries.com/

Catfish will start eating other fish once they reach around 3# weight, so keep that in mind if you decide to stock them. Fish will follow flowing water even if it is very skinny, 1" of water will be enough.

Last edited by esshup; 02/08/21 12:51 PM.

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Quixotic #530358 02/08/21 03:00 PM
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And some species prefer to travel into the current instead of with it!!!

Quixotic #530360 02/08/21 04:04 PM
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Buffalo is about 100 miles, overton is 20, then I realized that was his name...
Thanks for the heads up that is certainly close enough for a consult.

Good to know on the catfish, I took them for bottom feeders and scavengers, not predators!

I really like the idea of being able to fish out food and a sport fish, and would have never though both possible.
If I had to pick though I would choose the ones I could eat. So aside from the tilapia which I know will die (it hits 20 or below almost every winter here a few times)....
maybe I will not mess with the balance of type and work on the water / bottom quality a couple of years..

I have some good before pics, and cannot wait to take some after.
I am sure I will be back for more advise as I go and show progress as the cleaning progresses.
Thanks again.

Quixotic #530363 02/08/21 07:23 PM
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A lot of us put tilapia in every year. They eat filament..... ( hard word) algae. Can keep it under control and you can eat them before they die off

Quixotic #530366 02/08/21 08:20 PM
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That was the plan grass fed fish :-)

I just went out there in waders, the layer of leaves, pine needles, etc is at least 12" deep, so I am assuming some muck away will give me back a third as much pond as I started with.
Between that and some aeration I hope to have it ready for the tilapia by April, and with any luck without murdering its current inhabitants.

Quixotic #530369 02/08/21 08:54 PM
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Well.... sometimes ya got to break a few eggs to make an omelet

Quixotic #530393 02/09/21 01:08 PM
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I see a little red on the opercule on #2 - maybe some RES genes. Like esshup said, a picture of a bigger one would be much easier to ID.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i582.photobucket.com]
Quixotic #530407 02/09/21 06:17 PM
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Red breast, is what all of the juveniles I could find online, it most resembled.
yellow/green was a close second, but to be honest they did all look a LOT alike, and some of the subtleties I know are environmental.
I have caught the same fish from a clear pond vs a brown water creek, and they looked very different.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say the chances of having three distinct types in this little pond are stretching, so if I can catch a larger one later this week... it will almost assuredly be of of the two.
Having never put a hook in the water, for that matter going to have to go buy something to fish with because it has been so long... May not get a definitive answer on first try. But I can see them, they ARE in there, one will eventually take the bait.

Since I assume some sunfish are close enough to crossbreed, I would further assume it may remain a mystery as well?
Especially if someone was just dumping fish caught from other sources in there until they started reproducing.

BTW, I miss the show as well... :-)

Last edited by Quixotic; 02/09/21 06:19 PM. Reason: Homage to firefly...
Quixotic #530444 02/10/21 01:29 PM
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Last edited by ewest; 02/10/21 01:32 PM.















Quixotic #530447 02/10/21 04:18 PM
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Sounds funny to say on a pond forum, but... Adult pictures are posted!
There are a LOT in there, I had ten in less than half an hour.

I am assuming this is different phases/ages and sexes of the same fish.

I am not sure if the white spots on the fins of the bright yellow one are some sort of disease, parasite, or scarring?

https://www.efish.fishwild.vt.edu/families/greensun.html
https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/viewSpecies.php?species=270

They some do not have the two back spots, but some do, and they fit the whole overall from the coloring of the head to fin shapes.
Even looks like the baby as well, woot woot, I think we ave a positive ID.

Last edited by Quixotic; 02/10/21 06:38 PM.
Quixotic #530453 02/10/21 07:42 PM
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Green Sunfish!!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Quixotic #530457 02/10/21 09:02 PM
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Looks like my fin problem is Yellow Grub.
This pond being unmaintained for many years likely means lawd knows what living in the water.

Would seem logical as I clean the habitat this may decrease by proxy.
I have TONS of biomass to clear. Cutting all the sweetgums near the shoreline, and will keep new debris down, soon ( a year or two) all that should be left is stuff that grows there, not falls there.
And adding local lilly pads to shade shallows/cut algae sunlight/shelter fish.
Year before house is built, so I have time.


https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79136_79236_80246-26966--,00.html
https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/yellow-grub-a-common-fish-parasite.html

esshup #530501 02/11/21 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
Green Sunfish!!
No doubt in my mind.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i582.photobucket.com]
Quixotic #530523 02/11/21 11:12 PM
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Add Redear Sunfish to the pond. That will help with the Yellow Grubs.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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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).
Quixotic #530569 02/13/21 11:46 AM
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GSF info https://www.efish.fishwild.vt.edu/families/hybrid.html

FYI populations of pure GSF are not very common . Looks like some cross genetics in a couple.

Last edited by ewest; 02/13/21 11:52 AM.















Quixotic #532383 03/18/21 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Quixotic
Sounds funny to say on a pond forum, but... Adult pictures are posted!
I just caught that - don't know how I missed it. LMAO


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
[Linked Image from i582.photobucket.com]

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