KarlZ,

You never mentioned how many bluegill you will be stocking. I will comment on some ideas that I think will help you grow your LMB faster and to greater ultimate size. Rather than looking at the number of bluegill consider instead some target for the weight of mature and breeding BG.

For purpose of growing fingerling BG, the total "goldilocks" weight of adults is usually between 25 to 40 lbs/ac. So if the pond supports 400 lbs of BG, it is possible to grow roughly 360 lbs of 2" fingerlings from a single spawning of these fish in about 60 days. But what if there were 200 lbs of adults? Well no more than 200 lbs.

Were it me I would want my stocker BG to have attained a minimum length of about 6 inches around LMB stocking time the following spring and I would want them to weigh about 25 to 30 lbs/acre. To achieve this, one would probably need to stock the bigger fingerlings. So usually you see 1-3" and 3-6" fingerlings offered. The difference between a 6" and a 3" fingerling (or 4" and a 2" fingerling) is 8 times the weight. So you are talking about fingerlings that weigh 8 times more and that cost 2 times as much. Pretty good value if you ask me. 30 lbs/acre of 6" BG is approximately 180 BG/acre - might be good to fudge at 200 BG/acre (which is 150 for your pond). So that would be my approach and I would stock them as large as I could find them in the 3" to 6" range.

Having a smaller number of adults will help you maintain the conditions for fingerling production much longer than a heavy stocking of smaller fingerlings. Two years later -- these original stockers will probably be around 9" and will with no mortality will comprise no more than 125 lbs/acre. A smaller number of larger BG in your Fall stocking would help you in these ways.

1. With abundant invertebrate forage they will be sexually mature and at the optimum standing weight to produce the greatest amount of forage for your bass the following spring.

2. A lower number of adult BG will compete less with your fingerling bass for resources like FHM.

3. There will be so many small BG produced that many will survive to the 2"-4" size. This abundance of small BG will help to keep LMB reproduction limited.

4. In the early going, the major portion of the standing weight of BG will be in YOY. In other words, most of the standing weight of BG will be concentrated in prey of vulnerable size meaning that reaching carrying capacity may be delayed. The importance of this is that there should be repeated spawning as the conditions under the LMB's efficient cropping of YOY will be favorable both to adult BG and YOY BG.

5. The lower number initial stockers will never be able to take over a majority of the BG carrying capacity and so long as their offspring are efficiently cropped, there will be plenty of space and resources to boost BG reproduction.


Last edited by jpsdad; 04/05/20 10:28 PM.

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