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Had a short time to fish in the pond

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors!!!' started by esshup, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. esshup

    esshup Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I released a half dozen Yellow Perch that were larger, 3 larger Hybrid Striped Bass (6# or so) one 2# Smallmouth and culled 2 Largemouth about a pound each.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Nice catch! Fishing in my area has been really slow with the dry spell. The creek has never run dry but was as low as I've seen it in many years. Usually a great smallmouth stream as well as walleye, cat, carp, gar, drum but not this year.
     
  3. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw ArboristSite Lurker

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    Looks like your pond has quite a variety.
    Do you feed and aerate?
    Do the tilapia make it through the winter?
    My winters are too cold but they do get multiple spawns in before the die off. The fingerlings are great easy forage for my LMB.
    My pond isn't large enough or of the correct water chemistry for wipers, unfortunately.
    I have to be happy with F1 & Northern LMB, channel cats, Red ear sunfish and hybrid blue gill.
     
  4. grizz55chev

    grizz55chev Tree Freak

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    Dinner, get that oil hot and start battering em up! :sweet:
     
  5. esshup

    esshup Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yes, I feed a 50/50 mix of Optimal Bluegill and Bass food, and yes I aerate, deepest part in summer; 1/3-1/4 total pond depth in winter. No, the Tilapia will die off in the next few weeks, we can't even get F1's to grow as fast as the Northern Largemouth. Ditto on the multiple spawns, I stock them right after Mothers Day and they usually last until mid October. My pond bounces between 3/4 and 1 1/4 acre depending on the ground water level.

    If your pond can support fish, then the chemistry is fine for the Hybrid Striped Bass. How big is your pond? Those Hybrid Striped Bass are 3 year old fish, (2 years after stocking them at 8" length). I am in the process of yanking all Channel Cats out (might have a few left) and all the Largemouth Bass - they eat way too many Bluegills and have a hard time keeping the Bluegills in the pond. With the 4' water level fluctuations, in the Fall/winter there is virtually no cover for them to hide in and the Largemouth really hammer them, and what the bass don't get the large Channel Cats work on - I have some in the 20# range.
     
  6. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw ArboristSite Lurker

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    My pond is 1/2 acre, clay, turbid and the PH is lower than it should be. All bad news for wipers- or so I have read.
    I have never heard anyone say they have a hard time keeping bluegills. Maybe you are stocking hybrid bluegills that dont spawn?
    I trap bluegill all summer just trying to make a dent in them. I have plenty of predator fish but the bluegill spawn like crazy. I typically disable or eat the trapped female bluegill and toss the males back. I use a cloverleaf perch trap with great success.
    I also feed and aerate, although I feed the cheap Tractor supply multi species.
    I ladder stocked channel cats and the first generation is shockingly large. Definitely the apex predator of the pond.
     
  7. esshup

    esshup Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The Hybrid Bluegills spawn/reproduce, but the offspring is 90% male. I have both regular Northern Bluegills and some Hybrids. It's just that the Largemouth are eating all that get hatched - the bass are fat, relative weights are in the 130% to 150% range.

    You can clear up your pond. figure out how many acre feet you have (rule of thumb is take max depth in feet, divide by 2 and multiply it by the surface area in acres). Use 300# aluminum sulfate and 150# hydrated lime per acre foot of water. That will clear the water. The water is turbid because of an electrical imbalance which keeps the clay in suspension. Check the pH after that and you can adjust with hydrated lime to raise it, but double check your alkalinity first. If it's low (below 40 is bad and leads to wide pH swings, ours here is 180) I'd think about adding about 1,000# of ag lime to the pond.

    The alum treatment is a bit more involved than just that but those are the numbers you need to shoot for.

    Regarding the catfish, if you fish for them, don't release the ones you catch. They are the 2nd smartest fish in North America and you will have a hard time catching that one again, and yes, they can be huge piscavorous predators once they get over 3#.
     
  8. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw ArboristSite Lurker

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    I add ag lime yearly and gypsum in the spring. It's a constant battle for PH due to the huge watershed that feeds it.
    Basically, fresh acid water is input on a scale that the lime cannot buffer.
    The aluminum sulfate trick really only treats the symptoms. It wont last long.
    Here is a pic of my inlet.
    The suspended clay wants to settle out and it does to a degree...if the rain holds off for 3 weeks or so. Interestingly, when the rain holds off, the PH goes up (due to no acid rain inflow) and the suspended clay settles. So its definitely an electrical imbalance made worse by low PH.

    20190613_120606.jpg
     
  9. esshup

    esshup Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you can, dump a lot of lime in the area that the water flows over coming to the pond. That should help buffer it a bit before it reaches the pond. Any way to dig a trench around the pond to help divert some of the water around it?

    I've known people with sufficient area dig a settlement pond for the water flow to slow down and dump some suspended sediment out before it hits the real pond. They made it so that it was easy to clean out every few years.
     
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  10. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have considered a settlement pond and it may eventually happen.
    If I have the equipment brought in, I'll probably have two ponds dug.
    I'd love to have a 1/4 acre forage pond to grow out trapped and fish truck fingerlings. Right now they are mostly snacks to the LMB & Channel cats.
     
  11. esshup

    esshup Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You'd probably be money ahead for the Cats to feed them a good commercial fish food. Won't do much good for the bass unless they were feed trained as young fish and they still remember. A good commercial fish food will put weight on fish at the rate of 1 pound of fish flesh per 1 1/4 to 3 pounds of fish food. It takes 10# of live fish to put 1 pound of fish flesh on the fish. A good food will also benefit the pond vs. a poor quality food. Less pass thru, and less waste entering the pond to create algae/weed/water quality issues. I use and recommend Optimal Brand fish food to all mu customers, at right around $50/40# delivered to your door, it's better than Purina Aquamax and any food you can buy at a local feed store by leaps and bounds. A feed test showed that 40# of Optimal put on the same amount of fish flesh as 60# Purina.

    A local aquaculture facility had the guys from Optimal make food for them and they gained 20# more usable fish flesh on their market fish vs. fat that ended up in the processing dumpster.

    I have a client that is feeding his pond fish that were stocked this April. Cats went from 8" to 14"-16", Hybrid Bluegills went from 2.5"-4" to 7 1/2"-8 1/2". He's feeding 40#/month in a 1/2 acre pond. 300 Hybrid Bluegills, 600 Regular Bluegills, 200 Redears, 50 Largemouth and 50 cats were stocked April 20th.
     
  12. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw ArboristSite Lurker

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    If Optimal was in the budget, it would definitely get fed. I've had decent luck with the Cargill floating and multi species.

    One thing that has me curious is ammonia level buildup feeding cargills vs optimal.
    That is a study I would really like to see done. I had ammonia at .50 ppm this summer during drought. Much higher than I would like.
     

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