new pond

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by imalt, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. imalt

    imalt Banned

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    really its an old pond that has finally been fixed. Pond is about 1/2 acre. First of all I wanted some stocking tips I really dont like catfish so I dont want many catfish in there. The way i was going to do bottom cover was build rock formations in the bottom and then sink some christmas trees in a corner for some cover. I really wanted to do more gamefish than anything. I know I want lm and possibly the hybrid stripers even though I dont know if they get too big for that size pond. Also i really wanted sm but I dont know if that is possible with the temperatures. I have an aerator that pulls from the bottom and circulates so I think I can keep the water cooler. any advice would be appreciated. I think I am going to get my fish from jones unless anybody has any different suggestions.
     
  2. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I could make this thread a mile long if I wanted, but I'll stick the basics :D

    First off, if ya don't want catfish - simply don't stock'em. If you want there to be a couple in there - throw a few in - and by a few I mean 10 or so. The Hybrid stripers are fine in ponds. They eat a lot! If you pellet feed you'll be fine. Stocking on the lowside is recommended.

    Go to town with creating structure and use your imagination. Keep in mind, though, cavitys could potentially be used by catfish for spawning The first 6 ft of water is the most important areas to create structure/cover. It doesn't hurt to throw some in the deep area, but concentrate your efforts in the shallow water.

    As far as smallmouth go, I wouldn't recommend it. There's a thread on this somewhere, but the bottom line is in a farm pond largemouths will ultimately be the top dog. If you REALLY want to have'em they require a little more work to grow quality fish. People do it, more than ya might think in fact, but it takes time and effort.

    If ya have anymore questions, don't be afraid to ask :)
     

  3. imalt

    imalt Banned

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    what would it take to get a good smallie population. Do I need to establish the sm and then work on the lm population. I am good with hybrid striper and lm. So if it is too hard I wont mess with it. I have a lot of downed trees in the woods after sunday so structure I dont think will be a problem. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Imalt, there isn't nearly as much info about sm in ponds as largemouth but as fishman said, there are people doing it. People in the Dakotas use smallmouth with yellow perch with some success but as a rule of thumb perch in a 1/2acre pond can be difficult to manage mixed with other species. I've heard of stocking a few same-sex largemouth to help control smallmouth reproduction.

    Big smallmouth would be much harder to come by down the road than big largemouth should the need arise so if your goal is smallmouth, you should probably start with them after your forage species are established. South Dakota State University would be a good place to start looking for some information on what forage would best be suited for smallmouth in a 1/2 acre pond.
     
  5. imalt

    imalt Banned

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    thanks for the info. I am also going to try your tilapia idea in the spring also. Basically it is an empty crater right now. I am just trying to make sure I have a plan going in to it.
     
  6. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    The best smallmouth ponds I've seen are the ones that people have invested the most money and time into. Unfourtantley it's no coincidence. To put it simply Smallmouths didn't evolve to live in ponds, largemouth did.
     
  7. I read an article by Dave Willis from SDSU this weekend in Pondboss magazine that recommended golden shiners and smallmouth. It also said you can stock fathead minnows in the beginning but don't expect them to last more than two years. Bluegills and pumpkinseeds were not recommended with smallmouth as the predator.
     
  8. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I havn't read the article but I agree with what your saying. The best smallmouth ponds I've seen stock a lot of golden shiners. Generally 20-40lbs per acre, twice annually. If you don't have vegetation in your pond, shiner reproduction is going to be fairly reduced. The people stocking so frequently are doing this only to subsidize the diet of their smallmouth. I agree with yellow perch also being an ideal forage species and are considerably easier to establish than shiners or fatheads.... not to mention they taste a helluva lot better too :D

    I have also seen small percentages of the population of smallmouth take pellet food just as ravenously as hybrid stripers do . Perch will readily take feed and you can grow some real dandys in a pond. If you don't pellet feed your perch, or you don't stock fathead minnows, your perch population will suffer. For that reason I don't think bluegills or redears should be over looked. The sunfish simply compliment the diet of the yellow perch and the smallmouth as well. Any "forgage" specie you can establish (within reason obviously) should be encouraged if you want to have big smallies. To put the word "big" into perspective I'm talking about 3-4lb+ fish.

    I'm not saying it can't be done another way but having a good smallmouth pond seems expensive and time consuming to me. Not saying thats a bad thing either, I respect those that do it but if I had a pond it wouldn't be for me. Heck, my pond would probably be full of carp and catfish :D
     
  9. I'm trying to figure out what is the best depth and configuartion for a 1.5 acre pond.I would like to keep it kid friendly and low maintence.Where would I look for some good info
     
  10. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Not a whole lot of reason to go much deeper than 12-15 feet around these parts. If you want to make it deeper, go for it, but most of our midwest sportfish like it shallow. Making it deeper greatly increases the longevity of a pond and also greatly reduces the maintence, as in, aquatic weeds. I prefer long and skinny ponds simply because you have a lot of shoreline to work with and theoretically increases the carrying capacity of the pond. Most people build'em circular because the majority of the time it's a neccessity due to size constraints. Bowl shaped ponds are also considerably less expensive to aerate, if that is something your considering down the road.

    Basically when it comes down to pond construction there are a WHOLE lot of ways to do it, and there really isn't a wrong way to do it within reason. I'm a long way away from the day I get to build my own pond, but I whole heartedly look forward to it. Use your imagination :)
     
  11. Bob Lusk has a book out called "Perfect Pond...Want One?" it would be a valuable resource during construction.

    Research and planning are cheap. Trying to change things once dirt is moved isn't.

    Once you have an idea of your ideal pond, I'd probably check with your county soil and water department. Clark county sent a rep out with watershed and soil composition info and their interpretations of my site and they were accurate.

    I have to agree with fishman that 12-15' is probably max. on depth. Mine is 11' at the deepest point. The fuel would be better used to enlarge the surface area rather than going deeper.

    If you haven't already, draw a topographical map and show were you're going to place structure. If possible post on here and we can critique it for you.
     
  12. When you get it dug and need some blue gills to put in it get ahold of me. I have 3 ponds and to many gills..................Take Care...........Rich