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Spring battle plan.

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by Lundy, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

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    I will start researching much of this but if you have some experience to share on any or all of these it would be appreciated.

    1. When do you spray the cattails? When they first start turning green? I'm not even positive they are cattails they could be some sort of grass, I saw very few of the typical cattail seed bulbs on it this year.

    2. I had pretty bad algae last year early, should I chemically treat. What water temp?

    3. What is the minimum temp to introduce some tilapia. How many for a 3/4 acre pond

    4. At what temp should I turn my aerators back on

    5. I know that I will need to add sonar to control the duckweed and watermeal

    6. I'm just not sure what I want to do with the fish in the pond. I am really leaning towards trying to make it a good pan fishery, grow some big bluegills.

    Today I have some bass, mostly small, under 3lbs, some catfish that readily come up to feed, up to 6-7 lbs, some white crappie to 13", and a mix of bluegill all sizes mostly small, a one common carp that has to be pushing 40lbs.

    What would you do? What are your fish goals for your ponds and why? The pond is around 3/4 acre and has a maximum depth of around 15ft and an average depth of around 6-8 ft
     
  2. Lundy, I cant answer most of your questions since a lot of them are the same questions I have since my 3/4 acre pond is only 1 year old. I expect this year to really get some weeds and algae going as well as getting an aerator/bottom diffuser going by 4th of July. Keep us in the loop and I bet Fishman and Ponfin will chime in!

    Salmonid
     

  3. I'll leave the weed control stuff up to Fishman since it's his profession.

    #3 When to add tilapia? Wait till the water is 60 degrees and steady. They die if temps drop to the mid fifties. End of May is probably a good bet but I've stocked as early as late April.

    #4 When to start up aerators? In our area there's no reason to turn them off unless you ice fish. The more they run the better unless you count electric cost.

    #6 Big Bluegills? Remove all crappie. Keep the bass population high. Cat's can stay as long as they're not preventing the bluegill from feeding. Keep feeding, the higher the protein the better. Remove 5"-7" bluegills caught, smaller will be eaten by bass and bigger will have more food to get bigger.

    I'm going to keep pushing my bass and hybrid stripers. I plan to use a heavy hand in culling bass to keep they're numbers low and growth high. I'm thinking about building some cages to raise perch in...maybe release a few and see how they do. I'm also considering adding golden shiners for additional forage. I wouldn't mind building a couple of nice size rock piles too if I can find some nice size rocks or chunks of clean concrete for free. Trying to come up with good/cheap ideas for artificial snag free weed beds. Those new artificial "bushes" in the recent BPS catalog sparked some ideas using polyethylene tubing. A floating island would also be cool, trying to think of cheap floatation material that would hold up long term and be low profile. I'm tossing around design ideas for both a floating dock to add on to my stationary on and building an aluminum or stainless steel pond size pontoon. A storage building/barn next to the pond with a covered porch area for an outdoor kitchen and fish cleaning area is also on the wish list but unlikely this year.
     
  4. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    #1 You can spray small cattails and kill'em, but you're better off waiting till at least May or June. From that point forward you can pretty much spray until they die on their own accord in the fall. If you do a spray in the late summer or fall don't delay cutting those plants down once they look dead (2 weeks) since the seeds are apparently still viable.

    #2 For most copper products water temps must be at least 60, most of the herbacides that you'll have at your disposal won't be temperature sensative. The most important thing is don't let the algae get out of control, take care of it before it does.

    If you decide to move forward with the Sonar application wait untill the spring rains have past. You want to keep that stuff in your pond for as long as possible.

    So what I'de be looking at doing is making the Sonar application in the middle of June if the duckweed is tolerable still, meaning not covering any large percentage of the surface. Then spray the cattails 2 weeks after the Sonar application.

    Hope ya manage to find some tilapia up your way, would love seeing some before and after shots of the vegetation control you get out of'em.
     
  5. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

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    Thanks,

    I will probably have to come to cincy for the tilapia and make a way to transport them back home.

    I'll be looking for some professional weed eradication help this spring.
     
  6. correction, those are black crappie not white. they have 7 and 8 spines on the back. also while fishing through the ice i caught 8 small ones. Up until this point we had never caught any under 9 inches. They were two distinct sizes, 6.5 inches and 4.5 inches. Im wondering if they are able to breed in this pond and these are the first two year classes from the original black crappie that were obviously stocked at some point. I would estimate the black crappie population at 20-30 between 9-13" if you don't count the newly discovered little guys.

    bass population around 80-90 from 5 inches to 19 inches. The majority being 12-14"

    quite a few gills. maybe too many. 90 percent of them under 7 inches.
     
  7. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    not ashamed to admit I have no idea what you're talking about :D mispost?
     
  8. im lundys son. im just giving my opinion on the current population of what fish are in there. For suggestions on which direction to go from here. He posted that the pond had white crappie. They are actually black crappie. And im saying that I just found out that there are small ones in there too. Until this week the smallest I had seen was 9 inches.
     
  9. Black crappie generally aren't as prolific as white. Both species can have unpredictable spawns in ponds. Both species will compete with both bass and bluegill for food so if the goal is big bluegill, crappie numbers should be kept as low as possible. If the goal is eating size panfish, then both the crappie and bluegill can be managed together but exceptional growth will be unlikely.
     
  10. My pond is larger than yours at about 1.2 acres but not as deep. When I first moved here there entire, and I mean entire, pond was filled with chara algae (looks like a weed), coontail and elodea. Come summer you couldnt even row a boat across it. Copper took care of the chara, which had most of the pond choked up, but with that gone the weeds immediately overran it. Tried manual removal and Navigate surface spray treatments, but couldnt put a dent in it. After two years of battling, I finally decided to try sonar. Hands down the best decision ever made. Killed weeds very slowly over a few months and had no fish kill. It is VERY effective. Ran a Kasco surface aerator to be sure oxygen was ok just in case - we have a nice existing fish population. Gils, crappie, bass, cats. Only mistake was that I added grass carp before trying the sonar. Now that the weeds are gone they are keeping anything from re-establishing and fish have no structure. Definitely makes life as a bass more difficult. I have added some stick piles, pine trees and a few of those pvc ball structures. Stick piles seem to hold more fish. New tree strucres at bass pro look better than the ball ones I bought. I am bowhunting the carp out now - thats fun. Cattails/reed grass had also encompased the entire shore out to about 10 ft. I had sprayed these with Rodeo before I even learned about sonar and took them all down - what a chore. Got my exercise. Sonar took care of the balance that tried to regrow. If you have no outflow on your pond, the sonar will be very effective and may last a couple of seasons. Only regret is the lack of cover I caused, but like I said the carp have a role in that. You wont regret the $$ for the sonar unless you enjoy spending weeks and months sludging around in waders and smelling like pond muck! Good luck!
     
  11. Sounds like you are on the right track. I recommend starting your aerators back up the spring (April, early May) before your pond has a chance to stratify as the water warms. DO NOT turn them on mid summer (late June, July). You risk creating a "turnover" that can result in a fish kill. Then, start beneficial bacteria treatments in the spring (when water temperatures reach 55 degrees) to help with processing nutrients and eating up the organic muck that has accumulated in your pond over the years. By processing the nutrients, you will be helping your algae problems- and you will be treating the source of the problem (the nutrients) and not the symptoms. You may be able to eliminate the need for algaecides. Then, after the spring rains add the Sonar for the duckweed and any other submerged vegetation. Remember that the concentration is important and it is important to have accurate pond size and average depth measurements. Finally, in June, treat the cattails. I think it is a good idea to have us do some consulting and help you on all of these issues. We can come up with a plan to address all of your concerns! Me a call to discuss all of this in more detail!

    Valerie
    Aquatic Biologist, ATAC
    1-888-998-POND