too many crappie - HELP

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by abrown, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Just joined the site love the information so far. I'm hoping someone here can help. I have a about 100 feet of bank on a subdivision lake. Its only about an acre and a half and all of the owners are trying to get together and take care of it. The lake is an original farm pond (prior to development), at least 40 years old. All the fish we catch are healthy, just undersized. All of us fish and are concerned about a few things.

    1. We have a large number of White Crappie in the lake. They seem healthy but they are undersized. Very rarely we pull one out about 9-10 inches, but even those are underweight. Looking for way to increase size. I have heard they don't do well in ponds and we may just be better off to started fertilizing the yard with them, but I hope someone has a few ideas.

    2. Someone in the past put several grass carp in the lake. Best guess is that there are 10 to 12 in it at least 3 feet long. the last one I pulled out of was 42 inches long and 39 lbs. We are concerned about the apparant lack of vegetation in the lack and are probably going to remove most of them. Any thoughts.

    3. Large number of LARGE Snapping turtles. I've pulled out 6 - 25+ pound snapping turtles and you can still watch the baby ducks disappear every spring.

    Other info: good population of cats some 20+ lbs, blugill/bream are plentiful but smallish, bass seem to top out at 11 inches and 2 lbs, apparrant lack of vegetation and vissible minnow schools is a concern.

    Any input would be helpful.

  2. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    are you speaking of sylvian shores lake in clark county

  3. ErieAngler

    ErieAngler Still Deadly w/ The Net

    I'll take care of you snapping turtle problem :)
  4. The grass carp or amur were probably put in to control weeds. Sounds like they did there job. They're not the easiest to catch so you may have to revert to bow-fishing. If weeds take over the lake 1 or 2 should be enough to maintain control.
    The snappers got to go. Not only are ducklings disapearing but they are probably eating alot of your fish. Too bad you can't train them to eat the crappie only...
  5. Your pond is out of balance due to a lack of vegetation. Minnows need grasses for reproduction and protection. Crappies prefer dense woody structure like xmas trees or a man made device in the deepest part of the pond. Hope this helps.

    Just as you suspected...;)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  6. ErieAngler

    ErieAngler Still Deadly w/ The Net

    Sounds like you need to read up on pond management. From my experience, if you don't harvest a healthy amount of fish per year, you will end up in your situation. Its good to employ your own "slot management" system. The best ponds I ever fished, were ones that allowed controlled harvest by the owners. Basically they would keep a eye on who fished them and what they took and specified what they were permitted to take. Usually it was bluegill and undersized bass and crappie.

    You can buy fish feeders to help with the food shortage problem, they work wonders for increasing the average annual rate of growth and everything from catfish to gills benefit from them.
  7. No expert here but it sounds like the lake is over populated. We have a lot of stone quarries over here, some decent bass, a few crappie, millions of gills but not very many bigger than the size of my middle finger.
  8. Adding an automatic fish feeder or reducing the number of stunted fish is just treating the symptoms of an unhealthy pond. The ODNR website has publications available if you're serious about restoring the health of your pond.
  9. It sounds like you have a good catfish lake. The hardest part may be getting everyone to agree on the goals of the pond. Increasing vegetation may benefit the fish but may not make some of the other owners happy.

    It sounds like the crappie are causing problems for both the bluegill and bass. Removing as many crappie as possible will likely result in improvements for all the species. As others have stated, a slot size limit on the bass may help them acheive larger sizes too. Feeding will help the bluegills and catfish directly and the crappie and bass mostly through added forage production. The catfish will likely eat more than their share of pellets though which could be good or bad.
  10. Thanks for the suggestions.

    We have a good consensus among the owners about what we want. (Typical blugill, bass, catfish in good balance.) Just trying to make sure we do it right.

    Sounds like the crappie gotta go (okay, realistically, thinned out).

    Sounds like most of the carp gotta go as well.

    Feeder sounds like a good idea.

    Other than thinning out the carp, any ideas for adding/increasing the right vegetation?

    Forgot to mention we do have a good quantity of cat-tails around the lake, just not much else is evident.

    Thanks again
  11. Is your water very clear? Do the surrounding people want the cattails? How much of the shoreline is surrounded and to what depth?

    Cattails can suck up a lot of nutrients. I observed an electofishing survey several years ago of a 1 acre pond that was completely surrounded with a band of cattails probably 20' to 30' wide. The water was so clear you could see to over 5' deep. The fish shocked up were small skinny bass a few large healthy looking channel cats and some various bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseeds and their various hybrids. It was determined that the infestation of cattails was reducing the fertility so much that the fry had little to nothing to eat and the clear water made predation on those few forage fish being produced very easy for those hungry largemouth. The forage base had been depleted to the point that the various sunfish were interbreeding with other species due to the lack of partners of their own kind. Low fertility=low production=skinny small fish.
  12. PondFin@ic,

    Partly because I was skeptical of your answer but mostly because I was bored silly at work today, I forwarded your response to the staff at Stone Lab for critical analysis. Here’s their response. With a few exceptions, I must admit you do seem to be in the ballpark ;). My apologies for ambushing you without first giving you the opportunity to provide more info :eek:.

    fwiw, this part of the Stone Lab response appears to support my initial claim that grasses & woody cover are of primary concern.

    Without more data, I'd be more likely to believe they resulted more from a lack of in-pond cover, either in the form of submerged macrophytes or even turbidity. Too many seasons without cover for young-of-year prey can leave predators to too easily crop forage fish populations to a depauperate state.
  13. Mushijobah

    Mushijobah Urban Angler

    I'll come help with the crappie...

    ok, i abuse that joke too oftern.

    Have any pictures of the pond and/or the fish caught out of it?
  14. PondFin@tic, Could you put that response (from Nets reply) into something we could understand?:confused:

    We got lost in there:):):)
  15. I gave the story to help understand my questions.

    My initial questions: Is your water very clear? Do the surrounding people want the cattails? How much of the shoreline is surrounded and to what depth? and these questions were not given to the other person which would have helped the other guy understand where I was going with this...just trying to eliminate one possible problem and get an idea of turbity, fertility or lack thereof.

    Starting with the water seemed like a logical starting point and the mention of cattails was suspect based on previous experience. I didn't disregard turbity, I directly asked how clear the water is to which we still haven't answered. The responder is also questioning how much submerged vegetation which was already established that there is a suspected "lack of vegetation" possibly due to grass carp.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  16. Just to be clear, sounds reasonable to me...on both forums.
  17. PS: The answer "we could understand" is supposed to be the Sea Grant post's bottom line:
    Sorry if I didn't quite hit it.
  18. Hey thanks Eugene. I had no idea you were already a contributing member over here. So much for my incognito post on the sea grant site :ghost:
  19. I guess I'm gonna have to try harder to produce some results on Eugene's BS O-meter ;)
  20. hahaha what can I say...we might've got an actual reading if not for that pesky "more data needed" requirement :p. No hard feelings, I hope.