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Thread: getting bass to repopulate

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    Default getting bass to repopulate

    What is needed to get large mouth bass to repopulate in a pond? My boss has a pond and he has problems with not getting the bass to spawn, he talked to someone and they said its cause the banks are to steep? So he dug out a flat channel and made an island in the pond, so in this flat spot would the bass spawn? Most of the flat channel is probly 3-4ft deep with a small section thats a foot or so deep. Do you need to add rock of somekind or what needs to be done?

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    First: how big is the pond? How deep? Bass can and will spawn in a lot of different depths. If the deepest part of the pond is the channel at 3-4 feet deep, I would say anything he has in there dies over the winter, no whether they're adults or young of the year. Check out the Nebraska Game and Parks book on Pond Management and almost every question you have can be answered there.

    Spoiler alert: Ponds that are smaller than 1/2 acre, and/or have limited deep areas (over 10 feet) are harder to manage for fishing. Summer and winter kills alone could account for the lack of fish.
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    play some nice music and light candles along the banks....
    "I have the impression the American sportsman is puzzled; he doesn't understand what is happening to him. Bigger and better gadgets are good for industry so why not outdoor recreation? It has not dawned on him that outdoor recreations are essentially primitive, atavistic; that their value is a contrast value; that excessive mechanization destroys contrasts by moving the factory to the woods or to the marsh." -Aldo Leopold

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    Always or usually good advice from thedarkarcher, but this tactic won't necessarily work anymore to advance the bass population. These are post-industrial aged bass the OP is talking about, I'm thinking, and so not terribly in tune with romance.

    Seriously, it sounds like the pond owner is moving in the right direction. Additional advice would be to always let a few go, although that may be overstating the obvious.
    Last edited by tenwindows; 03-20-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derag2 View Post
    What is needed to get large mouth bass to repopulate in a pond? My boss has a pond and he has problems with not getting the bass to spawn, he talked to someone and they said its cause the banks are to steep? So he dug out a flat channel and made an island in the pond, so in this flat spot would the bass spawn? Most of the flat channel is probly 3-4ft deep with a small section thats a foot or so deep. Do you need to add rock of somekind or what needs to be done?
    Something is "fishy" here: What do you mean by "repopulate"? Did the pond have largemouth bass before? What happened to them? Are there largemouth bass in there now? Other fish? Are we talking about a pond or a pit?

    Largemouth bass have no problem reproducing in Nebraska pits and ponds. If your boss does not have enough bass in his or her pond, then something else is going on.

    Daryl Bauer
    Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
    Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
    daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov
    http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/...d-backlashes//

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    It was a new pond about 6 years ago, we stocked bass,catfish,bluegill and crappie in it. We had problems with low oxygen in the pond because of alot of trees that he cut and dump into the pond, the decompsition was eating up all the oxygen. So we put in a windmill aireator and its been fine since. There are TONS of crappie in there now, they have really flurished. He had I belive the game and parks shock the pond to see what was in there.. Lots of crappie and hardly any bass, and no catfish. They said that the catfish are not affected but the test they did but we do know there are some cats left have found dead ones on the banks and have caught a few. The few times I've fished it its been crappie all day non stop. And hardly any bass have been pulled out even thou they have been stocked.... So there is where he was told the banks are to steep to repopulate. The pond is over and acre with the deepest part I bet is 15-20 feet, and is fed by runoff and a spring. This is a pond, not a sand pit.....

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    Are you harvesting the crappie you catch?
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    It sounds like to me that between the low O2 levels and the high density of crappie very few young of the year largemouth are surviving into adulthood. My guess is that the crappie are eating most of the LMB fingerlings in the pond. If it were me I would make a push to harvest as many crappie as possible and stock a few additional LMB in the 6-8" range or larger. Keep in mind that even with a windmill aerator you could still have a dissolved oxygen sag when the wind quits blowing, all it takes is 15 minutes of no oxygen for fish to start dying and the bigger fish usually go first. A siene net might be an effective method of removing some of the excess crappie but I would check to make sure you aren't breaking any regulations doing this.
    Last edited by Shorty; 03-21-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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    Your description still has me scratching my head; there are a lot of things that just do not add up.

    Decomposition from trees dumped in the pond caused an oxygen sag????? That's a new one on me. How do you know there was an oxygen sag? Did anyone test oxygen levels?

    What stocking strategy was used? What was stocked, how many, what size, and when? Since the pond is only 6 years old, I suspect your problems started with the initial stockings.

    If the crappies can reproduce, the bass can reproduce. If you have nothing but a bunch of small crappies now, any small bass that are produced by natural reproduction may have a hard time competing with all the small crappies and all the small crappies may eat small bass.

    And now, good luck with "repopulating" the pond with bass. If you are going to stock any bass now, you will want the bass to be relatively large, at least large enough to avoid crappie predation, but even then they may still have a hard time competing with all the crappies. Your quickest solution right now may be to kill off all the fish and start over.

    And, I would suggest some time spent here, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishin...de/default.asp .

    Daryl Bauer
    Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
    Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
    daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov
    http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/...nd-backlashes/

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    I dont recall the actual numbers that were stocked. The reason for the low oxygen was he was noticing all the fish were staying up at the surface, like trying to get air. I think he got all this information from the guy that get fish for ponds here locally. Wether or not its all true i dont know but since putting in the windmill he hasn't had any problems with it.... The dead catfish were found after the pond flooded over in the heavy rains we had last year. I understand what your saying Daryl on the crappie eating the fingerling bass. There has not been any people really taking fish out of the pond. As far as I know there was no accuall test on the Oxygen level. When it was stocked there were all small there wasn't anything 6 inches, like a couple inches in size. Ill have to let him know on the crappie deal. I know he isn't going to kill it off and start over, so maybe just need to try and weed out some crappie and stock some bigger bass.......

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    Crappie tend to run in boom and bust cycles and typically pull off a good spawn every three or four years, they are also somewhat difficult to manage in a smaller pond. Black crappie are a little easier to manage than white crappie in small ponds. Crappie do spawn earlier than LMB and bluegill so their fry have a jump start on the competition for the availalble food resources in the pond, which is part of the problem with stocking crappie in small ponds. If renovation is out of the question make a push to significantly thin the crappie, keep every crappie that is caught and stock some larger LMB.
    Last edited by Shorty; 03-23-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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