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Thread: getting rid of bullheads

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    Default getting rid of bullheads

    I have a friend that has a pond and it is infested with bullhead, how can he get rid of them so he can stock different fish?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishon View Post
    I have a friend that has a pond and it is infested with bullhead, how can he get rid of them so he can stock different fish?
    Not sure the year, but 2,000 2lb flathead catfish were introduced to Prairie Rose over by Harlan Iowa to control the bullheads and it worked very well.
    A fairy tale starts out "once upon a time", a fisherman's story starts out "this ain't no bull****".
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    I have heard of flathead working as well. Otherwise I would say drain it and start fresh. Is there other types of fish in there?

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    I bought a farm last year with a 2 acres pond with nothing but bullheads in it. I could drain and or poison, but since there are bullheads in a neighbor's pond above it, they'd probably end up coming back. I have been advised to go ahead and stock channel cats and largemouth bass and they should take care of the problem. Flatheads might do the trick as well, but they grow so large they will eventually turn their attention toward desirable fish like bass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoor_Joe_26 View Post
    Not sure the year, but 2,000 2lb flathead catfish were introduced to Prairie Rose over by Harlan Iowa to control the bullheads and it worked very well.
    Oh it worked great! Sad day when I found out they were draining it because of rough fish.

    -Bobby
    "Catch a big one"

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    Have the game and parks come net them so they can stock them somewhere else
    "If your having fishing problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a fish ain't one." jay-z

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    Quote Originally Posted by big12hurt View Post
    Have the game and parks come net them so they can stock them somewhere else
    Think they would do something like that?
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    i wouldn't be too worried about bullheads. bass will control them....and they make bass really fat.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by fishon View Post
    Think they would do something like that?
    No we won't. And even if we did, it likely would not solve the bullhead problem.

    First of all, you need to know why the pond is infested with bullheads. Healthy ponds with good habitat, good water quality and a healthy fish community (especially a healthy population of largemouth bass), do NOT become infested with bullheads. Typically ponds become infested with bullheads AFTER they have experienced some kind of fish kill event usually due to poor water quality. The bullheads survive because they can tolerate poor water quality better than the other more desirable species of fish. Then the bullheads dominate the pond and they will inhibit if not prevent the survival of any other fish in the pond or stocked into the pond.

    You can play around stocking predators and given enough time and big enough predators that might eventually work. The problem is those predators likely will not reproduce successfully because all the bullheads will compete with or prey upon any young fish that are produced.

    And that is why the most effective and efficient solution is usually a rotenone renovation to eliminate the bullheads and then re-stocking with desirable species (typically largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish).

    I read someone mentioning that renovation and re-stocking would be futile because bullheads were present in the watershed above their pond. Baloney. Bullheads are found in just about every watershed in the state and they are a species that excels at quickly invading new habitats. If you do a rotenone renovation, bullheads and green sunfish are two species that very likely will somehow find their way back. Those species will not be a problem as long as you get some other fish in there and give them a head start on the bullheads. After a rotenone renovation a person can get a healthy largemouth bass population established and they will eventually take care of the bullheads--there might be some bullheads present for awhile, might even be some great fishing for big bullheads, but eventually the bullheads will fade away. Oh, and that is one reason why limited harvest if not total catch & release of largemouth bass in small ponds is so important.

    If the pond ended up infested with bullheads because it got too shallow over the years or because a bunch of fish hogs descended and ripped most of the bass out, then you will want to be sure those problems are remedied before you invest the money in a rotenone renovation.

    If you want more information or assistance, start here, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishin.../fgprivate.asp .

    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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    Most experts will strongly advise against stocking flatheads in small ponds. They will literally eat everything and you'll be left with a couple HUGE flatheads and little else.

    A good bass population, as noted above, should control a bullhead issue.
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    "I read someone mentioning that renovation and re-stocking would be futile because bullheads were present in the watershed above their pond. Baloney. Bullheads are found in just about every watershed in the state and they are a species that excels at quickly invading new habitats. If you do a rotenone renovation, bullheads and green sunfish are two species that very likely will somehow find their way back."


    ​Could you run that one by me again? You seem to have contradicted yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullhead View Post
    "I read someone mentioning that renovation and re-stocking would be futile because bullheads were present in the watershed above their pond. Baloney. Bullheads are found in just about every watershed in the state and they are a species that excels at quickly invading new habitats. If you do a rotenone renovation, bullheads and green sunfish are two species that very likely will somehow find their way back."


    ​Could you run that one by me again? You seem to have contradicted yourself.
    "Those species will not be a problem as long as you get some other fish in there and give them a head start on the bullheads. After a rotenone renovation a person can get a healthy largemouth bass population established and they will eventually take care of the bullheads--there might be some bullheads present for awhile, might even be some great fishing for big bullheads, but eventually the bullheads will fade away. Oh, and that is one reason why limited harvest if not total catch & release of largemouth bass in small ponds is so important."

    Daryl B.

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    Daryl, how soon after a rotenone treatment can a stocking take place? Just me being curious. As to what you are talking about with the bullheads, an example of bullheads being in the watershed quickly would be Yankee Hill. Now, as I have been told, they are there, but not an "infestation".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glens View Post
    Daryl, how soon after a rotenone treatment can a stocking take place? Just me being curious. As to what you are talking about with the bullheads, an example of bullheads being in the watershed quickly would be Yankee Hill. Now, as I have been told, they are there, but not an "infestation".
    We often start re-stocking as soon as the rotenone detoxifies; that depends on water temperature and can be only a matter of days at warm water temps.

    Yep, there's bullheads in Yankee Hill now, a bunch of them, some real dandies too. If we have enough predators in there, those bullheads that re-invaded after the renovation and rehabilitation project will be around for awhile and some of them will grow old and large, but the little bullheads that those fish might produce will get eliminated by the predator fish.

    And that is an excellent little tip--a person would not think it would be true with the sharp little spines they have, but all kinds of predator fish LOVE small bullheads and small catfish.

    Daryl B.

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    Not a live "baitfish".

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    Years ago, our pond had the same issue - we used to only catch bullheads, and not much of anything else. We also had some average sized channel cats in the pond. One year, out of the blue, we caught several cats between 8 and 16 pounds, and no bullheads whatsoever. I think the bullheads ended up in the bellies of those catfish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha View Post
    you'll be left with a couple HUGE flatheads and little else.
    Ever hooked into one of those? I see no problem here.



    All joking aside, throw some bass in there and see what happens.
    A fairy tale starts out "once upon a time", a fisherman's story starts out "this ain't no bull****".
    ~Captain Phil Harris

    If I could not hunt, the only thing that would be left I guess would be to die. ~ Phil Robertson

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    throw a line and hook.. then every morning have a bullhead fish with eggs for brakefast..

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    Channel cats will go to town on them as will large mouth bass.

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