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    New Forage Pond

    Hello Im looking for opinions on starting a new bait only pond for forage purposes only. We recently dug a new pond for forage for our fishing lakes, and am considering which fish to start in it in the spring.

    The new lake is approx 60 yards by 20 yards or 1/10 of an acre.

    Max depth is 8-10 ft, bottom is mostly sand with little dirt rock on one end. Id imagine plant life will be present in the years to come but will be controlled as needed.

    We currently have a pond with only fat head minnows. That has done great for us, but we are looking to get a different forage for our larger predator fish. Primarily our walleye.

    Researching larger bait fish in the 4-6" range, shinner, crawfish ect.

    Pond interested in stocking bait has lmb, walleye, crappie, yellow perch, channel cat, few bluegill, carp, with a fathead minnow forage base.

    Size is 15 acres, average depth 8-10' with depths up to 40' (old gravel pit) primary sand bottoms but does have riprap shorelines.

    Thanks

    #2
    I would keep it simple and start with bluegill and possibly golden shiners. Will you be able to drain the forage pond down so you can siene and transfer forage fish?

    Fathead minnows are the "blondes" of forage fish, they are not very bright at avoiding predation and usually disappear very quickly with predators present. Bluegill are considered the backbone of small waters and would be much more self sustaining as forage in the 15 acre lake, I would work on getting their numbers up.
    Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....

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      #3
      Unless the perch are a considerable size, the walleye will be eating a lot of them too.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Shorty View Post
        I would keep it simple and start with bluegill and possibly golden shiners. Will you be able to drain the forage pond down so you can siene and transfer forage fish?

        Fathead minnows are the "blondes" of forage fish, they are not very bright at avoiding predation and usually disappear very quickly with predators present. Bluegill are considered the backbone of small waters and would be much more self sustaining as forage in the 15 acre lake, I would work on getting their numbers up.
        ^^^^^This is the reason we are looking to introduce a new spieces of bait. Ive always heard that you will either have a strong crappie fishery or bluegill fishery and have been hesitant to mess with the gills because our crappie mostly whites has been outstanding. Is there any truth to that?

        As for lowering the pond, no it will be ground water fed. Water fluctuates 30" in a normal year. We designed it shallow and narrow on one end to saine if needed but have had good luck with a variety of fish traps.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Ellros View Post
          Unless the perch are a considerable size, the walleye will be eating a lot of them too.
          This was our initial intention to help add a solid forage for the eyes and also give us an additional fish to catch, and believe it has helped but am just trying to expand our fishery.

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            #6
            I would be tempted to put both bluegill and golden shiners in the forage pond. Seine as many as you can out of the forage pond and move them to the big pond periodically. If you aren't too worried about getting the bluegill numbers up then maybe just golden shiners.
            Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by husker14 View Post

              ^^^^^This is the reason we are looking to introduce a new spieces of bait. Ive always heard that you will either have a strong crappie fishery or bluegill fishery and have been hesitant to mess with the gills because our crappie mostly whites has been outstanding. Is there any truth to that?

              As for lowering the pond, no it will be ground water fed. Water fluctuates 30" in a normal year. We designed it shallow and narrow on one end to saine if needed but have had good luck with a variety of fish traps.
              Your Largemouth Bass population will be more important that what "forage" fish you have present. The more species of panfish AND bait fish you have present, the more you will need a healthy Bass population to manage their numbers to keep from having an over-abundance of slow-growing, stunted panfish.

              If you are interested in improving panfish growth rates, supplemental feeding with artificial feed is an option, but that should not be undertaken haphazardly.

              Oh, and it is way easier to produce quality fishing in small bodies of water by following the K.I.S.S. principle!

              Daryl B.
              Daryl Bauer
              Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
              Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
              [email protected]
              http://ourdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/category/barbs-and-backlashes/

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