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Need help with a good pond going downhill

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    Need help with a good pond going downhill

    There's a private pond I fish every once in a while, about the only PP I ever fish. It one of those places I go when I want to catch a ton of fish not necessarily sizable fish, but there are some decent fish. The pond owner tells everyone to take any bluegill they catch and throw back every bass. To me that doesn't seem like good management at all. I've seen 2 bluegill in probably the 30 times I've fished there and it is clear water, never seen a bluegill bed either. The owner says it used to have a lot of big bass but they got tired of catching so many bluegill, now its down to minimal numbers of bluegill and very few decent bass and ALL of them are stunted with big heads and tiny bodies without any good population of forage. We caught one last summer that had the head of a 24" bass, it was huge, but the body was skinny and the fish only measured barely 20". The pond owner WANTS big bass but no bluegill, there are also no other forage options other than bugs or frogs. I feel the need to tell him to help him out but need advice on what to say and what to suggest to him. I've thought about maybe reducing numbers of little fish and adding some adult sized bluegill but i'm no pond manager so i'm in need of some advice.


    Bluegill are the foundation of the forage base in ponds......

    If he truly wants to grow big LMB then he will want a lot of smaller stunted bluegill.
    Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....


      Fished there last night and talked to him and he wondered why all the bluegill were gone even though he told people to take them all. So I explained that he needs more bluegill and less small bass. He gave us permission to take out some small bass and put in breeding sized bluegill to up the population. It would be best to put pure bluegill, no GSF or hybrids right? And its about a 1.5 acre pond, how many bass should be removed?


        Yep, pure BG would be best.

        How many LMB and what size to remove depends on what currently is in the pond, so it depends. A good survey will go a long ways in making the right decisions in that regard. A good general rule is to thin the most abundent size class and keep an eye on body condition (relative weight or WR) for improvements.

        The pond owner could get some good advice by contacting Jeff Blaser at the Nebraska Game & Parks. Jeff is great guy to work with and he really knows his stuff.

        Jeff Blaser
        Private Waters Specialist
        Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
        2200 N. 33rd St./PO Box 30370
        Lincoln, NE 68503-0370
        Phone: 402-471-5435
        e-mail: mailto:[email protected]
        Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....


          There's also a FREE pond mgmt seminar scheduled for this Saturday out at Mahoney.
          Details are available by digging around on the forum, just a little bit!
          Become the change in the world that you seek.




              I know this is the age of the internet and everyone wants instant answers, but there are some free, helpful resources available too, all you to to do is take some time to read.

              Start here, Nebraska Pond Management Guide Series.

              For what you are asking, you will be especially interested in this chapter, Managing a Bass/Bluegill/Catfish Pond.

              If you need more assistance, more individualized, specific assistance, "Shorty" has already posted the contact information.

              Daryl B.
              Daryl Bauer
              Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
              Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
              [email protected]