Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
KenDammit28

spawning in a private pond

Recommended Posts

This is just something that I've been pondering in my head for a little while.  The general rule of thumb for a private pond is to fish it pretty hard to maintain population balance...but what about the spawn?  A lot of people feel that its bad to take fish off of beds during this time because it can kill a class of fish, but in a farm pond, do you think its the opposite?  I'm kinda on the fence.  On the one hand, I have a part of me that says that its just a bit bad to be pulling fish off of beds and killing fish...but then another part says that there would be no possible way to catch ALL the bass on beds, and actually taking some off for a brief period might help the balance.  The part that throws me is factoring in how many fry and eggs are being lost without angler catching.  Is it enough to keep balance, thus taking fish off could lower population?

I know that females lay a lot of eggs per pound, so where do you guys think the line should be drawn in a private pond?  I guess I should mention that the size of my pond is 1/8-1/4 acre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ouachitabassangler

That's too small an area to expect a normal bass recruitment. Ponds usually have a lot more egg-eating critters than lake beds will see. Stocking the pond occasionally would be a better approach. But all you would need from an egg hatch would be about 20 out of 400,000 per bed to make it to age one to overstock the pond with bass if you maintain other species. Be sure you don't get any carp in there, as they feed heavily on bass eggs. Maybe you need to make a spawning bench on the bank, simply a board slab suspended off bottom but the wood under the surface. Tilt it to allow for changes in pool level so some of the board is in water all the time. As soon as you see eggs on it cover it with a screen mesh cover to keep most egg eaters out. You won't need that many eggs surviving, but the fry will provide some good forage for the bass and other fish after you remove the cover. The male will guard the outdside of the mesh for a week or two after the eggs hatch. Once the eggs are laid you could remove the female. There are probably other females to take her place.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bluegill and crappie in the pond with the bass.  The population thus far(after ....5 years) is really good.  All fish caught are of normal weight to length ratio, and some are over the ratio.  Bluegill are average 5in in length, and crappie are very rare..though I wish they weren't in the pond at all.  What I'm getting at is that in general, is it actually beneficial to bed fish in a small pond to allow some predation to happen or is it better to let nature take its course?  My mind wants to tell me that its a good thing to allow some eggs and fry to be eaten before they can grow to gain larger bass and a more balanced population, but how many fish will actually survive in that small of an environment anyway?  BTW, fish are regularly removed..about 10-20lbs of bass a year..as well as bluegill weight.  In the next year or two, I AM planning on expanding to a full acre(my initial estimate is a little low..its pretty close to a half now) when I do my cattail eradication(these are the worst plant god ever created!) with a good ole bobcat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried spawning in a private pond once. The &^#$! rancher ran us off.

Here in Texiz, many "tanks", as we call ponds or some of the larger private lakes, are ill-suited to spawning for a number of reasons. In areas of soft soil, silt is an egg-killer, and that is often aggravated by cattle stomping about in the water. For my part, I might like to try standing in a pool of Maker's Mark as I sipped but the bar tab would bankrupt me well beyond what the Baitmonkey has already done.

Also, the presence of carp can prevent successful spawns both due to siltation they create so well as ingesting the bass's eggs. A pond full of stunted and ravenous bluegill, catfish, turtles, etc. will also preclude or severely inhibit a successful spawn.

Tanks in many areas of the state are subject to wide fluctuations in water level and that also creates a poor spawning environment.

Our Beautiful Texas Hill Country is rife with tanks. Many are not only of considerable surface area, but are quite deep as well, being mini-versions of our "Highland" lakes such as Travis, Canyon, Medina, et al. They can provide a better spawning environment since siltation is not so severe but they are subject to fluctuations so much as any other body of water. Eggs laid at a suitable depth  (re temperature and light penetration)  on rocky ledges can be affected by sudden rises in depth or a rapid decline in water level.

Another problem, mired in controversy, is the increase in the range and numbers of cormorants. Many, including your humble scribe, are convinced that they appreciably damage the bass crop, especially the "yearlings" in shallower tanks. Despite laws against it, many cormorants are slain by landowners in an attempt to stem the tide. In addition to simple gunfire, I have heard of one frustrated individual who strung subsurface gill nets to entrap and drown the critters...mixed feelings there :-/.

Just some commentary based on less-than-scientific observation .

Fly. R. Odd

Nonexpert Ichthyologist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But in texas there is also the other side of the coin.  Like all the farms near fork that have fertilizer making it's way into Fork encouraging lots of growth.  Do't know how it affects spawning but those bass didn't get that big by not being able to reproduce, that's for darn sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ouachitabassangler

As soon as bass stop spawning bluegills begin spawning from about May until October, each female filling multiple beds at a time, several times a year. That puts bass at a disadvantage by natural overstocking. At the same time bass get vengeance on bluegills that are notorious for eating the bass eggs and fry, consuming bluegill fry until fall. By leaving it all to nature and harvesting bass without monitoring them for regular replacements one for one the pond can get way out of balance and resut in stunting of all species. Bass will eat the young gills first, allowing older ones to grow too large to eat on any regular basis, the larger gills eating up too much forage. The gill numbers need to be kept low.

As for the crappie, since they spawn about the same time as bass, the fry compete with bass fry for the same microscopic forage. Although releatively "rare", if you have a dozen or more 2 years old or more in the pond their fry numbers can greatly outnumber fry from an understocked population of bass. In the harvesting of bass, if one too many males are removed there wouldn't be enough guards for beds filled by females, so excess female eggs go to waste for lack of males needed on existing eggs. Crappie will have several females depositing eggs on one nest guarded by one male, while male bass accept only one female per bed. You are probably better off not harvesting large crappie which will help bass keep small bluegills in check. A few large crappie would be much better on both crappie and bass than too many young gills. Bottom line: Don't over-harvest bass, don't take crappie unless they begin to increase numbers, and take as many bluegills as possible (15 to 1 of bass numbers) until their numbers are about twice that of crappie. If you can get their numbers low enough replace them with redear sunfish which don't normally overstock ponds, while leaving a small population of bluegills. If you really just want bass then minnows & shiners ought to be the primary bass forage with one channel cat in that pond to keep the bottom cleaner. There's really a lot more to managing a pond than I'm indicating, but in general I'd go with the above. If you eradicate the cattails be sure to replace them with other bank vegetation species and be sure to manage algae.

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bigtex

I have fished ponds for over 20 years.  That is how I mainly fished growing up.  Growing up poor and starving will have an impact on your fish catching skills.  I'm not saying that I'm the best that ever lived but I didn't live by not catching fish.  Luckly by the grace of God, I now have a beautiful wife and baby girl and a really well paying job that I can support my family without wondering where the next meal will come from.

With that being said,  I have a particular pond that I have fished for those years and have come no where close to fishing it out.  I would fish it year round,  sometimes 3 to 5 days a week.  I know that catching bass off of beds won't hurt the population.  Trust me, I've done it for many years.  I don't keep many fish like I use to but I will still catch them off their beds and then release them back into the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ouachitabassangler

I know of some stock ponds like that, but those open to public fishing have been ruined from too many fish removed. One of my favorite ponds was a fire pond owned by Weyerhauser that held trophy bass for many years, but recently I couldn't catch a bass over about 1 pound, and a few bullheads. The company wanted it deeper so decided to drain it. In the mud they found a half dozen small bass, lots of bream, crappie, bluegills & some bullheads. The bass had been removed faster than they could replace themselves, and faster than they could grow. It all depends on so many factors, such as available forage, water levels, fishing pressure, amount of harvesting compared to growth rate, etc. So yes, it would be possible to ruin a pond taking bedding bass without knowing its status. It doesn't hurt to once every 3-5 years pull a net through and count what's swimming. You pull it up, take some photos, put the fish right back, then go count fish in the photos as a sample of the whole.  

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  I dont know too much about this but what I would do is just keap a bunch of the small bass and larger bluegill and let the big bass go. I dont think it will hurt to catch some of the spawners, but dont keap them. Let the big ones grow bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several ponds, all with Bass/Bluegill and Pumpkinseed mixes, I harvest each year about 50-60 "eating" size sunfish from each pond, and about 10 bass in the 10"-12" range from each. So far after a few years I am seeing good results. Each pond has produced a few 5lb+ bass last year, with good numbers of 1-3 lb fish, and Bluegills and pumkinseed populations are good too, with lgood numbers of bigger fish to spawn and supply the bass with forage. The key is keeping BOTH populations in check. When I first bought these ponds they were filled with stunted panfish and you could catch 10" bass on every cast. To remedy this I removed ALL the 10" bass I could catch and placed a few 3-4lbers in each pond. These bigger bass feasted on the small sunfish, and the sunfish that got away had less comiption for food and grew bigger. I am going to tackle my last reamining pond this year, I seem to have a good population of 12"-14" inch bass in this pond, but they are on the thin side, the bluegills seem to be in check, a few big ones, a few more medium size ones, and lots of small ones for the bass to eat. BUT I have a big yellow perch problem. The previous owner liked perch so stocked them in there as well. I fear the perch "raid" the bass nest's and damage any chance of strong spawns, and I also fear they get most of the sunfish fry and keep the bass from growing. I am unsure of what to do with this one...........kepp all the perch i catch and eat them (they are quite tasty) or get a couple hybrid sterile Tiger Muskys to gobble them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the only things thats pretty different about my pond is that there are only 2 people who fish it, literally.  I have no real concerns about fishing it out with this truly small amount of pressure that gets put on the fish and I know neither of us are keeping everything(aside from removing suggested weights to maintain good growth, nothing is kept) we catch.  Thats the reason that I asked if it would be beneficial to pull bass off the beds so that the bass will not become stunted due to over-population.  I think that my conclusion is that it'd be a good thing to help out the predation a little, so as not to get too many hungry mouths with not enough food on the table.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×