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TouchTooMuch

Marking Bass?

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So I know my bass to bait fish population is bad, meaning in our pond we have more bass than bait fish because all of our bass are underweight, and also the bait fish in our pond are small sunfish. So I was wondering, is there a way to mark bass so i can catch them, weigh them, and measure them and write it down and then mark them incase I catch the same bass again I dont write it down? I want to see the info and decide how many bass I should take out.

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Take a paper hole punch with you and put a hole in their dorsal fin. However, I dont see any way to distinguish between 100 bass with holes in their dorsals effectively so I wouldn't bother trying to mark them. The best thing would be to have somebody from the DNR come out and recommend a plan for you.

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I live 5 minutes from a private pond, and the owner asked the DNR to come out for free assessments. The pond is only 2.5acres, and he has tons of bass in there in the 1-2lber range. He didn’t tag any bass in the pond. But DNR recommended removing of 50 bass, then stock smaller shiners and crawfish. I am sure if you have to pay DNR to get it stock, or they will do it for free. And this year, we have caught few 3lbers in there.

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Depending on the size of the pond, water quality, and many other factors: taking out numbers of bass can vary. A biologist will give you the best advice. Having said that, if all the bass you catch look like they are stamped from a cookie cutter and just don't measure up, you could have a problem. Take a hard look around the banks for baitfish and bluegill that are in the 3 to 4 inch range. That is the main food and size to grow bass to the 14 inch, maybe 15 range. After that bigger bluegill becomes the food of choice. So if you can see all sizes of bream from fry to the 3/4 lb. and up you may be in better shape than you think. To answer the question; the best way to permanently mark a bass would be to fin clip them. Fin clipping done correctly will prevent the fin from growing back. You could clip the left for one size group and the right for another. If you clip enough bass you might be able to gain an overall average of growth in the years to come. An easier quick fix, if you have the money would be to start from scratch and stock what you want. I would definately get with a biologist first and possibly save you some headaches and time. Goodluck.

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You can purchase fairly inexpensive fish tagging systems online like these

http://www.fishtagger.com/

I would not recommend cutting fins or hole punching. Studies have shown that these may heal and thereby losing any usable knowledge.

Contact your local DNR or contact a local college fishery biology department. Most will be more than happy to discuss options etc.

It is extremely possible that your pond is out of balance, meaning, you have more undersized fish than you have sustainable food source. The DNR will be able to help you determine this. Good luck and post results.

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You may be over-thinking this. You've already identified you need to thin the herd. It's just a matter of figuring out how much to take out. Believe me, it's more than you think!

Here's a few articles that will help you figure out how to solve this problem:

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/bass_limits.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/big_bass_ponds.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/overpopulated-bass.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/slot.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/pond_management.html

http://www.bassresource.com/fish_biology/growing_larger_bass.html

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