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tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

Pond management
Got Southeastern Pond Management coming in a couple weeks to my place. Gonna do a shock survey, ph and alkalinity test, and evaluate the vegetation. Dug and stocked the pond back in ‘04 with bream, bass and catfish and while it’s been ok, it hasn’t produced fish like I would like it too. Anxious to see what the shock survey shows and what the recommendations will be. After this much time I would think there would be some hogs in there but we rarely catch bass over 4-5 lbs. most of the bass we catch are in the 1-2 lb range or smaller with an occasional 3-5 lb fish coming out. Bream seem to be average. Pond is about 1-1/2 acres

I’m sure they will suggest a fertilization, lime program and probably want me to take more fish out of it. I think part of the issue is that it’s overstocked as I don’t tend to keep as many fish out of it as I should.


way_south
Member since Jul 2017
509 posts

re: Pond management
What's it cost for them to come out for that type service? I have a small pond where we're going to build and I think I'll try to expand it some at that time. It's overrun with stunted green sunfish and I want to fix it.


tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
Bit more than I would have thought ... couple grand...but ya gotta pay to play.


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tigerdup07
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
21231 posts

re: Pond management
how big is the pond?


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No Colors
Ole Miss Fan
Locker Room
Member since Sep 2010
7207 posts
 Online 

re: Pond management
They're gonna recommend the introduction of a forage species for the bass.

Also, you might be lacking in cover/structure. The baby bream need a place to hide when they're tiny. So that they can get up to a size big enough to provide good forage. If the bass just vacuum the up when they're tiny, they don't do much good.

They're also probably gonna recommend a feeding program for the bream if you don't already have one in place.


tigerdup07
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
21231 posts

re: Pond management
quote:

you might be lacking in cover/structure. The baby bream need a place to hide when they're tiny


this is the reason. most people want their ponds to look "pretty". Bait fish need that pond to look ugly.



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tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
Don’t seem to have an issue as much with the bream. There seem to be plenty of various size ranges. I think there is decent structure in the pond for cover but could need to add some. We put a decent amount of stumps, tree tops, logs, tires, etc in there


tigerdup07
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
21231 posts

re: Pond management
quote:

We put a decent amount of stumps, tree tops, logs, tires, etc in there


unfortunately, you need grass. lots of ugly grass.



tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
That does seem to be lacking. We have some old slimy stuff in the shallows but good vegetation is lacking. I think that will be the biggest takeaway from them coming in. I don’t think the ph and alkalinity is right to support that right now. Have a few pines close to the perimeter that may need to be cut down as they are probably causing a problem.


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tigerdup07
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2007
21231 posts

re: Pond management
pond bass production is cyclical. it's the way mother nature works. for a few years, you'll nail some monsters. then.........for a few years, you'll only get some 1-2 lbs. it's a mother nature feeding cycle. competition for bait fish changes year after year.


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1986 posts

re: Pond management
Where is your pond located in Louisiana? Heavy alluvial clay soils, or sandy loam piney woods soils?

What type of largemouth bass were stocked in 04 - Florida strain or Louisiana native strain. What are your expectations from this pond with regards to bass?

It is true most people with ponds have a tendency to under fish them, particularly with regards to the bream population, but LMB can certainly be under harvested as well. Standard pond stocking recommendations are based on the assumption that people will fish and remove a defined poundage of bream and bass annually. Managing ponds for “trophy bass” use a different set of management and harvest criteria, and difficult to do on ponds as small as 1 1/2 acres - like trying managing for trophy bucks on 20 acres vs 2,000 acres.

I’m sure SE Pond Management will be able to provide you with solid management recommendations following their survey assessment based on your goals and expectations for the pond.



tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
Pond is located near Kentwood La. more of a clay soil base up here. Area was in hardwoods that we cut in 03 and dug the pond out. Replanted in pines a year or two later. We put in the F-1 hybrid strain bass back in 04.


deeprig9
Member since Sep 2012
39740 posts
 Online 

re: Pond management
F-1 would have bred itself out of F1 status by now and just be regular bass that grow slower and not as aggressive.


TheDrunkenTigah
Syracuse Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
16085 posts

re: Pond management
The management company is going to tell you this, but 1.5 acres is never going to do well with both bass and catfish competing against one another. If you’re catching 4 and 5lb bass occasionally then it could be a lot worse. The best thing you can do is decide what you want, and be clear about that with the management company. You could have a good catfish pond, a good bream pond, or a good bass pond, but those all have very different needs.


tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
Yeah we’ve just about fished the catfish out. Have had to restock them once about 6 years ago. They don’t seem to reproduce well in this pond. Don’t think we’re gonna stock them again. I’d say we have less than 30 catfish still in the pond. Used to have a hundred or so rolling up when we would feed a few years back. Now it’s less than 10-15 that we see when we feed.


TheDrunkenTigah
Syracuse Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2011
16085 posts

re: Pond management
They typically don’t reproduce well in ponds, but they will put a lot of strain on the forage. I’d try to get them all out if possible and it will help a lot.

As has already been said you need cover for the bream fry and to get them on a feeding program. I think hardwood lay downs or brush piles are the most effective. Lime and fertilize per recommendation, and aggressively remove all bass shorter than 14”. Do all that and you’ll be surprised how fast you can see results.


tigamike
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2005
4693 posts

re: Pond management
I took about a dozen bass out last weekend. All were prob between 9”-12”. Gonna hit it again this weekend.


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Outdoorreb
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Oct 2019
629 posts

re: Pond management
So, long story short. We have a 15 acre pond that was producing over 10 pound bass for multiple years(catch and release) In the last 4 it has only produced one 9 pound bass. All while removing bass 16” and under.

It boiled down to every lake/pond has a peak and then drops down and evens out. Unless you keep stocking it back up with newer genetics. I can’t remember the actual percentage on the fingerlings that “can” actually reach trophy size.

The key to having big fish is: new/fresh genetics, plenty of structure(bedding area, grass for fingerlings, larger structure for small fish then larger structure for mature fish), feeding program for your bait fish,aeration, managing your water and a strict management on the size of fish that come out of the lake.

I think we are going to bring in several big females every year and put in the lake to keep the genetics fresh after we restock it and start culling the smaller fish. Instead of trusting people to cull the right size we are just going to start culling twice a year when we shock it.

This is to try and grow a large population of bass over 10 pounds. This might be overkill for you, and my boss might be a little more willing to spend that much money.


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