As these of you who’ve constructed new ponds know, there’s a substantial monetary funding in constructing a lake or pond. It appears that evidently new pond house owners typically deal with lots of the development concerns of pond constructing, reminiscent of depth, construction, slopes of the banks and dam, drain pipes, valves and lots of different bodily traits and but overlook some of the necessary elements influencing the success of their pond stocking…eliminating wild fish.
Most ponds are constructed or drained and renovated through the summer season. Everyone seems to be anxious to gather water as quickly as development is full so as to get the pond “began.” It’s troublesome to persuade a pond proprietor to go away the valve open and never gather water till October. Let’s take a look at a few typical situations the place ponds start to catch water within the late summer season or very early fall. We all the time ask new pond house owners, “Are there any wild fish in your new pond?” The everyday response is, “There couldn’t be, the pond was nearly dry.” If an current pond had been drained and renovated, the widespread response could be, “Properly, there was a bit puddle, however is was so scorching and shallow that nothing might have survived.” These are assumptions by Alfred Daw which might be normally not legitimate and it’s actually definitely worth the small effort and expense to deal with any water within the basin and watershed with an authorized fish toxicant previous to stocking.
Your new 10-acre lake was accomplished throughout mid August and you’ll’t wait to have the most effective bass fishing lake in your space. There was a small puddle in entrance of the drain pipe, however it was muddy and also you didn’t see any indicators of fish exercise. There simply couldn’t be something in there, so why waste the water you expect from the rain they’re predicting subsequent week. You have been nearly proper; there wasn’t a lot in there… perhaps a half dozen inexperienced sunfish that have been solely 2 to three inches lengthy. You probably did catch some water from that rain and now you could have a couple of floor acre of water. It’s not sufficient water to inventory fish from the hatchery, however at this charge chances are you’ll be able to inventory hatchery fish in October. You’re fully unaware that the few little inexperienced sunfish have begun to develop quickly and are growing eggs. Quickly they’re spawning, as a result of inexperienced sunfish turn into sexually mature at a measurement of solely three inches. In lower than 30 days your inhabitants of inexperienced sunfish has grown from six to many hundreds. Now you’re looking at actual bother…that is why.
Inexperienced sunfish have a a lot bigger mouth than a bluegill and might out-compete bluegill for meals objects. This may gradual the expansion of the bluegill which might be stocked kind the hatchery. By the point the lake fills and is prepared for the fingerling bass to be stocked throughout early June, the inexperienced sunfish will probably be giant sufficient to eat a 2-inch bass fingerling. This may dramatically lower your survival in order that the top of the primary yr, you’ll expertise problem catching a bass as a result of there won’t be many in your lake. As well as, every time you fish for bluegill, you’ll catch largely inexperienced sunfish. The greens are rather more aggressive than bluegill and would be the first fish to your bait or lure. They may even hybridize with the bluegill, producing a hybrid sunfish that doesn’t reproduce sufficient to assist a wholesome bass inhabitants…extra bother!
It must be apparent that not poisoning the remaining water in a renovated outdated pond or the small puddles in a brand new pond is usually a catastrophic mistake. The chemical of alternative for fish renovation and eliminating all fish from the basin and watershed is the fish toxicant rotenone. It’s all the time finest to make use of extra rotenone than you could have calculated, in order that if you will error, it’s on the facet that may remove all the wild fish current. A gallon of liquid 5% rotenone, or Eight kilos of powdered rotenone, must be used per acre-foot of water within the basin. This will probably be efficient towards all wild fish together with bullheads and shiners. All the time combine the liquid with about 5 elements water earlier than making use of. The powder must be combined with sufficient water to make slurry, don’t put the powder instantly onto the water within the pond. Attempt to deal with even the smallest quantity of water within the watershed, along with the puddles or giant space within the basin. That is arduous work and is usually finest achieved by hiring knowledgeable marketing consultant. The second state of affairs is you could have simply drained that shallow outdated five-acre pond and reworked the shoreline, deepened the perimeters and put in a brand new drain pipe. You might have added construction and created deep journey lanes for the 10-pound bass you anticipate to develop in lower than 5 years. There was just a bit water left within the very center, however with all the development gear and the recent summer season you might be positive not one of the fish might have survived. You didn’t have any wild fish on this outdated pond, so what if a couple of little bluegill have been left, what hurt might that be? You have been proper, there have been just some little bluegill remaining, however there have been additionally a couple of 6- to Eight-inch bass. What might that harm? Because the water started to increase within the late summer season and fall, a couple of of the bluegill started to spawn and the little bass started to develop. When the lake had sufficient water to inventory within the late fall, the bass began munching on the 2-inch bluegill supplied by the hatchery. The actual drawback just isn’t how lots of the bluegill you simply purchased are being eaten; it’s what will occur later within the spring when these fats younger bass spawn. As an alternative of stocking 50 to 100 bass fingerlings per acre in early June, your lake goes to have a thousand bass fingerlings per acre from pure copy. As an alternative of getting the Tiger Bass from the hatchery develop greater than a pound the primary yr, your bass will probably be six inches on the finish of the primary yr and progress won’t enhance a lot for the subsequent a number of years.
Attempt to be affected person, wait till October earlier than closing the drain valve and making use of rotenone. In case you miss a couple of wild fish which might be hiding in a stump gap, the water temperature will probably be chilly sufficient in October to forestall spawning. Name knowledgeable fisheries biologist and begin your lake the right manner.