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I read the short article "Big Bluegill's biologist Daryl B. defines "stunting" of bluegill" and it made me wonder... How do you correct a stunted lake? If you reduce the population of gills will they begin to grow or have they matured to the point that they will not grow any more? Would a reduction in the female population kick in some competition between the males causing a growth spurt?

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This is why an evaluation by a professional fisheries biologist can come in handy. They can age your fish so you know if your five inch fish is age-1, age-4, or somewhere in between. You would manage the fishery completely differently depending on what you found.

If you are able to say with certainty that the bluegill are stunted, then you would need to either harvest them, or have an appropriately sized predator to put pressure on them. Typically this is more difficult the larger the water body is. Older bluegill, that are still quite small will show improved growth if their competition is limited, but it is extremely unlikely that they will meet their full potential as far as size is concerned. A bluegill that's been stuck between 4 and 5 inches for three years has used up some of his alloted time, and will probably never be a trophy.

If you reduce the female population (I've done this, by the way), it won't make the males more competitive, but it will leave them more food, depending on how many females you're able to remove, so you would expect improved growth rates.
A fish survey of my 10 acre lake in michigan shows 45% bluegill, 45% Gizzard Shad, and 5% Largemouth Bass. Our minnows are back, but were not here in June at the time of the survey.
They (the surveyors) felt that our LM Bass population did not have enough 1,2 3 year old bass.
Our lake has been mismanaged and neglected for several years. We have been choked out with Curly Leaf Pondweed (treated too late for 4 years) had the Chara killed off from overtreatment with copper sulfate, the county drainage ditch was allowed to backflow into the lake from our outflow,( that has been corrected) our sediment is good (former gravel pit developed in the 70's) and we have too much run-off, working to ban phosphorus in the sub, and divert drains with the city/county. Have made LB Spawning boxes and will purchase 50 (unless we should get more to obtain a 15% LMB population on October 1st. We know the gizzard shad (how did they get here?) are eating all the zooplankton and leaving us with Planktonic Algae the second week in June now for 5 years. We did not know of the gizzard shad problem, now we want to get more bass to eat them. How many bass? We have some nice large bass in here (I'm feeding the bass and the bluegill hotdogs) We have a new treatment company that is beyond excellent, and we are committed to restoring our lake.
The bluegill aren't really very large, but the fish surveyors said they did not constitute a stunted population either. Should we put any type of brush cover on the spawning boxes? Plan to put those in 4ft of water at least 50 feet apart.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Lynda
Welcome to bigbluegill.com, Lynda.

Super glad to have you here.

Have you considered using Pond Boss Forums for your question? The reason I ask is that you would have access to pond experts, as opposed to bluegill enthusiasts. You might be able to generate more response.

Try to click HERE to check out the forum.

Again..Welcome!

Bruce
Hi Bruce:
Yes, I found Pond Boss Forum, and I have just subscribed to the magazine. Our bluegill are not big, in fact a previous study here suggested that they were stunted. The fish survey revealed that they are not, but they are small. Our lake is a mess, Margaret and I are determined to fix it. Gizzard Shad!!!
Lynda
I can't wait to see how this works out. If you help me identify you on the Pond Boss forum I'll help guide you to some answers there.
I can reply to the spawning boxes. I am not sure exactly what type of structure you mean, but I will tell you what I have done. I live in Pennsylvania and own a 14 acre lake. The spawning structures for the bass (large mouth) that I have used consist of two or three two by eights on edge with one inch boards covering the top. The whole thing is about six feet by eight feet. I put 15 of them around my lake in 4-6 feet of water. I believe that they are all being used and that have been wonderful. A couple of mistakes that I make is it take way more rocks or blocks than you thing to hold down the structures. I used about 8-10 blocks on each. I did not put brush around them. Our Pa fish comm. uses the same structures and they also have good results. Let me know if any other questions. Pete.
Get a couple of Flathead catfish over 10 lbs, now mind you you'll have to keep these fellows in check they are by the ultimate pond Predator.
I know of someone that tried that on his pond. All his big bass disappeared.

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