Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

What a great supplement to Pond Boss! My favorite fish to catch and eat are bluegill and crappie. One of my ponds[1 acre] is 9 years old and seems to have a good mix of different size bass and all sizes of bluegill to about 7".
My new pond[1-acre, filled in April 2007] I stocked in April 07 with about 125 bluegill from the older pond and 500 res and 50 cc. I would really like to manage this pond for eating size bluegill and would appriciate any advice on how to achieve this. I'll try to attach some pics of a few bluegill I stocked.

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If you're managing for eating size bluegill, I'd assume that you're talking 8+ inchers?

Are you planning on providing pelleted feed to the fish?
Hi Bruce, 7-9" would be great. I'm not sure about feeding as my farm is in Northern Missouri and I live in Arizona. I do visit there a couple times a month from April through January, so I probably could restock a feeder before it ran out, I'm definetly willing to try what it takes.
Bluegill populations in ponds with no artificial feeding can be pushed to larger bluegill size by two methods.

1. If you can regularly harvest the bluegill, then do so. This will reduce competition and improve size structure.

2. If you can't regularly harvest fish, then you want the bass population to dominate. This will limit bluegill recruitment and also yield bigger sizes. This is probably the situation that I see the most.
From April through October I'm there enough to harvest quite a few fish, so far we haven't kept any except to stock the new pond.
We're starting a cabin there in a few weeks so were hoping to have some good fish fry's after it's completion.
Would purchasing bluegill from a breeder with different genectics[size] be practical?
Probably not if you already have an embedded population. You've already been "selecting" for your particular system. :)
Bruce, I just looked at your bluegill photos, those don't qualify as panfish, they look more like sumu wrestlers!
Mark - As recommended on this web site, when harvesting the BG try to put an emphasis on harvesting the females with catch and releasing the males. Use the info on this home page link to learn how to recognize males and females. If you do not subscribe to Pond Boss magazine I suggest that you subscirbe. It is a very good pond management magazine. Three articles in the back issues in 2006 (Mar-Apr, May-Jun, Jul-Aug) discussed sexing BG and how to better raise them to big sizes.
Hi Bill, I subscribe to pond boss and visit pond boss weekly, since finding pond boss I've gone from being a complete pond novice to ----well, still a novice, but I'm learning. I've read every article I can find on bluegill. Any idea how many females I could harvest out of my 2- 1 acre ponds? Should I treat my res the same?
The number harvested will depend to a certain extent on how dense the population is and its size structure - how many of each size category are present. Dr Bruce usually says that it is difficult to take out too many females, at least by angling. I tend to agree with this as long as you are harvesting primarily females. Heavy fishing pressure will result in some deep hooked males that should be harvested because they will die from too much stress. Removing females creates lots more growing room for remaining fish, improves growth rate of remaining fish, and a large percentage of them will be large males. As I see it, one of the difficulties with over-using this philosophy is the tendency to over fish one's pond and thus producing hook smart BG at least the older larger males. But, this too can have benefits in that your pond's tophies have a lower vulnerability to poachers and the high number of wise males are suppressing early development of young males.
RES management and harvest in a pond with BG is of interest to me, too. It is harder (for me) to figure out since BG usually outnumber RES and RES can be more difficult to catch. I think the basic concept for sustainable harvest is the same, watching the RES population over time, leaving larger fish to perpetuate the best genes, figuring out how many can be removed each year without adversely impacting the population.
I thought this forum was so interesting, I would make sure it doesn't drop off the website, if they do. Anyway, does anyone remove the extra BG offspring from their ponds, and place them in a creek. river or another lake? Is it legal to do so? What could it hurt?
The implications are many for removing unwanted BG and dumping them into a creek, river or lake. "What can it hurt?" Firstly the states's DNR is not in favor of this private citizen stocking. They have numerous reasosns why. Visit your state's DNR website for more information on this topic. IMO it is naive about the laws of nature and good common sense to put excess fish into public waters. Just a few topics for this discussion include: proper identification, introduction of unwanted or inferior genetics, possibility of internal /external diseases - parasites that include virus/bacterial, placing an animal out of its realm (pond) and putting it in a new habitat (stream or water chemistry), ability to compete in a new community, possibility of interbreeding diluting the genetic purity of species in receiving water body, upsetting the existing community balance of species and densities of receiving water body that may or may not need the extra fish biomass to compete with existing fish.

IMO there is too much of this philosophy of restocking excess animals/pets into public waters by people with good intentions while lacking a good grasp of biology and population ecology. The "do good stockings" have caused way too many problems of exotic species and introduction of unwanted species in supposedly well managed public water waters. The taxpayers then have to fund the attempts to "clean up the mess". The State's DNR has a hard enough time managing the public water let alone being helped by do good citizens who have no knowledge of complex natural ecological interactions. If the "do good" citizens were truly responsible they would not have allowed the source population to get out of control in the first place and/or would not have bought a pet or animal they eventually tired of and decided to donate it to the "wild".

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