Do you love big bluegill?
Can anybody tell me the average growth rate on Coppernose bluegill. Before I stocked my pond nobody could tell me if the would live in Northern Arkansas. This is my basic pond.
I dug a new pond in fall of 2012. By the spring of 2013 it was full of water and measured 5/8 of a acre. 5/4/2013 I put 500 coppernose and 100 redears. The big fish of 2015 was a male coppernose at 2 years and 2 months was 10" long. So far this year I have caught a couple females 10.5". I live in Northwest Arkansas and didn't even know if they would live this far north. Is this about normal?
Arkie, a better method of gauging the growth and health of your bluegills is known as relative weight. Length is easy, and a commonly applied indication of size, but the ratio of weight to length is a much better indicator. You will need a kitchen scale with a tray or platform, which is capable of measuring in 10ths of an ounce. These can be purchased at the big box stores very inexpensively. A tape measure is self explanatory. You will also need a relative weight chart for the species you are interested in. Here are links to a couple that apply to bluegills:
To find the relative weight,, first measure the length of your bluegill, then using the chart determine what the standard weight is for a bluegill of that length. Weigh your fish on your new scale, and divide that weight by the weight given in the chart for a fish that length. This will give you a percentage, which ideally we would like to see above 100%. Values below 80% may indicate that growth is not where it should be, or at least provide a starting point for improvement.
Tony, Thank you. Now I'll buy the scale and start logging what I catch.