Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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My Dad wants to have a trophy bluegill pond. And I WANT him to have a trophy bluegill pond. Last year the pond experienced some moderate water quality problems and I was forced to evacuate most of the fish. There are now trophy bluegill living in my pond that came from my Dad's pond. I also had to evacuate several master-angler sized yellow perch. My goals for management of his pond this year are as follows:

1. High quality aeration system--designed and purchased from Ted Lea at ForeverGreen. It is a vertex system and very powerful. It will turn over the water 35 times daily.

2. Barley straw. I'm going to only give minimal information on this at this time because it will be part of an experiment which will hopefully find the light of day in a Pond Boss article.

3. Aeration of incoming water by flowthrough of a smaller micro-pond just above my Dad's pond. This new pond will be called Bruce Kania pond, in honor of the floating islands that will be in place for the bluegill's protective cover.

4. Stocking of all Condello strain bluegill, which will be part of a reproducing populaition.

5. Hopefully stocking of some adult smallmouth bass, that will hopefully feed train, and utilize YOY bluegills.

Many more details later.

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Comment by Leo Nguyen on June 6, 2016 at 4:13pm

My gosh Greghopper, haven't seen you in millenia. Welcome back to the dark side.

Comment by Greg McWilliams on June 6, 2016 at 2:52pm

So BRUCE 8 years later how is the POND DOING??????

Comment by Theo Gallus on April 19, 2008 at 8:20pm
Hey! I actually saw a couple of FHM eating Purina GFC pellets in my new pond today.

I was so happy for them, I gave them an extra half-pint of feed.
Comment by Theo Gallus on April 16, 2008 at 12:51pm
Surface temp in the other pond was 63.7 last night at feeding time; 60.8 2 feet down. The pond with the FHM should be the same or a little cooler (more shade).
Comment by Bruce Condello on April 15, 2008 at 6:39pm
Whenever I've had fatheads they find each pellet and bat it around like a little beachball for several minutes until it's gone. This was in water temps over 60 degrees however. Maybe that's the difference. What's your water temps right now?
Comment by Theo Gallus on April 15, 2008 at 6:30pm
"No pellets will go uneaten, because the fatheads will find the pellets wherever they end up."

You really think so, Bruce? I've been tossing a couple of handfuls of feed into my new pond, currently inhabited only by FHM, each night. I haven't seen any of them take an interest in the feed yet. OTOH, there is never any leftover feed from the day before along the shore, which I sometimes see in my other (sans Fathead) pond when the fish there aren't eating well (for whatever reason).
Comment by Bruce Condello on April 14, 2008 at 7:09pm
I've installed the aeration system, deployed several bales of barley straw, filled the pond with water and started to stock the fish.

Smallmouth have proved to be a problem, but I think I've got some possible leads.

I've decided to take a risk and stock fathead minnows. My reasoning was that the fatheads would serve as a LARGE meal for big bluegill, and that the fatheads would convert pellet biomass to bluegill biomass. No pellets will go uneaten, because the fatheads will find the pellets wherever they end up.


The negatives of fathead minnow stocking are that the fatheads will compete directly with the YOY bluegill for food. This may mean that the bluegill don't recruit as well, or it could mean that the YOY bluegill are in poorer condition. I'm hoping that I can manage my way out of this situation by adding more smallies over the next few years.

200 fatheads have been stocked. Condello strain bluegill have also been added, but mostly smaller fish in the 3-5 inch range. They should be catchable by the fall. In the mean time I'll feed the heck out of them, and get my tail in gear to procure the smallmouth.

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