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Author Archives: Walt Foreman

Big Hand-Painted Bluegill

We seined one of our production ponds today to fill a large order going to northern Kentucky.  The hatchery record for hand-paints as of yesterday was 1.8 lbs.; this guy weighed 1.9 lbs.:

Choosing a Lake Management Company in Tennessee: Do They Know Our Waters?

We make a big deal about being the only full-service lake and pond management company working in this state that is owned by a Tennessee native. We have frequently mentioned in other posts the fact that most of our competitors routinely send out biologists just a year or two removed from college to evaluate the Read more…

Grass carp and Their Impact on Bluegill or, How to Have Smaller Bass

Imagine that you were shopping for a new car, and a car dealer told you that he had the perfect car for you: this car has a twelve-year limited warranty, it’s more comfortable and nicer to look at than any car you have ever seen, and you can buy it for $2,000 less than any Read more…

Smallmouth Bass in Alabama Ponds

Many pond owners are under the impression that smallmouth won’t survive in ponds, or at a minimum, won’t thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Smallmouth are indeed found all the way to Canada, and some of the best smallmouth lakes anywhere are up north; but the world record came from right here in Read more…

Tilapia

Tilapia (oreochromis niloticus) are a tropical fish native to Africa and cultivated worldwide for table fare. In recent years they have become popular among pond owners for bass forage, and also for control of certain types of aquatic vegetation. They spawn every three weeks once the water temperature reaches seventy degrees, producing large quantities of forage Read more…

Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x Esox lucius) are a cross between pure-strain muskellunge and northern pike. They are sterile and cannot reproduce. They are an apex predator and quickly grow to sizes at which they not only can effectively prey on gizzard shad larger than all but the largest largemouth can eat, but also largemouth bigger than Read more…

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis X Morone chrysops) are a cross between striped bass and white bass. They have become a popular stocking option among pond owners in recent years due to their fast growth and hard fight. They commonly reach six to eight pounds in ponds with adequate forage, and take pelleted feed readily. They are Read more…

Black Crappie

Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) are a popular sportfish among anglers. They can be stocked in ponds under very specific conditions, but are not recommended for bass-bluegill ponds due to their tendency to overpopulate. They spawn in early spring when the water temperature reaches 62 degrees, which allows the resultant young-of-year to reach a size at which they Read more…

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are highly prized as a food fish, and are also valued by many anglers for the sport they provide. They grow rapidly when fed a high-protein, fishmeal-based food, often reaching three pounds within a year of stocking. They are very prone to becoming hook-shy, meaning they learn to avoid angler presentations including live Read more…

Mississippi Grass Shrimp

Mississippi grass shrimp (paleomonetes kadiakensis) are a freshwater crustacean found from northeastern Mexico to the Great Lakes. They seldom exceed 1.5″ in size and are a preferred food of bluegill and redear. Their diet includes plankton, detritus, and other invertebrates and they strongly prefer aquatic vegetation as habitat. When stocked into ponds managed for trophy bluegill, they Read more…

Crayfish

Crayfish (astacoidea) are a favorite food of both largemouth and smallmouth bass and can aid in growing bass to trophy size. They should be stocked at a rate of forty pounds per acre for establishment in ponds with existing bass populations; an ideal strategy is to stock them simultaneously with other supplemental forage species such as golden Read more…

Golden Shiners

Golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas) are another soft-rayed, fusiform prey species that is commonly stocked in trophy largemouth ponds. They fill an important niche in that they grow to large enough sizes, up to 12”, that they provide ideal-sized prey for larger bass, but not large enough that they cause biomass issues like those caused by gizzard shad, Read more…

Threadfin Shad

Threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) have been referred to as “bass candy” because of the largemouth’s strong preference for them as a prey fish. Shad are filter feeders, roaming open water to feed on plankton. For this reason they seldom do well in unfertilized ponds. They are very high in protein and are a soft-rayed fish, meaning they Read more…

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass (micropterus dolomieu) are, like largemouth a member of the sunfish family. Many anglers consider them the hardest-fighting of all freshwater fish. There are several hatcheries that raise smallmouth in ponds for the purpose of stocking in private ponds, and these fish can be grown to six pounds or more under ideal conditions. Smallmouth do not Read more…

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a member of the sunfish family and is hands-down the most popular gamefish in the U.S. Largemouth are a voracious predator and will consume anything they can fit into their mouths, ranging from fish to frogs to small birds and mammals. They spawn once a year in the spring when the water Read more…