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Author Archives: Walt Foreman

A Couple Hand-painted Bluegill We Seined Today

So we seined one of our hatchery ponds today for hand-painted bluegill.  These days when people ask me which subspecies of bluegill they should stock if their goal is trophy bluegill, I tell them hand-painted.  Here’s why: We didn’t weigh the top fish, but the bottom one weighed 2.1 pounds.  It came from a roughly Read more…

An Average Day on a World-class Pond

Myself and our new assistant fisheries biologist Greta fished our best trophy-bluegill pond for approximately four hours on July 27. In that time, a three-pound, a four-pound, a four-and-a-half-pound, and a five-pound largemouth were caught, along with a 1.6-pound bluegill. Here are the two largest fish (Greta caught both): This is from a 1.1-acre pond Read more…

The Most Important Consideration When Hiring a Pond Builder

There are several important factors that should be considered when one is hiring an excavation contractor to build a pond. Experience building ponds, the right equipment for compaction, and experience with permitting for ponds are all vitally important; however, all of these pale in comparison to what should be your first two questions for any Read more…

Mystery Solved, Or: Three in Five Months

Up until a few days ago, whenever a new customer asked me which got bigger, coppernose or hand-painted bluegill, I would give them a complicated answer. We’re going to do a study at some point, I would say (we’re hoping to get this done within the next year) and will have hard data; as of Read more…

Fish Pricing for Pond Stocking

There are many purchases for which it simply makes sense to let cost be the deciding factor. Most folks, for example, when exiting the interstate to fuel up their vehicles, will stop at the gas station that has the cheapest fuel, all other things being equal, because they know that generally there won’t be a Read more…

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…