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Thread: Question--can hybrid crappies keep bluegill numbers down?

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    Default Question--can hybrid crappies keep bluegill numbers down?

    Hello, newbie here.

    My husband and I had a pond built on our farm about two years ago.
    it is a little bigger than a third of an acre and spring fed with depths of
    6-8 feet at the deepest part. We put in four areas of pallet structures.

    We put in four pounds of minnows a few months before we stocked 25 bluegill and 30 hybrid crappie. Neither my husband or I are experienced
    fishermen, and we are retired so the pond is for pleasure and for fish to eat.
    We read that crappie were the best tasting and then bluegill. We didn't want any bass, as they might take over and read they don't taste as good as crappie and bluegills.

    Since our pond is so small, we couldn't have regular crappie, so we went for the hybrid crappie, and were told by the Fishwagon people that the crappie would be adequate predators for the bluegills.

    Our pond is two years old now, the original fish are about 18 months old, and we have TONS of baby and midsize bluegills along with the originals, so we are concerned that the crappie aren't eating enough of the bluegill babies. Should we buy more hybrid crappie in November, and if so, how many?

    Have any of you successfully used hybrid crappie as predators?

    Would it be worth it to just buy 4 or 5 bass as predators, and that small amount wouldn't take over the pond?

    Thanks!

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    You need a LOT more bass. Otherwise, you're gonna end up with a million 3-inch bluegill and nothing else.

    Also, your pond is way too small for crappie, IMO (even hybrids). I'd get some advice from your state fish and game department, drain the pond and start over.
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    You could make a couple of these 4 leaf clover traps to help catch the small size bluegill's out of your pond. They catch real well better than any trap I have ever used.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...er+bream+traps



    Be safe and good luck fishing

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    Pond stocking is normally figured at 5 to one on blue gills. For every 5 gills stocked 1 bass and 1 channel cat ratio. Fish biologists don’t even recommend crappies unless lakes are 10 acres or bigger as they will eventually take over and stunt in growth. Need to get it under control quick or unbalanced you might have to poison it out and start over. That small of a pond won’t support a lot of fish.

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    Did you stock shiner minnows for the 4 pounds you mentioned? Huge mistake.

    I think a biologist is going to tell you to kill off your current residents and start over. If you don't have a good number of predators, you will never see crappie or bluegills get to the sizes you are hoping for. Crappie in the average pond is a huge no-no.
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    Use mud minnows. Or at least that’s what we use in Indiana from companies that provide fingerlings for stocking. Also, that shallow of a pond, will it freeze over for the winter? Up here, a lot of shallow ponds, will have a die off of fish in the winter due to lack of oxygen. We have went thru an extreme dry 3 months with no rain, and friends of mine lost all their fish this month due to dry without rain. Ponds dropping a couple of feet and lack of oxygen. If you experience any of this, you might also consider a areation system to keep your oxygen in the water as well.

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    Thanks for all the great advice and tips! Here's some answers to your questions.

    Fisheries and forums told us hybrid crappies will not produce young much
    and those that do will not survive as they are weak and easily eaten. So they can be used in small ponds. Also they said hybrid crappies will be good predators for the bluegills. I talked with one person last year who said hybrid crappie were keeping their various panfish/bream in check as they had no bass, but did also,have catfish, we don't. But it was hard to find anyone who has actually used hybrid crappies in their ponds.

    Correction -- my husband says our pond is 10-12 feet not 6-8 feet at deep part.

    We put in fathead minnows, not shiners. We have a lot of minnows now. We can tell them from the baby bluegills.

    Okay, as per your advice I will get bass in November when the fishwagon comes and no more hybrid crappies.

    No way we can drain the pond, but since they are trained to feed, we can scoop out tons of babies with our nets and feed them to the chickens. How to know how many to get rid of though?

    I am clearly not experienced enough to know how to tell if we have too many bluegills yet. When the original 25 bigger bluegills (2years old) come to feed, they are accompanied by quite a few midsize and smaller ones, but not like hundreds of them yet. Our pond is not overwhelmed yet with small fish, so maybe the crappie are eating them.

    thanks for your help!
    Last edited by Blueridgeviews; 10-10-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cevans View Post
    Also, that shallow of a pond, will it freeze over for the winter? Up here, a lot of shallow ponds, will have a die off of fish in the winter due to lack of oxygen. We have went thru an extreme dry 3 months with no rain, and friends of mine lost all their fish this month due to dry without rain. Ponds dropping a couple of feet and lack of oxygen. If you experience any of this, you might also consider a areation system to keep your oxygen in the water as well.
    Yes, our pond does freeze in sections in the winter, but we have two solar aerators that seem to work great even in the winter and keep those sections of the pond unfrozen.
    Here in central Virginia, we are also having extreme drought this year. Our springs are still moist but no water coming out and our pond level has dropped a foot so far.
    Our neighbor's pond is down seven feet!, and their creek which feeds it has dried up for first time.

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    I'm just curious as to what exactly these "fisheries" are calling "hybrid Crappie"

    Hybrid Crappie occur naturally from crossbreeding of Black & White Crappie, in the waters that contain both species. And they spawn just as readily as either of the two original species (as far as I know). So, for these "hybrids" to not reproduce (much), they'd have to be Triploid fish, like the "Magnolia Crappie" that Mississippi experimented with ... and as far as I know, even they aren't 100% sterile ... and I don't know as any of them are sold commercially.

    I don't think you can remove "too many" Bluegill. The thing about Bluegill is they spawn several times a year, while the Crappie are only going to spawn once a year, and in a pond that small without a top predator species to keep the numbers of both the Crappie and Bluegill way down ... you're gonna have stunted fish.

    You'd have probably been better off just having Black Crappie stocked in your pond (although it's probably too small even for them) ... but, what's done is done, so you probably need to check with your local Wildlife Biologist to see what can be done or what fish species & how many can be added to offset your current population. They might suggest Bass, Channel Catfish, or Flathead Catfish

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    CrappiePappy -- here is the link to the hybrid crappie breeders (JM Malone)and their info -- it's who the Fishwagon buys from.
    J.M. Malone and Son, Inc. Hybrid Crappie Ponds




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