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#10962740 - 07/07/15 09:20 PM Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond?
Sethmac Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 723
Loc: Keller/Ft. Worth, TX
My dad just acquired new land with a 3acre and 15acre pond. I've seen 1-2lb bass and blue gill in the 3acre lake but would like to get an idea of the health of the pond. Afraid their may be too many fish in there. Anyone with experience with an aquatic survey?

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#10963230 - 07/08/15 08:44 AM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1271
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Originally Posted By: Sethmac
My dad just acquired new land with a 3acre and 15acre pond. I've seen 1-2lb bass and blue gill in the 3acre lake but would like to get an idea of the health of the pond. Afraid their may be too many fish in there. Anyone with experience with an aquatic survey?


The best money you'll spend is getting help from somebody (a professional) to get the most out of your resource.

You'll want somebody that can help you determine your goals for the resource, assess its current condition, and provide you with a plan to get from where you are to where you ultimately want to be.

They should evaluate and include all aspects of the ecology of the pond(s), not just the fish, also the watershed, the plants, water chemistry, etc.

Look for somebody with a good track record and ask for references. A good knowledge base combined with a strong imagination will help you get the most out of your ponds.

Sounds like some nice land. The beginning of a new adventure.

Oh, I haven't "had an aquatic survey" on any of my ponds, but have done hundreds of them myself.

I've seen the difference between what you can have from a dedicated, concerted and well directed effort, vs. well not that. Its huge.

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#10964385 - 07/08/15 04:40 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Sethmac Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 723
Loc: Keller/Ft. Worth, TX
Thanks Fishbreeder.

I honestly don't have a good sample size at the moment. Caught 5 LMB that all look to be in 3/4 to 1.5lb range. The water is crystal clear so with polarized lens I could see quite a bit in the shallows. I see bluegill and LMB that look to be in the same range (none bigger than 2lbs). Haven't had the property long enough to know much about it, though I've requested the stocking records to see what and when the lake was stocked and hope to graph it soon with my kayak.

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#10965232 - 07/09/15 06:13 AM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Dave Davidson Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 581
Loc: Hurst and Bowie, Texas
Where is the place? Due to differing soils between areas in Texas, that matters quite a bit.

Do yourself and the Pro a favor. Start fishing and keep a log of fish caught, their sizes and body conditions. The bass are important but the success of the ponds will be determined by water quality and forage base. If the water is too clear(over 2.5 ft), that could be an indicator of work needed to be done.

If it is like the average Texas pond, it will be bass heavy and forage light.

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#10966482 - 07/09/15 03:01 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Dave Davidson]
Meadowlark Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2871
Loc: East Texas
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson
.... Start fishing and keep a log of fish caught, their sizes and body conditions. The bass are important but the success of the ponds will be determined by water quality and forage base. ...


Best advise right there. More specifically, the bluegill base will tell you about all you need to know about improving the fishery for bass.

I had an electro-shock survey done...once. Would never do it again. It showed me nothing I did not know about my ponds. The trick is gathering good data yourself and acting smartly on it.

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#10967726 - 07/10/15 06:56 AM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Sethmac Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 723
Loc: Keller/Ft. Worth, TX
Its south of Lake Palestine. What should I look for in the Bluegill base?

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#10968940 - 07/10/15 04:10 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
salex Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 805
Loc: NE Texas
Wow a Dave Davidson and Meadowlark posting on the same day. Welcome back! Love your input.
_________________________
Steve Alexander
salexander@privatewaterfishing.com
www.privatewaterfishing.com


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#10968951 - 07/10/15 04:17 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Meadowlark]
salex Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 805
Loc: NE Texas
Originally Posted By: Meadowlark
[quote=Dave Davidson]....

I had an electro-shock survey done...once. Would never do it again. It showed me nothing I did not know about my ponds. The trick is gathering good data yourself and acting smartly on it.


Meadowlark,

Very few landowners have your experience and knowledge in pond management. For the vast majority of pond or lake owners an electroshock survey is a wonderful tool to HELP access the current condition of a lake. Perhaps in your case you have kept extraordinary records, evidenced by your web-site. I have done more than a hundred shock surveys and we always learned something about the lake. 99.9% of landowners don't have the inclination to spend as much time as you have on your lakes, so a shock survey and consultation can be a valuable tool.
_________________________
Steve Alexander
salexander@privatewaterfishing.com
www.privatewaterfishing.com


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#10974129 - 07/13/15 01:55 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: salex]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1271
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Easy to agree with both, Meadowlark knows his ponds inside out and backwards, Steve has a lot of lakes and ponds to contend with and its not so easy to keep up with.

Especially for a fairly controlled, smaller water body, good records will get you more and better information than a snapshot that comes from an electrofishing survey. But if a large water body, or one connected to other waters during rains, pumped from a river, oxbows, etc. an electrofishing survey may be invaluable in finding out what is going an and devising a plan to achieve specific goals.

No matter what the goal, the first thing you gotta do is figure out where "start" is. You need to know where you are in order to make a plan to get to where you want to be. A good survey does that.

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#10974644 - 07/13/15 05:34 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Meadowlark Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2871
Loc: East Texas
It's all good...different strokes for different folks.

Just my own experience...the op asked for personal experiences with surveys....and I gave mine.

Its my belief...and I recognize not everyone (or perhaps even many) agrees with my belief/approach...but ponds are best enjoyed with a hands on approach.

Yes, one may(will) make mistakes, but the best learning often comes from making mistakes. I know for certain that the greatest rewards are those earned from the hands on approach.

Over the 4th, we had about a dozen guests and the ponds got a good workout. About half of the guests fished (in between trips to the big lake for tubing). When not eating or doing water sports on nearby Lake Livingston, they produced 7 bass over 5 pounds with the largest going 8 pounds....not bad for July bass fishing. Several caught the largest bass they had ever caught in their lives...and the 8 pounder was the largest bass they had ever seen. I'd be willing to bet there were very few(as in NONE) 8 pound bass caught in Lake Livingston on the 4th, LOL.

Anyone can do it. It just takes a desire to do so and in my opinion, a willingness to get your hands "dirty". Its a lifetime journey and for me its one that is best enjoyed by direct participation.

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#10975853 - 07/14/15 09:16 AM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Meadowlark]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1271
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Originally Posted By: Meadowlark
It's all good...different strokes for different folks.

Just my own experience...the op asked for personal experiences with surveys....and I gave mine.

Its my belief...and I recognize not everyone (or perhaps even many) agrees with my belief/approach...but ponds are best enjoyed with a hands on approach.

Yes, one may(will) make mistakes, but the best learning often comes from making mistakes. I know for certain that the greatest rewards are those earned from the hands on approach.

Over the 4th, we had about a dozen guests and the ponds got a good workout. About half of the guests fished (in between trips to the big lake for tubing). When not eating or doing water sports on nearby Lake Livingston, they produced 7 bass over 5 pounds with the largest going 8 pounds....not bad for July bass fishing. Several caught the largest bass they had ever caught in their lives...and the 8 pounder was the largest bass they had ever seen. I'd be willing to bet there were very few(as in NONE) 8 pound bass caught in Lake Livingston on the 4th, LOL.

Anyone can do it. It just takes a desire to do so and in my opinion, a willingness to get your hands "dirty". Its a lifetime journey and for me its one that is best enjoyed by direct participation.


The proof is in the pudding.....

I'd put my money down on either Meadowlark's ponds or the lakes and ponds Steve has to offer in his angling club as MUCH better bets to catch an eight pound bass or larger, over Lake Livingston and almost all others in the public domain on any given day.

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#10976313 - 07/14/15 12:05 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Sethmac Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 723
Loc: Keller/Ft. Worth, TX
So as someone starting out...any advice on websites, books other info for someone new to pond and land management?

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#10976377 - 07/14/15 12:33 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1271
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Originally Posted By: Sethmac
So as someone starting out...any advice on websites, books other info for someone new to pond and land management?


BIG question.

TAMU is a great source for a lot. So is AFS (American fisheries Society). See if you can get some of the SRAC publications from A&M.

There is a lot of info out there and a lot of ways to manage a pond. For me one method works best...

1) Define both the resource and goals.

2) Figure out where you're at.

3) Make a plan to get from where you're at to your goals.

4) Implement.

Now, there's a lot of research inbetween all that, but before getting bogged down, try and define your resource (pond size, shape, depth, watershed, plants, fish, animals, etc.) and your goals (big bass, lots of bass, catfish to eat, raise bait for fishing trips, whatever), that will help narrow your search for info.

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#10976747 - 07/14/15 03:20 PM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
salex Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 805
Loc: NE Texas
Originally Posted By: Sethmac
So as someone starting out...any advice on websites, books other info for someone new to pond and land management?


www.pondboss.com. good on-line source and offers several books on pond management and building a pond/lake.
www.sepond.com
_________________________
Steve Alexander
salexander@privatewaterfishing.com
www.privatewaterfishing.com


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#10977896 - 07/15/15 06:18 AM Re: Anyone ever had an aquatic survey of a pond? [Re: Sethmac]
Dave Davidson Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 581
Loc: Hurst and Bowie, Texas
A Pro can definitely help you. I know a lot of them. But, before I go to a Doctor, I want to be able to tell him/her what my symptoms are.

If all you're catching is 1-2 pound bass, you probably have the average Texas pond that is bluegill heavy and forage(bluegills) light. You don't need a pro to tell you that. Fish the pond, keep good records, and never release a bass less than 14 inches back into the water. C&R plus "too small to keep" is great on public lakes but not in private waters. Body condition of both predators and prey is an important key. Weigh and measure the fish that you catch. Check their WR factor against a chart that you can find at Lakework.com. Be aware that their body condition post spawn can vary.

In pine tree country the water might need to be treated. You can check the alkilinity and ph with a swimming pool test strip. However, it will only give you a general idea and not a really accurate #. The visibility ought to be between 18-24 inches you can measure that with a home made sechi disk. That will indicate the phytoplankton base which is the basis for pond life.

Mostly don't neglect to fish for bluegills. Their numbers, size, and body condition is about the best indicator you will get.

Also, be aware that an awful lot of 3 acre Texas ponds were 1.5 acres prior to this years rains. The drought draw downs had the result of crowding an awful lot of Bg into less water and the bass could get to them a lot easier. Thus, the BG numbers have taken a beating.

I would want to know/do all of these things before I called in a Pro. The Pro will thank you for that.


Edited by Dave Davidson (07/15/15 07:30 AM)

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