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Stocking w Crawfish #13171227 05/30/19 07:54 PM
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A friend of mine has a relatively small pond. Water has been low in the past but had come up quite a bit and he's interested in maintaining suitable water level. He was thinking of adding blugill and he asked me about crawfish. What ya'll think? He has limited # of bass and they are small. At this point, I don't know about forage fish. Is a certain type of crawfish preferred? Where does one buy them around East Texas ?

I estimate this pond at 2 acres.

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171285 05/30/19 08:41 PM
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Probably should post this in the pond section....


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Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171381 05/30/19 10:25 PM
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I would think crawfish would settle in on their own...probably not a need to stock extras.

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171479 05/31/19 12:13 AM
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Stocking crawfish is doesn't typically lead to long term growth in crawfish population, just healthier fish in the pond cause more food.

We did it at ranch pond a few years ago... Not cheap, you have to use special ordered crawfish to make sure you don't transfer some nasty diseases to your pond

Talk to a biologist


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Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171860 05/31/19 01:15 PM
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I would lean more towards blue gill and some kind of shiner if I was going to invest money into this.

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171868 05/31/19 01:20 PM
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Im no mudbug specialist and I dont know if they would reproduce and survive but they are in season and you can buy them by the burlap bag full live at many grocery stores. Cheap way to try. Buy a hundred lbs and set them free!

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171869 05/31/19 01:20 PM
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Really need to understand what is going on in the tank as of now prior to speculating on stocking crawdads or other forage. What is the relative weight of the current fish? Do you really need more prey or do you just need less small bass? Usually its the second one.

If there are gills there already the number you would need to stock to make a dent would be huge. Bang for the buck would be to improve their spawning habitat so they can stock on their own while taking out dink bass.

Or that might be all not applicable, I dont know. And neither does your friend unless a pro looks at the pond. I suppose yall can read up on this and DIY a lot of it. But the random idea to add crawdads, I mean I like the thinking of trying to manage the pond but you need more info or else you might be wasting your money. smile

If you need someone to help catch some of fish and check their weight let me know mate!



Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171873 05/31/19 01:21 PM
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Have done some pond work in the past. Crawdads, shiners, shad, fathead minnows, etc. will provide some short term benefit in that your fish will eat them up in a month or two. After that time, you are back to square one. In smaller ponds, the only forage that can keep up with a predator population is bluegill--and only then if you balance out the population of bass to bluegill.

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13171874 05/31/19 01:22 PM
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They'll improve the condition of the largemouth for a little while, but the crawfish usually won't persist for long if there's not already a population established in there. There's a small risk of increasing the pond's seepage rate from the crawfish burrowing through the clay layer at the bottom.

More cost-effective method would be to figure out why the bluegill aren't providing enough food for the largemouth. "Small population" of "small bass" usually points towards serious water chemistry / productivity limitations, excessive vegetation, or very little food to eat.

I'd suggest getting with a county extension agent for water quality analysis to check on alkalinity, hardness and pH, then use a seine net to sample shallow areas to look for bluegill reproduction, and record the length and weight of the largemouth you catch for relative weight calculations. This data is useful when you speak to a fisheries specialist/biologist. (I am a pond fisheries biologist but I work in Arkansas).

Or, just hire a pond management company and let them fix it.


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Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13193382 06/22/19 05:45 PM
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Great advice



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Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13194410 06/24/19 02:54 AM
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Fathead minnows, bluegill, and Crappie all work great as forage fish for bass.
Abney's pond & lake stocking they are located in Arkansas but send trucks to east Texas towns during the cooler months. Check out FISHSTOCKER.COM
Call or place order:
Berry Abney
13414 HWY 37 South
McCrory, AR 72101
870-697-3550

Re: Stocking w Crawfish [Re: J-Y-D] #13194466 06/24/19 05:33 AM
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Believe it or not, if the goal is to build a trophy bass pond, bullheads are also a good forage option to add in small numbers once the bass have become established. Bluegill, longear sunfish, warmouth, and redhead sunfish are good base forage options (but no greenies). Id be careful about introducing crawfish that come from the seafood market because they can burrow deep into the clay and case issues.

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