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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Is this a Crappie? #14568749 12/19/22 06:10 AM
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Chris H Offline OP
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We just bought a 49 acre property with three ponds. I drug a small boat out of the large pond today and found a crawdad and two fry in the boat when I turned it over. One was obviously a catfish and the other was... a Crappie? or Bluegill?

[Linked Image]

What say you?

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14568753 12/19/22 07:56 AM
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Green sunfish, would hazard to say the catfish was a bullhead. Needless to say you’ve probably got some work cut out for ya from a pond management standpoint.

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Mckinneycrappiecatcher] #14568755 12/19/22 08:37 AM
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Chris H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mckinneycrappiecatcher
Green sunfish, would hazard to say the catfish was a bullhead. Needless to say you’ve probably got some work cut out for ya from a pond management standpoint.


Well that's not what I wanted to hear. Reading about the Green Sunfish now. Thanks for the ID.

This is the catfish:

[Linked Image]

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14568799 12/19/22 12:21 PM
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skeetmaster Offline
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Chris, I think that's a young rock bass. Google images for them and find the pics of small ones. Either way, it's good that you've got life in your pond!

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14568800 12/19/22 12:23 PM
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When the fish in picture 2 grows up it will eat the fish in picture 1. My neighbors use small bream like the first picture for catfish bait.

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14568802 12/19/22 12:25 PM
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Well, after further review, I think McKinney is right. Disregard my first response lol.

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14569105 12/19/22 05:38 PM
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red ear? and a turdy mudcat


~~~ Lord, grant me wisdom that i may use that knowledge to make the right choices and decisions today. ~~~
Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14569272 12/19/22 08:13 PM
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Chiming in here, the first picture is definitely a green sunfish. Adult greenies have slightly larger mouths than Bluegill/Red Ear/Other sunfish and, although fun to catch, the greenies can quickly overpower the rest of the fish leading to overpopulation.

In the same vein, since you definitely have catfish fry, the catfish population may keep the greenies in check. If you plan to have crappie and/or LMB in the pond, like McKinney said, you have some pond-management work cut out for ya.

I will humbly offer my services to fish a private pond anytime to clean out some of the greenies wink Good luck!

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: RoadRunnerTR21] #14569374 12/19/22 09:52 PM
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If it were me, I would get some channel and blue catfish stocked ASAP, winter time they’ll have a lower mortality rate and be less subject to predation. The channels and blues will eat bullheads and greenies and get their numbers down when they get larger. depending on the size and depth of the pond you may also consider some hybrid striper. Once you get and established population of channel and blue cats you’ll always have some bullheads and green sunfish, but it won’t be out of control. This has been my experience with pond management. Without sufficient predators, bullheads and greenies will take over a pond and you’ll have nothing but 6” bullheads and 4” greenies.

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14569497 12/19/22 11:33 PM
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Thanks for the info, gentleman. I've obviously got some work cut out for me. Not only on the fish population itself, but also the pond dams. There is a VERY active beaver family that has to be eradicated and then some dam work must be addressed. The large pond has multiple areas with water seeping THROUGH the dam 4-6 feet below the top of the dam. I'm guessing it's beaver dens that are wreaking havoc on the internal structure of the dam. The middle pond has similar damage.

I may very well end up draining all three ponds, reworking the dams, dredging the ponds (they're over 50 years old) and completely starting over on the fish population.

@Godsdozer is going to stop by and take a look after the holidays to see what makes sense.

We were well aware of the damage to the dams when we submitted our offer for the property and we came in well below asking. The sellers countered but our realtor explained the damage and they accepted the offer.

I've got game cams set up to see if I can learn the beaver's habits. Anybody got a beaver trap or five?

Last edited by Chris H; 12/19/22 11:34 PM.
Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Lino_NTX] #14569759 12/20/22 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lino_NTX
Chiming in here, the first picture is definitely a green sunfish. Adult greenies have slightly larger mouths than Bluegill/Red Ear/Other sunfish and, although fun to catch, the greenies can quickly overpower the rest of the fish leading to overpopulation.

In the same vein, since you definitely have catfish fry, the catfish population may keep the greenies in check. If you plan to have crappie and/or LMB in the pond, like McKinney said, you have some pond-management work cut out for ya.

I will humbly offer my services to fish a private pond anytime to clean out some of the greenies wink Good luck!

Bullheads aren’t like that in the same way that channel cats, blue cats, and flatheads are. The biggest I’ve ever seen was maybe 2-3 lbs, usually they’re 6-8”. More of a prey species than they are a predator species. They’re an indicator species just like bluegill or green sunfish. It’s rare to have a pond without some bullheads or green sunfish in it, just tends to happen over the years. However, when you have large bluegill, bullheads, and greenies it’s indicative of a healthy predator species population, ie many large predators which keeps prey from becoming stunted. If you go fish and you’re catching a ton of 6” bullheads, small greenies, and small bluegills it means there are not enough predators. The simple solution is to clean out as many bullheads and green sunfish as possible while stocking predators like channel cats, blue cats, and hybrid striper. I’ve always felt that with enough work and a little time you can always get a pond up to speed like you want it. Another thing to check for is if the pond has white crappie in it, this would also be another negative sign, as they spawn at much more prolific rates than black crappie and cause stunted fish.

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14570200 12/20/22 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris H
Thanks for the info, gentleman. I've obviously got some work cut out for me. Not only on the fish population itself, but also the pond dams. There is a VERY active beaver family that has to be eradicated and then some dam work must be addressed. The large pond has multiple areas with water seeping THROUGH the dam 4-6 feet below the top of the dam. I'm guessing it's beaver dens that are wreaking havoc on the internal structure of the dam. The middle pond has similar damage.

I may very well end up draining all three ponds, reworking the dams, dredging the ponds (they're over 50 years old) and completely starting over on the fish population.

@Godsdozer is going to stop by and take a look after the holidays to see what makes sense.

We were well aware of the damage to the dams when we submitted our offer for the property and we came in well below asking. The sellers countered but our realtor explained the damage and they accepted the offer.

I've got game cams set up to see if I can learn the beaver's habits. Anybody got a beaver trap or five?


Sounds like this will be a very big but fulfilling project. Have you thought about capturing before/during/after footage of the pond drain, dredge, and dam repair? I think you could get some good views on Youtube of the process, and hey maybe make a few extra bucks for buying fish later to stock the pond!

Either way, hopefully you'll share some pics on this forum if its not too much of a hassle. Good luck!

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Lino_NTX] #14577269 12/27/22 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Lino_NTX
Originally Posted by Chris H
Thanks for the info, gentleman. I've obviously got some work cut out for me. Not only on the fish population itself, but also the pond dams. There is a VERY active beaver family that has to be eradicated and then some dam work must be addressed. The large pond has multiple areas with water seeping THROUGH the dam 4-6 feet below the top of the dam. I'm guessing it's beaver dens that are wreaking havoc on the internal structure of the dam. The middle pond has similar damage.

I may very well end up draining all three ponds, reworking the dams, dredging the ponds (they're over 50 years old) and completely starting over on the fish population.

@Godsdozer is going to stop by and take a look after the holidays to see what makes sense.

We were well aware of the damage to the dams when we submitted our offer for the property and we came in well below asking. The sellers countered but our realtor explained the damage and they accepted the offer.

I've got game cams set up to see if I can learn the beaver's habits. Anybody got a beaver trap or five?


Sounds like this will be a very big but fulfilling project. Have you thought about capturing before/during/after footage of the pond drain, dredge, and dam repair? I think you could get some good views on Youtube of the process, and hey maybe make a few extra bucks for buying fish later to stock the pond!

Either way, hopefully you'll share some pics on this forum if its not too much of a hassle. Good luck!


I would tune in for that 👆

Re: Is this a Crappie? [Re: Chris H] #14577915 12/28/22 02:39 PM
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Beaver will definitely undermine the stability of the pond dam over time. The bank dens will flood and collapse leaving large holes. Do they have a wood lodge, or only bank dens (holes in the bank)? Conibears are easy to use, but also pretty dangerous if you go that route. Might be easiest to shoot them, but if they've been there a while, there could be quite a few. I trap them, so I'm more than happy to answer any questions about it.

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