Thursday, April 28, 2011
To get started try to grasp this concept, it is key to learning about everything in your body of water. An organism can survive pretty much anywhere, but with IDEAL HABITAT, that organism will thrive! Basically anything alive will only thrive if it has its preferred habitat. If you want fish to thrive, give em their preferred habitat. If you want crayfish- habitat, if you want waterfowl- habitat. Basically here is a saying you need to remember "If you build it, they will come"
So as goes the habitat, so goes the organism. This is a pretty basic and very understandable and accepted statement for deer, pheasants, rabbits, and many other desirable animals. For some reason though, it is a concept that many folks just simply cannot grasp when it comes to undesirable or invasive specimens. So I have written three full paragraphs now just setting the stage for the topic at hand.
How to get rid of duckweed and watermeal? Well, the first step is to properly identify what exactly you have. The very most costly mistake folks make is to not properly ID the green stuff growing on top of their pond. Next step is to understand the preferred habitat of your species. Spend a few minutes on Google researching. Third step is to do something to change or alter the current conditions. If you dont change the conditions, the green will just come right back. Then the last step is to completely kill it out.
Watermeal is teeny tiny green dots smaller than grain of sand. They float on the surface and are blown across the pond with the wind. They are very very romantic creatures and basically just spend their entire lives making babies. Here are some pics of watermeal:
Duckweed is also small and green, but waay bigger than watermeal. Duckweed usually have 3 little tiny leaves connected together kind of like a floating 3 leaf clover with little tiny hairlike roots attached to the bottom of the leaves. They also float on top of the pond and blow back and forth with the wind. Here are some pics of duckweed:
So anyhow its getting late and I didnt get nearly as far into actual information as I hoped, but hopefully you learned something about duckweed and watermeal so far. If I get a chance in the near future to pick this topic up again I will get into habitat alterations, treatment options, and application timing and rates. In the mean time if you have any questions about your specific situation, just shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management in Peoria, Illinois provided the porcupine spheres to the park for a discount and would love the opportunity to provide materials for similar habitat projects in the future at discounted rates. The 1/2 inch pvc pipe was purchased by the park from a local hardware store. If your just an average guy though looking to purchase these attractors odds are you dont stand much of a chance to purchase them at a discount, you can however purchase them 24 hours per day online at full retail value simply by visiting products.hbpondmanagement.com.
Assembly of these units is pretty much rocket science, but high schoolers these days pick up on technology faster than I can vanish a fistful of fudge rounds. Getting the right amount of glue onto the pipe is crucial...... Anyhow here are some picks of the assembly process and a pic of the finished batch of fish attractors:
Saturday, April 23, 2011
The pond is 4 acres with several narrow fingers and bunches of different contour, shelfs, depths, and various forms of cover and structure. Perfect habitat is the key to growing many large bass. Also not only did Aaron want to grow the biggest largemouth on the planet, but he wanted big smallmouth bass down in Southern Illinois too.
We set up ideal smallmouth habitat and then installed a Vertex Air Three aeration system to provide water circulation and movement, optimum water quality, and increased carrying capacity.
As the pond was filling with water we put in a handful of fathead minnows and we let them multiply to the umpteenth degree before we even thought about adding any predators. Then we added bunches of regular bluegill from several different sources and several different sizes. Creating the ultimate bass buffet.... We fed the minnows and bluegills aquamax 400 and let them grow and multiply all year long before we added the yearling smallmouth and largemouth in June of 2010.
The day the smallmouths were being unloaded from the truck, the pond was so full of baby fatheads every square inch of water was basically pinheads swimming around. The smallies burst out of the bucket and started nailing those tiny fatheads instantly. I think it was pretty much one of the best moments of Aaron's life by the way he was jumping up and down with excitement to see those fish hunt down their prey! He said every penny spent on building the pond was worth seeing that first fathead slaughter....
Anyhow I got a couple emails from Aaron this week and figured I would just plop em online as an update. Keep in mind this is less than one year from stocking 2-3 inch baby bass:
Dude, my pond looks awesome! So far so good I should say. Couple small outburst of duckweed that I caught in time to spray and kill. I think starting the Aquashade early maybe helped the most. Algae is growing but under control, I have added copper sulphate once. I just added my second bacteria treatment for the year.
No sign on the Koi yet, but I am hopeful they are alive. These bass are so mean though that I am afraid a 4" orange fish was an easy target. No sign of the smallmouth yet this year either.
Check out the pics of my largemouth bass at less than 1 year of age! The bluegill have really taken off as well and I am catching several of all sizes now. I can't hardly go a night without fishing for a while after work.
Thanks for all the help!
So then I asked Aaron to take some weights and lengths of 5 bass for me and the very next day this is what he sent:
Not sure if this is the kind of photo you wanted or not, but here are the 5 I caught tonight. If you want different kind of pictures just let me know. You can get the lengths off the pictures and I also listed the actual measurements below because the mouths are not pushed tight to board in the pictures.
Notice the last one is a smallie!! Caught another one yesterday too, so they are alive and well. They smally's are just doing ok and not near as fat as all the largemouth though. Definitely not full of eggs like a few of the largemouth appear to be. Here was my catch:
1. 10 1/4" - 11 oz (smallie)
2. 11 1/2" - 1 lb l oz
3. 11 1/2" - 1 lb 1 oz
4. 11" - 13 oz
5. 11 1/2" - 1 lb 1 oz
That's a 5 bass limit weighing just a hair under 5 pounds. Wouldn't get me far in a tournament, but I'm as proud as a peacock of them! This is a pretty representative sample of what I have been catching.
So then I let Aaron know that typically a 12 inch bass should weigh between 12 and 13 ounces. His bass that are just one year old already are averaging 16 ounces which is a relative weight of 133%! By the end of this summer he is going to have a pond full of 2-4 lb fish. They are going to explode in size this year as they will be able to start taking down the bluegills! Also I let him know that growing a smallmouth bass to 10 inches in less than a year is pretty stinkin amazing. Just because his smallies are not as obese as his largemouths didn't mean they were just doing ok.
Last email from Aaron this morning:
Full pool this morning. Both wood duck boxes occupied also. Never knew a pond could bring this much enjoyment to a family. Have a Happy Easter! See Ya
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I drove around to lakes and ponds across Central Illinois until 10 pm that night dropping off the appropriate fish to their new homes. Stopped in at Norris en route, crawled up to a bed and was pretty much sleeping instantly. Then at 4:30 am Tuesday morning headed out to finish delivering as many fish as humanly possible. Finished working at 9 pm that night and crashed again, but this time I was able to shower, shave, and brush my teeth before hitting the hay. Up again at 2:30 am Wednesday morning and headed out to Branson, Missouri for the Pond Boss Conference and Expo! This time though I loaded up the family with me, and also Justin and Katy, my mom, sisters and all of their kids. We arrived about 10 am and headed straight for the heated outdoor pool! Here are a couple pics of pool at Big Cedar Lodge, pretty nice eh?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
We caught a handful of largemouth bass and this one young smallie:
Justin also caught a trout and was not happy with me making him take this picture:
Then we just hung out around the fire roasting marshmallows, dreaming big plans for this summer at the lake, and just good ole relaxing. We do got big plans at the lake this year. Memorial Day weekend we will be building a new dock with a super high jump platform that overhangs our new Blob. Yep, we got one of these for our summer camps at the lake:
I have a feeling I will be able to send some bony junior high kids pretty much into outerspace when I go dropping onto that thing. Whats nice is that Justin and Chad are also built like tanks (insulated tanks) and can share the load. I am sure when we combine our 1000 lbs together people are going to simulate flying off of that thing! Should be interesting, stay tuned for our own Blob pics and videos in the coming months.
Anyhow, Saturday morning we headed up to the Fairview Cafe for all you can eat Pancakes and Sausage just to make sure we will stay good blob jumpers for this summer.... Then Justin, Josh, and I headed over to a clients property for a few hours. We are getting his mobile cabin all ready for its journey up to the Fox Chain of Lakes.
Then just before dark we loaded up and headed back into town. Its the kid's Easter Program at Church tomorrow morning. They will be singing some songs and Mae has to say her memory verse in front of the whole church. Its always fun, cause there is always some kid who makes the congregation laugh by saying something funny.
No fishing tomorrow, its gonna be windy and we are all sunburned. Mae is whining like a baby because she has never experienced sunburn before and Noah is conked out on the chair in the living room. Even Drake got pink today. Man did that sun feel good!!!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Lake Management season 2011 is in full swing and we are off to a great start. I have been electrofishing and consulting and installing aeration systems from sunup to sundown and Justin and co have been working up bunches of ground, and doing all kinds of other miscellaneous lake and land management stuff. I don't get much time to write anymore, but I do have to write an article for Heartland Outdoors every month due by the 15th. Since May is officially the month of the Largemouth, this article is going to be about raising Bigmouth Bass.
I was digging through some pictures trying to find some good article photos when I decided just to plop a few of em here online as well. For those of you who know me well, I actually am not a bass fan partly because I just got bored with the same old same old. Plus I am too lazy of a fisherman to want to stand up and cast all day long.
Anyhow growing big largemouth bass is about as easy as it gets in ponds and lakes. You have to get the body of water started out right or you have quite a bit of work to do to play catch up. People trying to grow big bass typically are the ones who have the most problems doing it because all of the common knowledge being taught out in the media is dead wrong for growing big bass! One quick tip, if your afraid of killing bass, you will never consistently grow big bass. The biggest obstacle people need to overcome is they need to forget everything they have been taught and everything they already "know" about stocking, growing, and angling for bass.
I'm not going into any details about the secrets to growing big bass here, you will have to get a copy of the May magazine for that information. Just email email@example.com and for the price of postage he will mail you a copy.
Here I am just going to plop a few pictures of monster largemouth bass being grown in private ponds and lakes right here in Central Illinois: