Fish Balance


Pond Management by ACES – Video


In improperly managed ponds, overcrowded bluegill are often unable to find enough food and they don’t grow well. The small bass that are left in the pond are unable to compete with the bream for food, so the bass are unable to grow to a size large enough to eat the bream that are present in such high numbers. Most of the young bass are eaten when they are tiny so there are few small bass in the pond.

Too many bluegill can disrupt your pond management goals.

Under these circumstances, rarely does a bass manages to get large enough to eat the stunted bluegills. When that happens, the bass grows quickly. Bluegill crowded ponds are characterized by a large population of stunted bluegill (2 to 4 inch) with very few of harvestable size. The bass population consists primarily of a very few large individuals.

Bluegills raiding Bass nests from PondBoss Forum

The effects of BG predation of bass eggs in a balanced pond. But it does appear in the literature related to imbalanced ponds of too many BG to too few bass, a situation similar to what Greenhead was suggesting.

For instance:
From the Michigan State University Extension here

“…these hungry bluegills will reduce the numbers of young bass produced by raiding nests and eating the eggs and larvae.”

and from Langston University Aquaculture in Oklahoma: here

“When excessive numbers of predator fish like the largemouth bass or channel catfish are removed from a pond, forage fish populations expand. Forage fish such as bluegill will increase in numbers until limited by food supply…” “…The numerous bluegill eat largemouth bass eggs and their numbers prevent bass from adequately guarding nests. The result is few if any young largemouth bass. The remaining adult bass may grow large but their numbers are very few.”

but most often appears in studies of problem lakes where there are too many BG and not enough bass such as this study of Lee Hall reservoir in Newport News, Virginia: here

“The significant interactions that were captured in the model were predation by adult bluegill on the bass eggs…”

and Martindale Pond in Indiana here

“The poor bass population was a result of poor recruitment of young fish into the population. Bass recruitment likely suffered because of predation on bass eggs by bluegill.”

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