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York Chapter #67
Based on this information the pond is now under the following regulations:
- Any largemouth bass under 13" are to be removed/unlimited creel limit
- Any largemouth bass over 13" are to be released back into the pond.
- All bluegill and crappie are to be released back into the pond.
- Any other species are to be removed/unlimited creel limit
- Bowfishing for Amur carp is encouraged at this time. Please make 100% certain
of your target - the carp are unmistakenly large. Unlimited creel limit
Now that we have a direction, and a set of regulations in place to "grow" the intended path of having a trophy panfish pond, we can set our eyes on the next steps: We know we have a 2-3 year age gap that is completely missing in our bluegill population. There is zero recruitment to replace the current trophy bluegill that we have as they die. Supplemental stocking of fingerlings (4-6") was discussed pond side. There will be further research on this; it will need done, but I need to figure out which strain of bluegill will do the best long term to meet our goal. Aeration would benefit the waterway greatly; both from an ecological standpoint and a fish density standpoint. Here again, I want to get the facts straight before anything gets implemented. A supplemental food source is also on the table over our 5-6 year plan. Here again, we have some direction but I'd like some serious and in-depth thought put into it before we chase the option.
Keep your eyes on the newsletter, or sit in on a monthly meeting; we have a lot being planned from now through the end of the year that involves yourself and/or your family enjoying time spent at our Lake Tonian!
There is a fantastic group of individuals that started the Pond committee at the beginning of the year. If any member is interested in being part of our little niche' please talk to me at any open meeting.
May has proven to be the pivotal month for the future of our Lake Tonian.
If you haven't been to any open meetings, or have heard through the grapevine, we have a committee formed to manage the pond located on our grounds. The pond has been in a state of flux for an extended period of time, receiving little to no management efforts. The decision has been made to build on the fantastic genetic base we have with the resident panfish to manage the pond as a trophy panfish waterway.
One of the key directives that we needed to have done was an electro-shock survey of the waterway to get a true view of what we have to work with as far as resident fish species, fish density, and health of the populations. This was performed on Thursday, May 30th by Skelly and Loy Environmental Consultants. We had a small turnout of members even though the decision to brave the forecast was made late the night prior. For those that couldn't make the electro-shocking experience, I wanted to share a brief rundown of what was accomplished.
We wanted an idea of our fish population; we learned the pond is extremely bass heavy. 92 largemouth bass, 22 bluegill, 3 crappie, 2 white suckers, 1 brown bullhead, and 5 Amur carp were sampled over 2½ passes around the pond. The immediate suggestion (after just one sampling stop) was to concentrate on removing bass. We have a 1:4 ratio of bass:panfish - it needs to be 4:1.
That in itself shows how far out of balance the pond is.
Only four(4) of the 92 sampled largemouth were 13" or larger. The largest bass sampled was 14". So, not only do we have an over-abundance, they are also stunted (as suspected).