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Trying to get black crappies reproducing in a hatchery pond


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#1 az9

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:35 AM

I have at my disposal a 1/10th acre pond that I can easily drain and refill etc. The pond is loaded with thousands of fathead minnows that have reproduced since last summer. I placed three 10 to 12 inch crappies caught in a nearby natural lake into the pond about a week ago. The fish and others were caught on a long shallow ridge hump of dead bullrush. 

 

Anyway, true to their natural instinct to hang around vertical structure, they are hanging around a pier and vertical post. I plan on adding a large weighted tree branch or two closer to shore ASAP. It will have a nylon rope attached to it so I can pull it out for seining. 

 

I'm going to put 3 or 4 more in today as they were not far along in the spawning mode, so external sexing was difficult. I did fillet seven and 3 out of the 7  had eggs but not very developed yet. I want to add just a few more to make sure I have both sexes! 

 

In my state it's perfectly legal to use fish from public waters as broodfish, as long as I have a fishing license and they are caught legally. Of course I can't sell them like the fish I raise on the farm. 

 

Presently adding waste water from one of my indoor recirculating tanks to get a phytoplankton bloom more intense to feed zooplankton.  

 

My goal is once I determine there is reproduction, I will seine out the brood fish. Then when the offspring reach about in inch or so I will bring them inside to a tank and attempt to feed train them starting with freeze dried krill. I haven't found a non feed trained fish that doesn't respond to krill. Then of course attempt to slowly wean them to commercial feed. My goal is to plant single sex crappies if they can be sexed into my single sex pond of bluegills and yellow perch. And to produce large ones for sale. 

 

I know it probably will be difficult to feed train them but I think it will be worth the effort if I can grow out large feed trained crappies. 

 

Any thoughts? 



#2 centrarchid

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 04:56 PM

We are breeding Black Crappie in a 0.25 acre pond as part of a class project.  We feed train them each year when about 1" in much the way you describe.  It is easy to get >90% on feed.  Start krill with a mixture of #1 or #2 salmon starter.  Stock fish at high density and make for serious water exchange.  We feed hourly by hand or use 12-h belt feeders.  Former better but more expensive.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#3 az9

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 08:57 PM

Thanks centrachid.

 

That'd good to hear. Just what I had in mind. 

 

Any idea what kind of growth rate I will get and maximum size? The larger I can get them the more I can get for them. 

 

Also if you wanted to grow them out on pellets, as only one sex to preclude reproduction in a large pond, would you plant males or females? Do you think the females could become egg bound and have issues if there weren't any males? I know reabsorbing eggs can be tough on some fish and even kill them. Bass Pro shops has issues with egg bound smallmouth bass.  

 

I added seven more to the pond a week later. This time I could easily sex them as the male were getting dark and the females had a bulge of eggs and were not dark at all. I wanted to be sure the original three were not all males or all females! 



#4 az9

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 09:23 AM

Added these branches where the crappie seem to be hanging out. Needed to trim a couple big lower branches off of a Weeping Willow on the pond. What's interesting about these branches is they seem to sink as much as they float. No need to weigh them down or tie a rope to them. 

 

Here's one on the left of the pier

2016-04-26%2016.57.40_zpsg3sjdpbc.jpg

 

and one on the right.

2016-04-26%2016.57.46_zpsslvkx0tj.jpg

 

 

 

The pier will come out before I seine the pond. 



#5 az9

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:11 PM

Some pics of the brood stock:

 

IMG_1483_zps2sqceq38.jpg

 

IMG_1484_zps5cil2343.jpg

 

IMG_1487_zpsuyujvtoe.jpg

 

A beautiful native species!



#6 az9

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 07:58 AM

I tied a brick to each branch to sink them closer to the bottom. I've got a really nice algae bloom going in the pond. 



#7 az9

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 12:56 PM

8 of the crappies are still hanging out under the pier. Hopefully they will spawn at some point. Water temps are below normal for this time of year. My yellow perch are still exuding milt with slight pressure. Usually done by this time of year. 

 

Surface water temp is 59 F. 



#8 az9

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:18 PM

Ended up seining out a few hundred mostly 1.5 to 2 inch Black Crappie fingerlings about 3 days ago. Wanted to do it sooner but was held up by the four schools I've set up systems for. Finally one had cycled their biofilter and I was able to move all the tilapia I was holding for four schools into that tank temporarily. They are small enough now to be able to not overwhelm the biofilter. 

 

Well it looks like the black crappies (Pomoxis nigromactulatus) weren't that hard to get on artificial feed just like Centrarchid said. It's only been about three days since I put them in the RAS and they are feeding on fry powder. Interestingly they seem more interested in the fry powder than the pulverized freeze dried krill. My yellow perch at this stage go bonkers for the krill. 

 

I would say I have lost about 10 percent at the very most, that either refused the artificial feed, or may have been injured or overly stressed. I really screwed up by planting fathead minnows (Pimepahles promelas)  

 

I had some outliers up to 5 1/2 inches that apparently got the jump on the others by being spawned first but they went into a outdoor holding pond as I knew they would cannibalize on the smaller fish in the tank. Been there done that feed training smallmouth bass! 



#9 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:37 AM

Very cool... 2 inch Crappie must be very interesting looking... did you take an y pictures?


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:47 PM

They breed in my pond with no intervention. Not a huge recruitment, but I get some YOY consistently.


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#11 az9

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:56 PM

Very cool... 2 inch Crappie must be very interesting looking... did you take an y pictures?

 

Michael,

 

Unfortunately my digital camera must be on it's way out as most of the pictures turn out blurry, I'll see what I can do. 

 

Note: I have some pictures to upload on photo bucket but for some reason I can't log in anymore. 



#12 az9

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 07:50 PM

I'm locked out of photo bucket. No clue why. 



#13 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:17 PM

You keep talking about photobucket... but do you mean the gallery here... or the gallery archive? Or are you just talking about loading the pictures here into the posts.  These are all different things.  When you first mentioned photobucket, I assumed you meant the actual company named that (I can't help with that).  But if you mean somethign here, contact me on PM and we can get it worked out.

 

I think the best solution to including photos for NANFA Members is to use the Gallery Archive and then just link the photos in here.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#14 az9

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:03 AM

Michael,

 

Thanks for the help. Yes, I'm speaking of photobucket where I upload to from my computer file to the photobucket library to post a link here so they appear.

 

So I may be able to do that directly from my computer to the gallery archive? I'll give it a try. 



#15 az9

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:19 AM

Update: Crappies are up 4 to 6 inches now. Will try and get a picture tomorrow. 



#16 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

I've seined a few at that size. When put in a display tank all of the shiners instantly recognize it as a predator and react by crowding at the opposite end of the tank.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#17 az9

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:05 PM

I've seined a few at that size. When put in a display tank all of the shiners instantly recognize it as a predator and react by crowding at the opposite end of the tank.

 

What do you think about the stories that say salmon move out of the way of the water flowing downstream from a bear that gets into a stream?

 

I was fishing with a fellow taxidermist one day and he couldn't buy a bite, while I was fishing the same depth a couple of feet away (slip bobbers for bluegill) and caught numerous fish. Same bait etc. He had skinned out a northern pike that day. We figured the fish could smell the sent of the Northern Pike. 



#18 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 08:51 PM

I'm not sure it was scent in the case of the crappie... I think it was visual... he has a very specific shape... as soon as I pulled him out of the tank to put in a photo tank, all the minnow dispersed throughout the tank... and when I put them back, they all avoided him, AGAIN.  So I don't think it was a scent in the water in that case. 

 

But I do think that fish are very chemically sensitive... it would seem to be a good survival mechanism.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#19 az9

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 08:06 PM

Michael, 

 

Are you familiar with this alleged phenomenon?

 

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Schreckstoff



#20 Michael Wolfe

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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 01 May 2017 - 09:59 PM

yes... not alledged... I thought this was science fact... see here from the NANFA website http://www.nanfa.org...reckstoff.shtml


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin




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