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stunted large mouth and stunted bluegill

2019-07-24 16:00:35

Can I overfish Bluegills?

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自动标签: bass stunted bluegill underweight weights relative spawning feed

Almost 20 years ago, my 8 acre pond in Virginia was in similar condition. The bass are stunted because there are just SO many of them. They overpopulate really badly if there is no angling pressure. In many cases, the overpopulated bass prevent the bluegill from ever living to full size. When the entire bluegill population are kept in a very narrow range of sizes, competition for similar food sources stunts their growth. This in turn reduces their spawning success, which causes the bass to grow slowly and also confines them to a narrow range of sizes.

The best thing you can do is to record the relative weights of everything you catch. If the bass in any size category are underweight, cull them. I would not be surprised if you found that even the ones from 1-2 pounds are underweight and need to be culled. So as you keep records of relative weights, be prepared to adjust your culling strategy.

Another thing that really helped me get the food chain back in order was to pellet feed the bluegill. That gets them growing and spawning again. In a small pond like yours it's not a terribly expensive proposition. Ever since I was a kid I loved throwing pellets out and watching the fish gobble them up. Just don't over-feed as that is bad for the water quality.

Also, do you have any species that may be competing with your bass such as crappie or any big catfish?