Final Report On The Success Of Largemouth Bass-Bluegill And Largemouth Bass-Shell-Cracker Rates And Ratios In Kentucky Farm Ponds

In order to test the relative success of various stocking rates of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede)-bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque, combinations and largemouth bass-shellcracker, Lepomis microlophus (Gunther), in farm ponds in Kentucky, 574 ponds. were stocked with these fishes in the following combinations and rates: fry bass: fingerling bluegill 30 :400, 50 :500, 80 :500 and 100 :500 per acre; fry bass: adult bluegill 100 :30, 100 :50 and 100: 70 per acre; fry bass: fingerling shellcracker 50 :300 and 50 :600 per acre; fry bass; fingerling shellcracker + mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis (Baird and Girard), 50 :300 + 400 and 50 :600 + 400 per acre. In each year from 1952 through 1956, a series of ponds was stocked. No pond was stocked more than once nor with more than one rate. Bass-bluegill combinations were stocked in each of the first four years, the shel1cracker combinations in 1953, 1955 and 1956. Each pond was investigated annually and the success of each rate was determined by the percentage of balanced ponds that the rate produced. No significant differences in percentage of success were found among the following bass-bluegill rates: 80 :500, 100 :500 (fry bass: fingerling bluegill), 100 :30, 100 :50, and 100 :70 (fry bass: adult bluegill). The most successful bass-shellcracker rate could not be determined because of the large number of ponds that failed to produce reliable data. A total of 384 or 66.9% of the ponds stocked failed to yield reliable data and were discontinued during the investigation. The invasion of the ponds by other fish was the principal reason that these ponds were discontinued.

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