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Thread: Bass at Lakenvlei

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Hi Grant, there might be a way of controlling them though, but its debateable as to how practical it would be, but here's a thought process.....,
    Perhaps the CPS's stocking policy, of stocking several thousand 10cm trout, has played into the hands of the bass, by giving them fodder, whereas larger trout might not be so easy for the bass to eat, but rather served to keep the bass controlled to an extent. I think that the trout controlled the bass for a long time, but at some point, a tipping point was reached, and now they are out of control, and a difficult situation has developed.
    Perhaps if, during the hot months the bass are aggressively targeted by anglers, we might make a sizeable dent, but who knows? My only thought is that big trout will eat the small bass, so if we catch as many big bass as possible, we might be in business to an extent.
    This is quite interesting - i wonder if at some point in the recent past (ie 10 years ago?) the cps has reduced the average size it stocks? eg if for 20 years it was stocking 20cm fish, these were too big for most bass so they controlled the bass. Maybe at some point it was decided to stock with smaller fish and more of them (because then the best fighters survive - a valid argument), and in doing so, the bass were large enough to take advantage and took the opportunity to "take over".

    Another argument, is that 5-10 odd years ago the average size fish caught in lakies was much larger than it has been in the last 5 years, so maybe the overpopulation of trout has meant that the stunted growth of the fish lead to no longer having enough big trout to control the bass population so they have had the opportunity to survive and outgrow the trout?
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  2. #32
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    Hi there

    I dug through my old e-mails and compiled the following stocking figures for Lakies from 2010 to 2015:

    2010
    On 17/08/2010 we stocked 7271 Rainbows at an average weight of 49g.

    2011
    On 19/08/2011 we stocked 1000 Browns at an average weight of 18g.
    We also stocked 7000 Triploid Rainbows at an average weight of 20g.

    2012
    We stocked 10 000 Triploid Rainbows at an average weight of 15g.

    2013
    We stocked 10 000 Triploid Rainbows and 1000 Browns – I suppose the weights were similar to previous years.

    2014
    We stocked 10 000 Triploid Rainbows of that same average weight.

    2015
    We stocked 10 000 Triploid Rainbows on 12/08/2015 – same average weight.

    I don't think much has changed over the years, so it's probably not the stocking policy that's caused the problem.

    Any ideas????

    Cheers
    MC

  3. #33
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    Yeah it's the 5-10 year ago stocking numbers that i was wondering about - that's when the fish were bigger. Unfortunately the dam was lower for a long time around that time, so you probably cant compare directly anyway.

    But having said that could it be the dam filling up so fast after being low for so long that gave the bass a chance to get a foothold? More space, not as many trout dominating it etc?
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  4. #34
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    Hey Grant

    I reckon those stockings from 2010 and 2011 are dead by now with possibly only a handful of the Browns remaining.

    The reason we are getting smaller average size fish is probably due to the higher numbers we've been stocking for the past four years but I can't see how the stocking policy could lead to an increase in Bass numbers. It s possible that the Bass simply had an incredibly good spawn last year or our mild winter might have helped the population along...

    It will be very interesting to see how things unfold over the next couple of seasons but we will definitely have to look at increasing the size of fish we stock or possibly stocking much earlier in winter when the Bass are less active.

    On the up-side we may very well start getting explosive fry bashing Rainbows in the early season when they will hammer the Bass fry in the shallows... Time to tie some UK style floating fry patterns :-)

  5. #35
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    I do not think mild winters helps bass or extreme winters hampers the spawning of bass.
    When Tim Holschlag from USA visited us and stayed over at my home, we had long chats about his home rivers back home freezing over and the bass surviving without any effect on them or their spawning.
    The dam has been full for a very long time, the food chain is very good, all which helps the bass to have above normal spawning success.
    Korrie Broos

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  6. #36
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    Yeah it sounds exciting actually! I know of some dams in other parts of the country that has a good spawn of bass every spring and the trout grow to monster proportions, feeding on the clouds of baby bass, so that would be awesome to see happen at lakies. In those dams the bass are not caught bigger than 12/14 inches, so the trout seems to dominate them very well. It would be nice to see that happen.

    What i was saying, is that maybe the average smaller size trout cannot regulate the bass population as well as the larger ones because the time it takes a trout to grow to 30cm is now longer, and therefore more of its life is spent at a small size where it is not seeing small fish as staple food source, whereas trout that grow to 40cm would spend more of their life at a size that does prey on small fish. The difference between those two scenarios gives the bass more time. I guess the alternative is that there are many more at 30cm now, and at 30cm they should be eating baby bass so they should be able to regulate the numbers so i can see both sides of the argument. I am just hypothesizing.
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  7. #37
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    Stock 100 10lb Browns... hahaha

  8. #38
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    I wonder if it isn't possible that too many trout have been removed from the dam by members fishing. Does everyone report their kill rate?
    It might be that too many large trout have been kept for the braai, giving the bass the opportunity to tip the scales.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  9. #39

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    As per Sean's post, bass (particularly small bass) are not the kind of fish that "hide" in a dam. If they were there 10 years ago we would have caught them. They have been stocked (probably by local farmers) within the last 5 years or so. You will never be able to fish them out - no matter how many you catch they are here to stay unless you rotenone the entire dam. As for the fingerlings at the inlet, the ones I saw and netted were trout and were too small to have been stocked. Saw some a couple of years ago between the rocks to the right of the hut - also netted and confirmed as trout. I made the comment at the AGM that we need to stock with larger fish otherwise we are just providing them with fish food. Need bass proof size like we used to stock at Koekedouw. Part of the reason for smaller rainbows in the last couple of years is probably from bass competing for limited food in the chain - although the big Browns seem to be thriving.
    ďApparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure youĒ ― Lemmy Kilmister

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    Always extremely bad news when bass get into a trout dam...I remember Lakensvlei when I was young and often fished it with Tom Burgers between 1978-1979...it was a producer of good fish then and seldom fished...never saw bass. We have this problem in Natal...some ex- good trout dams under the NFFC have been invaded.

    Andrew Fowler maintains that the best way to this problem is to drain these dams (partly) in spring through to summer after the bass have spawned and the exposed eggs will die obviously...these are always in the shallow edges and never in the deep portions which are left. It makes sense and Andrew has done this on one dam in the Boston area...I don't know how successful it's been...I'll have to ask him...but it seems logical that it must work if done correctly and at the right time and it should be repeated every year until the trout actually can compete...and if a dam has a "run in " feeder stream where trout can reproduce so much the better.

    Maybe if the results are good then if it's possible on Lakenvlei it can be tried.
    Last edited by A River Runs Through It; 27-10-17 at 07:23 PM.

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