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By Lochow Ranch

Our partnership with Bassmaster to turn Lake Y into a bass fishing paradise took an exciting turn in the latest episode.

“This one’s exciting because we’re putting fish in the lake,” Bassmaster editor James Hall says.

Bassmaster pond management 01

The deposit of thousands of coppernose bluegill into Lake Y is not just exciting, says John Jones, president of Lochow Ranch, but the addition of this backbone of the food chain is one of the most impactful things someone can do to improve fishing quality in an underperforming lake.

The Lake Y project aims to educate anglers on how to identify opportunities to improve small lakes, and steps to take to turn an average lake into bass fishing bliss. We teamed with Bassmaster for The Lake Y Project, as we look to turn an underperforming 56-acre lake in Alabama into a thriving fishery.

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 8

Now in year 2 of the project, we are running through the steps of the process for effective fishery management, including understanding the lake’s current conditions, creating a plan to improve it, and then executing on that plan.

So far in the series, issues such as topography, water source, water quality and clarity, area predators such as otters, vegetation, fertilization, and pellet feeding were covered. We also employed electrofishing surveys to identify fish populations and get a complete understanding of the state of the 56-acre creek-fed lake.

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 6

Our surveys found that forage fish populations are low and bass are underweight.

Adding a variety of bluegill sizes to the Alabama lake makes sense, John says. The larger ones are already sexually mature and ready to spawn. They’re also too big for all but larger bass to eat, so they should grow to adulthood and provide consistent spawn.

“There’s reasons to put in different sizes of bluegill,” John adds, noting that a bluegill can produce up to 25,000 eggs at a time and up to four spawns in a year. “These are pretty expensive and so generally we’ll mix these in with some mediums and smalls. You’ll get a little bit more bang for your buck if you will.”

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 1

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 2

So the plan is that the bluegill will make it through the upcoming winter without much loss due to weather or cormorants, and in the spring their population will surge. In about 18 months, John expects to see trophy size bluegill, which could start to be harvested by next summer, with the addition of a much higher-quality, high-protein feed.

Bluegill respond well to a good feeding program, John says. They also are a fun fish for children to catch.

“With kids, bluegill is about the most fun you can have. It’s simple fishing. It doesn’t take much. It takes a worm, takes a bobber. It’s not too hectic sometimes. You know people love the idea of fishing with kids but parts of it can be pretty hectic, but bluegill’s not that way,” he adds.

The more bluegill stocking, the faster you turn around a fishery, John explains. In Lake Y, they deposit about 1,000 per acre.  

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 3

“Well this is exciting,” James says in the video. “This is one more step to making this Lake Y our dream bass lake and I think it’s really important step and I’m excited to see the impact that it has next year.”

“We’re gonna change this lake forever today,” John adds.

Bassmaster Lake Y with Lochow Ranch 4

Follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to see the progress in the Lake Y project in coming months.

Why Choose Lochow Ranch for Pond & Lake Management

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, Lochow Ranch Pond & Lake Management proudly puts more than two decades of experience to work for you. Our team includes biologists, technicians and other professionals with deep expertise in pond and lake management services.

Check us out if you are considering building a lake, looking for pond stocking services, to buy fish for a pond, or getting professional pond management and maintenance or fishery management. Our services include lake design, pond construction, pond renovation, pond water testing, electrofishing, pond stocking, control of pond weeds, and pond liming and fertilizing.

Let us help you build your dream pond that will delight your family and friends for generations to come.

Click here to get in touch to get started today.

Bassmaster pond management 01

Bassmaster pond management 01

Check out the latest article on the Lake Y project from Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall and don’t miss the latest video in the series.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see the progress in the Lake Y project in coming months.

Why Choose Lochow Ranch for Pond & Lake Management

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, Lochow Ranch Pond & Lake Management proudly puts more than two decades of experience to work for you. Our team includes biologists, technicians and other professionals with deep expertise in pond and lake management services.

Check us out if you are considering building a lake, looking for pond stocking services, to buy fish for a pond, or getting professional pond management and maintenance or fishery management. Our services include lake design, pond construction, pond renovation, pond water testing, electrofishing, pond stocking, control of pond weeds, and pond liming and fertilizing.

Let us help you build your dream pond that will delight your family and friends for generations to come.

Click here to get in touch to get started today.

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