Generally speaking with most situations the most common limiting factor is food. Many think well that sounds easy to handle. Plant more food plots, put supplemental wildlife or fish feeder out or stock more bait fish in our ponds. Well it is not always that easy. Yes all of this may help to some degree but it is more of a band aid to a bigger problem at hand, populations above the carrying capacity. Is the predator/prey ratios out of line or maybe not enough harvest is taking place? Maybe food is not the issue and there is plenty to go around. What could it be? Maybe there are too many furbearing animals on your property making it difficult for upland birds to recruit individuals into the population? Maybe there are not enough or the proper predators in your pond to keep the bluegill population in check so they can grow to preferred sizes? Perhaps it has nothing to do with food or predators.
There may be a habitat issue at hand. There may not be enough fawning or brood rearing cover to safely harbor those young individuals from predators. Perhaps there isn’t enough submersed vegetation in your pond to hold young of the year fish for both as a food source for those Largemouth Bass or to harbor the young bluegill so they can be recruited into the population. Water quality may also be an issue in your pond. The water body may be overloaded in nutrients causing major algae blooms or maybe the pH of the water is not in the acceptable range or there could simply be not enough dissolved oxygen in the water body to allow for healthy fast growing fish.
Whatever the limiting factor may be in your particular situation remember there are management strategies that can be done to correct these factors. Remember that for every management action you take there will be some sort of reaction to that action. So make sure you do your research to make sure you are making the correct adjustments to get your desired results. We as humans love to push the limits of Mother Nature and every scenario is going to have its limits. It is up to us to determine those limits to best meet our goals.
If you would like help determining what those factors may be in your situation feel free to contact me. We can set up a date and time to come and meet up to discuss goals, dreams and the issues you are noticing.
Remember to Manage Today for a Better Tomorrow!