- Fish Stocking FAQ
Fish Stocking FAQ
GAME FISH STOCKING FAQ
DO I REALLY NEED 10 GRASS CARP IN MY ONE ACRE POND?
Our recommendation is 10 Amur ( Grass Carp ) per acre. This has been our successful standard for the past 25 years. Some bodies of water can require more than the recommended 10 fish, up to double the rate, if the moss is very dense and well established. The white amur normally provides 7 - 10 years of vegetation control. They are clean, white fleshed fish and are delicious to eat after they become too large, or old to maintain vegetation control. Grass carp are a relatively cheap solution to aquatic vegetation when factoring the cost of chemicals required on a yearly basis to attain the same results.
DON'T I NEED SOME MOSS TO PROVIDE FOOD AND COVER FOR MY SMALL FISH?
We recommend a pond that is clear of moss and the use of artificial cover such as christmas trees or wood pallets. The artificial cover should be places along the water edges at a depth of approximately three feet. This will provide adequate cover for the young fish along the pond edges where they need it most. Artificial cover can be easily removed if desired.
WHAT CAN I DO IF LARGEMOUTH BASS HAVE OVER-POPULATED MY POND?
We recommend the removal of some Largemouth Bass by hook-and-line method. Usually 30-50 fish per acre each year will help restore the proper balance. In extreme cases more fish may need to be removed to get the pond back into balance.
IF I BEGIN FEEDING MY `CATFISH, DO I NEED TO CONTINUE FEEDING THEM DAILY?
No. However, channel catfish will grow faster and taste better if fed daily. If you reduce feedings to once per week, you fish will still benefit from the commercial diet. Catfish will feed most aggressively late in the evenings.
SHOULD I STOCK HYBRID BLUEGILL OR REGULAR BLUEGILL IN MY POND?
We prefer hybrid bluegill over regular bluegill. The hybrid bluegill grow extremely fast and outgrow the regular bluegill. Hybrid bluegill will consume a commercial fish food, in turn aiding its growth. A 2-3" fingerling stocked in the spring of the year can potentially reach 1/2 lb by fall, assuming they are adequately fed. Hybrid bluegill will reproduce. The hybrid bluegill are 95% male. The increased male to female ratio assists in population control. The small number of fish bearing eggs can help reduce the possibility of over production.
I'VE HEARD THAT I SHOULDN'T STOCK CRAPPIE IN MY FARM POND.
Crappie can be stocked into a farm pond environment as long as there are predator fish present to keep their populations under control.
DO I NEED TO AERATE MY POND DURING THE WINTER OR SUMMER?
Most ponds need some kind of aeration device. Both electric and wind-driven types of aerators help prevent winter kill. Aeration units are also very useful during the summer months and times of low water levels and low oxygen levels.
SHOULD I BE STOCKING ANY FISH ON A YEARLY BASIS, OR AFTER THE INITIAL STOCKING?
Yes, you can add to your pond yearly, or alternate years depending on a quantity of fish removed. Channel catfish usually do not reproduce in ponds, so it will be necessary to stock new fingerlings. 100 per year is common. The hybrid bluegill, bass, and crappie normally reproduce at a rate sufficient to re-establish the amount that is removed from the pond. Although, they may be re-stocked at any time if you notice a decrease in populations. Grass carp usually provide 7-10 years of vegetation control. The grass carp should be stocked at the recommended rate and additional grass carp introduced if moss becomes a problem. Fathead minnows may be stocked at any time.
WHEN CAN I START TO KEEP FISH THAT I HAVE CAUGHT FROM MY POND?
Our recommendation is to wait until the second year after stocking before you keep any fish caught from your pond. Catch and release practices are always a good idea.