Stocking your pond with fish | Living the Country Life
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Stocking your pond with fish

Learn which fish to stock -- and which species to avoid -- in your farm pond.
  • Stocking a pond

    A pond that's properly stocked and managed will give you years of fishing enjoyment. Some states offer stocking programs, but commercial hatcheries are also available.

    <br>When choosing a species of fish to stock in a new pond, you need to consider both the size of the fish and the size of your pond. Stock fish in the fall or spring, when water temperatures are less than 65 degrees F. <br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Largemouth Bass

    Stock 100 2-4" fingerlings, 50 4-6" fish, or 20 9-10" bass per acre. For bass to thrive, you'll need a fairly large pond so that the entire food chain can be sustained.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Bluegill

    Bluegills are a good food source for bass, and they're also fun to catch. Stock 500 1-3" fingerlings per acre.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Redear Sunfish

    This species is an alternative to bluegills. They grow larger, eat pond snails, and produce fewer young, so they're less likely to be stunted. You'll still need bluegills for the bass to feed on, so stock 250 1-3" redear and 250 bluegill fingerlings per acre.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Channel Catfish

    New ponds can be stocked with 100 2-4" fingerlings per acre, and existing ponds 100 4-6" fish per acre. The larger fish won't be eaten by the bass population. Channel catfish will not reproduce in ponds unless containers are provided for them to spawn in. This is not recommended because it can cause overpopulation.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Fathead Minnow/Golden Shiner

    Stock 1,000 adult minnows or shiners per acre to provide food for stocked bass until bluegills and/or sunfish can spawn and provide young for the bass to eat. Occasionally, fingerling carp and bullheads will be found in loads of purchased minnows and shiners. Take care to remove them.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Grass Carp

    Stock this species only if you have a problem with underwater vegetation in your pond. You can stock between four and 12 per acre, depending on how severe the vegetation problem is. In some states, only certain types of grass carp are legal to stock. Check local regulations.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Other Species

    Yellow perch (pictured), walleye, northern pike, black and white crappie, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and striped bass are also popular fish to stock in ponds. Do not release more than 100 per acre of any of these species.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Fish to avoid: Common Carp

    These fish will turn a pond muddy, even in small numbers. If they are currently in your pond, stock adult largemouth bass to eat the young.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Fish to avoid: Bullheads

    At high densities, yellow, brown, or black (pictured) bullhead cause ponds to become muddy. They have a very high reproduction rate and eat bass and bluegill eggs, so overpopulation can occur quickly.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012
  • Green sunfish

    These cousins of bluegill and redear sunfish rarely grow to be larger than 6 inches, but their large mouth allows them to out-compete other sunfish species.

    <br><I>Source: The University of Ohio Extension<BR>
    Photos: Iowa Department of Natural Resources</I><br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 1, 2012

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