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Which Fish To Stock

Which Fish To Stock How do I stock a small pond? How should I manage it? Here's solid advice for ponds smaller than an acre.
 
Which fish to stock

Questions abound on managing small ponds. How do I stock a small pond? How should we manage it? Here's solid advice for ponds smaller than an acre. If you have a pond as big as a tenth of an acre, up to an acre, you can grow fish.
   Don't expect much from largemouth bass. As a matter of fact, most biologists and fisheries consultants don't advise largemouth bass. Why not? Top line predator fish simply can't have big numbers in small ponds. In a small pond, you may only be able to have five to ten bass. That's not many.
   But, all over the country, you can raise various species of sunfish. Hybrid sunfish are popular fish for small ponds. They are aggressive, readily eat fish food, and grow fast. They aren't supposed to reproduce, but a small percentage will, given the chance. Channel catfish are an excellent choice for small ponds. You can raise lots of pounds of channel catfish. How many should you stock? Up to 500 hybrid sunfish in an acre pond, if you expect them to grow fast. No more than 200 catfish in an acre, unless you are totally committed to feeding them during warm months.
   In the midwest and north, smallmouth bass will grow in small ponds, but they need special environmental conditions, especially deeper water and rocks. And, their food chain is different than their bigger mouth cousins. Smallmouth eat crawfish, big bugs and lots of minnows. Try smallmouth with redear sunfish, as long as your water stays warm enough for redear. Redear don't like cold.
   Rainbow trout do exceptionally well in small ponds. But, you have temperature and oxygen issues. Learn your temps.
   So, raise a toast to small ponds. They absolutely can raise plenty of fish.

Reprinted with permission from Pond Boss Magazine

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