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#469026 - 04/08/17 05:18 PM Too many catfish...?
NSB Offline

Registered: 04/08/17
Posts: 4
Loc: PA
Cleared out my central PA 1/4 acre pond (about 2/3 of it is 12-16 feet deep) a couple years ago and restocked with half of Zetts farm stocking package (and 50 trout)....

Crayfish, clams, trapdoor snails, tadpoles, fathead minnows, breeder shiners, channel cats, crappies, yellow perch, large mouth bass, Israeli carp.

I'm a relative beginner (after 20 years of hand off 'management'). My channel cats seem to be taking over. While I see many small cats I see no small others. The number of cats are ballooning while the numbers of others seem stagnant.

Not sure what to do the maintain a better balance. I assume the cats are eating the small others.

I feed them 3-4 days a week in the evening.

Thought about fertilizing. Thought about cleaning out the catfish. I put out daphnia the 1st 2 years of this go-round and an debating if I should this year.

I'm looking for any suggestions you can provide.



#469027 - 04/08/17 05:46 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
CMM Offline

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 545
Loc: West Central MO
Welcome to the forum!

It sounds like the cc are breeding, did you put tires, barrels or culverts in for them to spawn in? If so, can you remove them? Do you have dense brush or vegetation for forage fry to hide in?

What do you want out of the pond in the long run as far as fishing? If the cats are overpopulating, then I would keep each one you caught.

Can you nuke the pond and start over with a stocking plan better suited to your goals?

Lots of people on here will chime in with links to threads relevant as well as advice.

There are some really good threads on types of fish to choose and managing different fishes depending on ultimate goals for a fishery. Check some of those out.

#469029 - 04/08/17 05:57 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: CMM]
NSB Offline

Registered: 04/08/17
Posts: 4
Loc: PA
I have 2 Christmas trees cinder blocked to the bottom. No other forage. The only vegetation is around the perimeter.

I'd rather not start over if I can avoid it. I'll try to catch what ccs I can. I've done it before and learned how smart they can be. Fortunately they eat their own young when there's no other options. I'm hoping that helps limit the growth of their #s..

#469030 - 04/08/17 06:00 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
John Fitzgerald Online   content

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1575
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
Are you sure the small catfish are not bullheads?

#469046 - 04/08/17 09:42 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: John Fitzgerald]
Pat Williamson Offline

Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2128
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
Square tail- bullhead- V tail channel cat or blue. Larger bass should eat a lot of them if the bass are present.

Welcome to the family

#469365 - 04/12/17 08:20 AM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: John Fitzgerald]
NSB Offline

Registered: 04/08/17
Posts: 4
Loc: PA
I'm sure. I put the pond in new and ccs are the only catfish stocked (AND, they look like ccs).

#469367 - 04/12/17 08:20 AM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
NSB Offline

Registered: 04/08/17
Posts: 4
Loc: PA
Is it worth putting daphnia in each year?

#469380 - 04/12/17 10:23 AM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
Bill Cody Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12014
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
If the Daphnia are not thriving, pond habitat is not conducive for them. Adding more just flattens your wallet and makes some retailer happy.

Edited by Bill Cody (04/12/17 10:24 AM)
Keep This Forum Viable, Read Pond Boss Magazine -
America's Journal of Pond Management

#469424 - 04/12/17 07:26 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: Bill Cody]
stickem' Offline

Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 950
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
I'm leaning towards what CMM mentioned earlier; try and catch every CC you can and remove them no matter what size. The bigger ones are wise, hook shy, and may be hard to catch. If they will not bite (in lieu of electro-shocking), you may want to start over (nuke it). Good Luck.
...when in doubt...set the hook...

#469427 - 04/12/17 07:38 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
Bill D. Offline

Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5364
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I'm surprised that any CC spawn survived in a 1/4 acre. IME they are usually easy prey. They must have exactly the right habitat in your pond to thrive or there is not appropriate predation.

I'm not a pro but your stocking plan seems off to me for a 1/4 acre but I don't have a PA pond either. Might be just fine.

Originally Posted By: NSB
... Zetts farm stocking package (and 50 trout)....

Crayfish, clams, trapdoor snails, tadpoles, fathead minnows, breeder shiners, channel cats, crappies, yellow perch, large mouth bass, Israeli carp.


How are the other fish doing besides CC? Can you post some pics of the LMB, YP, and crappies?

Edited by Bill D. (04/13/17 07:29 AM)

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

#469441 - 04/13/17 02:39 AM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
Turtlemtn Offline

Registered: 11/24/15
Posts: 368
Loc: Missouri
CC are supposed to be at least 3 yr old before they spawn. They can spawn in a 1/4 ac pond and have some spawn survive. They did in my pond. Daphnia are easy to raise, and you could probably raise enough in a 10 gal tank to add some to your pond on a regular basis. If the fry and fingerlings eat them as fast as you put them in, that would be a minor plus, and if some survive and multiply in the pond, so much the better. I stocked CC, LMB, BG, and RES in my pond, and it seemed to manage itself very nicely. I stocked 25 of each the first year, and then 25 more CC the second year. I planned to eat the CC, but never did. They thinned out to about 10 adults after 9 yr. I don't know what was happening to them. Maybe a GBH was getting them.

#475696 - 07/08/17 10:55 AM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
Aix Offline

Registered: 06/01/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Louisiana
Not sure if this is an option, but my grandfather put a couple flathead catfish in his pond. He did this for two reasons. 1) To help control populations, especially bullheads and 2) To provide huge fish for his two grandsons to "help him catch" down the road. The pond was about 2.5 acres. The first one was 48 lbs and the second one was 72 lbs when it was removed. I'm not sure exactly when they were put in, but they were removed in 1987 and 1989.

Huge fish for a pond that size, but ya know what? That was probably the healthiest our pond ever was. We caught lots of very nice bass, a number of them went to the taxidermist, and we had overall healthy populations of fish.

I'm going to put 1-2 in once I get the pond repaired and back to the way it should be.

#475723 - 07/08/17 11:59 PM Re: Too many catfish...? [Re: NSB]
james holt Offline

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 1712
Loc: gainesville texas
I have always had spawning channel cats in my pond. I have trapped them, shot them and keep every single one we catch and they are still the number one fish at my feeders.


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