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#484047 - 12/12/17 02:38 PM Can I stock my tiny pond?
VEZ Offline


Registered: 12/12/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
I just bought a house and it came with a tiny pond. My sons love fishing, so I'd like to stock it so they can fish when they visit on the weekends. My oldest does not enjoy catching bluegill and is most interested in Bass fishing, but I told him it might not be possible due to its small size.

The pond is around 2800 square feet or .07 acres. Yeah, less than 1/10 of an acre, like I said tiny. The footprint is about the same as my house, see attached pic. At it's deepest point, it is around 5.5-6 feet deep. The only thing we have seen in it are frogs, tadpoles and turtles.

I've asked lots of people in the area and get tons of different responses on what, and how much I can put in there. Decided I needed to get online and ask the experts.

There is one fish hatchery that comes to my local area twice a year to sell fish. This is what they suggested to me:

Spring: 30-50 bluegill, 4-5 channel cats, and 1000 fathead minnows (the smallest amount they sell on their deliveries)
Fall: 10-15 largemouth bass


Now, I realize they are in the business of selling fish, and I'd love to believe their numbers, but I just don't.

I'm open to other suggestions.

Here is what they carry:
Channel Catfish
Blue Catfish
Bluegill Sunfish
Hybrid Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Largemouth Bass
Black Crappie
Fathead Minnows
Grass Carp


And if I travel to a different hatchery I could also get:
Hybrid Striped Bass
Northern Yellow Perch


I'm not looking necessarily for a source of food in my pond. Mainly just looking for some sport fishing for the boys. Is that even possible?

Thanks for your help.


Attachments
pond.png (132 downloads)

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#484048 - 12/12/17 03:28 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
beastman Offline


Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 223
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Welcome to the forum, have you thought about aeration. The reason there is no fish could be fish kills are likely in that size/depth of pond in your area.

By adding aeration you can help with that and increase the fish carrying capacity.

If your willing to deal with kills and re stock every so often you could try without. Not going to be a large investment in terms of stocking cost .

With aeration I would go with HBG 40-50 , YP 15-20, HSB 5 , you could also feed these fish pellets which is fun as well. Boys might enjoy that as much as fishing .

If no aeration you might just want to experiment with smaller qty's to see how they do.
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#484049 - 12/12/17 04:01 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: beastman]
VEZ Offline


Registered: 12/12/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Originally Posted By: beastman
Welcome to the forum, have you thought about aeration.

I hadn't, yet. This is all new to me, so I'm just trying to figure out what I need to do. Aeration for a pond is a new concept, I hadn't heard of before browsing this forum.

Originally Posted By: beastman
With aeration I would go with HBG 40-50 , YP 15-20, HSB 5 , you could also feed these fish pellets which is fun as well.

Interesting mix, and I'm intrigued, because Perch are my favorite.
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#484050 - 12/12/17 04:11 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1794
Loc: West Michigan
Forbidden in your pond:
any catfish
Any LMB
Any crappie

HSB would be a great predator for a minnow/RES/YP/HSB pond

Don't forget to add forage variety. You didn't mention golden shiners or the many other types of shiners, various minnows, shrimp, scuds, or the crayfish. They should go in early on. They need a head start.

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#484051 - 12/12/17 04:30 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: canyoncreek]
VEZ Offline


Registered: 12/12/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Forbidden in your pond:
any catfish
Any LMB
Any crappie

OK.... but why?


Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
You didn't mention golden shiners or the many other types of shiners, various minnows, shrimp, scuds, or the crayfish.

Fatheads were the only minnow the supplier listed.
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#484055 - 12/12/17 05:06 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1854
Loc: East Texas
Vez,

Think about carrying capacity of your water. I would recommend no more than some BG appropriate for your area and TWO female LMB. You will have to feed your BG and you will have to allow them to establish themselves before you add your TWO female LMB. They will get hook shy, that is a fact. Feeding your BG will be problematic as your water will be gaining nutrients as you feed. But if you want to try, don't do more than that. FHM for some starter food is also doable. If you over do it, you will have problems. Modesty in such a small pond is a must.
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The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
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#484056 - 12/12/17 05:10 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1794
Loc: West Michigan
You can source forage on your own or with the help of this forum. Others in your state can give recommendations. Local bodies of water may have a rich supply of 'baitfish' and crayfish which can be good forage sources.

If you read here you will read lots of warnings about sorting anything from a fish farm or fish truck to be sure you aren't getting unwanted hitchhikers with any fish that you purchase from them. In a small pond a few unwanted bluegill or LMB and you will be soon wishing you had hand sorted before stocking.

LMB and crappie represent a population management problem. They will take over any body of water unless there is a good balance of predator and prey.

Catfish may be OK if you are OK with a very muddy pond at all times and if you can put in very very few and take measures to prevent any reproduction. We call that 'put and take'. A few catfish for pellet feeding and fun catching and eating is OK but there are trade offs.

usually in small ponds you want panfish that don't reproduce or reproduce slowly or else you face the predator/prey balance act. In a small pond with limited capacity to carry fish (fighting over available food, space, oxygen) that balance act gets even more difficult.

One spawn of LMB or one spawn of BG and you are already out of balance.

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#484060 - 12/12/17 05:44 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1794
Loc: West Michigan
Centrarchid posted in your other post. He would be a great source to ask how to find and obtain various types of shiners, minnows, smaller shrimp/scuds, and crayfish in your local area.

He also might be able to set you up with some really cool sunfish varieties for color and pizzaz (longears, dollar sunfish, spotted sunfish etc)

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#484064 - 12/12/17 06:42 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1137
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: VEZ
Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Forbidden in your pond:
any catfish
Any LMB
Any crappie

OK.... but why?


Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
You didn't mention golden shiners or the many other types of shiners, various minnows, shrimp, scuds, or the crayfish.

Fatheads were the only minnow the supplier listed.


I think the rule of thumb is that the average pond can support 50 pounds of LMB per acre and 300 pounds of forage. Your pond is less than 1/10 acre. So that's ONE 5# largemouth!
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#484066 - 12/12/17 09:57 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
Centrarchid Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 151
Loc: .
With such a tiny pond I would cut out the middle man (forage fish) and stock something that will make good use of the tadpoles, aquatic insects and terrestrial insects. Growth will not be some thing to brag about but can still provide good fun for kids. Black basses and Warmouth will eat even Bull Frog tadpoles but latter will be inclined to stunt. If they can be found, the black bass I suggest is the Spotted Bass assuming you can find a supplier.


See if you can find orginal article that goes with this link.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3796633?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents


Latter does not agree so consider.
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.509.5312&rep=rep1&type=pdf

As kids, my brother and I used to create a range of bass fish assemblages in our roughly 1 dozen farm ponds (not legal) where fish were sourced from stream draining farm. Spotted Bass gave the most fish that could bend your pole during harvest and where not as inclined to over populate when alone. Recruitment was not good when other sunfish were present. Later observations working with Spotted Bass indicated to me the parental males do not stay with fry long enough for them to get big enough to beat larger hungry sunfish. Largemouth Bass males do.

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#484067 - 12/12/17 10:11 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4920
Loc: SE Kansas
Welcome to the forum VEZ. Here is an old thread that has links to many small ponds. I don't know that you will find any answers to your stocking question, but you may find other interesting information about managing small ponds.

speciality pond thread with links to unique non traditional ponds
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#484068 - 12/12/17 10:15 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: snrub]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4920
Loc: SE Kansas
If you are not opposed to feeding, you could just go with feed trained bass and no other fish. Maybe a few RES to control snails/parasites.

Then just figure on feeding the bass for their sustenence and removing any recruitment by taking out every small bass you catch.

Water quality will be an issue. Aereation will significantly increase carrying capacity.


Edited by snrub (12/12/17 10:18 PM)
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#484094 - 12/13/17 12:07 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: snrub]
VEZ Offline


Registered: 12/12/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Thanks everyone.
Originally Posted By: highflyer
Modesty in such a small pond is a must.

Yeah, I get that. I'm trying to temper my sons expectations with reality.

Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
LMB and crappie represent a population management problem......

Thanks for the more detailed response. That was helpful.

I really like your idea of YP & HSB. Those would be new species for my son, so he might like that too.

Originally Posted By: Bocomo

Your pond is less than 1/10 acre. So that's ONE 5# largemouth!

I get that. It's just that every calculator I use says I can keep 7-10 of them.

Originally Posted By: Centrarchid

Thanks!

Originally Posted By: snrub
Welcome to the forum VEZ. Here is an old thread that has links to many small ponds......

Excellent resources, thanks for that link.

Originally Posted By: snrub
Aereation will significantly increase carrying capacity.

I think I'll see how it goes without aeration to start. Then add it later if necessary.
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-KJ

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#484123 - 12/14/17 11:48 AM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 331
Loc: Iowa
Have you tried sourcing fish from Harrisons?
http://www.harrisonfishery.com/index.htm

I'm guessing they might be the folks you can get HSB and YP from. I took delivery of my fall stocking from them. Their HSB are very impressive and YP looked very lively as well. The folks at Harrison's were a pleasure to work with and exceeded my expectations for sure.

Have you tried fishing the pond? What you see on the surface might not tell you much if you haven't tossed a line in! You could also build a cheap cloverleaf trap, bait it, and place in the pond to sample the potential fish.
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1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#484132 - 12/14/17 05:01 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
KapHn8d Offline


Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 157
Loc: TX
Howdy!

My "mini-pond" is mas-o-menos about the same size as yours (the link to the project is in John's small pond thread he linked). I stocked one pound of FHM, half a pound of RR, about 25 CNBG, and 8 or so RES. .. so, not a lot. I didn't build the pond for fishing, so that is quite different than your goal, but there you can check out the pics and video of the aeration system I put in and it's been pretty great at keeping the water quality up.

Good luck with your new project!

Cheers!
Clayton
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#484164 - 12/15/17 02:23 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: KapHn8d]
VEZ Offline


Registered: 12/12/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Warrensburg, MO
Originally Posted By: Matzilla
Have you tried sourcing fish from Harrisons?
http://www.harrisonfishery.com/index.htm

They are too far away. There is a coser farm that has the pecies I'm looking for.

Originally Posted By: Matzilla
Have you tried fishing the pond?

Yes, it's the first thing my son did after I bought the place. He;s tried several times, no fish.

Originally Posted By: KapHn8d
Howdy!

My "mini-pond" is mas-o-menos about the same size as yours (the link to the project is in John's small pond thread he linked).

I saw it, but most pics get blocked when I browse at work, so I wasn't able to see them.
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#484165 - 12/15/17 03:23 PM Re: Can I stock my tiny pond? [Re: VEZ]
highflyer Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 1854
Loc: East Texas
Consider a female only predator base of two or three fish and then having BG as the food source. FHM can also be used.

I have a small pond with three LMB and the rest BG it is working out great.
_________________________
Brian

The one thing is the one thing
A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%

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