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#502205 - 02/19/19 02:39 PM Stocking pond with fathead minnows
wannapond0001 Offline


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Ohio
Is it too early to stock a small pond with minnows this time of year in Ohio?

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#502209 - 02/19/19 03:29 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1645
Loc: West Central Missouri
IMO...I don't think it's too early, but certainly not the best time. Ideally, you would want to stock them just in time to get settled in for their first spawn. If you would stock now, I would take into consideration that some will become winter time snacks before they could reproduce and stock extra. How many extra I don't know, it depends. And, you can not stock too many unless your budget gets stretched.

My two cents.
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#502213 - 02/19/19 03:51 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 20066
Loc: Miss.
What is your water temp? Probably a little cold still.
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#502225 - 02/19/19 09:02 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 847
Loc: NW Kansas
This would also depend if you're stocking adults or what is commonly referred to as "feeder" size.
Adult fatheads are in their final stages of life-roughly 17 months.
If you stock now, use feeder size (ave about 1.5" to 2.5") most will be of spawning age/size throughout the entire summer/fall.
If you get full adults now you may loose half of your spawners.
My 2c..
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#502235 - 02/19/19 11:52 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
wannapond0001 Offline


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Ohio
Haven't measured the pond temperature yet but I'm sure it's pretty cold. It's a new pond, so no predators. I was just trying to get a head start before stocking HSB come spring. I'll have to see what the local bait shop has.

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#502236 - 02/20/19 12:00 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 847
Loc: NW Kansas
I would highly recommend you stock FHM and leave everything else out for 2-3 months after reaching spawning temps before stocking a predator.
I don't know what your future plans are but you'll need something in decent numbers to support HSB. BG or something similar, Not sure supplemental feeding alone would be a good option.
My 2 cents..


Edited by Snipe (02/20/19 12:04 AM)
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#502242 - 02/20/19 08:46 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1645
Loc: West Central Missouri
I can back up Snipe and even take it a bit further. I stocked FHM (along with crawdads) one year before stocking HSB, HBG, and RES and the results where beyond amazing.

The HSB went from 4 to 6" at stocking to almost 12" long in 3-1/2 months with supplemental feeding of pellets. In 5 months I caught the current record of 1.4 pounds at about 13 inches. My feeding last year of the pellets never really produced the crazy feeding frenzy most speak of that pellet feed. I contribute this to the massive amounts of minnows that were available, the fish's bellies were merely full.

Here are two short threads of mine on the subject that give more detail...

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=36605&Number=478228#Post478228

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=38025&Number=494998#Post494998

I don't know for fact, but I bet that I would not have gained that kind of growth on supplemental feeding alone...it did cost me a year of not having game fish in the pond however. Well worth the wait! And, 35$ of minnows turned into several hundred dollars worth of natural feed.
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#502260 - 02/20/19 02:37 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
wannapond0001 Offline


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Ohio
1/4 acre I'll keep that in mind. I have minnows on preorder.

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#502265 - 02/20/19 05:03 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Bob-O Offline
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Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Butler In. Very NE corner
WAP0001, I'm always amazed when talkin minnows that this isn't mentioned more. All advice Bill Cody gives me is very welcome. However I think the best thing he ever advised me about was stocking minnows. FH are like the Gomers of the minnnow family. Not real smart and pretty slow. I stocked 10 lbs in my 1/4 ac pond and did'nt sort em. Got some CC hitch hikers that have reproduced and are now eating pretty large YP, SMB and make it tough ta ladder the HSB. I also way over stocked the HSB with 40. In about two weeks the HSB had almost eliminated the FH. Quickly caught 28 HSB and removed. Talked ta Bill about it and gave him a good laugh. He did advise me to stock BNM and SPS as they can escape predators much better than Gomers. The BNM reproduce the same as FH. The SFS spawn in crevices. Spawning structer for them can be easily made with CD discs and the plastic rings on milk jugs and powerade bottles as spacers. Every yr I have sooo many SFS that they never seem to diminish in #s.
Also, having some vegetion for hiding places is important. I planted Red Tip Eelgrass. It has worked very well.
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#502271 - 02/21/19 01:20 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 847
Loc: NW Kansas
wannapond0001, I was in a similar situation to you with your pond, late summer last year. When I finished and started filling I really was so excited about having my own pond I almost changed my stocking plans because the projected wait time was killing me.
Somehow my brain slowed down and the logical part took over telling me to stay with the original stocking plan of SMB, YP, RES and FHM with a few GSH.
I had 2-1/2 months of spawning FHM (fry showing up everywhere) before I stocked my yellow perch followed 2 weeks later with 2" SMB and 3" RES.
The only regret I have is I wish I would have done only the very limited number of 3-4" YP with the 30lbs of FHM and left it alone until spring 2019.
As it's been pointed out to me that my background in Fisheries management has been in existing fisheries and I've learned a LOT the last few months on NEW, FRESH ponds..
DON'T rush it, and BUILD a substantial forage base.
Forage is Key in my mind to absolute best results (obviously other things come in to play) but you don't get a do-over once the predators are stocked, at least not easily, or cheaply.
If I had one recommendation that makes the most sense to me would be to recommend you wait until fall to stock Predator at the earliest.
You could also stock some good numbers of BG at that time as well. The FHM will be so thick plenty of BG will survive to pull off a spawn early next summer.
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#502274 - 02/21/19 08:47 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
wannapond0001 Offline


Registered: 12/11/18
Posts: 184
Loc: Ohio
Snipe, thanks for your suggestions. I'm not sure the exact size of my pond, since I haven't really measured it. .10 acre is my guess. I can put enough minnows in there without building a large forage base over time since it is tiny. I'm planning on a small number of HSB only a month after stocking minnows. I can always add more minnows as needed. If I had a larger pond, yes building forage base would be my first concern.

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#502275 - 02/21/19 09:36 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1645
Loc: West Central Missouri
This is the way I see my small pond (1/4 acre) developing as far as minnow base is concerned...

The first year with only FHM's stocked, as mentioned, produced thousands and thousands of minnows. IT WAS RIDICULOUS!

The second year with 40 HSB, 500 HBG, 90 RES...the minnow population dropped considerably as the fish took advantage of the overabundance.

This next season (this year) should show a further reduction in minnow population as the HSB continue to pound the adult minnows and the panfish and their offspring focus on the smaller and YOY minnows.

I expect the minnows to go extinct in the next couple of years or at least become a non-significant resource. All good things come to an end. With some luck, the panfish YOY will be the forthcoming forage for the HSB and I really expect the pellet feeding volumes to increase significantly this year and into the next.

I guess my point is that the FHM forage base is at it's most valuable level right in the beginning and it will diminish from there. Any reasonable installations of minnows after stocking of game fish with a large enough mouth gape will result in an expensive "feeding of the fish". My 4-6" HSB were pigs and they made a big dent the first year. With only a few thousand FHM's to begin with (and stocked bass)...I don't see how they can build much of a base. They would go extinct much sooner than you would like. Of course, pellet feeding would substitute for the lack of natural forage.
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#502277 - 02/21/19 10:36 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 13145
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
A well fed 5"-6" HSB can gain 14-16 ounces (12"-14") in one full season for OH. I've done this with HSB grown in a cage. If eating primarily minnows, this means each HSB will eat 7-10 pounds of minnows. If you stock 10 HSB into the 0.1 ac, this means during the first season you will need around a total of 60-80 lbs of small fish to feed those 10 HSB. You better plan on feeding the HSB some pellets or have a cheap place to buy fatheads. When first stocking predators and minnows together you do not get optimum minnow reproduction because the females are openly exposed to predation while the males are mostly hidden in spawning areas. This means low numbers of females are available for spawning and minnow reproduction is significantly reduced.


Edited by Bill Cody (02/21/19 10:44 AM)
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#502284 - 02/21/19 03:21 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1645
Loc: West Central Missouri
Using the linked document on culturing FHM (very good doc BTW)...

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/fil...ining_video.pdf

to get...

a FHM lays 200 eggs on average ("Females release an average of 100 200 eggs per spawn, with larger females releasing 200 400"),

about every 5 days ("as often as every 2 days"),

and an approximation from my fish supplier...

3.5 pounds of adult FHM = 1000 fish where 500 are females...yields...

500 (females) X 200 (eggs) = 100,000 fry,

If the spawning season is 4 months long, this yields about 22 spawns per female.

22(spawns) X 100,000 (fry per spawn) = 2.2 million babies.

Then they grow...

2,200,000 (adult fish) X 3.5lb/1000 adults = 7700 pounds of fish!

SOMEBODY CHECK MY MATH!

If they all reached adulthood there would be almost 8000 pounds of forage...we know that they all can't survive even in a predator-less pond, but this calculation does not even include the fry that reach breeding age at 3 months. Anybody care to supply an estimated survival rate?????

Even if only 10% survive, that's still almost 800 pounds of forage...still seems a bit more than I would suspect, but that's how the numbers crunch. Maybe the original females do not last the summer and expire, but even if you cut the number in half, NO, cut it down to a 1/4 (which would be a 2.5% survival rate)...you still have produced 200 pounds of forage which equates to over 57,000 adult FHM's.

For crying out loud...for LMB, that's 20 pounds of growth in one summer just on minnows alone (I assume that 10 pounds of food equals one pound of growth rule o' thumb also applies to HSB).

Using my pond as a guide, I would say that the survival rate of the 3.5 pounds (that I stocked) of FHM's offspring yielded about 170 pounds of game-fish growth (0.2 pounds growth per panfish (600 panfish total) and 1.2 pounds growth per HSB(40 total)) which back calculates to 22% survival rate. I have ignored any bugs, tadpole, etc that wondered into the pond that could have contributed to the growth, but I have also ignored the consumption fry that grew to become food that would have also contributed to growth, maybe that equals out. No to mention the pond is still seeded a'plenty with the minnows, who know hoa many pound are still left.

Isn't math fun?...my heads spinning, somebody else take the wheel!

Anybody see any big holes in this mumbo jumbo?
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#504518 - 04/18/19 10:48 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Ibanez540r Offline


Registered: 06/25/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Medina, Ohio
Where in Ohio are you? I'm assuming you already know this and are located somewhere else but, HSB are restricted and unavailable anywhere in the Lake Erie watershed.

(I wanted some and recently found this out)

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#504519 - 04/18/19 11:01 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 115
Loc: Huron OH
Ibanez: Curious who told you that?

Before I stocked HSB, I called the Ohio State Wildlife Department to verify laws and regulations. I was told that unless it's in very close proximity to lake Erie or directly draining into the lake it is perfectly legal. I told him exactly where I was planning to stock the fish (an inland pond) and they reassured me it was perfectly legal to do so. I would think in Medina County you would be just fine.

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#504520 - 04/18/19 11:13 AM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 247
Loc: Missouri
I have a 1/2 acre pond with only FHM in it. I occasionally set my four cloverleaf traps made with 1/4" mesh and catch a half gallon (few thousand fish?) to toss in my bigger lake. Intend to use them for fishing bait too although that hasn't happened yet. Anyway I don't expect it to be a significant food supply for the big lake, just something fun to do.
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#504522 - 04/18/19 12:14 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2167
Loc: West Michigan
Red, you have a perfect setup for helping us understand how fish might travel in unusual ways, or even in 'impossible' ways into a body of water. You have a big pond (1/2 acre) with only one species in it FHM. You also have traps and can sample it.

Since most of us observe secluded bodies of water somehow have more than one specie in it, we end up speculating about how they got there. Many interesting theories and almost everyone feels that given a larger body of water, it must self-propogate with diverse species somehow. But does it?

It would be interesting for you to keep sampling it and see if you can maintain a FHM only pond for a month? 6 months? a year maybe?

Share your findings with us. of course if there is another pond close by (sounds like there is) and if there is any heavy rains or water travelling from one to the other then this controlled trial is not so controlled after all.

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#504523 - 04/18/19 12:15 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2167
Loc: West Michigan
I was hoping to hand dig a tiny forage puddle right next to my pond. But my forage pond would be small enough and for growing FHM and other minnows, (trying to establish mudmininows and other types of shiners) shallow enough that I wondered if I would have to put a cover or net over it to keep raccons or herons from emptying it?


Edited by canyoncreek (04/18/19 12:16 PM)

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#504532 - 04/18/19 01:42 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 3048
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
I discovered that Bull frogs will keep numbers of FHM's fry down. My sediment pond attracts bull frogs when raising fhm's. 14 bull frogs in a small sediment pond turned out to be a lot of frogs.
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#504534 - 04/18/19 02:01 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 247
Loc: Missouri
CC:

The FHM pond has made it a year now being exclusive FHM - at least as far as I can tell. This pond will be somewhat resistant to getting infected with other species due to its location on the side of a hill. Below is a photo of it taken July of 2017. Note in the background we have started piling trees to make way for my large pond. That pond does not drain into my minnow pond - in fact it got infected with BH, GSF and mosquito fish from deluges right as it was being finished from neighbors ponds upstream.

At the time of the photo, what is now my FHM pond was my poor attempt at a BG production pond. I had drained it in early in 2017, killed off lots of fish, then put in 55 adult BG. Hope was I would grow my own BG for the new pond. When draining in early 2018 it had lots of GSF mixed in with small BG. I had failed to get a complete killoff. Tough to sort, I gave up at 100 little BG. I did get 52 of my 55 big BG back though. I killed the hell out of the pond that time!, and stocked FHM spring of 2018.

Note when it was drained the second time, I used Oust XP herbicide on the mud and killed the lotus. It has 8 pallets in it for FHM breeding.

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#504551 - 04/18/19 07:32 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: Redonthehead]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 167
Loc: Central MO
Was curious, your FHM pond looks like it may be at an elevation high enough to drain into the future bigger pond, thats what I am pondering, building a forage pond above the main pond and let some minnows breed and proliferate then about once a year drain it into the big one for feeding purposes, just trapping enough minnows for breeding stock, pump it back full of water, or almost, and start the process over. wonder how that would work
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#504578 - 04/19/19 01:18 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: KRM1985]
Ibanez540r Offline


Registered: 06/25/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Medina, Ohio
Originally Posted By: KRM1985
Ibanez: Curious who told you that?

Before I stocked HSB, I called the Ohio State Wildlife Department to verify laws and regulations. I was told that unless it's in very close proximity to lake Erie or directly draining into the lake it is perfectly legal. I told him exactly where I was planning to stock the fish (an inland pond) and they reassured me it was perfectly legal to do so. I would think in Medina County you would be just fine.


Jones Fish, who I've used for all my stocking. Let me know who you use and if you have a problem.

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#504581 - 04/19/19 01:56 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: wannapond0001]
KRM1985 Offline


Registered: 08/22/17
Posts: 115
Loc: Huron OH
I used Fin Fish Farm, South of Toledo.. This was back in 2017.. I put 50 in and no problems with stocking them. Very fun addition to the pond..

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#504875 - 04/24/19 09:51 PM Re: Stocking pond with fathead minnows [Re: KRM1985]
Ibanez540r Offline


Registered: 06/25/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Medina, Ohio
I sent an email to Jones this afternoon about your info and being able to stock them. Waiting for a reply.

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