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How many to take out pond
#532637 03/22/21 04:07 PM
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Have a 1/4 acre pond 15 foot deep been here for 30 years haven't had fish in for years 2 years ago I stocked 40 3 inch channel cats some died 10 Large mouth bass fingerlings I stocked 25 red ear 3 inch and 25 bluegil 3to5 inchs I fished last year never kept any nice fat bass n sun fish was growing good all the fish had successfully spawn as I have a pond full of fingerling and smaller fish. This being the 3rd year can start keeping correct? I really just want a good pond of keeper size gills and bass n cats that I can eat off throughout the year so how do I no what and how many of each to keep and what to throw back? I don't feed any fish the pond is aerated by wind mill

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532641 03/22/21 04:41 PM
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Start to carefully measure the length, weight, and species you catch by angling. Over time, that should tell you something. Also you could seine or even cast net for more fish to survey. Don't wait until summer, because often the largest fish will drop down out of range to keep cool then.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 185



Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532642 03/22/21 05:00 PM
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I've had guys tell me that bass will over eat a 1/4 acre pond and I should immediately start calling all lmb under 12 inchs?

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532644 03/22/21 05:24 PM
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Stokerace4, you need a real fisheries expert to weigh in on that question. Just speaking off the cuff, if you notice that your catfish and LMB aren't growing fast & tend to run skinny, especially during spawning season, it may be smart to harvest. Leave the fattest & biggest, of course.

But the experts will likely give you better advice, that's just what I'd do.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 185



Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532645 03/22/21 05:33 PM
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I haven't caught any fish since last September but when I did the bass very very fat like lil hogs bluegill and cats seemed fine also

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532646 03/22/21 05:49 PM
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You didn't mention what your goals are. Whether to grow big bass or big bluegill. Your bow is on the path most go naturally where BG tend to be large and the LMB tend to be overcrowded. There is another path your BOW could go if you thin your Bass relentlessly. You could grow a couple very large ones and few others larger than 1 lbs. You wouldn't have a whole lot of LMB to fish for under such an arrangement but they would be larger.

The easier path is to allow nature to take its course and have highly abundant LMB that tend to stall 10 - 12" in length at several years of age. Under this scenario you would grow large BG. The fishing would tend to be very memorable for BG as they can get large under this scenario. The LMB are also essentially panfish under this scenario tending to be lean and also tending to be aggressive with small lures. These kind of ponds are fun to fish with fly rods and they are easy to harvest because most of the pond's fish are concentrated in fish that are large enough to keep.

It's up to you which direction you want to take it. Take your pick and enjoy smile


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532648 03/22/21 05:55 PM
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Yes I did state what my goal is my goal is to just have good eating size fish throughout the summer since I put in so many channel cats do you think their possible they would spawn also?

Last edited by Strokerace48; 03/22/21 06:05 PM.
Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532650 03/22/21 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Strokerace48
Yes I did state what my goal is my goal is to just have good eating size fish throughout the summer

Sounds like you will achieve your goal simply by letting nature take its course. You could hand feed fish chow if you wanted to step up harvest, particularly the BG and catfish, but that's not necessary unless you plan to eat a LOT of fish. Best of luck!


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206, 7k TFS,100#TP 5/21, 185



Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532651 03/22/21 06:18 PM
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1/4 acre can be tough to manage in one direction- as variables change, so does the fishery and it takes a pretty stiff stance in the other direction to correct it.
I would lean heavily in agreeing with jpsdad.. Bass are going to clean house on the numbers but what does get through for BG will be very nice fish. A 10" bass has a fair amount of meat and I think they will have plenty of food up until that 8-9" range where they won't be able to sustain growth anymore. That will change a bit each year as the number of hatch changes and how each YOY class handles the numbers of each other.

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532652 03/22/21 06:27 PM
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So what I'm hearing is I should just fish what I want want but would be able to take more bass then other fish good to me large mouth is my favorite fish to eat

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532653 03/22/21 06:37 PM
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Then to do this sustainably the easy way ... go for option two and do the opposite of what has been recommended to you. Instead of harvesting LMB < 12" Harvest the one's over 12" but not until you observe the original stockers too begin losing RW or to have attained lengths >16". You mentioned that your original stockers are fat and that you had a very good spawn of LMB. That spawn will intercept the number of BG making it to sizes that your large LMB need. Once you have a good population of LMB in 6" to 12" lengths, the BOW should take care of itself producing nice BG and small bass. Limit yourself to 5 or 6 lbs of LMB annually and 15 lbs of BG. Take all the CC you care to eat and do not release any > 18" in length. By stocking CC you can expand the harvestable catch but you want to be careful that you don't have big CC predators undermining the small LMB. If they thin the LMB below a critical standing weight, you will lose the fast growing BG because their won't be enough predation of BG at the smaller sizes. CC can become difficult to catch after release so keep them. You could easily grow 15 to 30 lbs of them annually tripling your harvest but you need to fish for them and get them out as grow larger than 1 lb.

You may need to tweek it but that's good starting place to maximize the number catchable fish you can keep.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532654 03/22/21 06:42 PM
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The channel cats won't spawn will they I have to restock correct?

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532656 03/22/21 06:47 PM
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CC can spawn in a pond. Often the LMB eat all the small CC offspring. Keep watching and posting results. Don't harvest your few original first stocked fish other than CC.
















Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532661 03/22/21 07:57 PM
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So if I want catfish to harvest yearly I need to stock yearly

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532662 03/22/21 08:03 PM
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I have a 6 acre pond that I have blue and channel cats and haven’t seen any young cats as of yet(7 years) if you remove some probably have to add more to replace them

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532664 03/22/21 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Strokerace48
So if I want catfish to harvest yearly I need to stock yearly
More than likely, yes..

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532668 03/22/21 10:53 PM
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So since I have to restock cats yearly do I have to get larger ones to put in so my lmb don't wipe em out the smallest they sell is 4to6 inch

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532674 03/23/21 12:12 AM
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CC are cavity nesters. So, without having a barrel in there for them to spawn in, or a steep bank that is relatively stable so they can hollow out a cavity, they most likely won't reproduce in the pond. CC are cheap to stock, if you can stock 12" fish in the Spring and you feed them, they can be 18" by the Fall.

With the pond aerated with a windmill, watch so that the fish population doesn't get too high. Windmills tend to stop aerating just when the pond needs it the most.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532684 03/23/21 07:56 AM
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Last year I also stocked tilapia to control weed and algea without chemicals will that hurt my current fish population?

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532686 03/23/21 09:14 AM
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I would think you could grow some tilapia too but there will be interactions. I'm not sure how this plays into option 2. I am interested in the thoughts and experience of others.

If there are risks, this would probably be that TP YOY might compete with BG YOY and LMB YOY should resources they exploit overlap. Usually TP benefit large bass but don't nearly so much for young bass as they quickly grow through their preferred window of prey size.

On the other hand, if you stocked say 50 6" males, they could reach 1.5 lbs each by fall (75 lbs annually 300 lbs/acre-year) where there would be no TP YOY interactions. Another option would be to raise some smaller fingerlings in a cage until you could release to the pond at a size enough to have acceptable survival. Their offspring would have little impact on the BG as it would be very late in the season or maybe not at all.

This is one of those things that falls into the "it depends" category where depending on the treatment different influence can be expected. That said, I would encourage the use of TP where you have minimized the potential risks. The benefits could be additional harvest and better water quality.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/23/21 09:21 AM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532692 03/23/21 10:15 AM
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I was thinking adding just 2 pounds of tilapia they will die when water Temps reach 48 and I was thinking adding 4to6 inch channel cats but will the larger bass eat the channel cats or not mess with them since their so many fingerling already there

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532695 03/23/21 10:50 AM
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That stocking rate of TP probably won't have adverse affects. I would stock larger channels though. I would lean toward the size esshup recommended if you can find them. >9" at least. A catfish that goes from 12" to 18" more than triples in weight and produces really great filets. A 4" to 6" will just breach a pound in one season and will be vulnerable to 12" LMB at the time of stocking.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/23/21 10:51 AM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532724 03/23/21 07:03 PM
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Do channel cats effect the growth of bass and bluegil I roughly have 30 to 40 channel cats left in the pond from 3 years ago from the original stocking if they do effect the growth of my bluegill and bass I would have no problem fishing them out and leaving them out of the mix Completely thoughts?

Re: How many to take out pond
Strokerace48 #532726 03/23/21 07:18 PM
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They "can" if they start stirring the water by dropping visibility and the effectiveness of the sight feeding bass and BG.
CC will eat an occasional bass and BG also, depends on what else is in the pond.
If they are getting up into that 20" range they become more of a factor.

Re: How many to take out pond
Snipe #532727 03/23/21 07:44 PM
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Pond been there for 30 years so has everything in it but only fish for 3 years I will consider fishing the channel cats out n leaving them out

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