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My 4th pond is complete, and assuming it holds water, I am hoping to stock it with something different than the other 3. Pond 1 is your standard Midwest pond with BG, RES, and LMB. Pond 2 has YP, RES, and SMB. Pond 3 will have CC and black crappie. This pond will be a bit over 1/4 acre and have an additional 1/4 of deep wetland (3-5' deep). Looking for something a bit different for this one, but species that can be obtained in Indiana (my quest for blue catfish for my 3rd pond was not successful). Thought about chain pickerel, but cannot find a source. Only interested in species that will spawn in the pond. Ideas are appreciated.

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Is something crazy an option?

Do fed fish in private ponds count as state records in Indiana?

I would do something fun for kids/grandkids. Female-only LMB pond and try to get one of the kids to catch a state record. Or monster HBG that are good for a family fish fry when it is time to cull the big ones.

I love eating crappie. Could you very carefully sex your crappie during the spawn in Pond 3 and have a single-sex crappie pond. I think 3# crappie would be fun to catch and eat! You could chain stock them and work on the management that way rather than have species that will spawn in the pond.

Good post topic, I can't wait to read the replies on this one!

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All sound like fun ideas, but I am looking for a stocking that will spawn. I also only feed for entertainment (watching the fish feed).

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Pickerel would be cool. It seems like you have most other species covered. How do you feel about (common) carp? Probably can't source them, but you can bucket stock some to get them started. Trying to think of native Indiana fish that will spawn that you don't already have in your other 3 ponds... Walleye maybe? But then again, I think Walleye have issues spawning in a pond iirc.

Last edited by Steve_; 08/25/21 06:46 PM.

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Carp are really not an option since I prefer North American natives. I grew up catching chain pickerel so they have nostalgic value to me. Maybe grass pickerel? My ponds overflow to a local impaired creek, so I would like to stock fish that could help this creek out.

Last edited by RAH; 08/25/21 07:06 PM.
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Originally Posted by RAH
Carp are really not an option since I prefer North American natives. I grew up catching chain pickerel so they have nostalgic value to me. Maybe grass pickerel? My ponds overflow to a local impaired creek, so I would like to stock fish that could help this creek out.

Same here, regarding the pickerel. I'm from upstate NY and we'd always catch them while bass fishing, though, they were considered a trash fish and a nuisance. When I was around 13-14, I remember the local bait shop would always give out prizes for all the biggest fish each year per species, and my 4+ pound chain pickerel caught on a live FHM won that year. I've never seen or heard of a fish hatchery that has any of the pickerel species, but I think that it would be an awesome idea!


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Sourcing pumpkinseed sunfish in Indiana is also problematic.

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Golden Shiners and Walleye?


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Walleye are unlikely to spawn in a small pond. I have golden shiners in my YP/SMB pond and hope to move some breeders to my LMB/BG pond.

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How about you tell us what you can source. Maybe it will be easer for you to narrow down then also. Myself I would think muskies would be cool. Not sure how far south they can live or be sourced. Or if they spawn in a pond just think they would be cool.


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
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Originally Posted by RAH
My ponds overflow to a local impaired creek, so I would like to stock fish that could help this creek out.

Are you allowed to bucket stock from creeks, reservoirs, and/or neighbor's private ponds in Indiana?

It sounds like most of your fish preferences are not available from the local commercial stockers.

If your main goal is to raise and feed fish AND help the local creek ecosystem, then I would recommend surveying what is in your impaired creek and what is in the nearest comparable healthy creek. Once you establish the greatest "needs" of your creek, then you can work on improving that aspect.

The "need" may be as simple as helping to re-establish the native populations after a severe drought year. If it is a local shiner, green sunfish, spotted bass creek, then you could run that combo in your pond. It certainly would not be typical for a Pond Boss recommendation, but you could help re-establish viable breeding populations in your stream much more quickly than just nature alone could do it.

Of course, legality is a big issue on my recommendations. You probably need to confirm any plans with a reliable source. If you do know a good Fish & Game person, you could ask them about stream rehabilitations for more ideas for your pond project. Partners are always better than antagonists.

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We can legally bucket stock in Indiana with native species. We have lots of green sunfish in the creeks, so that is no issue and I will try to avoid them in my ponds. My neighbor saw a SMB in the impaired creek for the first time this year in over a decade, which I credit with flow-through from my SMB pond. I know that there are species that I could catch and release in my ponds, but time is the issue with so many other projects on my property. If we get another drought, I have another wetland project to tackle next year. Love this kinda thing! Have not really fished recreationally in many years, so maybe I need to do a bit more of that and see what I can legally catch (size limits) for my ponds. I need to catch some brooder GSH from my SMB pond and move some to my LMB pond as well.

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Uh I mean you can always have a huge koi pond smile

Or maybe try to get the worlds biggest BG growing, with some HSB to keep em under control.
Sounds like the wetland area would make em very happy for that part of the year.
Sounds also good for growing out craws to move into your main ponds.

Another alternative would be to check around and see if theres anything the baitfish market needs and have your 4th pond be a small money maker to offset costs of the other ponds :p


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless


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Originally Posted by RAH
Carp are really not an option since I prefer North American natives. I grew up catching chain pickerel so they have nostalgic value to me. Maybe grass pickerel? My ponds overflow to a local impaired creek, so I would like to stock fish that could help this creek out.

I think either pickerel would be fun and your earlier thoughts about combining them with pumpkinseed or RES sounds very reasonable to me.

The grass pickerel might be a little more difficult to balance. It does serve as apex predator in some biomes. If you were to go with it you should select a prey mix that would balance well with it. Some of the smaller lepomis might match well with it. For example, orange spotted sunfish or LES. With the grass pickerel I think you want prey that grows slowly after sexual maturity and that reach adulthood in their first year of life. A shorter life span of the prey might be a plus too. The grass pickerel would infrequently live past 5 years of age.

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=383
https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=388

Some minnows to consider:

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=520

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=690

There are probably others RAH that might be local and colorful additions. I'm not very familiar with your neck of the woods ... I wish I could be more help than this.


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


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Well, now we know what to do.


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I like CityDad's idea of having HSB, but they're unlikely to spawn in a pond, if that's a deal-breaker for you. I really wish I could send you some Blue Cats. That's my goal for the spring, is to have Blue Cat fingerlings. If I succeed, and you still want them, you'll be getting a free shipment from me.


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Steve - Now I need to hold off longer on the CC and black crappie - LOL. Well worth the wait. Have a great weekend!


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