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Josh, thanks for the update.

Are you saying no fish have been stocked as of yet? None?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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See if you can get 100 3"-5" Redear Sunfish, and if you can't get those get 100 Pumpkinseed Sunfish. They will eat snails in the pond, and the snails are a crucial part in the life cycle of white and yellow grubs and black spot disease (which really isn't a disease). https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wil...ldlife-diseases-in-indiana/fish-disease/

Don't let Dan talk you into stocking anything else and don't let him change your stocking numbers. DON'T stock Hybrid Bluegills either. The only thing I'd do if possible is increase the FHM numbers 2x or 3x, but first find out if they are farm raised or wild caught FHM. If wild caught, you should sort through them to make sure you have 100% fatheads and no bullheads, common carp, bluegill or other fish that you don't want to go in the pond. You only have one chance to do it right without having to push the reset button.

The FHM are the only things that the SMB will have to eat, and Dan's SMB aren't feed trained - at least none of the ones I've bought from him over the years have been pellet trained, no matter what he said............


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Thanks for coming back and updating us!

One thing I may have started. When we were communicating about fellow pond boss member and SMB spawning guru Ron C from Michigan I missed that his last name was Crismon and not Crimson. I see in the above posts it is still Crimson and I wanted others to catch the difference. Hopefully Ron C comes back and keeps us posted on the great things he does at his ponds. I know he dug some more ponds this fall I believe for forage so we'll have to see how things go for him this spring.

He would be a good place to get fish which would be a bit closer to you than Laggis.

If you find a way to get pumpkinseed for sure get them. Outside of catching them in a few local lakes I don't know another place around SW or Central MI that advertises that they sell them.

If you find a source for RES let me know please! I tried to get RES established but only could source a small number and although they were recaught the next summer they never were seen after that so they may have not survived the next winter.

Where I am RES are not likely to overwinter very well but there are several good MI DNR papers where lakes in central lower MI had successful stocking of RES and they survived. With more mild winters lately I'd love to try again. I almost feel like our winter is over here and they say the Great Lakes have peaked on ice and it will be less ice form here on out which seems impossible but so it goes.

I started with 100 stockers from Laggis and they were great YP with good genetics and they survived very well in my small pond.

Share pictures if you can figure out how to resize to 2mb or less and use the upload manager to attach them.

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If you haven't added fatheads yet, I would be adding them now (assuming you are very confident at identifying them) by the dozen from bait stores, and then 20-40 lbs of adults as soon as available to you.

I would maybe add a small amount of predator fish in the Fall '24, followed by another predator stocking of greater numbers in Spring '25.

I would label Yellow Perch as more of a predator fish early on in this example.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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Sunil- Nothing has been stocked at all yet. So you are saying add 20-40lbs of fatheads now? I didn’t know if they would spawn in temps this low and I figure I would just lose more with the low temps than it’s worth. I guess they would live in the cold water just like any other northern fish- not sure what my thought process was there. They are farmed raised.

Canyon creek there is a lake not to far from me that supposedly has res in it according to a link that I saw last year. I might try to catch some this spring/summer if I can find the time.

Esshup- you said don’t let dan change your numbers. Do you think what I have planned is good # then? 100 perch/25 sm. Should I stock as soon as they are available?

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Would anyone happen to know conversion of pounds to gallons when it comes to fhm? Where I get them it would be by the gallon. I would guess similar to water. 8lbs/gallon so 4-5gallons of them

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Josh, for now, and this is just me, I would be going to bait stores and buying dozens of fathead minnows to stock in the pond (again, making certain that you know what a fathead is, and can tell if they are not fatheads). This is because of the joy of stocking fish.

Then, in a few months, when you can source 20-40 lbs of adult fatheads, I would do that too.

When the water temps get close to 70 degrees, all the fatheads should start spawning, about every 2 weeks. I'd let this happen all summer long without any predator fish.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Josh, yes, your numbers look good. JKB posted here on the forum a few years ago the conversion from gallon to pound that EWEST had posted previously. Here is that thread: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=210910

Cliff notes are:
FHM sizes & #/gal and #/lb
Small 5920/gallon 740/pound
Medium 2400/gallon 300/pound
large 1200/gallon 150/pound



CC, I typically drive to Byron Center to give a guy 30-40 pounds of Tilapia every May. I usually have RES by then. I can only source Pumpkinseeds by catching them. The plan is to dig a small pond to raise them, but I first need to get permission from the county to do so. I can dig a pond without permission for personal use, but have to get permission to sell fish that are raised in it. The county says that they have to do a zoning variance..............

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/02/24 01:56 PM.

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Esshup- I was looking for tilapia around here. I’m prob won’t do this spring but can you get more when you come up this way if I were ever interested? I think CC was possibly looking for them too.

I might be interested in some RES this year too.

And thanks for that lbs/gallon link exactly what I was looking for!

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So my minnow guy is going to get me a gallon or 2 of fhm to put in now. He also said he has some emerald shiners to get rid of if I wanted any. I was doing some reading on here that if they are true emerald shiners(seem fairly easy to identify from one of bills posts) then chances are that they will not reproduce and will not get bigger than 4-5inches. Would you be concerned about putting them in with no predator fish? I know if they are GSH they would prob grow to big to be eaten once I get my predators in.

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Not an expert here but if they turned out to be GSH instead of Emeralds would a recurring spawn of GSH to keep the food chain active with minnows be a bad thing?

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GSH are a pretty valuable addition to a pond, but in my opinion, there are many pluses and minuses that should be understood before stocking them.

If I were Josh, I'd go only with fatheads right now.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
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I am having 4gallons of fatheads and 1 gallon of emerald shiners dropped off today. I won’t be home to sort thru them but he says they are true emeralds and all farm raised fatheads.

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Somewhere online I saw a chart that had the various lenth/size of FHM and then a correlating number of fish per pound. Usually it is somewhere between 200 and 300 FHM per pound. Of course with a empty pond it is easier to pay for less up front and let them have 2-3 spawning cycles over the course of a summer. With lots of spawning substrate (flat floating objects that they can lay eggs to the underside) you will have exponential growth with no more money out of your pocket.

Bill Cody wrote this reply to someone about in your same situation.

======As usual it ALL DEPENDS. It depends on how big the FHM are. Huge numbers/lb if they are hatchlings not so many if they are old breeders, which in the north, in the spring, most sold are older fish of 2.2"-3" usually 250 to 150/lb depending on FHM length. Plan on 200-250 per lb. In the fall new crop FHM are usually somewhat smaller 1.7-2.2" and 350-250/lb,

If you are going to stock FHM in spring in a new pond with just YP fingerlings 3"-4" plan on at least 8-10 lb per acre. Fingerling YP will not eat adult FHM until the YP get 6"-9"; depending on if YP are 'on pellets' and if YOY FHM are present. YP if given a choice at 6"-9" prefer the 1"-1.5" minnow. If you stock some YP at 4"-6" or 6"-8" add a few more FHM to allow for predation. Without significant submerged weed cover FHM will usually not thrive more than 2-3 yrs with soley YP as predators, shorter time if other predators are present.

It would be good if you can also establish a 2nd or 3rd prey item because FHM will not last long in a pond with YP And SMB. One way to maintain forage fish longer is to keep the YP and SMB at lower numbers thus they do not consume as many fish. Or if you can use pellet trained YP and feed them pellets that also helps reduce the predatory pressure on the FHM. Crayfish with rock piles are a good food item to stock early before SMB are adults. Some marginal or submerged weeds (10%-25%) can be beneficial as cover and extending the life span for small forage fish.

Establishing golden shiners is another possibility, although I am not a big fan of GSH if 'bobber fishing' is planned. Larger GSH are bait stealers and a nuisance. I have seen in some ponds where YP, SMB and a few HBG work okay esp if pellets are fed. Establish YP & HBG in spring and SMB in fall or the next year.

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See if you can get pictures of the emerald shiners including a good closeup with the fins outstretched on a light background. Would be ideal to help us see what type they are. How did you get someone to drop off/deliver? I would love to source emerald shiners so eager to hear (private message me if you prefer)

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BC on Emerald Shiners

I didn't know what Emerald Shiners were so I put Google to the task of helping me learn a little. Interestingly, I bumped into the above in my search.

Unless something has changed, or somebody has unlocked the magic of making these guys spawn in ponds.....

Food for thought...


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Here’s one pic. I can’t get the other to load. I was in a hurry tonight so I just found a dead one stuck in the ice and snapped a quick pic. I could see a few shiners and fatheads swimming around under the ice. I’ll see if I can get a better pic and check the anal fin tomorrow after reading one of bills old posts. Said emeralds should have 11 anal fins.

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Yeah I was aware they prob wouldn’t spawn, but they were extremely cheap so I figured I’d put some in and if they survive it will just give some additional food once I stock.

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They do have 11 anal fins. So I believe they are emeralds. Couldn’t get a close up with the fins stretched out

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If you figure out a way to keep the water moving in one area you might be able to encourage them to make babies!!

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Minnows in the pictures look like emerald shiner to me. Notice the large eye and somewhat larger scales. You should know by next September if the emeralds spawned. Young of year(YOY) should be 1.5" long and easy to tell if they are emerald or fatheads.

One gallon of FHM would have been enough to populate your 0.4 -0.5 ac if you have good spawning habitat and don't put in the SMB predators until fall. Laggis Perch (4"=6") are okay to stock in April or May. Feed the high quality pellets and those YP could be 8"-10" by October.

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Thanks for confirming Bill! I actually only ended up with .4 acre pond. I had planned to stock yp and sm this spring. Do you think that will be ok? I actually had about 4.5gallons of fatheads and 1 lbs of emeral shiners put in earlier this week. I could prob get more fhm this spring when I stock if needed. I would also like to put in crayfish as well. Seems like the best place for those was to have them shipped out of NY(I’ll have to find the company name again). Should I stock those after the predators or before? I won’t have any plants or anything established yet either.

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We were typing at the same time. Reread my prior post. You don't need any more FHM. I don't think Laggis will have any SMB this spring - sells out in fall.

If you decide to get some NY crayfish you won't need very many (50-200) to get them established if you have some decent rocky cover / habitat. The crays will eat the FA growing on the rocky areas.

If you feed pellets to the YP from Laggis they will not eat very many FHM and you will be amazed how many FHM you have by Fall without SMB to eat them. Laggis' YP come from a very good Ohio grower with premium YP where I get my YP. Often I am there when Laggis is or was just there in late March. If you feed the YP very good pellets some will grow to 13"-14" with a few 15" if you don't eat them first.

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The caveat to stocking crayfish before getting any plants established in the pond is that it will be very difficult to get plants established in the pond once the crayfish are in there. My advice is to stock the number of them that Bill recommended, BUT do whatever you can do to get underwater plants established this late Spring, and stock the crays in the early Fall.


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Originally Posted by esshup
The caveat to stocking crayfish before getting any plants established in the pond is that it will be very difficult to get plants established in the pond once the crayfish are in there. My advice is to stock the number of them that Bill recommended, BUT do whatever you can do to get underwater plants established this late Spring, and stock the crays in the early Fall.

I have this exact problem with my pond. Stocked crays before plants were established, coupled with a decent amount of rocky cover, now I can't get plants to grow. cry

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