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#555808 02/23/23 05:44 PM
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Hi Pond Wizards
I have been reading the posts here for awhile, trying to get up my nerve to ask a few questions. It's obvious that many of you have vast knowledge and the fact that you're willing to share is so gracious. I live in southeast Louisiana. During Hurricane Ida, we had a tornado touch down and lost over 100 trees, mostly huge water oaks, enormous pines and a 257-yr-old massive live oak. It has been a heartbreaking and very expensive experience. To fill the gaping holes everywhere, we needed so much dirt that we decided to build a small pond. The pond is about 1/3 acre and only 5-6' deep, built in early October and full by early December. I love my pond! It's beautiful! But, I know so little about it. Our goal, besides reclaiming the land from Armageddon, is to have a place for our 3 yr old grandson to fish and family to just hang out. We are old as dirt, so we don't have a lot of time for fish to grow if we're going to enjoy catching a few. I have so many questions, but the primary one is how long do we need to wait to stock it? And, what's the best fish to stock for such a small pond? We did have them put two of the big oak stumps in the deep ends, if that info helps. Sorry to be so needy, but I will get there with your knowledge and patience. So grateful for any advice.

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Lol pittypat that is what some of my friends call me!! Welcome to the forum, there is an abundance of smart fish folks here that can give you some good info on your pond and what fish to put in it.

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Dubbul P, some of us have been around since dirt was created. You’ll fit in just fine. Especially as Grandparents.

The bottom lines on ponds are water quality and balance between predator and prey. That generally means start with about10 pounds of fathead minnows and about 300 or so small 2 to 3 inch bluegills. Float the fish, in bags for awhile, to let the water in the bags equal the ponds water temp. Then let them go. Feed a good small pellet fish food a couple of times per day. Don’t over feed; just what they will clean up in about 20 or so minutes. Keep feeding forever.


Give them a year to populate and then add some small 4 to 6 inch bass. About 100. After the first spawn, start keeping small bass to manage the balance. Otherwise, they can and will over eat their food supply. A predator needs groceries about 1/4 to 1/3 it’s length.

Put some cover like cedar trees in the pond to give cover for small fish. Don’t use oak. Oak has tanins that will discolor and poison the water. That means pumping the whole thing dry and starting over. Been there, done that.

Have fun. BTW, subscribe to Pond Boss magazine. Lusk and the other pros know what they are talking about.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Welcome!! If you'd like a fast growing pond, a simple stocking plan would be 20 pounds of Fathead minnow, 500 Coppernose if you add a feeder (300 if no feeder) 2-3" Bluegill, 100 Redear Sunfish at 1"+ all stocked ASAP this spring. This fall, stock 25 Largemouth bass at only 2" or an F1 hybrid. For added variety, you could also stock 20 pounds of Golden Shiner now, a 10 Hybrid Striped Bass this fall...You'll be catching some 2 pound bass by late next summer and over 4 pounds by summer 2025 (if using a feeder...(half to 1/3 those weights if no feeder) Avoid hybrid bream



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Remember that harvest is a big part of pond management, so after the first year and the first spawn, take out fish to eat. Definitely feed the fish. Get a Texas Hunter directional fish feeder and feed Optimal Fish feed. Start with the Optimal Junior feed, the 2nd year switch to Optimal Bluegill, the later part of the 2nd year start mixing Optimal Bluegill and Optimal Bass (not the bass hand throw) 50/50 in the feeder and watch the fish grow like crazy.

Here's some 2 1/2 year old Bluegill from a pond where he feeds Optimal. These were stocked at 1"-2.5" in length.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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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).
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I stocked 6" - 8" channel cats in my newly renovated 2.5 acre pond last April and by Fall they were up to 17" long. I was feeding them as well. I was amazed at how quickly they grew and how soon I could start harvesting them.

I also have bluegill, fathead minnows, largemouth and redear in there. The bluegill were eating fish food and growing fast as well.


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