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I want to stock my 3 acre pond in Virginia with Hybrid Striper. It has an existing LMB population, starting over is not an option. What stocking rate do you guys recommend? The only source I have typically only has 4-6" fish, maybe 6-8". Obviously predation will be high by the existing LMB, despite the hatchery guy claims it to be a low percentage because how fast the hybrids are and that they are an open water fish. Do you agree with that at all? Can i compensate for the small size of the fish with numbers to combat the predation by my LMB? I do have an automatic feeder. How many fish/acre would you stock?

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I can't answer your stocking rate question. What I can comment is that my stocked hybrids are staying on the feeders. These went in about mid May. I like to throw a cast net on fish busting the feed and usually I'll get several HSB in the nets. There are shiners, LMBs, and bluegills on the feeders too of course.

Now my pond is only two years old (8 acres w/ 3 feeders) so the LMBs are nearing a 13-14" average size while the hybrids are 6 to 7" avg size so maybe just out of the LMB's reach.

Just thinking that in your situation the hybrids might be easier prey if drawn to the lone feeder, where likely some LMB are hanging out.

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Out of curiosity, what did fish supplier recommend?

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About 15 years ago I stocked 50 HSB (juveniles about the size you contemplate) in a 2/3 acre pond with an existing, healthy LMB population. Perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of them survived predation.


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I added 20 to 30 larger ones to a 2 acre pond several years ago. I don't have feeders but would occasionally hand feed. The HSB were definitely over represented when feeding. My overall impression was that they did not thrive at all on natural forage. If you want to grow them they need to be heavily fed.

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Not that I am all that with stocking experience, but I doubt you can stock too many HSB with your current pond environment, within a reasonable budget, of course. This general statement assumes that your pond is not pushing its holding capacity now.

How many smaller HSB start to push your wallet?

The HSB should help with LMB populations, are definitely fast, and very much stay mostly in deeper waters. I, almost never, probably never see HSB hitting the shores for food. The dozen or so that I have left in my pond feed on pellets and eat the smaller fish that peck the feed at the surface. All of this HSB feeding takes place out above the deepest part of my 1/4 acre pond (10 foot). My pond is small yet the 10 foot depths constitute about 1/3 to half the pond bottom (steep sides). Rarely do I see them hit in anything less than 6 foot deep waters.

You can compensate with a higher stocking of smaller fish to fight predation. My guess would be triple the number of what you might stock at 12 inches or larger and see what progresses. My original HSB went in at the 4" to 6" range, at 40 total for my fishless small pond, along with several hundred HBG, a fair amount of FHM, and some RES. The HSB took to feed slowly but decent and in one year were about a pound and gained a pound every year for the next few years. They proabably feed mostly on the FHM when I was not watching. They went in the pond in '17, IRC, and have stopped gaining weight in the last couple years. I suspect due to age as the pond is still pretty full of forage. Point is, stock high numbers of smaller ones and you should see larger HSB at the feeder within a year, given survival.

If it were me, I'd source 10-12" HSB and throw in 100 to 200 this fall or better yet early next spring.

I get my ladder stocked HSB at 10-12" from Harrison Fishery. (46074 Lassofish St, Hurdland, MO 63547). They might be able to reach to your area. Many fisheries share truck deliveries with each other and will pick up and drop off for each other.


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He recommended 30/acre to try them out. Seemed low to me, but thats what our state does with the same size fish, but on much larger bodies of water. I would think predation would be much higher on smaller ponds.

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Budget is not that much of a factor. It is much easier for me to go with the smaller fish and play the numbers game though. It seems like the math still works out in my favor once i start looking at delivery fees, considering i can pick up the smaller fish. Was just curious as to how many I should buy to compensate for predation/survival rates.

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Originally Posted by Abaggs
Budget is not that much of a factor. It is much easier for me to go with the smaller fish and play the numbers game though. It seems like the math still works out in my favor once i start looking at delivery fees, considering i can pick up the smaller fish. Was just curious as to how many I should buy to compensate for predation/survival rates.


Just remember when you pick them up, how many to put in each transport container. Smaller fish need more O2 than larger fish given the same weight of fish in a given container. i.e. a 20 gal container that has 10 fish @ 1# each needs less O2 than a 20 gal container that has 200 fish that weigh 10# total. Be VERY aware of the water temp in the 10 ac pond vs. the transport water. You want the water to be within 5°F of each other at a maximum, the same water temp is much better. With HSB, I wouldn't change the water temp faster than 5°F per half hour, so plan ahead to make sure that there is plenty of O2 for the fish.

Depending on the size of the predator fish in the pond and the stocked fish, you could see 30% or more predation, and the more comes into play the more stressed the small HSB are. The more stressed they are, the slower they will move and the easier they are caught by the LMB.

In your situation, I'd stock the biggest HSB that were available to minimize predation.


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From the archive thread on HSB

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92629#Post92629

Here is the data and the lost long Bruce/George HSB thread with ladder stocking.


Bruce :

I'd estimate risk of predation from largemouth as follows:

5 inch wiper--80% over one year in presence of LMB
6 inch wiper--65% over one year in presence of LMB
7 inch wiper--45% over one year in presence of LMB
8 inch wiper--15% over one year in presence of LMB
9 inch wiper--negligible mortality.

Last edited by ewest; 07/25/23 12:38 PM.















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excellent information! Thanks! Is there a chart like this for predation of existing LMB on similar size LMB fingerlings? I want to add some more pellet trained F1s as well.

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Look up the threads on habituation - which you should use if you stock small fingerling fish into a pond with grown predators.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=536404#Post536404

Last edited by ewest; 07/27/23 01:39 PM.















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Ewest:

How do you ensure that there are no predators behind the blocking net when it's deployed? How do you ensure that no predators can swim under the blocking net?


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