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I am a new first time pond owner, I subscribed to PB magazine this week and I just registered on this forum.

My pond is brand new, just completed about 3 weeks ago in SE Ohio (Gallia County). The pond was created in a wooded valley in front of a location we cleared to build a house in 2 years. The pond is ~6/10 of an acre(~150' wide at the dam x ~170 feet long) and 18' deep at the dam backing up into shallower fingers on the far end. It has some nice character to it. The pond is very well built and in a heavy clay area with a very high clay content used to line the pond and to build the dam. I am confident with this aspect of the project so far.

We have not had much rain but it is fed by a couple of springs and there was about 3' of water in it last weekend when I was there. I have started to add structure and plan to go back Memorial weekend to complete that work from information I found on this forum. I have read that heavy clay content can cause muddy/ cloudy water, I hope the springs will help clear the water.

My starting questions are:

How much water should be in the pond before I stock it with fish? Do I need to wait until it is full of water or wait for it to "settle out" before adding fish?

Marlows Fish Hatchery is about an hour from my land, if anyone has any feedback on this hatchery and using them as my source of fish I would appreciate it.

Their recommendation (from the web site) for first stocking of a 1/2 acre pond in SE Ohio is:

1/2 acre pond
50 LM Bass
250 Bluegill
50 Channel Catfish
50 Red ear
10 lb. Minnows

From what I have read on this forum, this seems to be a reasonable starting point, comments on this recommendation or modifications to it would be appreciated also.

I will have more questions once I get advice on this first set of questions for my new pond.

Thanks, Chris




Last edited by Chris SE Ohio; 05/08/10 06:29 PM.

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First off Chris... Welcome to the forum!

Stocking numbers are all about your goals. What do you want from this pond? Most people with ponds in that size range tend to focus on growing larger sunfish(bluegills, redears) as opposed to bass. Growing large bass in a 0.6 acre pond generally means there aren't many bass, they're hard as heck to catch which leads to a lot of hours of not catching fish. However, focusing on growing large sunfish means lots of 8"-12" hungry bass and many nice sized sunfish. A very reasonable goal for a pond your size... As far as channel cats go, research them on here but I think you will find, most guys wish they didn't stock them to begin with or wished they had stocked a lot less of them. I would only stock them if you really want them and then only the number you will eat annually...

Oh yeah, stocking some fatheads now can't hurt... I'd wait til the pond is at least half full before stocking anything else. As far as when to stock different fish, let's see what your goals are first...

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First and foremost I want a pond for general enjoyment, visually attractive and to provide an enhanced environment for all wildlife in the area. I would like very much to be able to fish the pond and catch a variety of healthy fish. I am not looking for trophy class fish, just fish that are healthy, fun to catch and allow us to have a meal of fish from time to time over the years. I would like to have bass and sunfish but I am not dead set on having catfish, I thought they were a normal part of a healthy pond, appears from your comments that they are not "required" for a healthy pond.

We built the pond now to allow it to fill and for us to start to get fish established ahead of building our house on the property in 2012. We have 77 hilly acres that are 100% woods and had to clear a site for the driveway, house site and for this pond. All that excavation work just completed, now I am focusing on the proper steps to a healthy pond.


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To me it sounds like you'd like a nice balance... Do you have electricity near the pond? Are you willing the aerate and feed the fish? These are big factors in what and how much to stock as well.

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For the next 2 years, we will not have electricity. We also live 4 hours away. After we build and live there in 2 years, I am willing to aerate and feed the fish.


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I agree with the route that CJ is taking. Just waiting for the next installment!

I just fished a 7 ac pond that had LMB, CNBG and CC. It seems that the CNBG are sorely absent in the pond now as to compared to a year ago. Dunno if that's caused by finny predators, feathered predators or if they were bedding and not eating. BUT, the CC in this pond are absolute bullys. Once the feeder goes off, they start heading for the pellets. The few CNBG that get a couple pellets are shoved out of the way by the CC. I had one CC on the line for about 5 minutes, and in doing so, all the rest of the CC disappeared. The hook pulled out, and it took a good 20 minutes for the CC to show back up, but they were a good 150' from shore, and if I cast in their direction just the bait hitting the water spooked them and they were gone.

I have CC in my pond and will be fishing them out this year. Unless you really want them to eat, I wouldn't put them in the pond.


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Chris, Welcome to the forum. My pond is similar in many ways to yours except i dug mine about 2 years ago. I did not stock anything until this january. I am very happy with my pond...with one exception. If i had to do it over i would have bought and stocked fhm/gambusa minnows as soon as water started showing up. I have a so-so pretty good base of these but it could have been MUCH better had i known to stock them first thing. I have a small infestation of water bugs that most likely would have not been there if i had stocked earlier. But most of all, the more fhm/gambusa there is in the pond, well it is just better for the entire pond as a whole. I wish there had been a million minnows in there before i stocked my bg and res. I had plenty of time to have accomplished it , just didnt know i needed to do it. I highly recommend you do stock minnows now and wait till you can practially walk across the pond on their backs before you put anything else in. Your pond will be the better for it.

Last edited by rcn11thacr; 05/09/10 07:32 AM.

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Thanks everyone for the replies, this is what it is all about, sharing information. Looks like there is a trend in the replies, no CC and get FHM in the pond now!

Next question on the FHM's, how many? Marlows fish hatchery in Little Hocking, OH sells FHM for $9.25 per pound, how many pounds should I buy and put in for the first stocking? I will be going down Memorial weekend and can do it then.

Let's assume there will be 4' of water in the pond at the "deep" end near the dam, meaning the surface area of that 4' will only likely be an irregular 40-50' circle.

Since it is a brand new pond and at this depth (14'-18' under final water level) it is a smooth clay bottom with no structure, will they be fine? Do I need to add any type of food or structure for egg laying?

All my structure, fish attractors and sub-straight for egg laying is up around the 3'-8' finsished water level depth, high and dry at this point.


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Chris, This is one of those "it depends" moments, when will you plan to stock the other fish? How long will it take to fill up the pond with water? I'd say go buy 2-3 pounds for now and hold off for as long as you can wait to stock your pan fish, then wait even longer to stock your bass. Bring lots of scrap pvc pipe, scrap boards, drywall screws and cordless screwgun. Look for the baitfish and forage section, find the thread "pvc pipe" and read to see what structure should look like. Add any rock/rubble, stick piles, and larger logs and stumps. IMHO you should not put more than 30-40% of this. I have half of my pond with and the other side has no structure of any kind in it. Thats designated as swimming area. Make sure you put piles at different depts, keep it simple and dont spend big bucks. Fish cant tell if it was free or full price.


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FHM like to spawn on the underside of things, and in fluctuating water levels like yours I'd recommend some type of floating cover that will rise with the water. Basically anything that has a flat or semi-flat underside and that will stay in the top 18" (or less) of the water column near shore would work.


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Chris, a rule of thumb I go by is about 5-10 pounds of FHM per acre. For your pond, that'd be about 3-6 pounds. I tend to be a the type that goes with less rather than more, so I'd say 3 pounds.

Northern ponds and southern ponds are very different in how the sunfish and bass interact with each other. Being in OH, you have a northern pond. I would strong urge you to not stock your panfish(BG) before the bass. In fact, I would urge you to stock your bass first and give them a year before stocking the panfish. This is particularly true if you stock bass and panfish that are around the same size. Most stocker fish are in the 2"-4" range. In a northern pond, if you stock your panfish and bass in this size range at the same time or give the sunfish a head start you'll end up with badly stunted sunfish and bass that will struggle to reproduce. You can get around this by stocking advanced sized bass, say 8"+ at the same time you stock your sunfish. Or, just stock the bass first, give them a year and then stock your sunfish. This mostly holds true for the BG. RES are a different player and can be stocked at the same time as your bass...

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Esshup makes a good point. I helped a new local pondmeister make a "ladder" out of pvc and wire about 10 ft long. It looks like a ladder but can lay at the bottom of the pond. As the water level rises just drag out the ladder to keep up with the water level. Best of all you can keep it, move it to a better spot later on, take it out easily, etc...


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If I am interpreting what has been said so far, I will add 2-3 lbs of FHM in a couple of weeks. Give them some floating structure to lay eggs on (I have some 1" blue foam board, if I cut them into 1' or 2' squares and let them float on the water, would that work?). Then wait until the pond is at least half full and give time for the FMH to get established and start propogating before adding BG/RES. To me this seems to be a 4-5 month peroid since I have also read not to stock on the hot days of summer which are June/July/August here in Ohio. So, this would have me adding BG/RES in say September/October unless the opinion is that I should wait until spring?


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Sorry, I missed a couple of updates (newby mistake). Looks like CJ recommends the bass come first and maybe RES. Would I then just do the LMB and RES this fall in say September if I have enough water, then wait until next fall (1 year) and add BG?


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I did just what you are thinking about, but I ran a 2' long string thru the foam, tying one end to a brick to keep the foam from dancing all over the pond. Even so, I'm noticing some of them are flipped over. I don't know what's doing it, either the wind or some critter. I haven't noticed any spawning activity, but then again, I haven't noticed many FHM either....

CJ, not that I disagree with you about not stocking BG/RES first in Northern Ponds due to stunting, but can you (or anyone for that matter - ewest in particular) point me to any recent (say from year 2000 until present) studies that targeted that issue? The reason for the time frame, is that pond management seems to be going thru a rapid growth stage, and management techniques that were thought to be taboo 15-20 years ago are being turned topsy-turvy.


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Eric is the man for digging that stuff up fast but I will see if I can find one. I have had first hand experience with it though. Even in northern VA I have seen ponds have bad sunfish stunting when stocked with BG first or with bass.

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Chris, While the experts figure out the particulars of the larger fish, feel free to go ahead and put in as many pounds of fhm and gambusa as you can afford. The more the better. I get most of mine from local bows since the price is $16 per pound down here at my local bait shop. I dont feel that im getting anywhere near a pound from them, way to expensive for what i do get.

Last edited by rcn11thacr; 05/09/10 11:29 AM.

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My local hatchery sells FHM for $9.25 per pound. I'll get 3 pounds for this first stock and ensure I put in some adjustable flat structure for them to lay their eggs. I will do both something of the "ladder" idea mentioned so I can move it up the bank as the water level increases and some floating boards with weight. I have plenty of time for the experts to help me sort out the BG/RES/LMB timing, order and quantity.


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Originally Posted By: rcn11thacr
I highly recommend you do stock minnows now and wait till you can practially walk across the pond on their backs before you put anything else in. Your pond will be the better for it.


I agree with this!

If I had it to do over, I would have stocked as many types of minnows and other small forage species as I could right away. I would then wait a year or more, allowing the water to clear up, grow some cover, and stabilize before adding BG and RES. I would wait yet another 6-9 months before stocking the LMB. That would give the BG and RES a chance to spawn. My thinking is, you would get larger, healthier base of BG and RES. A side benefit is, you don't have to stock as many fish, they'll be wall-to-wall in a year. The LMB will thin them out quickly and get large, even in such a small pond.

I guess I'm more patient than most, so take this with a grain of salt!

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I agree with the stocking of soft rayed minnow type species. Fathead minnows, golden shiners, bluntnose minnows, banded killifish etc... I am doing that in my pond right now. I am giving them 2 years alone. Just added 12 adult male BG because I was having an issue with predatory water insects eating a lot of my fish fry. But other than that, it's just lots of forage fish. The problem with northern ponds is the bass just don't grow fast enough. They get behind the BG and never catch up. I would strongly recommend holding off on stocking the BG. Let your newly stocked bass feed on the FHM and if you decide to stock some other soft rayed species them as well for the first year. Then add your BG.

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I will check with my local fish hatchery tomorrow but their web site only lists FHM. If that is all they have I can start there and find another source of other types of soft rayed minnows to stock and maybe add them in the fall.

Last edited by Chris SE Ohio; 05/09/10 01:20 PM.

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Yeah, most of the fish suppliers only carry FHM and GSH as forage minnows.


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CJ - You asked me if I had electricty and was willing to feed a couple of threads back. I won't have electricity for two years but I am willing to feed and will be willing to aerate two years out. Can you proceed to give me your thoughts since you asked these questions?


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You'll most likely need to take the kids (if you have any) and go get a net if you want other types of forage. Head to the local bows and get some out of a source of water you can trust to be as clean as possible. Remember to look them over to ensure you are stocking only what you want. Buy what you can local, but spend time getting used to what these fish look like as yoy so you can be sure of what you are putting in your pond. Its a good way to screw up if your not careful, but its also great fun for the kids. Mine are loading up to go this afternoon when i get off work.


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Chris, I realize you won't be living at the pond for the first couple of years but about how often would you be visiting? If once every couple of weeks, you should still be able to feed. Feeders run on solar power, so the only thing holding you back is the size of the feed hopper and the ability to get their and put more feed in every couple of weeks or so, probably less than that...

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Over the next two years, I will only reliably be there about every 6-8 weeks or so. It looks like I will just have FHM for the next year, do I need to feed them or just let them forage on their own? When I add the LMB/ RES next spring should I periodically feed them or not feed at all since I can't ensure it would be a regular feeding?


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Should GSH be stocked at the same time as FHM or should you give the FHM a head start since GSH are egg eaters?



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I would not feed them if you cannot regularly feed them. FHM do not need to be fed. New pond tend to be more fertile and will get your fish off to a great start. I think if you go with that stocking plan and the patience involved, you'll be happy with the outcome...

As far as stocking GSH with FHM. I have often mulled over the same question. FHM nest in an unusual way compared to many fish in that they lay their eggs on the flat side of an object, usually close to the bottom with the male guarding the nest. I believe this type of nesting style greatly eliminates the predation of FHM eggs by GSH. In my current pond in which I am building a forage fish cocktail, I have species of forage fish such as banded killifish and spotfin shiners which do not guard their eggs after laying them. Therefore I left the GSH out until I have solidly established these species first. This spring I am finally stocking GSH into the pond.

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To add to what CJ said, I don't think it would be a problem. Typically, the GSH occupy a different niche in the pond than the FHM, therefore I don't think the FHM eggs would be targeted as they would if they were in deeper water.


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Just so I can have a full plan laid out, if I stock 3lbs of FHM now and wait until next spring to add LMB and RES, how many and what size LMB and how many and what size RES should I plan to stock next spring? As a reminder the pond is 6/10 acre.

Then should I do BG next fall or wait an entire additional year and add the BG that following spring (2 years from now)? How many and what size BG should I add next fall/ the following spring?


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CJ - I was hoping you would provide your perspective on the above questions for me so I had a complete plan. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, Chris


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Stocking opinions vary greatly... I am not saying this stocking plan is the only way to go. It's just what I'd do to reach your goals.

If you stock 3 pounds of FHM this spring, you could stock the LMB and RES this upcoming fall or the following spring. Either would work IMO.

I'd stock 40 2"-4" LMB and 60 2"-4" RES when you do that stocking in the spring or fall. At this time, you can also consider stocking 3-5 pounds of GSH(golden shiners). GSH will to some extent compete with your sunfish, particularly the BG for food. If this concerns you, leave them out. However, in a pond of your size I doubt they will ever get out of hand as the LMB will generally crop them heavily and after the first stocked fish die out, few others will reach a size where LMB cannot feed on them.

From my research and experience, I'd want the LMB to be in the 8" range before the BG are stocked. In all likelihood, your 2"-4" LMB will be reaching that 8" size by the following spring. It is at that point I would stock 200 2"-4" BG. If for some reason your LMB are not nearing 8" by the following spring, an additional stocking of FHM(5 pounds or so) may be needed, particularly if you did not stock the GSH. This is to ensure your growing bass have enough to eat until they are big enough to properly control the BG when stock.

When you stock your BG, you can also consider stocking YP(yellow perch). If you do stock them as a bonus fish stock around 100. I would not expect them to maintain a reproducing population under LMB predation, but they are fine eating. If you do not observe natural reproduction producing harvestable fish which is likely. Stock them every or every other year in advanced sizes, you can expect to keep a harvestable population in your pond. Another fish to consider once you begin a feeding a program after you move to the property would be HSB. Small numbers, say 10-20 every year or every other year can be stocked. They will feed heavily on your fish food and can add a bonus to the fishery. I would also strongly consider aeration once you move to the property and have electricity available. Between the aeration and feeding program, you'll increase the biomass your pond can hold. At 0.6 acres, that can really mean a lot.

Southern ponds are VERY different... Do not follow this stocking plan for southern ponds or ponds where the goal is to grow trophy bass.

Again, this is just my opinion.

Good luck with your pond and please keep us updated as it progresses.

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CJ I appreciate your opinion and welcome opinions of others, thats what the forum is all about. I will be putting in the 3lb of FHM Memorial weekend. I talked to the closest hatchery and FHM are the only forage fish they stock. They don't have any GSH so I will have to check other hatcherys if I go that route. I will likely wait one year to stock the LMB and RES but I will see how the FHM are doing this fall and decide then. I'll keep everyone posted on how this goes. I appreciate the dialoque and welcome any other opinions and comments for me to ponder.


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Look here for ideas on spawning cover for the FHM. They'll love you for building little love shacks!


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Chris, Anderson Minnow Farm can ship you golden shiners through the mail... So if you cannot find them local, that may be an option.

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The links for FHM spawning ideas are great. I have created some of the ideas and will build a few more of the ideas before Memorial weekend. I will stock Memorial weekend and put the spawning materials in place. Most will have to be floating/ movable for now since the pond is still filling up and a long way from full.

I did not see a difinitive answer on the maximum depth to put FHM spawming materials. It appears you can have materials floating on the surface and I saw reference to 6' being too deep. From the surface down to what depth should I ensure these mataterials are placed for effective use?

I understand that Jones Fish Hatchery (near Cincinnati, Ohio) makes regular stops at different towns. The closest town to my land is Gallipolis, Ohio and they come to the "Feed Stop" on a monthly basis during the stocking months and people come and buy fish and/or I suspect you might be able to have them bring you a specific order. I checked their web site and they do have GSH listed. http://jonesfish.com/default.asp



Last edited by Chris SE Ohio; 05/17/10 02:23 PM.

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They (Jones) have free delivery to your pond if you order $200.00 worth of fish.

For FHM spawning, I'd target 6" to 1' depth, (near shore just to help keep fish predators at bay) but I believe they'll spawn up to 2' deep in the water column.


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I am back from Memorial weekend at our land. I did not have the best first experience stocking fish in my brand new pond. I went to Marlows Fish Hatchery on Friday morning and purchased 4lbs of FHM. Since it was a pretty warm day (upper 80's), they packed them in two seperate bags in seperate boxes. We made the 1.5 hour drive with the FHM sitting in the air conditioned extended cab area of my pick-up. When we pulled the bags out of the boxes pond side, 80% of the FHM were dead already. We went ahead and put the live ones in the pond and called the hatchery. They could not explain what happended other than we came to the conclusion the bags were not sealed tight enough and all the pure oxygen they filled the bags with had escaped during transport. They offered to replace them or give me my money back.

I went back on Sunday and they gave me 6lbs of FHM for free. This time they were all in a single larger bag filled with pure oxygen and sealed tight as a balloon. They also added some blue crystals that they said helped with the oxygen in the water and a cap full of some liquid to help with the "stress" of being handled and moved. When I took them out after the 1.5 hour drive on this 90 degree day, I would say that 25% of them were dead already. They sat in air conditioning the entire way again. So, I can't explain it. I think we did everything we could possibly do and still lost hundreds of FHM in the process. In two trips and a total of 10lbs of FHM, I may have ended up with my 4lbs.

On Monday morning I walked around the pond and could see schools of FHM in various places around the pond. Do they normally hang in schools, right at the surface and bite at the surface as if eating something on the surface or is this a bad thing and they are "gasping for air" at the surface? Again, this is my first pond and first time stocking fish. I have no idea what "normal" FHM behavior is and want to make sure this is normal and I won't have a bunch of dead FHM when I go back because they were gasping for air at the surface. If they made it 18 hours in the pond, what is their chance of survival after that? I have no other fish in the pond these 4lbs of FHM are the only fish in the pond at this point.

I also put out my FHM love hotels, pipes, boards, etc to give them places to lay their eggs. So assuming a large enough amount of them survived, they should be mutiplying over the next several months of summer and fall.

Last edited by Chris SE Ohio; 06/02/10 07:13 PM.

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Chris, sorry to hear about your bad experience. FH are pretty hardy, I can't imagine why they died during transportation.

When you put them in the pond, can you describe how you stocked them in the pond, taking us on a timeline from them leaving the truck, to them swimming away?

Usually, fish "piping" at the surface means low dissolved oxygen, but your pond should be O.K. for the fish. I'm puzzled.

Can you describe what your pond water looks like, color, temp, etc.?


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I asked the fish hatchery how to stock them. They said since it was a 90 degree day and their minnow tanks were outside in a similar temp (though under shade) to just open the bag and pour them in to the water. They said the sooner I get them in the water the better their chance of survival. From the time I took them out of the truck until I poured them in to the pond, it was less than 10 minutes.

My pond is brand new. It was completed about a month ago. It is 6/10 acre and 18 feet deep and now has about 13 feet of water in it. It is very heavy clay. The water visibility is about 6 inches to 1 foot at this point. We have had some pretty heavy rains so it filled pretty fast adding about 9 feet in the last 3 weeks.

I have no idea about the water temp. Should I get a thermometer and pay more attention to it when stocking fish?

Last edited by Chris SE Ohio; 06/02/10 08:12 PM.

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You don't "have" to monitor the temps, but allowing the bag to sit in the water for a while to help even out the temps is good. Also the pond pH might be a lot different than the hatchery water, so adding water to the bag in increasingly greater amounts to get the fish acclimated to the new water is always a good idea.

But, with that said, FH are pretty hardy, and doing what you did is what I do as long as the temps feel pretty close to the same. I've never used a thermometer to monitor temps, but Cecil did when we stocked trout in my pond. IIRC the temp difference was 3F.


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Chris, Did you only get Fhm's or did you also get gambusa's in the bag with the FHM? The surface action you mention indicate to me that you could have gambusa. I got a bunch along with my FHM i ordered. I hardly ever see the FHM at the surface but the gambusa are constantly there. Might be an idea to see if your minnows are gambusa.


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Couple of thoughts - I went through this a couple of years ago with my 1/2 acre pond in Northern MI:
- I started with a couple of gallons of FHM, 20 HBG (3-5"), and 50 YP (3-5") as an experiment to make sure that I had sufficient nutrients, DO, and water quality to make it through a winter. I went ahead and installed an aerator after I had the pond excavated to ensure that I had a way to effectively deal with potential DO issues. My short-term goals were to make sure that I could have forage fish for future fish stockings and be able to support some of HBG through a MI winter. It was tough to limit myself to this stocking plan the first year - I wanted immediate gratification of fish
- I ran the aerator typically 4-5 hours per day (after dusk) and then put it away in November and crossed my fingers that my fish would make it. During the summer months I had issues with FA, Chara, and American Pondweed - these were all in the "old" portion of the pond vs. the newly excavated portion of the pond that I had excavated. My max depth is 15 ft. Prior to my excavation project - the deepest portion of the pond was 9 ft. I had fish kill problems in previous years
- When Spring came, I could see the FHM but didn't see the HBG for a couple of weeks until the water started to warm up. The HBG doubled/tripled their body size in the last 2 years - they are amazing in both their overall weight and size. They look like linebackers and the kids have a ball fishing for them. I was happy to see that the depth of the new portion of the pond and I think the overall quality of the water was much improved from previous years
- I've since added more FHM to augment the original stocking and have also added additional (100) HBG and this year for the 1st time stock 25 LMB (3-5") to help keep everything in check and provide some more variety for the kids in their fishing
- Last year I stocked 10 RBT (12-15") to provide some excitement for the kids but knew that this was likely to be a short-term project. The trout are were fun to see in the pond but are much more sensitive to the swing in water temps and any chemicals you use in the pond to help control FA, Chara, and PA
- I used Hydrothol 191 this past spring with good success to battle the FA and American Pondweed. I, unfortunately, used the spoil of the excavated portion of the pond to create a new food plot near the pond and the combination of the fertilizer and lime provided some extra boost for the pond after the winter/spring runoff into the pond. I would strongly recommend taking a hard look at potential runoff issues prior to stocking fish due to having to deal with potential weed issues with chemicals and impact on your fish

Hope this helps!

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All I stocked were FHM. I have not been back since I stocked them but I will be going back down next weekend over the 4th of July holiday weekend. I'll report back to see how they appear to be doing.


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Good news, looks like the FHM that did survive the first stocking are doing well. There are "thousands" of little FHM all around the pond. They are from about 1/2 inch to 1 inch long and they are everywhere. Looks like the little "love hotels" I built and put in the pond along with the PVC pipe, tires, etc all in shallow water seemed to do the trick. I just put the FHM in Memorial Weekend and by the 4th of July they seem to be multiplying just fine. Looks like I am off to a good start and my stocking plan is on track.


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Small world, I'm from Gallia County as well. West of Gallipolis on rt. 554. I put in a new pond about a year before yours. DNR biologist (up in Athens) said wait about 3 years before stocking. I partially stocked this May (maybe 1/2 what Mike Marlowe recommends) I just couldn't stand looking at water with no fish.
Mike Marlowe as been great to work with and you can't beat the short drive. I plan on getting a areator from him this fall.
Unfortunately my pond has sprung a leak. Hard to believe with all this nasty red clay in this county. The dam and most of the banks are red clay but their was some shale rock on a bank as well. I thought we had it covered but obviously not well enough. My pond is about 2 acres and even though it leaks it has enough wildlife and fish activity to keep me happy.
Good luck Let me know how it goes.
Randy

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Welcome to the forum Randy... Start your own post in the new members section and tell us more about you!

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Welcome Randy!

I wonder if you misunderstood the biologist or if he mis-spoke. I can see him saying wait 3 years to FISH AFTER stocking....I can't imagine a single valid reason to wait 3 years TO stock...none.

You can can begin to stock within days of getting some water in a new pond. The amount of water and the desired stocking species will determine a lot too of course.



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I would never wait 3 years. The risk of getting an unwanted species during the wait and them having a head start is way to high. Stock as soon as you have enough water to support fish. With FH that is quick.
















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Yes I can vouch for what Ewest as this happened to me. We had a pond fixed about 4 years ago now and I just stocked mine in December. I never even thought fish would get in it since there is not an upstream source. The down stream was way down (or that is the only idea I can think of how the fish got in there.

Anyway I now have a Green Sunfish Problem, and trying to take care of that now, plus since I did not know I stocked small fingerlings and I am sure many were eaten my the adult GSF send their mouths are so large.

Anyway just wanted to put this out there so you can know it does happen and it happened to me, now I have to work backwards to fix something that never should have happened.

I did not find Pond Boss until May of this year so at least for you, the tools and advice are there if you just sit back for the ride and take it all in.

Thanks

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Hi Chris I have enjoyed reading your posts. I think you are being wise not to stock cc since you dont live there and cant remove them on a regular basis. I have two suggestions my first one would be to purchase Bob Lusks book raising trophy bass. I would recommend it even if your goals are to raise trophy bluegill. my second suggestion would be to put some wooden pallets in some areas for the fatheads to spawn on. You often can get them free and are less likely to be turned over by the wind than foam board. I have seen some guys on the forum build wooden hotels with them by stacking and screwing them together. I am still not sure what I think about pvc structures. I placed fifteen of the bill dance fish attractors out last year in one area and have still not caught a single fish around them. I think Eric has a study showing that fish will use natural materials first before using man made materials. I have caught much more fish around dead trees and rock piles that I have made than around cover I have made out of plastic, rubber or pvc. My experience has been that natural rock piles have been the best fish attractors for catching fish than anything else I have tried.

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I don't know if your still reading this Chris but if you are looking for wooden pallets to sink in your pond I have just the thing. I have many (probably 75 ) hardwood (oak/maple) pallets at my business. These are discarded but in good shape. When my pond was being bulit I banded several togther and placed them in the pond bottom with cinder blocks on top. The are hardwood so they should decay slowly. You are welcome to any of these if you could think of a way to sink them. Freeze over in the winter maybe? Let me know.

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Randy - I have not been on the forum in quite some time. Thanks for responding to my post. My FHM were doing great when I was last there for deer gun season in December. I plan to add the LMB and RES recomended this spring. I plan to contact Mike Marlowe to see when I should plan to stock them. With my FHM dying issues, I may just see what he would charge to come deliver/ stock them for me. Have you made any plans to stock yet? Chris


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James - Thanks, I have not been on the forum for some time. I appreciate the comments. My FHM seemed to be doing fine when I was last there in early December. I plan to proceed with stocking the recommended LMB and RES in the spring. I'll let you know how it goes, really enjoying having the pond. We plan to build and move there next year. Chris


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Chris and Randy - I've had a good time reading this thread since I was born and raised in Kanauga. But I have to ask. Why don't you guys just go to the Ohio River for your minnow needs? My Dad and I used to get all our minnows in the river, nice shiners. Used a glass trap baited with saltines. Granted you might have to watch out for non-minnows but if I still lived there that's what I'd do.

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Not everyone has the experience or confidence to successfully ID each species caught in a trap, seine or net. One mistake and you could have a major mess on your hands. For those who are experienced enough to ID certain species, it is an alternative. However, it is a challenge to collect enough "minnows" to stock. Generally, this means stocking lower numbers and giving them time in their new home to reproduce. This method can allow you to utilize species not found or rarely found in commercial fish hatcheries, species like spotfin shiners and bluntnose minnows which make excellent forage fish in most ponds. The other major risk factor is the introduction of unwanted things... From parasites, to disease to other nasty hitch hikers like aquatic plants. These risks can be mitigated, but the average pond owner probably isn't capable of this. That is why hatchery bought fish are generally recommended.

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Yes, there are risks but the great thing about a glass trap is you can see what you have. I thin most guys can tell the difference between a shiner and just about anything else. And you can make a good haul in an afternoon, at least when the river is down (won't see that for a few weeks down there now). I've seined my fair share of creeks in SE OH and I'll agree with you there. You get all kinds of stuff in a seine. Frankly, you can get hitchhikers from the hatcheries too. They just seine out their ponds the day before the truck hits your hometown. Granted they test for parasites and other nasties. But I'm not convinced they are totally risk free.

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Uncle Walt, spend some more time on here and watch the photos come in and then see what fish the poster thinks they are and what they end up being. Not many people are experienced in telling FHM apart from creek chubs or telling them apart from YOY carp. And it isn't just IDing "shiners". There are only but a handful of cyprinid species that have any value as a pond forage species. Many will not cause issues if stocked but have no real value, some can be very deleterious.

Add in that when you transfer fish from the wild to your pond, there is a high chance you will also transfer some water with them. In that water can be any of a number of nasties. Is this possible from a hatchery, yes... However, if you do your homework you can find highly reputable hatcheries that do not have that issue.

When someone spends several thousand dollars on stocking fish, for the average pond owner short of detailed assistance from someone who is experienced in stocking wild fish, I generally wouldn't recommend it. I think there are many benefits to obtaining fish from wild sources whether it being from utilizing a trap of any kind or a seine, but there are also many risks. Those risks need to be made very clear to any pond owner who is considering sourcing forage fish from the wild.

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