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Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
#516171 01/27/20 09:27 PM
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This is my first post. I like the forum and want to say hello and thank everyone for the knowledge Ive gained from reading posts here the last few weeks.

Im stocking a pond thats been mostly dry for 10 years. The pond stayed full when the property was in cotton but went dry when the area was put in CRP. A pipeline right of way was cut this summer and the pond is catching water now and is about 3 acres and 8 deep. It will go back into cotton in two years and should fill back up to its original 16 acres and 30 depth.
Im going to go ahead and start stocking now. I have a pond that I can transfer as many 3-5 bluegill as I need. My question is how many bluegill should I stock in the 3 acres of water right now and what other minnows ect should I add before stocking bass? The goal is a bass pond. Also, when should I stock the fingerling bass and how many. The pond has maintained its current size for about a year and has no fish in it. Thanks for the help!

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #516174 01/28/20 05:07 AM
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Welcome to PB. The general stocking rate is 1,000 bluegills per acre and 10 pounds of fathead minnows per acre. We generally like to also stock redear sunfish to eat snails. I generally like to add about 500 of them per acre.

Add bass after a year or when they can go to sleep with their mouth open and wake up with a full belly.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 01/28/20 05:08 AM.

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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #516188 01/28/20 10:41 AM
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After a year I believe my bluegill will be big enough to eat my bass fingerlings. How many bass should I stock?

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #516212 01/28/20 08:16 PM
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Howdy neighbor! At 3-16ac it'll be far more cost effective and efficient to hire Arms (Dublin), Crystal Farms (Breckenridge) or someone closer to initially stock your pond. You only get 1 shot to stock it right and send it on a successful path.
Follow the advice given now and you won't regret it. You'll never bucket stock the numbers needed.
Depends on your goals and budget though.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #516222 01/28/20 10:56 PM
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Greetings, Scalebuster!
Call our office for a good hatchery referral. Arms is out of business and we don't know the other folks. I'm sure they're good, and we can help you design a good, custom stocking program with someone who'll also help with management questions you may have.
Office number is (903)564-6144. Tell the girls you'd like to visit with me and I'll ring you back and help figure out who best to help.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
ShortCut #516223 01/28/20 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: ShortCut
Howdy neighbor! At 3-16ac it'll be far more cost effective and efficient to hire Arms (Dublin), Crystal Farms (Breckenridge) or someone closer to initially stock your pond. You only get 1 shot to stock it right and send it on a successful path.
Follow the advice given now and you won't regret it. You'll never bucket stock the numbers needed.
Depends on your goals and budget though.


Hello yourself neighbor!
Im probably going to get my fatheads and redears from Crystal Farms. I noticed theyve moved locations In Breckinridge in the last month or so. I stocked 200+ 3-5 bluegill today in the tank. I have a tank here at the house in Graham thats overpopulated with BG. Im going to haul a couple hundred to the tank orth of Abilene every week when Im making my sales calls. Theyre easy to catch in a perch trap I built. I dont want to get too much invested in the new tank until the property is back in farming. Its amazing how the CRP completely stopped the runoff. I figure to stock at least a thousand bluegill in the next few weeks, along with 10 pounds of fatheads and let them spawn this summer. Im not sure when Ill add bass. Im not sure whether to stock fingerling bass this summer or wait a year and stock the more expensive 4-6 bass. This is a decision Id like some help with. This tank was one hell of a nice fishery 25 years ago and I cant wait to get it going again.

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Bob Lusk #516224 01/28/20 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bob Lusk
Greetings, Scalebuster!
Call our office for a good hatchery referral. Arms is out of business and we don't know the other folks. I'm sure they're good, and we can help you design a good, custom stocking program with someone who'll also help with management questions you may have.
Office number is (903)564-6144. Tell the girls you'd like to visit with me and I'll ring you back and help figure out who best to help.


Thanks! I look forward to speaking with you.

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #516259 01/30/20 05:30 AM
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Just be sure you are stocking bluegills and not green sunfish!!!


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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).
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #517722 03/07/20 09:10 PM
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What do y’all think about Rosey Red Fatheads? I just put 10 pounds in my tank. As of right now I’m a fan. Water is muddy from a 3” rain but I saw a few before dark by the porch.

Last edited by Scalebuster; 03/07/20 09:13 PM.
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #519207 04/10/20 04:48 PM
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Just stocked a load of bluegill and redears from Arms Fish Farm. I was really happy with the quality of fish I received. I felt like I got what I paid for. I’ll be stocking some F1 fingerlings in June. Just hoping the rain keeps up. The tank still has a long way to go to get full.

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536347 06/09/21 09:48 PM
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Last year I stocked 200 big bluegill. 500 3”, 200 3” redear, and 10 pounds of orange fatheads. The tank got down to an acre and a half 5’ deep and froze this winter. The tank just filled to 10 acres 14’. I threw some feed out. I counted 130 big bluegill coming up for feed and a lot of small ones. I’m seeing a few fatheads but not big schools like last year. I’m ready to go in with 2” bass. What should I put in. I’m thinking another 2000 small bluegills and 20 pounds of fatheads with 400 bass. Am it I thinking right?

Last edited by Scalebuster; 06/09/21 09:50 PM.
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536349 06/09/21 10:47 PM
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I honestly don't know. What are the fishery goals for the pond?


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536356 06/10/21 08:35 AM
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The goal is a bass lake.

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536363 06/10/21 11:50 AM
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Have the BG from last year spawned ? Do a seine survey and post results. If you have had several spawns by BG then you wont need 2000 more but it would not hurt if you want a LMB lake. Are you feeding ? FH addition would be good. I would stock 35 LMB per acre if that is your goal. 100 LMB pre acre is to many if you want large LMB. Newer data indicates that rather than 10 to 1 BG/LMB that for a LMB pond 30 to 1 will allow you to keep sufficient forage for an additional 2 years.
















Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536371 06/10/21 02:05 PM
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I have had great success in the 30:1 ratio, growing fingerlings stocked in early May grow to over 1# by mid September. Not feed trained bass, but the Bluegills were fed in that pond. Without having that or greater forage to predator ratio we don't see near that growth rate, not even half as much.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536380 06/10/21 04:25 PM
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I am feeding. The bluegill I saw were 4-5 different sizes so I know there have been several spawns.

Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
ewest #536454 06/12/21 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ewest
Have the BG from last year spawned ? Do a seine survey and post results. If you have had several spawns by BG then you wont need 2000 more but it would not hurt if you want a LMB lake. Are you feeding ? FH addition would be good. I would stock 35 LMB per acre if that is your goal. 100 LMB pre acre is to many if you want large LMB. Newer data indicates that rather than 10 to 1 BG/LMB that for a LMB pond 30 to 1 will allow you to keep sufficient forage for an additional 2 years.

Spent some time at the tank today. Both my boys have been swimming and fishing in it all day. It’s still 7’ from the floor of the dock and they have had a great time jumping into 12’ of water.

I have little schools of 15-20 bluegill all over the tank in the shallows and saw several 6-7” gills on the bed. Caught a bunch of them off the dock. I think I’m good on forage. I will drop in 10 more pounds of fatheads with my bass, and 300 catfish. I think the bluegill have really torn up the fatheads in one year. I’m going to go with 100 natives, 100 tiger bass, and 100 Florida’s. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? I’m also considering golden shiners when I pick up my bass and fatheads. Any experienced comments are appreciated.

I’m really excited to see this much water in the tank with the fish reproducing so well. I’m going to do a water test on the next trip. The tank gets extremely clear and has a lot of Gyp outcroppings in Fisher county. It’s pretty black right now from all of the decaying vegetation, but I think it will get too clear again. I may need to add some grass carp as well.

Last edited by Scalebuster; 06/12/21 05:01 PM.
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
esshup #536493 06/13/21 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
I have had great success in the 30:1 ratio, growing fingerlings stocked in early May grow to over 1# by mid September. Not feed trained bass, but the Bluegills were fed in that pond. Without having that or greater forage to predator ratio we don't see near that growth rate, not even half as much.

esshup are you stocking YOY LMB in early May up there? What are the length of the LMB fingerlings when stocked. What differences do you see between 50/1500 or say 100/3000 ... or would you not stock the latter? Anyways that's good growth in 4 1/2 months.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
jpsdad #536495 06/13/21 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jpsdad
Originally Posted by esshup
I have had great success in the 30:1 ratio, growing fingerlings stocked in early May grow to over 1# by mid September. Not feed trained bass, but the Bluegills were fed in that pond. Without having that or greater forage to predator ratio we don't see near that growth rate, not even half as much.

esshup are you stocking YOY LMB in early May up there? What are the length of the LMB fingerlings when stocked. What differences do you see between 50/1500 or say 100/3000 ... or would you not stock the latter? Anyways that's good growth in 4 1/2 months.

Fingerling LMB were in the 3" range. The pond had 20# FHM and 20# GSH stocked the previous Fall. If stocking the latter, growth will be in the 6"-8" range for the LMB. That's with stocking minnows the previous Fall.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536505 06/14/21 09:03 AM
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Were the fingerlings year 1 or year 0, I am leaning year 1, what are your thoughts? The minnow numbers are by the acre?

Here are some interesting facts you might like to chew on. Swingle found the presence of Gambusia Increased BG production by 149 lbs/acre in fertilized ponds. The stocking rates were ~1500 BG/acre and 2 lbs of Gams. He also found that FHM increased total production by 179 lbs/acre to a LMB/BG combination. In the reference, the entire LMB-BG biomass were totaled in combination and not severally, so I cannot tell you how big the LMB were able to grow but the regime was a December stocking of 3lbs/acre FHM and May stocking of LMB (54/acre) and BG (~1500/acre). Both examples had total harvest in the mid to late fall period where the standing weights were almost completely comprised of the BG and LMB-BG respectively (minnows essentially eliminated). Given that the LMB-BG-FHM combo produced 108 lbs/acre more than the BG-GAM combo, The increase in production was a combination ... probably ... shared between the BG and LMB.

The increase in production for the Gam example was 89% while the increase in production for the FHM example was 66%. It may interest you to know that in the GAM treatments that the BG were able to attain an average weight of .20 lbs/individual. If we take the rate of growth for males is to be twice that of females in first 18 months, I estimate the males were primarily in the 6.5 to 7.0" lengths and the females were primarily in the 5.75 to 6.25" lengths ... PROVIDED the BG didn't recruit much. It may be that they didn't not reproduce a lot given the stocking rate, (Swingle studied the populations required to inhibit or eliminate recruitment and exploited that to increase production of harvestable fish).

OK. so with this background I am wondering why such a large stocking rate of BG doesn't increase the BG competition for FHM compromising the growth of the LMB fingerlings. The only conclusion that I can come to is that the effect is counterintuitive and might reduce competition for FHM/GSH by the BG. It is clear that tripling the stocking rate of the BG will decrease the growth of BG by at least 67%. So perhaps, the BG don't compete as much for minnows when the stocking rates are increased from say 500 BG/acre to 1500 BG/acre because BG development is delayed sufficiently to allow the LMB longer access to the FHM (thus more FHM food) than they would have had with the reduced number of BG.

To be sure, the BG are too large at the time of stocking to be food for the 3" LMB fingerlings. Furthermore, at that stocking rate. It is unclear just how much food the BG YOY might contribute to forage. To be sure, fingerling BG would need a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to begin reproduction and another 8 weeks to recruit YOY in the 2" sizes. A lot of research supports that BG fail to recruit at such density. Whatever is happening in this first year example, it may not be as simple as the LMB are eating three times the BG YOY (1500 BG/AC vs 500 BG/AC).

The things I think contributed most to that stellar 1st year growth in order of importance are:

1. Lower LMB stocking rate (50/Acre vs 100/Acre). The difference between a 12" LMB and a 7" LMB is enormous. The 12" LMB weighs 5.6 times more than the 7" LMB. Huge difference. So in otherwise equal conditions, you have witnessed only 18% the LMB production when increasing the stocking rate from 50 to 100/acre. There is a very good reason for this. The doubling of encounter limits the time that forage can grow and put on weight. The resource is rapidly diminished emphasizing the actual limitations of available forage. In essence, the forage days are reduced 5 fold by doubling the LMB stocking rate. I've recently be working with simulations of forage consumption and have found that the balance is tipped by very modest increases in predator numbers.

2. Delayed development of the BG (due to greater stocking rate) which delays competition for the FHM resources at least for the first couple of months of the 4.5 month growth window cited.

3. Feeding. This will of course increase growth of the appropriate sized prey if eaten directly or from manuring effects.

So I do think that LMB growth was mostly factor of the LMB stocking rate and less to do with the rate of BG stocking. By using a 30 to 1 ratio, one essentially reduces the number of LMB stocked. The important number is the 1 (as opposed to the 30) and so the LMB stocking rate then becomes what is one's limit to spend on BG ... perhaps $750 per acre where one can expect growth to harvestable sizes in one season. Such a combination probably maximizes the quantity of harvestable BG while allowing substantial growth for the LMB in the first year.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536515 06/14/21 11:30 AM
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LMB were year 1, or shooters from that year, but I'm leaning towards year 1. The BG couldn't eat the FHM because they were too small to eat them. The pond was at 1/2 ac when the FHM/GSH were stocked in the Fall, the owner increased the size of the pond to 1 ac over the winter. BG were 1"-2.5" at time of stocking. GSH were 3" at time of stocking, and if habitat was present in the Spring, could have pulled off a spawn.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536519 06/14/21 12:41 PM
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Scale buster, I would rethink the 2 inch bass. I find that a lot are smaller and pretty fragile. I would go for 3 to 4 inch or even larger.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
esshup #536533 06/14/21 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
LMB were year 1, or shooters from that year, but I'm leaning towards year 1.

Well if that is the case it provides at least one anecdote that an LMB can lose its first year and still take off when the conditions are favorable. Sometimes I think we worry to much about the how the start affects the finish. An LMB lives a long time, they are designed to handle changing fortunes and will exploit favorable conditions when they prevail.

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The BG couldn't eat the FHM because they were too small to eat them.

Well they weren't to small to eat any. I have caught more than few 2" BG on 3/4 inch Gam and the FHM YOY could definitely supplement the diet of a 2" BG. Every one a BG eats is one that will not continue to grow and feed an LMB. But for sure a >4" BG would eat a lot more of them than 2 inchers. How big did the BG get by September?

Alabama is different but the Swingle's recipe of LMB-BG-FHM very similar to the one you described where the difference was the GSH. Looking back at Swingle's results where FHM added 179 lbs of production over just LMB-BG in the same combination (54 LMB to 1530 BG) ... what portion of that gain might be given to LMB production and BG production severally? If we try to give all the gain to the LMB ... even if the LMB with only BG didn't grow a wit ... the LMB would have gained 3.31 lbs each. That doesn't seem likely but still I don't know how much the LMB weighed. If I were forced to guess, I would guess they averaged over a pound but less than 2. It would be interesting to understand how reducing the stocking rate of BG would have affected the LMB growth. Particularly if more rapid growth of the BG might help a lower number of BG compete for the diminishing FHM resource.


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Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536540 06/15/21 06:26 AM
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esshup,

I was wrong about Swingle's treatment of the BG in the LMB-BG combinations. He stocked the BG in December which was the same time he stocked FHM. So the BG probably grew substantially by May when he stocked the LMB. The total weights of "BG only" were 166 lbs/acre while the "LMB-BG only" were 251 lbs/acre. The growing period for BG in the "LMB-BG only" ponds were a full year but only 6 months in the "BG only" ponds. The FHM would have began spawning in March which in part explains why they increased production to a greater extent than GAMs. GAMs have potential to greatly reproduce in the hot months when FHM stop spawning down South at least. So they are good in combination down here I think.


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


Re: Stocking A New Pond North Of Abilene Tx.
Scalebuster #536545 06/15/21 08:46 AM
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jpsdad, you are correct about the BG able to eat the small YOY FHM. There is no data from the customer on the size of the BG, but they were also feeding Optimal Jr the first year too, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.


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by Shorty, May 27
Syphon System
Syphon System
by Deancutler, May 19
Fungus on Bluegill
Fungus on Bluegill
by Hunter_59, May 7

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