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Hey everyone, I’m coming up on a year after stocking my pond with catfish, bass, and carp. However, I haven’t been able to spot any of the catfish or bass, and the carp have been elusive for the past few months. I do see the bluegill, both hybrid and regular. I’ve been feeding them in the summertime and stopping when the temperature drops, and I’ve just started feeding again. Considering these factors, I’m thinking about adding more fish/fathead minnows this coming week. Any recommendations on what I should add to my 1-acre pond? Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated! Below is what I stocked it with 1 year ago. It’s an old pond that had little to no fish before my initial stocking. Deepest part is 13 ft.


75 bass
150 catfish
15 cups of flat head minnows
3 carp
200 hybrid specklbelly
200 bluegil

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I stocked something similar just less than a year ago, I see minnows daily, a few catfish have come up to get feed, saw a school of bass for the first time last week and got so excited about it

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Did you stock minnows first? If so, how far in advance of other fish did you stock the minnows?

EDIT: Just seen your 15 cups of FHM...so 3-4lbs . should have got off a pretty good spawn last summer then.
Adding more FHM won't hurt anything if you have the habitat to support them enough to get off 1-2 egg laying events, probably be a waste of money to stock more FHM after this year.

Last edited by Snipe; 03/25/24 02:04 PM.
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Requa, what size were the fish that you stocked, and what are the fishery goals for the pond?


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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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5-8” Channel Catfish
2 ½-3 ½” Native Bluegill
2 ½-3 ½” Hybrid Specklebelly
2-4” Largemouth Bass

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Until you know what is currently alive and a guess at numbers then you are shooting in the dark.

FHM won't hurt but may be a waste of $. I would wait to see what spawns and go from there.
















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Originally Posted by Requa
5-8” Channel Catfish
2 ½-3 ½” Native Bluegill
2 ½-3 ½” Hybrid Specklebelly
2-4” Largemouth Bass

Thanks.

What's the fishery goal for the pond?


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Goals include fostering healthy fish populations, managing biomass to prevent overpopulation, maintaining water quality, and potentially enhancing biodiversity. Ultimately, the objective is to create a sustainable and enjoyable fishing environment while promoting ecological health.

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Originally Posted by Requa
Goals include fostering healthy fish populations, managing biomass to prevent overpopulation, maintaining water quality, and potentially enhancing biodiversity. Ultimately, the objective is to create a sustainable and enjoyable fishing environment while promoting ecological health.


With those goals in mind, I'd take out 35-40 of those bass asap and start a supplemental feeding program for the bluegills and catfish. There aren't enough bluegill and forage fish in the pond to support the amount of predators that you stocked.


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How many more bluegill and forage fish would I need to support the predator fish?

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Originally Posted by Requa
How many more bluegill and forage fish would I need to support the predator fish?

You will need to up the Bluegill stocking rate to between 20:1-30:1 for a BG/LMB ratio.

After the LMB have spawned, you need to harvest 20 to 25 pounds of them per year. Unfortunately you didn't start with a clean slate, so you have no idea how many of the initial stockers were eaten by the other fish in the pond.


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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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How many more bluegill and forage fish would I need to support the predator fish?

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The best stocking scenario is to start with about 1000 fatheads and about 500 bluegills per acre. Give them about a year to spawn and then add predators.

I hate to say it but anything you add to balance it will be immediately eaten.

Best but hardest to do is rotenone the whole thing and start over.


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
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Originally Posted by Requa
How many more bluegill and forage fish would I need to support the predator fish?

See my post above your question. That is where my answer is. Look at the ratio I put there. The bigger number is the number of bluegill you should have stocked for every LMB.

Here's some math for you. A single LMB needs to eat 10# of forage fish to gain 1# in weight. That's when they are young and small. As they grow in age and weight they need to eat more and more fish per year just to survive, and way more fish to put on 1 pound in weight. Think of a human. How many calories do you need to eat per day to stay the same, vs how many calories a baby needs to eat to stay the same weight? Fish are no different.

A LMB needs fish to eat that are roughly 1/4 to 1/3 it's body length or it's wasting too many calories chasing down smaller fish to eat. A LMB does NOT catch a fish every time it tries to, so that is more wasted calories.

You stocked 75 2"-4" LMB. At that size, they need fish in the 5/8"- 1.3" range to eat. As they grow the fish they need to eat have to be proportionately larger.

Bluegill that are 1"-2.5" in length weigh 3-9 pounds per thousand fish. Bluegill that are 2.5"-2.75" weigh 10-14 pounds per thousand. Bluegill that are 2.75"-3.5" weigh 15-24 pounds per thousand.

So, with that information you should be able to do the math and figure out how many fish you need to add, and what size they need to be..


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I stocked something similar just under a year ago. I spot minnows daily, a few catfish have started coming up to feed, and last week, I saw a school of bass for the first time, which got me really excited.

Last edited by Joeydickens93; 05/01/24 10:05 AM.

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