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#562580 11/19/23 07:48 AM
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I have pond that was dug about 18 months ago. It is about 1 acre in SW Mississippi. I have had plenty of problems with it leaking and we are in what the weather people call an exceptional drought. I finally got a well dug and electricity to power it, so I am now pumping and the pond is filling. I would like to stock with fathead minnows, bluegill, readear sunfish, and when I get a forage base established I want to stock some largemouth bass. I stocked some fathead minnows and bluegill during late summer, but the water was only about 1-2 feet in some areas with some areas 6 inches or so. The egrets and other birds loved this and ate most, if not all of these fish I stocked.

My question is:

Do you guys think it would be ok to stock going into winter? It may get in mid 20s for a day or so, but usually not a harsh winter down here.

I would like to get a start on spring time and stock more fish then, I also have fertilized pond and have has a good algae bloom and there is still algae in the water. I have lots of structure, including rocks, gravel, wood, and PVC trees and have a feeder I can feed fish with.

What do you guys think about the ability of the fish to survive at this time of year?

Lake8 #562581 11/19/23 10:27 AM
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You'll have survival for certain (of many fish, but maybe not all), but you may not have 'thriving' of the stocked fish.

If money wasn't too much of a factor, I'd still do some stocking now, and do more in the Spring like you're thinking.

We tend to operate on general rules of thumb, so to speak, but I've seen things that don't make sense against the general rules. For example, I've seen fathead frye in a pond in January, and there's no way those frye could have been born back in August/Sept. when the water temps were around 70 degrees. Could that frye not have grown at all in 4+ months? Maybe.


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Lake8 #562582 11/19/23 10:31 AM
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I bet you'd get survival with some growth. But I'd want opinions or (better yet) experience from someone way farther South than Sunil in PA or me in Ohio before making any decisions.

ewest (in MS) or Texas members would be great.


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Lake8 #562584 11/19/23 12:00 PM
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Can you just make a run to a nearby reputable supplier and grab a few ponds of fathead minnows in oxygenated bags and put them in the pond?

FHMs are omnivores and there should be some food supply still available in your pond in SW Mississippi. Some (or a lot) should make it through the winter, and as soon as the conditions are right in the spring for them to start spawning - they will get busy filling your pond with forage!

Pretty small cost to you, and all of the timing and planning considerations in the spring will be perfectly solved by the minnows themselves.

Then, if you do a spring BG stocking, their will be plenty of forage to jumpstart your BG population.

Good luck on your new pond management goals.


P.S. Did you get your leaks fixed, or are you just using the well to keep up with the leaks?

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I have a hatchery that is about 2 hours away, I can drive there and get some fathead minnows and get them to the pond within a few hours. I may try that, I also was thinking about having some shipped from Anderson Minnows. They are a little more, but saves me the hassle of making a four hour round trip for some minnows. But I can only get bluegill from the hatchery.

As for the leaks, I worked with TJ and applied the polymer sealant. All though, it did not completely fix the leaks, it slowed them down enough for my water well to start to fill the pond. After about 10 days of 24 hrs a day pumping, I raised the water level about 12 inches. Pump pumps about 10 gallons per minute.

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Lake8 #562593 11/19/23 08:56 PM
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I have not had any fish shipped to me, but lots of people on the forum have reported pretty good success receiving smaller fish via mail.

If it costs you a few dollars more but saves you four hours of time plus gas money, that seems like a pretty good deal.

We do have some actual experts from the southern parts of the Gulf states on the forum. Hopefully one of them may drop into your post, so you don't have to listen to yahoos like me!

Lake8 #562597 11/19/23 10:13 PM
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Theo makes a great point. I failed to see your location of MS.

You may have 'thriving!'


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Lake8 #562598 11/20/23 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lake8
I also was thinking about having some shipped from Anderson Minnows.

Since you brought up Anderson Minnows, if you do order from them and will be eventually adding LMB, I'd get golden shiners along with fatheads. It will be good to get the Golden Shiners growing as once your bass get big enough, they will be a tasty treat for them while the fatheads will likely be gone in a couple years. Depending on your pond size, getting yellow perch established with the bluegill might also add some forage diversity, but you'll definitely need some cover to encourage recruitment with LMB, otherwise they'll be gone after awhile like the fatheads.


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Lake8 #562600 11/20/23 09:31 AM
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Golden shiners would be a good idea to get established. I always like to do a mix of fatheads and shiners when stocking a pond. Check your state regulations to see if yellow perch are even allowed. You are a little far south for them to do too well, and they may not be on your states approved species list. I know they aren't in Arkansas.

If I were you I would look to establish redear sunfish at the same time you stock the fatheads, shiners, and bluegill.

Lake8 #562602 11/20/23 12:16 PM
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Go ahead and stock now. Don't stock in Jan or early Feb. to much risk of a cold snap.
















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Lake8 #562632 11/22/23 01:43 PM
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Thanks guys for the input. I am going make a drive to the hatchery this weekend and pick up some bluegill, redear sunfish, and fathead minnows.

Always great answers here.

Lake8 #562633 11/22/23 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Lake8
Thanks guys for the input. I am going make a drive to the hatchery this weekend and pick up some bluegill, redear sunfish, and fathead minnows.

Always great answers here.


Awesome!

If you are going to make the drive for FHMs and they still have some good BG and RES, might as well grab those too!

Do you have some shallow water with a sandy bottom so you can check your BG during the first spawn next spring? There are lots of people on the forum that get a decent snapshot of the size and numbers of their BG from that data point.

Good luck on your winter stocking!

Lake8 #562718 11/27/23 02:53 PM
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Results ?
















ewest #562720 11/27/23 03:45 PM
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I drove to Slade's Fish Farm outside of Lumberton, MS Saturday morning and got 500 bluegill, 50 shellcracker and 1000 fathead minnows. Made the trip to the pond in about an hour. Water temp was 59 degrees. I let bags acclimate for about 20 minutes. Released the all and they were really lively. I did not see any dead ones later in the day, so that's a good thing. Thanks for all the advice and help. Guy at the hatchery didn't seem too concerned, seemed to think I shouldn't have any problems. Hopefully, I'll get a jump when spring time rolls around. My goal is to eventually add a limited number of largemouth bass after I establish a good forage base. Maybe even get one to grow to 5-6 pounds, maybe more.

Lake8 #562730 11/27/23 08:18 PM
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59 degrees sounds like it should still be in the safe zone.

5-6# for a LMB in MS is definitely doable! You just can't have very many decent bass in one acre, but you should get 1-2 over 7# hopefully if you don't fish them out before then.

Congrats, as of today you now have a fishin' pond! Good luck and have fun.


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