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How would you stock a private pond?

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How would you stock a private pond?

Old 04-01-2017, 08:18 PM
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Default How would you stock a private pond?

My buddy just bought a new home, really nice out in the sticks. It has about a 1/2 acre sized pond. It is about 13' deep. He want to stock it with hybrid bluegills, large mouth bass, and some catfish. He asked me for some help as I have a pond, however mine is a smaller KOI pond, so I am not in the know how to give him advice.

The pond is in Wisconsin. My thought was add a bunch of small goldfish and hope they reproduce fast and give the bass and bluegills some easy meals. I do know that bluegills are viscous little fish. I made the mistake years ago and added some to my small pond. I could see them in the clear water terrorizing my KOI that were 25-35 times their size. They actually started to eat my KOI alive. I had to fish them all out. Oh he also want to fish it, I showed him my redneck thread and he was cracking up, he is a good old Georgia boy. We called a stock supplier today and he clamed that the bluegills will not reproduce. I never heard of that. Any of you guys been there done that?
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:30 PM
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No experience but would putting in a few make carp to keep the weeds down be helpful?
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:30 PM
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Definitely crappie... good eating for a fw fish
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:44 PM
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Forgot to mention, this pond has an unbelievable filtration system with a huge pump, water falls, BIO filter and fountain. So the water stays crystal clear. The previous owners were very wealthy and had a company take care of the pond to the tune of $600 a month. My bud is a hands on guy and wants to do it himself. (probably like a lot of us guys here). I don't blame him and its not like if it does not work its the end of the world. That said a good start is always good.

I like the crappie idea.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:50 PM
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10lbs of fathead minnows, 250 bluegill and 100 largemouth bass. 1/2 acre would also support 5 or 6 grass carp. An aerator will help keep the water open during harsh winters and prevent a total fish kill. Stock crappie at your own risk.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:54 PM
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For fish you don't want crystal clear water. You want a certain amount of biological life to support the whole life cycle of animals that the little fry and hatchlings need to support them in their early life. To feed the insects that they eat. Stuff like that. You actually fertilize a pond to get this bloom of aquatic life. You want a certain turbidity to the water.

For Bass bream cycle you keep it at just that. Blue Gill and Large Mouth. Maybe a few catfish too but do not add crappie to that mix. Crappie will eat up all your small fry from the Bass and Bream spawns and you'll have no reproducing bass or bream in a few years. Just a few overly large ones. No young ones to keep the cycle going.

You can do Crappie and Minnow cycle. That works. Giving them cover to reproduce in.

Or just one of the above species and feed them appropriately rather than try and stimulate a full life cycle feeding might be the best way In that small of a pond I think. I would tend to just do one fish type and feed. Hybrid sunfish and maybe catfish or something along that line. Using commercial feeds.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Forgot to mention, this pond has an unbelievable filtration system with a huge pump, water falls, BIO filter and fountain. So the water stays crystal clear. The previous owners were very wealthy and had a company take care of the pond to the tune of $600 a month. My bud is a hands on guy and wants to do it himself. (probably like a lot of us guys here). I don't blame him and its not like if it does not work its the end of the world. That said a good start is always good.

I like the crappie idea.
I would forget the crappie. In a few years time,
all you would have will be stunted crappie, no brim, no bass. Crappie voracious eaters, will clean out small fry in small pond. Big catfish may keep them under control for a while, but usually the crappie takes over.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:04 PM
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I knew there would be a lot of experience here. Thanks guys. I forgot, the stock guy is also including 30 lbs of fathead minnows. There are some really huge Large mouth bass in there already. The bluegill not reproducing is what I cant figure out. I have something at stake here, Friday night fish fries at his house.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:27 PM
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Consult a professional from Wisconsin, it'll be cheaper in the long run ...
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:20 AM
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i would consider doing channel cats.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:47 AM
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I would consider about 1/2 dozen shapely 21 year olds.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:15 AM
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The hybrid bluegills are great; I had access to an acre pond that had been stocked with Georgia Giants, and they were a blast on a fly rod, plus very good eating. He had tried crappie, and they did not do well - over populated, stunted. He killed the pond, started over with the hybrids, plus Channel cats which did did OK. Based on advice from the County agent, he did not stock minnows, he had a broadcast feeder, plus natural insects. In exchange for fishing access, I trapped the bleeping muskrats which liked his dam.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
For fish you don't want crystal clear water. You want a certain amount of biological life to support the whole life cycle of animals that the little fry and hatchlings need to support them in their early life. To feed the insects that they eat. Stuff like that. You actually fertilize a pond to get this bloom of aquatic life. You want a certain turbidity to the water.

For Bass bream cycle you keep it at just that. Blue Gill and Large Mouth. Maybe a few catfish too but do not add crappie to that mix. Crappie will eat up all your small fry from the Bass and Bream spawns and you'll have no reproducing bass or bream in a few years. Just a few overly large ones. No young ones to keep the cycle going.

You can do Crappie and Minnow cycle. That works. Giving them cover to reproduce in.

Or just one of the above species and feed them appropriately rather than try and stimulate a full life cycle feeding might be the best way In that small of a pond I think. I would tend to just do one fish type and feed. Hybrid sunfish and maybe catfish or something along that line. Using commercial feeds.
Dead on. I personally prefer a bream and bass pond. If I were him, I would dump the filtration, but keep the aeration.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
For fish you don't want crystal clear water. You want a certain amount of biological life to support the whole life cycle of animals that the little fry and hatchlings need to support them in their early life. To feed the insects that they eat. Stuff like that. You actually fertilize a pond to get this bloom of aquatic life. You want a certain turbidity to the water.

For Bass bream cycle you keep it at just that. Blue Gill and Large Mouth. Maybe a few catfish too but do not add crappie to that mix. Crappie will eat up all your small fry from the Bass and Bream spawns and you'll have no reproducing bass or bream in a few years. Just a few overly large ones. No young ones to keep the cycle going.

You can do Crappie and Minnow cycle. That works. Giving them cover to reproduce in.

Or just one of the above species and feed them appropriately rather than try and stimulate a full life cycle feeding might be the best way In that small of a pond I think. I would tend to just do one fish type and feed. Hybrid sunfish and maybe catfish or something along that line. Using commercial feeds.
This..it really depends what his goals are, if he wants trophy bass than keep it just bass and bream. Bream are the lifeblood of a bass pond/lake, they are the number one forage for bass. Without a survey the best thing you can do is increase your bream population by addding one feeder per three acres. Bream spawn multiple times, you can supplement with shad or herring I can't remember which but many like that better now than fathead minnows. You could also stock shiners but I think they can get out of hand. Our biologist stocked with crawfish as a supplement. If you feed your bream and the bass are not overpopulated bream should be all you need. Bass repopulate very quickly like bream and should be culled to maintain a balance where they are not stunted. A new pond usually peaks in year six or seven if not managed.

He may be able to stock with hybrid stripers, unlike largemouths they eat pellets off of a feeder and will grow to about 14 or 15 pounds, they fight hard. Downside is feeding them with pellets can make them hard to catch when older off artificials
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:06 AM
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I built a 1/2 acre pond from scratch.

Tell your buddy to contact Zetts. Zettsfishfarm.com

These folks have their chit together and offer multiple packages for starting a new pond or enhancing an existing one. Have him call and explain his situation, especially the super filtration. I'll bet he turns that off.

They ship various aquatic plants and critter by fed ex and if you follow the instructions, the result is a fantastic self-sustaining pond in no time flat. I had 2-1/2 Lb crappie in 3 years.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:44 AM
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I dug a small pond on my place in North Florida. A very good fish guy close by. He put I think 500 minnows, 100 bluegills, and 100 channel cats. My kid was very young then and we would feed them nearly every day. The fish dude said no crappie or warmouth. We like catching the bluegills and never put bass in. Great for kids and mobility impared. I use a little blue dye to keep algae from getting bad.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:06 AM
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Trout, Trout & Trout
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:56 AM
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Friend needs to talk to a fish expert in his area, I am sure different regions have different needs.
I stocked mine, on the advice of a local fish hatchery, with hybrid Brim (George Giants) and small mouth Bass.

Was advised to let fish establish themselves before I considered introducing large mouth Bass.

Stocking was simple. I drove to hatchery, they loaded my fish in plastic bags then I covered those bags with a tarp to keep fish from stressing the travel, then just cut and poured em in.
Hatchery recommended salting the pond water before dumping fish in to soften their introduction but I skipped that step cause it seemed a bit overboard to me.

Word of caution on hybrid fish.... I initially had some very big Brim, we caught a few that were close to 3 pounds, but each generation seems to get smaller and smaller.
Now I have a pond full of regular sized Brim.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by storytime View Post
No experience but would putting in a few make carp to keep the weeds down be helpful?
Grass carp that cant reproduce. Bluegill /largemouth combo always works. I would avoid catfish.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:14 AM
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You are going to get fish you did not stock most likely some kind of sunfish and maybe catfish. Fish eggs get caught on ducks feet and when the land some fall off and then hatch. I knew a couple of people in Virginia that put in pretty large ponds mainly for looks and in a few years it was full of bluegill and bass. They never stocked.
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