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thoughts on fish stocking in small ponds and small lakes,
Southeastern United States.
Charles Bo Collins, Fisheries Biologist
Sunrise Fisheries, Inc.
2447 North Lakeshore Drive
Lake Village, AR 71653
I cannot think of a better way of spending leisure time
than with your friends and loved ones fishing. What really helps
us enjoy and remember that fishing experience is catching a stringer
full of quality fish. This does not just happen in ponds and small
lakes if the fishing water is not stocked with the right kind of fish.
If your fishing water is improperly stocked, disappointment will result
plus costing a considerable amount of money that could have been spent
on buying the right kind of fish.
Fish Stocking in Water Less
than One Acre
If the body of water is less than one surface acre, the
best choice would be to stock channel catfish or hybrid bluegill.
Since limited reproduction will occur with either of the species, channel
catfish could be stocked anywhere from 50 to 200 per acre and hybrid bluegill
up to 300 per acre. This rate is based on waters that are void of
fish. Fathead minnows could be added for forage. Fish should
be offered a commercial fish food (preferably floating) at least 2 to 3
times per week from spring through fall. The stocking size for channel
catfish and hybrid bluegill would be from 3 to 8 inches. Fish could
be stocked in the fall or spring.
Fish Stocking in Waters Exceeding
Waters exceeding one acre can be stocked with several
species of fish. The following table can serve as a guideline.
Table is based on stocking a body of water void of fish.
||5 10 lbs.
||Fall or Spring
|* The number of grass carp to stock
will vary depending on the abundance of aquatic vegetation. For a
new body of water without a weed problem, stocking at the above rate is
suggested. When weeds are starting to become a problem, additional
grass carp may be needed.
Other species such as the black crappie
and, in recent years, hybrid striped bass have been used for stocking.
I would not recommend stocking black crappie unless the body of water exceeds
50 surface acres. Stocking rate for black crappie should not exceed
50 per surface acre and should be stocked in the spring. DO NOT STOCK
white crappie since they have a tendency to overpopulate. Hybrid
striped bass should only be stocked where large numbers of gizzard shad
are present. Stocking rate for hybrid striped bass should not exceed
25 per surface acre.
Sunrise Fisheries, Inc. would be glad to supply you with
fish for stocking. We have been providing this service for many years
and would appreciate your business.
You can reach us by calling (870) 265-1205.
For a listing of other services we provide, go to www.sunrisefisheries.com.