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How Do I Stock Fish In My Pond? – Ponds & Lakes Q & A

Largemouth Bass

Q: How Do I Stock Fish In My Pond? – Ellie in Massachusetts

Where’s The Fish?
Both fishing enthusiasts and pond hobbyists alike can appreciate the presence of a healthy fish population in their pond. While they are fun to catch and entertaining to watch, they also help maintain a balanced backyard ecosystem. As is true with most aspects of your pond, the key to maintaining an enjoyable environment is balance. When stocking your pond, you will want to add a combination of both predator (largemouth bass for example) and prey fish (bluegill or perch). Your predator fish won’t fare too well without prey fish on their menu. If you stock your pond with prey fish only, there will be few factors regulating their population which can lead to an uncomfortably high fish population. When stocking your pond, aim for a 3:1 prey to predator ratio to ensure your predator fish have a reasonable meal selection. Maintaining a clean pond with plenty of aeration will promote a robust and healthy fish selection. Most man-made ponds lack adequate habitats, so make sure you provide options like a Fish Attractor that provides a retreat for the smaller up-and-coming fish.

Every Fish Has Its Day
Our local customers can take advantage of The Pond Guy semi-annual Fish Day, which takes place on the 8th of May. Fish Day is a great opportunity to meet with other pond owners, speak with the friendly and knowledgeable Pond Guy staff, and browse our wide selection of pond products from Pond Dye to aeration. Customers can pre-order online or over the phone until May 7th; orders will be available for payment and pick-up on May 8th between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There will be a wide selection of both predator and prey fish available for purchase, including Hybrid Bluegill, Perch, Catfish and Bass. Walk-ins are welcome, but selection will be limited by availability.

POND TALK: What types of fish do you keep in your pond?

The Pond Guy presents Fish Day 2010 on May 8th

10 Responses

  1. […] are coming up with and inspect your catch for signs of illness or malnourishment. Click over to our Pond Stocking Blog and Fish I.D. Blog for additional information on your game fish and how to maintain their […]

  2. […] this by installing Fish Attractor Spheres or by providing aquatic plants. Take a look at our Pond Stocking Blog and Fish Habitat Blog to learn more about predator/prey ratios and implementing […]

  3. […] Not sure if you have fish? Try baiting a hook and doing a little bit of fishing. Odds are if there are some fish in the pond at least one or two of them will bite. If you are not into the fishing scene you can try to place a Fish Trap in the pond with some bait and see what you pull up. You may get lucky and coax them up to the shore just by throwing some bread or Fish Food into the water. Keeping track of the size, number and types of fish you pull out of the pond will give you an idea of what type of fish population you will be dealing with later on down the road. If you notice you are only pulling out prey fish like Bluegill, you will eventually have an over abundance of little fish swimming around the pond in the seasons to come. To keep things balanced you would want to introduce a few predator fish like Bass to the pond. On the other hand, if you notice that you have a lot of small Bass in the pond, they may need a little more help with finding food. Stocking some Minnows, Bluegill, or feeding them Fish Food will help them grow to a more appealing size. You can read more tips on adding fish by reading our Pond Stocking Blog. […]

  4. Some states require a permit prior to stocking fish even on private land. I am only allowed to stock Yellowstone cutthroat trout in my pond in Montana. Even rainbows and brown trout are excluded. Fish and Game check my pond every few years to make sure I comply. They are afraid of non native species somehow entering the Yellowstone river. Even though they stocked rainbows and browns for years in the Yellowstone. Their seems to be a push for only naturally occuring species. Non native predators such as the lake trout wreak havoc on weaker species such as cutthroat. (Lake Yellowstone).

  5. Fish attractors are a must. Build’em cheap and often. I use small trees 8 to l0ft. Tie at the top then spread them with a 4×4 ft. old plywood with a cender block on top of the wood. Tie all trees to ply wood and drop into your pond. It will stand upright and make a great ‘fish house’. Or, find a roll of discarded net fence wire like hog wire. Drop it in the pond with a float marker to avoid hang ups. Or, go buy one. bj

    • There are many different ways to construct fish habitat. The main idea is to give them a place to hide and hang out. Just keep in mind that adding materials that breakdown will always help to contribute to the organic buildup in your pond. There are also products all there called fish attractors that can be used that will not breakdown that serve the same purpose but either method will work.

  6. our pond is about 1 . 2 acres we have bass and blue gill the bass are all about the same size 2 to 3 ilbs and the blue gill are quarter of a pound never catch little blue gill or small bass when the blue gill are not spawning may catch one here and one there never 10 or 12 do you have any suggestions

    • Hi Forrest,

      Have you ever stocked your pond with feeder minnows or other sources of food? This may increase their agressivness for grabbing bate and also speed up their growth. Habitat will also play a large role. If there are areas with weed beds or places where the fish would most likely hideout you will be more likely to catch a larger number of fish as these will be the areas where the bluegill will hide and the bass will hunt.

  7. Where can I find fish to stock my pond? I’m in Washington State.

    • Hi Cj,

      You may want to go online and just search for a local fish hatchery. Many times they have “Fish Days” locally where customers can come and purchase fish for pond stocking.

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