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Pond Management-Pond Stocking

(birds singing) (fish flapping around) (Rob Hilsabeck DNR district fisheries biologist) today we’re going to discuss the stocking of a brand new pond here in Illinois one that either is a brand new pond that does not have any fish present in it or one that has had a winter kill or a summer
kill so we’re starting from scratch In Illinois our basic stocking is
largemouth bass bluegill redear sunfish and channel catfish our initial stocking
rate on largemouth bass is 50 to 100 fish per surface acre we recommend the
fingerling size fish to get the proper ratio as they grow the difference
between 50 to 100 is based on the fertility rate of the type of soils
where your pond is at with a lower stocking rate of 50 largemouth bass per
acre on more infertile soils 100 largemouth bass per acre on a more
fertile soil this is a 5 to 8 inch largemouth bass sometimes when we’re
recommending corrective stocking after a fish kill and your bass population has
been eliminated this is the size you can obtain from fish dealers to help get
your population balanced most of our new ponds in Illinois we recommend the
combination of bluegill and redear sunfish and the stocking ratio is as high
as 750 blue gills per surface acre and 250 redear sunfish per acre this is
also based on fertility of the body of water you are stocking in and we recommend
these fingerling size fish to get the proper ratio as they grow they will
provide the forage for the largemouth bass this example of a male and female
bluegill once they have become mature and at this size and this may occur in
your pond as early as the second year they will be able to spawn and that
spawn will be the forage for the largemouth bass the initial stocking
rate for channel catfish is a 100 fingerling per acre for fertile ponds 50
fingerling per acre for infertile ponds channel catfish do not normally
maintain a population by natural reproduction in ponds with the presence of bass and bluegill the pond manager will need supplemental stockings of
8-inch or larger channel catfish in the future
to sustain a fishable population this is a gizzard shad it is a fish you do not
want to stock in a brand new pond it is a planktavore and it will cause severe
problems with your bluegill growth rate this is a green sunfish called by many
names by many people sometimes they call it a rock bass sometimes they call it a
warmouth but it is a green sunfish and it is another one you do not want to
stock in a brand new pond it does have some orange tipping on the tips of its
fins it is a very tough fish because withstand very low oxygen and very
polluted waters so often times if you do have a poor environmental conditions in
your pond and this fish is present it will survive and it will out compete the
bluegill and redear sunfish this is a yellow bass it is often times
misidentified by anglers and people wanting to do their own pond stocking on
the side it is not a good fish to stock in your pond they usually become stunted
at 3 to 6 inches and they will cause severe competition with your largemouth
bass population this is a white crappie it is also another fish species we do
not recommend in small farm ponds especially on the initial stocking
everybody likes to eat the crappie they are extremely reproductive and they
become so numerous on their first spawn that they do not obtain a large size
they will become stunted and you will have a pond full of stunted crappies and
not a quality fish population this is a black crappie it is also another one of the crappie species we do not recommend that you stock in an initial pond
stocking also extremely reproductive and they will become stunted in your pond
and you will not have a quality sport fish population this is the common carp
introduced from Europe in the late 1800s this fish is a fish species you
definitely do not want to introduce into your pond or allow it to be introduced
in your pond it is a rooter it digs around in
the bottom disturbs the sediment in the bottom it disturbs the rooted aquatic
plants and it causes very poor water quality the water becomes very turbid
and it affects the site feeders such as the bluegill and largemouth bass and
redear sunfish it causes a very poor sport fish population it competes
directly with these fish for food and space after the initial pond stocking
there are numerous other fish stocking situations that may be used to develop
or maintain a sport fishery however with these more complex stocking options it
is advised to directly discuss your ponds habitat and your goals with your
local district fisheries biologist (birds singing)


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