Source: AgriLife Today
Spring is a good time for landowners with new ponds to begin stocking fish but a planned approach is recommended, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension fisheries specialist Todd Sink.
Here is a quick list of steps to consider when stocking a new pond:
- Assure the environment is suitable for phytoplankton, prey organisms and fish at all levels of the food chain
- Take a water sample for analyses to determine the water chemistry of the pond
- Implement a fertilization program if maximizing fish production is the main goal. Most ponds benefit from adding 5-8 pounds of liquid or powdered, not pelleted, phosphorus per-acre
- After creating a good environment, owners should stock ponds in spring or early summer with 5-15 pounds of fathead minnows per acre.
- In the fall stock the pond with 500 bluegill or 400 bluegill and 100 redear sunfish per acre. By stocking the two species in combination, landowners end up with more fish in the pond because they are not competing for the same resources.
- Once stocked, the pond should be ready for quality fishing in three years.
Aquatic vegetation can provide good cover for fish, but is in no way necessary or vital to a good fishery and should be managed. Sink said vegetation should be limited to 10-15 percent of the pond’s total bottom area. Aerators can be beneficial to many aspects of the pond but are not required.
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