Stocking Pond With Catfish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Salmonid, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Hey guys, Im in the process of building about a 3/4 acre escavated pond at my place, it would have been done except for all the freaking rain we have had here, now its too wet to dig, so Its on a holding pattern until it either dries out or freezes.
    Anyways, assuming its going to be done by May and filled up, Im having a tough time deciding how I plan to stock it, it will obviously get the Bass, Hybrid Bluegills and a few black crappies all stocked in the 3-6" range a couple of months after I get the fathead minnows and golden shiners stocked.
    My question is how many channels should I stock ( they will be in the 6-9" range) to complete the propper cycle. Most places I have read say about 50 per acre but wondered if that is what most folks do or not.

    My next question is regarding structures so they can repopulate, I have access to concrete culverts and wondered what the thoughts were regarding keeping a ongoing population of these vs just putting 25 in a year for a few years to establish different year classes. Anyone have any experience on this? In other words, will they reproduce if I provide the culverts? or not. I get mixed feedback when I have brought this up with fisheries biologists.

    Salmonid
     
  2. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    I would be careful and not put to many in. The cats will eat the other fish.
    Bill
     

  3. dgde4x4man

    dgde4x4man New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    La Moille, Illinois
    Contact your DNR. They have all the info you would want on how to stock and how much. The pond I belong to we throw old Christmas Trees in the center of the pond for structure for the catfish. Yes I believe you need to have something there for them to reproduce.
     
  4. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    whatever you do, do not put any flats in there! like a previous post stated, i wouldnt put many channels either, they can be just as ferocious as flats sometimes. you might want to look into farm-raised channels, i used to "private-lake" fish for them and you almost have to fish for them like you do bluegill, not agressive at all. they are used to getting a free meal.
     
  5. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Yes, that is why Im asking for more opinions, Im thinking I might just do 40-50 of the little guys and let them grow up but then again, I d hate to have cookie cutter channels in the pond. Decissions, desisions, I may lean towards getting 12- 12" cats, then 20- 8" cats and then another 20- 4" cats to cover 3 year classes or something like that. All cats will be farm raised types from local Hatchery.

    Dont worry, I dont plan on ever putting flats into the pond unless I start getting lots of smaller stunted gills, but Im pretty sure that Ill be able to use enough of them for bait to keep that from happening.

    Here is a twist, the wife ( seriously) asked about puting some goldfish in for fun as well.....so maybe Ill do that as we will be hand feeding the first year most likely.

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Salmonid
     
  6. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    you also might want to look into the hybrid white/stripped bass instead of largemouth. i know of a couple ponds that the owner put them into to keep the bluegills under control, nothing but hawg 'gills in there now! i had a couple break 6lb test! theres something about those hybrids that make them grow fast without eating as much as a largemouth. i think they fight 10 times harder too in a pond.
     
  7. ar_confederate

    ar_confederate New Member

    Messages:
    863
    State:
    Minden, Lo
    I used to have a 1/4 acre pond as well. I stocked it with hybrid bluegill and channel cats. I used 50 cats 6" long. I was advised to use that number since I would be feeding them daily. Also, I stocked it in the spring and was advised to not fish in it until the fall/winter. In addition, I was advised to NOT put crappie into a small pond. They would overpopulate and be stunted. They would also throw the food chain out of whack. The extension service recommended not stocking crappie in anything smaller than 100 acres. I didn't deliberately put bass in it but somehow or other, I had one in there. I used to have some fun catching him and throwing him back.

    I didn't have any evidence that the cats reproduced a lot but I definitely saw some small cats the next year after stocking that I didn't put in there. Good luck. This was about the most fun thing that I've done.
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    For what its worth, crappie is the worst thing you can put in a pond.
    With bass, crappie, and catfish you'll have 3 predatory fish in a small pond.
     
  9. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    i would prolly wait a year until the bluegill population takes off and goes through a spawn. The only reason we stock the pond around here is because the bluegill have taken over and the rest of the fishing went down hill
     
  10. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Sorry, I should have clarified, the crappies will be a handful of Black Crappies which will not overpopulate in a pond and will typically hold there own because they spawn at amuch lower rate and typically do not do too well in a pond situation. I fish many ponds with nice populations of largemouth, Black Crappies and hybrid bluegills as well as regular bluegills. I have thought abou tthe Hybrid stripers and have caught all I care to catch, they do fight hard but the LM will reproduce vs having to put more Hybrids in every 2-3 years. The ultimate goal is stock once and not have to restock for many many years. I also have reservered already 30 lbs of fatheads and 20 lbs of golden shiners ( fatheads feed the smaller fish, Golden shiners feed the bigger fish) These will be stocked several months ahead of time to establish at least 1 spawn, maybe 2, before regular stocking happens. I will not be fishing this pond per instructions from DNR for 3 years. When I talk to hatchery folks they have different guidelines then the DNR and when I talk to folks with ponds, they all tell me different stuff as well. Thats why Im up in the air with how to proceed.

    All good points and I respect them all.
    Thanks, Salmonid
     
  11. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    it looks like you will have a good pond in a couple years MArk, and plenty of bluegills for us to catfish for years to come :thumbsup:
     
  12. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    Salmonid,

    Your county agricultural extension agent should be able to provide guidleines.

    Dennis
     
  13. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Your right, the local county extension agent should be of some help but when he came out to survey the pond, he says " Is your wife Mrs. "B" she was my teacher last year" ( she teaches Small animal care at the local vocational HS)he doesnt fish, just graduated HS and this was his first Pond site survey, so lets say I taught him a lot in the hour we talked...... Unfortunately he replaced someone who had 35 years in who just retired.

    Back to square 1....:rolleyes:

    Salmonid
     
  14. CatBusster

    CatBusster New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Out Fishing
    with regard for structure for reproduction, have a shallow area that is lined with water plants, reed beds are ideal, lily pads are more appealing to the eye, but you may have to create more than one area for spawning to encourage and successfully harvest future generations of stock. Thought about a wels for the back yard pond?
     
  15. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Regarding a wels, that would certainly keep all the small children away from the pond. Once they saw that, there would rumors of Loch Ness residing in the states....:)

    Salmonid
     
  16. THE CATKING

    THE CATKING New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Cattinatti
    I extensively did stocking in ponds and small lakes for years. The 50 channels will be no problem. Sink some culvert pipes in 3' of water if you want reproduction. The size pond you are talikin about will support all the fish mentioned. We even had two nice blue cats in one of our ponds of 3/4 acres and they all did great for years . The blues got huge and there was a good population of bass, gills, channel and even crappie . We did feed our cats dry dog food twice a week. Buy a large 50 pound bag abd throw a few scoops out . It's fun to watch the big boys come up. Our other lake was around 2 acres and also did quite well ... all the way up until little brother decided to put a few flatheads in it.... NOT GOOD.... after a few years we finally got them all out except one MONSTER.... he went about 45 pounds or so .and was caught every year , then no more. Probably died and the turtles got him.....:) A good idea is also get some water lilies and plat them in galvanized wash tubs , then sink them in the shallows. They look GREAT and will not over take the lake when planted like this..... Good luck !!! THE CATKING !!!
     
  17. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Thanks Catking, thats a neat idea on the waterlilly's as my wife who has quite a green thumb has already asked about getting some lilly pads in there once its all set up, Ive been a little leary on that but will look into that idea.

    Status is they pumped water out for the last two days strainght to empty what had filled up over the last 6 weeks and with colder weather next week are planning to get back to work on it so Im excited!!

    One of my buddy's has a small backyard pond loaded with nice channels and they feed em dogfood as well, I like catching them as most are between 5-8 lbs, what a blast!!

    Hey Catking, just curious what types of bluegills did you have in there? regular or hybrids?

    Salmonid
     
  18. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Salmonid,

    I'm not going to add any more biologist perspective b/c it sounds like you've done your research.

    I will say this: Keep in mind, private hatcheries are in the business to make $money$ and will sell you a bunch of unneccesary stuff. Lots of these places sell you a "pond package" that includes frogs & tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs, sometimes newts. They will also sell these separately. Here's the kicker, a month or two after (or before!) your pond fills up, all those things will be in there on their own. I'm not sure I'm sold on the hybrid bluegill idea either. I was involved with a pond construction project about 6 years ago with a county conervation district I worked for. The hatchery really pushed the pond package deal w/ hybrid bluegill, fatheads, & bass. They recommmended these hybrids (bluegill x green sunfish) because the claimed they wouldn't reproduce as successfully as bluegill & thus wouldn't overpopulate the ponds & stunt. Oh yah, you probably should by fatheads every year to keep a good forage base ($$$). Well, the reduced reproduction part was true. I went back last year & fished the pond and caught a ton of skinny 12-inch bass and a few beefy hybrids. I'm sure the fatheads where long gone from the bass and hybrids (greenies are predators & eat little fatheads). The hybrids did not reproduce much and now we've got a bunch of poor looking bass & basically nothing else.

    I would keep it as simple as possible: bass, bluegill, & channels. I you want fatheads for forage, provide some spawning structure for them so you don't have keep shelling out cash to the hatchery guy. Fatheads spawn on the underside of rocks. Hatcheries that raise fatheads will typically dump a truck load of old bricks in the pond to provide that structure. If you stock bluegill & you start to think there's beginning to be too many & you're concerned about stunting, invite the neighbors (or the BOC brothers!) and have a fish fry! Adaptive management!

    Whatever you decide, it will be a learning process...and lots of fun.

    I wish I could build a pond :sad:

    Let us know what you decide and how it works out.
     
  19. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Another thing about buying hybrids. There is a percentage of them that you buy that will not be hybrid and will reproduce which is not all bad in my opinion. Atleast it wasnt in my case. I was told 10-15% would not have the hybrid trait.
     
  20. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Im going to talk to my neighbor who travels to Georgia and picks up a hybrid called the "Georgia Giant" its a redear of some sort that gets up to 3+ lbs!! He bought 100 of them a few years back and has some 13" gills there, ( he showed me pictures) and is headed down to get another 100 some time this year and wantedto know if I wanted him to get me some, Of course I do!!! But I dont know abou tthese other then a few articles I have read, fast growth, little reproduction and these guys get HUGE! I love catfish and all but if I got into a 2+ lb gill on my ultralight or flyrod, whoo boy!!! That would make my hole year!!

    So anyone else know anything about these "Georgia Giants"??

    Oh yeah, the Green sunfish hybrid has been taken off the list, way too many complaints about them getting stunted.
    Another good point about frogs, tadpoles, even selling painted turtles now, etc. They will show up in due time, no need to buy them.

    Salmonid