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Q:
I had a 1/2 acre pond dug last yr thats only about 3/4 full. Max depth is 15 ft. I put some assorted structure in it, (boulders, timber and wood pallets). Also purchased a windmill aerator. I stocked 1000 fathead minnows last spring but nothing else so far due to the water level. I plan to stock lgmouth, bluegills, shellcrackers and catfish. Would appreciate any tips or suggestions from other pond owners that I may not be doing to help jump start the fishing. I realize it'll be while til I get any size to the fish. Thanks

Question by Kenton. Uploaded on February 05, 2010

Answers (15)

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from seneca_slabs wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

So far it sounds like your off to a good start. I have a frind that puts minnows in his pond every year to make sure the fish have enough to eat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RylieGipson wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

1. pray 2. fertilize 3.google

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Phipps wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

a couple years ago f&s ran an article on pond building, search for it, it was pretty good. good luck on your pond

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I have had a pond now for over 10 years. We lost a lot of fish due to muskrat/snappers..

aeration is key to keeping down weeds and algae

good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Excellent start up program. A half acre pond is relatively small and even with with a depth of 15 feet resources are limited, especially with oxygen levels. A small multispecies pond definitely benefits from good fertility and also from feeding.

If you haven't done so lime your pond. The typical recommendation is a ton of agricultural lime per acre. In your case 1000 pounds will be sufficient. Make sure the lime is evenly distributed in pond. In areas where fill is not complete it may be applied to the soil surface.

The reason for liming is to get the hardness level of your pond water over 20-25 parts per million to enable fertilizers to suspend in the water column and provide support for plankton.

For stocking strategy and maintenance recommendations check out the link to a guide from the University of Arkansas. Excellent publication.

http://www.uaex.edu/wneal/Pond_Management/pdf/MP360final.pdf

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I had a half-acre pond years ago with a maximum depth of eight feet, and no problems with vegetation except at the edges (cattails). It was situated at the bottom of a hill, so there was always fresh water coming in and the overflow leaving at one corner of the dam.
I stocked it with golden shiners and largemouth bass (two-inch fingerlings). Within one year, the bass were ten inches long, but the golden shiner population was soon decimated.
The recommended removal rate for bass was 22 per surface acre, so I could catch and keep eleven bass a year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kenton wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Beekeeper, I had several tons of limestone dumped around the perimeter of the pond to stop erosion. The stone is #1, about the size of a baseball. The water will cover the majority of the limestone. Do I still need to add more lime? Thanks

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Kenton,

The easiest way is to have a hardness analysis done on your water. There are shake & bake kits out there that you can buy but you can also have the water hardness test done by your local cooperative extension agent or your local pool supply store.

Collect water samples from several locations around the pond. Combine into a clean container and cattry them to you testing source. If your hardness is above 20 parts per million you are good to go for your fertility applications. As for fertility follow the schedule and recommendations in the Arkansas pond guide.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Sorry that should have been "carry'...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Add some snails and other smaller aquatic life for the minnows to feed on, that's the foundation of the food chain. Good luck with it, we enjoy ours. Picture on my profile. Not sure where you're at but we got most of our fish, minnows, etc. here.

http://zettsfishhatchery.com/

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Along with buying feed perch, minnows and some florida strain bass, I helped stock my ponds with large bass I caught while fishing a nearby lake and river. I started by adding a few 6 lb'rs and several 4 lb+ bass and now Have no problem letting the grandkids got to the ponds and hook into an 8 to 10 pounders. There is great risk of introducing very bad things into your ponds, so this is something you must consider. I never had any problems but I may have been lucky.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Sounds like you have a good plan. Your bluegills and shellcrackers will provide a good forage stock for your bass and catfish. I've always heard that it isn't a good idea to stock two predatory species such as catfish and bass in small pond as that may stress the supply of forage fish. I have a one acre pond and have to be careful with the number of fish caught so as not to get the pond out of balance. Actually, one mistake you can make is to practice too much catch and release---you need to take some fish out. Tight lines.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Most states have a soil conservation agency that will come out and help at no cost.My grandfather did as Cgull suggested he fished a lot and would bring fish from other locations to his pond.We built wire cages to catch small bream out of rice ditches and would let them go by the hundreds for the predators.Good luck with the pond

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

when you stock it with game fish put the bluegills and shell crackers then the catfish then the bass if you dont do it right the bass grow faster than catfish and the bass will eat all of the catfish

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

from seneca_slabs wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

So far it sounds like your off to a good start. I have a frind that puts minnows in his pond every year to make sure the fish have enough to eat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Sounds like you have a good plan. Your bluegills and shellcrackers will provide a good forage stock for your bass and catfish. I've always heard that it isn't a good idea to stock two predatory species such as catfish and bass in small pond as that may stress the supply of forage fish. I have a one acre pond and have to be careful with the number of fish caught so as not to get the pond out of balance. Actually, one mistake you can make is to practice too much catch and release---you need to take some fish out. Tight lines.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Phipps wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

a couple years ago f&s ran an article on pond building, search for it, it was pretty good. good luck on your pond

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Excellent start up program. A half acre pond is relatively small and even with with a depth of 15 feet resources are limited, especially with oxygen levels. A small multispecies pond definitely benefits from good fertility and also from feeding.

If you haven't done so lime your pond. The typical recommendation is a ton of agricultural lime per acre. In your case 1000 pounds will be sufficient. Make sure the lime is evenly distributed in pond. In areas where fill is not complete it may be applied to the soil surface.

The reason for liming is to get the hardness level of your pond water over 20-25 parts per million to enable fertilizers to suspend in the water column and provide support for plankton.

For stocking strategy and maintenance recommendations check out the link to a guide from the University of Arkansas. Excellent publication.

http://www.uaex.edu/wneal/Pond_Management/pdf/MP360final.pdf

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I had a half-acre pond years ago with a maximum depth of eight feet, and no problems with vegetation except at the edges (cattails). It was situated at the bottom of a hill, so there was always fresh water coming in and the overflow leaving at one corner of the dam.
I stocked it with golden shiners and largemouth bass (two-inch fingerlings). Within one year, the bass were ten inches long, but the golden shiner population was soon decimated.
The recommended removal rate for bass was 22 per surface acre, so I could catch and keep eleven bass a year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kenton wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Beekeeper, I had several tons of limestone dumped around the perimeter of the pond to stop erosion. The stone is #1, about the size of a baseball. The water will cover the majority of the limestone. Do I still need to add more lime? Thanks

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Kenton,

The easiest way is to have a hardness analysis done on your water. There are shake & bake kits out there that you can buy but you can also have the water hardness test done by your local cooperative extension agent or your local pool supply store.

Collect water samples from several locations around the pond. Combine into a clean container and cattry them to you testing source. If your hardness is above 20 parts per million you are good to go for your fertility applications. As for fertility follow the schedule and recommendations in the Arkansas pond guide.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Sorry that should have been "carry'...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Add some snails and other smaller aquatic life for the minnows to feed on, that's the foundation of the food chain. Good luck with it, we enjoy ours. Picture on my profile. Not sure where you're at but we got most of our fish, minnows, etc. here.

http://zettsfishhatchery.com/

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Along with buying feed perch, minnows and some florida strain bass, I helped stock my ponds with large bass I caught while fishing a nearby lake and river. I started by adding a few 6 lb'rs and several 4 lb+ bass and now Have no problem letting the grandkids got to the ponds and hook into an 8 to 10 pounders. There is great risk of introducing very bad things into your ponds, so this is something you must consider. I never had any problems but I may have been lucky.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Most states have a soil conservation agency that will come out and help at no cost.My grandfather did as Cgull suggested he fished a lot and would bring fish from other locations to his pond.We built wire cages to catch small bream out of rice ditches and would let them go by the hundreds for the predators.Good luck with the pond

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I have had a pond now for over 10 years. We lost a lot of fish due to muskrat/snappers..

aeration is key to keeping down weeds and algae

good luck!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

when you stock it with game fish put the bluegills and shell crackers then the catfish then the bass if you dont do it right the bass grow faster than catfish and the bass will eat all of the catfish

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RylieGipson wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

1. pray 2. fertilize 3.google

-5 Good Comment? | | Report

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