Re: Fish Stocking

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Posted by jd on May 27, 2004 at 09:07:03:

In Reply to: Re: Fish Stocking posted by Kerry C. on May 26, 2004 at 13:57:57:

You need to contact your county extension office (Alabama Cooperative Extension System). These guys are funded with your tax dollars and are there to help... so don't be afraid to call! It is under government listings in the phone book. It is usually a big hastle and has a long lead time, but they do provide stockings in early spring if you meet all of their criteria. If you are looking only for numbers, check out Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) stuff on the web. Auburn University produces lots of information on the subject of building and stocking ponds, but most of it is distributed by ACES. You can probably find other agricultural universities on the web. It seems like Mississippi State and Texas A&M might have some fisheries stuff, but don't hold me to that. I will look up some links if I have time. Stocking usually depends on whether or not you plan to fertilize, but as a rule of thumb, 50 bass and 500 bream per acre. I like the fathead minnows for forage and have a 1/2 acre pond that has produced several large bass over 8 pounds or else I catch the same one from time to time. This pond is a cattle watering hole so I serves it dual purpose very well. I have stocked two others, but one gets filled with algae and kills the fish on odd years, and the other is new. If you have a good pond that is spring fed part of the year, has a good runoff collection, or does not scum over real bad, you have won half the battle. My best pond has been fished to death by frieds of friends of uncles and such. Be careful who you share with after you do all the hard work and spend the money. :)

Do not buy the hybrid bluegill because they do not reproduce. I always hear "coppernose bluegill" these days and I have had good luck with them. Commercial fish growers usually visit local co-ops in early spring and bring fish. Some guys from Arkansas usually frequent our area in Marshall County. You do not want to do this in the hot weather because it is hard to keep fish alive in those bags. They typically fill them with pure oxygen and a small amount of water, and if you puncture the bag, you are in big trouble! And the bags will get blown around in the back of a truck. It is usually a nerver racking experience for me since I have a 25 minute drive from the pickup site to the ponds. Plan well before you do it. As I recall, you can expect to spend approximately $300-500 per acre... but I vaguely remember the exact numbers.

If you already have fish in the pond, you might need to kill them. Do a little research. The info is easy to find. Let me know if you have questions. If you are looking to stock catfish, I don't have any of those numbers in my head. However, they are easy to find.

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