Posted by jd on July 01, 2002 at 09:40:31:
In Reply to: Pond Stocking posted by Earl on June 28, 2002 at 23:35:27:
The only thing I have learned is that the bluegill hybrids we bought years ago did not reproduce. They had huge mouths and grew very quick. We used to catch them while bass fishing with 6 inch plastic worms and 3/0 worm hooks. However, I have not seen one in a while. I know there was at least one 8 pound bass that probably picked them off one-by-one over the years.
The last stocking we did was with coppernose bluegill last fall. I see those regularly sold by growers. The state or fisheries information often says that shellcrackers are too agressive for pond stocking and will affect spawning of bass and bluegill. If you stock only bream, then maybe you could use hybrids or shellcrackers and fathead minnows. I have never seen shellcrackers for sale.
It has been my experience that you have, at best, 3-4 grower choices to buy fish and then only a few times per year. It is not a good idea to buy fish more than 20-30 minutes away from your pond. It is much better in cooler weather such as late fall and late winter to keep from stressing the fish and they also consume less oxygen. They put pure oxygen in the bags with only a minimal amount of water. If you lose the rubber band and the pure oxygen escapes, you have a real problem for the fish in that bag.
Most fisheries guys will tell you rule #1 is to maintain balance. The only way to know the balance is to start fresh and kill everything in the pond. This means no good fishing for 3 years, but I believe it is worth the wait as the fish will be very healthy and grow very efficiently. If you stock bream into a pond with an established bass population, you will probably witness a feeding frenzy and walk away wondering how many of the bream survived. If you put too many bream, the bass spawn will be inhibited by large number of breams attacking the beds.
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