Stocking your pond properly is essential if you wish to produce a sustainable population of fish for years to come. We offer stocking advice customized to your individual situation. Stocking rates may vary based on several factors including management strategies, pond size, location, water chemistry, time of year, and your management goals. We can help you identify these significant factors and develop a stocking strategy that can help you best achieve your goals.

A few factors are important to know before stocking a new pond:

  • Is the pond at least 1/3 full and filling?
  • Is the pond free of wild fish? Wild fish will negatively affect the balance of your new fish population by allowing competing species or predators to deplete the forage available to your new fish or eat your new fish.
  • Are you planning on fertilizing the pond? Stocking rates typically double when you plan on fertilizing a pond because the pond will support more fish.
General Stocking Rates Fertilized Rate Unfertilized Rate
Largemouth Bass 50-100 per acre 50 per acre
Bluegill/Shellcracker 1000-2000 per acre 500 per acre
Fathead Minnows 1000-2000 per acre 1000 per acre

Ideally, ponds free of any wild fish are stocked in the fall with your forage fish (bluegill, shellcracker, fathead minnows). Threadfin shad can also be stocked in the fall or the spring to further increase the forage base. The fish are left in the pond free of any predator fish for several months. This period of time allows the forage fish to reproduce and build up the population’s numbers. The following spring (around June), largemouth bass will be stocked. From this point, you should have good fishing for bass, bluegill, and shellcracker in about one year. This schedule can be adapted to your specific time table in the event that your pond is ready to stock at a different time of year.

Most species of fish are available in different sizes. The availability of species and specific sizes is seasonal. Contact us for information regarding availability.