Stocking a pond

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Agent47, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Agent47

    Agent47 Trying to pull it in!!!!

    Welp, Ive got this fascinating idea of building a pond and stocking it which im sure might not get to far when I start digging into the wallet.
    Anybody have any ideas on space for panfish and stocking verse oxygen and etc.
    I have 1 acre to build, is this even feasable under 5 grand ??
  2. First thing to do is get your county Soil and Water Conservation office involved. You will need a survey of the land to check the watershed, etc. Then you'll need test holes to see if the land is conducive to having a pond. If you hit a lot of sand or underground springs, you're done. Pond should be built with a generous portion of surface area over 8 to 10 feet deep. YOu want to get to 3' deep as soon as possible to minimize weed growth. The watershed must be understood, and you don't want road debris (salt, etc) or farming land (manure or fertilizers) getting into that watershed. Be patient and watch the pond fill.

    If you get this far, the rest is fun. Fish.......5 lbs of bluegills to one pound of bass. Channel cats are great. Stay away from perch, crappie, bullheads, carp, sunfish because they will overpopulate and result in stunted fish. Also supplement with 5 to 10 lbs of fathead minnows. Be careful of your minnow source so you don't get those carp and bullheads mixed in. Start fishing and watch them grow. If you decide to eat fish out of your pond, remember to take the same ratio of prey to predator. If you eat one pound of bass, you have to eat 5 lbs of bluegills. If you fail to do this, you will result in a pond full of stunted fish.

    My pond is over 20 yrs old, and I've enjoyed every day that I've had it. I don't kill my fish. I have lots of 12" bluegills, many nice sized bass (though they're hard to catch) and some catfish that exceed 35" long. By the way, I'm not kidding about the size of the fish.

  3. I build a 1/3 acre pond about 18 years ago. As rebu said, get the soil and water people involved. Its worth the effort. We have used ours for fishing ( my grandkids love feeding them) swimming, ice skating, and just a place to sit.

    One book I read mentioned that you should harvest about 150 lbs. of fish per acre of pond. Seems like a bunch but once the pond has matured a bit, a lot of harvesting really helps. I would like to aeriate the pond and there are lots of commercial products to do so. The more oxygen, the better the fish mature. Being cheap, I tried a home made air pump and it worked well but I was I got tired of hauling gasoline down to the engine that ran the pump. I used an A.I.R. pump from a automobile engine and it worked really well.

    Good luck.
  4. Just finished building & stocking a pond in the last 2 years, size is 1 acre + and is 19'-0 at the deepest. Got lucky and a contractor needed fill dirt for a project near our farm, so it was done for free. All of our watershed is farmground. We built a drain basin that runs into the pond to eliminate silting of the pond. Very little runoff goes directly into the pond it 1st goes into the the drain basin and then slowly drains into the pond.

    As far as the stocking goes: we went with a local stocking company. They suggested: 100 LM bass, 500 bluegill (100 hybrid, 300 sunfish & 100 shell crackers), 30 channel catfish (not meant to reproduce) and 50 black crappie. I have already stocked 80Lbs of fathead minnows and 10lbs of gold shiners as forage fish. We try to feed the fish about 1lb of food every 2-3 days. Stocked it April of 2006 w/ fingerlings and now have bass up to 13", bluegill up to 9", Crappie @ 10" and catfish @ 18". It is like fishing in a bucket, however The bass are getting harder and harder to catch.


    Agent, There Was An Article In Field And Stream This Spring, About Building A Pond. Ray Scott, Is The Master At It, Such As Arnold Palmer Building A Golf Course. And He Was Inteviewed In The Article. He Has A Video Out Explaining All The Steps, Its Calls"great Small Waters" I Think. There Were Also Links, Phone Numbers, And Addresses Of People To Contact. The Article Made It Sound Like There Is A Lot Of Grant Money Out There To Help In Building A Pond. The Article Explains Different Types Of Structures, That Ray Uses, It Was An Intresting Article. Also If You Need A Hand In Building Or Stocking I Live Right Out By The Jvs.
  6. Hornswaggle did one extremely good thing. Most new pond builders or owners are so excited to get the fish in. They never stop to think what are the fish going to eat. That stocking of 80 # of fatheads and 10 # of shiners will probably establish a forage fish base for the life of the pond.

    If and when I construct a pond the fish will not be introduced until the 2nd year. The first year will be establishing the food chain. Establishing stucture like construction block and wooden pallets in 4-5' depths will permit fathead minnows to spawn and renew their populations also. At the same depths lay expanded metal grating flat on pvc legs so that the metal is about a foot above the water. After cleaning fish that you have caught lay the waste on the metal. Hatching maggots will fall into water and you have an automatic fish feeder for the warm months. Bluegills will have a better growth rate using maggots as a food source.

    The expanded metal setup was shown to me by a fish farmer that grew gills for stocking and for fish fries. Watching these humungous gills slurping down these maggots while sitting in his boat convinced me. I have never seen a pond that had such huge schools of huge gills. The guy did not allow fishing but he was certainly willing to share his secrets of success.
  7. Sounds like you've already gotten good advice. Check out ODNR's free PDF handbook that probably answers all your questions. It can be found at and has stocking rates.

    I have two large ponds and a friend of mine has thirty ponds (he raises fish). If you have the right forage and depths you can stock almost anything. Between the two of us we have walleye, perch, pike, crappie, and all the usual fish you would expect. Also geese / ducks will bring in fish eggs and you'll find fish you didn't stock.

    Soil and water will do most of your research work for you. I don't know about the grants, but you could always put out a sign "Free - Dig your own fill dirt", maybe someone will take you up on it. Put in some calls to local excavators and let them know you have free dirt, it can't hurt. The county took me up on a sign like that.
  8. Agent47

    Agent47 Trying to pull it in!!!!

    Gang, thank you, I am going to look into this and start small and see how it goes, This is all greatly appreciated, Ill post some pics and keep you all updated.
  9. I would defenatley check out the soil first. I had a pond built on my property when we built our house, proabably a 1/3 of an acre, and it isn't holding water. That was two years ago. The builder dug a dozen or so ponds before mine and swore up and down that it would take a couple years to "seal." It's been two years now and I have a "pond" that is only about three foot deep and around 1/5th full. If anyone has suggestions for me I am all ears.
  10. welcome aboard rebu,I see your also in ashtabula co, I am east of jefferson about 10 min`s. if your ever in need of someone to fish your pond let me know, I have 4 boys between the ages of 7 and 15 that love to fish, I have a few farm ponds around the co that I take them to, by the spring of 08 iam hoping to have a boat again to take them out in, I dont believe I will ever lack fishing buddys :D once their grown I imgine grandkids will be asking me to take them fishing!
  11. Five grand would buy you a cheap old back hoe. If you have spare time you could dig it yourself and sell the backhoe when your done. You really want a dozer, but $5000 doesn't get you much. Remember the dirt that comes out of the pond has to go somewhere. If you need to truck the dirt off site you could spend all your money in trucking, so find someone who needs dirt, excavator, developer, county etc.

    Summer, you may need to line your pond with clay, your builder should have done that at time of construction unless your soil type was clay. I just built a pond for a church 2-1/2 weeks ago and it's just about full after the big rains we had. Its about 6" shy of the outlet and it's eight feet deep and half an acre or so. Soil type was clay mix so we used onsite dirt..
  12. yeah, i looked into having someone come out and line it with clay....not cheap now that everything is already finished. the suggestion was also made to cut a "keyhole" around the dam and some of he pond to mix the soil. this was done once in the interior of the pond as it was dug, but they suggested doing it again further from the inside of the pond. Keyhole was defined as "digging down pretty deep and mixing the soil." any ideas on this?
  13. Absolutely MUST be done. If you truely want a pond, and one you won't be working on for the next 15 years, hire a professional. Don't even consider doing it yourself, or hiring someone to do it cheap. You WILL pay in the long run.
    I didn't see your first reply. That is the exact reason to hire someone who specializes in ponds. If they don't want to key it, send them on their way, even if you have to hire someone to finish the job. If they say it takes a couple years to seal, that is a BAD sign.
  14. Agent47

    Agent47 Trying to pull it in!!!!

    Well, talked to a couple of friends at work and they also gave me similiar info. Hard to believe all this just to make a place that holds water.. so much I didnt realize.
    I may just end up making a tiny cement pond with a fountain and have a few coy or regular goldfish and let Akron worry about there huge pond on rt 43 if you know what I mean {as a place to fish }... either way though it has been interesting so far in what Im finding out.. mucho thanks to all with there insight on here.:eek: