Check the depth of the farm pond using a fishing rod with a heavyweight sinker to reach the bottom 8 feet and a bobber. Eight feet is a minimum depth for an optimum fish environment.
Remove any overabundance of weeds and aquatic vegetation that might prevent fishing as growth becomes more prolific. Check for holes in the dam from muskrats or other rodents and repair before stocking.
Stock channel catfish fish in the fall first. Stock less than 50 channel catfish fish per acre.
Stock bluegill and minnows or any other feeder fish in the fall. Stock bass and predator fish in the spring so they can feed off the feeder fish, bluegill and fathead minnow beams after breeding takes place in the spring.
Check for winterkill. Count how many bass and other predator fish die so you can replace them when spring arrives to maintain a balance of predator/prey fish.
Watch for summerkill. Replenish any fish that die out during the summer or you harvest through fishing so you can maintain an ideal balanced environment.
- Stock a phytoplankton feeder such as gizzard shard to help maintain clear water.
- Contact the U.S. Department of Fish Hatcheries in your region to learn where to purchase stock fish.
- Each state has regulations for stocking a farm pond. Check the Department of Wildlife Conservation in your state for information.