Q: Can I stock all of my fish the same year, or do I have to wait a year for the Bass and Catfish?
A: The reason for waiting a year is so the Bass and Catfish won’t eat the Bluegills of the original stocking. What others are doing with time, we do with sizing the fish appropriately so that none of the fish will eat any of the other fish of the original stocking. Therefore, with our fish, you can stock everything the same year.
Q: What is the difference between a Hybrid bluegill and a regular Bluegill?
A: The Hybrid bluegill is probably the most lied about fish. This fish is made by selecting male Bluegills and female Green sunfish. There are several other crosses that are made with different species of Sunfish. However, this cross is recognized as the most successful. This cross produces approximately 95% male and 5% female, however, the female will reproduce, but not in large numbers. Some people believe that the Hybrid will revert back to a Green sunfish. In the 46 years that I have been in the business of raising fish, I have never found one Hybrid that has reverted back. After studying this problem, I believe, that the persons who are producing these Hybrids are not sexing their Green sunfish properly, and are getting a male in with their Green sunfish females, thus producing a Green sunfish.
A Hybrid bluegill has a larger mouth, is thicker across the back, is more aggressive and is a cannibal, which helps in controlling the numbers. They produce approximately 33% meat when filleted.
The regular Bluegill will reproduce in large numbers, which is a plus if your pond has an established predator population. These fish will produce approximately 30% meat when filleted.
In larger ponds, we sometimes recommend stocking both Hybrids and regular Bluegill. Both fish will readily eat commercial feed.
We are known for our large Bluegill, Hybrid and Regular.
Q: Do I need to feed my fish and how fast will they grow?
A: Picture the food chain, it starts with the one and two cell plants and animals, then moves on up to the minnows, then to the bluegills, bass and catfish. If you leave out the minnows, don’t be surprised if your bluegills are small and stunted. This will affect the growth of all of your other fish also. That is why on our original stocking recommendations we include 5 gal. of Fathead minnows per acre, then Spring & Fall every year thereafter.
There are several factors which directly affect the growth and health of your fish. There are many things that you can do to increase the productivity of your pond. All ponds are different, even if they are located side by side. We are firm believers in a yearly restocking of fathead minnows, they reproduce extremely well, but normally they will all have been eaten by the end of the summer. 90% of our customers are on a yearly restocking program. Some pond owners stock in the Spring, some in the Fall, however, it is best to do both. Of those pond owners 75% of them also feed a commercial feed, which we sell. The brand name is Skretting, ( which was originally Silver Cup ). In 46 years, it is the best fish food that I have ever found. All of our fish are trained to eat commercial feed. If you follow these recommendations, most ponds will produce fish large enough to harvest by the end of the 2nd year.
Q: For new ponds, how long do I have to wait to stock fish?
A: When you place your order for fish, I can tell you how to start the ecology in your pond. Therefore, you can stock your pond as soon as you have enough water.
Q: How can I add more fish to my existing pond?
A: We always have some larger fish available for stocking. We also recommend, when stocking smaller fish in an existing pond, that you change the odds for their survival, by stocking large quantities of minnows at the same time. Therefore, when a fish is eaten, it is more likely to be a minnow than one of the fish which you have just stocked.
Q: Do I need to aerate my pond?
A: Aeration is a life insurance policy for your fish. I have invented aerators that not only aerate the pond, but set up a current around and around as well as mixing the water from top to bottom. It is important to aerate 365 days a year to prevent winter kill and pond turnovers in the summer. Remember, vegetation does not like moving water. The aerators are maintenance free, and we would customize the size of the aerator for your pond or lake.
Q: What type of vegetation will grass carp (White Amur) eat, and how many do I need?
A: Grass carp like certain types of vegetation better than others. But they will eat anything that is green rather than starve. We recommend 12 per acre as a starting point. Once you get the control you want, you can always take some out and eat them. They have a very nice firm white meat.