Black Crappie are renowned for their excellent eating quality which makes them a highly sought after game species. They prefer quiet, weedy areas and will readily spawn in lakes and ponds in the spring. Spawning occurs in 3-6 feet of water in saucer shaped nests in aquatic vegetation. Crappie usually travel in schools and will feed on minnows, insects, crayfish, and snails. They are most easily caught in the spring and can reach 8 inches by their second year. Their lifespan is 7-9 years in northern states and they have been known to reach 4 pounds. (stocking rates of up to 300/acre)
Bluegill Sunfish are native to most of North America and are popular feed and sport fish. They can be found in many small ponds and are easily identified by the black spot visible on their gill plate in conjunction with the dark vertical bars on their sides. Bluegills will swim in schools of 20-30 individuals and prefer calm water with abundant cover such as weed beds, docks, logs and lily pads. Feed usually consists of insects, small crustaceans and some plant material. Full grown fish will average 6-8 inches. Males will construct a saucer shaped nest approximately 2-3 inches deep and 1-2 feet in diameter. Spawning occurs in the spring and summer when water temperatures reach 70-80 degrees F. (stocking rates of up to 300/acre)
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) - Available: April-September
Channel Catfish are the most sought after member of the catfish family, providing excitement by striking at both bait and artificial lures. It is distinguished from other members of the catfish family by its forked tail and the black spots visible along its sides. Channel Catfish will not muddy a pond like its cousin the Bullhead, making it preferable for stocking in those environments. They average from 2-5 pounds, and have been commonly caught over 20 pounds. Feed consists of fish, insects, crustaceans or commercial fish food. Spawning will occur when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees F, usually under a log or stone, but pipe segments or cans over 8 inches in diameter can provide an artificial medium for spawning as well. (stocking rates of up to 200/acre)
Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas) - Available: April-October
Fathead Minnows provide excellent forage for most game species, averaging just 1-3 inches in length at adulthood. It is recommended that they be stocked on a regular basis to insure proper feed ratios for game fish. To observe minnow populations, check around your pond in early spring. Minnows will school in warmer water at the edges of a pond looking for feed which primarily consists of algae and plankton. Spawning occurs when the water temperature reaches 65 degrees F and continues throughout the summer as many as 5 or 6 times. Flat stones or boards which have been propped up facilitate spawning and provide cover and therefore should be added around the edge of your pond in 1-3 feet of water. Males, usually darker in color during spawning, will pick up and deposit eggs on the underside of flat surfaces with hatching occurring in 5-6 days. Minnows make excellent bait and will help to control mosquito populations as well. (stocking rates of up to 40lbs/acre for new ponds and up to 80lbs/acre for stocked or established ponds)
Grass Carp- Triploid (Ctenopharyngodon idella) - Available: April-September
Grass Carp are native to China and are one of the largest members of the minnow family, commonly reaching weights of 25 pounds or more. Grass Carp have the unique ability to eat a wide variety of submerged aquatic plants making them a sought after species for overgrown ponds and lakes. Because they are not native to the area, stocking is allowed in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York by permit only. Permits can be obtained by visiting our Downloads
page and printing the appropriate application for your area. Only sterile or Triploid Grass Carp are permitted in these areas and are what is provided by Mid-Atlantic Stocking. Plants that Grass Carp will feed on include: Common Elodea, Coontail, Fanwart, Naiad, Curly and Leafy Pondweed, Duckweed, Muskgrass, Watermilfoil, Bladder Wart, Wild Celery and Water Stargrass. Grass Carp will NOT feed on the following: Arrowhead, Bulrush, Waterlily and Watershield. Triploid Grass Carp will live for up to 10 years but, with age, their metabolism will slow making weed consumption minimal later on in life. For this reason, restocking is recommended after 5 years or when plant growth begins increasing significantly again. (stocking rates of up to 10+/acre but will depend on how many your permit allows)
Koi (Cyprinus carpio) - Available: April-September
Koi, also referred to as Japanese Carp, originated in Japan over 200 years ago. Carp, which were stocked in rice paddies and raised for food, appeared to have color mutations. These colored Carp were crossbred to produce the multitude of colors that we see today including black, red, orange, yellow, blue and white. These beautiful fish normally grow up to 30 inches in our region. Koi can tolerate temperatures ranging from 33 to 90 degrees F for short periods of time, but care should be taken during stocking to minimize rapid temperature transitions. Koi do very well on artificial feed and will naturally feed on plants and algae. Spawning in ponds is uncommon but when it does occur, will usually result in dull colors. (stocking rates based on personal preference)
Largemouth Bass will reproduce at three years of age. Stocking forage fish such as Fathead Minnows or Bluegill Sunfish optimizes growth. In northern waters, they can reach 7-9 pounds but will usually average 2-4 pounds in ponds. Spawning begins in mid May or when pond temperatures reach 62-65 degrees F. Males prepare the nest in preparation for spawning which consists of a 1-2 foot diameter circular area in 2-3 feet of water. One or more females will deposit several thousand eggs and hatching occurs 8-10 days later. Males will protect the fry for about 2 weeks after which time they will begin to feed on them. About 1 in 1,000 will reach adulthood in natural conditions. When 2 inches in length, fry will begin disperse, therefore stocking at or above this size greatly increases survival rates. Bass feed on fish, insects, worms, frogs, and crayfish and will strike artificial bait. If trained early on, they may also eat commercial fish feed. (stocking rates of up to 100/acre)
Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) - Available: April-September
Rainbow Trout are the best of the trout species to stock in a pond environment due to their relative tolerance of high water temperatures and a broad range of pH levels. They will survive in temperatures of up to 70 degrees F but beyond that they may begin to suffer as a result of oxygen deprivation. Rainbow Trout have also proven to be more easily caught in ponds than Brook or Brown Trout. Their lifespan is 5-6 years and weights of 3-5 pounds are common. Trout may reach 10 to 12 inches in their second year. Spawning occurs in the spring but is rare in a pond environment since it requires a gravel bottom and flowing water to be successful. To provide continuous sport fishing, yearly stocking is recommended. Without regular removal however, restocking may not be required for up to 4 years. Rainbow Trout will feed on insects, minnows and crayfish and can be fished at all times of the year. We sell the Kamloop strain of trout, which originated in British Columbia and is known for its faster growth rate and warmer water tollerance relative to native Rainbow Trout. Male trout are brightly colored, with a red gill plate and stripe along their side. Females have a silver coloring and are usually slightly larger than males. (stocking rates of up to 300/acre)
Walleye are the largest member of the perch family. Their size, sporting qualities, and flavor, make them one of the most sought after game species in North America. Walleye prefer cooler temperatures, gravel bottoms, and areas deeper than 10 feet. Usually they are found in larger bodies of water but have been proven to grow in ponds with adequate forage fish. Examples of good forage include Fathead Minnows, Perch, and Bluegill Sunfish. Spawning occurs in the spring on gravel, when the water temperature reaches 40-50 degrees F, in 1-5 feet of water. Like trout, moving water is required which makes spawning in a pond environment rare. Walleye will reach 12 to 15 inches in their third year and can live for up to 12 to 15 years in the northern United States. This species can be added to a pond to help control panfish overpopulation problems. (stocking rates of up to 50/acre)
Perch are regionally known as Striped or Jack Perch. Their excellent eating quality makes them a highly sought after species. Perch readily spawn in lakes and ponds when the water temperature reaches 45 to 50 degrees F in several feet of water by depositing a gelatinous mass over weeds or brush. Perch will feed on minnows, insects, crayfish and snails. Traveling in schools, perch tend to stay in deeper water in daylight moving toward the shallows at night. Perch will reach 8 inches by their second year and will live 5-7 years in northern states. Perch have been known to reach 3 pounds but are more commonly caught at half a pound or less. Fishing for Perch can be done at all times of the year and ice fishing for them is very popular. (stocking rates of up to 300/acre)
Packages are available in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 acre sizes. Quantities for each species are based on a new pond. Established ponds that have fish already living in them should be stocked more conservatively.
Bass Pond Packages:
1/4 Acre- 5 pounds fathead minnows, 75 bluegill sunfish, 50 channel catfish, and 25 largemouth bass.
1/2 Acre- 10 pounds fathead minnows, 150 bluegill sunfish, 100 channel catfish, and 50 largemouth bass.
3/4 Acre- 15 pounds fathead minnows, 225 bluegill sunfish, 150 channel catfish, and 75 largemouth bass.
1 Acre- 20 pounds fathead minnows, 300 bluegill sunfish, 200 channel catfish, and 100 largemouth bass.
Trout Pond Packages:
1/4 Acre- 5 pounds fathead minnows, 50 channel catfish, and 75 rainbow trout.
1/2 Acre- 10 pounds fathead minnows, 100 channel catfish, and 150 rainbow trout.
3/4 Acre- 15 pounds fathead minnows, 150 channel catfish, and 225 rainbow trout.
1 Acre- 20 pounds fathead minnows, 200 channel catfish, and 300 rainbow trout.