Fish Stocking Rates
One of the most important factors in developing a thriving ecosystem in your pond is stocking
the fish at the correct rate. The following table illustrates the stocking rates for Florida of the fish
species that we sell. Please read the footnotes at the bottom that pertain to the stocking rates of
certain species. Also keep in mind stocking per acre is based on surface acreage, not depth of the
* The number of catfish you choose to stock depends on how many catfish you want to feed. If you don't intend to feed the catfish, we recommend stocking at a rate of about 200 catfish per acre. If the fish are to be fed, then you can stock as many as 2,000 per acre. Higher rates of catfish can be achieved by adding an aerator to the pond. Even if you don't intend to culture large numbers of catfish in your pond, an aerator will greatly benefit even small numbers of fish. Aerators produce more oxygen for the fish who will in turn feel better, eat better, and grow faster. In addition to the number of fish you intend to feed, there are other considerations to make when stocking catfish. If the pond has been previously stocked and has a population of bass (even a small number) these bass can quickly decimate the numbers of catfish that you stock. For this reason, we recommend that you stock with at least a 7"-9" catfish in a pond that contains bass.
**In the state of Florida, the recommended stocking rate for panfish is 500 per acre. If both brim and shellcracker are to be stocked, then that 500 should be divided as 350 bluegill and 150 shellcracker. The reason for this is that shellcracker eat what naturally occurs in the pond and are very selective about what they eat. Therefore, if you try to stock your pond with more shellcracker than it can support, they will not grow very fast. Bluegill, on the other hand, will eat a wide variety of things they find in the water ecosystem and catfish feed. Also, the bluegill is the species that will later reproduce in such numbers as to provide an adequate food source for the bass.
***The number of triploid grass carp that you choose to stock depends on several factors. For ponds and lakes in Florida, the most important factor is the number of grass carp that you are permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to possess. Obtaining a permit is not difficult and there is no charge involved. If your pond or lake is located in Florida, and you would like to apply for a permit, you can do so at http://www.myfwc.com/License/FreshwaterPermit_grasscarp.htm or call FFWCC at (352) 742-6438.