My thesis is that the average size of the panfish in a pond with flathead introduced will improve. You can increase the number, if you cultivate only catfish in a pond. First, is to determine inches of fish per gallon. (To calculate surface area multiply the length x width of your pond). A small, well-managed pond can produce 300 to 500 pounds of catfish per surface acre each year, providing many hours of recreation and an abundance of high quality food for the table. Channel Catfish, which will most likely not reproduce, will not help or hurt this stocking combo if kept below 100 per surface acre. A pond with 500 to 3000 plus gallons of water is good to hold fish. Ponds that are stocked at higher rates result in slower growth, problems with water quality, and diseases because of crowding. “That is more than a third of the carrying capacity of most 1-acre ponds. They do not naturally spawn in ponds, so structures, such a milk crates, or buckets may be added to the pond bottom to encourage spawning. The relative low number ensures that the pond will not be overcrowded and will allow the fish to grow faster. Accommodation for the flathead would include water temperature, available daytime resting structure, and depth. Those 300 pounds of catfish are eating a lot of forage … The following spring, 120 fingerling large-mouth bass per surface acre of pond are added. The stocking rate for a catfish pond is 100-150 fingerling channel catfish per surface acre. I would recommend a minimum depth of 10-12 ft for any pond, and keeping the introductions to 1 flathead per acre. If you want to maintain Channel Catfish, you should restock 50 per surface acre every few years, or more often if they are fished for. In commercial catfish ponds, aeration is commonly about 1.5 to 2 hp/acre in each pond. They are usually stocked when the reach a length of 6-8 inches. You can use your pond for cultivating only catfish or with other fish species. There are a few rules of thumb that you can follow. We had a pond dug last spring and had it stocked with what our local nursery said was standard for the size of our pond which is 12-15 feet deep and 1/4 acre. “If a pond owner stocks 100, 2-inch channel catfish, in two years there will be 200-300 pounds of catfish in the pond,” he said. I don’t know any person or family that can eat that many catfish in a year. To add a little more diversity to the pond, redear sunfish can replace 40 percent of the bluegill. If you cultivate catfish with other carp fish, then the stocking density will be at most 2500 to 3000 per acre. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) offers this "consensus"regarding fish stocking: Unaerated ponds: up to 1, 12" fish per 10 square feet of surface area. Yields of catfish across the industry average approximately 3,000 lb/acre/year (USDA 1996). Catfish can be stocked at 1500 fish per surface acre for non-commercial ponds. Many small ponds are managed exclusively for channel catfish. Let me suggest this. Go with the higher amount of minnows if you choose the 5-8″ bass. There is, however, a strong trend in the catfish industry to increase aeration intensity to 2 to 3 hp/acre (three 10-hp aerators in a 10- to 15-acre pond). A pond stocked at 1500 fish per acre could produce about 1500 pounds of catfish ready at one time! Have a plan. That’s a lot of catfish! Stocking: Channel catfish can be stocked in ponds up to 50 fish per acre. How Many Fish Can I Put in My Pond? For example, two 10-hp electric paddlewheel aerators may be used in a 10- to 15- acre pond. Allot 35+ gallons per inch of koi, and at least 20 gallons per inch of goldfish. Anything smaller should avoid fish keeping. At this price, net returns per acre ranged from $11 to $472 per acre.
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