Pond and Lake Stocking

We consult with you on your stocking needs, provide you with the fish, and will always available to assist you for years to come!

Freshwater Fish Company has staff ready to work with you to get the pond or lake stocking plan together to fit your goals.  Once we help you get a stocking plan together we will always be available by email (or phone call if needed) to help you should any issues arise!

The following discussion on pond and lake stocking is for informational purposes and may not fit all situations.  We urge you to do your homework before stocking your pond or lake.  Freshwater Fish Company is available to perform consultations at your location.  Contact us at info@freshwaterfishco.com for more information.

Fish stocking is an important part of any lake management program. The choice of fish to stock depends on the lake owner’s goals and size of the body of water.

bluegill harvested resized

The most common strategy for pond and lake stocking is to combine largemouth bass and bluegill (and/or redeared sunfish). The combination of bass and bluegill generally works well in lakes larger than one acre and provides excellent fishing for both species indefinitely because of their relationship.  The best part of the bass and bluegill lake system is its simplicity. In a well functioning pond, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and insect larvae will be abundant enough to supply food for bass fry and all sizes of bluegill. The bluegill will reproduce and grow rapidly with the abundant food and provide excellent forage for bass. As long as bass are not over-harvested they will keep bluegill from overpopulating. However, some large bluegill will survive bass predation and in turn provide excellent bluegill angling.

Largemouth bass

Another option is to stock channel catfish in a bass and bluegill pond.  If a pond owner decides to stock catfish they need to be aware that catfish will consume a portion of the food supply and somewhat reduce the total pounds of bass and bluegill the pond can maintain.

Recommended stocking rates vary by lake size, location, condition of the lake, and the desires of the owner.  A typical lake larger than one acre could be stocked with 200 largemouth bass fingerlings/acre (or 60 adults),400 bluegill fingerlings/acre (or 120 adults),and 200 channel catfish/acre. You can also purchase more bluegill and adult bass to jump start your lake management program.   If only catfish are stocked in a lake the recommended stocking rates is about 500 catfish fingerlings/acre. If your goal is to grow big bass then we recommend not stocking your pond with catfish since they can grow to dominate your trophy fishing pond.

catfish

Mosquitofish (1,000/acre) are a good addition to any private waterbody to minimize mosquito production and enhance prey availability. More information about mosquitofish can be found on our Mosquitofish Page.

mosquitofish

Freshwater Fish Company also produces a hybrid carp (goldfish x common carp) that is sterile (does not reproduce).  Carp fingerlings can be  added to the pond and stocked at a rate of 1,000/acre (or 500 adults) and are generally added for vegetation control.  It  takes about a year for a fingerlings hybrid carp to grow to the size that is effective for such vegetation control.  Adult sizes can be stocked for immediate control. 

Stocking rates for ponds that are less than one acre depend on the size.  For instance, a 1/2 acre pond can be stocked to half the rate of a one-acre pond.   To make ponds of less than one acre productive, supplemental feeding and aeration are beneficial.

All fish species discussed for stocking new or renovated ponds can be obtained from Freshwater Fish Company.  We can deliver directly to your pond or lake and can provide fish at almost any time of the year. We want to work directly with you to make sure that your needs are met.  When your pond or lake is stocked we want to continue to work with you to make sure that it is functioning the way you intended.  Don’t hesitate to contact us – info@freshwaterfishco.com

More information about our fish can be found in the Fish We Raise section of this website.

Note: Customers are responsible for obtaining any State permits required to stock fish in their pond or lake. Click here to view regulations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife site. 

In general, stocking permits are NOT needed in 37 counties in California to stock the following species that we raise: channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and redeared sunfish.  The counties where stocking permits are not required are Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Imperial, Kern (except in the Kern River drainage above Democrat Dam), Kings, Lake (except in the Eel River drainage), Merced, Los Angeles, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.  PLUS, the following counties west of Highway 49: Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and Placer. PLUS Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties west of the national park and national forest boundaries.

You can obtain an Application for Private Stocking by clicking here. We can help you fill out the application if you choose to go this route.  Email us and we can fill out our information on the application and send it back to you.  We can also set up a time to go over it with you on the phone.