We decided to add some bluegills and perch to our farm pond. We were also going to add some pumpkinseed, but those fish were unavailable. We are fortunate that we live within a half hour drive of Smith Creek Fish Farm. We usually call during January or February to order fish for the pond. We call ahead to arrange a pick-up time which is usually about May 1st. The fish are prepared for transport in a heavy plastic bag with oxygen added to the bag and sealed like a big balloon.
When we arrive back at the farm we quickly prepare to add the fish to the pond. It is important to try to match the temperature of the water in the bag and the water temperature in the pond. It is also important that the fish are not deprived of oxygen at any point in the transfer of the fish from the fish farm to their new home. We let the bag set in the pond water for about 15 minutes for the temperature to equalize, before we release the fish.
It is our intention to allow the bluegills, perch, and hopefully pumpkinseed, to grow for a couple of years before we add largemouth bass. That way we will have a breeding population of of non-bass fish before we add the bass. We expect at that time, that the adult non-bass fish will be too large for the bass to eat. The bass will be able to feed on the small fish that are a result of the non-bass reproduction.
As the fish are released they seem to pause and adjust for a minute before swimming away. This should be a good pond to live in with lots of bugs and water insects to eat. There is a small stream which feeds in and out of the pond bringing in a constant supply of oxygen. There are also trees along the pond edges for shade. The pond has plenty of water weeds for the fingerlings to hide.
Stocking Update Oct. 2015: After two summers of growth, we caught one of our perch fingerlings that we had stocked. This fish was about ten inches long and looked very healthy. We assume they will spawn in the spring of 2017.