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I have two very small ponds - 20'x20' 6' deep and 30'x30' 8' deep. Both are spring fed but the larger also deals with driveway runoff and can get silty.

The smaller has two LM bass and hundreds of fathead minnows and possibly some other minnow. The larger had 13 LM bass and no minnows. This year there are no bass in that pond. I believe someone fished it out.

I noticed that the DCSWC offers bass and fatheads (and trout in the fall). All you need a DEC pond stocking permit.

The question is - what to stock and how many? I'm concerned about putting any bass in the smaller pond (though there was a third one two years ago) as it might upset the balance. The larger pond could take a good number of bass and minnows. Love to put trout but I doubt they would survive.

Any thoughts?

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I am not the person to ask but why aren't there minnows in the larger pond? Did the Bass run out of food?

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If you have a really good pond aerator trout may survive in the deeper pond..........  I customer of mine has a pond a little bit bigger and a little deeper and has 10 lb rainbows...  He uses deer feeders to feed them....  The pond never sees sun and is completely in the shade...  He treats them like pets......

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37 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

I am not the person to ask but why aren't there minnows in the larger pond? Did the Bass run out of food?

I have to think so. They would spawn but once the fry hit a certain size they would be eaten. They did well for 4 years so I thought they got enough food, but I guess not.

I'm thinking that 15 6" bass and 300 minnows might be okay. I may also build some structure for the minnows to hide. 

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14 minutes ago, left field said:

I have to think so. They would spawn but once the fry hit a certain size they would be eaten. They did well for 4 years so I thought they got enough food, but I guess not.

I'm thinking that 15 6" bass and 300 minnows might be okay. I may also build some structure for the minnows to hide. 

re structure: have any stumps you could pull  across and dump?

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go to there site for fish stocking ,www,dcswcd.org  , has all the info there.

Runoff from the driveway might have something with the fish no longer ther e . also mink love live fish, herons and eagles also. I have lost some 20" fish to them.

Trout prefere a fast moving and cool water', I would hire an excavater and dig that 20' x 20' pond at least 10 feet deep and put some structure in it for the fish to hide under also . 

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All my excavator money is going to redo our road. But I may be able to dig it a little deeper. Property lines mean that it has to stay the size it is. 

The runoff is a bitch. Sadly there’s nowhere else it can go unless I lay in 60’ of culvert across the spring inflow which doesn’t seem like it will work. As it stands, the runoff goes under my driveway, joins a spring which goes around my spring box then joins the outflow from that box to feed the pond.

I may have to do the work and stock next year as the fish pickup is next month. 

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51 minutes ago, turkeyfeathers said:

re structure: have any stumps you could pull  across and dump?

Because the pond is so small and clear I’d rather not look at a stump. I do have a dock and was going to build out a series of stones over concrete blocks. 

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You need another species besides bass, something the reproduces quickly and bass feed off. Sunfish, perch or crappies. A dock would help provide cover too. 

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Don't panfish quickly overrun a pond? 

I'm meeting my excavator this week to go over some other stuff that will require a mini. Maybe we'll dredge the pond deeper as long as we don't pierce the dam.

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I'd also try to reach out to your regional nysdec fisheries biologist. They should have some good info and advice. 

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Good advice. I helped them shock, collect and pitt tag trout on a Beaverkill trib a few weeks ago and the fisheries head said to stop by. I need to get the stocking permit from them anyway. 

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Talked to an excavator and he suggested digging out the pond a bit and creating a pre pond above where the spring and runoff collect. 8’ x 8’ x 20” deep with a high V spillway to the pond. The idea is that the silt will collect and clear water will feed the pond. And the benefit of a little waterfall. 

Seems to make sense. 

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Those are small ponds,  fatheads do great if they have rock to go under and lay eggs, I do not like bass in ponds as they reproduce very quickly and will stunt themselves. , general guideline is a half acre pond with average depth of 6 ft can support 200 lbs of fish, whether its 200 1lb fish or 1 200 lb fish.. 

I dont think. Your Pond was fished out, what probably happened is , ice formed, got warm fish go on top of.old.ice in new warm.runoff a d then pond freezes again. The trapped.fish die and in spring they sink or are scavanged quickly. Very common in ponds with runoff. 

My question is if you can build another pond above existing why not.just raise dike and enlarge pond.. run off is not a bad thing as it can bring in nutrients and prey for larger fish.

In a small pond like those if spring fed trout can be raised and added as needed., perch, or crappie would do well in larger pond esp with run off, and I would add a few dozen pond crayfish 


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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Would love one 200 lb fish. Will do more research on fish. Thanks.

The pond dike sits at the edge of the property line so I have no option to extend on that side. I could push back and horseshoe it but don’t want to spend the money to do so. 

Interesting idea to raise it. The drop off on the dike side is 10’ to the forest floor and there may be a limit.

My spring box sits 25’ above the pond on the inflow side with a rise of about 10’ and it’s in there where I can fit the prepond. 

It’s all a little tight with the property line, pond, spring box and driveway above that, and as the spring box is the most important thing to me, I’m hesitant to mess with it too much. 

There are three springs plus driveway runoff that converge to feed the pond so I think the fish may get plenty of nutrients. Maybe not. My issue is silt from the driveway ditch. 

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Would love one 200 lb fish. Will do more research on fish. Thanks.

The pond dike sits at the edge of the property line so I have no option to extend on that side. I could push back and horseshoe it but don’t want to spend the money to do so. 

Interesting idea to raise it. The drop off on the dike side is 10’ to the forest floor and there may be a limit.

My spring box sits 25’ above the pond on the inflow side with a rise of about 10’ and it’s in there where I can fit the prepond. 

It’s all a little tight with the property line, pond, spring box and driveway above that, and as the spring box is the most important thing to me, I’m hesitant to mess with it too much. 

There are three springs plus driveway runoff that converge to feed the pond so I think the fish may get plenty of nutrients. Maybe not. My issue is silt from the driveway ditch. 

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3 hours ago, left field said:

Would love one 200 lb fish. Will do more research on fish. Thanks.

The pond dike sits at the edge of the property line so I have no option to extend on that side. I could push back and horseshoe it but don’t want to spend the money to do so. 

Interesting idea to raise it. The drop off on the dike side is 10’ to the forest floor and there may be a limit.

My spring box sits 25’ above the pond on the inflow side with a rise of about 10’ and it’s in there where I can fit the prepond. 

It’s all a little tight with the property line, pond, spring box and driveway above that, and as the spring box is the most important thing to me, I’m hesitant to mess with it too much. 

There are three springs plus driveway runoff that converge to feed the pond so I think the fish may get plenty of nutrients. Maybe not. My issue is silt from the driveway ditch. 

Is silt bad for the pond? I only ask cause plenty of fish survive in ponds and streams that get runoff when it rains. I would guess that all streams and most ponds get some type of runoff....

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37 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

Is silt bad for the pond? I only ask cause plenty of fish survive in ponds and streams that get runoff when it rains. I would guess that all streams and most ponds get some type of runoff....

Silt will fill it in, esp if pond is off creek, my ponds are almost.all runoff. And fish do fine but its not a constant muddy stream settling out in it.


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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I would stick with bluegills and largemouth bass in ponds of that size.   I dug one about 50' x 30' x 6 ft deep about 20 years ago. Bluegills got into it somehow, a couple years later (I noticed them hitting grasshoppers thrown in by my bush hog. )  After seeing the nice forage base, I put a 14" largemouth bass in there and caught it 4 or five times over the next couple years.  All was well for a few years, until we had a drought and the pond nearly dried up.  The herons / coons/ etc made short work of the fish as the water level dropped.   My girls had lots of fun fishing for those bluegills while they were little.  They even caught a bullhead once (I did not put them in either).   Another drought dried it up completely about three years ago, and I got into it with my loader tractor and scraped out all the silt, plus dug it a couple feet deeper, into the clay.    I stocked it again the next year, with a bucket full of bluegills and a couple of 13" largemouth that we had caught in a nearby lake.   The water level has been good ever since, but I have not tried fishing it again.   Our girls are not into fishing like they were before high school sports and smart phones.   

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Checked it yesterday snd was surprised to find one 10” bass. I guess he survived the winter. May catch him and move him to the other pond before I rehab. 

Silt just clogs the pond up. I’d rather dredge it all out to the clay and dig a few spots deeper for more volume. 

Still unsure about fish. 

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3 hours ago, left field said:

Checked it yesterday snd was surprised to find one 10” bass. I guess he survived the winter. May catch him and move him to the other pond before I rehab. 

Silt just clogs the pond up. I’d rather dredge it all out to the clay and dig a few spots deeper for more volume. 

Still unsure about fish. 

If you have one bass you have more no doubt..  

If you still worried about run off just make a swale to bypass pond . I cant see much silt accumulating off a driveway once its been Established...

Found this old guide for stocking rates..its oer acre so you need to know size  of yours and do some math.. if going completely new please stock fat yeads and crayfish a few months before introducing fish.. if you put fish in 1st all you do is feed them , instead of letting them get established 

Screenshot_20190701-114459_Chrome.thumb.jpg.d7f6c6a127ccff2233d5171a69ac9a80.jpg


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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 if going completely new please stock fat yeads and crayfish a few months before introducing fish.. if you put fish in 1st all you do is feed them , instead of letting them get established ...,

I stocked a new 1/2 acre spring fed  pond last fall with 5# of fatheads and 60 crayfish. Early this spring we added some pallets about 18" under. Have thousands of minnow fry 1/4" to 3/4" long now. Added 34 rainbows 6-8" last month.  Toss a little floating food in crushed up, minnows hit it hard. Also have a few million unwanted tadpoles too.

Pond is the hub of wildlife activity, really enjoy watching it.

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Why don't you like tadpoles? I love mine. They're like the grandkids I never had. And the peepers in the spring are great.

Assume that crayfish act as scavengers. Good idea.

I can see the pond clearly and there is only the one bass. I know this as I used to count the others and knew them all by size. I also caught and released every one of them.

Let's see if I can describe this correctly. Standing perpendicular to my driveway and looking down to the pond there's about an 8' drop in elevation and a total run of about 30'. The runoff comes from a culvert under the driveway and runs about 6' before it takes at hard left to join spring 1 which also comes under the driveway about 20' to the left. The spring box is 6'  straight past that turn. To the right side of the box is the overflow (spring 2) which flows down another 4' where it joins spring 3 which bubbles up. They meet spring 1 about 20' above the pond and all run into the pond.

The plan is to control that runoff. What I'd like to do is lose the turn and extend the culvert past the left side of the box and dump it where the spring 2 and 3 meet. That solves any runoff potentially compromising the spring box and seems the simplest solution. But for the silt.

I could run the culvert at a 45 to the right above the box and bypass it to meet back up with the springs confluence. But to get it away from the pond completely I'd have to run it a good 35' to meet one of the two pond outflows. Doable, but a lot of culvert to lay and I would have to cross the buried water lines to the house to the right of the box and create a bridge as I have a path down to the back of the pond.

This property is rife with springs. At last count there are 15 all working their way down the mountain through my property. It gets worse when it rains steadily. 

It was badly designed years ago so I'm trying to work with what's there versus redo it completely.

I could always fill the pond in, lay in a Petanque boulodrome, and dig a well but where's the fun in that?

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