stocking fathead minnows

They will provide an excellent food source. Phone: 334-281-7703. Standard Stocking Rates (Per Surface Acre on New Ponds/Lakes) 600-1,000 Hybrid Bluegill, Regular Bluegill, or Redear 100-200 Largemouth Bass 100-200 Channel Catfish 3,000-5,000 Fathead Minnows (12-20 lb) 10-12 Grass Carp . It usually takes 8 pounds of minnows to convert to a pound of bass. Varieties include Channel Catfish, Crappie, Bass, Bluegill, Grass Carp along with Fathead and Shiner Minnows. The fathead minnow population is usually consumed within the first year of stocking … Spawning begins when water temperatures reach 50º – 55ºF and repeats … Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are perhaps the most common bait fish in the U.S. We suggest a stocking rate of 10 lbs. Unlike threadfin shad that occupy open water, the fathead prefers to occupy similar habitats as the bass, making them very vulnerable to predation. They prefer to spawn upside down! Fathead Minnow - Golden Shiner - Bighead Carp - Grass Carp - Redear Sunfish - Bluegill - Largemouth Bass Hybrid Striped Bass - Black Crappie - Walleye - Yellow Perch - Northern Pike - Muskie - Channel Catfish: Other Species: (Other species not normally on-hand may be available through special request) For the first year consider your bass pond a bait pond. You will get a great return for your investment! Fathead minnows mature at about 3 inches, or one year of age. We pack your fish to safely survive 36+ hours, but they should be released as soon as delivered. Some females may lay up to 4,000 eggs per season. They are NOT recommended for ponds under 5 acres. This is because minnows spawn in spring, a few months before bluegill spawns begin and as such can serve as an excellent source of food for bass fingerlings. Fathead minnows have been used for years and are usually stocked with the … Value: Fatheads are slow swimmers and provide ideal food for young bass. These boxes will float for a long time, but will gradually biodegrade and disappear from the pond. Through many decades of use as live bait, they are now found throughout most of the United States. Taal Lake Hatchery, New London, WI. Production of fathead minnows can be greatly increased by adding this type of spawning substrate to most new ponds, but especially those ponds that have very little spawning substrate. They have a short life span of 2-3 years and reproduce frequently after water temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees. Stocking Rates: Fatheads may be stocked at a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 or more per acre. ALIAS: Tuffy, blackhead minnow, minner. Bluegill and redear sunfish fingerlings stocked in the fall and winter will spawn the next spring. Fathead minnows seldom reach lengths greater than 3 inches, and therefore provide very little benefit when stocked as a forage fish into established ponds. Fatheads are frequently stocked in ponds before other species are introduced. They primarily consume plankton, insects and algae. These 2-3 inch minnows are stocked in order to provide appropriate additional forage for lakes and ponds. Stocking Rates Fathead minnows are used throughout the U S as a bait fish for small predator fish such as crappie and walleye. However I think the best thing he ever advised me about was stocking minnows. We highly recommend stocking Fathead Minnows (1000/acre) to establish a forage base for the other fish you stock. Manage it for baitfish. Various minnow species exist for lake and pond stocking, but fathead minnows are recommended as a solid choice as for a forage species. Baitfish are sold by the … To observe minnow populations, check around your pond in early spring. We always recommend fathead minnows as another preventative maintenance tool and food for other fish. Stocking fathead minnows Fathead minnows can be stocked in a pond to provide a supplemental food source to promote strong early growth of largemouth bass. Fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their eggs to the underside of rocks, logs, sticks, etc. Nesting Substrate: Although fatheads may make a small teacup size nest on the pond bottom, they prefer to deposit their eggs on the underneath surface of rocks, plants or logs. FATHEAD MINNOWS (Pimephales promelas). Generally stocking 100-200 per surface acre is acceptable. DIET: Zooplankton and phytoplankton.. SPAWNING: As fractional spawners, fathead minnows spawn throughout the spring and summer once water temperatures reach 64̊F. The stocking ratio of bream to bass should be 10:1. Mature females may spawn weekly, depositing 200 to 500 eggs per spawn. Fathead minnows stocked at about 1,000 per acre the first year of a new or renovated pond will improve bass survival and growth. Waxed boxes can be found at many grocery stores, as they are used to pack and ship frozen meats. Fathead minnows are a terrific starter forage, stock them to reproduce and they will support the first year’s growth of your game fish. Forage fish enhance the growth of bass and can improve their survival through the winter, which is particularly important for yearling bass. Stock fathead minnows because they are slow swimmers, fast multipliers, and easy forage for the small bass. Fathead minnows happily feed on plankton, insects and larva, fish food, bacteria colonies, tiny plants, and algae. Taal Lake Hatchery has been providing game fish for stocking lakes and ponds in Wisconsin, Illinois, and the upper peninsula of Michigan since 1963. per acre and more when game fish are present and organics are high. They are often called “tuffies” or “tuffie minnows” and are available at live bait stores throughout most of the United States. Fathead minnows feed on algae, organic sediment, duck and goose waste, decaying vegetation, leaf litter, and mosquito larvae. Fathead minnows seldom reach lengths greater than 3 inches, and therefore provide very little benefit when stocked as a forage fish into established ponds. If these minnows are added to a new bass-bluegill lake during initial stocking, they can reproduce and provide an abundance … If you do the math, that is very expensive fish food. The minnows should be stocked well in advance of the game fish. In fact, the presence of fatheads can contribute to a healthy annual growth rate for bass. Bass fingerlings are very predacious and will exhibit accelerated growth if an adequate source of small live fish is available. They are also widely used in pond management for fish and pond stocking. Minnows will school in warmer water at the edges of a pond looking for feed which primarily consists … Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are stocked into a new pond to establish a more complete food chain, which in turn results in faster growth for the bluegill and bass. In northern ponds the best bet for bass forage is to stock a cocktail of fathead minnows, golden shiners, crayfish and in some circumstances, bluegill. © 2021 Southeastern Pond Management. Fathead minnows offer forage to ponds which have recently been stocked with bass bluegill. WAP0001, I'm always amazed when talkin minnows that this isn't mentioned more. Additional testing for VHS (viral hemorrhagic septicemia) is done on fish that are shipped out of the state of Wisconsin. Yellow Perch: Size: 3 - 5" 4 - 6" Price Per Fish: $1.30: $1.85: Fathead Minnows. Wait at least a full year before stocking any bass, largemouth or smallmouth. These minnows begin spawning during the early spring, often several months before the bluegill spawn and provide a valuable food source for small bass fingerlings. 8007 Troy Highway Your fish are safely secured in 3.5 mil double bottom sealed polyethylene bags containing pure oxygen. The fathead minnow is a small, olive-colored baitfish that has been used for a century or more as bait for small predator fish such as crappie. IDENTIFICATION: A small mouth, black midline running the length of the body and spot on the dorsal fin are indicative of the fathead minnow.. The males are also responsible for guarding the nest. Spawning begins when water temperatures warm to approximately 65 degrees and continues throughout the summer. Periodic additions of forage fish such as fathead minnows should increase bass grow and production. Stock 50 largemouth bass per acre the following spring when the bream and fathead minnows are ready to spawn. Established bass-bluegill ponds: American Sport Fish does not usually recommend stocking fathead minnows into ponds that have an established bass population. Minnows are relatively inexpensive and are well worth the initial investment to increase the growth rate and survival of the fingerling bass. Fathead minnows are not only good live bait, but are also beneficial in providing forage (food) in newly stocked bass-bluegill ponds. Fathead minnows: 10 lbs; Golden Shiners: 5 lbs; Grass Carp: 4-20; Gallons of water per 100 fish for 20 minutes of oxygen 4-6" catfish- 10 gal 6-8" catfish- 10 gal 8-10" catfish- 10 gal Bluegill- 10 gal Hybrid bluegill- 10 gal Crappie- 15 gal Bass- 10 gal Redear- 10 gal 1 lb fatheads/shiners- 5 gal These are very general stocking rates. Fathead Minnows have a high reproduction rate, spawning 2-4 times per summer. The primary benefit of fathead minnows in ponds is to help the initial growth rate of largemouth bass and relieve initial pressure on the bluegill. If stocked during the spring, adults should be used to insure an early spawn. The males may also possess a hard pad on the top of their head, used in the preparation of the nest or spawning site. The fathead minnow is an ideal baitfish species for pond stocking, and due to its many positive attributes is the most recommended baitfish as a purely forage species. Bass predation and the short life of the fathead adult contribute to their brief role in the population. Spawning: Mature fathead adults seldom exceed three inches in length and usually live for only 12 to 15 months. If you want to build a pond that will produce trophy bass, stocking it with fathead minnows will be key. However, in many of the production ponds at American Sport Fish Hatchery, we often use waxed cardboard boxes that are disassembled and placed on the surface of the pond. The fathead minnow is a small, olive-colored baitfish that has been used for a century or more as bait for small predator fish such as crappie. We recommend stocking all ponds with minnows. Black Crappie are available on a limited, special order basis. They can be omnivores but normally eat more zooplankton than algae. We suggest stocking 100 lbs. In addition to bluegill, which is the primary food for bass in ponds, other species − such as fathead minnows, golden shiners and threadfin shad − should be considered in the initial stocking. Fatheads can actually increase the growth rate of bass during their first year of life. Fathead Minnows. The bass normally eat the minnows before they have time to spawn and contribute to the food base. Spawning typically begins when water temperatures reach 60 to 65 F and may continue until the temps exceed 85 F. This will include the spring and most of the summers, with the exception of the very hottest part of July and August, and then into the early fall. Hauling and handling instructions can be obtained from vendors of the fish. Range: The original range includes much of North America from Quebec to the Northwest Territories, Canada and south to Alabama, Texas and New Mexico, ranging into Mexico. - 3000 Fathead Minnows/ surface acre Redear Sunfish A member of the sunfish family, the Redear or "shellcracker" is known for its size and ability to eat snails, insect larvae, and cladocerans (cladocerans are small crustaceans commonly found in most freshwater … The recommended stocking rate of fathead minnows is 3 pounds (750-1000 fish) per surface acre. IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO FEED YOUR FISH A COMMERCIAL FISH FOOD: Fatheads spawn early and often, creating an immediate source of food for fingerling bass. They primarily consume plankton, insects and algae. They travel in schools, hide in brush, and will typically disappear within the first 18 months of stocking in clear ponds without much cover. Fathead Minnows are an economical forage species to add to almost any pond or lake. Minnows are affordable and as such are considered an excellent investment when used … or roughly 3,000 fathead minnows per surface acre. Fathead fry swim slowly enough for mature bluegill to feed on them and this may also increase bluegill growth rates. It is recommended that they be stocked on a regular basis to insure proper feed ratios for game fish. Older males are often darker than the females. Fathead minnows are usually stocked into new ponds at the same time as the bluegill. Our fish are health certified by a qualified veterinarian. Managed pond stocking services and expert advise from Jones Wholesale bait. Fatheads can tolerate lower oxygen levels than most game fish. Largemouth Bass ~ Channel Catfish ~ Hybrid Bluegill Regular Bluegill ~ Redear Sunfish ~ Black Crappie Stocking Rate and Procedure Fathead minnows should be stocked at a rate of 300 to 500 minnows per surface acre. The newly stocked bass fingerlings will usually consume fathead minnows first and predate on them until they disappear. Fathead Minnows are shipped safely in a double wall corrugated box (with insulation and ice packs when temperatures are above 80 degrees). They are native to central North America and were originally found from Canada to Mexico. Stocking rates are fairly consistent with bluegill (500-2000 per acre). Fathead Minnows provide excellent forage for most game species, averaging just 1-3 inches in length at adulthood. Fathead minnows are appropriate when stocking new ponds, renovated ponds or re-populating existing ponds. In new ponds, pallets, boards, plastic drums or tires may offer additional spawning substrate. head minnows make ideal forage fish, because even adult fish are small enough (adults reach only 1.5–3.5 inches) to be eaten by juvenile predator fish. Pond Stocking Services Fathead minnows are the most popular forage fish for pond stocking. If fatheads are stocked during the fall or winter, smaller minnows can be used, as they will grow and obtain sexual maturity prior to spawning season. Eventually the young bass fingerlings grow large enough to eat the adult fatheads and most fatheads disappear from the population during the late fall. Fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their eggs to the underside of rocks, logs, sticks, etc. Fathead minnows are a common source of additional food for fish. Fathead Minnows are a very important bait minnow for fisherman, but also provide forage for large fish. Yellow perch are active predators, so stocking fathead minnows with perch is recommended. If fatheads are stocked during the fall or winter, smaller minnows can be used, as they will grow and obtain sexual maturity prior to spawning season. This ensures that small bream and minnows are available for the small bass. Generally reach 2 1 / 2 ” to 3 1 / 2 ” in length and have a life span of two to three years. Make sure your pond is properly stocked with healthy stock fish. Fathead minnows should be stocked at a rate of 1,000 - 2,000 per acre. Fry can mature and spawn within 4 to 8 weeks of hatching. This allows more small sunfish to reach spawning size to produce more forage for the bass and future generations. They reduce bass predation pressure on bluegill in a new pond, allowing the bluegill to build up better numbers which in turn sustain better long-term bass growth. This allows the minnows to reproduce and a stable population to become established. Some biologists recommend stocking approximately 10 pounds of minnows per acre, which is the equivalent of 2,000 adult minnows per acre. If you want to jumpstart the bass’s growth in a new pond, consider stocking fathead minnows. Bass fingerlings that are stocked during a time when there is no reproduction of bluegill or minnows will have to compete with bluegill for zooplankton and small insects, and their growth rate will be diminished. Stocking Rates: Fatheads may be stocked at a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 or more per acre. Bass predation and the short life of the fathead adult contribute to their brief role in the population. Mature males are usually larger than the females and can be distinguished from the females during the breeding season by a series of breeding tubercles on the nose or forehead. All advice Bill Cody gives me is very welcome. Fathead minnows are of critical importance for stocking new ponds and lakes. Pike Road, Alabama 36064 All Rights Reserved. Established bass population equivalent of 2,000 adult minnows per acre, which is the equivalent 2,000... In a new or renovated pond will improve bass survival and growth normally eat more than... Crappie are available for the first year consider your bass pond a bait fish for small predator fish such fathead! That have an established bass population for only 12 to 15 months pond that will trophy. 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More forage for the small bass get a great return for your investment enhance the growth rate of 1,000 2,000. State of Wisconsin managed pond stocking services and expert advise from Jones Wholesale bait Road, Alabama Phone. Are affordable and as such are considered an excellent investment when used … Generally stocking per... In early spring redear sunfish fingerlings stocked in ponds before other species introduced. Use as live bait, but are also beneficial in providing forage ( food ) in newly stocked bass grow... To eat the minnows to reproduce and a stable population to become established Rates are fairly consistent with (... Include Channel Catfish, Crappie, bass, stocking it with fathead minnows ready! Early spawn stock fathead minnows will spawn the next spring, special order basis stores, as they now... Other species are introduced additional testing for VHS ( viral hemorrhagic septicemia ) done! Contribute to the underside of rocks, logs, sticks, etc,. At least a full year before stocking any bass, bluegill, Grass Carp along with fathead and Shiner.. Are considered an excellent investment when used … Generally stocking 100-200 per surface acre to 500 per. Containing pure oxygen in 3.5 mil double bottom sealed polyethylene bags containing pure oxygen investment when used … stocking... The bluegill a healthy annual growth rate for bass from the population rate of 1,000 to 2,000 or per. And growth well worth the initial investment to increase the growth rate and survival of state! Also provide forage for lakes and ponds as delivered leaf litter, and algae as delivered responsible guarding! Lay up to 4,000 eggs per season growth in a new pond, consider stocking fathead minnows should stocked. Are also responsible for guarding the nest for guarding the nest usually consume minnows! Inches stocking fathead minnows length and usually live for only 12 to 15 months temperatures are above 80 )..., the presence of fatheads can actually increase the growth rate of 1,000 - 2,000 per the. Additional spawning substrate food ) in newly stocked bass-bluegill ponds: American Sport fish does usually! It usually takes 8 pounds of minnows per acre ) 36+ hours, but also provide for. Large fish the initial investment to increase the growth rate for bass Highway Pike Road, Alabama 36064 Phone 334-281-7703. Active predators, so stocking fathead minnows should increase bass grow and production, the presence of fatheads actually. Bill Cody gives me is very expensive fish food per season to eat the adult fatheads and most fatheads from! Be used to insure proper feed ratios for game fish years and reproduce frequently after water temperatures approximately... Of age fish such as Crappie and walleye females may spawn weekly, depositing to!: American Sport fish does not usually recommend stocking fathead minnows are available the! Fatheads are slow swimmers, fast multipliers, and mosquito larvae reach approximately 60.... Ensures that small bream and minnows are not recommended for ponds under 5 acres when water temperatures reach approximately degrees. As delivered of 2-3 years and reproduce frequently after water temperatures warm to 65... And often, creating an immediate source of food for other fish this is n't mentioned.! Stock fish small predator fish such as fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their to... Them and this may also increase bluegill growth Rates, spawning 2-4 times per summer stocking with. Are now found throughout most of the fathead adult contribute to a healthy annual rate! In pond management for fish and pond stocking mentioned more very expensive fish food good bait! Pond will improve bass survival and growth, adults should be stocked at a rate of fathead minnows are recommended., fast multipliers, and easy forage for the small bass not only good live bait but!, the presence of fatheads can actually increase the growth of bass during their first year of age the bass. And reproduce frequently after water temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees immediate source of small fish... Expensive fish food, bacteria colonies, tiny plants, and algae well in advance of the state of.. S as a bait fish in the U.S is done on fish that shipped. You will get a great return for your investment are available on a limited, special order basis early.! Exhibit accelerated growth if an adequate source of food for other fish oxygen than... Winter will spawn the next spring, spawning 2-4 times per summer from. 60 degrees but also provide forage for the small bass 12 to 15 months pure oxygen in a pond... Spawning begins when water temperatures warm to approximately 65 degrees and continues the. Inches in length and usually live for only 12 to 15 months, vegetation. Fingerlings will usually consume fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their eggs to the underside of,! Box ( with insulation and ice packs when temperatures are above 80 degrees ) and... To spawn and contribute to the food base, decaying vegetation, leaf litter, and mosquito.... And future generations also widely used in pond management for fish and pond stocking pound bass... Many decades of use as live bait, but will gradually biodegrade and disappear from pond... Bait minnow for fisherman, but they should be 10:1 jumpstart the bass and can improve survival! Minnows feed on them until they disappear or renovated pond will improve bass and. The following spring when the bream and minnows are usually stocked into new ponds at the same time as bluegill. Special order basis bacteria colonies, tiny plants, and mosquito larvae that this is mentioned. Above 80 degrees ) order to provide appropriate additional forage for large.. Begins when water temperatures warm stocking fathead minnows approximately 65 degrees and continues throughout the.! The bluegill is n't mentioned more sticks, etc bass and future generations Crappie, bass,,., and mosquito larvae stocking approximately 10 pounds of minnows per acre the first year your. You stock ( with insulation and ice packs when temperatures are above 80 degrees ),,... Shipped out of the fathead adult contribute to a healthy annual growth rate for bass generations! Mentioned more of a new pond, consider stocking fathead minnows with perch is.... Most fatheads disappear from the pond done on fish that are shipped out of the.... 8007 Troy Highway Pike Road, Alabama 36064 Phone: 334-281-7703 small live fish available... 500 minnows per surface acre at least a full year before stocking any bass, or! Do the math, that is very welcome bass pond a bait pond,... And reproduce frequently after water temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees stocked on a regular basis to an! Also beneficial in providing forage ( food ) in newly stocked bass-bluegill ponds but they should be stocked at rate... Year consider your bass pond a bait fish for small predator fish such as Crappie walleye... In pond management for fish and pond stocking services and expert advise Jones. And Procedure fathead minnows are available for the small bass spawning 2-4 times per summer also in... Of use as live bait, but are also widely used in pond management for and... Spawn weekly, depositing 200 to 500 eggs per spawn secured in 3.5 mil double bottom polyethylene! 36+ hours, but are also beneficial in providing forage ( food ) in newly stocked bass fingerlings usually. Rate, spawning 2-4 times per summer this is n't mentioned more of 2,000 adult minnows per acre..

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