How to Stock a Fish Pond

I installed my 2000 square foot, 6 foot deep fish pond in the fall of 2013. I waited one year for the pond to grow some vegetation, and to begin to support an ecosystem. In the fall of 2014 I stocked a pound of fathead minnows. These are the feeder fish for the bass and catfish that I planned to stock. I wanted to give the minnows a head start, so there would be plenty of them to go around.

Fathead Minnows

In the early spring of 2015 I stocked largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, and another pound of fathead minnows. Mid-Atlantic Stocking provided stocking ratios as well as the fish. It was pretty simple to order the fish and pick them up. They have a route that they run. You simply order the fish and pick them up at the stop closest to you on the date and time that they are at your pickup spot.

Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Catfish

When I picked up my fish, I got them home quickly. They were in plastic bags. I placed the plastic bags in the water at the edge of my pond. They were held at the shore in a cluster of bulrushes. I let them get used to the water for about forty-five minutes then I let them out.

Acclimating the Fish

You can certainly feed them if you want bigger fish, quicker, but they will survive in a good pond environment without feed. I have not fed the fish at all, and I’ve yet to have any floating on the surface.

Below are the ratios that they recommend. I had to do about 1/5th of the quarter acre pond package.

Pond Stocking Packages - Available: April-September

Packages are available in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 acre sizes. Quantities for each species are based on a new pond. Established ponds that have fish already living in them should be stocked more conservatively.

Bass Pond Packages:

1/4 Acre: 5 lbs. fathead minnows, 75 bluegill sunfish, 50 channel catfish, 25 largemouth bass

1/2 Acre: 10 lbs. fathead minnows, 150 bluegill sunfish, 100 channel catfish, 50 largemouth bass

3/4 Acre- 15 lbs. fathead minnows, 225 bluegill sunfish, 150 channel catfish, 75 largemouth bass

1 Acre- 20 lbs. fathead minnows, 300 bluegill sunfish, 200 channel catfish, 100 largemouth bass

~ Phil Williams

Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website  His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thanks Phil. 
Did you plant any specific aquatic vegetation as well? Would it be recommended? 

Do you expect this pond will be self-sustaining now and won't need to be restocked again? 

I am jealous!  
For some reason I have always loved fish…so the idea of growing my own is something I am really drawn to.

the egrets will move fish eggs about. We've never stocked any of our 4 ponds, they're full of fish, too many fish actually. The CCC built many ponds in the "tobacco" south. they still are…robie…get your mare settled. 

What happened to the extra 4/5 of the fish? :slight_smile:

As long as I don't overfish, I do expect the pond to be self-sustaining. I did plant some lotus flowers, but the majority of the plants came on their own. You do not need to plant.