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. Fathead minnows are a terrific starter forage, stock them to reproduce and they will support the first year’s growth of your game fish. They primarily consume plankton, insects and algae. Fathead minnows happily feed on plankton, insects and larva, fish food, bacteria colonies, tiny plants, and algae. 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. Wait at least a full year before stocking any bass, largemouth or smallmouth. Fatheads can tolerate lower oxygen levels than most game fish. Taal Lake Hatchery has been providing game fish for stocking lakes and ponds in Wisconsin, Illinois, and the upper peninsula of Michigan since 1963. Make sure your pond is properly stocked with healthy stock fish. IDENTIFICATION: A small mouth, black midline running the length of the body and spot on the dorsal fin are indicative of the fathead minnow.. Fathead minnows have been used for years and are usually stocked with the … 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. Fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their eggs to the underside of rocks, logs, sticks, etc. Unlike threadfin shad that occupy open water, the fathead prefers to occupy similar habitats as the bass, making them very vulnerable to predation. Value: Fatheads are slow swimmers and provide ideal food for young bass. Fathead Minnows. We suggest stocking 100 lbs. Fathead minnows seldom reach lengths greater than 3 inches, and therefore provide very little benefit when stocked as a forage fish into established ponds. Fathead minnows are appropriate when stocking new ponds, renovated ponds or re-populating existing ponds. We always recommend fathead minnows as another preventative maintenance tool and food for other fish. Pond Stocking Services Fathead minnows are the most popular forage fish for pond stocking. The recommended stocking rate of fathead minnows is 3 pounds (750-1000 fish) per surface acre. Black Crappie are available on a limited, special order basis. If you want to build a pond that will produce trophy bass, stocking it with fathead minnows will be key. Established bass-bluegill ponds: American Sport Fish does not usually recommend stocking fathead minnows into ponds that have an established bass population. - 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 … Yellow Perch: Size: 3 - 5" 4 - 6" Price Per Fish: $1.30: $1.85: Fathead Minnows. 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. All Rights Reserved. They primarily consume plankton, insects and algae. Stocking Rates Fathead minnows are used throughout the U S as a bait fish for small predator fish such as crappie and walleye. If these minnows are added to a new bass-bluegill lake during initial stocking, they can reproduce and provide an abundance … 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. WAP0001, I'm always amazed when talkin minnows that this isn't mentioned more. Fatheads can actually increase the growth rate of bass during their first year of life. Bass predation and the short life of the fathead adult contribute to their brief role in the population. Stocking Rate and Procedure Fathead minnows should be stocked at a rate of 300 to 500 minnows per surface acre. Fatheads are frequently stocked in ponds before other species are introduced. The fathead minnow population is usually consumed within the first year of stocking … Fathead Minnows are shipped safely in a double wall corrugated box (with insulation and ice packs when temperatures are above 80 degrees). The males are also responsible for guarding the nest. per acre and more when game fish are present and organics are high. Some females may lay up to 4,000 eggs per season. Fathead Minnows provide excellent forage for most game species, averaging just 1-3 inches in length at adulthood. To observe minnow populations, check around your pond in early spring. You will get a great return for your investment! Your fish are safely secured in 3.5 mil double bottom sealed polyethylene bags containing pure oxygen. FATHEAD MINNOWS (Pimephales promelas). We recommend stocking all ponds with minnows. They prefer to spawn upside down! This allows more small sunfish to reach spawning size to produce more forage for the bass and future generations. If stocked during the spring, adults should be used to insure an early spawn. 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. 8007 Troy Highway This allows the minnows to reproduce and a stable population to become established. 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. It is recommended that they be stocked on a regular basis to insure proper feed ratios for game fish. However I think the best thing he ever advised me about was stocking minnows. 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) © 2021 Southeastern Pond Management. If you want to jumpstart the bass’s growth in a new pond, consider stocking fathead minnows. 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. Fathead minnows are not only good live bait, but are also beneficial in providing forage (food) in newly stocked bass-bluegill ponds. Stock fathead minnows because they are slow swimmers, fast multipliers, and easy forage for the small bass. Bass predation and the short life of the fathead adult contribute to their brief role in the population. Baitfish are sold by the … Stocking Rates: Fatheads may be stocked at a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 or more per acre. They have a short life span of 2-3 years and reproduce frequently after water temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees. Various minnow species exist for lake and pond stocking, but fathead minnows are recommended as a solid choice as for a forage species. We suggest a stocking rate of 10 lbs. Fathead minnows should be stocked at a rate of 1,000 - 2,000 per acre. 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. Managed pond stocking services and expert advise from Jones Wholesale bait. Taal Lake Hatchery, New London, WI. Fry can mature and spawn within 4 to 8 weeks of hatching. They are often called “tuffies” or “tuffie minnows” and are available at live bait stores throughout most of the United States. They are native to central North America and were originally found from Canada to Mexico. Mature females may spawn weekly, depositing 200 to 500 eggs per spawn. Minnows are affordable and as such are considered an excellent investment when used … IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO FEED YOUR FISH A COMMERCIAL FISH FOOD: Periodic additions of forage fish such as fathead minnows should increase bass grow and production. Some biologists recommend stocking approximately 10 pounds of minnows per acre, which is the equivalent of 2,000 adult minnows per acre. Fathead minnows mature at about 3 inches, or one year of age. Fathead minnows will spawn by depositing their eggs to the underside of rocks, logs, sticks, etc. Varieties include Channel Catfish, Crappie, Bass, Bluegill, Grass Carp along with Fathead and Shiner Minnows. In new ponds, pallets, boards, plastic drums or tires may offer additional spawning substrate. Spawning begins when water temperatures warm to approximately 65 degrees and continues throughout the summer. In fact, the presence of fatheads can contribute to a healthy annual growth rate for bass. or roughly 3,000 fathead minnows per surface acre. Manage it for baitfish. 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 . 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. 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. Fathead Minnows are an economical forage species to add to almost any pond or lake. DIET: Zooplankton and phytoplankton.. SPAWNING: As fractional spawners, fathead minnows spawn throughout the spring and summer once water temperatures reach 64̊F. Stocking rates are fairly consistent with bluegill (500-2000 per acre). They will provide an excellent food source. ALIAS: Tuffy, blackhead minnow, minner. 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. 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. All advice Bill Cody gives me is very welcome. Phone: 334-281-7703. A forage base for the bass normally eat more zooplankton than algae at... Leaf litter, and easy forage for the bass normally eat the adult fatheads and most disappear! Biodegrade and disappear from the pond perhaps the most common bait fish in the fall and winter spawn... 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