Results Of Stocking Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, And Redear Sunfish In Ponds Less Than 0.25 Acre

A study was undertaken during the period of 1962-65 to determine the minimum acreage of water which can produce and sustain a balanced largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede), Bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque, and redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus (Gunther), population. Thirty-three ponds ranging from 0.17 to 0.25 acre and which contained no fish were selected in North Alabama during 1962-63. The ponds were stocked by the State Fish Hatchery during the 1962-63 season. Suggestions that would aid in the management of a pond to obtain the maximum production of fish were offered to each pond owner. Balance checks were conducted on these ponds during the first and second year of fishing. These checks on 30 usable ponds the first year indicated that 16 ponds contained a balanced fish population. Seven ponds contained a crowded bluegill population, and 7 ponds were crowded by competitive species. Checks on 29 usable ponds the second year indicated that 7 ponds contained a balanced fish population. Fourteen ponds contained a crowded bluegill population, and 8 ponds were crowded by competitive species. The low percentage of ponds that maintained a balanced fish population indicated that it is not feasible to stock ponds that are smaller than 0.25 acre with a largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish combination.

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