The Fathead Minnow is native to much of North America. They have a heavy spawn early in spring and are most commonly stocked at the same time as bluegill in new ponds and lakes. Stocking rates are fairly consistent with bluegill (500-2000 per acre). 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. The fathead minnow population is usually consumed within the first year of stocking largemouth bass.
Golden Shiners are native to eastern North America. They are primarily used as bait fish in bass ponds. They can reach 12 inches in size but usually stay in the 3-5 inch range. The female shiner can lay up to 200,000 eggs. The average stocking rates for shiners in ponds or lakes, where bass are priority, is between 500 and 1000 per acre. Please give Southern States a call for more stocking rates and recommendations.
Threadfin Shad are small baitfish resident to many streams and lakes in the southeast United States. Threadfin can grow up to 8 inches but usually are in the 3-6 inch range. They are an excellent bait fish for largemouth bass ponds or lakes simply because they swim in schools (dozens or more together). Threadfin shad feed on plankton usually late in the day. They spawn in spring, early summer and in the fall. Female shad lay anywhere from 2000 to 20,000 eggs each. Threadfin shad are available from Southern States beginning in the spring through early fall.
White Amur (Grass Carp)
The grass carp is native to eastern Asia but was introduced in the United States for aquatic weed management. Grass carp eat a wide range of aquatic plants but not all. It is best to identify, in advance, vegetation in ponds/lakes where grass carp may be needed for control. Stocking rates are generally 5-10 per acre and can be as high as 30 or more dependent upon coverage of vegetation in the pond or lake. Usual stocking sizes in recreation ponds are around 10 inches.
Largemouth Bass are a species of black bass that are native to North America. They can be broken down into two categories. (1) Florida bass which is native to south Florida and (2) Northern bass which account for the rest of the country.
The Florida Largemouth Bass is known for its exceptional growth rate, while the Northern Bass is known for its aggressive nature. Southern States Game Fish Hatchery also produces an F1 bass which is a cross between the Florida bass and the Northern bass. One can expect the F1 bass to have the growth rates of Florida bass along with the aggressiveness of the Northern bass.
Largemouth bass are available in several different sizes dependent on time of year. Two inch, six inch, eight-to-ten inch and 1 pound plus may be available. Please call for more details. Stocking rates for new ponds are generally 50/acre in an unfertilized pond and as many as 100/acre in fertilized ponds. Southern States would be pleased to assist you with different stocking rates based upon what the the pond owner would like to achieve.
Redear Shellcrackers are native to the southeast United States. They look very similar to bluegill except for coloration. They can grow a good bit larger than bluegill. The male has a distinctive red dot on its gill cover, whereas the female has an orange color dot. Shellcracker are bottom feeders and consume snails and other shell creatures. General stocking guidelines for shellcracker are about 10-20 percent of the bream population.
Coppernose Bluegill are a native fish of Florida and South Georgia. They have adapted very well to all of the southeast. They train in well on fish pellets and grow rather rapidly. They tend to be very aggressive and put up a good fight especially on light tackle. Coppernose Bluegill are the primary bait fish for largemouth bass in a pond or lake that is stocked with both. General stocking rates are 500 per acre in an unfertilized pond and 1000 per acre in fertilized ponds and can easily be stocked at 2000 per acre in instances where someone would like a trophy bass lake. Southern States Hatchery offers 1-2 inch and 3-4 inch Coppernose Bluegill. We would be pleased to assist you with stocking recommendations in a new or existing pond.