Once you own a pond or lake, either natural or human built, you are faced with a seemingly simple, yet complex question: what kind of fish should be stocked in your lake? What are the most common stocked fish?
Of course it all depends on you – if you like fishing as a sport, or you simply like the beauty of fish, or even if you rather much more practical fish that are beneficial for the environment. Here are five fish that should be (if they aren’t already) part of every pond or lake ecosystem:
The Golden Shiner is the most emblematic pond fish in the United States. Usually used as bait fish, it can be found nationwide as well as Quebec. They thrive because of their ability to live in highly polluted water, with low oxygen contents. They are also omnivorous and feed on insects, plankton, algae, plants and more. This is what makes the Golden Shiner one of the most popular stocked fish in North America because it helps out with vegetation control.
Largemouth Bass are easily the most popular game-fish in North America. It also happens to be the state fish of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Tennessee (some fresh water and other sports fish). Largemouth Bass are known by a variety of names throughout the United States, and usually feed on small bait fish, scuds, small crustacean, and insects in their youth. Growth Largemouths can feed on smaller fish, snails, crawfish, snakes, waterbirds, salamanders and more, a secret to their survival and popularity.
Black Crappies are very popular pan-sizes sport fish. They are also easily found through most of North America, and are identifiable by the seven or eight spines on their dorsal fin. They can live in lakes, borrow pits, ponds, and large and small rivers alike. They feed plankton and small crustacean, and adults sometimes feed on smaller bait fish. Crappies are one of the most common panfish stocked in lakes.
Fathead Minnows are popular bait fish and also found from Central Canada to the West Coast and South of the United States. They have a practical appliance when determining water toxin levels. They are so resistant to chemical waste and pollution that professionals use them as guides and conduct studies based on their chemical durability.
Bluegill Coppernose fish are usually found east of the Rocky Mountains and like to hide among tree roots and stumps underwater. They are a popular sport fish and provide a delicious easy to cook option for a healthy dinner!
Clearwater Consulting can stock your pond or lake with all of these types of fish and more. Contact us for any questions about which kind of fish or fishes would be right for you. We are here to assist you in supplementing populations or even starting new ones.