Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation
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Largemouth Bass will spawn in smaller farm ponds with a water depth of 4 feet or more. Remember, Bass usually reproduce as 2 year olds and occasionally not until the third year. For best results, try to avoid fishing the pond until the Bass have spawned. The pond should then provide many years of fishing fun with occasional stocking of feeder fish such as Fathead Minnows. The recommended stocking rate for 3-4” Bass is 100 – 125 per surface acre along with 500 – 600 minnows per surface acre.

Unlike Bullheads, Catfish cohabitate with most other fish species and they will not overpopulate a pond or stir up the bottom. Catfish spawn in small holes in the side of the pond just below the water line. A muskrat hole or 8” tile usually works well but they will rarely reproduce in spring fed ponds as the water temperature is too low. They are a decent fighting fish and can get up to 5 – 10 pounds depending on the food source. They will feed on smaller fish but prefer something easier to catch such as tadpoles or algae. When supplemented with a commercial fish food, both Catfish and Bass will grow much faster. The recommended stocking rate for 6 – 8” Catfish is 75 per surface acre.  

Trout can live in water between 33 and 75 degrees, but they make their most rapid growth in water of 50 to 65 degrees. Not only do trout make their fastest growth within this temperature range, but also they are less susceptible to parasites and diseases. It is not likely that you will be able to keep the water temperature in your pond within this range all year, unless you have a constant source of cooler water from a spring or well. Brook Trout prefer a water temperature range of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or less, and most are acid tolerant. They grow well in ponds 10 feet deep or shallower ones that are spring fed, and may reproduce in ponds fed by gravel bottomed streams and springs. They are easily caught, with a life span of 3 to 4 years. Rainbow Trout prefer a water temperature range of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, and are good for ponds 8 feet deep or deeper, best in clear ponds. They are very acid sensitive, but grow quickly, with a life span of 5 years. The number of trout a pond will support depends on its surface area, water quality, and size of fish. The standard fall stocking rate for 4-6” fingerlings is 300 to 400 per surface acre. 

You must obtain a stocking permit or farm fish pond license from NYS DEC. If you do not already have one, please click the link below to download permit application.
Fish Stocking Program
Triploid grass carp are used as a non-chemical agent to control weed growth in ponds. They prefer submergent, tender plant species such as elodea, coontail, fanwort, curly leaf pondweed and watermilfoil. They will not control well-established emergent plants such as cattail, bulrush or floating plant species such as water lily. Triploid grass carp are sterile and incapable of producing viable young. Because triploid grass carp are the only form of grass carp legal in New York, a DEC permit is required before you can buy and stock grass carp in your pond.

If you have any questions please call the office at (315) 866-2520 Ext 5. 

The permitting process conducted by DEC is free of charge. If permitted you will be able to purchase these fish from the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District, an approved Triploid Grass Carp supplier. If you have not received a permit, please complete the DEC permit application form: 

Grass Carp
Bass, Catfish, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout, and Minnows
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