Herrmann's Fish Farm offers professional stocking recommendations as to when, what and how much to stock. We provide a wide variety of fish for stocking your ponds year round, which include:
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 habitats, including lakes, ponds, streams and rivers.) Redear sunfish are commonly found in your deeper areas of your lake, and are becoming a very popular game fish among fishermen. They are easily distinguishable by their red/orange colorations around their opercle. They will become sexually mature during their second summer, and will spawn during the summer months. Their average lifespan will usually take them through 6 summers.
Triploid Grass Carp
These sterile fish are a biological approach to aquatic weed management in private lakes and ponds. Usually stocked between 8-15 inches in length, these fish are fast growers due to the amount of weeds they will eat in their early growth. Although the average lifespan of these fish is around 10 years, they are most productive for the first 4-6 years of their life. After that they become very lethargic and will only eat enough to maintain, rather than control the weed problems in your pond or lake. Although they will eat some algae species early in life, they prefer aquatic vegetation and will seek this out first. They work very well on Hydrilla, Bushy pondweed, American pondweed, and other related species, and will not eat any rushes, Primrose, or Cattails. These fish require a permit from your state authorities, and are usually stocked at a rate of 5-10 fish per acre.
Tilapia are a member of a group of chiclids native to Africa. Mozambique Tilapia are the species found in pond and lake management and stocking of private waters. These fish are very prolific, spawning as often as every 21 days during the warm months of the year, and can become sexually mature in as little as 3 months of age. These fish provide many positive outcomes for private ponds and lakes such as; very high fat and protein content as a forage fish, prolific breeders for rapid replenishment of forage fish, and the ability to consume Filamentous Algae and Chara in ponds and lakes. Now one of the world's leading consumption fish, private water owners have discovered their ability to keep algae levels down, as well as provide a great forage fish for their Bass. The cons to Tilapia include their zero tolerance to water getting colder than 50 degrees F. This will result in a fish kill, and they will have to be restocked the next spring. On the other hand, if they do not have a fish kill within 2-3 years, they can become problematic to your pond/lake by reaching to high of numbers, and becoming very aggressive towards your Bass. This can sometimes result in a lower annual recruitment during your Bass Spawn.
Except for humans, adult largemouth bass are the top predators in the aquatic ecosystem. Fry feed primarily on zooplankton and insect larvae. At about two inches in length they become active predators. Adults feed almost exclusively on other fish and large invertebrates such as crayfish. Larger bass will prey upon smaller bass as well.
In Texas spawning begins in the spring when water temperatures reach about 60°F. This could occur as early as February or as late as May, depending on where one is in the state. Males build the nests in two to eight feet of water. Largemouth bass prefer to nest in quieter, more vegetated water than other black bass, but will use any substrate besides soft mud, including submerged logs. When the Largemouth Bass spawn begins and the female has laid her eggs in the nest (2,000 to 43,000) she is chased away by the male who then guards the precious eggs. The young, called fry, hatch in five to ten days. Fry remain in a group or "school" near the nest and under the male's watch for several days after hatching. Their lifespan is on average 10-16 years.
Immature largemouth bass may tend to congregate in schools, but adults are usually solitary. Sometimes several bass will gather in a very small area, but they do not interact. Largemouth bass hide among plants, roots or limbs to strike their prey.
Bluegill will begin spawning when water temperatures reach about 70°F. Spawning may peak in May or June, but continues until water temperatures cool in the fall. Because of their long spawning season, bluegill have a very high reproductive potential, which often results in overpopulation in the face of low predation or low fishing pressure. Nests are created in shallow water, one to two feet in depth, and gravel substrate is preferred. Fifty or more nests may be crowded into a small area, thus creating a spawning bed. Males guard the nest until the eggs hatch and fry leave. Young fish feed on plankton, but as they grow the diet shifts to aquatic insects and their larvae. Up to 50% of their diet may consist of midge larvae. The average lifespan of a Coppernose Bluegill in the wild is 4-6 years, and are sexually mature when 4-6 inches in length is reached.
Spawning begins in the spring when water temperatures reach about 70°F and ceases when temperatures exceed 80°F. Sometimes spawning resumes in late summer if temperatures drop below 80°F. No nest is prepared. Adhesive eggs are scattered over algae or submerged vegetation and hatch in approximately 4 days under good conditions. Golden shiners are omnivorous. Plant material makes up about half the diet; the other half is animal material such as crustaceans, insects, and snails. The average lifespan of a Golden Shiner in the wild is 5 years, and are sexually mature at 2 years of age.
Threadfin shad are more likely to be found in waters with a noticeable current and are usually in the upper five feet of the water column. They are quite temperature sensitive, with die-offs reported at temperatures below 45°F. Spawning begins in the spring when water temperatures reach approximately 70°F, and may continue into the summer. During spawning, one or more females are accompanied by several males. The average lifespan of a Threadfin Shad in the wild is 2-4 years, and can reach sexual maturity within their first year of life. These fish normally reach sizes of 3-5 inches, but can get up to 6-8 inches in length.
Fatheads school either in midwater or near the bottom, and feed primarily on plant material, although invertebrates are sometimes consumed. Spawning is prolonged from late spring through midsummer. Eggs are deposited over submerged objects and guarded by males. Nests may contain as many as 12,000 eggs, and females may spawn as many as 12 times in a single summer. Some individuals may mature and spawn during their first summer of life, but spawning is usually delayed until the second summer. Because of its prolific nature in the absence of competition, fathead minnows are often raised in ponds for sale as a bait fish, or as forage in hatchery production ponds. Average lifespan of a Fathead minnow in the wild is 1-3 years.
Channel catfish spawn in late spring or early summer when water temperatures reach 75°F. Males select nest sites which are normally dark secluded areas such as cavities in drift piles, logs, undercut banks, rocks, cans, etc. The eggs, if not devoured, typically hatch in about a week. Fry remain in the nest, under the guardianship of the male, for about another week. Channel catfish less than 4 inches in length feed primarily on small insects. Adults are largely omnivorous, feeding on insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and even some plant material. Sexual maturity is reached in two or three years in captivity, whereas data from natural populations indicates channel catfish in Texas reach sexual maturity in 3-6 years. Most are mature by the time they reach 12 inches in length. Average lifespan in the wild is around 14 years of age.
The spawning behavior of blue catfish appears to be similar to that of channel catfish. However, most blue catfish are not sexually mature until they reach about 24 inches in length. Like channel catfish, the blue catfish pursues a varied diet, but it tends to eat fish earlier in life. Although invertebrates still comprise the major portion of the diet, blue catfish as small as four inches in length have been known to consume fish. Individuals larger than eight inches eat fish and large invertebrates. Blue catfish commonly attain weights of 20 to 40 pounds, and may reach weights well in excess of 100 pounds. The average lifespan in the wild is 20-25 years.