Have you ever wondered how fish get in ponds in the first place? Well, one way is by people putting them in there on purpose! The practice is called fish stocking, and it involves raising fish in a controlled area like a hatchery to release into various waterways such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. Fish stocking helps:
- Improve fishing populations
- Increase recreational activity
- Keep bodies of water environmentally balanced
- Maintain weed problems
- Reduce specific insect larvae
Commonly Used Fish for Stocking in FloridaTo properly balance a pond or lake, you want to use a variety of specific fish. In Florida, some of those include:
Largemouth bassone of the top predators in the natural ecosystem, the largemouth bass is also one of the most popular game fish in North America. Bass prefer the warm, quiet, and calm water found in lakes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and streams, but can adapt well to other conditions. They hide in vegetation, between rocks, or under sunken debris such as tree roots and limbs, striking their unsuspecting prey as they swim by.
Bluegillwhile native to eastern North America, bluegills inhabit nearly every pond, lake, and other bodies of quiet water throughout the country. Bluegills bite year-round, making them an easy fish to catch.
Catfishthis diverse group of fish lives in several conditions including saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water. They love to eat and will travel wherever they can to find food. In the ecosystem, catfish can be either predators or prey. To reduce stress to the fish the best time to stock is during the spring or fall when temperatures are mild, and oxygen levels are high.
Tilapiatilapias are great fish to use for fish stocking because they reproduce quickly, tolerate a variety of aquaculture environments, and eat diets consisting of aquatic invertebrates and aquatic vegetation. Tilapias also consume a substantial amount of natural materials such as algae, plankton, and detritus.
Triploid carptriploid carps are one of the few fish species that eat plants, providing an excellent low-cost, long-term, and herbicide-free method of getting rid of invasive problem weeds such as hydrilla in ponds or lakes. However, because triploid carps eat specific vegetation and will not touch others, it is important to have your water checked before stocking to ensure best results. Now that you know some of the benefits to fish stocking and which fish you should include, you will want to perform a fishery study as well as a vegetation survey to see what is currently in your body of water.
How We Can HelpAt Sorko Services, we will complete a survey of your lake, pond, river, etc., allowing us to create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. For questions, or to learn more about the aquatic services we offer, call us today at 407-878-4492.
Benefits of Fish Stocking in Central Florida
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