Mon. Mar 13th, 2023

Fishponds On Farms

Fishponds On Farms: Species of Fishes Suitable for Pond Culture

Fishponds On Farms: Species of Fishes Suitable for Pond Culture Smallmouth black bass {Micropterus dolomieu). —Indigenous to lakes, rivers, and smaller streams from Lake Champlain to Manitoba and south to North Carolina and Arkansas.

It seeks by preference the clear cool waters of its range, and in the Southern States it is confined to the more rapid streams. The maximum weight is about 5 pounds, and the average weight from 1 to 2 pounds.

This species should be selected for cultivation only in ponds of 2 or more acres in an area, where the temperatures and other physical characteristics conform to those of its natural habitat.

Rock bass and Sunfish will live congenially with the smallmouth black bass and can be successfully propagated in the same ponds with them.

Largemouth black bass {Micropterus saZmoides). —Known locally as straw bass, green bass, bayou bass, Oswego bass, trout, and chub.

Its range is from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Atlantic coast to the Rocky Mountains. The species is prolific in congenial waters but reaches its greatest size in the warmer lakes and more sluggish streams of the South.

Its maximum weight is authentically stated to be from 20 to 25 pounds, though in most localities it does not exceed a weight of 6 pounds, and the average is less than 3 pounds.

Because of their size and cannibalistic tendencies, the two species of black bass should be selected only for ponds not less than 2 acres in area.

The largemouth species is equally admirably adapted to cultivation in northern or southern climates, but its cultivation in the former should be restricted to waters attaining maximum temperatures.

Crappie, sunfish, and warmouth bass are suitable species to introduce in waters with the largemouth bass.

The two black basses are frequently confounded, but they have contrasting marks of distinction, which vary with their environment. They may be reliably classified by the number of rows of scales on the check, the largemouth possessing 10 and the smallmouth 17 rows. The mouth of the former species extends back of the eye, and that of the smallmouth even with the anterior margin of the eye.

Crappie (Pomoxis annularis). —Commonly called bachelor, Campbellite, new light, sac-a-lait, tin mouth, crape, and chinquapin. Its range is from New York and Vermont westward through the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi Valley to the Dakotas, and south to Texas.

It inhabits sluggish muddy water and reaches a length of 1 foot in its most southerly range.

The crappie is an excellent pan fish and should be generally cultivated where conditions are favorable. It is an extremely delicate fish to handle, its protruding eyes being easily injured and frequently blinded when constantly exposed to direct sunlight in clear water.

In ponds devoted primarily to the propagation of crappie many fish culturists introduce carp, suckers, or other bottom feeders, as the resulting turbid water is a favorable condition for them.

The natural habitat of the crappie suggests its suitability for ponds containing largemouth black bass or catfish, where the water supply is drawn from turbid streams or furnished by surface drainage.

Calico bass {Pomoxis sparokles). —Also known as strawberry bass, grass bass, and barfish. It is abundant in the Great Lakes region.

the upper Mississippi Valley, with extreme range east of New Jersey and south to Texas. It very much resembles crappie but is hardier in every respect and better adapted to pond culture.

It may be distinguished from the crappie by the presence of 7 or 8 spines in the dorsal fin, were the crappie has but 5 or 6. It will thrive in company with any of the pond species that are suited to relatively high temperatures.

ROCK BASS (Amhloplites rupestns).—Colloquially termed red-eye and goggle-eye. This species is found in lakes and streams from New England to Manitoba and south to Louisiana and Texas, being particularly abundant in the cooler lakes and streams of the upper Mississippi Valley. It inhabits by choice only clear, cool waters, and is therefore less thrifty in its southern range. The rock bass has been known to attain a weight of 1^ pounds and a length of 12 inches, but the average specimen does not exceed a weight of one- half pound or a length of 7 inches.

Fish of this species are well suited for introduction into spring-fed ponds with the smallmouth black bass.

Warmouth bass {Chcenohryttus gulosus). —Is often confused with the rock bass. It has very much the same range and similar general characteristics but is better adapted to waters of a high temperature and is therefore most abundant in the South. The two species may be distinguished by the three oblique dark stripes radiating backward from the eye in the warmouth bass and by the rather indistinct vertical stripes on the body of the rock bass.

The warmouth bass may be propagated in conjunction with the largemouth black bass or in small ponds with the
crappie and sunfish.

SuNFisH (Lepomis pallidus).—Locally termed bluegill, blue sunfish, copper-nosed bream, doUardee, and blue bream. Of the many species of sunfishes distributed throughout the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, this is the only one that can be recommended by the Bureau of Fisheries as worthy of artificial propagation, and it is believed to be the finest pond fish available for private culture.

It is adapted to practically all conditions, is prolific, and of unsur passed table qualities. The largest specimens will measure from 12 to 14 inches in length and attain a weight of nearly a pound.

The bluegill may be propagated in connection with any of the other species listed above.

Catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus).—^Locally known as bullhead, horned pout, Schuylldll cat, small yellow cat, and the subspecies Ameiurus nebulosus marmorated^ known in the South as marble cat.

This is the only member of the catfish family that has so far been propagated in ponds. It is distinct from the genus Ictalurus^ which embraces the larger catfishes— blue cat, channel cat, forked-tail cat, and spotted cat.

Many attempts have been made to propagate these latter species, but without success. They seem to require some element not found in still waters.

The bullhead is abundant in all ponds, lakes, and sluggish streams of the eastern United States and the Mississippi Valley region. It adapts itself to widely varying conditions and demands less expensive preparation for its cultivation than any of the other fishes considered.

The bullhead is the most easily domesticated of any of the pond fishes. Its appearance is formidable and repugnant to some, but when propagated in comparatively pure water it is very palatable.

It may be cultivated in connection with any of the warm-water species referred to and is particularly suited to the changing conditions of drainage-fed ponds.

Regards, Coyalita

Copyright © 2021-2022 All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *