A pond is a great addition to any yard because it provides relaxation and fun for the whole family. Whether you already have one in your backyard or are thinking about digging one, stocking it with freshwater fish can be an option worth considering if that’s what you want out of this relaxing activity.
How much does stocking a pond cost?
Many factors determine the cost of stocking a pond, like company choice and type and size of fish. It also depends on how much you purchase at once and if it is one-time or recurring costs. There are many types of fish you can choose from, and our table below may help guide your decision.
|Type of Fish||Average Price|
|Channel Catfish||$0.50 each|
|Black Crappie||$1 each|
|Fathead Minnows||$12 per pound|
|Coppernose Bluegill||$0.50 each|
|Hybrid Bluegill||$0.50 each|
|Grass Carp||$6 each|
|Koi fish||$10 each|
|Hybrid Striped Bass||$2 to $4 each|
|Redear Bream||$0.60 each|
|Largemouth Bass (3-4 inches)||$1.50 to $3.50 each|
|Yellow Perch||$1.50 to $3 each|
Note: When searching for suppliers, many ask you to make a minimum order of 25-50 before they confirm the price. This is based on what we found researching them online and looking through official websites.
At Dunn’s Fish Farm, fathead minnows cost $11.95 per pound, and 6 to 8 inches largemouth bass can be bought for a price of $320 per 100 fish. Refer to the list published on their website before planning on buying some fish from the farm to make sure you have the right prices.
What are the extra costs?
If you don’t purchase the minimum required quantity if an online provider is going to ship your fish, or when it’s a long-distance delivery to where you live, there may be an additional fee. This can be $3-$5 per mile, depending on how many fishes are delivered.
Bagging charges can get expensive, ranging from $1.75 to $2.50 per bag.
There are different requirements depending on what state you live in. Check with your local government to learn more about the permits that might be required for stocking a pond.
Stocking the fish is only part of the equation if you don’t have a pond already. The price of a pond varies, but starting from scratch can cost anywhere from $3,500 – $6,000 per acre. If you don’t have one already, this includes permits and building the dam. Fish will cost you around $600 per acre for baby bass, plus at least $15,500 if the area has to be excavated, according to Field & Stream Magazine. Overall, your final expense might be over $26,000 when considering all your amenities.
Important things to consider
At most fish farms, we found that they offer largemouth bass and bluegills. This includes catfish, minnows, carp, and koi as well. However, crappie is also a common addition to the mix of species you will find in a backyard pond.
Depending on the species, availability will vary. Some are available year-round, while others may be seasonal. For example, the bass is typically only in season during winter months when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure your pond is stocked with them at the right temperature and Ph levels if you want healthy fish. The best time to stock minnows, bluegill, and catfish is in November through April, while bass should be bought during June or July.
If you’re looking for optimal results, the pond’s Ph levels should be closer to 7 or 8, and the ideal temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower.
Do not start feeding the fish until the water temperature reaches and is maintained at least 47 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s for their own good. If the water drops below 47 degrees Fahrenheit, then the fish can no longer digest the food. Food stays in their intestines and produces toxins, and can even cause intestinal blockages. However, when you start feeding the fish, start gradually, 2-3 times a week, and increase as the temperature increases. When the water reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can feed them once a day.
The stocking can be made in monoculture (only with one type of fish) or polyculture (with more species). Monoculture can be simple (fishes of the same age) or mixed (fishes of different ages). In order to make better use of the trophic resources in the water basins, many fish farmers choose to carry out polycultures with either peaceful or predatory species.
It is recommended that you contact a reputable fish farm to figure out the right pond and lake stocking rates for your needs. This will depend on things like what size of fish are desired, how they’re being transported, as well as if there are any existing species in your water system.
How can I save money?
With most suppliers, the more you purchase at once, the more money you will be able to save.