POSTED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 6:47pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 7:06pm
TYLER — The drought last year caused many people's ponds or stock tanks to dry up and their fish to die.
Now that we've gotten some rain, they need to be restocked.
"Now is the time, to get those fish in the water," said Craig Bonds, Regional Fisheries Biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Bonds says now is the perfect time to restock your ponds with fish before it gets too hot.
"When it gets too hot the fish are susceptible to stress and low dissolved oxygen," Bonds said.
But if you're pond was dry for a while and recently filled with new rain, don't restock too soon.
"Let that vegetation decay for a while before you restock because sometimes that decaying or organic matter can take the oxygen out of the water, and those fish may not survive very well," he said.
When it comes to *how many* fish, Bonds said to use a 10 to 1 ratio of prey to predators.
"For bass, we usually recommend about 50 per acre and for sunfish we usually recommend about 500 per acre," Bonds said.
But it depends on how often you plan to harvest them, too.
"If you are just going to feed them and turn them into pets, then you may only need 20 or 50 or so per surface acre," Bonds said. "But if you're going to aggressively harvest those fish and eat them frequently, you can go as high as several hundred per surface acre for channel catfish."
Another hot tip:get the prey species in there first.
"They can start replicating themselves, and then later in early summer or early fall, stock bass, and you can get more bang for your buck," Bonds said.
Bonds also said you can help your fish grow much faster by feeding them high protein pellets on a regular basis.
For more information on where to get your fish and other great resources on pond management, click here .