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Trout Stocking Questions and Answers:
Trout Feeding Questions and Answers:
Pond Questions and Answers:
Why should pond owners stock trout in their ponds?
Natural resources should be utilized to supplement a family's food needs to provide healthy, contaminant-free food. While many folks utilize their land to grow a variety of garden vegetables or to raise their own meat for cheaper or organic reasons, so also should pond owners utilize their water resource to grow a low-fat, low cholesterol, high protein, heart-healthy fish product. By stocking 6"-8" or larger trout in early spring and feeding them throughout the growing season, many nutritious meals may be enjoyed before ice cover and season's end.
What is the best time of year to stock trout?
Stocking your pond with Brook, Rainbow or Brown Trout is preferred when the water is cooler, though it can be done safely throughout the year as customer requirements may vary. Spring stocking is usually the most popular stocking period, but Fall is also a good time of the year to stock your pond. Stocking in the Fall allows the trout to become acclimated to their environment during the winter months. When Spring arrives, they are ready to provide healthy enjoyment throughout the Summer.
How many trout would be suitable for a pond?
Pond conditions dictate numbers and species of trout to stock. The average one acre pond with a depth of eight feet that stays full all summer with fresh water can generally support 300 trout. Any of several variables may advocate stocking fewer trout, the most important being a dropping water level during the hot, summer months. The warmer the water, the lower the dissolved oxygen content, so it is important not to overstock a pond if the water level tends to drop during late summer.
What species of trout should be stocked?
Brook trout are native to eastern North America and require a year-round supply of cold, oxygenated water (45-60 degrees F. is optimal) whereas rainbows can tolerate warmer water (55-65 degrees F. is optimal) and tend to be somewhat hardier. The brook trout is generally considered the favorite game fish with its beauty, easy catchability and unrivaled table appeal combining to make it the highly reputable fish that it is. The rainbow trout is gamier than the brook trout often leaping from the water to strike a fly and is also excellent eating. Brown Trout are also very hardy and more resistant to warmer water temperatures. They are also much more sporting, being more difficult to catch. A "shy" fish, they are much less entertaining at feeding time, preferring to wait until you leave before enjoying floating feed. More Info.
How soon should a new pond be stocked with trout?
A new pond should not be stocked too soon - at least a year after pond construction - for the initial decomposition of organic matter in a basin may eat up oxygen and produce gases toxic to fish. In addition, several months are required for establishing a natural food chain in a pond, and it is important not to stock before ample feed is available, either naturally or through supplemental feeding. It is a good idea to let the pond settle and to be able to determine the worst pond scenario (low water level, etc.) during the year before stocking. Depending upon pond characteristics, one species of trout may thrive nicely while another may not.
Should fish species and sizes be mixed in a pond?
Mixing warm and cold water species of fish (e.g. bass and trout) in small ponds is not recommended. Generally, however, it is ok to mix different species of trout or trout of different sizes. In some situations competition, limited feed, and cannibalism can destroy the weaker and/or smaller trout. Trout will eat other trout half their size or less, with Brown trout tending to be the most cannibalistic. However, a healthy pond with plenty of insects and plant life will minimize any incompatibility.
What are the behavior abnormalties of trout and danger signals to watch?
Should trout be observed gathering near a spring or other water source when the pond is warm, it may be a sign of oxygen deficiency. If no spring is present, they may swim lethargically with their dorsal fins out of the water. Any of several methods of oxygenating the water may be successful: bringing in another water source from a nearby brook or well, aerating the water with a mechanical aerator, or recirculating the pond water letting the water drop several feet from a hose or spraying it into the air over the water. Aerators should be used during the coolest part of the day (night) to enhance the oxygenating process and to prevent excess warming of the water through the air which further decreases the oxygen.
Will trout spawn in a pond?
If there is sufficient cover and feed for fry in a pond and ample feed for the larger fish, some fry may survive without getting eaten by the larger trout.
What types of natural food do trout eat?
Aquatic and terrestrial insects are the main sources of natural food for trout. During the winter months, trout rely on larval forms on the bottom, but in summer they shift primarily to adults taken from the surface. Summer brings lush growth of grasses, shrubs and overhanging trees which shower the water with delicacies of ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, inchworms and leafhoppers. Temperature, oxygen concentration, and pH may affect where, when and how trout feed, but in general if the food is there, the trout will feed.
Do trout need additional food?
Most established ponds have various amounts and kinds of natural feed allowing trout to survive on their own, but a supplement of manufactured feed is recommended for better growth and more enjoyment, especially in new ponds. Stocking density and corresponding feed availability are also factors in determining the need for supplemental feeding.
How much and how often should trout be fed?
Broadcasting a handful at a time of floating trout pellets up to a quart (more or less) per 100 8"-10" trout per day during their growing season (when the water temperature is between 50- 65 degrees F.) should ensure several nice meals of trout before season's end. By feeding once a day, at the same time of day (early morning or evening) and from the same place on the edge of the pond, the trout will soon be there waiting at feeding time. Feed only until the water stops "boiling" and not until all fish are full. Trout can be overfed, and all ponds contain some natural feed, so if they don't appear to be hungry, don't feed them. Reduce or possibly stop feeding altogether when the water temperature reaches the mid to upper 60's. Metabolism requires oxygen, so if the oxygen in the water is low due to environmental conditions (as in warm water), it is best to conserve and enhance it as much as possible.
Where and how long should trout feed be kept?
Keeping trout feed longer than one feeding season is not recommended for its shelf life deteriorates. Feed should be kept in a cool, dry place, preferably in a secure plastic container. Galvanized containers may leach zinc and other toxic metals into the feed, and any moisture could cause moldy feed.
Could algae be a problem in a pond?
Excessive algae can be a problem in some ponds, destroying water appearances, interfering with intended water use as well as reducing property values. There are three general categories of algae: filamentous, planktonic and attached-erect algae.
What applications are available for controlling algae?
Some chemicals for regulating algae are controlled and may be obtained only with a special permit while others have been approved and deemed safe for general environmental application. Some algae controls may be applied to ponds containing trout, while other chemicals are toxic to trout, so care must be taken to read directions carefully. Generally, running water does not create an algae problem.
Will trout escape through a pond's outlet?
A screening device at the pond's outlet is important to prevent trout from escaping. Trout may swim upstream seeking the natural gravel spawning ground and will eventually return to the pond.