Q: Do you allow fee fishing at your facility?
Q: I already have bass in my pond. Will it improve fishing if I stock more fingerlings?
A: Generally not. If you already have significant numbers of predators in your pond, the odds are that most of your newly stocked fingerlings will be eaten. Also, the addition of adult fish may increase the numbers, but it rarely increases the standing crop. The amount of fish a body of water can support is generally dependent upon the availability of food.
Q: If I stock fingerlings into an existing fish population, how many will survive?
A: There is no way to predict mortality in such situations. Generally, supplemental stocking is effective only when certain species are absent. For instance, you might be able to successfully stock bass into a panfish population where no bass are present.
Q: What can I do to improve the standing crop in my pond? I don’t want to kill all the fish and start over.
A: The easiest way to increase the poundage is to implement a feeding program.
Q: Should I feed the fish in my newly stocked pond?
A: That depends on a couple of factors. First of all, feeding small poundage or numbers of fish is a futile effort if the water temperature is low. Most importantly, do not initiate a feeding program unless you intend to continue it.
Q: I just stocked my pond and I don’t see any fish. What’s wrong?
A: Generally, there isn't any problem. If you consider the pounds of fish as compared to the volume of water, it is unlikely that you will see any fish unless something is wrong.
Q: I just dug my pond and it is muddy. What can I do?
A: Muddy water can be cleared with the use of aluminum sulfate, but it is a risky proposition due to the possible precipitous pH shift. A safe and usually effective way of settling suspended clay is to apply hay at a rate of approximately 6 bales per acre over the surface of the pond. Break the bales up and spread the hay as completely as possible.
Q: Will the government stock my pond for free?
A: Not in Florida.
Q: I want to purchase some adult fish for food? Do you sell them?
Q: I’d like to purchase some game fish for my aquarium. Is this legal?
A: Not in Florida.
Q: I like bluegills, but don’t like bass. Can I stock one without the other?
A: Neither species should be stocked without the other. The result of such stocking is usually a stunted fish population.
Q: I want to put “specks” (black crappie) in my pond. Is this a good idea?
A: Black crappie generally do not do well in ponds of 20 acres or less.
Q: Do you sell sunshine bass (hybrid striped bass)?
A: Not anymore.
Q: I want to put hybrid sunfish (Georgia giants) in my pond. I hear they grow fast and are fun to catch.
A: The point is moot. Bluegill X green sunfish hybrids are illegal to possess in Florida.
Q: I want to stock fathead minnows in my pond in order to get the bass off to a good start. Is this a good idea?
A: From the standpoint of providing early forage for the bass fingerling, it is a good idea. However, fathead minnows are typically only available in Florida from bait shops and they may have been exposed to pathogens at some point.
Q: I own part of the shoreline of a lake. Can I stock it?
A: Technically, jointly owned lakes in Florida are considered public lakes; i.e. you must either have the permission of all the shoreline owners before you introduce fish and/or you must obtain the permission of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before doing so.
Q: My neighbor wants to “help” my pond by releasing adult fish caught in the wild. Is this a good practice?
A: No. Aside from the difficulty of maintaining a balanced fish population, there is a possibility that fish diseases might be introduced into the pond from “wild” fish. Also, adult bass will probably feed on the fingerlings you stock.
Q: Do you sell fish food?
A: No. Floating catfish food is usually available at most feed and farm supply stores.
Q: I live in a cold climate, but I want larger bass. Should I stock Florida largemouth bass in my pond?
A: No. Temperature considerations aside, there is a strong possibility that the introduction of Florida largemouth genes could adversely affect the native population of northern bass.
Q: I only want a few fingerlings. Will you ship them?
A: No. Unfortunately, it is cost prohibitive to ship small numbers of fish by air. Bus shipments are very unreliable, frequently resulting in the loss of the fish. Therefore, we don’t ship by bus.
Q: I want literature on recreational ponds or aquaculture. Where should I go?
A: Check with your county extension agent. There are many publications available on both subjects. You may also find information available from your local conservation agency. It is usually simply a matter of requesting the information.
Q: Will you look at my pond, identify my weed problem, tell me what kind of weird fish I just caught, recommend a bait shop… (you get the point)?
A: Unfortunately, no. We aren’t trying to be unsociable, but our limited staff and heavy workload preclude our having the time to assist you with such problems. Again, extension or conservation agencies are a great place to start and they usually have the means and knowledge to deal with such problems.
Q: Will you test the water in my pond for me?
A: No. However, your county extension agent may be able to assist you.
Q: I want to put grass carp in my pond for weed control. What do I need to do?
A: Check with your state fish and game agency. The laws vary from state to state. We sell triploid grass carp to properly permitted individuals or agencies in Florida only.
Q: Why do I need a permit to possess sterile triploid grass carp?
A: That’s a good question to ask the permitting agency. We are bound by the law and will only sell to you if you possess a valid permit.
Q: My koi have gotten too big for my pond. Can I sell them to you or trade for smaller ones?
A: Sorry, but no. We cannot risk exposure to pathogens brought in on another fish. Sometimes, you can sell your fish to a local pet shop or find a buyer through them. Large koi are certainly valuable.
Q: Are koi edible?
A: Yes, but who would want to?
Q: I’d like to stock koi in my fish pond. Is this a good idea?
A: Usually not. Koi will spawn and they could upset the balance of the pond. But the biggest problem in earthen ponds is that adult koi will dig along the shoreline and undermine the edges of the pond. Large koi also tend to increase the turbidity of the pond.
Q: Do you recommend stocking tilapia in my pond?
A: No. Although they can provide excellent forage for bass, they can also overpopulate a pond. In addition, they are temperature sensitive and may not survive in the northern part of Florida.
Q: I want to drain my pond. Will you come out and seine it?
A: No. We do not have adequate staffing for work away from the farm.
Q: I want to purchase fish at your farm. What kind of containers do I need to bring?
A: We provide packaging at no extra charge on orders of $25.00 or more.
Q: Do you guarantee the survival of your fish?
A: Yes, if you handle them according to our recommendations. We cannot guarantee fish hauled in homemade hauling rigs, garbage cans, etc. Also, we only ask that you be reasonable in your claim. If, for instance, you purchase grass carp and they die, we’ll replace them at no charge. However, if you have an oxygen problem, improperly apply herbicides or have a situation that adversely affects all the fish in a pond, we should not be held liable. Our objective is customer satisfaction.
Q: I have an otter, bird, or other predator problem. What should I do?
A: First, check with your state conservation agency. Most wildlife species, birds in particular, are protected. Usually, you can get good advice on a legal remedy for your problem with a simple phone call.
Q: What is that green stuff in my pond? Can you identify it?
A: We might be able to identify the plant if we had a sample of it, but your best bet is to contact your extension agent or other appropriate state agency for help.
Q: I woke up this morning and all my fish are either dead or gasping for air near the surface. What’s going on?
A: The odds are that you have very low dissolved oxygen levels in your pond.
Q: Should I aerate my pond?
A: If circumstances permit (power availability, etc.), by all means do so. Hopefully, you can avoid losing fish to low dissolved oxygen problems.
Q: My fish are gasping for air. Will it help to run well water into the pond?
A: That depends. Well water is typically devoid of oxygen. If you do add well water, splash or spray it in order to aerate it.
Q: My pond is 20 feet deep. Does that mean I can stock lots of fish in it?
A: Typically, the number of pounds of fish a body of water can support is a function of the surface acreage, rather than the volume. Volume can help or hurt, depending upon the availability of oxygen in the entire water body. Aeration is a good idea in such situations.
Q: I want to start a fish farm. Will you help me?
A: Our schedule doesn’t permit us to provide that sort of assistance. The aquaculture section of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has trained personnel who can assist you.
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