Pond Production Season Kicks Off


Our pond production season is in full swing at the hatchery. Four ponds have been stocked with Walleye fry that will be ready for harvest in June. These ponds are treated with a steady diet of alfalfa meal to stimulate zooplankton production. Once the Walleye begin to transition to invertebrates, we’ll pull the plug and harvest the pond, usually about 35 days after stocking. Our Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Fathead Minnow and Smallmouth Bass brood stock have all been separated into their own ponds to do their thing. We have had a lot of success pulling Smallmouth Bass fry off their nest prior to them swimming up the last couple of years, so we decided to try something similar with Largemouth Bass this year. As it turned out, we were too late and there were bass fry swimming everywhere! However, the young Largemouth Bass fry school up very strongly the first few days after swimming up, so were able to seine about 50,000 up from one school of fish! We will try to raise these intensively for a short time before stocking to a pond. Next year, we will transition to a plan where we’ll have pond rearing space available for Largemouth Bass fry like how we do Smallmouth Bass currently. Hopefully we will see a boost in Largemouth Bass production similar to the boost we’ve seen in Smallmouth Bass production in recent years! By: Nick Bloomfield