Bass & Minnow Program
Fish program runs April – June 27th, 2020
The District normally offers an annual sale and distribution of Largemouth Bass, Fathead Minnows and Grass Carp for the stocking of rural ponds. But, due to the COVID19 pandemic, the fish nursery has asked us to wait until the fall to sell the bass this year. So for the spring we are only selling minnows and grass carp. We will sell the trout and bass together in the fall.
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The Grass Carp is a herbivorous, freshwater fish. Grows very rapidly. They thrive in small lakes and backwaters that provide an abundant supply of fresh water vegetation.
The 2020 Grass Carp & Minnow sales program is starting now. We are holding the fish pick-up in June in order to distribute the grass carp earlier when it is cooler. Because of this earlier distribution date there will not be any 3” – 5” bass available. You can also call the District Office at (845) 292-6552 to obtain further information.
2020 Grass Carp & Minnow Program
If you are interested in stocking your pond with bass, minnows or carp this summer, the District will be accepting orders until MONDAY, June 22, 2020. Orders can be placed by completing the order form attached and returning it to the Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation District office at 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road, Liberty, NY 12754. Full payment must accompany each order. Checks should be made payable to Sullivan County SWCD.
Fish pick-up date is Saturday June 27, 2020, from 10:00 a.m.— 11:00 a.m.
Minnows recommended stocking rate is 1,000 per acre. If you feel this quantity is too large an amount for you than a lesser amount will still provide forage for your fish.
Bass normally first reproduce as two-year-olds. Once they have reproduced, bass will spawn successfully each succeeding year in shallow water during early summer when the water temperature reaches approximately 71° F. Most bottom materials are suitable for spawning.
Fathead minnows reproduce the year following stocking and each year thereafter, so long as adults are present. Fathead minnows begin spawning in May when water temperatures reach 60° – 64° F. and continue throughout the summer. A bass requires 8 lb. of live food to gain 1 lb. of body weight. Therefore, it is important to have a good forage fish population. It is also important for the minnows to have a cover to breed and hide in, such as grass and weeds. You can also create a space with small holed wire, placing Christmas trees in the water, or a pile of rocks. The cover should be placed in the shallower areas of your pond no deeper than 4 or 5 feet of water.
Increasing Food Supply
If your pond water is clear and with little weeds for the forage fish to feed on than you can fertilize your pond. Liming-Ground agricultural limestone can be used to increase the fertility of the water, thereby increasing production of natural fish foods. It increases the availability of nutrients already present or added to a pond. CAUTION: Pond owners should NOT use lime or quicklime (calcium oxide) as these may kill the fish.
Feeding-Feeding fish in farm ponds is unnecessary when fish are stocked at recommended rates. Although supplemental feedings may increase growth rate an inch or two per year, it is rather expensive. Supplemental feeding of bass is not generally needed.
Fertilization-A single application of fertilizer in a newly constructed pond tends to hasten the establishment of a natural food supply. Additionally, fertilization is generally not recommended in New York ponds. In most northern states, fertilization more often stimulates growth of algae and rooted aquatics, rather than plankton. Also, many owners find blooms, if achieved, objectionable.
DEC Fish Stocking Permit
Anyone stocking a pond with fish must apply for a Fish Stocking Permit through the NYS-DEC, Bureau of Fisheries. There is no charge for the permit. The permit allows owners to plan fish management to suit them. For your convenience, attached is an Application For a Permit to Stock Fish. Complete the application and mail it to the NYS-DEC Regional Office, Bureau of Fisheries, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561. DEC will then send you a permit. A Fish Stocking Permit is good for five years.
When stocking your bass, never dump the fish directly into your pond. Pond water should be added slowly to the water in the transport container until it is within 6° F. of the pond water. If the fish are in a plastic bag, an easy way to do this is to place the bag in the pond and let it adjust to the pond water. This should take about 15 minutes. After the water has adjusted either let them swim out of the bag or toss the fish into the water. The fish should be released as soon as possible but should not be in the bag more than an hour from pick-up to release.
Fish Distribution, June 27, 2020
The District will be distributing the bass and minnows on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at their office from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Important – The fish will be bagged here for easier transporting at $1.00 per bag. You will need to bring a container to transport your bags of fish. A 5-gallon container will transport about 500 minnows or 2 grass carp. A large plastic container is also good for holding the bags.
The Grass Carp need a separate permit from the Bass and Minnows. Anyone wanting Grass Carp should fill out the appropriate permit and mail it to the NYC DEC address listed on the permit. It will take awhile to get the permit back from DEC, so you should mail the permit as soon as possible. A copy of the permit you filled out must be sent along with your order and payment. The permit from DEC must be brought with you when you come to pick up your fish. There should be three copies and you must bring all three if you have not already sent them to me. Grass Carp are non-taxable.