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Channel catfish are a popular choice for private pond stocking. (UAPB Image)
PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- Channel catfish has become one of Arkansas’ favorite sportfish
by providing fun fishing and tasty filets. Channel catfish are also a popular choice
for private pond stocking; especially for ponds that are less than one acre, constantly
muddy or for those ponds that never seem to grow bluegill or largemouth bass well,
according to Scott Jones, Small Impoundment Extension Specialist at the University
of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“Although channel catfish can reproduce in small ponds, predation from largemouth
bass and other factors prevent them from maintaining their population in most cases,”
Jones said. “This makes periodic restocking necessary.”
Once channel catfish catch rates drop below the satisfaction of those fishing the
pond, it is time to restock with up to 100 channel catfish per acre, according to
Jones. “Spring is a great time to stock these fish,” he said.
Jones said that pond owners should never stock small catfish fingerlings into a pond
that contains largemouth bass. “Bass are voracious predators that devour fingerlings
quickly after they are stocked,” he said. “The solution is to stock catfish that are
at least 8 inches long.”
For more information on channel catfish stocking in private ponds, where to purchase
them or any other questions regarding private ponds, contact your local University
of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service office.
Debbie Archer, Communications Specialist School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human SciencesUniversity of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (870) firstname.lastname@example.org