1. Should I stock a newly constructed pond?
It is not recommended to stock a newly constructed pond the first year, unless you are going to feed the fish.
2. Will I need to worry about an over-population of fish in a few years?
Bluegill are the prey specie for largemouth bass, and at times for channel catfish. Bluegill are a major part of the bass diet. Bass will keep bluegill poulations in balance. However, harvest is necessary at times to promote satisfactory growth in the adult of both species. If you do not harvest some bluegill and largemouth bass each year, their populations will become unbalanced with an over abundance of small, stunted fish. Or, if you fish mainly for largemouth bass and channel catfish, remember to fish out a balanced number of the bluegill or they will eventually over-populate your pond.
3. What can I do other than chemicals to control pond weeds?
White amur are plant eating members of the minnow family. They are native to Russia and China, but have been introduced through stocking programs to more than fifty countries around the world. They were brought to the United States in the early 60ís and since then the sterile white amur has been developed. Their introduction to the states was for food and weed control study and use.
4. What do white amur eat?
Leafy, rooted aquatic vegetation, such as coontail and pondweed are their preferred foods. If these are absent, amur will consume whate4ver aquatic vegetation is available. However, weed control does not happen overnight. Weed control is best displayed after the amur have spent 1 to 2 years in a pond. White amur do not prey on other fish populations, they are plant eaters.
5. What are sterile white amur, and why are they the only form legal in Ohio?
The sterile, or triploid, form of white amur have an extra set of chromosomes in each body cell. This extra set of chromosomes prevents them from successfully reproducing, otherwise they are the same as the diploid (non-sterile) white amur. Sterile white amur are the only legal form of this specie to be stocked in Ohio because Ohio fisheries biologists do not want amur capable of reproducing in water systems where they could possibly destroy critical habitat for sport or non=game fish and other native wildlife species. Because of the potential for habitat destruction, it will remain illegal in Ohio to introduce non-sterile white amur to any waters. It is also illegal for the public to introduce any white amur to public waters (rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs).
6. How many white amur should I stock to control weeds in my pond?
When determining the stocking rate of sterile white amur, the percentage of pond covered by vegetation types and quantities should be determined. If the vegetation in your pond is primarily milfoil, marsh grass, pondweed, or naiad, the following stocking rates are advised. If 10-20% of your pond contains vegetation then 5 sterile white amur per surface acre are recommended.