The Channel Catfish

are one of the easiest fish to manage in your pond but the toughest to reproduce and have a good survival rate.  They can feed on a live forage or you can supplement with a commercial feed. Supplemental feeding will often allow the catfish to achieve growth rates sometimes exceeding 1 1/2 pounds per season. Spawning areas to the right are suggested for  catfish. žChannel Catfish are the most difficult fish to achieve reproduction survival. Channel Catfish prefer to lay their eggs within a confined area. Any container with one open end, such as a cream can, is ideal for them to lay their eggs in. Once the female has laid the eggs, the male will come in and fertilize the eggs and guard them until they hatch. The open end of the container needs to be facing the bank in 3 to 5 feet of water. A minimum of 5 to 7 containers per acre is recommended to achieve maximum results.

Artificial Fish Structure

Artificial fish “cover” is an excellent, low-maintenance lake management alternative to plants for providing a safe haven for your forage fish and  cover for predators.   Artificial as well as natural cover serves to increase catch rates for professional anglers to children.

Pond and  lake owners alike can have better fishing year in and year out by creating these areas.  Artificial structure and trees give maintenance free areas and avoid plants and vegetation that may eventually become a problem costing the pond or  lake owner time or money removing undesirable plants or vegetation.   

žFor Fathead Minnows

we recommend sinking 6 to 8 wooden pallets per acre, in 2 to 4 feet of water. Fathead Minnows will stick there eggs to the underside of the pallets making it very difficult for predators to locate and gain access to their eggs.  They are a good source of protein for your predator fish and help complete a food chain in a newly built pond or lake.

Bass, Crappie and Bluegill,

we recommend placing pea gravel in a level area in your pond at a depth of about 3 to 5 feet. Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill will all spawn by building beds or bowls, and laying their eggs inside them. This will keep the eggs compacted in one area which will help the adult fish to guard against turtles and other predators. 8 to 10 piles per acre should be put in with approximately 3 gallons of rock per pile. The piles should each be at least 4 feet apart. 

Little More about Bass

Old timers use to say that bass spawn when dogwoods bloom in the spring. This actually isn't far from the truth. Bass will begin spawning in late February or March in the South. Spawning activity takes place later in the North.

Bass eggs are a little bigger than the head of a pin and take one to three days to hatch, depending on water temperature. When eggs first hatch, the fry do not have mouth parts or fins, and have the egg yolk attached. At this stage they are called sac fry. They will stay on the bottom living on the yolk for about a week. At this point, with mouth parts and fins developed and the heavy yolk used up, they will start to swim around searching for food. Now they are called swim-up fry, and they begin eating small zooplankton such as rotifers or daphnia. The male will continue to guard the fry until they are about a half inch long. He will then either scatter the fry or abandon them. At about one month old, or an inch long, the fry are considered fingerlings and begin to eat other fish. The water has usually warmed up to about 75�F at this point and bluegill are spawning, giving young bass lots of food.


Rule of thumb about creating Habitat and Spawning Areas

žCreating honey holes is not hard, it just takes time and effort.  If you ask me how much structure and habitat?  I would say, put in as much as possible without impeding your fishing or recreation.  This is time and money well spent.  Your fish will have a healthy environment, which gives you, your family or company a great place to fish.

Protecting your Habitat and Spawning Areas

žFurbearers: Activities of  beavers, nutria, otter and muskrat may cause damage to pond dams, levees, habitat, structure and spawning areas.  Many different type of trapping supplies are available.  Contact your local extension agent for trapping guidelines.
žSnakes:  Snakes are very capable of working there way in and around your water.  Removing rocks, down trees, cattails and other grassy areas around your pond will minimize these predators.
žTurtles:  Turtles are a major problem in any pond or lake. Besides being a nuisance to fisherman, they can forage on your fish and may destroy spawning areas, disrupting the natural balance of your lake.
žBirds: Birds from time to time can and will visit  your pond.  Some birds can be a top predator and devastate a fish population.   Diving and Wading  birds not only  eat  fish they can bring unwanted vegetation,  and fish species to your pond or lake.  Some species are protected.  Contact  your game warden or extension agent  for details.

Stock my Pond Oklahoma

Lake Master Pros a Pond and Lake Management Company

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What Type of Trees Should I use?

žWhen cutting and sinking brush, remember to use hardwood trees like mesquite, cedar, or oak.   These trees  will resist decay longer than softwood trees, for example ash, elm, hackberry and sweet gum.  This will not only reduce the frequency of replacing structure, it will cut down the decaying matter in your pond, which can lead to other problems such as nutrient build up or muck at the bottom of your pond or lake.