Fall is an excellent time to stock fish.  Not only do cooler water temperatures reduce stress on fish during seining and handling, but they also help fish acclimate more quickly to your pond. After a summer of fishing at your pond or lake, you should have a good idea of where your fishery can be improved. Are your bass plentiful but on the skinny side? Are your bluegill few and far between? Fall is a good time to supplement your fishery with golden shiners minnows, fathead minnows and bluegill sunfish. While it is common for customers to do both complete pond stockings and supplemental forage stocking in the fall, this is also the time of year to supplement your fishery with cool water species such as walleye, yellow perch and rainbow trout.  Yellow perch are one of our most popular cool water species. They can tolerate smaller bodies of water and are favored for both recreational fishing and excellent table fare.

Walleye are another popular cool water fish, but they prefer larger bodies of water that are cool year-round.  They also require a large forage base of golden shiner minnows and bluegill sunfish. Spawning is unlikely – fish will need to be restocked to replace those harvested from the pond. Rainbow trout are great for seasonal fish. They are often stocked in the fall and caught over the winter and early spring. They’re a great opportunity for anglers to catch large, aggressive fish. Rainbow trout should be harvested before summer. 

fall fish stocking

A cool water fish stocking is a great way to add variety to your pond. However, when adding these cool water fish to your pond or lake, it’s important to consider the long term success of your fishery. Introducing black crappie, yellow perch or walleye with increase competition for forage that is in the pond. Your pond or lake will need a fall forage stocking of golden shiner minnows and fathead minnows to feed not only these newly stocked fish, but also the existing fish population.

Fall's cooler water temperatures increase stocking success for all Midwestern fish species. Whether it's adding cool water fish or bolstering your forage fish population with bluegill sunfish, golden shiner minnows or fathead minnows, now is the time to place your fall order. If you're not sure what to stock or have questions about your fishery, call our team today!