Spring and Fall Fish Sales
2018 Spring Fish Sale Now Open!
Grass Carp Deadline: April 19th, 2018
All other Fish Deadline: April 27th, 2018
Pick-Up: Friday May 4th, 2018 at *7AM*
Rock Island County SWCD office, 3020 1st Ave E, Milan, IL 61264
*This is NOT an All-Day Event; Please be On Time.
Available species include largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, redear sunfish, hybrid redear sunfish, channel catfish, albino channel catfish, fathead minnows, triploid grass carp, and black crappie.
Choose from links above to download an order form or order online.
Hauling Tips for Getting Your Fish Home Safely
All fish, except 8-10” catfish, will be bagged at the time of pick up and sealed in oxygenated water.
We advise bringing containers to put the bags in, such as 5 gallon buckets, coolers, or totes, for added security while travelling. The exception is the 8-10” catfish. You must provide a container with pond water to transport. Pond water should be collected on pick-up day to ensure sufficient oxygen. Bagged fish should be kept out of sunlight on your trip home. After pickup, go directly to your pond and put your fish in.
Traditional Midwestern Pond Stocking Options
Option 1- Bluegill/Largemouth Bass/Channel Catfish
Traditional stocking plan that will produce a fine fishery for quality largemouth bass as well as a good fishery for bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. Redear sunfish or hybrid redear sunfish should be stocked to control snails. The bluegill and bass both reproduce well in ponds. Catfish are optional and must be restocked.
Benefits of Option 1:
Bluegill are widely considered to be the ideal panfish for a stocking combination that includes largemouth bass, mainly because they reproduce several times throughout the summer providing a continuous food source for the bass. Plus, individuals that grow too large for the bass to eat provide an excellent panfish. Be careful, if you don’t harvest sufficient numbers of bluegill and over-harvest largemouth bass, you will most likely end up with a population of stunted bluegill that will limit the reproduction of your largemouth bass. Once a pond is out of balance it can be difficult to re-establish a balanced population.
Option 2- Hybrid Sunfish/Largemouth Bass/ Channel Catfish Option
This option will produce a high quality panfish fishery with a fair quality fishery for largemouth bass. It is an ideal option for ponds smaller than two acres. Largemouth bass are primarily used to control the reproduction of the hybrid sunfish. Redear sunfish or hybrid redear sunfish should be stocked to control snails. Catfish are optional and must be restocked. Hybrid sunfish will likely need restocked as well.
Benefits of Options 2:
Hybrid Sunfish (Hybrid Bluegill) are a cross between the male bluegill and female green sunfish. Their ability to spawn and overpopulate a fishing pond is reduced as they are 90-95% male. When stocked along with largemouth bass, hybrid sunfish must restocked periodically. Fish of a half pound or more are not uncommon. Hybrid sunfish do NOT perform well when stocked with bluegill.
Largemouth Bass- Sport Fish
One of the most popular freshwater sportfish in the United States. It is a predatory fish and works well to control and prevent stunting of bluegill populations.
Channel Catfish- Sport and Pan Fish
An outstanding food fish that provides superior sport. They are an excellent choice for ponds since they won’t reproduce and overpopulate unless specific requirements are met. Contrary to popular myth, these fish do not “muddy” a pond’s water.
Redear Sunfish- Parasite Control
Should be stocked in both options for ponds greater than 12 feet deep as a control for snails. Snails in a pond carry one of the life stages of the grubs. By controlling snails, you reduce the grubs on your fish. In addition they provide an excellent panfish for your fishery and food for your bass.
Hybrid Redear Sunfish- Parasite Control
(Cross of bluegill and redear sunfish). A larger substitute for redear sunfish (2-4” vs. 1-2”) to withstand an established bass population. Reproduction is limited due to 99% male fish. Largemouth bass should be stocked to control any unwanted reproduction. This fish will likely need to be restocked over time.
Triploid Grass Carp- Aquatic Weed Control
Used for weed control in ponds. Triploid grass cannot reproduce. Stock 6 fish per vegetated acre every 3-5 years.
Black Crappie- Pan Fish
Black Crappie are recommended only for ponds greater than five acres in surface area. In smaller ponds they tend to over-reproduce and form a stunted population even when subjected to predation by largemouth bass. Stock at a rate of 100 per surface acre.
Initial pond stocking or stocking after a total fish kill. Typical recommendations per surface acre are as follows:
The first year stock 2 or 3 bags of bluegill, one bag of redear sunfish if there is some deep water( greater than 12 feet), 100, 2-5 inch channel catfish and 3-5 pounds of fathead minnows.
The next year stock 100, 2-3 inch largemouth bass.
Restocking: Your local IDNR fisheries biologist is the best resource for questions pertaining to initial stocking and restocking questions. Contact biologist Dave Wyffels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pond Management Tips