Farm ponds are one of Kentucky's most valuable aquatic resources. A pond can provide extra income, serve as a water source for livestock, help with fire protection and attract numerous species of wildlife. However, one of a farm pond's most enjoyed functions is that of providing hours of fishing.
To provide hours of good fishing, a pond must be properly stocked. Many pond owners may try to stock their ponds with locally caught fish. This practice is highly unadvisable because it usually results in an unbalanced or undesirable fish population. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) offers help to those wanting pond management advice.
KDFWR has experimented with various fish combinations for pond stocking and has found largemouth bass and bluegill to be the best combination for most Kentucky waters. Channel catfish are also a good option for most ponds.
If you are interested in stocking a new or renovated pond, KDFWR has many resources available to assist you. You can email our Info Center for a free copy of our "Management Guide for Ponds and Small Lakes in Kentucky". You can also read it online here.
KDFWR used to provide fish for farm pond stocking for a small fee. This program has been discontinued. There are a number of suppliers in Kentucky and surrounding states that can provide a variety of fish for private stocking. Please contact our Info Center for a list of fish suppliers for your area.
Kerry Prather, a former fisheries District Biologist, has written a short article on common farm pond problems that may be useful to you. You can find it here: Solving Pond Problems
We also have a new series of farm pond management pages to take you from start to finish on building, stocking and managing your farm pond. It has several sections to assist with all aspects of farm pond management. You can find the main page here: Farm Pond Management
Our District Biologists are also a great resource, particularly for more localized information. You can find a list of contact numbers and email addresses here. Fisheries Staff Contacts