Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome Fatheads!

Today was Fish Day! Every September our local Soil and Water Conservation District has a fish sale for those who wish to stock their ponds at a bargain price. Fender's Fish & Llama Farm (interesting combo) brings two aerated trucks all the way from Baltic, Ohio to sell their fish. They grow very strong, healthy fish!

Last year I stocked yellow perch, red-ear sunfish, channel catfish and amurs (grass carp). When I got my order form this summer and read that they were offering fathead minnows (oh JOY!) I ordered 500 of them along with 50 more red-ear sunfish. I had been looking for a cheap source of fathead minnows for the pond for over a year and couldn't find anything less than $300 for 5 gallons! The SWCD sold them for 7 cents a piece this year, so they only cost me $35! Here is what 500 fathead minnows look like.

Fathead minnows feed on aquatic plants and they multiply like rabbits. They provide food for larger game fish like my large mouth bass and yellow perch. I released them into the aquatic plants so they would have instant cover from the big fish.

Next, I released the 50 red-ear sunfish. This species doesn't care much about feeding on bugs like their blue-gilled cousins do. They'd much rather eat fresh water crustaceans, like snails. Snails can carry a worm-like parasite which will infect the fish and make them unfit to eat. So the sunfish act as the health department in the pond! Here is a red-ear sunfish. See his little red ear? That's how they got their name.

I wished all the new fish good luck as I set them free in the pond. I will be paying very close attention to the fish populations next spring.

Mr. Bull Frog seemed very uninterested.


  1. How coooool! I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open in wonder(well I do also have a cold and can't breathe thru my nose).

  2. Ruth, and all along I thought you were just in awe over my fishy post! Hope you're feeling better soon.

  3. That is awesome! I wish fish would survive in our ponds. I will share this post with John, he will appreciate.

  4. What an interesting post Amy! I can't believe all those fathead minnows. Is it improper to say they look like sperm? Hurray for the red ears for cleaning up the pond! (Now if you could just teach them how to do the laundry!)Thanks for stopping by my blog. Come back and see what Gus got photos of tonight!

  5. Ooooh, can I come and fish in your pond? Love the bullfrog! He looks very happy up to his cheeks in mud!

  6. Kathie, Well, now that you mention it they do sorta look like sperm! LOL Ditto on teaching them to do the laundry! I'll have to come see what Gus caught on film!

    Susan, you are welcome to come fishing anytime. This is a good time of year to fish as well as early spring. Jim is trying to get out there to catch some fish for a fish fry but he keeps getting sidetracked by odd jobs!

  7. I enjoyed this post, makes me want a pond that I really don't need. We have a very large creek.

    But I was wondering about the snail worm that you mentioned. Is this the meningeal worm that comes from Deer? I have been reading about it's deadly effect on Goats, Llamas and Alpacas.

    How do you know that fish are infected with it?

  8. Spinner, I don't know if the snail parasite is the same as the deer worm. The worm is visible in the fillets when you clean the fish. We've never seen any, thank God!

  9. I did some research and it is not the same worm. I had no idea that snails and slugs could be so dangerous to fish and livestock.

  10. You must be loving life with your pond! I am definitely jealous.

    I watched one of my hens lay an egg on Saturday and then I dropped it on the concrete. Moron!!

    I hope you fatheads go nuts. THis will get rid of your weeds and fatten your gamefish.

    Good plan!!


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