Fish Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit to stock fish?
Yes, a NYS-DEC permit is required. The application is available at our office, or by contacting DEC in Warrensburg @ 518-623-1200.

Does the SWCD issue the permit?
No. The permit is issued by NYS-DEC.

What kind of fish should I stock?
The rule of thumb is: cold water pond-stock trout; warm water pond-stock bass. Also see “General Information”.

How many fish should I stock?
That varies with species, fish size and pond size. See “General Information”.

Should I purchase forage fish?
Forage fish are not vital for game fish survival, but can enhance the growth rates of bass and trout.

Should I purchase fish food?
Fish food is not essential, but can increase growth rates, as well as the visibility of the fish.

Do these fish reproduce in a pond?
Bass, channel catfish, and most forage fish will reproduce in ponds. Trout and grass carp will not reproduce.

How long will the fish live?
Most trout live 3 to 5 years in a pond; most bass live 4 to 6 years.

How fast will the fish grow?
On average, without artificial feeding, during the first 3 years they will grow 2-3” and 6-8 oz. per year. After 3 years the growth rate is highly variable, depending on species and pond conditions.

Which fish can be put together in the same pond?
Bass and trout cannot be mixed, but all other species can be mixed.

Which fish will control pond weeds?
Most effectively: grass carp; somewhat effectively: channel catfish.

Which pond dwellers will eat the fish?
Water snakes, turtles (especially snappers), gray blue herons, otters and other members of the weasel family.

Can I stock fish in a local stream or lake, and is a special permit required?
Yes, with a special stocking permit issued by NYS-DEC. Contact the Fisheries Department at 518-623-1200.

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