Hickling's Fish Farm


Catfish are unique in that they will cohabitate with almost any other fish. Often confused with the common bullhead they are a much better fish for ponds. They will not over populate a pond as they are not as prolific as bullheads. Often they will not spawn in a spring fed pond as they need at least 72° water to do so. Even though catfish are somewhat bottom feeders they do not stir up the bottom as bullheads are noted for. Catfish are a rapid growing fish as their diet covers a wide range from tadpoles to filamentious algae, in fact we have stocked them in ponds for leech control with pretty good success. They do predicate on smaller fish to a small degree, but they prefer to eat something that is easy to catch. Catfish will also take a commercial food. When fed a commercial diet they will grow extremely fast. It is not unusual for a 6-7″ fingerling to grow to 1 lb. within 1 year. This growth is also common if the pond they are in has a good food source. Catfish put up a great fight when fishing, as they can get up to 5-10 lbs. or even larger depending on the availability of food and they are terrific for eating. For someone who is looking to grow a large amount of fish for eating or recreation, catfish are ideal as you can grow several hundred pounds per acre with a minimal water flow. Water depth is not a major factor. Catfish will also stand a wide range of water temperature, from 33°-95°, with spawning at about 72°-75°.   Catfish have to be 3 lbs. or 3 yrs. old before they spawn. For spawning they need a hole dug in the bank of the pond just below the water line, such as a muskrat hole. Some people have set sections of pipe in the sides of their ponds to induce spawning. We usually recommend the stocking rate to be 100-200 per acre.


If you have any questions feel free to call us anytime: 607-965-8488