Hello, I live in the Catskill mountains in NY. I have a pond on my property that was made by the previous owners by digging out a marshy area. Its about 1/2 an acre big, its about 10' deep at its deepest. It is spring fed in 3 places and doesn't freeze all the way down. I have a very healthy frog and dragonfly population that I don't want to decimate, but we would like to add some fish. There are a lot of slimy plants, so something to eat those would be great. The pond is isolated from other bodies of water, other than the small marshy area that still exists behind it. Something to fish for would also be nice, and probably some smaller fish for them to eat? Can anyone give me some ideas or point me towards some resources? This is a new area for me. Thanks so much!
i have no advice on the species but i do know a bit about fish, as i have been an avid fish keeper for many years now. to keep fish in the pond it would be a good idea to add some sort of bubbler to keep the water from completely freezing over in the winter. that will help them survive. i would put a small species in there first and let it breed for a year or two(or longer depending on how they are doing) before adding the bigger species. if it was me i would probably find a similar pond near by with fish in it naturally and then get a starter school from there. Or you could get some fish that are not really native but would survive well. sunfish should do well and they stay pretty small. shiners would probably be a good choice as well or almost any type of minnow really provided it is not a more tropical species. good luck! i love ponds. i have a lungfish that would love your pond, i'm sure. probably not a good choice though, if you plan to go in the water. (:
I'm partial to Bluegill ( sunfish), which are native to much of the US. I have some in my aquaponics. They are cute fish and easy to feed. Mine like Red Wigglers and Black Soldier Fly larvae, which I'm raising for them. As far as I know they are strictly carnivorous so might eat some frog eggs and dragonfly larvae. I think some carp are vegetarians but most kinds get large and some you need to get a permit to raise.
I'd talk to an in-state hatchery. State laws are all differen't. In my state I can purchase stocking fish from a hatchery but it is against the law for me to catch fish from a nearby lake and release them in my pond.
A hatchery will also have formulas to determine stocking rates based on your pond. Catskill pond May be a place to start.
you might want to make sure the first fish you put in your pond are punkinseed sunfish, as they'll eat the snails..the snails cause grubs in other fish like bluegills and pike..which are not going to hurt you if you eat them but they are ugly.
you also could probably put in bass or trout, when you choose make sure that the fish you put in won't necessarily eat each other..walleye would also be good as they will clean up a lot of the messy stuff in your pond...they are also good eating.
the problem isn't really how cold the pond gets as it is how hot the pond gets, but if you have 10' deep areas then there is a cold are for the fish to go to get away from the heat..heat will kill more fish than the cold if your pond doesn't freeze clean to the bottom..and yes a bubbler to keep the pond open is a great idea but you can also build a floating greenhouse type of thing to float out there to bring solar heat into the pond..basically anything that is solid and clear can be built into some sort of floaty thing, and left anchored out in the pond..basically a solar raft.
the larger the better for your solar raft, and more than one in several areas are also a great idea..best if they aren't breakable and are UV resistant as well..greenhouse wall type fabric is good, esp the double wall polycarbonite..
something as simple as 2 basement window well covers back to back with some silicone glue and some reinforcement fasteners put on a floating frame..that will give you a large open greenhouse type solar collector for your pond.
Bloom where you are planted.
Where in the Catskills are you? I would add some Sun fish, Bass, Trout some catfish and prob some Koi for looks, This is a common mixture here and I guess you can say I live in the Catskills also. The Hatchery listed above is about 45 Min ( The town it is in is ) from me I have never heard of it though.