Feeding Fish

Feeding Fish

You do not normally have to feed fish in a healthy bream and bass pond to produce good crops of fish. Natural food organisms are typically abundant enough to feed fish. However, you can increase growth of bream with a supplemental feeding program using a catfish floating feed (about 28 percent protein).

Bluegill readily accept feed and can be attracted quickly to feeding areas. Always feed small ponds stocked at high density with channel catfish or hybrid sunfish to maximize fish growth. Not feeding gives poor results. Here are some points to consider about feeding:

  • Feed at the same time and place each day.
  • Use floating feed, with a pellet size small enough to be easily eaten.
  • Never feed more than the fish will eat in 5 to 10 minutes. Keep in mind that uneaten feed may pollute the water.
  • If fish quit eating, stop feeding for a few days. Watch for signs of disease.
  • Do not feed in very cold or very hot water.
  • Reduce the feeding rate as winter approaches to about one-fourth of the feed rate of the previous summer.
  • Automatic feeders give good growth results where small ponds are unattended for long periods.
  • Do not try to feed fish up to large sizes without some harvest to reduce the number of fish. Otherwise, crowded large fish may become diseased and die.

Following these simple rules will provide good growth rates while minimizing the risks of  deteriorating water quality.

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Large, silver fish swim in blue water.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management, Marine Resources September 1, 2021

Fisheries experts at Mississippi State University and other research institutions are conducting an $11.7 million study of the greater amberjack, an important recreational and commercial species in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that is threatened by overfishing.

Woman in wading pants collects a water sample in a creek.
Filed Under: Healthy Soils and Water, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources August 19, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Recreation in and around water is a great way to get outside in the warmer months and still stay cool. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, wildlife watching, exploring creeks and streams, or paddling coastal bays and estuaries, Mississippi’s waterways have a lot to offer.

Girl in a blue T-shirt and baseball cap holding a small fish.
Filed Under: Environment, Fish Management June 18, 2021

Grandpa cast the jig and cork to the center of the pond and handed it to Lucy. “Now, start reeling in slowly,” he said.

She did as Grandpa instructed. On the third crank of the reel, the float disappeared several inches below the water surface, and Grandpa shouted, “She’s got it; reel it in!”

That day, Lucy perfected her casting technique and caught nearly a dozen small bass and several large bluegill.

Graphic showing red snapper count in the Gulf of Mexico.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management April 14, 2021

BILOXI, Miss. -- The results of the Great Red Snapper Count are in!

In 2017, a team of fisheries experts began a two-year task of estimating the population size of red snapper in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico through this unprecedented, federally funded $12 million project. Scientists from several Southeastern universities and institutes, including Mississippi State University, used a variety of methods across the Gulf to accomplish this ambitious goal.

Bright green burweed in a patch of dead grass.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden, Weed Control January 14, 2021

Having “stickers” in your yard can be quite the nuisance. Stumbling upon a patch of stickers while walking barefoot is a painful experience. Plus it’s painful for your four-legged family members! Formally known as lawn burweed, these winter annuals are no fun to deal with.  

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Portrait of Dr. Wes Neal
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Fisheries Extension