FISH FOR FARM DAMS

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Fingerlings will be supplied strictly in accordance with Queensland fisheries regulations. Only species that are permitted in your river basin can be stocked in your farm dam. If your dam is in Queensland to find out what you can stock. check hereFor other states you should check with your local authorities before stocking your dam. It is your responsibility to stock the correct fish in your dam.

Email me to order fingerlings. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

How many can you stock click for more

 

SILVER PERCH

3.4kg Silver Perch

Silver Perch are omnivorous and will thrive in most farm dams. They are farmed in many countries. Click for video
They will eat worms and most other aquatic life including aquatic weeds. When you add fingerlings in the future the older fish are very unlikely to eat the new fingerlings. They readily take artificial food, such as aquaculture pellets, chicken pellets or bread. Bread or chicken food are not the best of diets for fish but will be in small quantities. Aquaculture pellets are a properly balanced diet and fish will thrive on these commercially available foods. (You can order food with your fingerlings.) I often refer to silver perch as "the chickens of the pond". That's because they will eat anything a chicken will eat. This makes them the very best fish to stock in a private dam. They are not generally considered predators, rather foragers. They will poke around the bottom of the dam and find a variety of food such as snails and aquatic worms etc. This is not really the case for Australian bass, barramundi and golden perch. These fish are considered to be apex predators. Only very large dams can support the food chain needed to feed these apex predators. I don't recommend stocking apex predators in dams less than a couple of hectares.

My silver perch are already eating aquaculture pellets. I can send food with you fingerlings. You don't need to feed your fish in your dam, but if you choose to they will grow faster. Silver perch soon learn when they will be fed, they will be ready and waiting near the surface at feeding time. I recommend silver perch in dams be fed during the late afternoon. If they are fed early in the morning there is a risk that birds may eat your fish before you are up and about, especially in summer when it is light very early. (Remember the fish will be congregating in one spot waiting to be fed.) Feeding silver perch just before sunset will provide a spectacular display for your friends and visitors. A great talking point for a BBQ.
How many fish should be stocked, click for information.
Silver Perch are excellent to eat but can sometimes have a weedy or muddy flavour. It is best to hold live fish in very clean water for a week if the flavour is not pleasant. Alternatively, only take fish for eating from your dam during dry spells when there is no run-off into the dam, and water is clear. In these conditions the fish usually taste good. Some recipes here

Silver perch are now produced on large fish-farms for the restaurant trade. They are well known for their delicate flavour and delightful melt-in-the-mouth texture. They also have one of the highest omega-3 levels of over 200 sea-foods tested by the CSIRO.
Silver perch can be stocked in farm dams, without a permit, in the following river basins: Fitzroy, Nogoa, Dawson, Boyne, Kolan, Burnett, Nogo, Barambah, Auburn, Eliot, Burrum, Mary, Caboolture, Maroochy, North Pine, South Pine, Brisbane, Bremer, Lockyer, Stanley, Logan and South Coast (including the Nerang and Coomera rivers, and Currumbin and Tullebudgera creeks).

 

CATFISH

Catfish thumbnail

 click for video

Catfish (Tandanus tandanus) are scavengers, generally bottom feeders, but will eat small fish that will fit in their mouth. Temperature tolerance is wide. Anything your other fish can handle, they will be happy with. The big bonus is, they are top eating. Their flesh is white and delicate. When you are ready to eat them just humanely dispatch them. Before gutting and heading them, pour hot water over the skin. Then the skin can easily be peeled off. The protective coating of mucus will not be slippery once the hot water has been applied. Cook them a bit longer than perch to produce the best texture. Undercooked, they can be a bit too moist. They are one of the few species that will breed in farm dams. It will take two or three years for them to be mature enough to breed. 

 

AUSTRALIAN BASS 

Spawning bass Click for video spawning bass

Australian Bass are predatory fish and require sufficient natural food to thrive. This means a good amount of aquatic insects and other aquatic life such as small fish and frogs, yabbies and freshwater shrimp. Bass are usually difficult to convert to artificial food in farm dams. For these reasons stocking rates should be relatively low, a maximum of about, 200-300 per hectare. Growing bass fingerlings in tanks is possible. In tanks, they will take aquaculture feeds but they grow slowly.

Bass is excellent to eat. It is rare for Bass to have a muddy or weedy flavour. Bass are easy to catch on live bait such as yabbies, or lures. Since Bass are highly predatory, should you wish to add more fingerlings in later years, the older fish will often eat many of the new fingerlings.


GOLDEN PERCH

Golden perch video click for video

Golden perch, or yellow belly, are strictly predatory and therefore require a plentiful supply of small fish, aquatic insects, or other aquatic animals such as yabbies, shrimp or even sometimes frogs. They will eat the new fingerlings in subsequent stockings. Therefore larger quantities of fingerlings need to be stocked, and at closer intervals, in future stockings of your dam. Because they depend on natural live food, stocking density needs to be lower than that of Silver Perch, about 200-300 per hectare. An average growth of a Golden Perch given plenty of food should produce a fish between one and two kilo in about two years. They are great fun to catch and can be caught on lures and most live or frozen baits.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you stock golden perch fingerlings, you MUST stock the correct genetic strain. There are a number of genetic strains of golden perch. More here about the different golden perch.

 

BARRAMUNDI

Tony with Barra

Pictured above, Tony Sambell with a great barra he caught in our farm dam many years ago.
Barramundi is an Aboriginal word meaning large-scaled river fish.
They can grow to well over 40 kilo.
There is no doubt barramundi are one of the most popular and well known of Australia's sport fish. All barramundi are born as males. They spend the early part of their lives in fresh water until they reach sexual maturity. They then migrate downstream to the mouth of the river where they meet the females, most of which have been living in the ocean. They spawn in the salt water then some of the males will follow the females out to sea and some will go back to the river. The males which go out to sea will change to females. Even barramundi which are unable to go out to sea will still change into females in freshwater.
You should think very carefully before stocking your farm dam with barramundi. Their demand for food is difficult to meet. They need an extra good supply of live food, such as small fish, shrimp, crayfish etc. They do not forage for food or eat aquatic vegetation. One of the biggest problems will be when you want to add more fingerlings to your dam. Any barramundi remaining from earlier stockings will make a meal of the new fingerlings, of any species, which you introduce to you dam. Barramundi are generally not suitable for small dams. They can be fed aquaculture bellets. All my fingerlings are already eating pellets.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you stock barramundi fingerlings, you MUST stock the correct genetic strain. There are a number of genetic strains of barramundi. 

 

SARATOGA

Saratoga in hands

Saratoga are easy to catch on live bait and are suckers for a well worked lure. Fly-fishing for Saratoga has become very popular over recent years. Saratoga has been stocked in a number of areas outside their natural range. Check to see if you are allowed to stock before you order. They have excellent eyesight and use their upward-facing eyes to catch insects. They will leap on to the bank of a pond or river to snatch an insect from a blade of grass. They also eat many other forms of aquatic animals such as frogs, yabbies, shrimp and small fish. They are one of the few species that will breed in your dam. It will take 3 or 4 years for them to become mature and start breeding in a dam.
These are expensive fish because they are a very popular aquarium fish. Babies are well over $100 in aquarium shops. Fingerlings are around $90, each, depending of the size. They are also difficult to produce in large numbers. Each female is only capable of producing a few hundred eggs, and only raising a few of these to become fingerlings.