For the past 25 years we have been stocking tanks and ponds throughout South Texas. It is our goal for our customers to have the best fishing ponds possible through stocking and management. The Hatchery and offices are located just south of Cotulla at 1531 S. Main Street, fronting on the south side of the Nueces River.
Our fish haul truck with insulated fish tanks can deliver fish to your lakes or fish can be picked up in oxygenated bags and boxes at our hatchery. When fish are bagged they are ready for transport up to four or five hours.
Our fish are raised and/or acclimated to our local area and our customers have had good success with our fish.
Advice & Tips
Here are some helpful tips and advice to make sure you get the most out of your tank and stocking it.
Fertilizing the water can greatly increase pond forage. I use 11-37-0 in our ponds and in the ponds we manage. This is 11% nitrogen and 37% phosphorus. All game managers know the importance of getting phosphorus in deer feed in order to grow large horns. Also, fertilizer the food chain by causing a plankton growth and turns water a greenish color. There are many benefits from this.
One of the most important things to remember when stocking is the predator/prey relationship. Biologists recommend that a tank be stocked with 100 bass, 1000 bluegills, 1000 fathead minnows, 1000 mosquito minnows, 250-350 rehears and 1000-1500 mollies per surface acre. If catfish is another desired fish then those should be stocked 250 per surface acre. The more bluegill and other forage fish you stock per bass the quicker your bass should grow to the lunkers that we all want to catch due to the bass not having to exert as much effort to catch their prey.
Fish & Descriptions
Mosquito Minnows, or Gambusia Minnow, is the most versatile fish for stocking in any pond or lake in South Texas. Their primary diet is mosquito larva. It is an extremely hardy and adaptable fish, known to survive in a wide variety of temperatures and pH. Females give birth to living young and will produce several broods per summer. The gestation period is 21 to 28 days.
.Fathead minnows, I have found that fathead minnows do not do as well as the giant sail fin mollies. The sail fin mollies seem to be much more tolerant of the salinity and warm water that we have in South Texas. The females may spawn as many as 12 times in a single summer. Fathead minnows are often raised as a bait fish, or as forage in hatchery production ponds.
Giant Mollies are an excellent food source for large mouth bass.They are extremely hardy and can survive in poor water qualities. Mollies produce broods of 10-140 live young, depending upon maturity and size. A single female may give birth on multiple throughout the year. They feed primarily upon algae and other plant materials, although they will consume a number of aquatic invertebrates including the larvae of mosquito.
Bluegills have a very high reproductive potential. They will spawn when water reaches about 70 degrees and spawning may peak in May or June. They reproduce about 3-5 times a year and will produce a lot of forage for your bass. Up to 50% of their diet may consist of Midge Larvae. They have been introduced widely as a sport or forage fish.
Channel Catfish will spawn only once a year. Channel "cats" are cavity nesters, meaning they lay their eggs in crevices, hollows, or debris, to protect them from swift currents. Sexual maturity is reached in two or three years in captivity, whereas data from natural population indicates channel catfish in Texas reach sexual maturity in 3-6 years.
Large Mouth Bass only spawn once a year. These fish commonly feeds on fish known as "forage" fish. A bass has to eat 9.5 lbs to 15 lbs to gain one pound. They are a predator fish so the harder they have to work for their food the more they will have to eat in order to gain weight. The bass have one of the worst conversion rates.
At the Fish Hatchery we carry many different types of fish including Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, Giant Mollies, Mosquito Minnows and Fathead Minnows.
We limit our fish sales to early mornings starting the middle of June through the second week in October. The reason we do this is that the water in the tanks of South Texas gets very hot on the surface and it is very difficult to move fish at that time because hot water does not hold oxygen.