To breed catfish in ponds, make large ponds on several acres of farmland. Make sure there's good water flow, then heat and aerate the ponds. Put your baby catfish into the ponds. When the catfish are old enough to spawn, move them to a breeding area.
- Set up breeding ponds
To successfully breed catfish, you need at least 1/4 acre of land in which to put a pond, but 1 to 5 acres is preferable. Dig the pond area, then fill the ponds with water, and ensure that 20 to 30 gallons of water per acre per minute moves through each pond. Heat the ponds to between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exception of the spawning ponds, which should be 77 to 81 degrees. Make sure there is an appropriately sized aerator to keep the water oxygenated.
- Stock and grow catfish
Stock your pond with baby catfish 4 to 6 inches long. Ponds can contain as many as 1,500 fish at a time, but less is recommended to reduce the load on your aerator. Feed the fish daily, giving them as much as they can eat for 20 to 25 minutes. Catfish food pellets should provide adequate nutrition and 32 percent protein. In the first month of growth, boost this amount to 36 percent protein for optimal growth.
- Breed catfish
Move breeding-age catfish to the spawning pool, with two males for every three females. Make sure to keep the population density of the pond in the range of 800 to 1,200 pounds. Throughout the pond, install spawning containers large enough for a male and female to enter together.