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Other Animals

Crayfish – Crayfish are a desired food for most predaceous fish.  Crayfish feed directly on vegetation and other organic debris.  The ideal crayfish pond is shallow (two to three feet deep) with heavy vegetation and no large predator fish such as bass.  Consequently, fish and crayfish production do not mix well in the same pond.  Also, some individuals have tried to grow or buy crayfish to feed to fish and have found it expensive.  Contact the fish farming specialists listed in the Additional Information section for more about crayfish.

Biologist netting a small crawfish.

Bullfrogs – Bullfrogs are similar to crayfish in that they do best in shallow, heavily vegetated areas containing few predator fish such as bass.  Commercial bullfrog culture has not been successful in the United States.  Other countries, such as Brazil, raise bullfrogs commercially.

Muskrat and Beaver – These animals do best in shallow, tree-lined vegetated ponds. However, they are not recommended for fish ponds because they can burrow through the dam, causing it to fail.  If you want to remove a beaver from your pond contact the ODWC’s Game Division for a Nuisance Beaver Control Permit.

Ducks – Ducks feed on aquatic vegetation in shallow areas.  A pond for ducks should have abundant aquatic vegetation.  Ducks and other waterfowl add substantial nutrients to the pond and may cause water quality problems for fish.  It is best to manage a pond for ducks or fish, not both.

Redear slider on a rock.

Turtles – Turtles are generally not a problem in fish ponds.  Red-eared sliders are the most common pond turtle in Oklahoma and they will eat commercial fish food.  Red-eared sliders can be trapped easily because they like to sun on logs or other objects out of the water.  A trap can be built from PVC pipe and welded wire with a ramp on the outside which will effectively trap these turtles.  The ODWC requires a commercial turtle harvester’s license for those selling turtles taken from a pond.  Also,it is illegal to harvest or sell alligator snapping turtles, chicken turtles and map turtles.  Check with the ODWC for further regulations if you want to commercially harvest turtles from your pond.