There are two ways to obtain fish for your warmwater pond-- purchase them from a registered aquaculture facility (live fish dealer), or catch them and plant them yourself. Obtaining them from a registered aquaculture facility is easiest, most economical ans safest in the long run because you can get them at just about any time ans in the number needed. A list of registered Michigan fish farms can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Animal Industry Division or Michigan DNR Fish Division Office.
Contact your local DNR Fish Division office to see whether a permit for stocking is required. One will be needed if the waters are considered State waters or if certain other conditions apply.,
If you choose to catch your own fish to stock your pond, be sure they are free of unwanted parasites and in good condition. The stress from catching the fish, holding them in a cooler or on a stringer, and transporting them to your pond could make the fish unsuitable for stocking. You might obtain them from someone else's pond or from public waters. In the latter case, you must adhere to all state fishing laws.This means you must have a fishing license and abide by the regulations governing season, bag limits and size limits. For these and other regulations, especially those governing the use of seines and nets, consult the " Michigan Fishing Guide," the DNR's annual statement of regulations, available where licenses are sold.
Managing Michigan Ponds For Sports Fishing, John D Schrouder "et al." (2002)