3 Steps for Pond Success
Do you evaluate your pond each year? What has changed over the course of the year? Did you experience drought? Is the vegetation changed? Take the time to evaluate your pond and put a plan in place to rebuild. Do you know the 3 steps for pond success? The 3 steps for success are fertilizing, stocking supplemental forage, and aggressively fulfilling harvest quotas.
Fertilization grows plankton, the first stage of a pond’s food chain. Newly spawned fry are hatched with a yolk sac to nourish them only a few days. When depleted, they must feed on microscopic plankton. Without this vital nutrition, fry survival rates decline. If present, survival rates dramatically increase. Greater bluegill recruitment means more forage for sportfish. Biologists estimate healthy plankton blooms can triple the productivity of a pond. Lakes with heavy vegetation should not be fertilized.
Supplemental stocking includes threadfin shad, tilapia, and/or adult bluegill. All are prolific spawners. Threadfin and tilapia are stocked around April as water temps reach safe levels. Stocking rates are contingent on the lake owner’s management goals.
Achieve harvest quotas early. Less competition means more food for remaining fish. Remove bass 14 inches and under. Annual harvest should be 20 pounds per surface acre. If fishing opportunities limit meeting goals, you can expedite results with electrofishing. Please remember, the only thing limiting your fish from reaching their potential is availability of food. When bass populations exceed the carry capacity of a lake, they quickly damage food chains. It can take several seasons to correct. Don’t let your fishery slip into this category.