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Archive for July, 2017

Pond Stocking Truck Visits Bonne-Terre, MO

Saturday, July 15th, 2017
Apr
30
8:00 am

Pond Stocking Truck visits Bonne-TerrePond Stocking Truck visits Bonne-Terre, MO very soon! Stock My Pond visits The Family Center in Bonne-Terre, MO.  The Fish Truck in Farmington will have channel cat, large mouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, red ear bream, fathead minnows, and grass carp.  Find out more on our website.   The truck provides containers for all fish but the 11″ channel cats, so please bring your own containers for them.

It is not necessary to pre-order the fish, but if you are looking for a large quantity we suggest you call.  Questions?  Call Stock My Pond at 501-676-3768.

The Family Center
116 Family Center Dr
Bonne Terre, MO 63628
(573) 358-5400

Summer Months Stress Fish & Water Quality

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Heat From Summer Months Stress Fish in Your Ponds

Ponds, especially small ones, are entering most stressful months of the season. Carefully monitor changes in water color or odor. Closely watch fish behavior such as gulping at the surface. Quick, corrective action could prevent harmful effects to fish.

Professor Billy J. Higginbotham and Asst. Professor Todd Sink with the Texas A&M AGRILIFE Extension Service has found small ponds intensively managed for catfish are most susceptible to die-offs. Other common causes are large quantities of vegetation, heavily fed ponds, or sudden die-off of dense phytoplankton. Here are questions they ask to help frantic pond owners:

1) When did fish start dying and how long have they been dying?

This helps determine if the incident was rapid or prolonged. Rapid fish loss typically occurs from oxygen depletion, lasts a few hours, and mortality ends. Chronic or prolonged events span days or weeks and stem from disease or parasite symptoms. Exposure to pesticides or herbicides may cause rapid or chronic mortality, depending on the dose of chemical in the water column.

2) How many fish have died and what size are they?

Loss of a single or small number of fish is not considered a die-off. Biologists define a fish-kill as mass mortality involving 10-percent or more of the entire population of a single or multiple species. It’s disappointing to lose a big bass or catfish, but some occur from natural causes or old age. This may occur during stressful times such as spawning or low oxygen levels during hot summer months. Small fish are less mobile and more susceptible to localized, rapidly changing environmental conditions. Heavy rain runoff may alter pH or cause a turnover. Although they require less oxygen, small fish are more sensitive to depletions.

Most oxygen depletion die-offs occur near sunrise

3) How many different species are dying?

If one or more species is dying, you probably are faced with a water quality problem. If only one species is affected, it may be a disease. If there is only one species in the pond and you experience a die-off, you’ll need more information for a diagnosis.

4) Have pesticides or herbicides been used or introduced into the pond?

Pasture spraying could wash-in with rain. Cattle treated with insecticides could wade into the pond. If these sources are suspected, determine if such products had been applied within 250 to 500 feet of the pond four to seven days prior to the last rain. If you recently treated a large area of aquatic vegetation, oxygen depletion from plant decomposition could be the culprit.

5) How big is the pond?

Learn the surface acreage of your pond. It’s valuable information for many management projects. Measuring tools are available on Google Earth and similar sites. The professors point out, excessive depth does not make up for a small surface area when it comes to fish production. In fact, excessive depth can cause a fish kill. Deep lakes stratify with distinct temperature zones during summer months. Warm, upper areas contain oxygen. Cold, deep areas are void of oxygen. If a rapid destratification or turnover is triggered by specific weather events or heavy, cold rain, a fish kill may occur.

6) Was there a water color change?

A change in color and oxygen depletion is common. Ponds can go from light green or clear to a brown, coffee color. Such action signifies phytoplankton loss and a corresponding drop in oxygen. This often occurs when extended periods of cloud cover prevent direct sunlight from reaching the pond.

Oxygen Depletion

Professors Higginbotham and Sink remind when a pond exceeds its carrying capacity for fish during summer months, the stage is set for a die-off. Why in summer months? Because warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cool water. Fish require higher oxygen this time of year because their metabolism increases as water temperatures rise. Oxygen levels show lowest readings at daylight. This is the best time to check for piping or fish gulping at the surface. Here are other conditions that cause oxygen depletion:

  1. Successive, hot, still, cloudy days reduce photosynthesis and oxygen production.
  2. Overfeeding or excess fertilizing prompts nutrient decomposition.

How do you correct low oxygen?

  1. Reduce fish volume below 1,000-pounds of fish per acre.
  2. Have an emergency aeration plan. Back a boat on a trailer into the pond. Run the motor in a fixed position to circulate water and increase oxygen.
  3. Add fresh Well water, but aerate it well before it enters the pond.
  4. Circulate water with a pump. It’s important to intake water from the surface and spray outflow over the surface. Don’t draft from the bottom.
  5. Add bottom diffused aeration systems to prevent stratification.

Let’s make a plan to prevent these potential events in your pond.

Source: Bob Lusk Outdoors

Summer Temps Toll on Big Fish

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

How High Summer Temps Toll Impact Big Fish

During summer months, we hear reports of big bass dying from stress of landing and handling in warm temperatures. One lake recently had heavy weekend fishing pressure with catches to 10 pounds,10 ounces. The following day, the ranch manager found two floating carcasses. Even though turtles had consumed part of one, remains still weighed over eight pounds. The second tipped scales near seven pounds. There were no other dead fish to suggest a damaging water quality event. Years ago, I watched a companion land an eight and one-quarter pounder in August temperatures. He never removed her from the water and executed quick release. Sadly, she rolled on her side and didn’t survive extended efforts at resuscitation. At least the grand lady holds a place of honor in his den.

big bass

Cradle lunkers. Don’t hold by the jaw.

We understand your frustration. You followed a successful plan and invested five or more years growing eight to 10-pound hulks. It’s time to celebrate by catching and admiring a few. Safely savoring that moment requires a little patience this time of year. Keep in mind; eight to 10-pound bass are entering senior citizen age. The average life expectancy of a largemouth is 10-years. Those fish could be six to eight years old. Imagine yanking them from a shaded, cool 10-foot depth to a shocking near 90-degree surface temperature. That’s stress! Like leaving air-conditioned comfort and getting in a sweltering car. Some of us relate when recalling that mowing the lawn at age 65 isn’t as easy as it was at 35.

     From now through fall is a stressful time for fish. Please follow these hot weather handling tips:

  • Use barbless hooks.
  • Fish early morning and late afternoon to sundown. Working a topwater on a moon-lit night is exciting.
  • Land and release fish quickly. Keep them in the water while unhooking. Please don’t hold them for extended periods to photograph. A bass can live out of water about as long as we can hold our breath.
  • Soft plastic baits are popular this time of year. If one swallows the hook, cut the line and leave it. Surprisingly, body chemistry will erode the hook and cause less injury than attempted removal.
  • Don’t hold big bass horizontally by the jaw. It could break the jaw. If holding horizontally, place your hand under their stomach to support weight.

Harvested fish should be placed in a cooler with ice. They will not survive current surface water on a stringer or in a live well.

Source: Bob Lusk Outdoors

Pond Stocking Slow Down

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

The heat of summer means a pond stocking slow down, where we suspend fish and pond stocking deliveries. Transporting fish during the heat of summer can lead to fish kill. You won’t find any deliveries to feed stores during July and August, it’s just too hot.

Pond stocking is a seasonable business.  You won’t find deliveries during the heat of the summer (traditionally July & August), or during the winter months (Dec-Jan).

Deliveries and updates to our website and Facebook page will start back up again in August. Look for schedules on the website starting in August, with deliveries Sept – November.

Want to know when we start back up? Sign up for our FREE newsletter here. We’ll send you an email with the latest schedules twice a month.

In the meantime, you can check out articles on our Facebook page and website about caring for your pond and fish. We partner with some of the best in the industry including Bob Lusk (aka the Pond Boss) and Outdoor Water Solutions.

Have a question for us? Send us an email or give us a call. If we’re a bit slower in responding, it’s because we’re out fishing.

Pond Stocking Truck visits Farmington AR

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
Apr ’20
17
10:00 am

Pond Stocking Truck visits Farmington ARThe “Stock My Pond” Pond Stocking Truck visits Farmington AR, stopping at the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative.  The truck will have channel cat, large-mouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, red ear bream, fathead minnows, and grass carp.  Find out what type and size fish we offer on our website.   The truck provides containers for all fish but the 11″ channel cats, so please bring your own containers for them.

It is not necessary to pre-order the fish, but if you are looking for a large quantity we suggest you call.  Questions?  Call Stock My Pond at 501-676-3768

Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative
4 N. Double Springs Road
Farmington, AR
479-267-7450

Introducing Fish To Your Pond

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

We hear this question a lot, and we should. We deliver fish to feed stores around the South. Folks want to know how to protect their investment and bring it safely back to their ponds or lakes.

How can we transport our fish? The fish truck provides containers (bags) for all fish except the 11″ channel cats, so please bring your own containers for them. Suggestions for the larger containers include trash cans or water troughs. The fish are added to a bag with water and oxygen.

How long can the fish be in the bag? No longer than 1 hour! Determine how far a drive you have before purchasing your fish. Transport the fish in a cool and shaded area of your vehicle. This is key. Many folks think they can travel longer than an hour and end up with dead fish.

Once you arrive at your pond or lake it’s time to introduce your fish their new home. Here are some tips and guidelines to follow:

    1. Introduce the fish to their new habitat as quickly as possible.  Don’t delay in getting the fish to the water.
    2. Once on site, let the fish rest while in their bags in a cool, shady area.  Be aware that the sun can quickly raise the temperatures inside the bag.
    3.  Introduce your fish slowly to the pond, pouring a small amount of the pond or lake water into your open bag to even out the water temperature and acclimate your fish. Do not dump the fish from the bag into your pond or lake!  Take time to acclimate them to the temperature of your pond or lake.
    4.  After a few minutes, a few fish should swim away.  If they do, release the rest in that bag.
    5.  If the fish do not swim away, repeat the process, adding more pond/lake water to the bag to let the fish adjust to the water temperature.
    6. Floating the bags is discouraged as the sun can quickly raise the temperatures inside the bag.

8 Ways to Introduce Fish to Your Pond or Lake

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Fish in bag2You’ve invested in new fish for your pond or lake!  Make sure to treat your fish with care when handling and transporting them from the hatchery or fish truck to your pond or lake.  Introducing the fish to their new habitat causes stress.  Here are ways to minimize the experience.

  • Introduce the fish to their new habitat as quickly as possible.  Don’t delay in getting the fish to the water.
  • Transport your fish in a cool and shaded area of your car.
  • Once on site, let the fish rest while in their bags in a cool, shady area.  The sun can quickly raise the temperatures inside the bag.
  • Introduce your fish slowly to the pond, pouring a small amount of the pond or lake water into your open bag to even out the water temperature and acclimate your fish.
  • Do not dump the fish from the bag into your pond or lake!  Take time to acclimate them to the temperature of your pond or lake.  
  • After a few minutes a few fish should swim away.  If they do, release the rest in that bag.  
  • If the fish do not swim away, repeat the process, adding more pond/lake water to the bag to let the fish adjust to the water temperature.
  • Floating the bags is discouraged as the sun can quickly raise the temperatures inside the bag.  Instead pour a small amount of pond or lake water into an open bag, allowing the fish to adjust to the water temperature.

fish in bag

 

 

 

 

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