Pond maintenance

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by howboutthemdawgs, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. howboutthemdawgs

    howboutthemdawgs New Member

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    bought a piece of property with a little over an acre pond. Just closed last month so I’ve never fished it but what I know about it is: stocked with bass, bream and catfish, spring fed, looks relatively deep from the perspective of the dam, and is shaded 360 degrees so probably helps keep temp down on the summer. I wouldn’t mind doing some maintenance on it, just cause that’s what we do right! Does anyone have any experience on managing their ponds for a healthy population of fish? I’ve watched videos and read some articles but could use some personal experience to help.
    Thanks
     
  2. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I have a pond and have found it quite difficult to maintain a proper balance of fish. 1.75 acres. I have way too many catfish in it - and nobody really wants them. I hate to just catch them and throw them out. The bass are stunted and between the bass and the catfish, the bluegill and redear dont have a chance. I dont fish it that much - and when I do, I usually dont keep anything. I have a 30,000 acre lake a mile from my front door where I spend most of my time fishing. I need to have a few wholesale fish catching events and get rid of as many of the bass and catfish as possible and let the bluegill get better established.

    I said all that to say this. You need to first determine your fish populations and health of you fish. Catch some and see if the bass are skinny with big heads, or if there are very few big bluegill and then go from there. An automatic fish feeder can really help out a pond that size and is a lot of fun to watch the fish feed. I hand feed mine - but I live near the pond.
     
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  3. howboutthemdawgs

    howboutthemdawgs New Member

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    I have a feeling I’m gonna run into the same situation. Stunted growth from exceeding the carrying capacity. I’m like you, I have a 39,000 acre lake in my backyard so I get my fishing fix a couple times a week! I just hate to have something not be properly managed.
    I was wondering about fertilizing or liming. The water looks to be really clear which isn’t necessarily a great thing if I understand correctly. But the last thing I want to do is get a full blown algae bloom because I over fertilized.
     
  4. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    My pond is clear, also. I have thought about fertilizing it. I talked to a guy who has some experience managing ponds - and he actually thought I would see more an improvement in fish size by feeding them as opposed to fertilizing and not have the chance for algae blooms or aquatic vegetation growth that comes with the fertilizer. My problem is I have so many catfish, no other fish gets any food. I need to get the catfish out of there and then thin the bass. I can always repopulate the bass from what I catch out of the nearby lake.
     
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  5. Fishman

    Fishman Member

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    Try to talk to your local Cooperative Extension Service folks and see what they say. Where I live they have publications that can help and they also offer pond management classes every year. I know it is hard to "waste" fish, but in order to manage a pond that size you will need to actively manage the harvest of each species. That may require you to throw some species up on the bank if you dont want to eat them.
     
  6. tlh2865

    tlh2865 Active Member

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    I would recommend you go over the the ponboss magazine forum. Guys over there are great and will be happy to answer any questions that you have. But My recommendation would be that you need to keep fish, both of you. Fish populations will spiral out of control and you will end up with an out of balance and stunted population.
     
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  7. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I wish I would have never put catfish in my pond. I put them in there for the grand daughters to catch - but nobody wants to eat them. Now I have about 100, 3 to 4 lb carfish eating up everything in the pond. I am getting closer to rotenone everyday.
     
  8. readonly

    readonly Member

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    channel cats are good ponds as they don't spawn in ponds, so won't spiral out of control.
    I would try to take a good inventory of what fish are in your pond....and if the growth appears stunted and the populations out of what, empty it and start over from scratch. Fastest way to get to good fishing.
     
  9. Reagan

    Reagan Member

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    Eat them! Catfish are predatory fish. There is nothing wrong with them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    When I first got married - forty years ago - we were poor as dirt. I had a day job and trotlined catfish and sold them at the fish market after work. My wife was soon pregnant. We ate catfish everyday. Fried catfish, grilled catfish, baked catfish - but it was that catfish stew after about eight or nine months that finished us off. My wife was pregnant with our son at the time. Forty years later - he loves to eat fish - except catfish.

    I put too many catfish in my pond. I did it because I thought the grandkids would catch them out. But, they are more enamored with ipads and video games.

    If I had it to do all over again - I would stock fat head minnows, bluegill, and redear the first year. I had fingerling size bluegill that were stocked in March trying to spawn when they were three or four inches long by July. I don't know if they were sexually mature - but they thought they were. The second year, after the bluegill and redear had a little size on them, I would stock my bass. I would not stock catfish unless I just really liked to eat them. If you feed floating fish food - your other fish will get very little food because your catfish will get almost all of it. Your bass can tell you a lot about your pond - if they are skinny and big headed - take more of them out. It is easy - at least for me - to go catch a few bass somewhere else and put them in the pond if I need more bass to control the bluegill.
     
  11. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Active Member

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    Bluegill are great fun to catch with kids

    bill
     
  12. gut_pile

    gut_pile Active Member

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    Keep the bass you can under 12". You won't be able to catch enough
     
  13. Cap'n

    Cap'n Active Member

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    Invite your local scout troops over for a day of catfishing. Win/win situation.
     
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  14. Hillfarm

    Hillfarm Member

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    Stout one gallon jugs with screw-on lids (windshield wiper fluid jugs are my favorite), one foot- two foot leader of stout line, tied to the handle with a 4/0 circle hook, with some cutbait or livers, can solve lots of your problems in a couple of weekends. Just toss them out at dusk and collect them with a john boat the next morning. Fun for kids and adults alike.
     

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