Pond Maintenance

Electrofishing SurveyAn Electrofishing Assessment involves the use of a specially designed and equipped electrofishing boat that allows our biologists to obtain a representative sample of the fish population in a pond or lake.  The fish are stunned by an electrical current and are captured with a dip net and placed in a live well. The fish are measured and weighed, and then returned to the pond unharmed.  This process allows us to evaluate the status of the fish population in order to make management recommendations for the lake or pond.  From the data collected during electrofishing, we can determine what species of fish are present in the water body, as well as the relative abundance of each size group of bass and bluegill. We can also determine the condition (fat or skinny) of the game fish in each size group.

Aquatic Vegetation
Aquatic Vegetation Control

Aquatic VegetationAquatic vegetation, both native and exotic, can become a nuisance if not properly managed. This is especially true in fertile ponds where there are plenty of nutrients available for plant growth. Excessive vegetation can hinder fishing, swimming, and boating activities. In some cases the easiest and most effective control can be achieved by stocking Grass Carp into your pond. In situations where biological and mechanical controls of vegetation are not effective or possible, herbicide treatments can produce the desired results. The use of approved herbicides for the control of unwanted vegetation is safe when handled and applied properly.

Pond Fertilizing

Click for Larger ViewFertilizing a pond may increase the productivity of the pond by as much as 400%. When fertilizing, the goal is to produce an "algae bloom", which usually turns the water a green color. This algae bloom is actually billions of microscopic algae cells that act as the base of the food chain in your pond. By increasing the amount of food in the base of the food chain, you will increase the amount of food available to all sizes of fish.

Begin fertilizing when the water temperature approaches 60 degrees (normally in late February or early March in the southern U.S.). Make the first application at twice the recommended rate, to stimulate the bloom. After the first application, fertilize once every two weeks at the normal recommended rate until the bloom becomes established. Once the bloom is established, you will fertilize as needed based on the water visibility.

Powerhouse AeratorSurface Aeration

Power House aerators are surface floating units designed to provide daily and/or emergency aeration in ponds. Power House produces models available from 1/20 hp up to 3 hp models. These sturdy units come with the motor, float, and mooring lines, and are available with either 50 or 100 foot cord. They come ready to aerate the water with a vertical stream of water. They can be equipped with a “flow kit,” which allows the user to mount the motor horizontally to create a flow or directional current in the water. Installing automatic timers with aerators makes operation more convenient. Contact us for more information and pricing.

Supplemental Feeding

A supplemental feeding program can increase the size of your bluegill while also increasing their reproduction. Increased reproduction translates to more food for your bass population. The coppernose bluegill responds very well to supplemental feeding and has the potential to reach 1.5 to 2 pounds in some cases.

In new ponds with recently stocked 1- to 2-inch fingerlings, begin feeding a catfish crumble in the spring at a rate of 1.5 pounds per 1000 fish; feed in the same area at the same time each day. It may take a week for the fish to become trained to take the feed.

Fish Stocking

Stocking your pond properly is essential if you wish to produce a sustainable population of fish for years to come. We offer stocking advice customized to your individual situation. Stocking rates may vary based on several factors including management strategies, pond size, location, water chemistry, time of year, and your management goals. We can help you identify these significant factors and develop a stocking strategy that can help you best achieve your goals.


Seasonal Tips

Threadfin Shad Winter Kills

Threadfin shad are great supplemental forage for both bass and crappie in fertilized ponds. They spawn multiple times during the spring and summer and the adult shad are always in the size range that bass can eat. Adult shad seldom exceed 5 to 6 inches. Threadfins are sexually mature at a size of 2.5 inches and the offspring of a spring spawn will be mature by the end of the summer and often spawn in late summer or early fall. Almost all lakes that are successfully managed for largemouth bass contain threadfin shad as an additional forage species.

The single drawback to threadfin shad is they are susceptible to winter kills. These kills do not typically occur every year in the southeast. The farther from the Gulf Coast, the more likely you will experience a kill in the threadfin population. Ponds and lakes that have a third of the lake with depths greater than 15 feet are more likely to have survival of some shad even in cold winters. Ponds and lakes that ice-over for several consecutive days are likely to experience a shad kill.

Although water temperatures below 38 F will cause mortality, the number of consecutive cold days plays an important part in mortality. Threadfin can be stressed by low temperatures and the fish will swim slowly, becoming easy prey to bass, crappie and larger catfish. Many of these stressed will be eaten by fish and birds, never showing up on the shoreline. Just because you never see dead fish on the shoreline does not mean you did not have threadfin mortality.

This has been a much colder winter than we have experienced for the past four years. It is always a good idea to re-stock threadfin in the spring or early summer to insure you do not miss a year without shad.

Stock Your Pond!

By stocking the right kind of fish and following a well-developed plan of maintenance and fertilization, you can grow trophy-sized fish in your pond. Let American Sport Fish Hatchery help you reach your pond's maximum potential!

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Have A Perfect Pond

Perfect Pond Plus is truly a revolutionary tool for maintaining the perfect balance in your pond. It is easy to apply, water soluble, and will not clump.

Always Use Perfect Pond Plus® For Great Results!

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