Filamentous algae is among the first vegetation to sprout each spring. It appears as water temps reach upper 50’s. Our preferred method to manage algae—tilapia.
Filamentous is the most common. It’s the slimy, lime green variety that grows on the bottom. When the life cycle ends, it floats to the surface, forms unsightly mats that drift around the surface, or rings the shoreline. Pond nutrient levels influence development. Growth spurts occur after rain runoff across fertilized landscaping, hay meadows, or pastures with large numbers of livestock. Expensive copper-based chemicals have been a long-standing treatment, but it’s a temporary fix. Within 10-days, the next batch appears.
Algae is a tilapia’s primary diet. They offer efficient, daily maintenance throughout the season. In fact, tilapia fill multiple roles:
- Algae management
- Enhancing sportfish food chains
- Gourmet table fare
Tilapia are prolific spawners. From April through November, they provide valuable bass forage. Their presence increases bluegill survival rates, therefore; strengthening the food chain. We stock five to seven-inch sizes to ensure high survival rates in lakes with mature bass. If you’re considering tilapia, remember, the only factor-limiting bass from achieving trophy class is the availability of food. Tilapia are baitfish factories. They reproduce approximately every 25-days.
What could be more fun than a shore lunch or dinner with fresh tilapia? They grace the menu of every popular restaurant. Although tilapia are tricky to catch with a hook, they respond to floating food. Some folks crimp a food pellet on a weightless hook to trick them. Cast net around the feeder or feed them into a narrow inlet and seine a batch.
Tilapia pay great dividends for eight-months until December 1. They’re a tropical species, don’t survive water temps below 52-degrees, and must be restocked annually. Price for orders less than 100-pounds is $12 per pound, plus delivery. Over 100-pounds, $10, plus delivery. Stocking rates vary with goals. Typical amounts are 10-15 pounds per surface acre. For heavy algae conditions, consider 15-20 pounds per acre.
We begin deliveries around April 15 when water temps stabilize above 60-degrees. Let’s discuss how tilapia can benefit your management program?