By Bob Lusk

Check water chemistry for a benchmark to compare.

Here’s a handy list of questions you should ask as you look over your pond, amenities, and fish:

Planning is a big deal.

It bothers me to think that too many folks will spend more time planning for the fourth Thursday of this month than for what they intend to do with their ponds next year.

Don’t take your pond for granted…ever. It will rebel, I promise.

As you prepare to spend time with family, give thanks, gnaw on a turkey leg, and watch football on TV, give some thought as to what you’ll do with your pond when winter yields to spring next year.

Repair the dock? Be more consistent feeding your fish? Install an aerator system? How do you know what to do?

Now is the time to evaluate. Is your pond or lake where you want it to be? Ask yourself lots and lots of questions…come up with some answers.  The more answers you get, the more you’ll be able to plan your spring.

If your answers are, “I don’t know,” then you need to find out. Seek help from any of the many professionals you see advertising in Pond Boss. Give them a call. That’s what they do…help people.

Here’s a handy list of questions you should ask as you look over your pond, amenities, and fish:

  • Is the water healthy? Don’t know? Have it analyzed and look it over with your local biologist.
  • Entering the winter with too much plant life? If so, expect it to be worse next year. Plan for it.
  • Rotten planks on the dock?
  • Weeds in the patio?
  • Plants growing out of bounds along the shoreline?
  • Retaining wall needs attention?
  • Want to add amenities?
  • Need to service your feeder, aerator, boat motor, pumps? Plan now and save some time.
  • Is my feeder broken? If the answer is “yes,” then figure out what’s wrong and make plans to fix it. If you don’t know what’s wrong, call the manufacturer. They’ll help.
  • Are my fish healthy? If the answer is “I don’t know,” then look at having a survey done by a pond pro.
  • Is your fishery balanced? Or, should it be? Have you harvested adequately? Just because the hatchery calls and has some good deals on fish doesn’t mean you need to bite.
  • Need tilapia next spring? Line up your supplier now.
  • If you live in a state where white amur are legal and you need a permit, now might be the time to initiate that process.

If you plan to order equipment, plan now. Some of the feeder companies have sales right after the New Year. Buy then.

Plan for the cost of feed to go up. Wheat prices have risen due to the drought and could stay high, depending on the South American harvest. The price of corn is out of sight and fish meal is high, too. If that is an issue, consider harvesting more mouths so there’ll be fewer to feed.

Right now, stop what you are doing and make a checklist. Take that checklist and turn it into your action plan for next spring.

Once you have your checklist in order, prioritize it, just like you do with your business, or your household…or when you plan your Thanksgiving dinner.

Then, assign those tasks and give yourself a deadline.

If you’ll do these things, the spring won’t sneak up on you quite as fast.

Plus, your pond will give thanks to you.