Pond Make A Passing Grade?

Feed bluegill for a healthy population mix

We consider this newsletter our classroom to share productive pond management information. We’re beginning the final semester of the 2019 season. If we conducted a mid-term exam, would your pond make a passing grade or be referred for tutoring to improve marginal results? 


  • Does your water project an appealing green tint?  Is there a healthy plankton bloom feeding thousands of small baitfish for future food chains?  Or do you see the bottom six-feet deep and choked with runaway vegetation? 
  • Would you describe water quality as healthy or brown with a foul odor? 
  • Do you go to the doctor for annual physicals?  Did you conduct a spring water quality assessment of the pond’s environment?  Check-ups also include regular electrofishing surveys to examine fish development?
  • Do bass resemble what anglers call footballs or project big heads with small bodies? 
  • Have you observed bluegill in all size classes or mainly adults over four to six-inches? 
  • Are you pursuing continuing-ed information about benefits of tilapia and grass carp? 
  • Have you learned the value of feeding bluegill to bolster baitfish populations?
  • Did you stock a new pond with scientifically-based ratios or just transplant random, stunted fish from scattered sources assuming they’ll do just fine? 
  • If one bass must eat 10-pounds of food to gain one-single-pound, is your food chain strong enough to sustain normal growth for a lake full of bass? 

Conduct regular water tests.

  • Are you on pace to meet annual harvest goals?  When we ask for a show of hands, folks sheepishly look around hesitating to offer an honest answer. Affirmative response is limited.  The majority give every reason imaginable for not fulfilling this critical step.  You can follow other basic management principles to the letter, but failure to harvest will jeopardize achieving the pond’s potential. No if’s, and’s, or but’s!  There’s no easy make-up test if you don’t get a passing grade on harvest.  It can take years to rebalance neglected population management of any species, especially bass. 


  • Have you inspected flood control pipe systems for rust or seepage that could lead to catastrophic damage? 
  • Are you procrastinating removing trees sprouting on the dam? 
  • Does the spillway need improvements to prevent carp or other rough fish from migrating into your lake during high water events? 
  • Noticed beaver huts or burrows in the dam that could contribute future complications?

Only 60-days remain in the current management season. If you’re behind on maintenance, completing above objectives is like cramming for a big exam. You can still pass, but a failing grade means less productivity and greater expense to correct shortcomings. If you’re busy schedule prevents completing needed tasks, we offer a maintenance plan so you enjoy the property each visit. If you’re hands-on, we can help write a plan to do it yourself.  You made a large investment to build the pond of your dreams. It accented the land with a beautiful view, but the job’s half done. Now, it’s time to cultivate potential and productivity. What’s more fulfilling than:

  • Watching family and friends thrill to antics of fish chasing floating feed.
  • Seeing fish grow larger and larger, year after year.
  • Sitting on a beautiful lake and texting a picture of the biggest bass you ever landed.
  • Helping a child catch a big fish you’ll talk about forever.
  • Leaving a legacy that builds memories, nourishes wildlife, and all forms of Nature the pond supports.

Our management philosophy focuses on educating folks about conservation stewardship of land and water.  Sign-up for our class.  It’s a highly rewarding experience.  It increases pond enjoyment property value. After the above review, would your pond make a passing grade? Contact here with questions.

Passing Grade Pond

Stock tilapia to control algae.

Passing Grade Pond

Life-long memories.

Passing Grade Pond

Beaver den