If you are experiencing issues in the growth or health of your pond you may have an imbalance in the system that needs corrected. Ponds can become unbalanced due to over-harvesting, under-harvesting, over-stocking, or not stocking in the proper ratios.
View our stocking guides to find out more.
Figuring out the problem is easier said then done. Begin by fishing the pond and recording what species you catch and their size. Compare your findings to the situations below.
Or contact us and we can help you correct the issue.
Have a one acre pond or less and wanting to find out more about your population.
We can conduct a site visit, sample your pond and determine the underlying issue.
Record the species and sizes you are catching from your pond. Then view the stocking guidelines for the type of pond you are wanting to manage. Adding small fish with populations of larger fish will result in a the same outcome, so make sure to stock fish near the size of the ones you are catching.
Fish will only continue to grow if food is available to maintain the population, typically if the fish aren't growing it is due to overcrowding or lack of food availability. Try adding 5-10 pounds per surface acre of forage fish like minnows or shiners for predatory species like bass. Then try feeding a commercial catfish feed to the other species in your pond every other day only what they can consume in about 5 to 10 minutes.
Bass have been over-harvested and cannot keep up on feeding on the offspring of the bluegill.
Prohibit further harvest of bass and add 25 to 30 adult bass per surface acre. Reevaluate after a season.
If the bluegill are all large and in good condition, but the bass are all 8-11 inches in length and appear starved, the result is due to under-harvest of bass.
Though this results in great bluegill fishing, there may eventually be no bluegill left in the pond.
In Southern Missouri remove 25 bass per acre per year.
In Northern Missouri remove 30 bass per acre per year.
Only remove bass under 10 inches in length.
If you are catching various different species that are all smaller of less desireable, and no bass are present, this is likely a result of over-harvest of bass and overcrowding of all other species.
Consider stocking 75 adult bass.
Or despite not wanting to hear this, consider chemically treating the pond to kill all species and restock.
If you experienced a fish kill, and notice several low oxygen tolerant species like goldfish or catfish, it is likely you have lost many of the fish in your pond due to overnight oxygen depletion in the water.
Start by trying to fish the pond, if you are still catching fish then likely it may have a been a partial die off or the fish were suffering from illness. If you do not catch anything, Then consider purchasing an aerator to keep the pond oxygenated then restock.