Pond Fishery

RainbowDearest Green Gluggums,

Most ponds are built by fishing enthusiasts.  It is always the first question I get, “What kind of fish can I have?”  Because a pond fishery is so much more than fish and water, this is a difficult question as most ponds are little more.  A fishery needs a balanced ecology to sustain fish.  Without it, the fish will become sick.

Both warm water and cold water fish can be housed in a pond if the habitat is correct.  I recommend rainbow trout as the primary species.  The reason is they are the easiest to manage.  Warm water fish such as bass, crappie and blue gill require population management with constant care (they over reproduce).  As the population increases, the size of the fish are repressed by pheromones.  Because in most situations rainbow will survive less than four years, you must stock every year.  As a recreational pond owner, you are not a fish raiser but a fish catcher and eater.  You must rely on your habitat to feed the fish because fish feed is essentially fertilizer growing copious amounts of weeds and algae.  The rule of thumb for stocking is a rainbow will eat any fish half its size; therefore, stock with at least 10” fish hoping for a 20” fish… Oh, chills up my spine and a wrecked outfit: how wonderful!

MosquitofishBecause West Nile Virus and Malaria are moving, the common mosquito fish, Gambusisa (Gambusia punctata), will eat insect larvae that transmit these diseases.  Only a few fish are necessary as they seem to be born pregnant.  They do not overpopulate and at two inches are known as the topminnow predator. Gambusisa thrive in temperate climates. Some fisheries departments regulate their transplant; seek advice.

Fish are absolutely required for a pond.  They are a top predator in the benthic.  However, a fishery must be approached with great caution.  The biggest problem is overstocking.  Champion fly fisherman practice with as few as ten fish.  Much sport can be yours by not over-extending your ecology achieving a balance.

Glug, a bit of Buddhism: there is a way to have a pond that requires some fish, not too many; some plants, only certain ones; crayfish; a turtle; some birds; a log; and a chair.  I will use the chair and the “middle way”.

PonDoc             from the pond


2 thoughts on “Pond Fishery”

  1. Warning: ponds now require a very expensive environmental study with federal approval before they can be built! State level approval is no longer accepted.

    Readers should be aware that in the USA the Environmental Protection Agency has taken it onto itself to regulate ponds. In fact they are finishing rule changes that allow them to regulate every stream, pond, ditch, and waterway. Right now a family in Wyoming is under siege by EPA for a legally built pond. EPA now requires every pond to be approved by it with an environmental study before it can be constructed. Even though state regulators have approved the pond.

    Oddly enough ponds are widely used to PREVENT pollution. They are used in farm areas to remove sediment and excess nutrients before water goes down stream. They are required for pollution control. So EPA will go after you if you don’t put a pond in and go after you if you do put a pond in. Unless you have a few hundred thousand dollars to satisfy their requirements. Despite satisfying all state requirements. I wonder who has to pay for the environmental study when beavers make a dam. There are no exceptions for beavers that I know of!

    Read about it here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/14/wyoming-welder-faces-fine-for-building-pond-on-his-own-property/

    • Fortunately most ponds built in the United States are illegal. The pond standard constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers is no more than a water tank. In fact there is not a single agency within the government that is environmentally friendly. The highest killers of rivers and streams are fish hatcheries. The most damaging government agency affecting our waters is US Forest Service. And as bad, the Department of Agriculture.

      I believe the responsibility to take care of our planet lies with each of us. All of our trained bureaucrats were trained with dogma. University Departments of Fish and Wild Life teach dogma as does forestry departments. Looking towards the Environmental Protection Agency is looking at dogma trained people without forward vision. I applaud the back yard pond. Regulating them has proven and will prove to be impossible.

      If you wish to make a environmentally friendly pond, use PonDoc methods and forget the dogma. Remember a group of ecologist cannot construct an ecology because they would vote on it. The University of California Davis pond is a sewer; with a little care, it could be a jewel. This would be impossible to perform at the university (dunderheads)…


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