Enter your keyword

Ask the Biologist

Analysis of water quality

Brian Simmons
Ceo / C0-Founder

Our farm has 10 full-time employees, with two fisheries biologist on staff, and we also have part-time employees

Not really. The PH in your pond will change throughout the day so unless it is monitored every 30 min it is not the best indicator for what your pond needs. Better to check water hardness, this tells you if you need lime in the pond which helps the fertilization of your pond. Fertile ponds have great plankton blooms which supply oxygen as well as provide the bottom of the food chain for your ponds little fish.

NO!! The potential for the bass to grow bigger exists. However, it takes 8 lbs of fish/forage (usually bluegill) to grow 1 lb of bass. For this reason it is better to remove the bass from the pond to allow another fish more food to grow. If the bass is shaped like a football it is ok to put it back but you need to remove 15-25 bass per acre per year and the size is not nearly as important as just removing the fish period

Catfish only ponds can sustain a catchable thriving population. Catfish need to be 3 yrs of age to spawn. As long as bass and bream are not present they can produce enough surviving fry/fingerlings to reach catchable size without having to restock. Most people however like to have a variety of fish to catch in their ponds therefore, it is not uncommon to see no small catfish other than what is initially stocked in the pond.

Yes this is the best way to keep the food chain in your pond/lake completed so little fish can grow to be big fish. Now if you have a weed problem in your pond you are just feeding the weeds. In this case it is best to get weeds under control using Grass Carp or by spraying to kill the weeds first. Once the weed problem is under control fertilization of the pond will help keep weeds down and provide natural food resources for your fish.

Pond fertilizer is different than normal agricultural fertilizers. You can find it at your local feed stores (TSC, CO-OPs) we recommend Perfect Pond Plus, but any of the high phosphate fertilizers will work.

Fish do not need structure to live and reproduce. They will use it as a place to congregate or hide but it is not necessary to have in your pond. We tell people that fish don’t need structure, people need structure. It makes it easier for the fisherman.

This is normally not the case. Most often it is thought they are over populated because the size is not what you expect to see. Crappie rely solely on the natural food produced by the pond/lake. They are usually the first fish to spawn every year so the young is ahead of all the other species in your pond. With so many fish eating from the same limited food source Crappie tend to not grow as well and stunt in size. Best thing to do is stock them at low numbers and fish for them and then eat them no matter what size you catch keep it.

Try to get some kind of routine going. Feed your fish all they can eat in 15-20 min 3 times per week in the warm months to grow them. 1-2 times per week in cool months. Be careful not to feed more than about 5 lbs per acre per day at any time to keep from causing any water quality problems, especially if it has been or will be cloudy for several days in a row.

It is done during the egg stage. The fertilized egg is put under pressure which disrupts the first division and caused the DNA to contain 3 set of chromosomes instead two, making the fish sterile when it hatches.

To grow trophy bass in your pond or lake you must have a food supply readily available for bass to eat at any time. Adding Threadfin Shad to your pond will provide the additional boost you need to get your bass over the hump. Threadfin Shad are a excellent food source for largemouth bass. In addition to being a food source for bass, this highly fattening bait fish takes the pressure off the bluegill population in your pond which allows it to thrive producing larger bluegill for the meal a big bass is looking for to grow into that monster you long to catch

We recommend 10-15 fish per surface acre of water. This is just a basic recommendation however; the type of weed, the amount of coverage in your pond, and the pond owners expectations play major roles in the actual amount needed to control the problem. The size of the fish needed depends on the presence of bass in the pond. If bass are 3 lbs or greater in the pond a 10-12 inch fish usually survive better and will do the trick for your pond. We provide 8-10 inch and 3-5 inch grass carp also for ponds.

No. While having multiple food sources are great to have it is not a must have to grow trophy bass. In most cases minnows only provide food for smaller bass (6-8 inch) after that they are looking for larger meals so they do not have to spend so much energy eating. Bigger meals last longer. A healthy bluegill population is the best bet and can be achieved by feeding the fish a pelletized fish food.

The dyes can help shade the pond but usually do not keep sunlight from penetrating to the pond bottom, thus allowing weeds to become established. A better option is to use grass carp to control the weeds along with a good fertilization and feeding program for your pond. This allows the natural plankton blooms to shade the pond, feed the small fish, and produce oxygen.

No. In most cases using a mechanical means to remove the weeds causes the weeds to break apart. When this happens many types of weeds will become worse because each piece that lands on bottom starts a new plant. Best to use Grass Carp for long term control or a chemical treatment for short term control.

There are different chemicals available to remove the stained color on your pond. Best bet is to use lime or fertilizer. These chemicals will reduce the stain while feeding the pond. Long term you should look at the reason for the muddy color getting into the pond and prevent it. In most cases it is not coming from undesired fish in the pond but rather an outside source.