Turn Your Infertile Pond Into Fishing Heaven

Here are eight steps that will help you transform an infertile fishing pond into the fishery of your dreams.

A private pond can be a place for family and friends to enjoy fishing and have hours of relaxation. (File photo)

Editor's note: Owning your own fishing pond can be a wonderful thing  —  a place for family and friends to enjoy catching bass, bluegills, catfish and other species, put healthy food on our tables and have hours of relaxation.

Being a pond owner also can be hard work, especially if you're dealing with an infertile pond and wanting to improve the quality of your fishing experience.

Here are eight steps to make your infertile pond into fishing heaven.

But first: Read this story and view the videos in a recently posted article entitled Build a Better Fishing Pond.

  • Step 1: Develop a plan, including needed renovations and construction and types of fish you hope to catch. Then meet with a professional fisheries biologist and discuss the expertise, time requirements and financing necessary to achieve your objectives.
  • Step 2: Sample the pond's fish to determine the fishery's status, including numbers and sizes of game fish and forage fish. This is usually done by fishing, seining and electrofishing, some of which may have to be done by a professional.
  • Step 3: Discuss with a biologist ways for achieving a properly balanced fish population such as killing out a pond with too many rough fish, keeping smaller fish you catch or stocking forage fish.
  • Step 4: Evaluate water chemistry to determine pH, alkalinity and hardness, then get professional help to interpret the results and make needed changes.
  • Step 5: Evaluate available fish habitat, and follow a biologist's recommendations for providing ideal cover and structure for different species and age classes.
  • Step 6: Get professional advice on stocking types of fish you want. If you don't stock at proper rates, fish could get overpopulated and stunted, or you may not have enough forage fish to keep game fish healthy.
  • Step 7 is necessary if you want big fish; if so, consider implementing a fish-feeding program.
  • Step 8: Record what you catch, and follow professional advice on what fish to harvest.

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