Taking a few steps this winter to manage your pond correctly can provide better fish production this spring. Adding lime and providing artificial structure are two important pond maintenance tips for pond owners to consider this winter.
Water in ponds reflects the quality of the soils in which they are located. Most ponds in the southeast region have low levels of total alkalinity, total hardness, and low pH values. Having poor water quality in a fish pond means the overall fish production is slowed. Liming is an important method for correcting many of these water quality issues, as well as helping to improve fish productivity. Adding lime helps stabilize the pH of mud on the pond bottom and increases the phosphorus content, necessary for fish growth and reproduction. Fall and winter are perfect times to add lime to a pond and will have your water quality at proper levels before spring fertilization.
Having an appropriate amount of structure in a pond is a key factor in developing a sustainable and healthy fishery. It is important to add or manage structures in the water to create an ideal habitat, provide forage cover, and improve fish growth. Even if your waterbody already has some cover present, it is often beneficial to add additional cover to create a more diverse habitat. Since fish use all depths of the water column to optimize their body temperature, cover should be in all depths of the pond and not just located along the edges in shallow water. Game fish will use these habitats as ambush areas and forage fish will use them as spawning areas as well as cover.The only way to change your pond for the better is to take the appropriate management steps. The addition of lime and artificial habitats are two ways to better your pond this winter and manage your fishery and water quality. We offer monthly, quarterly, and annual pond maintenance packages to ensure your pond remains healthy all year. Contact us for more information or to discuss how can improve your pond this winter.