pond fish quality

Asked June 9, 2017, 6:44 AM EDT

is there a resource to do an evaluation of fish numbers and quality of private ponds? i have approximately a 1/2 acre pond that has bass, bluegill and hybrid bluegill in it. there are several springs and i keep it aerated with a windmill. it seems the bass are stunted. biggest ones i catch are 14-18" the pond is 5 years old and it was stocked then with 50 bass and 200 hybrid bluegill. every year i fish out 30-50 bluegill to try and keep them from overpopulating. i feel like i am doing some things correctly but it would be helpful to have an expert advise me on this.

thanks in advance for any help, Anthony Brown (jackson county mi)

Jackson County Michigan

1 Response

Anthony,

Thank you for contacting eXtension regarding your fishpond-stocking question. Stunted fish are an indication of over population and excess competition for food resources. You may need to supplement feeding your fish or reduce the Bluegill population more. There several resources to assist in determining how many fish are the right balance for your pond. I will list those below. Additionally, I want to remind you that fish need plants as well. They need them for shelter, food, and breeding. Make sure that you maintain a healthy native plant population in your pond along with your fish.

Some resources:

Helpful article

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/best_fish_to_stock_in_your_michigan_fishing_pond_msg17_kinnunen17

Ponds for sport fishing book
http://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/Ag.%20Ext.%202007-Chelsie/PDF/e1554-1994-print3.pdf

Handbook for common Calculations in Finfish Aquaculture

http://fisheries.tamu.edu/files/2013/10/Handbook-for-Common-Calculations-in-Finfish-Aquaculture.pdf

Inventory Assessment Methods for Aquaculture Ponds

http://fisheries.tamu.edu/files/2013/09/SRAC-Publication-No.-395-Inventory-Assessment-Methods-for-Aquaculture-Ponds.pdf