We offer customized Pond Management Service Plans to keep your pond in tip-top shape and help you accomplish your specific goals for your pond or lake. Maintenance plans include regularly scheduled visits to your pond or lake by one of our professionals to provide some or all of the services outlined below. The on-site evaluations of your pond will head off management problems and save money by addressing issues early on or preventing them altogether. Let us help you get your pond on track and keep it there.
Many times, depending on needs of the customer, it is necessary to schedule an on-site consultation to help determine the scope of the lake management plan. We understand that it is important for you to meet with our biologist to communicate pond management goals and expectations before committing to a financial investment.
We can answer your questions pertaining to pond design, habitat enhancement, fish stocking, vegetation management, aeration systems, and maintenance programs. We will then prepare estimates for any proposed projects without cost or obligation. In some cases a mileage charge would apply, but this fee will be determined and agreed upon prior to the consultation.
Maintaining good water quality is one of the most critical aspects of lake management. Poor water quality can lead to unsightly algae blooms, foul odors, reduced fish growth and ultimately a total fish kill. We have several options to consider to improve water quality. Water quality maintenance will include monthly measurements and reports of pH, alkalinity, hardness, and dissolved oxygen levels. We will develop a plan dependent on those parameters and may employ such methods as adding aeration and bacterial treatments to help process excess nutrients or use pond dye to deter algae growth. If a pond has a suspended clay problem, we would use gypsum to help it clear and become more productive for fish. If the pond has a low pH, we would add agricultural limestone to shift the pH levels up.
Choosing to fertilize is one of the best investments you can make to improve fishing quality in your pond. A fertilized pond can produce three to four times as many pounds of fish per acre each year than a non-fertilized pond. The components in pond fertilizer stimulate the food chain from the bottom up. In ponds, phytoplankton represents the very base of the food chain. In terms of fish production, a healthy plankton “bloom” translates into more, bigger, and healthier fish.
Bass harvest is always an important part of any management strategy. Some clients, especially with larger lakes, find it difficult to remove the required amount of bass every season. At times harvest numbers can exceed 200-300 bass per season. We find clients who simply don’t have time or have too many friends that adhere to the “Catch-and-Release” philosophy. Without consistent bass harvest, the bass population will not continue to grow at its highest potential rate. This service includes two (3 hour) electroshocking sessions to harvest the recommended sized bass.
The most common turtle is commonly referred to as the red eared slider. These turtles are considered omnivorous, consuming aquatic insects, tadpoles, snails, crawfish, juvenile fish, dead animals, and plants. They will consume fish food readily, but the major problem they pose is the destruction of spawning beds of both forage and predator populations, limiting overall reproduction. A single female will lay 1-3 clutches of 4-23 eggs each during a season. We can help keep the number of turtles in check by putting in one of our Turtle Traps and removing them as necessary.
Aeration System Maintenance
Like any other important equipment you own, your pond fountain and/or aeration system have parts and a motor that need proper attention to keep them running efficiently. By adding this service to your maintenance plan, our trained professionals can provide the preventive maintenance and cleaning necessary to keep your pond looking beautiful, and your fish supplied with the proper amount of oxygen.
Fish Feeder Maintenance
Establishing a forage base that is self-sustaining should be a primary goal of every balanced lake and pond management effort. A good way to achieve this is through supplemental feeding using our automatic fish feeder and pelleted fish food. This additional food source gives your forage fish the necessary edge to improve survival and reproduction success. Making sure the feeders always have feed in them can be a challenge for some pond owners – especially if the pond is at a weekend getaway. That’s where we come in! We can keep an eye on the feeders and make sure the hoppers are always full.
The first step to tackling your vegetation problem is identifying what type of plant you’re dealing with. It will be categorized as either algae, submerged, floating, or emergent. For assistance in identifying your vegetation, you may email us a photo.
The most successful solutions to managing excessive aquatic vegetation include using chemicals, grass carp or a combination of both. If the pond or lake has expansive areas of shallow water, then controlling vegetation is going to be a continuous battle. In this case we usually recommend stocking triploid (sterile) grass carp at densities of up to 7 per acre.
If the lake has a good depth profile where most of it is 4 foot deep or deeper, than we typically use chemical control. After the plants are eradicated, we then focus on maintaining a plankton bloom to shade out any further growth.
With aquatic vegetation, especially submerged plants, they can expand in a hurry. Getting a jump start on the treatment and control can have a significant impact on the aesthetics of your pond and the overall success of your fishery.
A lake survey is usually the first step in order to analyze the current condition of the lake and the fish populations. We do this by conducting an electrofishing survey. The electroshocker temporarily stuns the fish without harming them. Forage fish are categorized by size and quantity, and predators are weighed and measured. The recorded data is used to produce graph summaries of their condition.
After the electrofishing survey, you will receive a customized, detailed report with our recommendations, in order of importance, based on your goals and the data we’ve collected. These suggestions may include forage stocking, bass harvest, habitat enhancement, etc. Data is compared from each survey to the next to track progress in percentage growth – making a lake survey an important addition to your annual pond maintenance plan.