Pond Management


Picture by lake

The result of good pond management is a successful fish crop year after year.  To achieve this result certain criteria must be met.  Some of the keys to successful pond management are good clean water, adequate plant growth and proper ratio of fish.

Fertilizing Pond: Adequate algae bloom is necessary to provide an ample supply of oxygen in your pond.  A properly fertilized pond will have a deep green color.  Algae blooms can be achieved through fertilization.  Liquid fertilizer is much more effective than granular as well as more economical.

Links on pond fertilization:

Fish Population:  To take full advantage of these ideal conditions, a balanced fish population is necessary.  if the pond has a pre-existing fish population, the easiest way to sample the population is by fishing.  If the pond is balanced you will catch small bream as well as large bream and bass over ten inches long.  If the bream are exceptionally large and the bass small, you probably have an excess number of bass.  The most common problem is an over population of bream (which can be eliminated by stocking Hybrid Bluegill rather than Bluegill).  When this condition occurs there will be several small bream and very few bass.  The bass that are present will be large.

If the pond is being stocked for the first time it is best to follow a proper stocking ratio and stock all of the desired species at one time.  Also a supplemental feed is available to obtain a catchable fish population sooner.

Feeding:  To train your fish to come to feed, feed two cups of feed per day for six to seven days and do not worry if the fish do not appear.  The fish will feed actively by the end of this period.  Then feed all the feed the fish will clean up in fifteen to twenty minutes.  Feed your fish in the same place in the pond and at the same time of day.

Discontinue feeding in the fall when the fish fail to eat all food offered for three days in a row or when temperatures fall below 60 degrees F.  You may feed a sinking food at temperatures less than 60 degrees F on warmer days during the winter.

Growth:  If your fish are fed three to seven days per week the expected growth rates per season are one to one and one-half pounds for Channel Catfish and one-half to three-fourths pound for Hybrid Bluegill.

Records: It is a good idea to keep accurate records of fish caught (including size and numbers as well as amount fed) and any additional fish stocked. This will provide information to help you continue to maintain a balanced fish population.

These are just a few concepts to keep in mind while stocking your pond.

This information was taken from literature provided by Fish Wagon and Arkansas Pondstockers.

          Feeding Purina’s 32% Floating Game Fish Chow (which is available at Hertzlers) will provide for the proper feeding and management to help you grow ’em big and fast in your lake or pond.  Game Fish Chow is highly platatable,  multi- size nuggets with attractant,  all in the same bag for feeding all sizes of *fish. It has complete and balanced nutrition to provide increased resistance to disease and promote faster fish growth than natural food alone plus Vitamin C to help prevent deficiency-related problems.  50 lb.  

* Catfish, Bluegill, Bass, Minnows and Carp


Game Fish Chow #52C1 32% 3.0% 6.0%


Resources and Other Links

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries  –this site contains everything you want or need to know about permits, pond management, fertilization, liming, weed control,  diseases, records,  stocking of ponds, pond construction, etc.  in Virginia.