IMPROVE POND FISHING: CONTROL AQUATIC VEGETATION
and lakes can develop dense stands of aquatic vegetation that interfere
with intended uses and can destroy the aesthetic value of the site.
"Most weed problems can be resolved with good planning and careful
management of a body of water," said Dave Rizzuto, TWRA Region I Lake
and Hatchery Biologist.
Planktonic algae and aquatic plants compete for growth in a pond and since
planktonic algae is the primary food for many aquatic life forms, heavy
plant growth can produce a limited fishery. Ponds choked with aquatic
vegetation almost always have large numbers of small fish, and
consequently, offer poor fishing. Prevention of aquatic vegetation is
often the most practical solution in overall control.
measures include carefully planning pond construction, appropriate
fertilization, chemicals, herbicides, and biological control.
Some types of aquatic vegetation will eventually grow in almost all ponds,
so the best time to plan for aquatic plants is during pond
construction. One important construction feature is to deepen the pond
edges to eliminate very shallow water. If there is no vegetation
present, fertilizing will cause a green "bloom" of microscopic algae
which will shade the bottom and suppress aquatic plant growth. If
vegetation is present, however, fertilizing will make the problem worse.
Certain chemicals and herbicides are capable of controlling specific
types of aquatic vegetation, but Rizzuto advised that before making any
purchases, the owner should contact their Regional TWRA office for
Biological control can be a long term, cost-effective method for the
management of certain species of aquatic vegetation. Grass carp (white
amurs) have proven to be the most effective. Each one is capable of
eating two or three times its own weight in aquatic vegetation each
day. Also, these fish will not spawn or muddy the water, and their diet
consists primarily of aquatic vegetation.
Anyone experiencing farm pond problems is encouraged to contact their
Agricultural Extension Agent, or the nearest regional office of the TWRA.