When a pond of 10 acres or so is over run with stunted pan fish, winter is an excellent time to put in some work to improve the overall health and quality of the fish populations. I'm no biologist but why do panfish become stunted?
My Humble Thoughts
-Lack of food, too many mouths to feed in this family and not enough food to go around. A scary reality for this little ecosystem, and it all but ensures that there are no fat kids.
-Lack of diversity in the gene pool, everyone here is cousins. Seriously though, serious inbreeding can produce some weak stock.
-Lack of predators, this goes for natural predators and unnatural types that walk above the water. Time for the DNR to open up the bag limit here.
Plan Of Action
- a modest culling program should be enough on a small body of water to make an impact in bluegill populations
- introduce a new gene pool into the pond
- inject some baitfish
Maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic for a small subdivision pond but why not try to make some changes in the way you fish it that could improve the overall health of the fish and fishing. The pond does have a few things going for it though, it gets to 12 feet and in general it drops off quick. Also there aren't too many people fishing it. As we weeded our way through some of the gills this weekend we were pleasantly greeted with a few surprises.