Monday, February 3, 2014

winter time pond management

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.  

The future here is looking bright...


  1. Blake
    I fish a pond just like you have mentioned. There were crappie added after they discovered that the bluegill was overrunning the pond, the crappie help tone down the bluegill population, and even the bass population. The crappie is a good fish equalizer for any pond. The bluegill seem healthy now along with the bass.

    1. good to know cause we cpr the crappie no matter what size they are

  2. I like your thoughts on the matter sir, the fly club I am apart of fishes a lake that is quite unusual, all stunted largemouth bass! I think in three years of going there we have only caught one panfish, but of course all the largemouths are subpanfish size for the most part. Anyhow great advice and I am sure it could help a lot of ponds. Tight lines sir!

    1. thanks Atlas, skinny stunted fish is never a good sign for an eco-system

  3. Yeah put the hammer down! We have a few ponds here in CT which are loaded with tinny pumpkin seeds, and only a few Giant bass and pickerel. I would say your plan is a good one. Hopefully it will lead to big sunnies.

    1. im excited after getting through a ton of small gills that you can actually catch some crappies and bass