Why Fish Stocking is an Important Part of Pond Management
Water features, like ponds, streams, and fountains enhance all sorts of green spaces, from parks to neighborhood green zones, to individual back gardens. But, have you ever wondered just how the fish get into the ponds in the green spaces? One main way this is done is by people putting them in there as part of pond management. This practice is called fish stocking, and it is a key part of pond management that involves raising fish in a controlled area, like a hatchery, and then releasing them into various water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.
Fish Stocking Helps:
- Improve Fish Populations
- Keep Bodies of Water Environmentally Balanced
- Maintain Weed Problems
- Increase Recreational Activity
- Reduce Specific Insect Larvae
Commonly Used Fish for Stocking
The ideal time to stock is during the spring or fall when temperatures are mild, and oxygen levels are high to reduce stress to the fish. To effectively balance a lake or pond, one pond management best practice is to use a variety of specific fish. Some of those include:
Largemouth Bass – The largemouth bass is one of the most popular game fish in North America. They prefer the warm, quiet water, and they hide in vegetation, between rocks, or under sunken debris striking their prey as they swim by.
Bluegill – Bluegills inhabit nearly every lake, pond, and other bodies of quiet water throughout the country, and they bite year-round, making them an easy fish to catch.
Catfish – A diverse group of fish for pond management, catfish, live in saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water. In the ecosystem, catfish can be either predators or prey.
Tilapia – These are great fish to use for fish stocking as they reproduce quickly, thrive in a variety of aquaculture environments, and eat lots of aquatic invertebrates and aquatic vegetation. Tilapias also eat a substantial amount of natural materials such as algae, plankton, and detritus.