Farm pond management class offered

Published 9:07 am Monday, June 18, 2007

NATCHEZ — Area fishermen and women will be offered a chance to learn how to build their own fisher’s paradise this Friday.

The Mississippi State University Adams County Extension Service will offer a farm pond management class from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Extension Service Director David Carter said.

“If they’re a serious fisherman or just a weekend hobbyist, this class will teach how to make their pond more productive,” he said.

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The three-hour class will have about one-and-a-half hours of classroom time, and the other half will be devoted to hands-on learning, Carter said.

Participants will learn about pond construction, whether building up an existing pond or starting from scratch, he said.

Pond stocking, including the numbers and species of fish to use, will also be addressed.

Pond plant aquaculture — including weed control and how to properly fertilize desired plants in the pond — is also on the slate.

Harvesting practices will be taught during the hands-on time.

“They’re going to learn how to count the fish in the pond,” Carter said.

To count fish in a pond, the tester would take a net and collect four or five samples of the small fish around the edges of the pond, he said.

The number of young fish determine the number of old fish in the pond, he said.

The samples are also good for taking a census of how many of each species are in the pond, Carter said.

“The count may not be 100 percent accurate, but it’s pretty close,” he said.

Testers can also tell the health of the fish in the pond by the sample fish, Carter said.

“If they have small bodies with big eyes, that means they’re stunted,” he said.

The workshop will be offered free of charge, and participants need to wear old clothes, Carter said.

The extension service is offering two other free programs in the next two weeks:

4The extension service is offering an all terrain vehicle safety course Wednesday.

“Basically anything in agriculture uses ATVs now,” Carter said. “Learning how to operate them safely is an important thing.”

4The extension service will offer a hunter safety camp July 25-29.

Anyone age 10 to 15 who wants to hunt next year needs to be certified, a process that takes 10 hours of training, Carter said.

The camp will be from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Every day’s sessions will include two hours of classroom time and two hours of shooting, Carter said.

Participants will learn how to shoot shotguns, rifles, muzzleloaders and archery, he said.

Lunch will be provided, and all equipment and supplies will be provided, Carter said.

The last day of camp there will be a competition, he said.

For more information about any of the programs, contact the extension service at 601-445-8201.