September is the month to fill ponds with bluegill, redear bream

Published 12:31 am Sunday, August 29, 2010

NATCHEZ — Every year the Adams County Extension Service has pond management seminars for area homeowners to discuss pond construction, aquatic weeds control, stocking rates, water quality, pond balance and many more issues.

At these seminars, area experts teach homeowners simple ways to check ponds for a balanced fish population. Ponds need to be checked for balance between May and mid July.

Based on physical data collected during checking for balance, stocking options or species selection should be made accordingly. If you have a new pond, the end of September is when you can begin stocking it with bluegill or redear bream before stocking bass next May. Catfish should be stocked between October and March.

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Now is a good time of the year to think about doing some things to help enhance your pond’s quality and aesthetics. If you have weed control problems, you need to hurry and take action if you plan on using chemical weed control.

There are several options available for the different aquatic weeds we face in our area; most chemicals needed can be purchased at local agricultural supply stores. Biological weed control can be accomplished year round by using grass carp on selective weeds.

Like gardens, ponds can benefit from the occasional addition of agricultural lime. Lime requirements can be found by taking a soil sample from your pond.

Lime is best when applied during the fall or winter before the growing season. Determining whether or not to fertilize your pond is a common thought. Experts don’t recommend fertilizing ponds that are in the following categories: not heavily fished, infested with weeds, fed commercial fish food, too much water flowing in and out or with fish populations out of balance. Fertilizing is best in ponds that are heavily fished or managed for trophy bass.

Pond fertilizers should be high in phosphorus (P) — 0-46-0 or 0-20-0 would be the recommended fertilizer in most established farm ponds.

When looking at pond management, you also need to think about pond exterior, specifically levees and embankments. Now is the time to remove all the brush and trees on levees. Trees should be removed from levees every summer and fall, and should not allowed to become established, as this can have a negative impact on the structural integrity of the levee.

For more information on any of the above mentioned material contact me at 601-445-8201.