Ponds are a great addition to any yard or farm because they provide a water source, beautiful views, swimming opportunities and can often be stocked for fishing. However, if you want to turn your body of water into a fishing pond, you will need to do an in-depth assessment of it. After all, ponds do not exist in their own sphere. Instead, they are an active player in the surrounding ecosystem and can be affected by how neighboring land is used.
Often, ponds located in forests or grasslands are the best option for turning into a fishing spot because they can absorb healthy sediment, which gives them better water quality. However, a pond anywhere can be assessed for its ability to support life. While no pond will be the same, a few basic principles can be assessed to determine if a spot can sustain fish. Analyze these three things to determine if you can successfully stock your pond.
- Depth and Volume
Although proper pond management measures will let you get away with less depth and volume, you generally only want to stock ponds over one acre with a depth of eight feet or more in 25% of the area. Additionally, this can be affected by climate as southern areas can get away with less volume, and northern regions will need more depth. Without the proper depth and volume for your area, your fish will die every winter.
The water temperature of your fishing or farm pond determines the type of fish you should stock it with. There are three primary categories of fish, cold water that prefer less than 70 degrees, cool water that tolerate temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees, and warm water fish that enjoy more than 90 degrees.
- Water Quality
Obviously, runoff and water temperatures are the largest things that affect the quality of your pond. However, when deciding if you can sustain life, you also need to consider pH, turbidity, alkalinity, carbon dioxide levels, and hardness. Knowing this information can help you decide what, if any, types of fish can survive in your pond.
Before you stock your fishing pond, you need to assess a few different characteristics to determine if it can sustain life. Fortunately, this is often easy enough that you can often accomplish this task by yourself, although your state’s conservation or natural resources department can offer assistance if necessary.