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#452998 - 07/28/16 10:14 AM How can i tell if my pond has too many fish?
KimR Offline


Registered: 07/28/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Canada, Quebec
Hi. We've recently purchased a home with an old pond stocked with fish. It's about 4 acres (not more than 6 feet deep), spring fed and with an outflow that spills into a lake. The algae bloom this spring wasn't too bad, got sucked out of the spillway, but now i'm noticing thousands and thousands of minnows. The fish are small and it's hard to tell what they are. Bass? Perch? Trout? No idea since we can't see any larger ones. The pond is now partly covered in coontail (another issue) and i was thinking that the fish can easily hide there, avoiding natural predators. So, how many fish is too many for that size of pond? Is there a rule of thumb? 1 fish per square foot? I would really appreciate any help!

Thanks in advance,
Kim
Canada

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#453000 - 07/28/16 10:40 AM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 708
Loc: Paris, TX
I think the best way to determine is thru relative weights for your fish. If they are low there are too many fish, or not enough forage. You either have to provide more forage, or remove fish. Likely it is overpopulated.

You can do a search on here for relative weight charts.

Also 6' isn't very deep that far north, and there are others on here with better info, but it may be too shallow for fish to survive winter.


Edited by BrianL (07/28/16 10:42 AM)
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#453016 - 07/28/16 01:23 PM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19286
Loc: Miss.
Have you had winterkill ( 6 ft in Canada is shallow)?
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#453017 - 07/28/16 01:33 PM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
RC51 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4213
Loc: Arkansas
PSD and RW's must be used. You have to fish pond though to find these things out. There is not real set not enough fish or to many fish there is just no real way to tell that.

For PSD (Proportional Size Distribution)

Divide the number of largemouth bass caught that are at least 12 inches long by the total number of bass caught. (A number of fishing trips may be required to catch enough bass this size to make the calculation.

Multiply this number by 100 to get the PSD. For example, if 40 largemouth bass were caught but only 10 were at least 12 inches long, the largemouth bass PSD would be 25. So said EQ would be. 10/40 =.25 .25 x 100 = 25.

A bass PSD of 40 to 60 is desirable. You would also like for 25 to 33 percent of the bass you catch to be at least 15 inches long. If your bass PSD is to low it may be a sign of poor water quality, or lack of forage, too much aquatic vegetation, or too many small bass. An overabundance of 8- to 12-inch bass is a common problem because too few small bass are harvested and removed. Removing 15 to 25 of the 8- to 12-inch bass per surface acre per year is a good idea because it makes more forage available for the growth of remaining bass. You can do this same thing for Bluegill if you want. Keep in mind it takes a little work though.

Also like Brian said you can do RW's (Relative Weights) on fish.

All fish have a relative weight for their length. Find a chart for this and compare with the fish you catch.

For example if you catch a Bass that's 15 inches long the RW should be a certain weight according to the chart. For this example lets use 2 pounds. And if you catch this 15 inch Bass and its only 1 pound 8 ounces well then you know your fish are under weight and may not be getting enough forage or may be to many bass in the pond. Of course this cant be determined with just one fish you need to catch several and check them. Who ever said pond management was easy haha!!!

Good Luck,
RC
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The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#453018 - 07/28/16 01:35 PM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
RC51 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4213
Loc: Arkansas
yeah and none of this may be relative at all if your having fish kills every winter..... frown

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#454820 - 08/25/16 11:45 PM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: RC51]
Corkman Offline


Registered: 02/17/15
Posts: 74
Loc: VA
RC51, That is a great and very easy to understand explanation. Thanks I've never seen it spelled out that well.

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#454838 - 08/26/16 11:09 AM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
ewest Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19286
Loc: Miss.
Large events make managing fish difficult. Winterkills , Oxygen crashes and other events that cause large changes to the population are the most difficult things to manage around. Most natural waters suffer from imbalance due to not enough food for the population. Studies provide that such is the case in 90% of the waters with out of balance and or stunted populations.
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#454843 - 08/26/16 11:18 AM Re: How can i tell if my pond has too many fish? [Re: KimR]
RC51 Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4213
Loc: Arkansas
Thanks Corkman hope it helps. If used both the tools above can be an effective way to start to understand what's in your water. Specially if you buy a pond that is already teaming with fish.... These same tools are used when they electro fish a lake, or a pond thing is they can get a lot quicker results then with a rod and reel. Except as a avid fisherman I kinda like the rod and reel option myself. smile

The thing is having your stuff ready and available when it's time. I have a large zip lock bag I keep a digital scale in and a measuring tape and a note pad in. That way it's all together ready to go if I want to use it for the day. The more you do this the more you will start to get pretty good at eye balling fish and going hmmmm this one don't look quite right or WOW that's a nice fat fish.... It just takes a little time.

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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