After the winter, many people’s thoughts turn to getting outside and pursuing some of our favorite hobbies. For some that includes getting their farm pond back in order for any number of recreational activities. Depending on what you need there are valuable resources available on the web which can assist you in making good management decisions to utilize your pond for maximum enjoyment. Two of the best management resources available have to do with aquatic weed management and farm pond management for recreational fishing.
Aquatic weeds can deter any owner from enjoying the recreational benefits of owning a pond. Be it swimming, fishing or just esthetics, a pond choked with weeds will benefit no one. A great resource to identify aquatic weeds and learn management techniques to control them can be found at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ws/ws_21.pdf. Now is the time to use preventative measures to reduce or control aquatic weeds that can overrun your pond during the heat of the summer. There are mechanical, biological and chemical means of controlling weeds in you pond. If using aquatic herbicides, please read and follow the label direction or if you are uncomfortable applying chemicals there are several companies who can do the job for you. Please contact your local county extension office for contact information.
Likewise, if you have a pond that you want to manage for recreational fishing, there is a resource for you. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has an on-line booklet for managing smaller recreational farm ponds with species and techniques applicable to Indiana. It can be found at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fishmgt.pdf. It is always best to start with a new or reclaimed pond when stocking fish and developing a management plan. If you have an existing pond with fish, the information may help you change management or realize you need to start over.
Lastly, we always get a lot of calls in the spring asking where to purchase fish. The IN-DNR keeps an up to date listing of commercial fish suppliers at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-Commercial_Fish_Suppliers.pdf. This is not only for those seeking fish for recreational purposes but also for Grass carp that are used for aquatic weed control. These fish need to be triploid and only licensed suppliers are allowed to handle them in the state.