Estimating Lake Size for Fish Stocking

Many lake and pond owners have difficulty estimating the surface area of their ponds. However, this is an important task and is critical for successful fish stockings. When it comes to ponds, it is easy to overestimate and this often leads to overstocking. If your pond fluctuates considerably in surface area, stock it based on the average annual low-water surface area.

Also, remember that 1 surface acre contains 43,560 square feet. Formulas for calculating the surface area in acres of the most common pond shapes (square or rectangular, triangular, and round) exists and can help you in determining the size of your pond. All dimensions should be measured in feet to make calculations easier.

Lastly, technology has made estimating pond and lake size much easier. Recent advances in global positioning system (GPS) technology allows pond owners to calculate pond surface acreage with a hand-held GPS unit that contains area-calculation programming. Most commercially hand-held units have “area calculation” as a simple function and you can figure out the size of your water body in the time it takes to walk around it!

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