The Importance of Pond Size

The size of your lake or pond is the major factor that will determine what fish to stock, the degree of lake management needed to maintain these fish, and how many fish you can harvest on an annual basis. Most ponds are built for recreation as well as livestock watering and are typically less than 1 acre in surface area. Although owners of small ponds traditionally want largemouth bass, these small ponds are really not suited for bass populations.

In fact, bass harvest management in very small ponds is especially difficult and unrewarding, as nearly all bass caught must be released to prevent overpopulation by forage (usually perch) species. In small ponds, it is usually better long-term fish management option to stock only catfish since they provide more fishing recreation, food for the table, and can be fed commercially prepared feed.

On the flip side, ponds and lakes larger than 1 surface acre are more suitable for multiple species such as largemouth bass, perch, and other species. Because of the additonal size and space they afford, large lakes allows more options for various fish species.

If large ponds or lakes are properly stocked, managed, and harvested properly, you can expect many years of satisfactory fishing for all sport species. It can be done, but you just have to do it right. Also, before stocking it is imperative that you accurately estimate the size of a lake.

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