AS SEEN IN Quorum, Washington Metropolitan Chapter, Community Associations Institute, May 2013: Written by Industry Expert Matthew Phillips, Aquatic Biologist and Environmental Scientist
Like many, some of my fondest memories growing up were the days that I went fishing. I spent countless hours by a pond or river with my Dad or fellow fishing buddies. We weren’t always successful, but we always managed to have a good time. It was these early fishing adventures that helped instill a deep appreciation for the natural environment and was one of the driving factors towards my education and professional career decisions.
While we live in the suburban jungle, there are still wonderful and easy opportunities for us to enjoy the aquatic environment. Due to storm water regulations, most neighborhoods come equipped with ponds. These ponds can easily be transformed into great fisheries for the entire community to enjoy. HOA’s can create neighborhood fishing tournaments and other events to get the residents involved. These events offer a sense of community and an appreciation for the natural environment. They also provide an immense amount of fun for the people involved.
Most ponds already have fish in them, even if none were originally stocked, so many communities may not be aware of what they have in their pond. Your lake and pond management company can provide electrofishing studies to determine the type and relative age of the fish. From this information, along with the size of the pond, it can be determined how many and what types of fish are needed to create a balanced fishery.
In order to ensure a sustainable fishery, a food source needs to be made available. Fish feeders provide one of the best sources of supplemental food for fish, but these devices may not be the most practical in neighborhood settings. Talk to your lake and pond management company about yearly minnow stocking. Stocking minnows not only provides food for the fish but also helps reduce mosquito larvae and allows the aquatic community to prosper.
Fish are naturally attracted to structure or underwater objects. Adding fish cover or submerged structures in the pond provide the necessary underwater habitat for the fish. Strategically placing this structure in areas that are constantly fished will only increase your chance of catching a whopper. If your pond doubles as a stormwater BMP, there may be limitations to what structure would be allowed, so make sure you consult with a professional to help you make a good decision.
Fountains, diffused aeration and beneficial plants and bacteria, in combination, will further improve the habitat and create a very healthy lake or pond. In turn, this will create a healthy fishery. Experienced biologists can create a healthy and fun fishery for your community to enjoy for years to come. If you have any questions about what is needed to improve your specific pond or lake, talk to a fisheries biologist or other similarly qualified pond management professional, and they can tailor a solution that is right for you.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Matthew Phillips is an Aquatic Biologist and Environmental Scientist with SOLitude Lake Management. Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.