AS SEEN IN Pond Boss: Written by David Beasley, Director of Fisheries
For avid pondmeisters, there’s not much worse than the sinking feeling of disbelief followed by the rush of anxiety when you stroll to your favorite fishing hole, only to be greeted by hundreds or thousands of white bellies floating around your pond. It’s sickening. Developing and managing a productive fishery requires ongoing effort and attention to detail. It takes fisheries biologists years of practice before we learn enough to maintain high odds of success, and even then, Mother Nature has a way of making things difficult. Even with extensive experience on a biologist’s side, the risk of failure looms.
A significant failure biologists face is when a waterbody falls victim to a fish kill. When a fish kill occurs, it is typically a result of a lethal drop in dissolved oxygen levels. For most warm water fisheries, this oxygen crash tends to occur in the summer months when water temperatures are above 80 degrees. Warm water temperatures, teamed with multiple cloudy days in a row or a rapid drop in surface water temperature from a heavy thunderstorm, are the primary events that trigger fish kills.