An Evaluation of Prestocking Checks Conducted by Fishery Biologists in Alabama Ponds

In its attempt to provide more and better fishing in the State, the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation initiated a program whereby fishery biologists would check all ponds before they were stocked with hatchery fish. Attempts were made to contact each pond owner, check the pond in his presence, and advise him of the proper methods of stocking and management which have resulted from fisheries research in Alabama. A total of 845 ponds were checked in 14 counties in east-central Alabama during the period of September 1955 through September 1959. Of the 845 ponds checked, 766 were approved and stocked while 79 were disapproved for various reasons. Balance checks were conducted in 114 of the approved ponds during the first year of fishing. These checks revealed that 81 ponds were in balance, 10 were crowded with bass, 20 were overpopulated with bluegills and 3 were unbalanced because of large populations of undesirable fish. Collectively, 80 per cent of the 114 ponds checked were successful and indicates that a high percentage of successful ponds can be realized from prestocking check programs as opposed to stocking ponds without such programs.

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