Managing Small Impoundments and Community Lakes

Farm ponds and community lakes continue to attract a large number of fishermen. The manageability of these waters for increased fish production offers opportunities for substantial gains in terms of benefits to fishermen from management input costs. Intensive culture of channel catfish, tilapia and mirror carp can provide sport fishing opportunities, especially where fishing pressure is intense. Almost a ton of channel catfish per acre has been harvested by sport fishermen from intensively managed ponds. Problems associated with intensive culture are nutrition, disease, and the diminished aesthetics of fishing an intensively managed pond. Present management practices for bass-bluegill ponds are adequate, but intense study of optimum rates of exploitation and fertilization should provide for more efficient techniques. Strategy and tactics for the future should consider energy flow patterns in fish communities. Study of how these patterns are altered and what are the losses when fishing or other stresses are applied, should provide new management concepts. Stability in fish populations requires further study. In this respect, base-line data on stable and unstable multi-species fisheries need to be developed.

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