Farm Ponds

  • Are primarily for recreational use
  • Require proper planning, construction, and management for good fishing
  • Define your objectives before starting
  • Good management allows production of more pounds of fish than unmanaged ponds

Habitat Description: Farm Ponds

Natural and artificial farm ponds can serve many purposes. Well-managed ponds can provide
irrigation, an easily-accessible water source and wildlife habitat. Primarily, these ponds are used
for recreational activities such as boating, swimming and most often, fishing.

To help keep ponds free of parasites and disease, owners should stock them only with fish from
reliable fish hatcheries. Fishing experiences can be enhanced by creating fish attractors, such as
shelter, in strategic locations in ponds. Shelters provide spawning areas and harbor invertebrates
and insects that small fish feed on. They also serve as areas where prey fish can hide from
predators. Shelter is provided through natural cover such as ditches, vegetation and trees.

Keeping ponds healthy and useful is possible through following a good management program.
Good management includes controlling weeds, harvesting fish in appropriate numbers and sizes,
and keeping ponds stocked at recommended rates.

Mississippi State University Publications

Managing Mississippi Ponds and Small Lakes

Managing Mississippi Ponds and Small Lakes (PDF)
Mississippi State University Extension Service

This 50-page booklet give detailed information on how to build, stock, manage, and renovate Mississippi farm ponds. Topics such as sources of assistance for planning and managing your pond, planning your pond, constructing your pond, stocking options, managing your pond for trophy bass, controlling aquatic vegetation, liming ponds, renovating ponds, and more are covered.

Farm Pond Safety

Farm Pond Safety (PDF)
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Steps to take to prevent drownings in Mississippi ponds are given. Additionally, suggestions for limiting liability and improving security are discussed.

Farm Pond and Lake Harvest Record

Farm Pond and Lake Harvest Record (PDF)
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Use this sheet to collect data on number and size of fish caught in a pond.

Winter Drawdown: A Useful Management Tool for Mississippi Farm Ponds

Winter Drawdown: A Useful Management Tool for Mississippi Farm Ponds (PDF)
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Winter drawdown is the reduction of water levels in a pond, generally exposing 35-50% of the pond bottom. This management tool helps control aquatic weeds, facilitates pond repairs, allows the manipulation of the fish population, allows for redesign, and liming of the pond bottom. This information sheet provides instructions for winter drawdown and some of the common management activities done at this time.

Sport Fish Suppliers and Stocking Guidelines For Stocking Mississippi Ponds

Sport Fish Suppliers and Stocking Guidelines For Stocking Mississippi Ponds (PDF)
Mississippi State University Extension Service

When stocking your farm ponds, ask questions of each fish supplier before you make your purchase. This information sheet provides a discussion of the recommended fish species for Mississippi farm ponds and the recommended stocking rates for these species. A list of fish suppliers in the region is provided.

Other Publications

Algae in Farm Ponds (PDF)
University of Vermont School of Natural Resources

Algae are common in farm ponds and naturally occur. This information sheet discusses why and when to be concerned about algal blooms, how to prevent them, how to get rid of a bloom, and other considerations.

 

Texas Farm Ponds: Stocking, Assessment, and Management Recommendations (PDF)
Texas A&M University System

This publication was prepared by the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society to provide information to the pond owner who has little or no knowledge of fishery management. Specific information on assessment techniques, interpreting assessment data, and corrective management are included to help the pond owner develop long-range management plans. This information is intended primarily for ponds less than 5 acres in surface area, but it may be useful for larger impoundments as well.

 

Pond Building: A Guide to Planning, Constructing, and Maintaining Recreational Ponds (PDF)
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

The purpose of this publication is to provide prospective pond owners with the basic information needed to understand the process involved in establishing and maintaining a quality pond. The information is intended to enable landowners to avoid costly mistakes, to communicate more effectively with pond contractors, and to be successful at building and maintaining the best possible pond.

 

Managing Fish Ponds in Pennsylvania (PDF)
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

The purpose of this publication is to provide general information about a wide variety of pond management
principles applicable to Pennsylvania including planning your pond, design, construction, and maintenance of your pond, water quality issues, pond fisheries management activities, and common problems and treatments. It is not intended to be a complete or exhaustive guide. References are given in the text to more comprehensive publications and Web pages where they are available.

 

Farm Pond Safety (PDF)
Ohio State University Extension

Simple steps can be taken to prevent drownings in your farm pond. This information sheet discusses the steps to take.