Fisheries and Pond Management Extension

Special Topics 2017-07-06T14:14:37+00:00

Special Topics

Are you looking for a specific pond management topic? Browse through our selected topics resources below.

Although both black and white crappies do well in large lakes, they usually do not do well in small ponds. Once crappies become established, they prey on small bass, compete for food with adult bass and bluegill, and tend to overpopulate. This produces a pond full of small, slow-growing crappies. Additional information is available through the links below.

The link below provides drawings and descriptions of common pond species. Species are divided into Recommended species and Other species that may be detrimental to pond fisheries.
Currently there are no chemicals registered in North Carolina for eradication of leeches. Below is a publication link published in Texas that is equally relevant to NC. The control methods mentioned in the attached sheet require draining the pond. Some people have found that establishing a salt concentration of 3 parts per thousand will eliminate leeches. Salt solutions of 3 ppt are used by fish farmers in hauling water to reduce stress in fish. Such a treatment would require 2.5 lbs of rock salt for every 100 gallons of water.

There are over one hundred thirty different species of leeches. Some leeches are terrestrial, but most are aquatic and can be found in fresh water, usually in the shore or bottom mud of ponds, lakes, and rivers. Leeches are not usually a problem in ponds, as they are a natural part of the pond community.

Occasionally, however, leeches can become a nuisance if their abundance becomes too high. Excessive parasitism on fish species is one effect, although it is rare for leech infestations to become severe enough to result in fish kills or poor condition. More commonly, leeches are a pest to people swimming or wading in the pond.

Apparently only one product, Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate (EPA Registration Number 35896-19, Agtrol Chemical Products) is registered for leech control in farm ponds in some states, but not in North Carolina. However, you should always check your state laws to make sure it is legal to posses and dispense. A concentration of 5 parts per million (ppm) is recommended. For more information on leeches and their control.

The mosquitofish is a small guppy-like fish often stocked into ponds to control mosquito larvae. A single female (which normally is larger than a male) can devour several hundred mosquito larvae per day. However, most mosquito problems come from sources other than a pond full of fish (such as tree holes and other water traps).

Mosquitofish inhabit the shallow edges of ponds because of the abundance of food and to escape predation by larger fish such as bass and bluegill. Mosquitofish may be eliminated in ponds with steep edges that have insufficient cover for them to hide in.

Although mosquitofish are not among the species recommended for ponds, they do not have any apparent negative effects. If you wish to stock mosquitofish, contact a fish supplier. A list of fingerling suppliers can be found by following the link to the left.

To avoid problems with poor fishing, it is best to properly manage your pond using stocking and harvesting, while avoiding introduction of species that tend to be problematic. However, occasionally it may be necessary to remove all species and start from scratch. This can be accomplished by pond draining, refilling, and restocking, or through use of Rotenone (a fish toxicant) followed by restocking. Rotenone must be applied by a licensed pesticide applicator. The following links provide information on how to reclaim a pond using Rotenone.

In general, the only species that are recommended for ponds are largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. Other species, once becoming established in a pond, can harm good fishing and cause the pond to fall short of its fishing potential. Specific information on major problem species is available through the links below.

Black Crappie. Although both black and white crappies do well in large lakes, they usually do not do well in small ponds. Once crappies become established, they prey on small bass, compete for food with adult bass and bluegill, and tend to overpopulate. This produces a pond full of small, slow-growing crappies. Additional information is available through the links below.

Common carp and other suckers. Introduction of these fish species into fish ponds is a serious mistake. They compete directly for food with small bass and bluegill, destroy bass and bluegill habitat, and can only be removed by totally draining or chemically treating the pond. Because of their bottom feeding habits, common carp make the water extremely muddy. Common carp reproduce quite successfully in ponds.

Bullheads. Bullheads, often called “mudcats,”are not desirable in ponds because they often overpopulate and stir up the bottom sediment, making the water muddy. Overabundant bullhead populations produce few bullheads of desirable size. In addition, their presence often limits the success of channel catfish.

Other miscellaneous sunfish. Common North Carolina sunfish include bluegill, redear, longear, warmouth, pumpkinseed, green and redbreast sunfish. Only bluegill and redear sunfish are suited for North Carolina ponds. When stocked into fish ponds, the other sunfish usually produce an undesirable fish population. Green sunfish and warmouth are aggressive feeders and compete with bass and bluegill for food. If they get big enough, they even eat small bass. The pumpkinseed, longear and redbreast sunfish usually do not grow big enough to interest fishermen and they overpopulate easily.

Other Problem Species