Managing ponds and lakes for aquaculture and fisheries in Missouri : pond construction and management considerations
A properly planned and constructed pond or lake can be a great asset on your property (Figure 1). Private ponds and lakes can be used for recreation, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming and other activities. They can also be used as a water source for livestock, fire protection, irrigation and production of fish for food or sale. A pond that provides these benefits and consistently produces good catches of fish is a result of proper planning, construction and management. Properly constructed ponds benefit from even a minimal level of management. The fundamental considerations for managing a pond for fishing include: proper pond construction and watershed management, fish species selection and stocking, determining fertility needs, managing for a balanced fishery, proper harvesting and record-keeping, managing water quality and understanding pond dynamics, and aquatic plant management. Two pond construction styles are used in Missouri, depending on a pond's intended purpose and the availability of water. The first is the watershed pond, which takes advantage of the topography of the surrounding land to collect and store water. In some cases, a single dam may be all that is necessary to construct such a pond. Using runoff water will typically reduce the need for digging a well for water supply. The second common style of pond in Missouri is referred to as a levee pond. Levee ponds are commonly used for commercial aquaculture production in locations where well water is economically feasible, and these ponds tend to be more expensive to build and maintain. Because watershed ponds are generally cheaper to build and maintain, they account for most of the farm ponds in Missouri. Therefore, this publication focuses on construction and management of watershed ponds.
Archive version. For most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.