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Owning Land

Tips for Winter Pond Management

January 24, 2019

The beginning of a new year signifies the start of new opportunities and goals. The new year also means it’s time to get your pond in shape to have a successful spring season of fish production.

As you’ve probably already read, there are 8 important activities you should be doing in the fall to increase the value and your enjoyment of the pond on your property. But winter pond management is essential for anyone who wants a great spring fishing season on their property.

January is a great time to start looking at your pond management plan if you have one. If not, you’ll want to sit down and write down your plan of action for the year with a list of management activities you’ll want to accomplish. Here are a few basic things you’ll want to make sure are on your to-do:

1. Lime Your Pond

According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Ponds (MDWF), “winter is the best time to lime your pond. Lime changes the pond’s water and soil chemistry allowing the fertilizer to work more effectively. The amount of lime a pond needs can be determined with water or soil tests.”

Most landowners will get the water in their ponds tested in the summer or fall. This is so the pond’s lime needs can be addressed in the winter, before fertilization in the spring. However, seasons of heavy rainfall can affect the pond water’s chemistry so some landowners test their water again in January to re-check. If your pond ends up needing lime, it should be applied four to six weeks before fertilizing.

2. Stock Up on Fertilizer

You won’t want to miss the first week of fertilization for your pond so, make sure your order is in and your fertilizer is set to be delivered at least before late February. However, remember that not all ponds will need to be fertilized. Fertilization depends on the state of your pond’s weed growth. Fertilizing a pond with too much aquatic weed growth will only increase its growth.

3. Perform Needed Maintenance on Automatic Feeders

If you already have an established fish feeding program, winter is the best time to do any maintenance on your feeders. This step is crucial for the upcoming growth season! You’ll want to give yourself enough time to make any repairs or replace any parts of your feeder before the spring growing season starts. It’s all about working smarter, not harder when it comes to keeping your pond running smoothly!

Once winter is over, make sure to measure your fish and keep records of them to record your pond’s progress. This info will help you decide on what activities you’ll need to do next year and will allow you to create a management plan – if you don’t have one – or revise your existing one.

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