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05/22/18- The Secret to a Healthy Pond

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Many outdoor loving people would say that their favorite past time in this hot and humid weather is fishing. It doesn’t matter whether it is deep sea or shallow pond; the thrill is the same for true fishermen. However, pond management does not thrill many landowners. Perhaps it is because few landowners that have ponds take time to learn how to manage that pond. Well, I was once in the same boat but recently I have been introduced to a new method of management that is easy and efficient!

For many outdoorsmen and women, food plot management is number one on their to-do list. They will conduct many soil tests and purchase just the right amounts of chemicals to get the pH levels where they need to be to sustain a particular species or multiple species of vegetation that will produce healthy deer. I know that in your mind you are already thinking “lime…lime is used to raise the pH in food plots…” and you are correct! But guess what? Lime is also used to raise the pH in ponds! My mind was blown also, but if you think about it, it really makes sense. Ponds that are surrounded by sandy soils and/or pine trees probably have a pond bottom that is highly acidic. A good rule of thumb here in Alabama: if your food plot needs lime, your pond probably does too. Other things can contribute to the acidity of your pond too like run off or anything that has decomposed in the pond. The more acidic the pond bottom is, the more toxic your water is for plant and fish life. Just as the lime produces better food for deer in a food plot, lime in a pond produces better food for fish. There is a lot of math that goes into liming a pond and it’s not something you just do once and move on. Ponds are about as low maintenance as poodles- you must fertilize and lime as necessary and reassess every year!

Summer is the season for fishing! But if you’re pond looks like a science project gone wrong and you’re not quite sure what creature you may pull out of it, it could be time to think about a pond management plan. Many ponds here in Alabama have a very acidic soil bottom and are in desperate need of lime. If you think your pond may be a candidate, contact a biologist that specializes in pond management and seek their expertise!

By: Red Clay

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