Fish Management Through Electrofishing

Fishing is the ever popular summer sport … so much so that people buy land and create their own ponds and lakes in order to have their own private fishing holes. Or, they make take an existing pond, and stock it so there can be fishing all summer. The question is … how do you stock it? What kinds of fish do you use? And how many of each species are the right number?

Fish stocking refer to the process of placing fish in a body of water. It is done to either supplement existing populations or to stock a newly created pond or lake. Fish stocking is not simply a matter of putting in a fisherman's favorite. It is necessary to consider proper stocking ratios and species. When stocking a body of water, it takes lake management professionals … biologists, technicians and others … to stock a pond or lake correctly. A healthy balance of the correct species is needed.

One way to determine the next steps to take with a pond is by using the technology of electrofishing. Electrofishing is a scientific method where the fish are stunned briefly. They are then removed from the water, counted, weighed, and measured. It is a way to determine the population, abundance, and various statistics about the different populations in the water. They are then released back to the water with no harm or long-term effects.

The statistics captured by electrofishing becomes a reference point for long-term pond management. It allows for corrective stocking and harvest recommendations. While often electrofishing is done on established lakes, it may also be used on new lakes to reveal potential problems so preventing expensive issues later.

What are some species of fish that might be used to stock a pond? They may be bass, trout, sunfish, catfish and forage fish. As already mentioned, there must be the proper relationship among the various species for the fish stocking endeavor to be successful. If certain corrections must be made, the correct fish are purchased and taken to the site. When fish are transported to a pond or lake, the best way to ensure their health is to transport them with liquid oxygen. Custom trailers may be used as well.

Careful planning and implementation is necessary for a successful pond. The sampling of fish populations to determine the species, growth rates, size, and abundance is necessary in order to take corrective actions. The goal is to make it an ideal place for fishing pleasure.