Pond Management

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Information about Pond Management

Published on January 4, 2008

Author: Oceane

Source: authorstream.com

Pond Maintenance Principles:  Pond Maintenance Principles Aquatic Plants and Algae Water Quality Fisheries Miscellaneous Problems Structural Maintenance Aquatic Plants and Algae:  Aquatic Plants and Algae Aquatic Plant and Algae Control:  Aquatic Plant and Algae Control Physical/Mechanical Control Biological Control Chemical Control Physical/Mechanical Control:  Physical/Mechanical Control frequently overlooked! cutting, raking, mowing, digging, pulling most effective for small quantities near shore usually need to repeat several times per year need to harvest plants and algae if possible mechanical harvesters for larger lakes ($$) drawdown best during freezing temperatures aeration most effective on algae Slide5:  Draw Down Slide6:  Aeration Biological Control:  Biological Control triploid grass carp (white amur) prefer submerged aquatic plants pondweeds, naiads, elodea, coontail, muskgrass little control of algae and other plants thrive in warm water (68°F+) can reach 25 pounds or more may cause discoloration of water by waste sterile fish must be stocked permit required (1 to 15 per acre) koi, carp not recommended Slide8:  Grass Carp Chemical Control:  Chemical Control widely used (and abused!!) must carefully calculate pond area or volume identify target plant/algae select appropriate herbicide obtain state permit read and follow label carefully! treat < 50% of pond area or spot treat start in shallowest part of pond may cause fish kills in sensitive species Slide10:  Chemical Control For use in PA waters, a chemical must be ::  For use in PA waters, a chemical must be : EPA registered as a pesticide PA Dept. Agriculture listed Labeled for aquatic use Permit to Apply a Herbicide:  Permit to Apply a Herbicide joint PAFBC and DEP permit name and location of water body use of water species of fish present total and treated area of water average depth of water body name of plant (or fish) to be controlled commercial and manufacture’s name of chemical dosage of chemical to be applied (label) number of treatments to be made in year output of water body required for private or public waters effective for current calendar year Chemical Control – Identify Your Problem:  Chemical Control – Identify Your Problem Algae Submerged Aquatic Plants Emergent Plants Floating Plants Slide14:  Filamentous Algae Slide15:  Chara Algae Control:  Algae Control Copper Compounds very effective at 0.25 to 0.5 ppm disrupts cell membrane more toxic in soft and acidic water may kill sensitive fish (trout, catfish, carp) Dyes block sunlight (blue/yellow dyes) preventative safe for fish but “artificial” appearance Slide17:  Thin-leaf Pondweed Large-leaf Pondweed Curly-leaf Pondweed Floating-leaf Pondweed Slide18:  Coontail-top / watermilfoil - bottom Slide19:  Elodea Slide20:  Bladderwort Submerged Plant Control:  Submerged Plant Control Hydrothol 191 (monopotassium endothall) Aquathol-K (dipotassium endothall) contact stops photosynthesis, can’t eat fish-3 days Weedtrine-D (diquat dibromide) Reward (diquat dibromide) absorbed and stops photosynthesis, degrades fast Sonar SRP (fluridone) absorbed by leaves and roots, inhibits carotene Komeen (elemental copper) inhibits cell growth Slide22:  Cattails Slide23:  Phragmites Slide24:  Purple Loosestrife Emergent Plant Control:  Emergent Plant Control Rodeo (glyphosate) moves through plant from contact to roots eventually causes death of plant Weedtrine (2,4-D) plant cells divide rapidly exhausting food source roots lose ability to take up nutrients death from several disturbances of plant Slide26:  Spatterdock Slide27:  Water Lily Slide28:  Watermeal Duckweed Floating Plant Control:  Floating Plant Control Rodeo (glyphosate) moves through plant from contact to roots eventually causes death of plant AquaKleen/Aquacide/Navigate (2,4-D) plant cells divide rapidly exhausting food source roots lose ability to take up nutrients death from several disturbances of plant Sonar A.S. (fluridone) absorbed by leaves and roots, inhibits carotene Chemical Control - Summary:  Chemical Control - Summary Algae copper compounds or dyes Submerged Aquatic Plants endothall, diquat, fluridone, copper? Emergent Plants glyphosate, 2,4-D Floating Plants glyphosate, 2,4-D, fluridone Slide31:  READ AND FOLLOW THE PRODUCT LABEL !!!! Trade Name vs. Active Ingredient:  Trade Name vs. Active Ingredient 2,4-D AquaKleen, Aquacide, Navigate, Weedtrine II Glyphosate Rodeo Fluridone Sonar, Sonar AS Elemental Copper Cutrine Plus, Earthtec, K-Tea, Lescocide-Plus Diquat Reward, Weedtrine Pond Water Quality:  Pond Water Quality Pond Water Quality:  Pond Water Quality controlled by: source of water (spring, stream, surface runoff) geology, soils land-use and other nearby activities ** water quality requirements depend on pond use human or animal drinking water swimming fishing aesthetics Ponds for Drinking Water:  Ponds for Drinking Water not a common source of drinking water in PA all ponds will require treatment for drinking coliform bacteria occur in all ponds from soil, septic system, animal waste, wildlife some bacteria may cause gastrointestinal illnesses disinfection is necessary Median Coliform Bacteria in Ponds:  Median Coliform Bacteria in Ponds (Hill et al. 1962) How Common are the Problems? :  How Common are the Problems? (Hill et al. 1962) unless treated with copper herbicides Ponds for Drinking Water:  Ponds for Drinking Water protozoans giardia, cryptosporidium nitrate from fertilizers, manure, septic systems drinking water standard = 10 mg/L as NO3-N pesticides highest during or shortly after application due to drift or surface runoff blue green algae treat with algacide but follow label directions Aesthetic Drinking Water Problems :  Aesthetic Drinking Water Problems odor and taste usually due to decay of organic material muddy water find source, chemical additions, or filtration metals (iron, manganese) pH recommend 6.5 to 8.5 (low more common than high) low pH may cause corrosive water hardness calcium and magnesium (especially high pH ponds) Ponds for Animal Watering:  Ponds for Animal Watering similar problems but less stringent standards nitrate-N should be less than 100 mg/L fecal coliform bacteria <10 per 100 ml for adults, absent for calves blue-green algae - toxins pH should be 5.1 to 9.0 for dairy cows watch use of aquatic herbicides (copper) iron and manganese - taste problem sulfate < 250 mg/L (mining) Pond Water Quality for Fish:  Pond Water Quality for Fish temperature all fish have temperature preferences and lethal thresholds Difficult to control - match fish to temperature regime used to determine fish spawning times dissolved oxygen normal = 10-15 mg/L warmwater fish like D.O. > 3 mg/L coldwater fish like D.O. > 5 mg/L depletion caused by decay of organic matter most common cause of fish kills in ponds Pond Water Quality for Fish:  Pond Water Quality for Fish pH can be treated with occasional chemical additions warmwater fish (pH 6 to 9), coldwater (pH 5 to 9) low pH may cause stunted growth of fish aquatic herbicides can be toxic to fish (especially young fish) obtain a permit and read the label carefully herbicide runoff some very toxic to fish especially high following first rain after application Pond Water Quality for Swimming:  Pond Water Quality for Swimming coliform bacteria 2000 total coliform bacteria per 100 ml of water 200 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml odor turbidity swimmers itch free swimming parasite controlled with copper sulfate Water Quality for Aquatic Herbicides:  Water Quality for Aquatic Herbicides hardness affects dose of some chemicals temperature some labels recommend temperature 60 to 75 F can be used to predict fish spawning Pond Water Quality for Aesthetics:  Pond Water Quality for Aesthetics odor occurs in about 5% of ponds usually during summer increases with depth water taken from usually from anaerobic decay of plants, algae muddy water most common problem, especially in new ponds other causes - muskrats, crayfish, fish, livestock, waterfowl, zooplankton and wind action control - remove the source? If control is not possible, chemicals may work (ground limestone, hydrated lime, gypsum, alum) Water Testing Options:  Water Testing Options use DEP certified labs drinking (human or animal) coliform bacteria, pH, nitrate, hardness, pesticides? swimming fecal and total coliform bacteria fishing temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, pesticides? aquatic herbicides hardness, temperature What Can You Do?:  What Can You Do? strictly limit activities on pond watershed maintain vegetated buffer strip around pond limit fertilizer, manure and pesticide use near pond properly site and maintain septic systems use diversion ditches and land grading to divert contaminated surface water use aquatic herbicides with care aeration may be helpful in some cases water treatment works in some cases get water tested Water Quality - Summary:  Water Quality - Summary Use of water critical! Temperature affects spawning and provides clue of when newly hatched fish are present vital for trout important for use of chemicals (60°F - 75°F) Dissolved Oxygen critical for fish survival normal = 10-15 mg/L, fish require 3 to 5 mg/L low DO - fish gulp at surface, snails/crayfish leave water Water Quality - Summary:  Water Quality - Summary pH less important than DO optimum = 6.5 to 8.5, fish survive in 5 to 9 low pH linked to stunted growth of fish Nutrients cause plant and algae growth Hardness influences effectiveness of herbicides Agricultural Chemicals drift or runoff of especially insecticides a problem proper timing of spraying and buffer strips help Nutrient Management:  Nutrient Management N and P cause increased plant and algae growth Sources runoff from barnyards, cropland, feedlots sewage systems managed turf (golf courses, developments) Control (BMP’s) - impact will not be immediate! redirect runoff reduce fertilizer use buffer strips (tall grass or forests) maintain on-lot septic systems Slide51:  Nutrient Input Pond Fisheries Management:  Pond Fisheries Management Bass-Bluegill Ponds:  Bass-Bluegill Ponds most common and most successful option thrive in warmer water (77 - 86° F) dissolved oxygen > 3 mg/L, pH 6 to 9 stocking (per acre) 100 largemouth fingerlings (2 year old) 400 bluegill fingerlings (1 year old) stock in the fall requires management! “I have lots of small bluegill and just a few large bass” :  “I have lots of small bluegill and just a few large bass” cause: bass over-harvest, bluegill under-harvest large bass were continually removed allowing more bluegill to survive which in turn eat bass eggs and fry until they become limited by food remedy encourage bluegill harvest and limit bass harvest limit bass harvest to fish > 15 inches harvest 15 bluegill per bass (6 pounds bluegill per pound bass) stock 50-100 bass fingerlings per year until better Other Options:  Other Options bass only 150-200 fall fingerlings add 8-10 adults bass in spring before spawn great for lots of 9-12 inch bass bass/shiner summer stocking 100 bass, 400 golden shiners faster bass growth, aquatic plants helpful bass/catfish 500 catfish, 1,000 fathead minnows in Feb-Mar 100 bass fingerlings added in May-July Other Fish Species:  Other Fish Species shiners - need to be continually stocked perch - prolific, spawn before bass, ice fishing! pike, muskie, walleye - not for ponds channel catfish – spawning and survival unpredictable sunfish - lower winter survival, slower growing bullhead catfish -prone to stunting and overcrowding, may muddy the water crappie - some success in PA Trout in Ponds:  Trout in Ponds not well suited to most PA ponds like cold water with dissolved oxygen > 5 mg/L and pH of 5 to 9 cannot compete with warmwater fish “put and take” option stock catchable size trout in spring fish them out before water warms (June) Kinds of Trout:  Kinds of Trout brook trout like colder water (50-60°F) easier to catch, better eating? rainbow trout better fighting fish moderately easy to catch brown trout can withstand warmer water much harder to catch Permanent Trout Ponds:  Permanent Trout Ponds need the right kind of pond reliable source of cool water shaded, 10 to 15 feet of depth stock only trout! stock 600 fall fingerlings or 2,000 spring natural losses of nearly 100% in three years stock fall fingerlings every two years will not reproduce Average Fish Growth in Ponds:  Average Fish Growth in Ponds Miscellaneous Topics:  Miscellaneous Topics supplemental feeding liming/fertilization pond regulations adding fish structure Fish Kills in Ponds:  oxygen depletion most common cause typically from decay of organic material pesticides runoff or drift from fields after rain improper treatment with aquatic herbicide cotton wool disease occurs in spring around spawning time soil bacteria infects bluegill, bullhead, crappie winter kill shallow ponds with persistent ice and snow cover Fish Kills in Ponds Other Miscellaneous Problems:  Other Miscellaneous Problems Pond Leaks:  Pond Leaks Avoid with proper design and construction! Sealing products Bentonite (one pound/ft2) disc into soil 3 or 4 inches, swells when wet better for coarse textured soils Sodium polyphosphate (0.05 lbs./ft2) white granular form, mix to 8” then compact breaks soil into fine particles blanket of clay 6 inches in depth and compact, refill pond quickly Muskrats:  Muskrats build dens in banks 6-18” below surface burrow extends upward into bank may cause leaks and collapse in poorly designed ponds riprapping shoreline with large gravel from one foot above to 3 feet below water surface may be killed for property destruction in PA Muddy Water:  Muddy Water common especially in new ponds (exposed soil) other reasons - muskrats, crayfish, fish, livestock, waterfowl, zooplankton, wind action, etc. control - remove cause? precipitating by chemical addition (per acre) 1,000 lbs. ground agricultural limestone 740 lbs. hydrated lime 1,000 lbs. agricultural gypsum (not as good) 250 lbs. aluminum sulfate (alum) 2 lbs. copper sulfate (zooplankton) Swimmer’s Itch:  Swimmer’s Itch not common but occasionally found in PA free-swimming parasite that burrows under skin and causes itch and rash develops mostly in snails in pond must control snails redear sunfish (shellcrackers) Copper sulfate at 4 mg/L will kill snails but also kills fish Ducks and Geese :  Ducks and Geese provide viewing pleasure and control some plants coliform bacteria from waste can be a problem for swimming try to maintain <2 ducks/geese per acre eliminate if using for water supply migrational stops generally not a problem Leeches:  Leeches flat, dark-colored, parasite attach to swimmers, fish, birds harmless but frightening and detract from swimming use need 5 mg/L of copper sulfate treatment this treatment will kill fish! partial treatment (< 20% of pond area) of swimming area best but temporary Pond Structural Maintenance:  Pond Structural Maintenance Pond Maintenance:  Pond Maintenance Conduct a routine inspection of the pond Check dam structure Ensure complete grass cover Fix any erosion Cut grass and keep weeds, brush, and trees from growing on the dam Check for signs of minor leaks before they get big! Remove floating debris Check overflow inlet and outlet for debris Check for and repair erosion on spillway Inspect and repair any fences around pond Maintain roads for vehicle access (fire) Slide72:  Pond Construction

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