Where can I sell the bait minnows I’ve raised?

As with any aquaculture species, it is essential to find markets for your product before raising a crop. Visit area bait shops and talk with the owners about their needs. Perhaps there is a species of baitfish that is in short supply, or not available, that you could culture for sale. However, first check with your state natural resource agency to make sure that the species is legal to raise and sell. Then check with your local Extension office for …

What kind of fertilizer should I use in my pond?

Fertilizers suitable for farm pond use are available in liquid or granular form. Liquids are generally cheaper than granules and are superior in promoting phytoplankton growth in ponds. Granular fertilizers, however, may be more readily available than liquids in some areas. Phosphorus (P) is the most important nutrient in pond fertilizers and usually gives a much greater increase in fish production than nitrogen or potassium. An ideal farm pond fertilizer application should contain 4 to 8 pounds of phosphorus and …

I was told I should put lime in my pond. How can I find out how much lime to put in my pond, how to apply it, and what kind of lime I should use?

A soil test, preferably done through your local Cooperative Extension office, will tell you how much lime, if any, your pond requires. A method frequently used with good results is to apply the amount of lime recommended by a soil test, then apply one-fourth of that amount each succeeding year to keep lime requirements satisfied. A liming treatment may last almost indefinitely in ponds with no outflow, but most ponds have at least some water discharge or are drained and …

If algae produce oxygen in a pond, how can having too much algae cause an oxygen depletion?

Like all green plants, algae produce oxygen during the daylight hours as a by-product of
photosynthesis. This is usually a major source of oxygen in fish ponds. In darkness, however, all plants consume oxygen, including algae. Algae blooms in natural water bodies or fish ponds normally produce much more oxygen in the daylight than they consume during the night, but some situations reduce the amount of oxygen a bloom produces without reducing its nighttime oxygen consumption. Trace minerals or nutrients …

My pond is full of trash fish. How can I kill them without draining it?

Sooner or later, many ponds become contaminated with undesirable species such as bullheads, carp, buffalo, crappie, or green sunfish. Alternatively, bass-bluegill ponds may go so far out of balance that only stunted bream populations remain. In this situation, ponds may have to be drained and dried and a new stocking program established. When draining is not possible or too costly, an acceptable alternative may be to kill all fish present with a compound labeled and approved for killing fish. This …

Cage Culture

Growing Fish in Cages

David Cline, Extension Aquaculture Specialist, Auburn University

Common cage materials (photo courtesy of David Cline, Auburn University).

Many landowners who are interested in aquaculture may not have the financial and physical resources or the practical experience to start a large-scale aquaculture operation. Growing fish in cages can be a means for landowners with existing ponds to produce fish for supplemental income and to gain experience in aquaculture. Cage culture is an intensive form of aquaculture …

I am considering building a pond on my property. What are the liability issues I should be aware of?

Legal liability for accidents occurring on a pond owner’s property is a very real concern. Although legal views vary somewhat in different regions, most cases involving pond-related accidents deal with children or adolescents wandering unto property and injuring themselves or drowning. Key considerations in these cases often relate to whether the pond could be considered an attractive nuisance, such that the pond in question would have some artificial or otherwise special feature which made it especially dangerous, or if the …

Why has my bass population disappeared in my pond?

Stocked alone without some forage species, largemouths usually stunt and reproduce poorly. They require other fish, such as bluegill, as food to allow for good growth and spawning. Largemouth bass should generally be stocked in late spring, the year after bream have been stocked, so adequate forage will be available to support survival and growth. In most areas, largemouth bass normally live about six to eight years if not caught by fishermen or eaten by larger fish. Although bluegill provide …

What is the U.S. seafood trade deficit?

Based on data available from the National Marine Fisheries Service, foreign imports accounted for approximately 87% of the volume (live weight equivalent) of edible seafood consumed in the United States in 2006. The U.S. imported $13.4 billion and exported $4.1 billion of seafood and related products in 2006. The fact that we imported more than we exported means we had a deficit in our balance of trade (balance of payments) of approximately $9.3 billion. The deficit, in real dollar terms, …