By Patrick Troyer

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

Need some fish or cleaning products for your pond? The Paulding SWCD is here to help with our annual fish sale running now through Friday, April 24.

Pickup will take place the week of April 27. Order forms and information on fish being sold may be obtained via the following methods (1) our website www.pauldingswcd.org under “Tree and Fish Sales” (2) stop in the office at 900 Fairground Dr. in Paulding. Checks should be made out to Paulding SWCD.

Included in our fish sale order form packets are stocking recommendations based on fish and pond size as well as use of pond such as for swimming, fishing, or both.

All fish will be delivered already bagged and boxed with oxygen. You will not need to bring water from your pond when picking up your fish. Fish are guaranteed to be delivered in good condition; however, we do not guarantee survival after stocking your pond.

For 2020, we have the following fish available for purchase: Bluegill, Hybrid Bluegill, Redear Shellcracker, Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Jumbo Yellow Perch, Large Mouth Bass, White Amur, and Fathead Minnows.

We are also offering one pond care product, Ultra Clear Muck Digester.

Fish are sold in units of 20-25 except for the White Amur which comes in units of two and the Fathead Minnows are sold in 1⁄2 gallon units.

Making a return this year is Pond Maid Sludge Remover, a pond care product that can help keep your pond water clear.

It also helps to improve clarity of the water and reduces toxic ammonia from the water. Pond Maid works best when the temperature is above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and is sold in 4-pound containers. We have rate recommendations on treating your pond available in the Order Form packet.

Ponds are a great addition to any property as they provide a source of water for animals, crops and people, a place to observe wildlife, and of course to fish according to My Land Plan.

My Land Plan offers a few tips to consider before stocking your pond with fish. First to consider is to know the depth and volume of your pond.

You want a depth of at least 8-12 feet to avoid any fish kills when winter comes along. Another point to consider is temperature of the water. This will determine the type of fish that will survive in your pond as different fish tolerate various temperature ranges.

Lastly, water quality should be a consideration with pond stocking. According to My Land Plan, runoff and water temperature have some influence on water quality in addition to turbidity (how cloudy the water appears).

It becomes difficult for fish to survive in cloudy water. According to Fred Snyder with OSU Extension, keeping a pond healthy depends on reducing weed growth, reducing algae growth, and maintaining oxygen supply. Snyder says weed growth can be reduced by taking away sources of nutrients such as manure, lawn fertilizer, or leachate from your septic tank.

Have leaves leftover from fall? Snyder suggest getting rid of those too as decomposing leaves take up dissolved oxygen in the water making less available for fish.

There are several considerations that need to be made when it comes to stocking your pond. One of the biggest things to keep in mind boils down to the use that your pond is going to serve. It is just going to be used for swimming, fishing, or both? Recommendations provided with our fish order forms include suggestions based on a one-acre pond that is used for the following: fishing, mostly fishing and some swimming, mostly swimming and some fishing, and swimming only.

Use this table as a guide when determining the amount of fish your pond will need and be sure to contact our office and we will be happy to answer any questions.

According to Freshwater Fish Company, fish stocking is an important part of any pond management system. Selection of fish for your pond depends on the specific goals for your body of water as well as the size of the pond.

Ponds can be managed to attract wildlife to your area as well. Clemson University Extension notes the following as good management techniques for ponds: enhancing food availability for fish, controlling harvesting to maintain adequate populations, controlling weeds, and preventing fish kills with good water quality.

Contact the Paulding SWCD at 419-399-4771 or patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org for your fish stocking and pond care needs this coming spring.

Once again, order forms will be due Friday, April 24 to the Paulding SWCD Office located at 900 Fairground Drive Suite B Paulding, OH 45879 and checks should be made out to Paulding SWCD. Pickup is scheduled for the week of April 27, details will be sent to customers when orders are placed.