Ask an Expert: Pond Wildlife Management

Hello, and welcome to another edition of
“FNR Ask the Expert”. My name is Wendy Mayer, I am the
communications coordinator for theDepartment of Forestry and Natural
Resources at Purdue University. Todaywe are going to be talking with
extension wildlife specialist, JarredBrooke, and fisheries specialist,
Mitch Zischke about managing your pond andland for fish and wildlife. The two of
them have a website that they have puttogether, along with Purdue Extension and
in conjunction with Indiana Illinois SeaGrant, that talks about those exact
topics. So, with that, if you have anyquestions for Jarred or Mitch about
managing your pond or your property forfish and wildlife, questions about fish
and wildlife, please put those in thecomments below and we will get to those
as we have time. With that, I’m going totoss it over to Mitch and he’s going to
share a little bit more about the pondand Wildlife website. Great, thanks Wendy.
So, we’ve developed this newwebsite that has a whole bunch of
resources for managing your land andyour ponds for wildlife, for fishing, and
for other recreation activities. So, letme see if I can just share my screen
here, just to give you a bit of a look atwhat the website looks like. I
think the URL will be posted inthe comments, but this is basically
the website. Let me go back to the homepage here. This website was produced
as a project that we’ve been working onfor the past two years where we are
bringing in campus specialists, so Jarredand I as well as Fred Whitford, over in
the Purdue Pesticides Program. And we’reworking with a lot of our county
educators who have an interest in theseareas and we really wanted to develop a
big toolkit of resources that can helplandowners manage their lands better.
Private lands can sometimes fall inbetween some of the management
jurisdictions of say thestate DNR or something like that, and a
lot of people don’t have experience ordon’t know where to start with managing
their lands and improving their land. So, this website is really meant to be
sort of a one-stop shop where people cango, get some information, and download some of
our Purdue Extension publications. Theycan find contacts in their counties and
then they can also reach out and contactus if they have specific questions.
I think that’s a pretty goodoverview of the project. Like I said,
this is a pretty new project, we’re stillbuilding the website and adding new things to
the website all the time and we’re happyto work with people and to answer as
many questions as they have. The firstthing I want to talk about, Jarred if you
can speak too, we have added a new part ofthe pond management website, called Find
your County Contact. That can help peoplefind resources, in addition to yourself
and Mitch, that can help them in theirlocal area. Can you share a little bit
about what people can expect to findthere? Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m going to go ahead and share my screen now, and take you back tothe website.
Hopefully that shows up there. Oneof the questions we get a lot of times
is, how can I get help on my propertywith managing my pond or managing my fish
and wildlife? Well, Mitch and I are onlytwo people, and certainly we can’t travel
across the whole state to do this. Luckily, there are all kinds of
professionals that already exist in yourcounty that can help you come up with
plans for your pond or for your propertyto improve them for fish and wildlife.
It has compiled contacts that you find in your countyto reach out to get help,
ask questions, help come up with ideas, and even insome instances finding some cost share,
especially on the wide scale, to implement some of thewildlife management practices that we’re
going to talk about. So, if you go to ourwebsite and click on the “Find
your County Contact” page, it’s going to pullup a new screen and then you’re going to
see two things on here. One is gonna befind your county contacts by your county,
and then another will be who can help. This has state and federal organizations to
non-governmental conservationorganizations that provide assistance to
landowners, regarding the fish and wildlifeon their property. So, you can click on
these different boxes and learn about how theparties can help you on your land. So,
this is the Department of NaturalResources, they have district wildlife
biologists that can answer wildlifequestions and help you create a plan for
wildlife. They have fisheries biologists as well asdistrict foresters, all whose job it is
to work with private landowners. So, it’sa really good way to find help, and a lot
of these resources you’re gonna find areactually going to be free to you as
a landowner, so you don’t have to pay oranything. There are other opportunities
where you can hire private consultantsand these can be forestry consultants,
wildlife consultants, or pond andfishery consultants. These folks
generally have a business that they helpprovide resources to landowners.
Sometimes they can be above and beyond whatsome of the other resources can provide,
but they usually charge a fee for thedifferent services that they provide. So, these are
all good options for ways to find help. So, if you click on by county,
it will drop you a list of counties. We’regonna go to Tippecanoe County, since
that’s where we are now, and it’s gonnaprovide you with your DNR contacts,
and contacts from various otherorganizations that you can reach out to
that are in your county and can help youon your property. So, we encourage you go
there, visit, and see who’s around in yourcounty to help. Great, thank you. Awesome
resources for the general public inaddition to yourselves. First question
for you, Mitch, this time of year peopleare starting to get into fishing, they’re
worried about what’s their pond andwhy aren’t they catching the
same thingsthat they’ve been able to catch in past
years? So, can you help them with what mayhave happened to their fish? Yeah. So,
that’s a good question. It’s a questionthat I get somewhat frequently.
People in the spring and early summer,they start thinking about fishing
again in their ponds. Last year and theyears before they may have had good
fishing, and this year they can’tcatch any fish, they can’t really see too
many fish swimming around and it’s alittle confusing, because it seems like
the fish may have just disappeared. And, in those cases, what may have
happened is the pond may have actuallyundergone a fish kill during the winter
time. And so, let me just share my screenhere, I have a diagram that I can pull up
that can help us talk a little bit aboutfish kills. So hopefully you can
see this, let me just scroll down to therelevant section here. But basically, in
certain seasons of the year the pond canundergo drastic changes in temperature
and drastic changes in the amount ofoxygen that’s in the water, and
these changes when they occur reallyquickly can can cause issues with fish
kills. So, hopefully you can see myscreen now. But, basically in the winter
time what happens is ice forms over thepond and it forms a barrier between the
water and the air, and that’s one of theways that oxygen gets into the water is
exchanging with the air. When there’sclear ice on the pond that’s still okay
because sunlight penetrates and canstill allow our plants to grow in the
plants in the pond produce the oxygen,but if that ice gets covered with snow
that stops light penetrating and itactually causes some of those plants to
die. And if these situations persist fora long time, you get lots of ice cover,
lots of snow and what can happen is asthese plants die and decompose a lot of
the oxygen is used up in the pond andthe fish start to die because there’s
not enough oxygen there. So, thiscan happen in some winters, the more
severe the winter they’re more likelythat this can happen.
Because the pond’s frozen, often whathappens is these fish die and they sink
to the bottom and you never see them andso that’s why in the spring or in the
early summer it can be confusing whysome of your fish have disappeared.
This is one of the more commonreasons that ponds may see a lack
of fish in the new season. And related tothat, we have a question from Dan, and he
says, Mitch, can you explain turnoverplease?
Yeah. So, turnover in ponds and inother water bodies basically relates to
the mixing of the water. And in someseasons, like in the spring and the fall,
the water is actually mixed really well,but in other seasons, like summer,
what happens is the water at the surfacecan warm up and it actually then gets
less dense because it’s warmer and itactually causes layers in the water
column. I have anotherphoto here of a diagram that I can
show you. And basically what happens isthe differences in density between the
water causesthere to be layers in
the water column. So, particularlyduring the summertime, what happens is
these layers get really, stronglyseparated, the surface water is very warm
and not very dense, the bottom layersare cool and dense and this moves fish
around in the water it causes dissolvedoxygen to change in the water column. And
basically, what turnover refers to iswhen there’s some event that causes
these waters to mix back together. Typically in the late summer this can be
because of a storm event or it could bejust because the water is changing in
temperature, again, and that water bodyturns over and sort of starts to mix
together. This is a natural thing thathappens, but in some scenarios if you
get a lot of water in your pond that haslow dissolved oxygen, if that then mixes
with the rest of the pond it can alsocause fish kills that occur sometimes in
the summer. Great, thanks for filling usin on that.
Jarred, we have a question for you aboutwildlife.
What can I do to create a better bathabitat in my 20 acres of woods? This
question comes in from Liz. Alright,good question. I’m glad
bats were brought up becausebats are very important. If you think
about some of the services they provide,not only to agricultural producers by
eating pests, but also consuming forestpests and other things. Bats are
really important to the ecosystem. Unfortunately most of our bats are
having a really rough time right now, anda lot of that has to do with a disease
that’s called white-nose syndrome. It’s a exotic disease that came they
think came over from Europe, and it’s had ahuge impact on a lot of our bat species.
That being said, there are still thingsthat landowners can do to improve their
property for wildlife, for bats inparticular. If you think about what bats
use, some of our bats are cavedwelling bats in the winter and
then they come out in the summer. In thesummertime, that’s when they’re having
their pups, they’re young, so they needplaces to have those pups. A lot
of bats roost in our woods and theyforage in our woods, so it’s really
important that we have these forestareas for bats. In fact, all of our bats
use forested areas in Indiana. So some ofthe things you can do as a landowner to
improve your property for bats would bethings like, creating snags in your woods.
So, I’m going to show you a picture herethat I have and it’s of a snag. When I
say snags some people may not know whatI’m talking about,
but a snag is just a dead, standing tree. As you can see there, there’s some
bark left on that tree and bats willactually roost underneath that bark, and
so having some of these dead standingtrees is really important for roosting
for bats. They’re also going to havetheir pups and things under that
exfoliating bark or that peeling offbark. So, a lot of these snags can occur
naturally, in a stand, so if a tree diesfrom insects or disease or a fungus
or something,then you’re gonna have
those naturally in the stands. But, in somewoods you may not have very many snags,
and so, you can actually createsnags by killing some standing trees.
When you do this, you want to be careful thatyou’re not killing trees of
value or trees that are important towildlife species. You want to select
species that may not have as muchwildlife benefit, and you’re going to do
that by a technique called girdling. That’s just essentially killing the tree, and
letting it stand, the nest can provide roostsites for bats. Also, by looking at what
species, what overstory tree species youhave can be a way to identify how good
your woods are for bats. Bats liketrees that have peeling off bark,
so bats will roost in trees likewhite oaks and shagbark hickory and
other species like that. So, if you havethose in your woods, those can be good trees to
keep around, and to look for batsusing it for roots. But, beyond roosting, think of bat
forage. If you think about what bats areeating, bats are eating
primarily insects, so all of our bats areinsectivores. So, there’s ways that you
can create better foraging areas forbats in your woods. This can be
through creating small little openingsin the woods and that can be done
through a timber harvest. It can be donejust by removing single trees for
firewood and things like that. Providing some of these openings can be
important to create foraging areas forbats. It’s gonna open the canopy up a
little bit,allow more sunlight to the ground, but
also make it easier for bats to to flyaround amongst all the trees. Those
can be some some ways that you canimprove your property for bats. Even
adding in some water features like ashallow pond, the bats will look for it as well. Good to know. Always good to help our
bats, I know they’re an underappreciatedspecies. We always talk about the deer
and all the other, pretty little animalsthat we see out there, but the bats are
certainly an important part of ourecosystem. Heroes of the night.
Definitely. A little scary to some people,but certainly serve their purpose. So,
Jarred,you talked about some of the woods
features that people can do and clearingsand things like that. I guess, where
should people start?Should you know what type of
wildlife or things that you’re trying tosupport on your property before you
start making these decisions andmanagement property ideas? Absolutely. I get this question this all the time, and one of the more importantquestions I ask them is, what are your goals? What do you hopeyour woods will do you?
How do you use your woods? Questions likethis can help get towards those goals
and objectives, and the clearer that theobjectives that you have in mind, the more
focused you can make your management. So,it’s always good to start out with a plan, just like how
you wouldn’t build a house without ablueprint, you shouldn’t really think
about managing your property forwildlife without a plan on how you’re
gonna do it. And that can be asformal or informal of a plan as you want.
Honestly, the more details you have in it thebetter, because this is going to be better
corrections, but you need to think aboutwhat species are of interest to
you. A lot of times lands have veryfocused objectives, for instance,
a lot of people purchase property forthe sole reason of hunting on it, and so
their objectives might be to providebetter hunting and provide better habitat
for those animals, but thats when you plan aproperty for wildlife. That’s kind
of a vague goal, and it’s hard to figureout what exactly they do because, wildlife species
have different habitat needs. So, the more focused you can have your
objectives, listing out whatspecies are of interest to you, how you plan
on using the property, why is owning theproperty important to you, whether it’s
from recreation, seeing wildlife,making income off the property from timber harvest, or something like that. Remember, what is your goal?The planning process is really important, so
you can focus that management to meetyour objectives and goals.
Once you have those objectives and goalsin mind, then you can work towards taking
in the current condition of yourproperty, kind of access it, and then think of how can
you use different habitat managementtechniques to improve your property for
your wildlife species of interest. So, that’s a lotof information in a short question and
short answer, but again, luckily there areprofessionals out there whose job it is
to help you navigate all those questionsand all the options. So a good place to
start, if you’re really not sure of whereto start, is to contact someone in your
county that can help you out and kind ofguide you through that planningprocess. Thats great, Jarred. Mitch, we’re going to
toss this back to you. We have a coupleof pond questions in the hopper. First,
what is the best way to reduce plantgrowth and algae on a small pond? Ours
seems to be overgrown and fishing is achallenge. Yeah. I
feel like in most situations trying tomanage your pond really boils down to
trying to manage the vegetation inthat pond, because that’s the issue
that we most commonly encounter. So there are lots of different ways that
you can try and reduce plant growth andreduce algae in the pond. I guess
the first step is to try and identifywhy those plants and algae may be there
in the first place. Plants neednutrients and they need sunlight,
and the best thing that you can do forpond management is to try and
minimize the amount of excessivenutrients that are entering the pond.
If you have lawn fertilizer,or fertilizers from ag fields or
other nutrients from heavilywooded areas, those
excessive nutrients entering the pond isgoing to cause that plant growth and
gonna cause those problems. Yes, thereare ways to treat those problems with
chemicals or with mechanical removalof plants and algae, but you’re always
going to be battling that problem if youcan’t try and address some of those
underlying concerns. Sometimes this iseasier said than others, sometimes you
have complete control over your pond inthe land surrounding your pond and
sometimes you don’t, sometimes it mightbe a neighbor’s land that runs into your
pond. But, one of the easiest ways to tryand reduce some of these nutrient inputs,
besides you know minimizing fertilizeruse, is to plant or retain some buffer
vegetation around the pond, so if youhave plants and grasses around the pond
they’re gonna be trapping a lot of thenutrients before they actually get to
your pond and so this can actuallydramatically reduce the amount of
nutrients going in the pond andtherefore the amount of growth that
you’re gonna get. But, some growth isalways inevitable and sometimes you can
do all the right things and you stillend up with the excessive plant growth
and excessive algae, and so, you then needto look at some other means like
chemical control for these. Whenyou look to do some sort of control it’s
really important to understand whatplants and algae you have there. So, I
just want to point you towards one ofthe publications we have on our website,
it’s a fairly comprehensive publicationcalled, “Identifying and Managing Aquatic
Vegetation”. And this goes through all thepros and cons of plants in a pond. It goes
through the different types of plantsthat can help you identify which plants
or which algae you might have in yourpond. Hopefully this is not scrolling too
fast to make everybody dizzy, but I wantto get down to the towards the end of
the document here. What’s great aboutthis publication is it gives you a
really sort of clear guideline aboutwhat things you can use to treat the
different types of plants in your pond. This is a really good starting
point to identify some of the thingsthat you can do to try and reduce the
plants and algae that are in your pond. But, typically, I always say that the best
approach is to try and deal withthe problem that you have in the
first place, rather than just trying tocontrol the problem once it’s there, but
usually a combination of those twoapproaches is what you need to do. Great,
and we have a question related to that,kind of in relation to the design and
management of your pond. First of all, canplant growth be mitigated by design such
as minimum edge depths? And then secondly,are there management or designs that
limit the turnover that you talked aboutearlier? Can you talk about those separately? Yeah,
both of those are good questions, and yes,you can do things with your pond design
and there are certain aspects of your pond that canminimize plant growth. Like I said they
need nutrients and they also needsunlight, and typically shallow areas of
a pond get more sunlight than deeperareas, so if you minimize the amount
of shallow areas in your pond, you’regonna have less areas where those plants
can grow. So, if you have avery shallow pond area out, you’re likely
going to have a lot of plants growing. Ifyou only have a sort of fairly small,
shallow area around the edge, then you’regoing to have less plants in that pond.
Other things you can do is reduce areasfor those plants to root into the ground,
so you might put rocks or riprap alongthe pond edge, you might put some black
plastic liner on the bottom ofthe pond to try and prevent those plants
growing, and you can even do things whereyou can add dye to the water which
prevents some of that lightpenetrating it and promoting plant
growth. You know, these are all somewhatexpensive things to do, particularly if
they’re things you’ve got to keep doingover and over again, but they are ways
that you can try and mitigate plantgrowth through pond design. And then,
looking at turnovers, that idea ofstratification and turnover in the pond,
I’ll just flick us back to thatphoto so we’ve got it all fresh in our
mind. I can navigate what’s goingon here. So like I said, turnover
is really related to theselayers forming in your pond, and so to
prevent turnover happening the best wayis to try and prevent these layers
establishing in the first place,and the best way to do that is to
provide some sort of pond circulationdevice. You can get some devices that
suck bottom water and then pump it outat the top, and this sort of keeps those
layers broken down in your layer andyour pond well mixed.
This will prevent them down the track,these layers forming and then
mixing and causing problems. You can alsouse aerators. They’re not quite as
efficient as circulating the watervertically in the pond, but they do
provide some circulation in thepond. Thanks Mitch. Jarred, back to you.
What are some things I can do right now,as I’m looking at spring and early
summer, to get my property ready forwildlife? Be that deer season
or whatever might be coming up later inthe year. Are there things I should be
doing right now to get started? Yes, sothere are certain things that we can do
now, the weather is getting nicereveryone wants to be outside, working on
the property. So there’s a number ofthings that we can do on our properties
to improve them for wildlife. When westart out, one of the things that
you should not be doing this time ofyear to improve your property for wildlife. So, the best thing to stop doingright now to improve your property for wild
life is mowing. So, we don’t want to mowour properties right now. If you have old
fields or native grass plantings orthings like that, you want to stay off
the mower and not mow this time of year,because we have a lot of things going on
in the wildlife world. We have deer fawnsare being born, and they’re found out in
these open fields. We have birds nesting,we’re almost to the peak of nesting of
northern bobwhite, or in a little bit we’regoing to start seeing pheasant broods
running around and all kinds of songbirds are nesting out of these open,
grassy fields. So, one thing you can doright now is park the mower, and spend
your time doing something else. We have asaying in a wildlife world when
comes to mowing, it’s called RMS, it’sthis syndrome that people get called
recreational mowing syndrome. People want to mow to mow because it
looks clean, all you’re doing is you’reactually destroying a lot of wildlife
habitat. So, park the mower until Augustor September, let those fields grow up,
and let them be good nurseries andnesting sites for a lot of different
wildlife creatures. This time of year isalso a really good time of the year to think
about planting food plots. So, if you havean area that you can plant a food plot
in, right now is a really good time to beplanting those summer food plots, so it can
provide nutrition to things like deerand turkeys and other wildlife species.
This is also a really good time of yearto be in the woods and thinking about
how you might manage the woods comethe fall or winter. So, be in any woods
looking at how much light is comingthrough the canopy. Do you have a stand
of timber where there’s not a whole lotof light coming through? Then it may be
limited in its quality for variouswildlife species, however it may provide
habitat for other wildlife species. Looking how much lights coming through
the overstory, thinking maybe I can comethrough and remove some trees to allow
more sunlight to the ground to allowmore understory vegetation to grow up.
You can also be walking through yourwoods looking at how much vegetation is
at the ground. There’s not a whole lot onthe ground, then it’s not providing a lot
of cover and food for a lot of wildlifespecies. Identifying which trees you have
in the overstory, which trees you have in theunderstory can be good. This
is a really good time of year to do thatbecause the leaves are out, we can see
the leaves and different things likethat, so identification of trees and
plants is a lot easier. Then that canhelp inform the decisions we make later
when we come back and maybe want toremove trees that might have less value
to wildlife like sugar maple and kind ofencourage and favor species that are
more important to wildlife like our Oaks,hickories that produce acorns and
hickory nuts that are hard mast, or treesthat produce soft mast berries,
or other things like that. So it can be agood time of year to kind of evaluate
what your property looks like and planfor how you’re going to manage it later
on. Note to self, if I don’t live in thesuburbs and I need to mow my lawn so the
city doesn’t come after me then I canpark the mower. That’s right, yeah. I
know people think fields lookweedy, or snaky when you don’t mow them, but that’s
kind of the point right? You want them tolook kind of messy, wildlife like the
mess. Park the mower. Speaking of mess,Mitch, we’re gonna toss this back to you.
My pond is always brown and murky, howcan I fix this? Yeah, not a great
situation to be in. It’s not nice to lookat, but it’s also not very not good for
the fish that are in there, it makesdifficult for fish to see, to catch food,
things like that, it can also make fishingtricky. Ponds get murky primarily
because of sediment suspended in thewater. This can be caused by the type of
soil that the pond was constructed on inthe first place. But, typically, if the
pond’s at least a few years old,most of that should settle down.
So, the the way that ponds get murky arereally two ways. It’s by sediment flowing
in, so if you don’t have muchvegetation on the land surrounding the
pond and you get a big rainfall event,not only is it washing nutrients in, but
it’s washing a lot of that loosesoil, that sediment and it’s going to
make your pond murky. The other way isthat things go into the pond and
stir up the silt and the sediment onthe bottom. So you might allow
livestock to go in the pondfor them to drink and stuff like that,
and that’s going to cause yourpond to be murky. Some other things, is
you may have some undesirable fishspecies in there that sort of root
around and the bottom and cause thosesediments to be disturbed and your
pond to be murky. So, there are someof the ways that it gets murky. If you’re
looking to use your pond forfishing, then you want to try and
keep livestock out because that’sgoing to cause problems. And, if you do
have someone undesirable speciesin there, it’s good to be able to
identify those and maybe look at ways ofremoving them. Like we said earlier,
if you do have sediments washing in fromrainfall, then try and plant some buffer
vegetation around the pond to trap someof those sediments. Great. We all want to
clean up those ponds so they don’t lookdirty and nasty. We know that wildlife
like messy, as Jarred said but, maybe thefish don’t like the murk. Fish like it
clean. So, Jarred, back to you. Edge habitat seems beneficial to most
wildlife. On small properties, what is agood balance for types of landscape we
should have? Yeah, so that’s a goodquestion. There are a lot of wildlife
species that we would consider “edgespecies”, meaning that they can live in
multiple different types of vegetation and theylive kind of in the edge or the zone
between two vegetationtypes. Maybe it’s between a forest
and a grassland. Species like deer,turkey, quail and others would be what we
call “edge species”. There are some speciesthat don’t like edge, so you need to
think about what are your objectives. What wildlife species are of interest
to you, and then determine if thosespecies will benefit from more edge
or maybe not benefit from edge. When itcomes to small properties they can be a
challenge, because you may be limitedin what you can do by what you have,
right? We can take a good look atresources, what kind of vegetation types
and things occur on the propertiesaround you and then think about how you
can create the missing pieces on yourproperty. So, let’s say you have a small
woodlot, five or 10 acres, thenthere’s maybe ways that you can improve
that maybe by creating more snags inthere, maybe it has a water feature
that’s more attractive towildlife. But, if you have a
property that has multiple different edge typeslike a crop and a field, then kind of
improving the area between thosevegetation types where they meet, that
edge can be really good. That can bedone with things like field borders on
crop fields, where it meets a wood lot,or even doing something that we call
edge feathering, when you actually gointo the woodlot and remove some trees
along the edge to allow more sunlight andto create kind of that brushy cover that
a lot of wild species need, especiallyspecies like quail, which are on decline
because they’ve lost a lot of thatfence row areas that used to
be pretty prevalent. I think we might have lost Jarred there
for a second. We’ll toss it back to Mitch. In looking at fish, everyone wants
that big fish, everyone wants that bigcatch. What should I do if I’m only
catching bass that are only 8to 12 inches in size? Do I need bigger fish?
Do I need to put other things in therewith them to make my bass grow?
What do I need to do to catch that bigbluegill that I’m looking for? Help me
out. Yeah, that’s a good question. And yeah,it’s common for people to think if
they’re catching small fish intheir pond then they need to do something
like add some bigger fish or add somenew fish or something like that, but
in most cases small fish, andonly small fish, is an indication that
you have too many fish in your pond. So, for example, if you’re only catching
bass that are 8 to 12 inches in size,they should be growing a lot more
than that. So, what’s likely happened is that
they have become overcrowded. There’s notenough space and there’s not enough food
to go around, and so their growth isseverely stunted. So, the best way to
actually remedy that is to remove someof those bass because you will open up
resources for those that remain. It’s the same with bluegill, if you’re
getting only bluegill that are only threefour or five inches in size, it’s
typically because there aretoo many there and you should be
removing some of those to try andpromote the growth of those that are
there. People alwaysthink they need to stock new fish in
their pond to fix some problem, but mostfish problems can actually be solved by
harvesting fish out, rather than puttingnew fishing in, and in a lot of cases new fish
will just make the problem worse. So,in our new pond management
sort of guide here, we have some examplesof different fish population scenarios
you might like in your pond. For some reason I always forget how to do
this, but here we go. So, thisguide is available on our website now,
but basically we outline fourdifferent pond fish options here that
you might be able to strive for. A lot ofpeople want to strive for this number
two option, which is all-purpose fishingwhere you have some big bass, some big
bluegill, and a nice mix of everything,but there are other things that you can
do if you’re more interested in justtrophy bass or just trophy sunfish.
But, the way that we actually managethese fish populations is changing
the size and the number of fish that weharvest. The more fish that we
harvest, the more you’re going to open upspace for the ones that remain, and
typically the larger they cangrow. And we have another pond question
for you here, Mitch. What is a goodbalance of aquatic species that can be
used to manage the excess plant growth,other than just using carp? That’s a good
question. So usingfish to control the vegetation is one
one way that we can try and control thevegetation. There’s actually not a lot
of fish that can help us with that. You mentioned carps, a grass carp, for an
example of a large fish that you can putin a pond to control some of the pond
weeds, and these these can be relativelysuccessful in some cases. One other fish
that can be used to control vegetationin ponds is tilapia. So, you may have heard of tilapia,
you’ve probably seentilapia in the grocery store, but tilapia
are a warm water fish, but theyactually can eat algae in ponds. So
they can help eat the microscopic algaeand some of that filamentous algae that
grows in the ponds. They may not eat someof the other types of plants, but they
can help with algae. Tilapia can be great because they can help
control the algae in the pond, theycan also grow pretty rapidly and then
you can actually harvest them to eat. Thedownside for tilapia is that they don’t
survive through the winter, and oncewater temperatures drop
below about 55 degrees, they’re going tostart dying off. And if you have a large
number of tilapia in your pond and theystart to die off, all of the nutrients
that are contained in their body aregoing to go into your pond and then
likely cause more vegetation issues inthe future. So, if you do decide to stock
tilapia in your pond,we recommend that you try and get as
many of them as you can out before theydie. One, they’re great to eat, but also
this will help some of those issues downthe track. Tilapia and
grass carp, they are the two main fishspecies that people can use to help
control aquatic plants. Great, and just areminder if you have any additional
questions go ahead and put those in thecomments section here on Facebook live
and we will either get to those here inthe next few minutes, or we’ll
have Mitch and Jarred answer thoseafter the fact. One of the things, Jarred,
we have a question about is abandonedwildlife. We’re trying to attract all
these neat species to our land, but whatdo I do if I see a fawn in my flower bed
or some abandoned raccoonsor things like that? What should I do?
Yeah, very timely question, right? We’restarting to see lots of young wildlife
show up nowadays, and people often askquestions. What do I do if I find
abandoned wildlife? Well, most of time thewildlife aren’t actually abandoned, their parent
is just off doing something else,especially in the case of deer. So, it’s
not uncommon to find a deer or fawnin the woods just laying by itself, and
that is its natural strategy to avoidpredators. So, it just lays as still as
possible and uses its spots ascamouflage to hide from predators. So,
the mom has not abandoned it, she has justleft it to go out and forage to be able to nurse that
fawn. So,most time when you think you find
abandoned wildlife, you’re not actuallyfinding abandoned wildlife, the
parent has just left the area for a timebeing to do something else. Maybe you
scared it off as you walked up, maybeshe’s out finding food to feed
the young, that kind stuff. But, if youhappen to find an animal that
you’re certain is abandoned, the bestoption is to
just kind of walk away and leave that animalalone, and if you’re worried that it’s
injured, you can actually call a wildliferehabilitator. The Indiana DNR
maintains a lists list of licensedwildlife rehabilitators in the state.
I’m going to try to put that list andthat website in the comment section.
But I think you shouldn’t think that ifyou see an animal without a parent around
that animals been abandoned ororphaned. Most of time it’s not, and if
you leave the area that animal’sparent is gonna come back and fetch that
that baby. Keep them wild, don’tpick them up and take them home or
anything like that, that’s probably theworst thing you can do. Great, always good
advice. Let the parents handle it. Parents know best.
Well thank you guys. I know there’s a fewother questions in our comment section,
but we will get to those offline. We havesome other experts that may be more tiered
to those questions. So if you didn’tget your question answered, please know
that we do see it and we are gonna getthe proper expert in touch with you to
answer that. So, feel free to add more ifyou have them.
I want to thank Jarred and Mitch forsharing their time with us. Please go to
their website, The Pond and WildlifeWebsite that’s Extension. Purdue. edu/PondWildlife, and you can get allkinds of resources there including
people within your county that you cancontact if you have wildlife and pond
management questions. You can alwaysreach out to Mitch and Jarred on Twitter.
Jarred is @Purduewildlifer and Mitchis @TheAussieWahoo. We tagged them in our
tweets as well, so you can reach out tothem that way as well. We will see you
next week back at the same time, sameChannel at 3:00 p. m. on Thursday. We’ll
be talking about invasivespecies and what you can do with Liz
Jackson and Lenny Farlee. So, thanks againJarred and Mitch. Great information ,and
hopefully it has helped you as you lookforward to managing your pond and land for wildlife and fish. Great, thanks for having us.
Yeah, thank you.

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