Pond & Small Lake Management

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Good fishing doesn't just happen! A pond that consistently produces good catches of fish is a result of proper planning, construction, and management.

Tennessee has approximately 200,000 ponds and small lakes that provide over 100,000 acres of potential fishing water. In fact, these waters account for nearly one-fourth of all fishing trips made in Tennessee annually. Ponds and small lakes are often the "stepping stones" for Tennessee youngsters who later become dedicated anglers and conservationist. With proper planning and management these waters have the potential of providing many enjoyable hours of good fishing.

Although ponds and small lakes provide many important and practical benefits: erosion control, livestock watering, swimming, irrigation and wildlife enhancement, the information found in "Managing Small Fishing Ponds and Lakes in Tennessee" has been prepared to encourage Tennessee landowners to plan, construct and manage their ponds and small lakes properly for recreational fishing.

Fishing Lure A good pond depends on location, design, construction, stocking, and management. After the pond is completed, success or failure depends on the landowner's using necessary practices to establish and maintain good fish populations. Recreational fishing in ponds and small lakes can benefit tremendously from a small amount of management effort. Proper stocking of the right species and number, a balanced harvest of mature fish, proper fertilization (if needed), water quality management, and aquatic weed control are basics that the pond/small lake owner should understand. Many unmanaged (or mismanaged) ponds could produce many more pounds of fish than they currently do if good management practices were followed.