The first step in design of a farm pond is selecting a proper location. Soils and watershed quality are very important considerations. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the agency to contact for pond construction because of their construction and design experience. Watersheds that are well vegetated with permanent grasses provide better water quality. The pond should be fenced to exclude livestock, but a livestock watering tank can be installed below the dam to reduce livestock trampling of pond banks and improve water quality.
For more information, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has information on Producing Fish and Wildlife in Kansas Ponds.
Good pond management begins with proper stocking of your pond. For many ponds in Kansas, a good all purpose fishery can be established by stocking with 100 largemouth bass, 500 bluegills and 100 channel catfish fingerlings per surface acre. Fish can be purchased from members of the Kansas Aquaculture Association. Search for fish dealers nearest your location.
- Channel Catfish Produced in Kansas Ponds for Profit and Pleasure
- Pond Culture of Channel Catfish in the North Central Region
Too few fish
It is very difficult to add small fish to a pond that already has an existing population of fish and make it a success. Often we simply have too many predators to allow the population to grow.
Fish wrong size
Sometimes fishermen complain of catching too many small 3-4 inch size bluegill. When this occurs you may need to increase harvest of bluegill by fishing or seining or fishing and reduce harvest of any predator fish (bass). If you are catching too many small bass and not enough large bass, you may not have enough forage fish or are harvesting too many bass at a young age before they grow large.