Fish and Lake Management

An extremely informative section explaining how slot limits work, how stocking affects fishing, how bass use structure, and much more!

Growing Fish Naturally

There ain't no fast-food-drive-through recipe for managing a pond naturally. Here's what we mean.

Aggressiveness, It Should Have Been Obvious

How can catching bass off beds increase the number of genetically aggressive, catchable fish? Find out inside.

Managing Bass Fisheries with Size Limits

Bass anglers have mastered catch-and-release, but we should move into a new era of selective harvest for better management.

How Many Bass Should Anglers Catch?

How many bass should you protect? How many, what size, should be harvested? The answers are revealed inside!

Selective Harvest and Bag Limits

Improper harvest of largemouth bass ruins future fishing in more lakes, probably in all states, than any other cause.

Selective Harvest, Ray Scott-Style

How do you maintain quality big bass in a lake? Make bold moves like Ray Scott! The results are big, bold bass.

The Cure For Skinny Fish

Why do lakes have different fishing regulations? Here's how selective harvesting works.

Where Do Skinny Fish Come From?

Ever caught a skinny bass followed by a big bass a few casts later? What's going on?

Skinny Fish, Big Reason

That thin bass you just caught might not be diseased - you may have caused it! See what we mean inside.

Harvest the Bounty

Overcome the emotions associated with harvesting a fish. Do yourself, and your lake, a favor.

Thin Bass A Challenge

For many pond owners, their chief challenge is putting weight on skinny bass. Discover how to fatten up your bass inside!

How Plump Is That Fish?

If fish are too thin or too plump for their length, it should mean something to a biologist or pond owner. Find out inside.

Past My Prime...

It's a shame to see a big bass in decline. It took a lot for that bass to get big. Here's how to keep that oldster fat and happy.

Harvest - A Success Story

Is catch and release always a good thing? Simply stated: No. We reveal the surprising facts inside.

What to Do About Overcrowded Bass

So to get big bass you cull fish selectively, based on your goals, right? Nope, that's just part of it. We explain inside.

Are My Bass are Overpopulated?

Overcrowded largemouth bass populations are the number one problem biologists encounter. Here's how to recognize overpopulation.

Weed The Garden

So you need to harvest some fish from your pond. How much, how often, and what size range? We help you out inside.

Harvest Time

If you want your fishery to survive, and thrive long-term, the most important concept to embrace is selective harvest.

Harvest: A Must For Healthy Ponds

Next time friends say their fishing trip netted only small ones, share the gospel about harvest. It will improve their fishing.

Catch & Release or Selective Harvest

Should I keep this fish or put it back? For some people, the answer is obvious. But is it really that black & white?

Bass on Bass... Back to Moe

Moe Pond is a biological field station site, access is controlled, and it is off limits to most fishing...until now.

Tagging Fish

If you decide you want to tag your fish, follow these tips to get the most benefit from your efforts!

Radio Tagging Fish

Tagging fish isn't something people do just for fun; it takes quite a commitment. But it can be valuable research.

Tagging Bass

Start using tags to learn more about your ponds and lakes ... it should be one of the best tools in your arsenal.

Trade-Offs in Lake Management?

This is a classic example of the inter-relationship between largemouth bass and bluegills in small impoundments.

Fish Aging

How can you tell how old a fish is? Growth information is more difficult obtain. However, its value is correspondingly higher as well!

The Fish Garden - Plant, Grow, Harvest

Ever seen a clear lake, lots of small bass, and too much aquatic greenery? Here's how to solve that problem.

Largemouth Bass Angling and Catchability

Does high fishing pressure negatively affect bass? Now we have scientific prooof that dispels the myths!

Another Amazing Spring Thing

As the dock, lawn chair, nice temperatures and cool spring time beverage beckon, now is the time to catch some bass!

Hot Summer. Small Waters

How does summer heat affect the fish in your mini-pond? You might be surprised. The facts are revealed inside.

The Opposite of Texas

Look what you can do with a pond in northern climates. The surprising details are revealed inside.

Back To Jacks

What will you find when you electrofish a pond? You might be surprised at the variety - and size - of fish!

Electrofishing: The Truth of Shocking

So what is electrofishing and why do they do it? We give you the details inside.

Small Ponds with a Big Purpose

With a solid management scheme and some efficient management, you can create a thriving fishery... even in a tiny pond.

Largemouth Bass In Ponds

Discover how biologists use information gleaned from electrofishing to grow bigger bass!

Stomach Pumping: What are your fish eating?

If you want to build a stomach pump to check your fish and match your hatch, here's how.

In and Around the Pond

What activity or duty in pond management is most often overlooked? A panel of leading fisheries managers gave us their replies.

Crayfish - Asset or Liability?

Crayfish in a lake - asset or liability? The best answer is, it all depends. Discover what we mean in this article.

Dawn Of A New Season

Humans rely on a calendar, but nature doesn't always oblige. Here's some interesting insights that will make you a better angler!

The Lives of Baby Fish

This article delves into the tiny world of newly hatched fish. What's life like for a baby bass?

Big Bass in Small Ponds

Don't think lunkers can exist in tiny ponds? Here's how to grow bass in even the smallest of ponds!

Why Feed Your Fish?

Why put protein pellets in your pond that bass may or may not eat? You'll find the surprising answer inside.

ABC's Of Forage

You will become a better angler if you know how each forage species lives, eats and reproduces.

The Food Chain...In Order

Most discussions about the food chain begin at the bottom. Today, we start at the top. We look at the largemouth bass.

Harmony Under Water

How do bass get big? It's all about balance and harmony. Discover the secret from this well designed and thought out pond!

Your Underwater Food Chain of Events

Fertilizer feeds plankton which feeds little bugs which feed tiny fish which feed your larger fish and so on, right? Not quite.

Stocking Gizzard Shad for Trophy Bass

A good population of gizzard shad and an effective fertilization program can help your bass realize their full genetic potential.

Stocking Shad for Bass

Here's how to enhance and grow your gamefish populations in your pond using a surprising technique.

Shad Not Always the Answer In Small Ponds

Are there downsides to adding shad to a small pond? There can be. We reveal what they are inside.

Threadfin Shad

Why are threadfin shad the forage fish of choice for growing giant largemouth bass in private waters? Find out inside!

Feeding Trout to Bass

Trout may be the perfect food for largemouth bass. Here's why and how you should feed them to bass!

Raising Trophy Bass

There are many myths and misconceptions about raising trophy bass in small ponds. Here are the facts to producing huge largemouth.

Tracking Growth Rates of Your Fish

There are several motivational factors you need to know in order to have a snowball's chance of growing huge largemouth bass.

Just What IS A Trophy Bass?

For some, growing that trophy bass within their own private waters, is as important a part of the process as actually catching it.

Trophy Bass Require Extra Prey

What do trophy bass prey on? How much do they eat? The surprising facts are revealed inside!

Big Bass Live Where They Are

While there's no guarantee what you do will work, here's three shining examples where good lake management has paid off.

Get Out Of Your Box

Think double-digit bass aren't possible in northern climates? Think again!

Growing Trophy Largemouth

Habitat, Food Chain, Genetics and Selective Harvest. Solid fisheries management. Here's how to put it all together.

Genetics. So What?

What are the key components in the quest to grow giant fish? You might be surprised. Find out inside!

Some Like It Hot

To grow really large, largemouth bass, it takes warm water and great forage that overlap in habitat with those bass, right? Maybe not!

Fish Genetics: Hope or Hype?

Florida-strain bass always produce trophy lakes, right? That depends. Sometimes it's a hindrance.

Stocking The Right Fish

How can you tell a Florida strain bass from a northern? It's that simple. We reveal the details inside.

Which Fish To Stock

How do I stock a small pond? How should I manage it? Here's solid advice for ponds smaller than an acre.

Balancing Act

Fisheries science is as much art as science, maybe more. Here are stocking strategies to create fish populations in harmony.

Bucket Biology: Why Grandpa Was Wrong

Discover how anglers unwittingly destroy their favorite lakes, ponds, and streams every year. You may even be one of them!

Stocking Fish from "Outside" Sources

Is it ok to catch fish and move them to another lake or pond? Do your homework. You'll live with your decisions for a long time.

Fish Biology 102: Growth

Let's step back for an academic lesson in fish growth today. What are the biggest influences on the growth rates for fish?

Ponds, Climate and Largemouth Bass Growth

Here's some fascinating and significant thoughts about the factors affecting fish growth.

Critical Requirements for Stocking Bass

While there is a lot to consider for stocking bass, these two studies emphasize that two critical requirements are...

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Together?

Can you both manage both largemouth and smallmouth bass together in a pond? Discover the answer in this article.

Thinking Small... Smallmouth Bass, That Is

It may be better to have smallmouth bass without largemouth present in your lake. The reasons are revealed inside.

Mortality Rates

A certain percentage of fish die each year regardless of whether any were harvested by anglers. So what is normal?

Forage Species Should Be Stocked First

How many fish should you buy? And what size? We tell you, and save you about $300 in the process!

Starting Your Baitfish Cocktail

Are you doomed to have a bass pond where bass are eating just bass? The best bet for bass forage is...

Know Your Sunfish

As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to catch sunfish and toss them into your favorite pond to "help" the bass grow.

Redear Sunfish

A sunfish that can reach several pounds and won't overpopulate? Wow! Learn more about this fiesty fish inside!

The Secret Life of Bluegill

Fish have complex social behaviors, and we're just now starting to understand them. Here's some amazing facts on bluegill reproduction.

Prime Time for Stocking Fish

For many pond owners, spring brings the excitement of stocking fish. Here's how and when to stock your pond.

Stocking Smallmouth Bass

There's a variety of management scenarios to consider when using smallmouth bass. A great article for pond owner and angler alike!

Stocking Adult Bass

If you choose to stock your pond with adult bass, do so carefully, in small amounts. Here's how.

Largemouth Bass in Cages

Is stocking fingerling bass stressing your wallet? There's a better way. Here's how to raise fish on a budget.

Growing the Best Smallies

Part I in a series of articles that reveal how to grow some dandy smallies. Here's how to raise and manage trophy smallmouth.

Smallmouth Bass From Eggs to Fry

Part three in a series that reveal how to grow huge smallies. Learn how tiny eggs become a group of free swimming baby bass.

Smallmouth...Fingerlings to Juvenile

Part four in a series of articles that reveal how to grow huge smallies. We tell you what it takes produce nice-size juvenile bass.

Growing Smallies Into Trophies

The final article in a series that reveal how to grow huge smallies. We reveal how to grow trophy bass inside.

Smallmouth Bass in Pond Management?

Let's explore the biology, habitats, behaviors and several myths about the glorious smallmouth bass!

Pushing Your Small Waters

Learn what limits your lake to produce fish. Is it the water? Is it habitat? Once you figure out what it is, do something about it.

Converting to Smallmouth in Texas

Yep, you can have a pond full of smallmouth bass in the deep south. Complete details are revealed inside.

Update on LL, 2 Smallmouth Bass Pond

Can smallmouth survive and grow in a Texas pond? Look inside to discover the answer!

Smallmouth Bass and Pumpkinseeds

It appears managing pumpkinseed may be an effective tool to enhance smallmouth size structure, but...

Calling All Catfish

Catfish in general may not be as glamorous as bass, but they can play a positive role in a pond management program.

Fish Competition

Introducing a new species to a lake may have negative effects on growth, reproduction, and abundance of existing bass populations.

There's A Larger Food Chain At Play

Studying the genetic diversity of largemouth bass helps you understand what happens within the populations of the species. Learn more.

Northern Fishes in Ponds

Pumpkinseeds, Perch, Pike, Bluegill, Walleye, Smallmouth, and largemouth bass. What is the right balance in a northern lake?

Pike in Pond Management

If you choose to use pike in your lake management plan, be prepared to take corrective action. It won't be easy.

Pondmeister Profile

From land purchase to fully-stocked pond, here are the successful steps a pondmeister took to create the pond of his dreams.

Tony Stewart's Lake Project

Tony Stewart needed some guidance how to build habitat, structure and cover to create the best bass lake he can have.

Richmond Mill - A Legacy in the Making

Imagine a private lake designed by Ray Scott as the centerpiece for an exclusive world class fishing club.

Richmond Mill Takes the Next Logical Step

See how one company is defining a new cutting edge paradigm in pond and lake management.

Feeding Program at Richmond Mill Lake

There's a lake in North Carolina setting the pace for cutting edge technology for nurturing a budding bass lake.

Behind The Scenes of Fabulous Fishing

Every lake has its own needs, and consistent management is essential to maintaining the best possible fishery. Here's the key to success.

Let's Go to School

I'm still amazed at how all the math mixes with biology and chemistry to make sense of the art of pond management.

Startup Strategy

The design of a pond can be more important, and just as tricky, as the actual construction phase.

Thoughtfully Building a Pond

Before building your pond, take time to plan. 30 days of homework pays off at the bottom line. Planning helps ensure project success.

The Pond of My Dreams

Discover how one man went from a dream, to having his own private pond stocked with monster bass.

Planning Your Plan

Before you begin building, read your maps, shoot elevations, check your soils. Discover what this means inside.

The Small Side of a Bigger Plan

While your mini-pond serves a purpose in its own right, keep in mind it can be used to enhance other bodies of water on your property.

When Do You Need Help?

When it comes to building a pond, know your goals, then find those people most helpful to get you where you want to go. Here's how!

Talking Dirty: Soils for the core trench

You've explored maps, elevations and dug into the best soils for collecting water on the surface. Now let's talk dirt.

Building A Real Lake

Before building that pond, make sure you understand the impact to things other than just what has fins and gills. We explain inside.

Pond Construction

You've made your plan and mapped out the area. Now, it's time to get the shovel and turn some dirt. The real fun begins.

Creating Fish Cover

The final details are critical - reading and fine tuning existing soils, and building the proper fish habitat.

Little Duck Lake

Building a pond or lake is a delicate balance of engineering, biology, business and art. Here's how to achieve that balance.

A Major League Effort to Shortstop Siltation

Pay attention to siltation. Pay attention to the entire watershed. The watershed influences your lake, your pond and its life.

Renovating A Pond

If you intend to clean out a pond, and remove silt, follow these steps for a successful renovation.

Down To Earth

Hot summer months can be the best time to fix maintenance issues that seem to plague too many landowners.

From The Bottom Up

If you're a pond owner and hope to raise giant bass, you need to create an environment in which bass will thrive. Here's how!

So You Want to Build a Pond?

Almost anything can be made to work, so long as you plan for it, budget for it and see it to completion. We show you how inside.

The Story of Bremer Pond - Part 1

Here we relay the actual process of developing a sand/gravel pit into a northern pond. We're pretty darn happy with the results too!

The Story of Bremer Pond - Part 2

Thoughts of winter dissolved oxygen (D.O.) levels and winterkill are never far from our minds. Can it be prevented?

What's on the Backside of Summer?

Here's how you make sound decisions to stay proactive, especially if one of your goals is to grow big fish.

Summer Life Under Water

What happens to fish when the water gets hot? Find out inside!

No Time To Rest

Roust yourself from the hearth. Your best summer of fishing could begin to take shape right now.

Mapping Small Waters

Want a contour map of your lake or pond? We are going to lay a grid over the top of your pond, kind of like a checker board.

Winter Rest

If you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by the season, bundle up and visit your pond for a few minutes. Here's why.

Does Your Lake Take a Holiday?

As we move into the throes of winter, make sure your lake is healthy. Here's how.

Planning Your Spring Strategy

If you'll do these things, the spring won't sneak up on you quite as fast. Plus, your pond will give thanks to you.

Preparing Your Pond for Another Season

There is no better time than winter to start planning for your pond. Besides, it helps beat cabin fever.

Winter...the Big Slow Down...or is it?

Largemouth bass under ice tend to focus more on small food items. I have iced some very impressive largemouth on ...

Does Your Mini-Pond Rest During Winter?

Fish don't hibernate, but they don't move around a lot, either. They'll feed, but most fish in cold water need...

Winter Pond Maintenance

Just because it's winter time, don't think there aren't a few things you can do for your pond. We reveal them inside.

Winter Super-Cooling?

Prevent fish kills with this interesting tidbit in the continuing saga of winter super-cooling in northern ponds.

Troubleshooting Pond Problems in Winter

What causes a winter fish kill? Find out inside, and learn how to prevent winter fishkills in your pond.

What's Going On Under The Ice?

Discover what happens to fish during ice over, and learn what size lures you should use for some great winter fishing!

By All Means...Safety First

There is no better time to pay attention to pond safety than in winter. You only have a few minutes to escape hypothermia.

Curing The Structureless Syndrome

Take local materials and put them to use in your pond to create the perfect fishing hole. We tell you how inside.

Habitat & Simple Structure, After the Fact

Too many folks think they can simply add some Christmas trees in the lake bottom and all things become good. Think again.

Spruce Up Your Pond

Consider using discarded Christmas trees as a source of fish habitat. Here's how to do it right!

A Quick Method to Create More Aquatic Habitat

Here's a quick and inexpensive method used to create and anchor habitat, namely brush piles in winter months in cold country.

Building A Better Brush Pile

If you really want to get serious about setting out brush piles, here are some valuable tips that will help make your project a success.

Brush Piles: Habitat and Havens

Bass are predators. Construct a brush pile. They'll occupy it to ambush food or your lures! Learn how inside.

A Tool For Habitat

Here's an effective tool for pond owners that can manage nutrients and improve fish survival and growth-rates.

Is Clear Water Good?

Gin clear water seems devoid life. So why can you catch bass in super-clear water? We reveal the answer inside.

Why Is My Pond This Color?

What color is your lake or pond water, and is it bad for the fish? It depends. The revealing answer is inside.

Mud In My Pond's Eye

Wind and wave action or excess rain can roil your pond, creating muddy or cloudy water. Here's how to clean it up.

Clearing Muddy Water

Off-color water is a common problem among pond owners. Here's how to fight it, and not harm the fish in the process.

Straight Shooters

How do you choose the fisheries consultant and fish supplier you can trust? Here's how to avoid costly mistakes.

Water Chemistry

How do pH levels affect fishing? How much oxygen do our fish need? Learn that and more inside!

Checking Water Chemistry

Just because this stuff is complicated to you doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Here's a simple approach.

It Doesn't Take a Ph.D. to Understand PH

pH. We've all heard of it, but what do we actually need to know? We explain the critical factors inside.

Understand P or Get Off the Pond

Whether you want a gin-clear swimming pond or a monster bass honey hole, phosphorus plays an important role in your lake.

The Aging of a Lake or Pond

What's All This Troph' Stuff About, Anyway? The more you understand how this stuff works, the better angler you will be.

Clean Water Conundrum

Appropriate nutrient levels in natural systems are an essential part of the formula. So just what is "appropriate"?

Analyzing Water

Fish can live in different types of normal conditions. But, when normal changes rapidly, watch out.

The Importance of Watersheds to Bass Fisheries

Bass populations react to changes in the watershed. Discover how a healthy watershed can contribute to a healthy fishery.

Water Quality, Part 1

Let's look at three important components of water quality: pH, temperature and oxygen, and how they affect fish.

Water Quality, Part 2

Knowing what water chemistry you have helps you understand what you and your fish need. Here's what you need to know about pH.

The Water Crisis of the 21st Century

Water shortages are likely to become the major environmental and natural resource crisis of the 21st century. Learn more inside.

Floods And Droughts

When a flood happens or a long term drought comes along, your pond or lake is affected. Fish die...or grow. Learn more inside.

Wetlands and Things Of That Nature...

Once you understand how a wetland ecosystem works, you can start thinking about how to make it better.

The Majesty of Water

Permit this indulgence, please, as we delve into some of the philosophical, spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of this magical substance.

What's My Fish Caught: Explaining Parasites

What's that blemish or worm on the bass you just caught? Is it sick or diseased? We explain inside.

What's Wrong with My Fish?

Diagnose quickly, based on the symptoms. Either you have environmental issues involving your water quality or the food chain of your fishery.

Fish Only Die Once

When you see dead fish, it's too late. Here's a brief water quality primer that explains the nature of fish kills.

Fish Kills

What causes a fish kill in a lake or pond? Is it preventable? Discover what you can do to prevent fish kills.

Read The Water

What does the hottest part of summer do for, or to, a lake? A fish kill is possible if you don't read this!

Water Quality Problems

Balance is critical to the aquatic ecosystem. Without a balanced environment your pond or lake will suffer.

Preventing Fish Kills

When water absorbs more than it should, bad things happen. We reveal how to prevent it inside.

The Increase of Endangered Fish Species

Is the money spent on research and recovery of endangered fish justified or should we just let them go extinct?

Oxygen Saturation

How do oxygen depletions occur in your lake? At what point to fish start to die? Discover the answers inside.

Winter Oxygen And Your Fish

What causes winter fish kills, and which fish species are most vulnerable? The answers are revealed inside.

An insurance policy for your lake

Destratification can save your fish population. Discover how you can prevent sudden and devastating fish kills inside.

Move Water To Clean It

Let's examine a pond micro-ecosystem and see how it relates to your lake, and discover how you can help Mother Nature.

Aerating Old Ponds

If you must aerate an old pond, exercise caution. Quite by mistake, you might start a devastating fish kill.

Rotenone: Starting Over

Why do lake managers poison a lake using rotenone? How do sport fish and wildlife benefit from such a drastic measure?

Should We Start Over?

Think deeply about your decision to eradicate your lake. Here's some hints how to make that decision less gut wrenching.

New Studies Highlight Native Plants

Non-native aquatic plants tend to dominate a reservoir, to the detriment of the entire ecosystem.

Dealing with Runaway Vegetation

Even well managed ponds can be victimized by several species of invasive plants. Here's how to control them.

Understanding Aquatic Plants

If you truly want to manage greenery, understand this fundamental truth, and then use the tools for the best choices.

The ABC's of Aquatic Plants

If you plan to deal with runaway aquatic plants in your lake or pond, you have to know what you are dealing with.

Aquatic Plants— Love/Hate Relationships

This little primer on aquatic plants can help you manage your pristine puddle or that fabulous bass fishing lake.

Biological Plant Controls

Got runaway vegetation? Better act now. By July or August, it's tough to safely deal with obsessive greenery.

Cormorants

Recently, the Feds released an impact statement that will guide development of a nationwide management strategy.

The Muckity-Muck of Your Pond

Watch your pond. Learn the symptoms and you'll be able to identify potential problems. The more you learn the better your pond will thrive.

Algae

You can manage it...so long as you learn about it. Discover tips and tricks the pros use to control algae inside.

Algae Control

Spring is here, summer is looming and for those of us that manage lakes and ponds it's time for the annual battle with algae.

Scum, Slime, Moss, Putrid Globs of Useless Life

Take care that you do not inadvertently add fuel for your next algae problem. We explain inside.

Golden Algae Killing Bass

Pond owners and anglers must guard against yet another potential fish-killer - golden algae. Learn more inside.

Algae - Such A Simple Plant

What is algae and how can you control it? Here are the answers!

What Is A Bloom?

Summer blooms can quickly kill fish if not kept in check. Learn how to identify the warning signs inside.

Algae Alert

When it comes to taming the toughest challenges, filamentous and blue-green algae, there's a new treatment method available.

Fertilization of Ponds

Fertilization is a bigger concept than simply running down to the local co-op, buying your favorite fertilizer and tossing it into your pond.

Bacteria May Treat Algae

Do you have bubbly, green, smelly scum floating on the surface of your pond? Discover what it is and how to fix it inside!

Copper Compounds and Algae

We explain how to properly use copper compounds to combat this nuisance in this article.

Aquatic Furbearers...Nusiance or Necessary?

Beaver, nutria and muskrat - all three may compete with fish and visiting waterfowl for aquatic food and cover.

Bass Brigades

Here is a five-day youth camp which puts leadership skills and wildlife conservation into perspective.

Spiny Water Fleas

There's an interesting character making his way into northern lakes, and may damage a delicate environmental balance.