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Glossary of Pond Management Terms

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Glossary of Sportfish Ponds Management Terms

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Acre-foot –- One surface acre of water 1 foot deep or 43,560 cubic feet of water. The total acre-feet of water in a pond is determined by multiplying the number of surface acres by the average depth in feet.

Alkalinity –- The total concentration of bases in water.

Balance –- Fish populations capable of producing satisfactory annual crops of harvestable-sized fish.

Bass –- Common name for several spiny-finned fishes. Used in this booklet to denote the largemouth bass.Largemouth bass by Duane Raver of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Bluegill –- Common name for Lepomis macrochirus (Rafinesque), also called bream. Bluegill are stocked in ponds in combination with redear sunfish and largemouth bass.

Bream –- Common name of several centrarchid fishes. Bream is used in this booklet to denote bluegill, redear sunfish, or a combination of these two fish.

Carrying capacity –- The theoretical maximum weight of fish that can be maintained in a pond without depleting the food supply.

Catfish –- Catfish are often stocked in fish ponds, generally channel catfish, Ictalurus, punctatus, either alone or in conjunction with largemouth bass or largemouth bass and bream.

Core trench –- A trench dug into the soil at the base of dam site and later filled with clay to bond the above-ground portion of the dam to the subsoil of the pond bottom. This prevents excessive seepage of water through the porous soils between the surface and the sub-soil.

Cube’ powder –- Powdered root of a shrub of the legume family. The powder contains rotenone which is used to kill fish.

Freeboard –- Portion of the dam above spillway level to protect the dam against washout.

Grass Carp from the Grass carp –- Common name for Ctenopharyngodon idella, also called “grass carp.”  Grass carp are often stocked in ponds for weed control.

Harvestable-sized fish –- A fish of a size normally kept by sport anglers. This size for bream is about 6 inches and larger and for largemouth bass it is about 10 inches and larger.

Largemouth bass –- Common name for Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede), also called “trout,” “green trout,” “bass,” and other names. Largemouth bass are stocked in ponds in combination with bluegill and redear sunfish.

Mosquitofish drawing by Duane Raver of the US Fish and Wildlife ServiceMosquitofish –- The common name of Gambusia affinis (Baird and Gunther). A small fish found in practically all ponds. Also known as topminnow, it reaches a size of up to 3 inches, inhabits shallow water and feeds on mosquito larvae and plankton.

Overpopulated (overcrowded) –- A term that describes a fish population where too many fish are present for the amount of available food. In such a population, the fish are thin and undesirable to anglers.

Plankton –- Collectively, all organisms (plants and animals) suspended in the water which are not independent of water movements. They are eaten by insects, worms, crustacea and small fish.

Plankton bloom –- A dense growth of microscopic plants and animals (plank-ton) that causes the water to be green, brown, or soupy in appearance. Plankton blooms occur after ponds are fertilized.

Pond Check –- An analysis by a fisheries biologist of a fish population in a pond. A seine is used to catch fish, catch records are reviewed to determine angler success, and previous management records are studied to determine the present and past condition of the fish population.

Recruitment –- The number of young fish that grow into the adult population during a specific time interval.

Shellcracker picture from the Redear sunfish –- Common name for Lepomis microlophus (Gunther), also called shellcracker and bream. Redear sunfish are stocked in ponds in combination with bluegill and largemouth bass.

Rotenone –- A natural substance extracted from the root of certain plants, which constricts blood vessels in a fish’s gills and causes suffocation.

Shellcracker picture from the Shellcracker –- Common name for Lepomis microlophus (Gunther), also called redear sunfish and bream. Redear sunfish are stocked in ponds in combination with bluegill and largemouth bass.

Spillway barrier –- A barrier to block the entry or escape of all fish through the spillway during periods of overflow. A barrier is usually constructed so that water leaving the spillway will drop a vertical distance of at least 3 feet.

Topminnow –- See mosquitofish.Mosquitofish drawing by Duane Raver of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Watershed –- All land area from which run-off water may enter a pond or lake.

Grass Carp from the White amur –- Common name for Ctenopharyngodon idella, also called “grass carp.”  White amur are often stocked in ponds for weed control.

Wild fish –- Any fish not supplied by a fish hatchery .

Yield limit –- The maximum pounds of harvestable-sized fish a pond will yield from year to year without detrimental effects to the balance of the fish population when normal management practices are applied.

Pond video glossary of terms and video of the principles of pond management.

Matt catches a nice bass on the fourth of July.
Pond fishing is a fun way to spend time with kids.
This largemouth bass was caught from a pond by the young man on the left.

The information above came from the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division's booklet Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds, which is available as a PDF.


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