Restock your pond with live fish during October sale

Restock your pond with live fish during October sale

Some of my greatest memories of the outdoors were made on the shore of a farm pond with a fishing pole and a can of night crawlers. Few things will spark a more enduring itch for the outdoors in a kid than watching a bobber vanish below the surface and then hauling in a real live bluegill, catfish or bass. Whether the fish ends up in a frying pan, dropped into a 5-gallon bucket for a bit of close observation or simply receives a “kiss for luck” before a gentle release back into the water, the memory of that first fish will last forever.

It would be a fair bet that in this part of Ohio most folks pulled their own first catch from a farm pond. Picturesque and beneficial for a whole list of reasons, farm ponds lend great benefit to the landscape. Some capture and slowly release stormwater runoff, some are used for irrigation of garden and orchard crops, and many offer the added benefit, through the availability of a dry hydrant, of acting as a crucial source of water for firefighting crews. Most folks, however, simply love farm ponds for their recreational uses: swimming, ice-skating and, of course, fishing.

This fall the Holmes Soil & Water Conservation District will help you lay the groundwork for creating those “first fish” memories by hosting a sale of live fish to provide your pond with future feeders and lunkers alike. The sale includes locally hatched and raised gamefish including largemouth bass — the top predator species in Ohio ponds — along with most everyone’s very first catch, the bluegill. Hybrid bluegill, yellow perch and red-ear shellcracker round out the game species, along with channel catfish. Sold individually, these fish range from 2-5 inches, depending upon species. Fathead minnows, a very affordable feeder species, will be available as well.

Gamefish stocking rates, based upon the size of your pond, can be found online at www.Ohiodnr.gov, where you can search “Pond Management” for a link to the entire Ohio Pond Management Handbook — an outstanding resource for any pond owner.

Ornamental Japanese koi, along with the algae-eating white amur, round out the fish offerings. Pond water conditioner, fish food and “The Pond Management Book” authored by regional pond expert Steve Fender also will be available. Orders may be made through the website at www.HolmesSWCD.com/fish-sale or by stopping by the office weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You also may request an order form by calling 330-674-2811 ext. 3.

All items must be pre-ordered by Wednesday, Oct. 13, and all orders must be picked up at Holmes SWCD headquarters, 62 W. Clinton St., Millersburg, on Oct. 21 from 2-3 p.m.

A properly stocked, well-managed farm pond is a gift that keeps giving. Once the right combination of predator and prey fish is properly established, a pond may very well settle into a self-staining cycle of good health, strong production and loads of fun for years to come.

If you have any questions, give Holmes Soil & Water a call at 330-674-2811 ext. 3. As always, we’re here to help.