Small Impoundment Management in North America


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J. Wesley Neal and David W. Willis, editors

451 pages, index, hardcover

Published by the American Fisheries Society

Publication date: November 2012

ISBN: 978-1-934874-34-9



This book is an in-depth overview of biota, habitat, and human management in small water bodies up to approximately 40 ha in surface area. Authors were selected to cover the wide geographic diversity of ponds and pond management throughout North America.

The first section (Introduction and History) defines small impoundments, provides a concise history of pond management, overviews pond resources in the USA and world, and discusses the importance of small impoundments. Section Two (Pond Environment) addresses proper construction considerations, explores the physical and chemical characteristics of these waters, discusses productivity, and examines methods to manipulate environmental conditions in small waters. Section Three (Fish Management) describes current stocking practices and species selection, addresses the importance of proper harvest and assessment, and explores mechanisms involved in population dynamics and the occurrence of crowded predator or prey populations. Section Four (Problem Troubleshooting) addresses problems that can arise in small impoundments and provides solutions. Section Five (Opportunities) provides a platform for topics that previously had received limited treatment in the educational literature. Thorough discussions of fee fishing and community fishing opportunities for small impoundments are provided, as is an overview of careers in private sector pond management and extension/outreach. Finally, the technical aspects of managing small impoundments for wildlife are described in detail.

A primary use for this book will be university classes on pond or small impoundment management for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Practicing fisheries professionals should also find substantial value in the depth of information provided by the book. Finally, private pond owners will find the book to be useful as they seek to learn more about ponds and pond management.


Itroduction and History

1. Small Impoundments and the History of Their Management (David W. Willis and J. Wesley Neal)

Pond Environment

2. Considerations for Building Small Impoundments (Robert D. Lusk, Michael J. Otto, and J. Wesley Neal)

3. Physiochemical Characteristics of Ponds (Claude E. Boyd and Christopher A. Boyd)

4. Biological Productivity of Small Impoundments (Robert Kröger and Craig S. Tucker)

5. Managing the Pond Environment (Nathan Stone, Joseph E. Morris, and Barry Smith)

Fish Management

6. Stocking Strategies for Recreational Small Impoundments (Russell A. Wright and Clifford E. Kraft)

7. Assessment and Harvest of Largemouth Bass–Bluegill Ponds (Harold L. Schramm, Jr. and David W. Willis)

8. Stunted Fish in Small Impoundments: an Overview and Management Perspective (D. Derek Aday and Brian D. S. Graeb)

Problem Troubleshooting

9. Pond Renovation (Jeffrey W. Slipke and Steven M. Sammons)

10. Fish Kills in Recreational Ponds (R. Graves Lovell, Joseph E. Morris, and Richard D. Clayton)

11. Managing Aquatic Vegetation (John D. Madsen, Robert J. Richardson, and Ryan M. Wersal)

12. Other Pond Problems (Marley D. Beem and Jeff J. Blaser)


13. Fee-Fishing Opportunities (Michael P. Masser and Billy Higginbotham)

14. Community Fishing Ponds (Richard T. Eades and Thomas J. Lang)

15. Pond Outreach, Education, and Consulting (J. Wesley Neal and Ben C. West)

16. Managing Small Impoundments for Wildlife (Kevin D. Nelms, Michael D. Porter, and Matthew J. Gray)