Case Studies in Fisheries Conservation and Management: Applied Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Case 24: Developing a Pond Management Plan
“Hi, this is George Harker. I’ve got a question about my pond,” an elderly voice says through the phone.
Even though you get a lot of these calls each day, your interest is always piqued. Rarely do you get the same question twice, and it’s always kind of fun “playing detective” and figuring out what the problem is and how to solve it. “How can I help you, Mr. Harker?” you respond.
“Well, I’ve got a pond in front of my house. It has some fish in it now, but I’m not really sure what kinds or how many there are. My grandkids are getting old enough to start fishing, and I’d love it if they could catch fish pretty regularly. I don’t care as much about getting the huge, trophy fish, and we probably won’t keep too much of what we catch. I just want something to keep the grandkids out of trouble when they’re visiting. And get them away from that darned TV for a little while.” He lets out a gruff laugh and continues, “I think I’d like to have largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, and rainbow trout in the pond. That’s what my neighbor’s friend said I should stock. We’re not going to let the kids swim in the pond because my wife doesn’t want them messing up the house with their wet, muddy footprints. And we don’t plan to use the pond for irrigation or livestock. We just want a pond that looks nice where we can catch some fish. What should I do?”
You suggest that you and George meet at the pond tomorrow morning, since you need to get more information about the pond before you make any recommendations. During your visit to the site the next morning, you collect the following information on the pond’s construction, water quality, fish, and vegetation:
Construction: The 40-year old, spring-fed pond is round, with a diameter of approximately 65 meters. The pond is 3 meters deep at its deepest point, with a mean depth of 2.2 meters. In the pond, the shoreline banks have a slope of 2.5:1.