January 28, 2011

Proper pond management is essential for establishing and maintaining a healthy environment for fish, whether it's in a backyard water garden or a three-acre production pond. An upcoming Kentucky Cooperative Extension aquaculture workshop, "Pond Management: Home-use and Recreational Aquaculture," will focus on information that will be useful for pond owners and landowners wishing to develop ponds.

"Home use and recreational aquaculture ponds provide a year-round inventory of fish that require little maintenance during the colder months, November through March," said William Wurts, senior state specialist for aquaculture with Kentucky State University. "All that is needed is a basic understanding of pond construction and maintenance in combination with simple feeding, population management and harvesting practices."

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon EST March 12 at the Aquaculture Research Center at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Speakers will include Wurts, Forrest Wynne, state specialist for aquaculture in Graves County; Bob Durborow, state specialist for aquaculture at Kentucky State University and Shawn Coyle, aquaculture research co-investigator at Kentucky State University.

Wurts will speak about the home use of shrimp and catfish production, pond pH and liming and harvesting ponds. Wynne will give a basic overview of the steps involved in locating and constructing a pond and techniques for managing pond fish populations to provide quality recreational fishing and fish for consumption. Durborow will discuss recreational management of koi, including stocking densities, water quality monitoring, disease prevention and treatment and developing a Japanese water garden. He will also touch on the use of koi for controlling aquatic weeds in earthen ponds. Coyle will address the use of small ponds-those smaller than a half-acre-for recreational fishing.

Kentucky Cooperative Extension will also offer an aquatic plant and algae-control training program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Friday, March 11 at the same location. Topics to be discussed include aquatic plant and algae identification, methods of control and herbicide and algaecide use. The program will emphasize proper chemical selection and application techniques, applicator safety and recordkeeping.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has approved this aquatic weed control program for 3 specific hours for category 5 credit and 2 general hours for categories 10 and 12. Both workshops are free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required, but to be assured of receiving workshop printed materials, those wishing to attend should contact either Wurts at 270-365-7541, ext. 200 or wwurts@uky.edu or Wynne at 270-247-2334 or fwynne@email.uky.edu.

News Topics: