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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Pond management opportunity

  • Drought conditions led to serious problems this past summer. Many producers were faced with the expense of hauling water and dealing with blue green algae outbreaks in those ponds that did maintain some water.
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  • Drought conditions led to serious problems this past summer. Many producers were faced with the expense of hauling water and dealing with blue green algae outbreaks in those ponds that did maintain some water.
    Not sure when we will receive the pond filling rains, but our best chance is usually in the spring.
    So between now and then, the dry ponds do provide an opportunity to do some clean up or maintenance without the usual task of draining the pond.
    Cleaning out the “muck” that has accumulated during the years is very beneficial. Be sure not to just dig it out and use it as a reinforcement of the pond edge. This muck is high in organic matter and phosphorus, which are two of the factors necessary to have for algae growth.
    Removing it will lessen the potential of an algae bloom or blue green algae growth.
    Reshape the banks so it is steep as it enters the pond’s interior. Often we struggle with weed control in our ponds, and keeping the water level deep along the edges helps prevent plant establishment, as most of the weeds we deal with do not like deep water.
    Install an aeration system if the pond has had a history of being somewhat stagnant during the years.
    Plant trees along one side to provide some shade. Algae grows less in ponds that shade out direct sunlight, plus the shade helps to cool the water temperature.
    Once the pond has had a chance to refill, slowly restock the pond with fish.
    Jonie James is a McPherson County Extension Agent for agriculture.

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