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Now’s The Time To Improve Habitat

Fall trees along the shoreline

Build spawning beds with pea gravel

Habitat is among four key principles that must be followed for successful pond management.  Natural, woody material decomposes every few years and should be replenished.  If that’s your choice, bundle 4 to 5 Christmas or cedar trees.  Sink them near spawning beds, no deeper than 3-4-feet, so they remain covered during summer drawdown.  Add others randomly around the lake no deeper than 6 to 8-feet.  If placed deeper, they may land below warm-season thermoclines. Such zones are void of oxygen and not be accessible to fish.

 

 

Dense artificial units in the center hold baitfish. Open structures on each side attract bass.

Some folks fall trees along the waterline so they land perpendicular to the shore. These features provide important cover from shallows to deep areas of submerged tops.  Bass enjoy opportunities to travel up and down the trunk only a short distance for a meal and convert nutrition to growth.  Without proper habitat, they must cruise long distances and expend energy looking for the next meal.  During electrofishing surveys, we consistently see fish among cover.  In areas without cover, we observe few, if any fish.

Supplemental cover can be added during construction or to existing lakes.

Another habitat option is artificial attractors that provide long-life and snag-free angling.  We’re dealers for Mossback.  We install them. When baitfish resume spawning next spring, fry will need protective cover to survive early predation and contribute new generations among the food chain.  The below photo illustrates bluegill size classes that comprise a balanced food chain.

Healthy bluegill populations have all size classes.

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