The Ross Soil and Water Conservation District announces a free “pond clinic” along with the district’s annual fish sale for stocking ponds.
“A lot of people have a pond or want to build one, but managing a healthy pond can be challenging,” according to Wildlife Specialist John “J.T.” Flowers, an engineering tech at the Ross Soil and Water Conservation District.
The district is sponsoring a free pond clinic on April 25th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ross County Service Center.
“We’re bringing in pond expert Steve Fender for the pond clinic,” Flowers says. “Steve Fender has been gaining a reputation in Southern Ohio as a leading expert in pond management.”
Fender has authored the book Pond Management, the Common Sense Guide. Fender has worked his entire career as a second-generation fish hatchery operator. The free pond clinic will cover topics including algae blooms, aeration, weed management and fish stocking.
Flowers says Fender will cover the basics of pond management, “but most of the topics Steve will talk about are driven by questions people have about their own ponds.”
The Ross Soil and Water Conservation District partners with Fender’s Fish Hatchery in Baltic, Ohio each spring to offer fish for stocking ponds at near wholesale cost.
“Fish stocking rates are determined mainly by the size of a pond, but there are other factors to consider,” says Flowers.“
At the clinic, pond owners can learn about how to manage their pond for recreation, sustainable fishing or just a nice-looking part of a homeowner’s landscaping. Flowers says he will also be available for engineering related questions about ponds, including site selection for building a new pond and how to deal with leaking or overflowing ponds.
The Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors the pond clinic and fish stocking sale because ponds can play a role in conservation. “Ponds provide habitat for all kinds of aquatic wildlife,” Flowers says, “and ponds are important for preventing soil erosion and improving water quality. Ponds can retain rushing water during heavy rains and a pond can act as a kind of filter to keep nutrients and fertilizers from entering streams and rivers.”
Attendees can sign up for the free pond clinic and order stocking fish at the district’s website www.rosscountyswcd.org or call the district at 740-772-4110.