A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service webinar July 19 will cover various ways to develop and maintain a healthy pond food chain to feed fish.
Registration is $35 and can be completed at https://tx.ag/FeedingYourPond. The program will be from 6-7 p.m.
Pay with a credit card to receive immediate instructions regarding access to the webinar. Upon completion of registration and payment, attendees will receive an email that will include a receipt, registration confirmation and instructions for accessing the webinar.
The webinar program will provide strategies to “feed” your pond to grow larger and more abundant fish, said Todd Sink, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension aquaculture specialist and director of the AgriLife Extension Aquatic Diagnostics Lab, Bryan-College Station.
Strategies to feed fish
Feeding a pond can mean different things based on an owner’s goals and budget, Sink said. Strategies can range from fertilization programs to boost primary productivity and food production to literal fish diets and feeding fish.
The webinar will cover fertilization strategies that can send pond food-chain production into overdrive as well as fish nutrition, diets, forage fish and supplemental crustaceans stocking. What pond owners should and should not feed fish to maximize growth based on species and management goals will also be covered, along with timing of feeding and fertilization, he said.
“This will focus on the most economical ways to meet individual pond owner goals,” Sink said. “You can spend a lot of money trying to grow trophy fish in an established pond without seeing much gain. But there are ways to pay less and gain more. If you have the money and want to go big, there are strategies that are more costly but can offer big results as well.”
Providing nutrition for fish production goals
The webinar will cover nutritional needs within the pond food chain and compare the various options with an economic analysis for each. Pond owners make a wide range of investment into feeding fish in their pond, including stocking forage fish like blue gill, tilapia or crayfish and freshwater prawn or using supplemental commercial feed.
“We never really discuss the numbers behind the different methods,” he said. “So, this will compare the systems and what produces the greatest yield for the dollars spent, whether you want bigger fish or more fish.”
There will be a 30-minute question-and-answer period following the presentation to address specific scenarios for attendees and their ponds.
“This is a good topic for pond owners who want to take an economic look at their options,” he said. “Establishing a good food chain in our ponds is something we can plan year-round.”