If you own lots of acreage in an undeveloped area, it’s highly possible that you have small bodies of water on your property. And while a pond will certainly care for itself, there are a number of proactive and reactive steps you can take to ensure it’s properly managed in a manner that benefits the local environment.
6 Responsible Steps You Can Take
Some ponds need more care than others, but they should all be monitored and managed with sustainable practices. Here are a few steps you can take to keep your ponds safe, natural, and beneficial.
1. Be Smart With What You Put in the Water
When you own land with a pond, you’re allowed to enjoy it. For many people, this consists of activities like boating, fishing, and participating in various watersports. And while there’s nothing wrong with this, you do need to be careful about what you put into the water.
Something as simple as the type of paint you choose for your boat can have a direct impact on the water quality and ecosystem within your pond. Select products that meet environmental regulations and never use toxic ingredients that could leach into the water.
2. View Surrounding Land as an Extension of the Pond
In addition to caring for the water, you should maintain the surrounding land as an extension of the pond.
Avoid making any significant changes to the waterfront that could have a negative impact on fragile wildlife habitats (including building beaches and permanent docks). If you have a yard or garden area on the banks, limit your use of turf, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. And finally, reduce the amount of runoff from the yard into the pond by controlling erosion and properly aerating grass.
3. Stock Your Pond Responsibly
If you plan to use your pond for fishing, it’s imperative that you do a good job of stocking the body of water in a responsible manner.
“Ensure you’re stocking your pond with healthy fish by purchasing them from a licensed commercial fish hatchery (not by transferring them from local streams, rivers or lakes),” MyLandPlan.org advises. “Follow the hatchery’s advice on how to introduce fish to the pond because they are sensitive to new environments.”
If you really want your fish to thrive, create underwater shelters for them. Whether it’s brush piles, beds of wooden stakes, or automobile tires, hiding spots like these help create concentrated fishing spots.
4. Encourage Wildlife
In addition to helping fish thrive in your pond, you can do your land a favor by encouraging wildlife to settle in the area.
“A large body of still water attracts quail, rabbits, raccoons, turtles, songbirds, ducks, and deer. You can increase wildlife populations by providing plenty of cover in the form of grasses, trees, and shrubs, especially those that bear small fruits,” Veronica Lorson Fowler writes for Living the Country Life. “Large clumps of evergreens nearby will provide winter cover. And predator-proof duck boxes will encourage wood ducks in most areas.”
5. Aerate to Prevent Excessive Algae Growth
If you have a problem with algae growth in your pond, it may be wise to look into aerating fountains as a cost-effective way to improve the quality of your water over a period of many years.
“In general, aeration encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, which compete with algae for excess nutrients, and also break down decaying organic matter,” Solitude Lake Management explains. “The technology of fountains and aerators is improving, and the systems are becoming more effective and less expensive to install and operate.”
6. Use Pond Dye (If Necessary)
The use of pond dye is another method of preventing excessive algae growth. Pond dye comes in blue and black colors and works by limiting the amount of sunlight that penetrates the water’s surface. It also creates an attractive, reflective appearance.
Steward Your Land Well
Owning land isn’t just of monetary benefit. With the rewards that land ownership brings, there are also plenty of responsibilities. In terms of ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water, managing them in an eco-friendly way is the mark of a good steward. If there are ways you can improve in this area, now’s the perfect time to shift your priorities towards more sustainable practices.
Article Submitted By Community Writer