you plan to observe the fish in your pond, manage them intensively, or leave them to eat, there are steps you can take
to protect them.
Make certain that any outlets on your pond are effectively
screened to prevent the fish from escaping. Carp will try to escape upstream or downstream in as little as a inch
of water depth. But screening a pond is risky. Never use chicken wire, hardware cloth or any screen with a square
pattern that will easily clog up. A proper barrier is made from rods spaced one and a half inch apart, parallel to the
surface of the water and extending to the bottom of and a few inches above the surface (but not so far as to completely restrict
flow if the barrier gets pugged). The greatest concern is for high water floods during periodic storms-
the time you will not want to venture outside to clean a barrier. If you have installed a fish barrier, you must
follow a regular program of screen cleaning, or else you run the risk of blockage. In a sudden flood, water could breach
the dam if the outlet is plugged up. It's never worth risking losing the dam to save a few fish.
Carp most often stay in schools that cruise the shoreline, moving around the entire pond. They won't
stay in one or two coves, they will find the weeds wherever they are. You don't need to spread them around the pond
when you stock them because they spread out on their own. Some pond owners worry about overstocking, but if you use
the stocking rate calculations we provide, this is unlikey.
If you ever run out of weeds, you can feed carp with a commercial pelletized
fish food at a local feed store or pet supply, or just put grass clippings in the pond. Floating foods
are probably best. Feed at the same location daily, preferably at the same hour.
|Barriers from the VA DGIF packet on their website