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Fish Barriers, Risks, Feeding, and Other Information

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A commercially available fish barrier for large pipes.

Whether 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.  The photo to the left is of a customers upright overflow pipe with a commercial barrier designed for plastic or metal pipes that he purchased on the internet.  
 
A proper earthen overflow or emergency spillways 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).
 
If you have a concrete spillway, you can have a local welder or engineer fabricate a barrier that attaches to the concrete.  Make sure it is only as hight as maybe 6-12 inches over the lip so it still functions to release water by overtopping the barrier f it gets plugged up.
  
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
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Please visit the VADGIF website for more information on pond managment (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/pondmanagement/).
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protectin has a nice publication on pond and weed management at this website: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/water/lakes/Caring_for_Our_Lakes.pdf


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