The Press Room
Controlling Grass And Weeds
Editor’s Note: Many hunting lands may have old ponds on them that if handled properly can provide some outstanding fishing for Mossy Oak Properties’ clients. However, perhaps the clients don’t want to incur the costs involved to drain the pond and then restock it or to wait for 2 or 3 years before they can fish the pond. According to fisheries biologists, you may enjoy better fishing in an old pond without draining it. Barry Smith, one of the co-owners of American Sport Fish in Montgomery, Alabama, and a longtime fisheries biologist, gives these keys for rehabilitating an old pond.
Barry Smith mentions that, “The most-common problems with non-managed ponds are that a pond is extremely clear because it hasn’t been fertilized, contains an overabundance of vegetation or is overpopulated with both bass and sunfish. The pond’s vegetation must be controlled.” A non-managed pond often will contain a vast amount of aquatic vegetation. Before you decide to rid a pond of weeds, you have to know what kind of weeds the pond has, which a fisheries’ consultant can tell you to help decide on the regimen to use to control the vegetation.
Smith reports that, “Grass carp that eat many aquatic plants generally cost about $4- to $5-each. However, some states’ regulations say that only sterile grass carp can be stocked in ponds, and those cost $6- to $10-each. So, before you add grass carp to your pond, check your state’s regulations to learn whether or not you must stock sterile grass carp. Usually you’ll need to stock about 10 grass carp per acre to control weeds. If you have a severe grass problem, you may have to use more grass carp per acre.” If your pond contains weeds that grass carp can’t control, then utilize a herbicide, which often costs $30 per gallon or may cost as much as $200 a gallon. “Often, you may have to use as much as a gallon of herbicide per acre to control the weeds,” Smith adds. But, if you stock grass carp, they’ll control your weeds for about 5 to 6 years. You may have to do a herbicide treatment every year. More than likely, you’ll find the grass-carp control much cheaper over time, if the pond has grass in it that carp will eat.