Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds is a collection of videos now available from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF). These comprehensive videos are focused on teaching pond owners and managers how to construct and manage recreational fish ponds. The production is available online at outdooralabama.com or from WFF as a DVD.
The videos are based on the publication Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds; however, the information presented in the videos is derived from scientific literature as well as the expertise and experiences of WFF staff; Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences staff; and other fisheries professionals in the state.
According to WFF Fisheries Biologist Graves Lovell, the videos are a valuable resource to pond owners and managers in Alabama. “There is a vast amount of literature available on pond management, but this is the first complete collection of videos that shows exactly how this information can be applied,” he said.
Small impoundments (ponds) occupy nearly one-third of the total surface area of water in the state. If managed correctly, they can provide higher catch rates of quality-size fish than the larger lakes and rivers in the state. The information covered in these videos includes site selection, pond construction, habitat enhancement, fish stocking, fertilization, population balance, fish harvest, aquatic weeds and other common pond problems.
These videos are a rich, in-depth resource for existing pond owners and managers or for those considering building a new pond. “For pond owners who are visual learners, this will be the tool for them,” said Jay Haffner, WFF Fisheries Biologist.
Many children and first-time anglers become hooked on fishing in ponds. However, many ponds are under-utilized because they are not managed correctly to meet the intended budgeted goals. “We hope the Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds videos will serve as an educational guide for pond owners and managers seeking advice regarding fish pond management,” said Chris Greene, WFF Fisheries Section Assistant Chief.
In the summer of 2008, WFF Fisheries Section Chief Stan Cook first recognized the need for this production and directed staff biologists to work with the ADCNR Information and Education Section film producers to develop these videos. “WFF would like to offer our appreciation to the landowners and fisheries professionals that contributed to this video production,” Cook said.
More than 30 different properties were visited in order to capture video for the production. Once the videos were captured, the video crew began the editing and production process. Since all the information had to be supported with video, the project was time-consuming considering many of the segments were produced seasonally.
“This is the largest project I have been involved in with our department,” said Ron Jolly, ADCNR Video Producer. “Trying to pull together video clips taken over a five-year period was a huge undertaking.”
The Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds videos can be viewed in three different ways. The most user-friendly method is to go to the introduction page of the videos on our website www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/pond-management/.
This page can also be quickly found by going to outdooralabama.com and typing “sportfish video” in the search box. The website allows users to navigate easily through eight different sections and find the video for their specific topic of interest. These videos are also accessible by searching the different topics on YouTube. The site works on mobile devices as well. For individuals with limited Internet access, a DVD of the videos is available upon request by contacting their local WFF Fisheries Section office.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Patrol, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.