News Filed Under Fisheries
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From February through April, calls begin coming in about sick and dying fish in backyard ponds.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Terms like climate change or global warming may elicit different responses depending on your political viewpoints, but one thing is certain: Our weather is changing.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University has hired a new marine fisheries specialist for its Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
Marcus Drymon began his MSU Extension Service appointment Aug. 1. Before coming to MSU, he received his doctorate from the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences, where he also served on the faculty.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Small, forested ponds are abundant in Mississippi, and there is a good chance one is somewhere on your back 40.
Most landowners see these small systems as difficult to manage for fish because they are too small, shallow, or weedy, or maybe the trees are too close to the water's edge. Fishing may not be your thing anyway. In these cases, consider managing small, wooded ponds for wildlife.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Although water hyacinth is beautiful and quite stunning when in bloom, it is not a desirable plant in ponds.
Water hyacinth floats gracefully on water surfaces. Its inflated, spongy stems feature attractive flower spikes adorned with up to 20 blue, yellow and light-purple flowers. It is common on many of Mississippi's navigable waterways, including the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Pearl River drainage. Native to tropical South America, water hyacinths feel right at home with Mississippi's warm summers and fertile waters.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Individuals interested in learning more about conservation of Mississippi's natural resources can attend the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist class.
The seven-week course begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, located at 1815 Popp's Ferry Road in Biloxi. Classes meet once a week at various locations through Oct. 17. Weekday classes meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Weekend classes begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Stocking ponds with largemouth bass and bluegills is the most common management strategy used in Mississippi, but this combination is not ideal for ponds smaller than one acre.
In these tiny ponds, other species -- either by themselves or in combination -- can usually provide higher quality fishing opportunities than the traditional bass and bluegill approach. One great choice for small ponds is catfish, which provide easy fishing and excellent table fare.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippi landowners have tiny ponds that are not ideal for traditional largemouth bass/bluegill management. In ponds less than an acre in size, other species, either by themselves or in combination, can usually provide higher quality fishing opportunities than the traditional bass and bluegill approach.
A great choice for small ponds is to create a hybrid sunfish pond. Hybrid sunfish, sometimes called hybrid bream, are a good option for small ponds because they grow quickly, especially when fed, and they are easy to catch.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners who want to improve an existing pond or build a new one can find guidance in upcoming educational workshops.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks have teamed up to offer at least seven pond management workshops this year. The short sessions will be held throughout Mississippi, so chances are good there will be one near you.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Winter and spring weather in Mississippi is a rollercoaster ride. Some nights are below freezing, while others feel like midsummer. With the warmer, sunnier weather, people begin to pay more attention to their ponds.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.
Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Contrary to popular belief, fish don't like "clean" water.
If you have ever accidentally placed your pet fish in a bowl of pure, distilled water, you know what I mean. Fish have salts and other compounds in their blood. If their external environment is too different from their internal environment, fish have to fight continuously to keep the salts in and the water out.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – There is no easy answer to the debate for the best type of bass to stock in a Mississippi pond.
The genetic differences between Florida bass, northern bass and hybrid bass are often relatively subtle. Fish management plays a greater role in meeting the pond owner’s desire for growing trophy bass, but the decision is still an important one.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Evidence that people are watching too many zombie shows or movies can be found in the concerns and questions pond owners have for biologists.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The life of a fish is more complicated than most people realize. It needs places to hide from predators, ambush prey, spawn and guard young fish, and just loaf and relax.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Pond and lake owners frequently seek help to control unwanted pests in and around their water, such as turtles, beavers, muskrats, nutrias, alligators and sometime geese.
A new lake or pond provides a new habitat for local critters to move into and live. When landowners decide to put a pond or lake on their property, they need to consider control plans for those unwanted visitors because it is only a matter of time until these animals move in and call the body of water home.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I manage the fish in my lake or pond?”
My responses to these landowners vary, but I usually ask them some questions of my own. What is your goal? Do you want big bass, big bream or just an overall increase in all fish species in your pond or lake? Once the lake owners set their goals, then we can go to work.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Having too many weeds in a pond is the bane of many Mississippi pond owners.
Pond weeds start growing early, as soon as day length and water temperatures allow. Don’t let them get out of hand! Start a weed management program before they become a problem to keep your pond picture perfect.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The decision to fertilize a fishing pond is one that should not be taken lightly.
A fertilization program can greatly increase fish production in fishing ponds. Adding nutrients stimulates the growth of microscopic plants, or algae, which feed the small animals that feed the fish.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Everywhere you look, you can see something that wasn’t originally part of Mississippi’s landscape.
From fire ants that came ashore in the early 20th century to a Eurasian sedge thought to have been transported by visitors to the grave of the Gypsy Queen in a Lauderdale County cemetery, Mississippi has a wide variety of invasive species. Kudzu, Chinese privet, cogon grass, Asian carp, pine beetles and wild hogs are other examples of plants and animals that have invaded Mississippi’s landscape.