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Checking Balance with a Seine

Checking Balance with a Seine

Seining—the use of a net to capture fish—is a quick and easy way to determine the condition of your pond, and an investment in a good seine is highly recommended for all pond owners. A 30-foot seine that is 6 feet deep and made of ¼-inch mesh works well. You can purchase it from any net maker. Attach the seine ends to wooden or metal poles to make handling the seine much easier.

Check balance using a seine every year in late May to early July. During this period, both bass and bream have reproduced, and the young are still small enough to be caught effectively with the seine.

Fishing the seine is easy. You can use a “swinging gate” or perpendicular haul in several areas of the pond to capture young fish. Just make sure you keep the weighted line of the seine on the bottom at all times, or the fish will escape under the net. Make about five hauls around the pond, and then compare your catch to the table below to determine the condition of your pond.


Image described in text.


To use the information from seining to determine where your pond is in terms of predator-prey balance, compare what you catch to the characteristics below.Image described in text.

Panel 1                                                                                                                                                           

  • many recently hatched bream
  • few/no medium-size bream
  • few/no recently hatched bass    

Panel 2 

  • many recently hatched bream
  • some medium size bream
  • some recently hatched bass

Panel 3 

  • no/few tiny bream
  • many medium-size bream
  • no recently hatched bass
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Large, silver fish swim in blue water.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management, Marine Resources September 1, 2021

Fisheries experts at Mississippi State University and other research institutions are conducting an $11.7 million study of the greater amberjack, an important recreational and commercial species in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that is threatened by overfishing.

Girl in a blue T-shirt and baseball cap holding a small fish.
Filed Under: Environment, Fish Management June 18, 2021

Grandpa cast the jig and cork to the center of the pond and handed it to Lucy. “Now, start reeling in slowly,” he said.

She did as Grandpa instructed. On the third crank of the reel, the float disappeared several inches below the water surface, and Grandpa shouted, “She’s got it; reel it in!”

That day, Lucy perfected her casting technique and caught nearly a dozen small bass and several large bluegill.

Graphic showing red snapper count in the Gulf of Mexico.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management April 14, 2021

BILOXI, Miss. -- The results of the Great Red Snapper Count are in!

In 2017, a team of fisheries experts began a two-year task of estimating the population size of red snapper in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico through this unprecedented, federally funded $12 million project. Scientists from several Southeastern universities and institutes, including Mississippi State University, used a variety of methods across the Gulf to accomplish this ambitious goal.

Two men in a boat pose with a large fish in their laps.
Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management March 18, 2020

BILOXI, Miss.-- At Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center, we recently aged one of the largest tripletail fish ever caught.

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Portrait of Dr. Wes Neal
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Fisheries Extension