When to Remove Fish

When to Remove Fish

When the pond is new, you need to release all of the bass that are caught the first and second years of fishing. By the third year, harvest 15 pounds of bass per acre per year from ponds that are not fertilized.

In naturally fertile or fertilized ponds, this number must be doubled to account for the increased production. Harvest primarily small bass less than 14 inches, and release intermediate-sized bass (14 to 18 inches). This will ensure rapid growth of bass and an adequate number of bass for reproduction, and it will also control bream.

In most cases, after the first year of fishing, you can remove bream as desired with little risk of harming the population. It is practically impossible to take out too many bream, as ponds can support at least 45 pounds of harvest per acre.

Try to spread the harvest out over the course of the year. Keep a record of fish harvested, and ask others who fish the pond to tell you the number and size (at least length) of bass and bream they remove from the pond. At the end of the year, tally the harvest to determine if you are reaching your harvest goal.

If the pond is stocked with channel catfish, spread the catfish harvest over 3 to 4 years. Channel may reproduce in ponds, but offspring usually do not survive because of bass predation. Restock with channel catfish when 60 percent of the originally stocked catfish have been removed. Restock with 8- to 10-inch channel catfish fingerlings to ensure the bass do not quickly consume these fingerlings.

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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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