Josh Blanek

Somervell County is classified abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor. If you ask me I would say we are a lot closer to severe to extreme. And that is bad news as far as fish stocked ponds are concerned.

But the good news is that pond with low water levels can sustain fish longer in winter months than in summer. This is because cold water holds more oxygen. Also, because fish are cold blooded, they have slower metabolisms in cool water thus require less oxygen and food.

Other advantages posed by low water levels include the ease of renovation and weed control. With low water levels, it is easier for pond owners to repair or build shore side structures such as fishing docks. And shallow areas prone to summer weed infestation can be deepened to a minimum of two to three feet to remove habitat for many undesirable weed species that flourish in shallow, warm water. And low water levels may give some control of aquatic weeds by exposing them to below freezing temperatures.

On another note, I have talked to many of you who keep your ponds full with well water. This works, however it is expensive considering the volume needed. Make sure you dissipate any gases such as carbon dioxide present in the well water and increase its oxygen content before it enters the pond. Aerating the well water with a splash effect against rocks or some type of barrier should do the trick.

For more information, contact the Somervell County Extension Office at 254/897-2809.