Many pond owners think surveying fish populations in a pond is something only a professional fisheries biologist can do. Determining the fish species present, their size distribution and relative abundance in a pond is not as hard as it may seem. Most pond owners who have spent time seining or fishing are already familiar with the two most common techniques used to monitor pond fish populations. Using these two techniques consistently over time and maintaining records from the surveys can provide useful information.
Steven Smith serves as a wildlife and fisheries consultant at Noble Research Institute, where he has worked since 2006. He received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries ecology and a master’s degree in rangeland management and ecology from Oklahoma State University. He grew up on small family cow/calf operation in central Oklahoma. His areas of interest are prescribed fire, especially growing season fires, and managing plant communities for livestock forage and wildlife habitat.