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Building Fish Habitat for Ponds – Pond & Lake Q & A


Picture of a Porcupine Fish Attractor Fish Habitat.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: What types of things can you put in your pond to create more fish habitats for a better population of fish? – Jacob of Texas

A: Fish habitats offer more than just a cozy home for schools of bass in your pond or lake. They also create an ideal spawning habitat, a spot of refuge and shade for young fry, a safe haven from swooping predators, and a breeding ground for algae and plankton to attract bait fish and lure larger fish to favorite fishing spots.

Though fish habitats range from inexpensive (or free!) items laying around the yard to high-tech store-bought devices, here are just a few artificial and natural underwater structures you can use:

Artificial Reefs: Artificial habitats have been shown to attract just as much plankton and provide just as much protection from prey as evergreen alternatives. Some come manufactured and ready to install, like the Porcupine Fish Attractor. Others, like bundled pipes, can be put together yourself by bundling lengths of 10- to 12-inch pipe (PVC, clay or concrete) with or without one end plugged, anchoring with cinder block and submerging. You could also drop a barrel and turn it on its side. Regardless of your artificial reef type, simply place them in lines extending out from the shore in depths of 6 to 25 feet; the steeper the slope, the less structure is needed.

Boulder Clusters and Rock Piles: Piles of boulders or concrete blocks placed individually or in clusters can attract a variety of fish, not to mention providing a healthy medium for beneficial bacteria and tasty string algae to flourish. Use large boulders (more than 2 feet in diameter) and place them away from the shoreline. Boulders can be useful if you have small streams or rivers leading to your lake or pond, too, as they can break fast-moving currents and provide a resting place for fish.

Root Wads, Brush Bundles and Submerged Logs: Stumps, lengthwise-sawed logs, root wads, brush bundles — and even last year’s Christmas tree — can provide important habitat. Simply gather the materials, attach a weight (like a cinder block), and sink them in the shallow waters of streams or in the near-shore areas of lakes and ponds. Create three or four groups of these bundles per acre, and place them in 6 to 10 feet of water, no farther than 30 feet from shore. Keep in mind that these “natural” habitats will introduce nutrients to the lake and cause unsightly algae blooms, which can be controlled using Algae Defense.

POND TALK: What do you use to create fish habitats in your pond or lake?

26 Responses

  1. Is it ok to put pine trees in ponds?

  2. Do u need to replace the Christmas trees in a farm pond after a few years??

  3. Can u add TO MUCH fish cover ex: brush, pine trees etc to a new pond . I have a 3/4 ac, pond 12 ‘ is deepest.
    I’ve put in 5 Christmas tress, 4 stumps, 2 logs, 3 nice size brush piles.
    Of course all have been anchored down
    Is this to much..??? Should I add about a3′ stack of pallets??
    Thanks for any reply
    Rj

    • Hi RJ – When stocking a pond, it can be trial and error. It sounds like you have a quite a bit of fish habitat ready to go. I would see how that works out for this season before adding any additional habitat. With the pallets, I still urge caution in placing them in the pond. Some pallets are chemically and heat treated for various reasons. Anything used in production of the pallet would then also be in your pond.

  4. Our new 3/4 ac. pond is filling.We have added our “brush, pines, cinder block, logs, and stumps”. All together about 12 things combined.
    The snow is melting and we’re expecting some significant rains this week.

    Question is:
    Our pond is muddy.
    I want to start stocking in April.
    WHAT CLEARS A MUDDY.
    Some say Gypson.
    Powder/ liquid?
    True?
    Expensive?
    AND where do u buy it locally?
    Thanks all for the the answers.
    Rj.

  5. We will be placing Christmas trees in an unfilled pond, in buckets filled with concrete , will they loose there needles when underwater?

    Also, if we “replant ” cedar trees (5′-6′) in the soil and tamp good, in our unfilled pond, will they come “loose” when the pond fills?

    • Yes, they will still lose their needles underwater. Keep in mind, the trees are dead and will begin decaying in your pond, adding extra nutrients to the water. For your second question, yes, the trees may come loose due to water movement and how quickly water is being added.

  6. Can One Use “Land scape Timbers “for “Pond Habitat “Srucktures”?

    Thanks –Frank Leggott

    • Hi Frank,

      I would just watch to make sure that the timbers haven’t been pressure treated as this could release harmful chemicals into the water, also keep in mind that these timbers will also eventually breakdown but yes many customer do built structures from old pallets, logs..etc.

  7. Support American made products!! Check to see where the others are made. fishiding is made in America with only American made componants.

  8. Is it ok to create the fish habitat on a new pond prior to the pond filling with water? Should we add the brush now? Or wait untill there is water?

    • Susan,

      I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to add the habitat right now; the only thing I can think that may happen was if the pond were to fill too quickly, the structure may be subject to movement.

    • you sure can build ahead of filling. Make sure you take pictures and add some fishiding as well!!

  9. We have a pond dug out from a marsh area covering a little more than 1 acre with varying depths from 4 ft to 25 ft. It has some cliff-like drop-offs in the deeper areas. The bottom is mostly shale with some clay. There are several natural springs in the medium and deep areas of the pond. We intend on stocking it with bluegill, black crappies, and walleye. We will have a few submerged cedar trees for habitat and shelter. I am wondering if the walleyes will thrive or merely just survive. Any suggestions for walleyes spawing habitat? Is a significant current required?

    • Stocking walleye in small ponds and lakes has been tried, but usually failed to provide good fishing. Walleyes will survive in many ponds, but won’t reproduce, and grow slowly. Restocking would be necessary to maintain the population. A better choice would be Largemouth Bass.

  10. New installation video for fishiding artificial fish structureat:www.fishiding.com. See the newest products in green artificial fish habitat.

  11. Take a look at http://www.fishiding.com. They have a great new artificial/man made fish habitat.

  12. For a dirt bottom farm pond: Just use a wood pallet in about 2-3 feet of water and another in deeper water. The Blue gills and Bass will breed like rabbits!

    • are pallets a better choice then , Christmas trees?

      • No. Some pallets are chemically and heat treated for various reasons. Anything used in production of the pallet would then also be in your pond. Pallets are still wood and at some point it will begin to rot, adding extra nutrients to your pond.

  13. “Others, like bundled pipes, can be put together yourself by bundling lengths of 10- to 12-inch pipe (PVC, clay or concrete) with or without one end plugged, anchoring with cinder block and submerging”.

    What diameter PVC pipe should I use?

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