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I started feeding my game fish this summer, when do I stop feeding them? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Q: I started feeding my game fish this summer, when do I stop feeding them?

Q: I started feeding my game fish this summer, when do I stop feeding them?

Carl – Cedarburg, WI

A: Though fish don’t go into hibernation like a bear, the bass and other game fish in your lake or pond do go into a period of decreased physiological activity, or torpor, when water temperatures fall below 40° Fahrenheit. Their metabolism slows, their movement slows, and their temperature falls, which allows them to save energy and survive the winter chill.

Because of this, they need very little food to sustain them. If they do get hungry or need a midnight (or mid-winter) snack, they can forage for meals on their own. In fact, they like to nibble on pond plants and small insects. Their natural instincts kick in, and they use their senses of smell and sight to track down needed nutrients , which give them plenty of energy to weather the winter until feeding season resumes.

So—to answer your question—when water temperatures drop to 45° or 50°F or so, you can totally stop feeding them.

Until then, however, keep giving them a tasty diet like The Pond Guy® Game Fish Grower fish food. Scientifically balanced to suit the nutritional needs of bass, bluegill, trout and perch, the vitamin C-packed diet helps fuel and grow your healthy fish population, ensuring they’re in great shape for fishing season.

Pond Talk: What is your fish’s favorite all-natural snack?

Promote Rapid Growth With A Balanced Diet - The Pond Guy® Game Fish Grower Fish Food

4 Responses

  1. how do i get rid off coontail

  2. I have a question. I have a 60 foot diameter pond, 5 1/2 feet deep in the middle. It is in a wooded area except for the grass around the pond I keep mowed. I have put in gold fish and koi. The pond is now 6 or 7 years old and of late I am not seeing any big fish. Before I have always wondered why I didn’t have many large gold fish. Last year I know I had one big koi and one big gold fish, now I haven’t seen either of them. I still have lots and lots of small goldfish, but nothing big. I know herons can’t get to them. Would turtles (which I have not seen any) eat the big fish or water snakes? I have never seen any floaters and I rarely see any animal tracks around the pond. The sides of the pond are cut straight down. What do you think?

    • Hi Robert – Turtles and snakes will likely not go for larger fish. Turtles typically eat dead fish or fish that ill, they are like pond cleaners. Your large fish may be hiding at the bottom of your pond, especially with such a deep depth for a koi pond. Another predator that may have visited are raccoons. It’s hard to say what might have happened to your fish especially in a wooded area.

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