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I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Ecology with a Fisheries emphasis from Iowa State University and a Master of Science Degree in Fisheries Science from South Dakota State University. I have spent 5 years working in the natural resources field doing fish population estimates, aquatic vegetation control/management, nuisance species removal, water quality testing, and provided guidance for new and old pond owners with pond related concerns ranging from parasites in pond fish flesh to summertime fill kills and fish removal.

Aquatic Vegetation Assessment & Management
Algae Aquatic vegetation can become a real headache for pond owners when it takes over their pond. In general some aquatic vegetation is healthy for the pond's other aquatic inhabitants (e.g., fish, insects, amphibians). However, if aquatic vegetation is covering more than 30% of your pond it may be cause for concern. If this is the case, there may be several reasons for the vegetations presence and growth patterns. Generally speaking most aquatic vegetation is best managed in the spring and early summer months, but this doesn't mean that addressing late summer and fall pond vegetation concerns are impossible. If you have a vegetation problem or concern please contact Iowa Pond Guy and we will arrange a time to meet on site and discuss vegetation management options and a long term management plan. I have a Commercial Pesticide Applicators license for aquatic plant control. However, I encourage starting a management plan that incorporates preventative, biological, mechanical, and cultural methods, with the use of labeled aquatic herbicides as a last resort.

Fish Population Assessment & Management
Seine Net Assessing and managing existing fish populations in ponds can be a real challenge, especially considering most owners do not have the time or the resources to effectively and efficiently sample the fish population. If this is you and you would like to know what the status of your fish population (e.g., fish health, size distribution, species present, species reproduction success, forage base for predators species, etc.) is please contact Iowa Pond Guy to arrange a time to meet with you on site and discuss fish population assessment and management options and the development of a long-term management plan. If a long-term management plan is desired a spring and fall sampling would take place and an annual report drafted and sent to the pond owner indicating the status of the pond and synthesized information for each of the fish species present in the pond sampled.

Water Quality Testing
Secchi Disk Pond and stream water quality is one of the most overlooked tests when one is considering the health of their aquatic ecosystem. Water quality can be an indicator of what kinds of aquatic insects, fish, plants and amphibians you might find in you pond or stream. Generally speaking, poor water quality (e.g., low dissolved oxygen, low pH, high bacteria) ponds and streams are often inhabited by only a few tolerant aquatic species, whereas a high water quality system will usually have a higher number of aquatic species present if there is suitable habitat to support them. Water quality testing is recommended on a monthly basis, but given our weather patterns and time constraints one should concentrate on the period from April to October for testing. Contact Iowa Pond Guy to arrange a time to meet on site and discuss which water quality parameters you would like to test. Common water quality parameters we test for include but are not limited to: dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia, phosphorus, nitrate and nitrite, chloride, fecal coliforms/bacteria, blue-green algae, water transparency, total nutrients, water temperature, etc.

Fish Kill Inspection and Re-stocking
Net Fish kills are often a natural summer and winter occurrence for ponds throughout the upper Midwest. Fish kills can be caused by a variety of things, but most often are associated with very low dissolved oxygen levels. Dissolved oxygen is what fish need in high enough concentrations to pass over their gills for respiration. When water temperatures become very high, water has a lower affinity for holding oxygen and fish begin to stress and eventually die if the stressor is prolonged or is acute. When dissolved oxygen levels dip below 5 mg/L warmwater species begin to become affected.

Warm summer days raising water temperature into the 80 degree Fahrenheit range for a prolonged period of time can cause a fish kill. On the same note, too much aquatic vegetation in your pond can have the same effect by removing oxygen from the water column at night or by naturally being used up by bacteria and other aquatic organisms during the breakdown and decaying process of dying or dead aquatic vegetation.

If your pond has an excessive amount of aquatic vegetation, you want to know your ponds dissolved oxygen level, or you recently had a fish kill in your pond please call Iowa Pond Guy ASAP to arrange to meet with you on site and discuss vegetation management options, water quality testing options, and determining the cause of the fish kill and your re-stocking options. It is imperative you call ASAP following the fish kill so water quality testing can be done immediately to accurately determine the cause.

Nuisance Fish Species Removal (e.g., carp, bullhead, etc.)
Catfish If you own a pond dominated by carp and bullhead you are probably not happy with the quality of recreational fishing available. Once in a pond, carp and bullhead will reproduce consistently and effectively to the point that if unchecked, will take over and ruin your ponds recreational fishery by stirring up bottom sediments. This in turn makes it very difficult for game fish species to feed, spawn, and grow effeciently. If you or someone you know has a pond full of nuisance species and want to reclaim the pond for an acceptable recreational fishery please call Iowa Pond Guy to arrange an apponitment with you on site, determine which nuisance species are present, and the management options for the pond.

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