A man on a small pier fishing in a small pond.

Managing Your Farm Pond

man fishing at the edge of a lake  

Fishing on a family farm pond is an excellent way to get great fish and enjoy the great outdoors.

Farm ponds are one of Kentucky's most valuable aquatic resources. A farm pond can have numerous functions, including a source of extra income, irrigation, water source for livestock, fire protection, flood control, and wildlife ​habitat. However, one of a farm pond’s most enjoyable functions is providing hours of fishing.​

KDFWR has a new series of farm pond management pages to take you from start to finish on building, stocking and managing your farm pond. It has several sections to assist with all aspects of farm pond management. You can find the main page here: Farm Pond Management.

In addition to the new farm pond pages, there are a couple of other documents pertaining to farm pond management. Kerry Prather, a former fisheries District Biologist, has written a short article on common farm pond problems that may be useful to you. You can find it here: Solving Pond Problems. You can also email our Info Center for a free copy of our "Management Guide for Ponds and Small Lakes in Kentucky." You can also read it online here.

Our District Biologists are also a great resource, particularly for more localized information. You can find a list of contact numbers and email addresses here: Fisheries Staff Contacts.  If you have a vegetation issue, before contacting your local district biologist about vegetation in your pond,​​​​​ use this Guide for Submitting Photos for Aquatic Plant Identification​. Detailed photos will assist the biologist in their identification and recommendations​ for control.​

To provide hours of good fishing, a pond must be adequately stocked. Many pond owners may try to stock their ponds with locally caught fish. This practice is highly unadvisable because it usually results in an unbalanced or undesirable fish population. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) offers help to those wanting pond management advice.

KDFWR has experimented with various fish combinations for pond stocking and has found largemouth bass and bluegill to be the best combination for most Kentucky waters. Channel catfish are also a good option for most ponds.

Several consulting firms work in Kentucky if you wish to contact a private pond consultant to assist with managing your pond​. You can find our current list of pond consultants here: Pond Consultant List.

There are many suppliers in Kentucky and surrounding states that can provide a variety of fish for private stocking. You can find the most current fish supplier list here: Fish Supplier List.​