Fertilization increases your pond’s carrying capacity. In bream-bass-catfish ponds, carrying capacity increases from about 100 pounds per surface acre in fertilized ponds to between 300-400 pounds per surface acre in fertilized ponds. Here is how it works. Fertilization promotes a phytoplankton (microscopic plants) “bloom” which is in turn eaten by zooplankton (microscopic animals) and insects. These are in turn eaten by bluegills, which are eaten by bass. The green color associated with fertilized ponds is a result of an abundance of phytoplankton. Fertilization is one of the best management tools available to pond owners; however, haphazard fertilization does more damage than no fertilization. Not all ponds should be fertilized. Fertilization increases carrying capacity of the pond, not the average fish size. Do not fertilize ponds which receive little or no fishing pressure. Over fertilizing produces heavy phytoplankton blooms, which lead to dissolved oxygen depletions and fish kills.
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