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Quality Lake Management

We’ve all heard of QDM – Quality Deer Management, but what about QLM – Quality Lake Management?  For hunters of the water, it is just as important to practice quality lake management to ensure great fishing.

Not only will quality lake management keep your lake in optimum shape for what you choose to do with it, but it will also decrease issues with water quality, fish stunting, vegetation issues and low dissolved oxygen levels.

You should make a decision as to what the main emphasis will be on your lake management, whether it be for fishing, swimming, wildlife attraction, or just for good looks.  While you can make it good for all of these things, it will be much easier to focus on the most important thing to you.

The first step is to decide what type of fish species you wish to stock your lake with.  Because the fish in your lake aren’t able to relocate to a more suitable water source when things get tough, it’s still important to create the right mix of underwater habitat along with food sources.  A great fishing lake is continually maintained and the appropriate amounts of fish are harvested.  After stocking your lake, fertilizing, liming and aquatic weed control are necessary.  Depending on the type of body of water you have, you may need to spend some time on watershed management.  It is very important to harvest an appropriate number of fish if you stocked it, since you definitely do not want it to become overpopulated.  When there are a large number of unwanted fish in a lake, sometimes the easiest option is to destroy all of the fish and start completely over, which may include partial or full draining.  If there exists a nearby pond, desirable fish may be transferred by cooler or bucket during the draining process.

If you’re planning on constructing a new pond or lake, by far the most important thing is planning.  It is so much easier to take the extra time planning and researching beforehand than to wait and address foundation and dam issues once the lake is dug.

Consult with your local game commission or county extension office for advice on QLM and habitat/stocking programs they may offer.