March 08, 2021

Ponds need help to stay healthy, beautiful

URBANA, Ill. – Owning a lush and scenic country pond is a point of pride for many rural landowners, but over time ponds need a hand to stay clean and healthy.

“Good management can slow or stop harmful changes like a buildup of surface algae or a decrease in fish so you can use and enjoy your pond longer,” says Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator Duane Friend with University of Illinois Extension.

It never fails, come spring Friend’s phone starts ringing and his inbox starts filling up with a series of familiar scenarios from pond owners.

“All my fish died, what happened? Help, my pond is covered in weeds! How do I stop a pond from leaking?”

Illinois pond owners can prevent problems and get a jump start on spring upkeep with the free Rural Pond Management Webinar on March 30.

With more than 40 years of natural resources and water management experience between them, Extension educators Friend and Jay Solomon will cover how to keep ponds healthy and beautiful. Topics include outside influences, water supply and quality, maintenance, weed and algae management, control of tree and brush on dams, sediment build-up and more.

“Spring is often the time to start or wrap-up pond construction or renovations,” Solomon says. “Good planning before the pond fills with water can make management easier for many years.”

Guest presenter Blake Ruebush, a fisheries biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, will discuss how to best manage fish populations including when and how to stock fish in new or existing ponds.

“If you have a farm or rural pond or are thinking about building one, this webinar is for you,” Friend says. “Every landscape is unique and we encourage participants to come with questions and concerns about their own pond that we’ll answer live.”

The Rural Pond Management webinar will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. CT March 30. Register online for free at go.illinois.edu/FarmPond.