A fertilized pond will usually produce three to four times as many pounds of fish each year as a non-fertilized pond.

The well-fertilized, well-managed pond will usually produce 200 to 400 pounds of fish per acre each year; and if you are a good enough fisherman, you can catch about one-half of them. Tiny plants and animals called plankton are the key to successful fish production. Water insects and other organisms use plankton for food. Bream and shellcrackers feed on these, and the bass feed on the small fish. As the production of plankton is increased, the production of fish increases. Fertilizer is applied to produce plankton to increase the fish production in any size pond.The type of soil in your pond determines the amount of fertilizer you should apply. Do not start a fertilizer program without finding out the lime requirements. To do this you should collect a bottom mud sample from several places around the edge of the pond, mix together and allow it to dry. Bring soil to the Neshoba County Extension office located in the Neshoba County Coliseum. Each sample costs $6.

If you need to add lime, apply it 2-3 months prior to starting fertilization, and repeat every 3-4 years.Fertilization should begin in the spring when water temperatures have stabilized at 60 degrees or higher. Triple Super Phosphate (0-46-0) should be applied at a rate of 25-50 pounds per surface acre in the spring and should be repeated at 3-4 week intervals until the first week in September. Scott's Pond Fertilizer is a slow release fertilizer that only requires one 25-pound application per acre in early spring. It is more expensive, but you only have to apply it once a year.

Some ponds should not be fertilized. Those are muddy ponds; ponds infested with trash fish; ponds infested with weeds; ponds not heavily fished; ponds with unbalanced fish population; and catfish ponds. For additional information on "Fertilizing Farm Ponds", stop by the Extension office and pick up information sheet #229 or contact Harvin S. Hudson, Extension Agriculture Agent, at 601-656-4602.