Having Fun with Pond Management

by Jake Hahn, SWCD Technician

In these times of COVID-19, I have decided to write a fun article that will keep you busy and answer questions about your pond, while keeping to the social distancing. I visit many ponds each year throughout the county and assist land owners and pond managers with many problems they may be having including algae, pond leaks, pond construction and fish kills, most of which are not fun for the landowner to address. I often am asked how do I know if I have a healthy hatchery, or how sustainable is the fish population years after stocking? Not questions I can answer in an assessment, but here is where the fun begins.

People install a pond on their property for many different reasons, including recreation, aesthetics, water management, or maybe just to mow less grass. Whatever the reason, I am amazed at how little many of these ponds are fished. To accurately understand what is happening under the water you have to get in there with a hook and bobber to find out.

Keeping records of the type, size, and quantity of fish caught over time will let you know how your fish are doing. Are they getting larger? Are you catching as many bass as you once were? Are you seeing small fish due to reproduction? You can then use those numbers to make management decisions on your fishery. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has an excellent pond management publication available online that has tips to manage your fishery and includes a diary page example for keeping records.

So let the fun begin and get the kids, grandkids, and big kids at heart out doing some “pond inventory work.” This is a great way to get kids outdoors as they try to outfish their previous outing or for them to learn natural resources management and record keeping. So go out, be active, social distance and have fun.

Welcome the New Staff in our Office!

Kat Zelak, SWCD Education Coordinator

Hello, my name is Kat Zelak and I am looking forward to serving you as your Education Coordinator. I grew up in Rochester, NY and have called Cincinnati home for the last 3 years. In 2014, I completed two B.S. degrees from Cornell University in animal science and natural resources and in 2018, a M.S. degree from the Ohio State University in agriculture and extension education. In my free time I love to take backpacking trips, knit, and play ice hockey. I’m excited to learn more about your programming needs and work with you all in the future. If you have any recommendations for future programming or feedback about the programs we currently offer, please do not hesitate to contact me at kzelak@clermontcountyohio.gov.


Brittany McAdams, NRCS Soil Conservationist

My name is Brittany McAdams and I am the new soil conservationist for Clermont and Brown Counties. I originally hail from Aurora, IN, which is right across the IN/OH state line in Dearborn County. I earned my B.S. in natural resources from Purdue University and my M.S. in soil science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For the past two years I worked as a land manager and educator for a parks district in Carmel, Indiana. When I’m not working as a soil con, I am an avid birder, and spend a lot of my time hiking in the beautiful woodlands of southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky. I am very excited to be joining the NRCS team and become a part of the Clermont and Brown County community.