Pond and Stream Management FAQs

We developed this site to help landowners in Colorado who are interested in building, restoring, and managing ponds or stream reaches on their property.

Can I get some students to evaluate my pond?
This is probably not the best option. Most graduate students in the Department are fully funded from sponsored research projects that support their graduate work. The cost to support a graduate student (stipend, benefits, tuition) is at least $30,000 per year. Graduate students are expected to devote all their effort to their research project, with little or no time left over for side jobs. While undergraduate students are eager to gain work experience, and we require that they do so, they don’t attain adequate training and expertise until they’ve completed the degree program. Unfortunately, no vehicles or sampling equipment are available for student consulting activities on private waters.

How do I find someone who can help me?
There are quite a few professional fisheries consultants and private fish vendors in Colorado. The links below will help you get in touch with some of these businesses; others can be found by searching the internet or by looking in the phone book under “fisheries”.
Colorado Aquaculture Association
Aquaculture – Colorado Department of Agriculture

Where can I find information about building and managing my pond?
Wyoming Fish Ponds –  University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension
Private Fish Ponds – Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Pond Management –  South Dakota State University
Lakes, Ponds & Streams FAQ – University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
Pond Improvements – Missouri Department of Conservation
Other Pond Management Resources – Cornell University Cooperative Extension
Ponds – Planning, Design, Construction – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Water Gardens – Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
Guide to Colorado well permits, water rights, water administration – Colorado Division of Water Resources

Where can I find information about stream restoration?
Colorado Landowner’s Guide to Stream Restoration – Trout Unlimited
Watershed Protection and Restoration –  Colorado Water Conservation Board
Riparian Questions and Answers – Colorado Riparian Association
Colorado Watershed Assembly
Hydraulic Engineering, Stream Restoration & River Mechanics –  CSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Restoration Design and Monitoring – Trout Unlimited
Stream Systems Technology Center – U.S. Forest Service
All About Watersheds – New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute
Shoreline, streambank & lake restoration – University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

How do I identify the animals and plants in my pond?
An eField Guide to Western Fishes – Colorado State University
Wisconsin Fish ID (very comprehensive!) – Wisconsin Sea Grant
A simple guide to small and microscopic pond life – Microscopy-UK
Key to Aquatic Macroinvertebrates – New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Plant Identification – Texas A&M Extension

Who sells pond management tools and supplies?
Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.
Ben Meadow’s Online Water Guide
Forestry Suppliers – Aquaculture, Limnology & Wildlife
The Pond Guy
Do My Own Pest Control

Where can I buy fish to stock in my pond?
Licensed Aquaculture Facilities – Colorado Department of Agriculture

What rules and paperwork should I be aware of?
Colorado Aquaculture Act Rules
Aquaculture Permit Application
Pesticide Use – Colorado Department of Agriculture

Where can I learn more about aquatic invaders, diseases and nuisance species?
National Invasive Species Information Center – U.S. Department of Agriculture
Aquatic Animal Health – U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS
Invasive Aquatic Species – U.S. Department of Agriculture
Mosquito Control – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species – U.S. Geological Survey
Protect your waters – Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers – Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
Whirling Disease and Colorado’s Trout – Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia – Wikipedia
Zebra Mussel – U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous aquatic species
Spiny waterflea – U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous aquatic species
Daphnia lumholtzi – U.S. Geological Survey Nonindigenous aquatic species

Where can I learn more about protecting water quality?
Water Resources of the United States – U.S. Geological Survey
Water Quality Control Division – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Guide to Colorado well permits, water rights, water administration – Colorado Division of Water Resources
Watershed Protection and Restoration –  Colorado Water Conservation Board

Are there other resources for private landowners?
Landowning Colorado Style (pdf) – The Colorado State Forest Service
LandHelp.Info – Colorado State University

What are some useful print publications?
Blaser, J. and R. Eades. 2006. Nebraska pond management. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, NE. LINK
Bronmark, C. and L.A. Hansson. 1998. The biology of lakes and ponds. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.
Goodwin, A., et al. Farm pond management for recreational fishing. Publication MP360-500-5-11R, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. PDF
Matson, T. 1997. Earth ponds sourcebook: The pond owner’s manual and resource guide. The Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT.
Neal. J.W. and D.W. Willis, editors. 2012. Small impoundment management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.
NRCS. 2013. Guidance for stream restoration. Colorado Technical Notes, Engineering no. 27.2, USDA, Washington, D.C. PDF
NRCS. 2010. Federal stream corridor restoration handbook. National Engineering Handbook 653, USDA, Washington, D.C. LINK
NRCS. 2007. Stream restoration design. National Engineering Handbook 654, USDA, Washington, D.C. LINK
NRCS. 1997. Ponds: planning, design, construction. Agriculture handbook 590. USDA, Washington, D.C. PDF
Perry K., M. Smith and A. Branson. 2015. Missouri pond handbook. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO. PDF
TAFS (Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society). 2005. Texas farm ponds: stocking, assessment, and management recommendations. Special Public Number 1.  PDF
U.S. E.P.A. 1993. Lake and reservoir restoration guidance manual, second edition. EPA no. 440/4-90-006, Washington, D.C.
U.S. E.P.A. 1993. Fish and fisheries management in lakes and reservoirs: Technical supplement to the lake and reservoir restoration guidance manual. EPA no. 440/4-90-007, Washington, D.C.
Willis, D.W., M.D. Beem, and R.L. Hanten. 1990. Managing South Dakota ponds for fish and wildlife. South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Pierre, SD.
WYDEQ. 2014. Stream and lakeshore restoration best management practice manual. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Cheyenne, WY. PDF

Got suggestions to improve this site? Please contact me:
Dr. Brett Johnson, Professor, brett.johnson@colostate.edu
Last updated: 01/20/17