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By Lochow Ranch

Our partnership with Bassmaster to turn Lake Y into a bass fishing paradise enters its third year in the latest episode. Learn how an electrofishing survey can detail fish populations and density. 

Bassmaster pond management project with Lochow Ranch 103

Bassmaster editor James Hall says it’s about 12 months since a truck full of coppernose bluegill were added into the underperforming Alabama lake and since then, it has gone through some significant flooding.

John Jones, president of Lochow Ranch, leads Hall through some good, some medium, and some bad (but recoverable) news. The flooding was bad enough that it created currents that could have swept the bluegill forage fish downstream, he says.

But only an electrofishing survey would provide a clear snapshot of what was happening, he adds. The last such survey had been performed about a year prior.

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The Lake Y project aims to educate anglers on how to identify opportunities to improve small lakes, and steps to take to turn an average lake into bass fishing bliss. So far in the series, John and James have explored topography, water source, water quality and clarity, area predators such as otters, vegetation, fertilization, pellet feeding, and electroshocking to understand the state of the 56-acre creek-fed lake.

Lake Y is on a large watershed, John says, and he could see a change in its water quality from the flooding, making it less desirable. “You can see the creek influences on the lake,” he says.

Bassmaster Lake Y project

The electrofishing survey shows bait and bass numbers are up. As he measures and weighs the fish, Lochow Ranch Fisheries Biologist Brandon Booth says it’s important to keep predator and forage numbers at proper levels so bass growth isn’t stunted.

But many of the fish have red sores, which John explains is common with flooding.

It’s “something we see a lot of especially in the spring or the fall, during years we’ve had a big influx of water,” he says. “We’ll see bacteria counts, they’ll get a little bit higher, and you may have fish that get a little bit stressed and they’re susceptible to getting infections.”

The fish will recover, he adds.

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“So that’s good news. So if you all see fish like this, they have the crazy sores on your lakes, know that all is not lost. Thankfully these fish are going to survive,” James says.

The electrofishing survey also reveals less desirable fish for Lake Y, such as sucker fish and channel catfish. Because the lake is shallow, they will stir up the silt, making spawning harder and managing the pond a lot tougher.

So, good news on the bass; great news on the bait, John says. “That’s the foundation. If you want fat cows, you need lots of green grass.”

The previously added structure piles “worked like a charm and so we got big fish.” More structure piles would be beneficial, he said, but because Lake Y is shallow, some owners might not like to be able to see them.

The medium news, he says, “You still have lots of non-game species there. I think that’s life on the creek.”

As for the biggest challenge moving forward: “That’s pretty straightforward, it’s gonna be the actual construction of the lake. So this lake is a shallow lake. If we improve the water quality we’re gonna grow a lot of weeds, which is gonna be undesirable for some of the people out here,” John says.

“Just getting around how this lake was constructed to begin with is our biggest single challenge,” John says. “We’re already making progress on the bait. We’re making progress on the bass. We’re going to make progress on the genetics. But we are still dealt the hand that we’re dealt here.”

“I’m excited about the progress for Lake Y,” James adds.

Follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to see the progress in the Lake Y project in coming month.

Why Choose Lochow Ranch for Pond & Lake Management

Serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, Lochow Ranch Pond & Lake Management proudly puts more than two decades of experience to work for you. Our team includes biologists, technicians and other professionals with deep expertise in pond and lake management services.


Check us out if you are considering building a lake, looking for pond stocking services, to buy fish for a pond, or getting professional pond management and maintenance or fishery management. Our services include lake design, pond construction, pond renovation, pond water testing, electrofishing, pond stocking, control of pond weeds, and pond liming and fertilizing.

Let us help you build your dream pond that will delight your family and friends for generations to come.

Click here to get in touch to get started today.

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