Pond Management

The links below will take you to external websites with pond management information.

References at these websites to fish being provided at no cost to pond owners by DNR, an on-site pond consultations by DNR, are outdated.

DNR no longer conducts on-site pond consultations or provides fish for private ponds

Pond Consultants List

Private pond and lake management services such as weed control, liming, fish stocking, fish population assessments and dredging are offered by several individuals and companies in Georgia. You can often find these types of services in the phone book under "lake management services", "dredging" or "pond and lake construction".

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences maintains a voluntary list of pond management companies. Information on how to be included on the consultants list or to view the list.

DNR does not necessarily endorse the listed companies or services.

Private pond management assistance also is available through your local County Extension Service Office. Phone numbers for all 159 counties throughout the state can be found on the UGA website.

Consumer Guidelines

The Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society has established guidelines to assist pond owners in the selection of a private pond consultant or fish supplier.  In order to make an informed decision, pond owners may wish to ask the following questions:

Consumer Questions for Pond Management Consultants

  1. How many years of experience do you have in this business?
    (An established business may have more experience with unusual problems or needs)
  2. Do you have a staff member with a fisheries management degree?
    (A manager with a fisheries degree would be better trained in scientific pond management)
  3. Is he/she certified by the American Fisheries Society?
    (The AFS certifies biologists, based on training and experience in fisheries science)
  4. Do you have the necessary license or permit required by your state?
    (Some states require that managers be licensed to do business)
  5. Do you carry liability insurance or bonding for your services?
    (Insurance may protect the consumer should a problem arise as a result of damage or mismanagement)
  6. How will you survey my pond, and will I receive a written report?
    (At a minimum, a qualified pond manager should check a pond first-hand, and provide a written report on findings and recommendations to the pond owner)
  7. Will you perform the needed management?
    (A good manager should be able to implement the recommendations, not simply stock fish as a cure-all for your problems)
  8. Can you provide me with a list of references?
    (An established, reputable manager should have plenty of satisfied customers)
  9. How are your fees based?
    (Managers may charge by the job, or by the hour. Get an estimate in writing, up front)

Consumer Questions for Fish Suppliers

  1. What is the warranty on your fish?
    (Some suppliers only guarantee live fish delivery, but the fish may die later from hauling stress or disease)
  2. Can you certify the genetic composition of your fish?
    (Some strains of fish are more suited to certain situations [Florida bass, for example], but some hatcheries do not routinely check their brood stock or fingerlings for genetic purity.  Some state require that only "triploid" or sterile grass carp may be stocked; this is the case in Georgia)
  3. Do you raise the fish, or do you buy them from someone else?
    (It's important to know the source of the fish provided, should problems arise)
  4. What species and sizes of fish do you supply?
    (Some suppliers only sell or raise certain species or sizes of fish that may not be right for your pond)

These guidelines were established by the American Fisheries Society, Southern Division, Small Impoundments Committee.

Where to Buy Fish For Stocking

Fish are available for purchase from private fish hatcheries and suppliers.

Please note: Grass carp must be purchased from properly licensed suppliers only. Find information about grass carp suppliers at the bottom of this page.

Fish From Private Suppliers

There are many reputable private fish hatcheries and dealers who can provide fish for private ponds. Dealers are listed alphabetically by county.

Where to Buy Grass Carp

Please note that these are the only authorized dealers licensed to sell grass carp in Georgia. Contact your local Fisheries Management office with questions about whether or not a business or individual is licensed to sell grass carp in Georgia.