Ecologically Based Small Pond Management

Within Chester County an estimated 3,000 ponds dot the landscape ranging in functions from recreational fishing to water supplies for livestock to stormwater management to aesthetic enhancement. A recent collaborative study led by West Chester University described some of the principle factors that affect the health of the ponds within the County and outlined some techniques to assist owners in managing their ponds.

Two Reports and a summary brochure
The study includes two reports and a summary brochure:
  • Volume 1: Management Strategies for the Small Pond Owner, and
  • Volume 2: The Limnology of Small Ponds
Volume 1 is directed toward landowners and other non-scientists with interests in ponds. Management alternatives are outlined, with emphasis on methods within reach of most landowners or homeowners associations.
A green hillside and wooden fence
Volume 2 is particularly focused upon the limnology of small pond ecosystems. Limnology is the study of freshwater systems, emphasizing the interactions among aquatic organisms and their abiotic (non-living) environment. The intended readers of Volume 2 are working professionals in the environmental sciences, but the presentation is at a level that should be accessible with careful reading to pond owners.
A large pond and a hill with a house

Managing Small Ponds Brochure

Resources for Pond Management

While managing a pond can seem like a daunting task, there are numerous resources and pond management professionals that can provide guidance to property owners and managers.

  • Penn State Cooperative Extension and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission jointly maintain a very complete website with access to publications on a wide range of pond management topics.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Pennsylvania provides both advice and contract services for waterfowl management.