Masters Thesis

Growth of four centrarchid species in foothill ranch ponds, Madera County, California.

Ranch ponds are numerous in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada. An article appearing in the California Cattleman (anon, 1975) estimated that there were more than 50,000 ponds of less than 0.0123 cubic hectometers (10 acre feet) in California. Nearly 40 ponds in Madera County were visited and fewer than one half were less than 0.0123 cubic hectometers. This small sample indicates that there are probably many more than 50,000 ponds in California. Most of these ponds were built to provide water for livestock or irrigation. Many ponds are stocked with fish and are a potentially valuable fishery. Currently, there is very little information available on the biology of fish in California ranch ponds.