Masters Thesis

Comparative limnology of two Sierra foothill farm ponds.

The western foothills of the Sierra Nevada are dotted with small earthen reservoirs which are maintained by landowners primarily as a source of water for livestock. Most of these farm ponds have been stocked with warmwater gamefish such as largemouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish and catfish, thus creating a source of recreation for fishermen and a source of revenue for the landowner, who usually charges a fishing fee. In most cases, the landowner has done little to maintain the farm ponds, and several of them have been successful in fish production for decades without management. However, in the dry summer and fall months some farm ponds undergo drastic changes which result in massive fish deaths.