Written by Industry Expert, Aaron Cushing, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Scientist
Regularly feeding the fish in your lake or pond with an automatic feeder can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Many waterbodies are lacking a natural food source or don’t produce enough natural food to support the desired predator population. And while not all species eat fish food, every fish in your lake or pond will benefit from the additional food source. Here are five reasons to consider adding fish feeders to your lake or pond this year:
5. Fish feeders are flexible, dependable and come in multiple sizes to meet the exact needs of your aquatic ecosystem.
They are solar powered and operate on timers so they can easily be placed in almost any location on your property. Feeders can be installed on the shore, on a dock or on a float. Quality feeders require minimal maintenance and can last a lifetime.
4. Feeders create a great fishing location to take children and families anxious to catch fish.
Preset timers allow for a reliable and predictable feeding schedule, and this predictable food source causes fish to congregate. Feeders allow you to observe your fish feeding every time while creating a reliable fishing hole, making them great additions to either your private waterbody or community shoreline.
3. A wide variety of species eat fish food.
Forage species, such as Fathead Minnows, Golden Shiners, Gizzard Shad and Bluegill, as well as ornamental fish such as Goldfish and Koi, all readily take to fish feed. Predators such as Channel Catfish and Trout naturally consume pelleted feed, while others such as Largemouth Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass can be trained to eat feed.
2. Fish feed is a great way to support the base of the food chain and to help maintain a healthy fish community.
In most lakes and ponds, beneficial plankton is lacking, limiting the food available for the waterbody’s small forage fish. When there are not enough small fish to feed on, the big fish go hungry. When the forage base is healthy, the fish population is better balanced and this helps improve the entire aquatic ecosystem.
1. Pellet fish feed is the most cost-effective fisheries management approach to growing fish.
Given the efficient conversion rate, fish feed is a less expensive option when looking to support your lake or pond’s forage base or feed-trained predators. Approximately two pounds of quality fish feed will convert into one pound of fish growth (with an even better FCR with Optimal Fish Food), whereas ten pounds of stocked fish will convert to one pound of fish growth. This provides an opportunity for rapid fish growth, allowing predators to put on several pounds of weight in one growing season.
Fish feeders ultimately help balance the lake or pond’s predator-to-prey ratio. When the lake or pond’s fish population is balanced, the entire ecosystem will benefit from the productivity.