Private landowners in Missouri have access to over 300,000 private ponds and lakes that could provide fishing and other recreational activities. The majority of Missouri ponds are built within privately owned watersheds targeting a variety of uses, including water supply for livestock, fishing and recreation, as well as, providing wildlife habitat. Lakes and ponds are valuable economic resources and, if managed correctly, can provide years of enjoyment, and economic and ecological benefits.
Many of these ponds can be managed for successful fishing and other types of recreation. A pond that consistently produces good fishing is the result of proper construction, stocking, and management. Establishing clearly-defined objectives and management plan for the pond is important to insure success. Success or failure depends on applying best management practices to establish and maintain adequate fish populations. Proper stocking with correct species and numbers of fish, stocking at the proper time of year, balancing harvest, managing water quality, and controlling nuisance aquatic weeds are basics that are important to success.
In addition to resources provided here, the Missouri Department of Conservation provides pond and lake management information, and technical assistance for helping pond owners achieve their fisheries management objectives.