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 Spring is the time of year  ponds frequently experience algae problems, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).  With the weather warming and days becoming longer conditions for algae growth and algae problems in small ponds are increasing.

 According to Dave Rizzuto, a fisheries biologist with the TWRA, small ponds may experience a number of problems in the Spring.  Fish in ponds may die due to diseases, water chemistry problems, or serious algae conditions.

 "There are two main groups of algae that can be harmful," Rizzuto said.  "Filamentous algae is a long, stringy algae and blue-green algae forms a light green, frothy mat on the surface of the water."

 "Both of these types should be treated chemically to eliminate the problem," Rizzuto said.  "A common misconception is that fertilizing the pond will take care of the algae, but fertilizer may just make it worse by accelerating growth of algae already present.  The algae needs to be killed first, then the pond should be fertilized.  Chemical treatments for farm ponds are available at most Farmer's Co-ops."

 Fish diseases and chemical problems, especially low oxygen levels, often cause fish die-offs in small ponds.  Rizzuto says that if fish of just one species are dying and they are dying a few at a time, it is probably a disease causing the fish kill.  If fish of several different species die overnight, it is probably a water chemistry problem.

 For further assistance with farm pond problems, contact your local Agricultural Extension Agency or the TWRA.

Steve McCadams
 is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series  IN-PURSUIT.