Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dibble, Eric D.

Committee Member

Madsen, John D.

Committee Member

Munn, Ian A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Mississippi has an abundance of ponds which provides a number of opportunities for anglers. Several enhancement strategies are used to improve fish production in ponds, including fertilizing and supplemental feeding. These strategies may ignore the potential ecological impacts that may unexpectedly arise, such as prolific plant growth. This study consists of two phases; first, a mesocosm experiment investigating fertilizer application rates (mg P/L) in relation to potential sunfish growth, and second, a replicated pond experiment consisting of four treatments to simulate commonly used enhancement strategies. Mesocosm experiment showed a peak of sunfish growth at the 0.6 mg P/L level and served as a high fertilizer threshold level in pond experiment. Ponds were surveyed to assess treatment effects on each trophic level. The costs associated with each pond management strategy were documented. Results from this research help refine management recommendations to maximize results while minimizing costs to landowners and ecosystems.



phosphorus||fertilizer||sunfish||pond management