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Should our HOA Pond Have Fish?

If you’re a homeowner association (HOA) manager tasked with the upkeep and maintenance of the ponds in your community, you may have a few residents ask if you could stock the ponds with fish. Walking across the street with your kids on a Saturday morning to do some local fishing may seem like a good idea. Still, before you start dumping trout, catfish, and other sportfish into your HOA community ponds, there’s a lot to consider. 

We want to share a few pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision as an HOA community manager.

Pros of Adding Fish

There are many benefits to adding fish to a community pond. They contribute to the overall ecosystem, add value for the residents, and, in some cases, can raise property values. Here are a few reasons why some HOAs add sportfish to their community waterways:

Ecology – Some HOAs want to establish ponds with an ecosystem food chain. The sun provides energy for the microscopic plankton, which is food for the slightly bigger animals, including various species of birds.

Adding species like largemouth bass, trout, catfish, or sunfish will only add another link to the overall food chain. These fish can help keep the food chain balanced, and some might even contribute to keeping nuisance plants under control.

Mosquito Control—Stillwater ponds are a prime breeding ground for mosquitos. Gamefish of all sizes love to eat mosquito larvae, which will have a noticeable effect on the mosquito population in the neighborhood.

It can also help prevent the spread of several deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes. Even if you don’t choose to stock your pond with gamefish, adding a few small minnow-like mosquito fish can add value to the neighborhood, as they have a voracious appetite for mosquito eggs and larvae.

Improved Quality of Life – Many residents will appreciate the addition of bass, catfish, and sunfish to your HOA community ponds. Dad and Grandpa can take the kids fishing for a day of wholesome fun.

Best of all, most community residents can look out the front window of their homes to watch their kids while they fish. Some HOA communities even host fishing tournaments, which bring together the entire neighborhood and allow homeowners and children alike to meet their neighbors and socialize.

Flora Benefits – Fish can also benefit the flowers and plants inside a pond. A co-study by Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Florida found that ponds with a thriving fish population tend to have better-pollinated nearby plants. The fish eat the Dragonfly larvae, which helps keep their population under control. Dragonflies tend to eat bees and other insects that pollinate flowers. It stands to reason that homes’ front and backyard flower gardens will benefit from stocking fish in the nearby ponds!

Cons of Adding Fish to an HOA Pond

While there are many benefits to stocking an HOA pond with fish, there are also a few negatives that go along with it:

Ongoing Cost—If the stocked fish don’t reproduce or aren’t given that chance due to overfishing, the HOA will need to bear the annual cost of restocking the ponds.

Water Parameter Monitoring—The HOA will also need to conduct regular water quality tests to ensure the parameters are sufficient to sustain a healthy fish population. If the water quality is bad or a nuisance algae outbreak occurs, a huge fish die-off could occur, causing the entire neighborhood to reek of dead fish.

Increased Maintenance—In addition to monitoring the water and ensuring the fish population remains stable, HOA managers will also need to divert maintenance personnel to the ongoing maintenance of the ponds. This includes making sure all life support systems are functioning as intended and even de-icing the ponds in the winter to ensure the fish are getting enough oxygen.

To Add Fish or Not to Add Fish?

Adding fish to a local HOA community pond requires a strategic plan and an understanding that it could increase the financial costs. No matter what you decide, your ponds still need to be dredged annually to help prevent nuisance algae outbreaks. Dredging your ponds can reduce the organic muck at the bottom—and cut off the food that the nuisance algae feed upon, thereby decreasing the frequency of outbreak blooms.

At American Underwater Services, we’ve helped countless HOA managers protect and clean up their stormwater retention ponds. Our professional and expert dredgers can travel anywhere in the country to help improve the health and longevity of your stormwater retention pond. Call us at (817) 377-8512 or contact us to learn more about the dredging and pond maintenance services we offer.




Anthony Di Iulio the founder, president and co-owner of American Underwater Services, Inc., started his business in 1999 with only three employees. Today this commercial diving company employs nearly 30 people and handles over 500 projects annually. Anthony moved to Fort Worth from Louisiana with his family in 1976. He worked summers during high school welding underwater for a marina on Benbrook Lake. Eventually he took scuba lessons after almost drowning on the job. Those lessons led him to training at a deep sea diving school in Houston, which included training on offshore oil rigs. Anthony spent several years in Louisiana working on offshore rigs and on inland jobs at power plants and dams before starting American Underwater Services, Inc.


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