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Pond Habitat Suggestions? (Cattail Alternatives)

1969 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  srr5008
I bought a property last year with a small 1/2 acre pond. I'm hoping that I can draw on other people's pond experience. The pond gets up to 12' deep on one end, but on average it is probably 5-6' deep. It currently provides great habitat for bass, sunfish, dragonflies, ducks, redwing blackbirds... and mosquitoes!

The pond is not swampy - it is spring fed (although the spring usually dries up in the late summer and the water level fluctuates up to a foot). I've got some lily pads, pickerell weeds and a lot of cattails. I think the cattails are my problem - they create a stagnant section of water around the pond that is beneficial to mosquito breeding and I've also read that some mosquitoes lay their eggs in the cattails themselves.

I am slowly working on the battle to remove the cattails. I am keeping my removal on one side for now, because I don't want to eliminate all of my wildlife and fish habitat at once. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for alternative plants to put in the water that would provide cover for fish and other critters? I am looking to avoid planting too straight up weeds as I would also like to use the pond for swimming. I'm also looking for something that can be planted in a decent water depth (12"+). Seems that most of the plants I see online are decorative and meant for 1-3" water depths. My cattails are as deep as 4 feet, and as much as I dislike them, I am hesitant to remove all of that fish habitat until I have some type of replacement in place. Any ideas?
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What about carp? (Sterile Grass carp?) or catfish to help keep the weeds in check??
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