AS THE seasons change, so should the feeding of brood fish. Larry Dorman, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Extension fisheries specialist at Lake Village, Ark., recommends feeding brood fish a quality 36 percent crude protein diet.

“With water temperatures 70 degrees and above, feed 2 percent of body weight every other day. When the water temperature is in the range of 55 to 69 degrees, feed 1 percent of body weight three times a week,” says Dorman, “and when the water temperature drops to 55 degrees, do not feed at all.”

As winter approaches, seine and examine brood fish. Cull brood fish that are too large, 8 pounds or more. Sex each brood fish and note the sex ratio. At this time, consider separating the brood fish, placing the males in one pond and the females in another.

Do not exceed the maximum weight of 1,200 pounds of brood fish per acre in the brood ponds.