Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to feed my trout in the winter?


No, you should stop feeding your trout when the pond begins to ice over. Trout can start to be fed again in the spring when the pond is ice free.




Do you deliver fish?


Most fish need to be picked up from our farm, however we do offer delivery for orders over 500 fish for a fee. We also offer meet locations in Grande Prairie, Valleyview, Edson, Calgary and Okotoks if you would prefer to meet our fish truck and take your fish from there. There is a $100 meet fee to cover expenses for these trips.




Do I need a license for buying trout?


Yes, a valid Alberta Fish Culture License is required to purchase trout from Alberta agriculture. Please note, the Alberta Fish Culure License is NOT the same as a fishing license. To obtain an Alberta Fish Culture License, apply online HERE




How can I get an Alberta Fish Culture License?


Phone 780 427-7959 to get forms or more information on licensing or go to the website https://www.alberta.ca/fish-culture-licence.aspx




How can I prevent Blue Herons from eating my fish?


There are many ways to prevent Blue Herons from eating your fish. I will list techniques in order from easy to hard: - Apply blue or black pond dye in your pond making it harder for blue herons to see fish. Must be dark and works best if applyed before herons come in the spring. Also works for cormorrants.




How can I test for Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) levels in my pond?


The most economical way is to buy a good quality DO chemical test kit or digital meter. Take a water sample from middle depths of you pond with a bottle mounted on a pole. When bottle is at desired depth, simply pull the cork out by pulling the attached string and you will have your water sample. Test this water as soon as possible to obtain accurate DO levels. Alternatively you can buy a meter with a 3 or 4 meter probe. Let the probe sink 3 meters before taking reading. ****make sure you calibrate the meter at around 1 - 4 deg celcius so the reading will be accurate during winter.**** Ackenberry Trout Farm sells these test kits for your convenience!




How deep should I dig my pond?


Trout ponds should be a minimum of 12 feet deep to stay cool enough. Bottom water is always cooler than surface water in during the summer months, due to warm ambient air temeprastures and solar radiation heating the water. Trout are cold-water fish, therefore, they require a minimum water depth of 12' to do well. Since ponds are not always full we should dig the pond deeper than this. If you have less than 12 feet of water depth and no cold spring water entering the pond you may need a fountain or surface aerator running at nights only during the hottest months.




How do I clear up the clay in my new pond?


The best way to clear up clay from a newly dug pond is to use aeration and pond logs. These polymers are great at clearing up inorganics such as clays or soils from pond water.




How do I control algae in my pond?


In Alberta and most of Canada we experience long days during the summer. This is one of the reasons algae grows wild as soon as phosphates are available in the water. Fighting algae requires multiple techniques and approaches. Algae and vegetation is the result of excess nutrients in your pond. A key way to reduce the nutrients is to add good bacteria to your pond that digest some of the same nutrients that algae require to grow and multiply. Pond Pro's NaturalClear Pond Bacteria Treatment contains 4 species of bacillus bacteria that eat up organic nutrients in the water column and from the bottom of the pond. The other element algae needs to grow is sunlight. Blue or black pond dye's such as trueblue or Pond Pro lake dye block out much of the sunlight entering the pond. Aeration goes a long way in reducing algae growth. Blue-green algae require phosphates to flourish. Continuous pond aeration reduces internal nutrient recycling by up to 98%. I have not seen blue-green algae or cyanobacteria come back on a pond that has a electric aeration system installed by us. ProClear, Pond Pro's own algaecide that is certified to be used in drinking water, can also be used to spot treat for blue-green algae, or hair algae along the shore.




How large of a pump do I need for my waterfall?


Water falls require about 100 gpm of water flow for every 1 - 2 feet of waterfall width to look like a natural water feature.




How many Rainbow Trout should I stock?


A good number to start with is about 100 trout per 100' x 100' area, with a minimum water depth of 12'.




How do I maintain a healthy pond?


Maintaining good water quality and controlling weed and algae growth can be easy as following a few simple steps. Bacteria treatments effectively help reduce odors, muck and sludge by breaking down organic matter and nutirents in your pond responsible for algae, weeds, muck and sludge. NaturalClear Pond Bacteria Treatments are incredibly effective, safe and easy to use! Ackenberry carries a line up of NaturalClear bacteria products and we personally use them to keep our ponds healthy. Regular bacteria applications maintains the health of your pond. If excess nutrients are already present resulting in algae growth, sludge, muck, and odours you can treat your pond with algaecide. Ackenberry trusts and stocks ProClear algaecide which is NSF 60 drinking water certified. ProClear effectively treats blug-green algae (cyanobacteria), filamentous algae, bacteria, planktonics, and more! Maintenance with ProClear ensure algae free ponds. Pond and lake dye are also effective products to help maintain a healthy pond. Dyes not only make your pond look more beautiful by giving them a blue or darkened appearance but it also functions to limit algae and vegetation growht. Darkening the water limits the suns ability to penetrate the water and provide sunlight for unwanted aquatic vegetation. Most Importantly - AERATE THE POND - Ponds naturally accumulate more and more nutrients in the bottom and can be seen as black muck. In nature this happens fastest in small ponds and bodies of water exposed to less wind and more nutrients. These nutrients are released in the water every spring and often result in massive algae blooms. Long term aeration programs can reduce murky water and algae by encouraging continuous water mixing, and incorporating oxygen into the water.




Is algae bad for my pond?


Algae control is required when blue green algae or hair algae becomes the dominant species of algae in the pond. The first line of defence is prevention by using pond aeration and pond bacteria treatments. This is normally all that is required to turn your eutrophic pond back into a mesotrophic pond. If hair algae grows around the shore it can be raked out with a weed raker, or sprayed with ProClear algaecide.




What is pond dye?


Pond dye is a very safe dye that can be directly tossed into your pond or lake to bring a natural blue or dark appearance to the water. Pond dye is used for algae and weed control because it reduces the amount of sunlight that is able to penetrate the surface of the water to allow for algae and weed growth. It also is used to deter predators, such as birds from eating your fish. Pond Dye has been successfully used by municipalities, golf courses and pond owners for over 10 years. It’s safe, easy to use and is harmless to fish, pets and wildlife.




Why aerate your pond?


A pond or dugout that is aerated properly has many benefits. First, any extra nutrients that enter your pond can be broke down by bacteria up to 80 times faster in the presence of oxygen on the bottom. Without oxygen at the bottom of your pond much of the decayed plant material will remain as a thick layer of black mud slowly releasing nutrients and deadly gases into the water. Second, you increase your chances of raising fish successfully. During certain times of the year oxygen levels can approach lethal limits. Aeration can help your pond get through these brief but deadly times. This is especially true for smaller and shallower ponds that have an abundance of weeds or algae. The two times of the year when oxygen levels are low is late winter/early spring, and late summer/fall. An electric aerator is the most popular and works best if turned on during the night when oxygen levels are lowest. This also aids in keeping the entire pond cooler by exposing more pond water to the cool air at the pond surface at night. Floating Fountains add beauty while aerating the pond as well.




Why can't I catch my trout?


Rainbow trout are easy to catch at times and impossible to catch the next time. Rainbow trout do not like changing water conditions such as sudden drops or rises in water temperature. They also quit biting after heavy rain activities. The best months to catch rainbow trout are May to June, and December. The worst months to catch rainbow trout is April to May, and Sept to Nov. Some fish lures that works for us is small single hooks with fish eggs, brown power bait, pink power bait, or pink worms hung below a bobber. Mepp spinners can work well when fish are more agressive. In June, flies works great including little may fly patterns and little black flies with trout oil scent applied.




Why use fountains or waterfalls?


Fountains add beauty and illumination while aerating your pond and circulation with high flow rates and low amp draw. Interchangeable nozzles are included to create unique spray patterns to make a stunning center display. Cascading water falls are also an attractive way to aerate your pond as well improve water quality and add oxygen. Check your pond with an oxygen test kit to check for safe oxygen levels. Aeration is the key ingredient for both healthy fish and clean, attractive ponds.




What is the difference between Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout?


Rainbow, Brook, and Bown are most easily differentiated by their appearance. Rainbow: Rainbow Brook: Brook Brown: Brown Rainbow trout tend to be very hardy and easier to catch. Brook and Brown are harder to raise and tend to dwell on the bottom (cold water fish require deeper ponds). However, Brook and Brown do add nice variety to your pond!




How can I order fish?


The easiest way to order fish is to fill out our fish order form online! Otherwise, you can place your order over the phone by calling us at (780) 878-3839. Fish orders must be placed as soon as possible to ensure that we can fulfill your order. All order MUST be placed before March 31, 2021. We do require proof of a valid fish culture license, a legal land description of the stocked pond, and a 50% non-refundable deposit when you place your order.




How do I pick-up my fish?


To schedule pick up for fish you must book an appointment. The easiest way to book an appoitment for pick up is to book online on our website under Our trout > Book online pick up. You may also call us at 780-878-3839 to book your appointment. Please bring 1 empty container (storage tote, barrel, grabage bin etc) per 50 fish (6-8" or smaller) you are transporting for a maximum 2 hour drive. If you are transporting larger fish (8-10"), or are transporting them for more than 2 hours, please call our office. No lids are needed for containers. Ackenberry Trout Farm will get you set up with oxygen, liners, and water for transport. Each container will require oxygen and a liner which has a charge fo $10/container. Ensure that you go straight home and dump them into the pond asap. For large quanties of fish and long distances, please call our office for recommendations on how to get them home.




When can I get/pick up my fish?


You must book an appointment to schedule pick up. You can do this online or by giving us a call at 780-878-3839. Opening day for fish pick up is usually May 1st (or 2 weeks after ponds are ice free). Fish MUST be picked up by June 15th at the latest




My fish seem to be disappearing?


If you think your fish may be disappearing herons or cormorants may be the cause. If you think herons or cormorants are responsible for your fish disappearing there are some ways to deter birds or prevent them from catching fish. An easy solution to this is by applying blue or black pond dye in your pond to make it harder for blue herons and cormorants to see fish. Dye must be dark and works best if applyed before herons and cormorants come in the spring. You can also place at least two heron or aligator decoys around the pond. Works great for smaller ponds but works less and less as ponds get over 200 feet in diameter. Blue Heron: Cormorant: If birds are not the cause, fish kills may be responsible. If fish kills is the cause you would see dead fish flaoting at the surface. Fish kills are most common in late winter/early spring, and late summer/fall. This is due to very low oxygen levels in your pond caused by turn over. Rainbow trout require oxygen. Aeration is the most reliable, and efficient way to prevent fish kills by ensuring constant oxygenation of water.




*****What is the minimum aeration required for trout?


Rainbow trout do best with dissolved oxygen (DO) levels at *** parts oxygen per million parts water. During the summer, DO levels shoul d be *** ppm. Aeration is the most reliable, and efficient way to prevent fish kills by ensuring constant oxygenation of water. For larger lakes or other unique situations, surface aerators can provide aeration on a budget. Contact us for recommendations.




Can I skate on my fish pond?


Unless your pond is very large and you can confirm ice thickness to be safe, it is usually recommended that you do not. Since fish require constant, 24/7 aeration to survive in the winter you risk your fish dying if you turn off aeration to allow thick ice formation.




How do I know my pond is good for fish?


For stocking trout, the general rule is you can stock 100 fish per 100 x 100 ft area. Minimum water depth for trout is 12 ft. Aside from sizing, ensure that your pond has sufficent levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) to sustain fish. To do this, test DO levels, in the morning, all the way to the bottom. DO readings must be done on a regular basis if under-aerating. You can purchase an oxygen meter HERE




My fish are flailing and gasping at the surface. What do I do?


If fish appear to be gasping for air and flailing, that is a clear indication that your pond is under-aerated/ oxygen deprived. If fish do not get oyxgen they will die. Surface aerators can provide temporary emergency aeration. If this occurs to you, call our office at 780-878-3839 and our team can advise




Can I get Carp?


No, you cannot get Carp anywhere in Canada. We recommend you use all-natural bacteria treatments, pond dye and aeration to manage algae, duckweed and other unwanted vegetation




How to treat duckweed?


The best way to treat duckweed is to prevent it! With ongoing pond maintenance, duckweed growth can be limited and controlled. Duckweed is a flowering aquatic plant that consists of small oval leaves. It is unique among other Canadian aquatic plants & algae in that it can only be killed by the pesticide Reward. While this can seem like a solution, it is a band-aid solution as the duckweed will be back. Our experts have over 20 years experience dealing with duckweed and are happy to share their expertise. Prevention: Aeration is the key to preventing duckweed as it keeps water moving. It also reduces the phosphates available that duckweed thrives on. Pond maintenance plans including a good bacteria such as NaturalClear Pond Bacteria is the most important supplement as this good bacteria eats up dead duckweed and vegetation, while also reducing the nutrients available for duckweed to grow. Darkening the water with pond dye is another way to limit duckweed as it blocks the sunlight the duckweed requires to grow. Pond Pro pond dyes are extremely safe and can be added to your pond at any quantity – the darker the better to prevent duckweed and other growth Treatment: If you already have duckweed, it can be treated. Ideally, it should be removed from the pond. Weed Rakers are a great tool to make this tedious task easy! Weed Rakers can be modified with a pool noodle as seen in this video, making duck weed removal simple! If possible, wait until a windy day as all duckweed will get pushed to one edge of the pond, making removal even easier. Once duckweed is removed, prevention maintenance as discussed above should be started. Duckweed can seem overwhelming, however it can be tackled. Even if your pond is covered in duckweed, once it is removed, prevention and pond management can ensure it does not take over your pond again.




Does Ackenberry Trout Farm sell fish outside of Alberta?


No. Fish can only be sold to holders of valid Alberta Fish Culture Licenses as per government regulations




What do I need when hauling fish with oxygen?


Oxygen is only required for big fish orders, or when traveling long distances (more than 2 hours). If you are hauling with oxygen you willl need an oxygen tank (can be a welding tank), regulator, and air stones. Ackenberry can provide airstones upon pick up for an additional fee.