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Old 03-18-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,679 posts, read 10,953,538 times
Reputation: 6903

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Upon the property that the bank lets me live upon, I've a relatively small pond, ~1/3 of an acre, ~14' deep at most, majority in the 8' range. Since moved here a few years ago, this has been my aquatic "Zen garden", my life-sized aquarium. Can't state how many (hundreds?) of hours I've spent in and around this small body of water, pulling weeds, feeding the fish, resculpturing the shoreline by hand & shovel, etc. Being the goofy scientist/engineer, I've kept track of how many fish, what species, what sizes are in there, what I've stocked, what has been removed for dinner. Previous/original owner used chemicals, mainly Copper Sulphate and AquaShade/etc., to keep the pond to their liking - however, since I've owned it, no chemicals have been added. I even let some cattails grow abit more here and there, and by manually pulling up this and that kind of plants, have modified the types and amounts of plant life too [cattails, btw, are supposedly good at removing excess nutrients, etc.].

Anyhow, with that background laid out, this past summer I let the number of catfish exceed slightly the number I desired - was wanting to remove ~6 more, as their numbers had reached ~28. The bass had gone up to ~15, and a fair number of minnows and bluegills made up balance. Some of the cat reached up to ~30", majority though in the 15-22" range, w/ the bass also smaller, ~12-16". Some panfish reached ~8", made for goooood eating. And with the non-use of chemicals and other small management that did to the shoreline areas, the number of frogs increased dramatically - went from maybe 3, to easily over a dozen this past fall.

Well, with the severe cold weather, in both its duration and the drop in temps., had ice up to 9" thick, w/ coverage lasting for over 2 months. Even though had chopped a few small holes, and had uncovered the snow on a couple occasions, the Oxygen level decreased to levels that killed the majority of the fish. So, with the thaw over the past few weeks, have removed 5 buckets full of once beautiful life... wasted because I was not diligent enough in keeping snow removed from the ice surface [for sunlight to penetrate when possible to help plants emit Oxygen], and enough uncovered water visible to the air for Oxygen to diffuse into the water. Was a sight, hate to admit, if anyone saw ice being chopped and water splattered, just so some dumb fish could live... But, like said, this is my retreat - nothing like eating dinner, partaking a cool drink, relaxing alongside this small body of water, watching the denizens of the deep play and live, listening to the sounds of splashing and of the frogs calling.

Anyhow, main point of this rambling post is to share with anyone else that has such ponds, and cares for their fish/life within, to be aware of Winter Kill, Summer Kill, and other harmful occurrences that can damage your investment, and kill the life of the pond.

Some reading/informational resource material for those interested:
Fish and Ponds | Management Advice for Private Pond Owners (http://mdc.mo.gov/fish/ponds/ - broken link)
Winter and Summer Fish Kills in Ponds, A-8-01
FNR-69 Fish Kills in Indiana or pdf version: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-69-W.pdf
Pond Management and Aquaculture
IA DNR: Iowa Farm Ponds
Fish Management in NY Ponds- Other Pond Management Resources
Management of Georgia Sportfishing Ponds[]=1
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources - Managing Your Farm Pond
Pond Home
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/aquaff/i...ondfertile.pdf
DNR: Pond or Lake Management

PS: it was not until this past weekend that I was able to smile about my pond... as indicated above, I was under the belief that all, and I mean all, life had been lost, due to the severity of the ice coverage and the numbers of fish/frogs that were removed. However, with the slowly warming temps, as was doing some yard work, sighted lo and behold 4 bass! And then a small handful of bluegill! And to utmost surprise, just doing it to see what what happen, when tossed a handful of catfish food upon the surface, ~6 cats actually came up after a bit and started 'trolling' for the nuggets! Sounds goofy, but heart and soul were lit up like a kid at Christmas... there was life still in there! Have even spotted a few frogs, and coolest of all, a couple tadpoles...
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:17 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,593 posts, read 7,665,383 times
Reputation: 17164
A popular option in the weed control (besides cattails) is grass carp. One would probably be all you need for a pond your size.

To keep away Canada Geese, a good option is to leave a strip of unmowed grass along the shoreline.

Got snappers, Shadow?
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Pittsboro
82 posts, read 242,856 times
Reputation: 79
I would go out to Pond Boss Magazine Home Page! and look through the Ask The Boss forums for info on how to prevent winter kill next year. Also subscribe to the magazine, it is great. I've seen a lot of articles on winter kill.

Glad to hear that some of the fish survived.

I get a pair of geese every year that want to nest and have found that an RC boat runs them off quite nicely.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 73,645,352 times
Reputation: 27598
Such is the cycle of nature ShadowCaver. Glad to hear you didn't have a 100% loss.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
14,113 posts, read 10,129,552 times
Reputation: 10377
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoNative34 View Post
To keep away Canada Geese, a good option is to leave a strip of unmowed grass along the shoreline.
What's wrong with Canadian geese?
Do they take jobs away from American geese?
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,679 posts, read 10,953,538 times
Reputation: 6903
Thanks all for your comments...

HappyTexan - yea, as a naturalist type, am quite aware of nature's fury and beauty... however, here, as I am managing, or I guess assisting ma nature, the pond and its flora and fauna, it's my responsibility to help ensure that what I put into these waters are properly taken care of - and here in this case, I didn't get the snow off enough, didn't have large enough non-ice surface area, and let the Oxygen get too low. Its not just a pond out in the woods, free to live and breath and die at nature's whim,,, here its my obligation, where the fish [ok, this next sounds goofy ] have their trust in what I do to help ensure a healthy environment. And, nope, no snappers here either - just some painted and similar versions.

oh jetgraphics - they are weapons of mass droppings,,, btw, proper term is Canada, not Canadian,,, There must be a Galena ore deposit on my land, as for some reason, those the venture upon here seem to acquire Lead poisoning [no, I am not fan of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as it pertains to this breed - seriously needs to be revised to reflect current/modern situation - was good back in 1918 for their needs, but not now].

Bad joke follows:
One goose says to another "so, what do you do when lonely?"
His buddy replies "oh, I just gander about"

Back on topic, will check that link, thanks Caddyshack... always on lookout for additional info and knowledge.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:46 PM
 
12,627 posts, read 18,374,840 times
Reputation: 2998
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowCaver View Post
Upon the property that the bank lets me live upon, I've a relatively small pond, ~1/3 of an acre, ~14' deep at most, majority in the 8' range. Since moved here a few years ago, this has been my aquatic "Zen garden", my life-sized aquarium. Can't state how many (hundreds?) of hours I've spent in and around this small body of water, pulling weeds, feeding the fish, resculpturing the shoreline by hand & shovel, etc. Being the goofy scientist/engineer, I've kept track of how many fish, what species, what sizes are in there, what I've stocked, what has been removed for dinner. Previous/original owner used chemicals, mainly Copper Sulphate and AquaShade/etc., to keep the pond to their liking - however, since I've owned it, no chemicals have been added. I even let some cattails grow abit more here and there, and by manually pulling up this and that kind of plants, have modified the types and amounts of plant life too [cattails, btw, are supposedly good at removing excess nutrients, etc.].

Anyhow, with that background laid out, this past summer I let the number of catfish exceed slightly the number I desired - was wanting to remove ~6 more, as their numbers had reached ~28. The bass had gone up to ~15, and a fair number of minnows and bluegills made up balance. Some of the cat reached up to ~30", majority though in the 15-22" range, w/ the bass also smaller, ~12-16". Some panfish reached ~8", made for goooood eating. And with the non-use of chemicals and other small management that did to the shoreline areas, the number of frogs increased dramatically - went from maybe 3, to easily over a dozen this past fall.

Well, with the severe cold weather, in both its duration and the drop in temps., had ice up to 9" thick, w/ coverage lasting for over 2 months. Even though had chopped a few small holes, and had uncovered the snow on a couple occasions, the Oxygen level decreased to levels that killed the majority of the fish. So, with the thaw over the past few weeks, have removed 5 buckets full of once beautiful life... wasted because I was not diligent enough in keeping snow removed from the ice surface [for sunlight to penetrate when possible to help plants emit Oxygen], and enough uncovered water visible to the air for Oxygen to diffuse into the water. Was a sight, hate to admit, if anyone saw ice being chopped and water splattered, just so some dumb fish could live... But, like said, this is my retreat - nothing like eating dinner, partaking a cool drink, relaxing alongside this small body of water, watching the denizens of the deep play and live, listening to the sounds of splashing and of the frogs calling.

Anyhow, main point of this rambling post is to share with anyone else that has such ponds, and cares for their fish/life within, to be aware of Winter Kill, Summer Kill, and other harmful occurrences that can damage your investment, and kill the life of the pond.

Some reading/informational resource material for those interested:
Fish and Ponds | Management Advice for Private Pond Owners (http://mdc.mo.gov/fish/ponds/ - broken link)
Winter and Summer Fish Kills in Ponds, A-8-01
FNR-69 Fish Kills in Indiana or pdf version: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-69-W.pdf
Pond Management and Aquaculture
IA DNR: Iowa Farm Ponds
Fish Management in NY Ponds- Other Pond Management Resources
Management of Georgia Sportfishing Ponds[]=1
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources - Managing Your Farm Pond
Pond Home
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/aquaff/i...ondfertile.pdf
DNR: Pond or Lake Management

PS: it was not until this past weekend that I was able to smile about my pond... as indicated above, I was under the belief that all, and I mean all, life had been lost, due to the severity of the ice coverage and the numbers of fish/frogs that were removed. However, with the slowly warming temps, as was doing some yard work, sighted lo and behold 4 bass! And then a small handful of bluegill! And to utmost surprise, just doing it to see what what happen, when tossed a handful of catfish food upon the surface, ~6 cats actually came up after a bit and started 'trolling' for the nuggets! Sounds goofy, but heart and soul were lit up like a kid at Christmas... there was life still in there! Have even spotted a few frogs, and coolest of all, a couple tadpoles...
Run a extension cord if you do not have a close power source.
Next winter may I suggest a heater even a floater one. I use to have a pond I used a round trough heater for my pond it kept a hole in the water and the fish liked to stay underneath it. Gases will build up and kill the fish if the water does not have a escape for the gasses.
Sorry to hear about your dead fish. I am glad some survived.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:05 PM
 
797 posts, read 1,145,882 times
Reputation: 987
common every year occurrence in shallow lakes in MN

You can also purchase something resembling a propeller that will keep the water slowly turning in a small area to prevent ice forming.

Bait supply guys use those on shallow ponds that they harvest minnows out of for bait.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:37 PM
 
742 posts, read 1,090,713 times
Reputation: 345
one reason i wont have a small pond on the property too much work
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 26,710,666 times
Reputation: 5101
One raccoon and you will be missing a bunch of fish and frogs.
I wonder how bullfrogs would work for control. We used to have plenty here but I have not heard a bullfrog at night for over 30 years. We used to go hunting them in the summer. Last time we went we did not even put the canoe in the water. My brother did not understand why we were not trying to find any, we told him they were gone. The state has done a lot of aerial pest repellent spraying in the last 25 years, killed off a lot of animals that depended on small insects to survive.
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