My Pond Died...

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

We have a pond that is aproximately 1 1/2 acre. It is fed by run-off. It has its' own little eco system and has been flourishing for the past 15 years that we have lived here. Friday evening we fed the catfish and they came up and ate like crazy. Everything was normal. The crane was there, the birds, frogs, bluegills, turtles, everything was normal... Saturday afternoon late we went out there to feed and not one fish came up to eat. But everything else looked normal, including the crane.

Today (Sunday) we went out at the usual time, and the pond was dead. Hundreds of fish are floating around the edges. The crane is gone, we could not find it. No life, no movement in the water, it looks awful. We found no frogs, no turtles, no birds, but we did not find their bodies either.

We are devastated. This pond has been a tremendous source of peace, and "soul food" for us. The pond is a refuge to go to just sit, reflect, or paddle around in the jonboat. Not to mention the fact that somehow the eco system went belly up and all is lost. I will somehow have to clean up and restore it. But I don't know where to start. And it really, really smells bad.

Is there someone that may know about ponds? I am trying to figure out just what has happened and why.

Some facts: This pond is well established (at least 20 years old) and has been through low water and hot temps before... but the heat has been bad here and the water levels were low. I am suspecting low oxygen levels, but can it happen that fast? We have not used any chemicals near the pond.

Any suggestions, input or information would be appreciated.

Starr


Here is a picture of the west end of the pond earlier this summer.

Thumbnail by fsrstarr
Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Call your cooperative extension agent or the local NRCS office. They can give you advice on how to proceed with testing and help you out with how to proceed with clean up. This is an environmental disaster, albeit on a small scale. Get help asap.

Schroon Lake, NY(Zone 4a)

No info but I hope you'll let us know what you find out.

What a shock! I am sorry on many levels to hear this. I agree with Kathleen it is an environmental disaster.

Good luck finding answers and please keep us posted!

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes, it is a disaster in more ways than one... I grieve that a whole eco system (ablbeit a small one) has been destroyed... and for my "friends" that lived in it... for 15 years we have nurtured this pond. We have thoroughly enjoyed all the wildlife that comes to it. It may not seem like a lot on a scale of what is going on in the world, but it is a big thing to us.

I am waiting for the fisheries biologist to return my call. I spoke with the Conservation Dept and they are going to send someone as well... I will let you know... Thanks for answering...

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Starr, I'm so glad to hear from you but so sorry about what has happened. I wonder if something might have tunneled thru the pond wall and let the water drain out. I take it the pond has lost its water. Could someone have poisoned the pond as a sick prank? Of course only tests on the fish and whatever else is left will tell that.

Please keep us posted on what you find out. You and your husband so need a relaxing place to go and the lost of this pond is so tragic for you as well as all the creatures who lived there.

Are you going to get come to the RoundUp on the 16th? It would be great to see you again.

Vegas,NV Filbert, SC(Zone 7b)

Starr, so sorry to hear about the pond. Such a sad event. I hope that you find the cause and are able to recreate your little piece of heaven.

It may have only been a small eco system but it seems to have meant the world to you and therefore its very important to find out what happened. My heart goes out to you.

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Thank you all so much for your concern and your support. This means so much to me!

I spoke with the fisheries biologist and as he cannot come soon enough, (they have another crisis due to the extreme heat and lack of water here) he spent some time with me on the phone going over the possibilities and giving me advice on how to handle it.

We have narrowed it down to two sources. 1) Possible toxidity from the cows getting into the pond this past week. They are treated for ticks and flies by way of a large "sock" that has chemicals on it. 2) The most likely source is shock from lack of oxygen. I learned a pond can simply 'go sour' if the conditions are right. Mine were more than right: lack of rainfall, low water levels, duck weed in the pond, and on top of that the cows got in. Cows will defecate right in the water, which causes methane gas to form in the pond. Methane gas will choke out the oxygen. It was a combination of these factors that caused the pond to go 'sour'. I am taking water samples to have them analyzed just make sure. (The cows are not mine, I lease pasture land to a neighbor).

So what was left was the heart-breaking and oh so ugly clean up. OMG, it was so foul. A good friend came and helped this afternoon. We worked til dark. He rowed the boat and rounded up what he could from the middle. And we both worked the sides. There were approximately 30 vultures circling and landing. We dumped the fish in one pile away from the pond so that no further contamination can harm the pond. And where the vultures and critters of the night can do their job and clean it up for me. Even my dogs (the infamous pillagers) would not go in the water. They usually take a bath in the pond everytime we go.

I did a half hearted count and came up with 60 catfish that were over a foot long, 2 carp, and a bunches of small ones, and blue gills. The large carp was about 4' long. He was huge and very regal even in death. And even though I can't tell the grandkids, I found their 'catfish hunter' and he was as large as we thought he was. He probably weighed a good 15lbs.

I did get some good news, though. The turtles and frogs are still living. That is another reason why I think it was oxygen deprivation. But at least the pond is not completely dead and at least it is not as toxic now that the dead things are for the most part removed. Maybe the birds will return soon. The biologist said the crane will most likely move on. (sigh) I guess I will wait for the water samples and try to find out what to do next. Big sigh... I am thankful it is not worse and now I will try to focus on restoring it. I don't think it will ever be the same, but I can try to make it good again.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.

Blessings, Starr

I hope this does not offend, but I thought I would share a small scene... it is very small compared to the whole thing...

Thumbnail by fsrstarr
San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I am so sorry for the loss. It is good to here of the possible cause, though. Nature has a way of restoring it self on it's own, but with your efforts and concern it should take only a fraction of that time. good luck with the restoration.

calvin

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

So sad. It's like the pond becomes one of your best friends. {{{{{fsrstarr & family}}}}}

Lone Oak, TX

Hello,

so sorry about your pond. I also have a pond, not quite as large as yours and also have fish in it. Mine are mainly koi and goldfish. There is also a pair of blue heron that come to feed every day, and they have had several broods over the years.

My pond is almost dry now, as it was last year. Fortunately, I have been using something called Koenders Aeration Sytems. It can be run with windmill or electric, mine is electric. It consists of a pump, I believe 1/4Hp, huge air stone and a hose, almost like an aquarium set-up, only bigger. Mine has 2 air stones. It has been running for many years without a glitch and haven't found any dead fish, except what was killed and left behind by the herons or raccoons.

If interested please call: Malibu Water Resources 800-470-4602, talk to John Longenecker. His website is: www. MalibuWater.com
Hope this helps and good luck.

Sita

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Link for you. :)

http://www.malibuwater.com/

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Badseed! and Thank You Sita! This is exactly what I need! Bless You! ... I am off to further explore this site and call these folks...

I have no new info yet and did not have the heart to go out there today....

I am still waiting on results from water samples.

Blessings, Starr

Tabor, SD(Zone 4b)

So, so sorry about your pond. We have a small stock pond that our ducks and geese play in when there is water in it. This year it is completely dry. It was always nice to go watch them swim around. I can imagine how awful you must feel. It's like losing friends. Hope you can return the pond to it's former self.

((HUGS))
Ruth

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Thak you so much "all of you" for your support and for caring. You all exemplify what is so wonderful about DG. It means so much more than I can say... You are all just great folks!

I am still looking at the pond aerators and cannot decide which would be better, the solar or the windmill. I kind of favor the windmill because we seem to always have wind here. I am a bit uncertain of the solar. Anyone with experience or an opinion? I would like to someone else's thoughts on it besides my own... I am determined to prevent anything like this from happening again and am very serious about aerating the pond better. I would love your feedback/input.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I have no experience with either, but I have been trying to think of Pros and Cons myself. I am interested in both types of energy sources.

I am not sure but I can only help but wonder how one cares for the windmill. I mean it uses grease of some type to keep the blades moving freely, right? If so, then how often do you have to climb the thing and wipe off old dirt filled grimmy grease and repack with new clean grease?

and the solar, what is the age limit for each cell on the solar panel? how often do you change out each cell and how much does each cell cost?

What is the comparable maintenance cost and install cost of each if you look at your average use of energy and the set-up needed to meet you usage?

I am still a newby to both types but very interested. Is it possible to have both and sell excess energy stored in the batery cells to the Electric company? Or in your case Star couldn't you route the lines to supply your home. Cutting your energy bill ?

calvin

This message was edited Aug 30, 2006 3:26 PM

Lone Oak, TX

Fsrstarr,

I think your best bet would be to either fill out their questionnair or talk to them and tell them about your problem. They are very helpful people and will guide you find a solution for your specific problem. There are several dealers for this aerator system, but Malibu Water is the least expensive and also has very good service.

I opted for the electric system for convenience. It doesn't cost a whole lot to run it, but with the rising energy cost, maybe windmill could be cheaper to run. When I was ordering my system, John told me that they were doing an experiment to aerate a large lake. You could ask him about the result, if you like. It could maybe help you in making your decision what system to use. Good luck.

Sita


Humansville, MO(Zone 6a)

fsrstarr I belive the mo extension severice will have ways to build your own and blue prints
Hope to see you at the round up
Dave 719

Oakland, OR(Zone 8a)

fsrsta - in the meantime, you might be looking for plants that can help decomtaminate what is left of your pond. I don't know what type of plants are used, but some sewer systems use plants as part of their water clean up, and I have heard several gardeners andor landscapers on HGTV explain they have installed specific plants to help keep the water clean. God Bless and I hope your pond can be healed. Dotti

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Keep in mind that I have no experienc and am not even well read on the topic... but...

If you would want this to also circulate the water during the winter to keep some portion unfrozen, and if you have heavy cloud cover for days on end, solar may not be your best bet. There are two types (forget what they are called) - one type of panel needs lots of sunlight; the other will trickle charge even on somewhat cloudy days, but works better with more sun. I don't think something on this scale (small, somewhat inexpensive) would garner you much extra electricity, but it probably could pay for itself in a few years.

Since you aren't looking for "high yield wind farm" type wind generation, you may be better off with wind power. Often, even if calm on "ground level", 10 or 15 ft up in the air, there is enough wind to generate a little stiring motion and maybe power a small fountain. I think modern windmills would come with sealed bearings and be reasonably maintenance free. There are older ones in the CA Central Valley that are still doing their duty, even though they have "patina'd with age" (rusted doesn't sound as graceful). I don't know how often they get serviced. With the wind, I would just use the mechanical power to stir the water and probably not go through the complexities and expenses of adding a battery and motor setup.

Batteries can get pricey. I believe you would use a sealed lead-acid type battery for this type of application.

Generating enough electricity to power your home and sell back to the power company is another ball of wax. I see that ours will allow you to "run the meter backwards", but you'd have to check with your local power co. first. Might be a consideration when you're looking for property - who is the power co. and do they pay for excess.

For power generation I recently read an interesting article about using piggy piles to generate methane gas to power closed system steam generators. The piggies paid for the electricity for the farm with their wastes, the wastes became well composted fertilizer for the fields that produced the food for the pigs. Eventually the pigs went to market. I like the whole idea of reasonably closed system...on a smaller scale, you could use methane to be used in just about anything that burns propane or LP gas... but I digress (problem with methane is that it smells and must be handled with care as it is explosive when combined with oxygen)

anyways, interesting food for thought. please let us know what you end up with and what you like/don't like about it. good luck!

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Wow! Such good ideas/ thoughts/ and observations.

Dotti, I did not even think of using plants to help clean it up! I definitely will get to work on that in the morning and see what I can find out!

I tend to lean towards the windmill style, as we have a lot of cloud cover in the winter months, and I think there is less working parts to worry about with it. Also, I think it would be easier for me to figure out what is wrong with a windmill vs the complexities of a solar/battery system.

This pond is located in between two very large hills... it gets run-off from 3 directions... and there is no electrical source anywhere near it. We have wind every day... but not sun everyday... hmm , just thinking out loud....

kmom246, keeping a portion of the pond unfrozen would also be a big benefit... that's a good thought...

Thanks, Dave719, I will check into that one as well.. I did not know they had plans like that.

Sita, thank you... your information is a blessing...

Lone Oak, TX

Fsrstarr,

I think water hyacynth is the plant used for filtering pond water. I don't know where you live, but in Texas it is illegal to use. The plant multiply like crazy and clog the waterways. Rather unfortunate as it is a beautiful plant with very beautiful flower.

For more info on earth ponds, there is a book called (I think) "Earth Ponds" by Tom or Ted Matson. It has tons of info about ponds. I cannot find mine, so don't exactly remember the topics covered, but it was a very good book. Check at Amazon on "earth ponds" and you will find it listed there. Hope this helps, good luck and keep us posted.

Sita

Schroon Lake, NY(Zone 4a)

Frstarr, my first thought above was Aeration, especially with the heat and drought conditions. The link for windmill aeration is wonderful, Thanks Badseed!!

I'm glad the turtles and frogs survived and hope you have your ecosystem up and running again soon. What a heartbreaker you have had! (Now everyday I'll worry about having to face that!)

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

The verdict is in and it would seem that my pond died of oxygen deprivation. There are several conditons that transpired to make this happen. First and probably foremost is the weather; it has been very dry and very hot. The water level is way low which means there is less oxygen available. Also, there was a thin covering at the shallow end of 'duck weed' (duckweed depletes the oxygen supply). I have never seen duck weed in the pond before and did not know what it was. (i live, i learn). Then the cows got in the pond and stood in it to cool off. They did that for a week or two and I had planned on fixing that fence, but had not been able to get it done. (big sigh) When a cow defecates in the pond, there is methane gas created and that also depletes the oxygen supply. That is why you fence off your larger ponds that are stocked.

The vultures and the critters of the night have been very busy finishing the clean up for me and there are few signs left of the disaster. To drive over the top of the hill and look down at the pond, one would think all is normal. It even looks nice again. The crane did not return, but the birds are back. The turtles and frogs are there. It is a good start.

So now I have been advised to wait for the fall rains to clean it out and the 'overflow' to rinse and replenish the water... Then more samples will tell me if it is time to start the restocking process. I try to think of what I need to do and not what I should have done... If I look back instead of forward it just slows me down... DH has not been out there since it happened... He never talks about the pond now... One day I will surprise him and we will go feed the fish again.

Sita, I will have to find that book... it sounds very informative.

dmcdevitt, I hope you never have to face something like this. It has been a hard learning experience (and I blame myself for my lack of knowledge)... but I will be on the look out now and watching for events than cause oxygen depletion. I will also purchase an aeration system as soon as I am able...

I am learning more about this daily... and I hope this thread may help someone else to avoid this happening to them.... so good will come from this experience and that is a wonderful thing....

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm deeply sorry for the loss and am uplifted at your spirit of hopefulness and optimism. Thank you for keeping up this thread. Nature will heal itself withut mans/womens intervention, but when we do intervene then we must diligent to repairing and/or inproving it. You are truely doing just that. And I am sure the improvements you have planned will greatly increase the ecology even better than what you had.

Your DH, sounds like he is shutting down now that a piece of his solitude was taken away, will be uplifted and in his own way made whole again. Bless you for careing, both for the critters and your DH.

Please keep up with the updates. I am going to keep this thread on the watch list in hopes to see the rebirth of your pond.

calvin

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

How kind and generous... thanks Calvin! Yes, I wll keep this going until we get the eco system stable and the pond restored. There is a fish day at the local MFA Ag Center in mid October. I am not sure if the pond will be ready by then, but if it is I want to reintroduce some minnows and blue gill to get it started again.

I am going to check pond depths and take a look at the 'duck weed' issue this week. I need to know the depths of specific areas so we can figure out where best to put an aeration system. So much to learn... I like learning new things, but this is a heckuva way to go about it... ;)

Lone Oak, TX

Hello,

before you restock your pond, please buy the book "Earth Ponds". There is a chapter on "Dead Ponds" in there and many more things covered. I do not have the experience of having a dead pond, as I have ben using Koenders Aeration System since day 1. Even when my pond barely has any water, like now, there are a lot of small fish swimming around. The large aerator discs send up a whole bunch of bubbles to the surface. My swans and other ducks are swimming on top of the bubbles.

Yes, it is really an awful way of having to learn something, so, the more reason to get your thoughts organized. That book will take you step by step on pondmaking, pondkeeping etc. and make it easier to focus on one problem area at a time. Don't get discourage, you'll be allright. It will take some time, though.....:)

Sita

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Oh, Sita provided the link! I just tweaked it a bit. ;)

I myself am now looking at those windmills. Being here surrounded by serious flat land and serious wind, I think those look wonderful!

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Badseed, I thought you lived in hill country like me... I don't know why.... I had envisioned you climbing the hills everyday.... lol... what was I thinkin'?

Sita, Thanks for such good info. I love to have books that are so informative. And you are right about needing to get my thoughts organized...

I am trying to do a chart on this situation for that very purpose. It is just a rough sketch with notes at this point... but I hope to do a better version of it in time... I also plan to visit the county extension office this next week to garner some more information from them.

Living and Learning.... S

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Oxygen depletion is a serious concern in my area. Most folks around here get their pond water from artesian wells. It has no oxygen. The water is piped to the pond and the more splashing effect, the better. I had my pond for about 10 years and had serious algae in the summer which depletes oxygen. If you could capture that runoff with a trough or something similar and let it spash on something in the pond, you could probably get by with little or no $. It works well but would detract from the natural beauty.

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Starr, I do!! I bought a little farm last fall. Ain't no hills though! This land is more flat than the stomach on a body builder. LOL I only have 7.25 acres but I have my eyeballs on some bean field behind me. ;)

I am so happy to see you posting again. :) I was worried about you.

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Badseed, I did have a few rough times this past year... but ya keep a gardener down... I keep comin back... (hmm, maybe that is a bad penny) lol... I hear ya on the bean field; good luck with it... But wait! I have not seen pics of the new acreage... I am sure you have must have some hanging around or something... Congrats your "peace" of heaven... I cannot even imagine city living anymore... I can't breathe if I go near a town larger than 10,000 folks... lol... When I go to Springfield to visit Lowe's (1 1/2 hour away), I "sneak" in and back out again afore the city folks know I am there... just kiddin but I do kinda hate going near the big towns now... I lived in Phoenix for 20 years when I first got married and 'whew' was I glad to get to the Ozarks ('93).... (I was raised in Mississippi so you can see that AZ was culture shock for me..lol).. and yes that was telling my age.. I did notice that...

Twiggybuds, our runoff is very sporadic... so it would not work the same here as it would where you are.. but I do know what your talkin about.. We had an artesian well when we lived in MS when I was a kid...

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

There is not much to report at this time. I am kind of in limbo til I can get some kind of aeration system going. I am still researching the information and have not spent as much time on that as I want to.

I had a crisis with my 3 year old colt Little Creek a couple of days ago. It was a freak accident and a miracle that we were able to save him from broken bones or worse. As it was he tore himself up pretty good. I have been spending my time nursing him for the most part. I am so thankful that he was not seriously injured and like any mom, I am spending so much time with him and taking care of every little thing he needs... Bless his heart... I have him on bute and prep h.

I checked the pond today and it still seems stagnant. There are frogs but the whole thing is just not right somehow... The water is still low and I await the rains that usually fall in September. I am probably hoping for too much too soon. sigh... I patiently wait.... I guess it cannot rejuvenate itself without the rains.

This was taken last April: I was out paddling around and taking pictures of my kids while they were fishing.... Happy Memories..

Thumbnail by fsrstarr
Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Here is another Happy Memory... dgs Christian with his first catfish. (dh is standing behind him)

This shot was taken with them standing on the west end of the pond where the dam is.

Thumbnail by fsrstarr
Tolleson, AZ(Zone 9a)

I have always wanted a pond and this thread has been so informative. Thank you starr for sharing your experience. If I can ever get my husband to leave here and move someplace where I can have acreage and a pond I can use the knowledge I have gained from this thread.

Oh yeah if you think Phoenix was bad way bakc then... You should see it now!! :o(

Hopkinsville, KY(Zone 6b)

Pond 'turn-over'; a very common occurrence with farm ponds.
Understandably distressing, but rarely much, if anything, one can do to prevent it.
I get calls and submissions of dead fish at least a few times each summer, and we almost never find anything that would implicate anything other than the routine destratification &/or algal blooms resulting in oxygen depletion and massive fish kills.

Here's more info:
http://aquanic.org/publicat/state/il-in/faq/fishkil.htm

Hi, fsrstarr. I'm coming in on this thread a bit late. You may have had rains and filled that pond back by now. If not, you have an opportunity right now that will be more difficult later.

I noticed a few things as I read through this. One, you said you found a "couple" of dead carp. If you saw two, and your pond is 1.5 acres, you probably have "a couple thousand." Carp are able to survive the low oxygen level better than any other fish. So, you probably lost most of your catfish, but kept most of your carp. While the pond was in its deepest distress, did you notice carp breathing at the surface?

In your picture showing the pond with the car in the distance, I notice two things about its appearance. The water looks brownish rather than bluish. And, there is not much aquatic vegetation showing. Both of these conditions indicate an infestation of carp. Just driving down a road and looking at ponds from a distance, you can tell whether a pond is mostly a carp pond, or if it's a bass and bluegill pond, by these two things: brown/blue, and vegetation levels. If full of carp, they will keep all the vegetation eaten out, and also keep all the mud stirred up.

Bullhead catfish are the other culprit for keeping a pond muddy all the time, which defeats growth of vegetation. They also are able to survive the low oxygen water. So, right now the pond is likely very heavy in these two species...the two that is most important to keep under control.

If you want to turn this now into a really nice pond, blue water, with vegetation (a pond should be about 1/3 in vegetation through the growing season), now's your opportunity. You must eradicate the carp and bullhead, or it will never maintain good, clear water.

Is the pond an "instream" pond, or is it fed by runoff from surrounding lands? If instream, it's harder to control, since reinfestation from upper ponds on the stream can easily occur.

What I would do while the water is low, and while you've lost your choice catfish, is get some trash pumps on it and drain all the water out. As the water gets very, very low you will suddenly see the thousands of carp that have kept out of sight until they no longer can. It will astound you. There will be more and bigger fish than you would have imagined...but they'll be mostly the problem species.

Leave the pond out of water as long as nature permits. It won't be long before nature has the mess of dead fish cleaned up. You want the remaining silt to dry out as much as possible to reduce remnant bullhead populations.

There is an alternative to pumping the water, and that using Rotenone. Some states have now outlawed it, but it is available for this very use, and in fact supplied by the State fisheries department, in some states. For several reasons, I'd prefer the pumping of a small pond like yours.

If you wanted to make the investment (a pond that size, maybe $5K), you could then dig out all the silt with proper tractor equipment. It's not easy, but it's do-able. I've done two of my own. Bass should have water at least eight feet deep at a minimum. It's very likely if your pond is at least 30 to 50 years old that it has silted in to five feet or less.

Whether you dig it out or not, when the rains come and fills it back up, immediately stock it back with bass and bluegill, as large as you can reasonably afford. These predator fish will from then on control the population of carp and bullheads. The larger stockers are better, because they will control the baby bullheads the very first season, which is critical. The water will become blueish, and light will get down to start the vegetation growing. If you want channel catfish, they can co-exist nicely, without stirring up the mud. But I'd wait a year or two to get them started, as they are competition for available food supply. The bass are the workers that will keep the pond species in balance, and I'd let them have the first year or two without the catfish.

I hope this information is helpful. If it sounds like a project you'd like to pursue, I'd be happy to help with additional insight along the way.

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

Marie, I hope you get your acreage and your pond someday... I had to migrate to Missouri to get mine and I have absolutely no regrets. The last I visited my sister in Az, I could not believe the changes... I would never ever move back there... I prefer to visit kinfolk in MS ... at least I love going there... lol

Lucky_P, you are correct... it was a situation that I could not control and it does happen more often I had realized at first... the oxygen depletion flat killed every fish in that pond...and it happened virtually overnight!!!

KSGrazier, Your insight and opinions are very good and I appreciate your input. I have heard of the situation with the carp before, but that is not the case in this instance. I have conferred with the fisheries biologist and the pond simply rolled over and died from oxygen depletion. To answer your question of water supply, the pond is fed from runoff... I would be happy to hear any insight you may have as I continue this thread this coming spring when I will renew my efforts to completely restore this pond...

Update: We did not get the rains we needed until just recently... the pond does look improved, but it is not ready for fish... I think next spring will be the time to try restore it. In the meantime, it does have frogs and a couple of turtles ... no loggerheads, thank goodness, they are bad news here... but all is quiet there now since winter arrived...

I thank all of you for your input and your concern. I will update as I get new info, but I certainly love to learn/discuss anything about this along the way. So please feel free to jump in at any time with comments, suggestions, or hello's.... :)

Merry Christmas!!

Thumbnail by fsrstarr

Just so there's no misunderstanding, fsrstarr, "the situation with the carp" would have had nothing to do with the conditions that caused the fish kill. Just that they are likely there in great abundance, and they and the bullheads, the two least desireable of all species, are the ones that likely survived. If so, this is a problem that should be dealt with directly and immediately *before* any attempt at restoration. Because, if so, the numbers at which they may still be present would shock you.

Best of luck with it!

Norwood, MO(Zone 6a)

KSG, I am going check into that to be absolutely certain, but one thing I have found in our area is that most of the fish we purchase from the suppliers at our AG center do not reproduce... I have not seen them reproduce ... the pond suppliers are independent fish growers and they depend on folks buying from them every year... the only fish that I have found that will reproduce are the minnows, and the blue gills... A neighbor says her crappie reproduce, but I do not put crappie in my pond for the same reason that I don't want loggerheads in there: they eat everything in the pond... thank you for input, it is good to get other opinions.

Neither the carp nor the bullheads would be sold by a supplier. They are native. They normally wash in, or swim upstream when waters are running. The eggs can also be carried in by birds, and occasionally cranes will carry one to another pond and drop it in. And they will reproduce like crazy. The only way to control them is to have a good, strong predator population in place, and that means bass, hybrid bluegill, other bream, and the native green perch in our part of the country (Ks/Mo).

Crappie are "big impoundment" fish. Generally speaking you wouldn't want them in anything less than 15 acres. Some will use a hybrid *black* crappie (such as the Arkansas blacknose crappie) in smaller ponds...never white crappie, which overpopulate much worse, especially in turbid waters (which is created by carp and bullhead). The reason crappie are a threat to other species is they spawn earlier, and by the time the bass are spawning there are a lot of little new crappie swimming around to consume the bass fry. This situation can be abated if you have a strong crop of moss and aquatic plants (which is defeated if you have the carp).

This message was edited Dec 10, 2006 11:29 AM

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