Jack and I did something today we’ve never done. We “bagged some fish!” We have a small pond behind our studio/home, about 2 acres in size. This summer we had a lot of algae in the water so I called the Wilson County Agriculture Extension Agency and they said, “You need some Grass Carp.” Like we would know what they are. The agent went on to explain the fish will eat their weight daily in all of the nuisance water weeds and algae. We would have to submit an official, notarized application and have our pond inspected before we would be approved. We couldn’t believe this, these have to be some pretty special fish. Turns out they are sterile, the young fish are injected with an extra chromosome so they won’t reproduce and they grow to be 60 pounds. So they will eat A LOT of water weeds! The fish are only sold by certified dealers, fortunately Herrmann Fish Farm comes to a feed store relatively close by several times a year. AND, today was the day. You can see the special trailer with the fish tanks above.
We also want to stock our pond with Bass. In order to do this we have to start this fall with minnows and native bluegill. The minnows multiple rapidly and are food for the bluegill. Which in turn will grow and multiply to be dinner for the bass we get next spring. I never knew there was so much to know about fish. So today we got 2000 minnows and 300 bluegill along with our 10 grass carp. My first question was how do they count the minnows? As you can see in the picture above, they weigh them!
Remember when you were a kid and brought home a goldfish in a little bag with water from the five and dime store? Well, this is basically the same thing, just on a bigger scale. Our 300 bluegill are in the bag the man is holding. The bags are filled with air to oxygenate the water so the fish will live longer.
After a sloshing trip home it was time to take the fish to the pond. Our property is very sandy so we had to transport the fish from the SUV to the water in our yard cart. The plastic crates help support the bags so they won’t break.
The next step in the procedure was to place the bags of fish in the shallow water for about 10 minutes so the fish could become acclimatized to the temperature of the pond. I imagine they also needed to stop jostling around and get their equilibrium!
Here I’m pouring the minnows into the water. All of our fish made it safely to their new home. As Jack was taking pictures he noticed a Great Blue Heron watching from a tree across the pond. I just hope those fish swim fast and deep. I’ll be back painting tomorrow. See you then. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik