- My pond is about two fifths of an acre, big enough for ice-fishing,
fly fishing, casting, still fishing, canoeing, swimming, watching ducks,
- Ice- fishing in a well stocked pond is a great way to get youngsters
interested in outdoor things to do in winter.
- Consider an "artful wildness to perplex the scene."
- Cedar and spruce are easy to grow for shade. Beavers prefer to cut
down and eat poplar and balm of gilead. Willows and alder are easy to grow
and bring birds and insects close to the pond's edge.
- Rafts provide shade: use posts, boards, styrofoam, suspended louvers,
reeds on stretched mesh, string beans.....
- I control algae with coarse white cattle salt granules. A half bag
does my size of pond: once in June or July at the bloom stage, once in
August if needed. Beware: if you use salt, spread it in the morning
while photosynthesis is active, or you may do unexpected damage. Some
algae bloom helps create shade and makes the fish less vulnerable to predators.
- Water circulation helps.
- Larger stock fish 8" to 10" cost more initially, but have
a better survival rate than fry or fingerlings; they are more wary of predators
- Speckled trout can reproduce in a pond; rainbow will not; they need
the pressure of fast water on their sides to spawn naturally.
Predators: behavior modification
- Herons dislike strange objects or surprises: foil pie plates on a string
tied to a stake, windmills that change locations each day, monofilament
fishing lines a foot off the shore, or five feet in the air where they
like to land.
- Otters and mink are relentless predators. The otter, though beautiful,
will stockpile and waste its catch. Both may have to be controlled or they
will deplete your stock quickly. Beavers will cut and eat trees and shrubs;
they also carry a parasite that causes "beaver fever" having
flu-like symptoms in people. Raccoons will upset containers but do not
get fish if the banks drop steeply. Stretch a section of two foot mesh
wire; on the outside, position a single strand of cattle electric fence
wire placed on insulators at the twelve to sixteen inch level. The stepped-down
transformer delivers an intermittent, but not damaging, shock and modifies
the tendency to return again and again. This shock is like the surprise
you get from a static electricity shock created by padding about in wool
socks on a carpet; it is not the same as putting your finger in a socket
as you see in cartoons.
- An infrared sensor on a double flood light receptacle can scare poachers
- four legged and two legged. Movement will turn on the light in one socket
and a radio plugged into the other on blast volume. The duration can be
- Osprey have excellent fishing skills. They are magnificent to watch
as they hover, crest and then plummet a hundred feet to take a trout almost
as big as they are. They visit ponds while migrating to nesting sites on
large lakes. The spectacle is worth a few trout. Noise or visible presence
deters their fast- food, take-out service.
- I use an older model GAST pond bubbler and muffle the noise. The circulation
slows algae and prevents winter/summer fish kill; it has kept a hole open
in thirty inches of ice.
- I add no water in winter. In spring, summer and fall, my artesian well
creates a steady outflow.
- Try a low powered light to attract insects to the water surface to
increase the food supply for the fish.
- Add trees. I have; cedar, balm of gilead, spruce, maple, poplar, juniper,
willow, alder, birch.
- Find aquatic plants. I am wary of aquatics that might get out of control
even though they may have attractive flowers. I have cattails and redtop.
Ones just added include: crested dwarf sweet flag, yellow flag, Siberian
iris, marsh marigold, Canada lily. Surface plants and oxygenators need
more research for my hardiness zone 4, close to 3, conditions.
- These newly planted perennials add color: cardinal flower, purple cone
flower, red and white columbine, Canada violet. I plan to add these: wild
roses pink and yellow, yarrow, autumn glow, brown-eyed susan, meadow clary,
hosta , coreopsis, flox. There are bird's foot trefoil and various meadow
grasses on the shoreline. Native wild flowers belong in this setting. Golden
rod, milkweed (nursery for monarch butterflies) and Queen Anne's lace abound;
ferns, profusion chives and water cress are spreading slowly.