No, I don't want a pole or reel or lures for Christmas! My fishing license is to have permission to add certain fish to our pond. And now I have one.
Last summer we noticed an excess amount of vegetation in our pond. And as we have never added fish to our "water feature," we can imagine that what minnows that we do have won't be able to manage the vegetation. Not yet, anyway!
So my hub began some research and with the help of some "experts" determined that we needed grass carp to help keep our pond manageable. Well, first one of us needed a permit to order and own these special veggie eaters. As I am the American citizen, it was my place to apply. And I did. When we arrived home from our trip to The Netherlands, there were my "papers" in the mail.
Hub had already shopped around for grass carp suppliers, and he found one that would deliver our fish about 1 1/2 hours from Wetcreek. So he ordered a dozen 8 inch beauties, and we took possession of them yesterday at lunchtime.
If you have ever managed an aquarium ( or even a goldfish bowl), you know that fish are sold in tied plastic bags with some water and lots of oxygen. For these carp that was not the exception. The two bags were very large, and the fish looked like some we have been served while on vacations in Austria. I suppose at the cost of about $10 each they could possibly be restaurant worthy!
But our plan is to watch them grow and keep our pond tidy. Not eat them!
So back to the fish "launching" ( not lunching). As recommended by the fish supplier, when we arrived to pick up the fisher's dozen we had two large plastic boxes in the bed of our truck. The largest one was necessary to contain both bags of carp, and they must have sloshed and bounced around all the way back to our place. Guess they had gotten somewhat used to that jostling having made the long trip from near Little Rock down here to us. But Hub drove as calmly as he could and tried to make the trip as quickly as possible. Sometimes that is not easy to do on our Louisiana backroads.
When we arrived at our pond, then the water "tempering" began. I left my hub holding the bags (literally!!) in the shallow water on the edge of the pond for 10 minutes while I scurried home to get twine, a plastic measuring cup, a garden stool, and our garden parasol (since the fish needed shade).
By that time our neighbor had noticed the commotion of two vehicles at the edge of the pond, and he came to see what we were up to.
With the twine, my husband tied the two bags on a sort of leash so they would not drift away and that he could finally stand up straight or even sit on the stool. (He had tried out the big plastic box with no success! Reminds me of my own dad sitting on our styrofoam ice chest at a roadstop up in the New Mexico forest 50 years ago. So much for the styrofoam lid! ;)
After 30 minutes of carp crowding the corners of the bag trying to escape the tight quarters, the water temperature getting nearer the temp at the edge of the pond, and tiny schools of minnows coming in close to check out the new inhabitants, Hub opened each bag carefully. Following the fish supplier's instructions, he began exchanging measuring cups full of fish water and our pond water. We were not looking forward to "fish shock." So far, so good!
The fish seemed to quieten down and when he released them most swam away taking a risk in their new home. Only one fish lingered behind, but I think he had mud in his eyes from the muddy water my hub stirred up along the bank. Then all of the "dirty dozen" had swum away.
This nature stuff is all new to the both of us. We do our best to research and then follow directions so we will do right by Mother Nature.
And the funniest thing I heard during this experience is when my hub said, "Guess this is as close as I'll get to giving birth." What a Guy!
Oh, by the way, we checked in on our "catch" yesterday afternoon and are sure we saw a few break the water with their noses. And no "bellies up!" Not yet, anyway!
Please don't even utter the word OTTER!