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Fish kill question

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by swantucky, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. I have a 1/3 acre pond that has an average depth of around 8' this time of year. It is warmer than normal for this time of year but is not lower than usual. About a month ago I put 3 white amur in to control the weeds.
    I came home from a long weekend and found 10 hand sized bluegill and 1 decent catfish floating dead. I have never had this happen before in the 8 years I have owned the pond and the water has been much lower and I believe much warmer. It would seem to me the bass would be less tolerant of the heat and such and have not had any die yet.
    Anybody have any ideas on possible causes or solutions?
     
  2. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    Maybe some type of alge bloom?
     

  3. katfish

    katfish Cats are where it's at!

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    Swantucky

    Maybe this article about Oxygen depletion will answer your question.

    O2 depletion

    This may not be a result of the fishes resistance to Oxygen depletion as much as where they live. Panfish live in shallower water and that area may be more severely affected.

    This type of Oxygen depletion is called bloom crash.

    O2 depletion and possible cures

    I hope this helps you understand and possibly cure the problem at your pond.
     
  4. Too many grass carp for one...at most you needed 2 - ideally 1 fish over time once larger will control the weeds. is your pond devoid of bottom based weeds? if so you have an oxygen problem. If you are going to keep grass carp you need to install a bottom aerator (not a fountain!)...they will eat all the oxygen producing plants and you will get complete winterkill in bad years
     
  5. Thanks for the quick responces. Great information. Reading those articles I think a had a few things all come together to kill my fish. 1) had a good rain just before I left last week 2) the kids were not in the pond splashing around ALL day long like they normally are to help even if only a little to oxygenate the water 3) the 3 grass carp I put in knocked the crap out of the weeds I did have growing on the bottom.


    I know the long term solution is an areator but that is just not in the budget right now. I think for the short term to minimize any losses I will get my pumps going for a few days and a least move some water through the air and try to get the O2 level back up. Looks like some archery practice may be in order to remove at least one of the grass carp. I have had a heck of a time trying to balance between keeping the weeds down for swimming and giving the fish cover and O2 by leaving some in.

    thanks again for all the help!!!! any other suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  6. Before my grandpa could afford a regular areator he used a small air compressor with an areator type rock thing clamped onto the end and it seemed to work ok.

    J
     
  7. You took a tinkle in the pond didnt you?? LOL. seriously take a utility type sump pump and attach about 3-4 ft of pvc and set it in the water. Kinda like a redneck fountain. Dont laugh it worked for a friend of mine, untill you can get a system for the pond. Stay away from an air compresser unless it is oil-less.
     
  8. Irish, I was planning on doing just what you suggested. I bought a stainless steel H/D sump pump for a back-up in the basement a few years ago. With A few adult beverages and some hillbilly engineering I'm hoping to have something going in a couple hours tonight. I'll let you guys know how it works.
     
  9. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

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    I wouldn't completely blame the grass carp. My uncles pond is about the same size and he's got 4 that are 20+ lbs and we never had fish die like that. I dont' think they help the situation but we had some big fish in there for a long time with minimal vegetation.

    Now once the new neibhorhood was built behind his property, then we had trouble keeping the fish in, grrrrr.
     
  10. From what I have read about the grass carp they eat less and less vegatation as they grow older so they may not be as much of a problem as my little ones are, but what do I know. I did see two of them the other day walking around the pond and I know this may be had to believe but it looks like they have grown as much as 2"-3" since I put them in 5-6 weeks ago.

    I did the sump pump thing and have been running it all night at shutting it down durning the day when the kids are fishing/swimming. (electricity+water+kids=big time danger) It seems to be working as I have not had any more floaters. The weather is supposed to moderate so hopefully I won't have to run it much longer. Thanks for everyones help.
     
  11. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

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    Cool I never really read up on pond management or grass carp. I just stated some observations I noticed while fishing his pond growing up. One thing for sure is even if they do slow down, 4 of them in a pond thats about an acre is enough to eat all the vegetation, his pond is void of anything.

    Wish I knew what to catch them suckers on they're huge :D
     
  12. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    some blades of grass or other small bits of weeds on a light hook might work for catching them.or for some real fun,dry flies with fly rod :D
    i used to catch them that way,from a friend's pond.when they suck in the fly,hang on :D
     

  13. I didn't know that grass carp just up and got out of the water and walked around the pond. HAHAHA

    J
     
  14. Disease. Bluegill and catfish are very hardy. They will suck air form the surface if O2 is low. A lone fisherman that sneaks in and decides not to keep the catch can dump them back killing them due to a bucket. You are right, Bass are more fragile to 02 depletion. If the grass carp were diseased you would tend to find sluggish dying fish also. As much wind as we have had your pond should be ok for now.
    Did the fish show and wounds?
    Ducks this time of year can play havoc with increases in poop. A pond that small can get in trouble real fast from things. If you can..get some solar driveway lights (2-3$) put around pond to attract the insect to help feed the fish. Placed on the opposite side of the pond from your house may also aleviate some unwanted stuff in the direction of your house.
    I would be concerned that it is a one time incident rather than biological.
     
  15. One of the main reasons for fish kill after a heavey rain is pesticide/fertilizer runoff getting into the pond especially if you or adjacent properties have treated for grubs which is very toxic to fish. An oxygen problem would be more widespread and bring all the fish to the top of the water and the rain itself adds o2 to the water whereas a pesticide intro. depending on concentration, can have a more specific impact ie: sick/injured fish,species,age group etc... you may need to do some re-routing of runoff good luck!
     
  16. Hgbjr, the EPA cracked down on the Grub killers about 5 years years ago and manufacturers had to reformulate. Summertime fish kills after rain events are not due to chemical runoff a vast majority of the time but rather premature turnover or a mass planktonic algae die off causing the O2 crash. Although farmers/chemical runoff are often blamed anyway.
     
  17. Swantucky, if you aim your spray parallel to the pond surface, you'll get better oxygen transfer than spraying up in the air. Basically the idea is to move the surface water across bringing up more water to be exposed. This creates more surface area for the exchange to be made. Really, you should look at installing a bottom diffuser set up as it will move a lot more water much more efficiently then your temporary setup.
     
  18. Sorry Pondfin, I was just sharing the info. given me by the ODNR fish biologist I spoke with. Now, I don't know who to believe?
     
  19. No reason to appologize, I may be wrong.

    I'm not sure why a 7 year old thead was revived. 10 bluegill and a catfish hardly counts as a fish kill IMO....unless you only have a dozen fish.
     
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