Saturday, June 28, 2014

Goodbye Catfish

Our weather has been absolutely nuts.  Rain and stormy one day, sweltering hot the next, cool fronts followed by sunshine that heats up everything so that handrails cause pain when touched.  What to do?  Very little.  Stay indoors.  Run the AC on blast.  Eat ice and popscicles.  

Then we started getting rain.  Rain.  More rain.  Rain for days. Cloudy, gloomy days of rain.  The overcast sky and run-off from the rain caused a roll-over in the pond.  That means that the catfish are dying from lack of oxygen.  Well, by now they are all gone.  The biggest ones go first since they require the most oxygen, then the medium ones and, by this morning, the small fish were floating.  It's horrible to see and there is nothing to be done. 

Our pond.
Ponds get oxygen naturally 
from the sunshine and the splashing movement in the water.  We have a pump that sprays water to help replenish oxygen, but the sun does the most work.  When the sky is overcast for days, it becomes a problem.  

However, the run-off of water from the rain churns up the bottom muck, which in turns sucks out more oxygen.  The pump can't handle the extra drain and the fish begin dying.  By the time we realize the problem, it's too late for the fish and every one is lost.  

Of course, it's horrible and gets worse as the fish begin to decompose.  It will take about a month for the water to stabilize but we'll wait even longer before buying fingerlings (baby fish) to replace the ones we've lost.  That means at least a year before we have fish that are big enough to catch.  

Probably the worst is that Rich is pretty attached to his fish. He loves to feed them and to go out to the pond where it's quiet and peaceful.  He really enjoys fishing and loves it when the boys come by with their rod and reels.  

We also lucky to have had a couple of white, or albino, catfish. We could see them feeding along the edges of the pond and occasionally when we were fishing. They were easy to spot and recognize from their markings.  They were special. 

They are gone, though, and buying fingerlings does not guarantee getting albino fish.  We'd had these for several years since no one would even consider catching them.  They are like pets to us, so their loss is really disheartening.  All from a bit of rain and clouds.

All images from Google images unless otherwise noted.

No comments: