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Pond Observations


Blue Raider Bob
Go to solution Solved by AlabamaSpothunter,

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Wow I missed a lot. Could have swore I signed up for notifications on this thread.

 

Battling nutria at my work's pond right now as well. Burrowed huge holes next to the inlet drain pipes. Seems like you got past the issue for now but I'll talk to our trapper when he comes out next time and pass on any tips I hear. 

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Rebirth!

 

Bob, I really like this line:

 

Quote

The fish that survived the otters will now get more water over their backs, and room to run.

 

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Looking like paradise.... ACHIEVED!  Congratulations and here's to a great spring!

 

🎣🎣🎣🎣

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13 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

Rebirth!

 

Bob, I really like this line:

 

 

     Unfortunately, two Chanel Cats around the four pound mark were taken from the pond this winter by the otters. They were both caught at the Tennessee River while bass fishing and placed in the pond. The largest bass remaining may be two pounds but there are lots of BG left. If Alex and our favorite police officer86 would just bring some of their hogs over, they could eat the otters and solve that problem.  Otherwise, it will be left to me to restock, which is not a viable option.

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1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

If Alex and our favorite police officer86 would just bring some of their hogs over, they could eat the otters and solve that problem.

 

@Bluebasser86 has a police car with sirens and lights, so he can drive really fast to deliver big bass and no one can pull him over for speeding. And if delivering big bass to Bob after his Muskrat and Otter War isn't an emergency warranting 100 m.p.h.+ speeds, what is?

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One of T-Billy's Musky's would solve my otter problem! That, and one of RipLipz muskrat eating bass. Too bad he ate it! I could-of used that little devil!

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  • 2 weeks later...

     Was able to pump about a foot and and half of water into the pond before the polar vortex arrived. Pictures show the completed rip-rap beginning to be covered by the water. Still having a dreadful time with the otter though. Before the freeze there were a couple of bass skulls on the dock. These skulls were small, so the otter, or otter's, are working their way down the food chain. I doubt there's anything left larger than a pound. After the first snow, it was easy to see the otter tracks. It comes in from the wet weather creek, and leaves a half pipe kind of trail where it drags, and slides its body. I will certainly have to solve this before any restocking happens. Expecting highs in the forties today with several days of rain. Should be able to pump her full in a week or so.

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Seeing those skulls on that beautiful dock would break my heart. I sure hope you can trap that otter. I only fished the bog nearest to me twice in 2024. The first time, I had six otters alongside my canoe. The next time, I caught about six bass in a bog that's good for 30+ bass. I've wondered ever since if those six otters weren't emptying that pond.

 

Bob, it looks like Maine there!

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31 minutes ago, ol'crickety said:

Seeing those skulls on that beautiful dock would break my heart. I sure hope you can trap that otter. I only fished the bog nearest to me twice in 2024. The first time, I had six otters alongside my canoe. The next time, I caught about six bass in a bog that's good for 30+ bass. I've wondered ever since if those six otters weren't emptying that pond.

 

Bob, it looks like Maine there!

     I will set my cage on the dock baited with fresh shrimp if I have too. I am in full blown otter patrol! As you can see, "Rosy" is getting big! As we discussed, Great Pyrenees are terrific herd guardians when left with the herd at a young age and left alone. They are terrible guardians when carried around, spoiled, pampered, overfed, loved on, tummy rubbed, and fussed over by little girls. Guess how "Rosy" will turn out? 

     I'm sure Maine is as beautiful as it gets, but I'm ready for Tennessee winters to come back. I have not fished in 2024! And yes, it breaks my heart to see bass jaws and scattered scales all over the dock. I can't bring home anything until I solve this problem. 

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Bob goes ice fishing!!!

 

id be too chicken to walk on that even where the person in the photo is standing 😂 

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Regarding Rosy, if it makes Em smile, Dad, then all is well.

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Regarding Rosie, anything for Em, Dad, anything for Em. 💓

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     Ample rainfall has raised the pond level, and kept the wet weather creek flowing to pump water. Just a few more inches to full pool and we will have put the muskrat issue to rest. Still have to eliminate the otters if I want to maintain mature bass throughout the year, but on a positive note........the new dock bridge posts have been set and soon I can revisit the dock chair and catch up on observing, and idleness! I still have scads of little BG with a few small LM so there will be things going on, especially after the aquatic plantings and new introductions. Turtles are already out and, of course, the ubiquitous Spring Peepers are deafening.

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4 minutes ago, Eric 26 said:

@Blue Raider Bob Congratulations on a job well done and keep these updates coming.

Thank you Eric and I really appreciate your interest! The third picture shows the wet weather creek that runs through my property. It will be filled with salamander larva all spring long. I built the rock pond and the pond just in front of the utility pole using remnants of my big pond liner. They fill up with fish when the creek overflows, and frogs use the dirt and grass banked pond during warm weather to raise their broods. They retain water all year long. You can see horses and goats in the background destroying my retirement account.

On 1/22/2024 at 12:33 PM, TnRiver46 said:

Bob goes ice fishing!!!

 

id be too chicken to walk on that even where the person in the photo is standing 😂 

The ice was so thick, I could walk all over without the slightest crack. However, I never strayed too far from the dock and my daughter stayed within daddy reach! Her puppy ran wild all over the pond, and by the tracks that were evident, so did the otters!

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21 minutes ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

the new dock bridge posts have been set and soon I can revisit the dock chair and catch up on observing, and idleness!

 

^This^ is good news, Bob. You have worked so hard to save your pond. A few years ago, I captured and relocated 33 red squirrels, but they wanted peanuts so badly that they were easy to catch. Otters are tricksy!

 

 

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Wouldn't it be great if we were all rich enough to simply buy a lake, which self-manages itself?

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     We've always heard and read, "Fish the Points, always fish the points". Why is that? What makes fish gravitate to the points. I do not have that answer but as you can see in the following photos, last years BG fry accumulate at the points. This is the new rip-rapped point where my dock bridge is attached. The water falls off to the deepest part of the pond, (8'), and has proven to be a baitfish magnet. There are scattered BG populations over much of the pond, and much of the pond bank is void of baitfish, but the main concentrations remain at this rip-rapped point.

     Sorry about the picture quality but hope there is enough of interest. The water clarity is improving daily. 

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Great reminder, Bob, to fish the points. 

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  • 1 month later...

     The pond problems continue. For those who have shown an interest, after lowering the pond three feet in my battle with the Muskrats, I once again raised the level to full pool with the late winter rains and my pump. Unfortunately, I noticed the pond level dropping a whopping 1-1/2 each day. I refilled hoping it was a bad dream, but alas, it was not to be so. The pond was dropping daily and there was nothing else to do but to find the leaks. The liner is a 30 mil. product produced to line ponds for livestock production, so It is a very tough liner. With that said, I was facing the daunting task of solving this problem. The pond has a saddle right in the middle with a full pool depth of 42 inches at the saddle. The two left and right sections have a full pool depth of 8' and 5'. I moved the dock to the deepest part and started pumping out the water. This took several days and a couple dozen tank fulls of fuel but the pond is now separated and the saddle is dry. Here is where the devil is plaguing me. Hydraulic pressure from ground water is floating the liner and will not allow me to complete effort. This is not an issue when the pond is full, as the weight of the pond water negates the pressure from below, but with the absence of counterweight, the pond liner just rises to the top of the water column. I will have to wait until the ground water level lowers itself as the drier seasons progress.

     With all that said, I have begun to solve the issues of leakage. There are a couple dozen holes in the liner and almost all are at seams and folds in the liner that were caused by the uneven pond bottom topography. They are the size of a quarter and I do not have a clue what is causing them. My guess would have to be turtles, but that is a guess. One of the photos will show the hole and my repair which consists of stainless steel staples.  Another issue is how to save as many fish as possible as I do this repair. If I drain one side, I can net as many as possible to transfer to the other side and repeat. At least that is the theory. I'll post the progress.

     On the subject of fish and observations, the LM are clearing off and defending beds albeit in only 12" of water. There are only three or four LM of two pounds that I can see as the otters relieved me of all my prizes, but there are a large number of smaller age classes, same with BG.

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47 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Hang in there Bob, there's always a silver lining, sometimes it just takes a while to figure out what it may be.   

 

 

Thanks Alex!  I'm not really sweating it. Just a stumped toe in the walk of life. I'm grateful for yours and Eric's interest, as well as others. I would like to everything back to normal by late spring so I can plant my water plants and avoid farm work!

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