Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Fish Stocking Finally Done, Now Time for Fun!

Friday evening about 5:30 and we rolled out of Mr. Obrien's pond after unloading our last fish of the fall fish stocking season here in Central Illinois! Over the last few weeks we have been unloading fish trucks from Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and Minnesota. Sounds fairly simple to stock a pond or two with some fish, but it actually is the most stressful aspect of my job!!
Here is the last tiger muskie of the year going into Jared's pond. I didnt take many pictures of fish stocking this season, because it was mainly cold, dark, and rainy most of the time, or we were in a big hurry the rest of the time.

When the fish are harvested, they need to be stocked regardless of the weather or time of day they arrive. We spent many days this fall stocking fish till well past midnight, and many times it took several days straight to get all the fish to their new homes! We stocked over 40 lakes and ponds this fall with over 10000 walleye; thousands of catfish, hybrid striped bass, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch; hundreds of muskie, tiger muskie, and northern pike; thousands of lbs of feed trained largemouth bass and rainbow trout; a couple thousand smallmouth bass fingerlings; and hundreds of thousands of fatheads and shiners!!!!!!

While it is pretty stressful coordinating and delivering fish it is also pretty neat as well! We made a few smallmouth bass only lakes, feed trained bass ponds, trophy trout fishin holes, and one of my favorite stocking projects of the last few years is turning a 32 acre carp infested lake into a world class tiger muskie, northern pike and walleye fishery!
This year instead of just adding fingerlings to that lake, we turned back the clock a few years and added a whole bunch of 3-7 year old northern pike from 25-42 inches long!!!

Anyhow, friday evening I got home and spent the next 51 hours just playing with my kids, and it was great! We picked corn for the geese, rode in a boat across the pond, walked to the apple orchard, fed the goats, went down a big slide 100 times, rode a hayrack ride, took a ride in a monster truck, rode Justin's 4-wheeler for a couple hours, and each had about 5 bags of cotton candy throughout the day. Here is noah stuffing it in as fast as possible!
Noah and Tess on the monster truck.
Tess, Mae, and Ariya are a bit scared, but loving it!
Noah on the Train!

Brook was out of town with some friends at a conference and we just spent every minute of Saturday playing and helping out at the garage sale!

The garage sale is a whole nother topic, but here goes. Recently we moved from our house into a nice 3 bedroom apartment while we are looking for a house to fix up and move into. Anyhow we had a whole bunch of stuff with no place to put it. Also my parents are getting ready to move as well so we combined all our stuff and had a huge indoor garage sale at the barn. Now here is the kicker- we decided to donate all of the proceeds of the sale to feed the children at Gabriels school down in Haiti and with a few posts on craigslist, facebook, etc we had absolutely tons of people come and donate stuff to the sale as well as volunteer throughout! Literally hundreds of people came to the sale on Friday and Saturday and we made a total of $8710 and are not only able to feed the kids at the school for over a year, but a few thousand dollars will help fix some electrical problems down there as well!!!!!

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