Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shocking Fish, Catching Fish, Killing Fish

Wow has this ever been quite the week! Lots of cool stuff happening. It is Wednesday evening and I have already logged 49 hours of work since monday morning at 5 am and spent this evening at the swimming pool with the kids. I got lots of pics and stories, here goes.

Monday morning I got to the office super early to get ready for the week, cause I knew I wouldnt be in again till friday. I answered as many emails as possible and then headed out to treat some ponds with Allen. About 3 pm we were headed out to Tremont to apply some algaecide for Lake Windermere to look purdy for 4th of July when our hub went out on our trailer. The only place we could find with the right hub was actually gander mountain in Peoria. So off we headed to get the right part as fast as possible. We obviously didnt make it back in time to spray the lake before our scheduled electrofishing survey in Secor at 7 pm. Not to dwell on the broken hub, but that wasnt fun nor easy. Anyhow we shocked the 4 acre secor pond and found some really cool big albino white catfish:

Got home about 10 pm and spent an hour catching up on puter stuff. Then up at 5 am tuesday and off to Quincy, IL for an electrofishing survey and install a 1 horsepower HB fountain. The owners of the 1 acre pond just bought the place and wanted to know what was in there. I knew immediately before even putting the boat in the water or seeing a fish that this pond was full of channel catfish and hybrid bluegill. I knew because there was millions of tadpoles and frogs, super muddy water with no recent rains, and absolutely no YOY baby fish swimming around. I had a pretty good hunch there was no bass and bluegill. Anyhow the survey we found lots of big catfish and really nice sized hybrid redear sunfish and the surprise find was 1000's of 4-6 inch black crappie. Interesting, new stocking plan in place for the new owners.

From Quincy we head over to Tremont to finish up Windermere and also a private 6 acre pond a few miles away. Then at 5 pm we make it over to Metamora to drop off some lake supplies and check on some smallmouth bass and albino white catfish we stocked for a 3 acre pond that is 70 feet deep. All is going great there. Then over to the snack bar at Jubilee foods in germantown hills for a quick bite and off to White Oak Lake for our second electrofishing survey there. I have a real good handle on all of the fish in there, we just got blown and rained off the water last week. Here is a pic of a big channel catfish, but what was interesting is they actually have a reproducing population of flathead catfish, but the channels are not reproducing.

That place has serious potential for producing big fish, just needs a few baby steps in the right direction. We finished up after dark and then home at 10:30 pm to do some more puter work to keep the online store and such running smooth.

BTW, while Allen and I are out making hay and holding down the fort, Justin is at Lake Chetek in Wisconsin catching crappies, northerns, and riding dirt bikes. He found a school of crappie suspended in the deepest part of the lake and has limited out on them every day of his trip so far. Here are a couple pics he texted over:

His family is either going to have to move their family vacation to another time of year or go without him from now on........

Nowadays with autodrive, gps, cellular phones, and blackberry internet we can run our entire office, schedule new work, answer emails, and update store listings all while driving thru construction zones going from one place to the next:

For those of you with no sense of humor and ready to turn us in for breaking the law (yep there is people out there with nothing better to do apparently), the above photo is just a made up scene while trying to find a hub for our broken trailer. I did however get a ticket for talking on my cell phone in a construction zone last week. I was at a stand still on war memorial and pulled out my phone to call my client and let them know I was going to be late when I looked over and a police officer was looking right at me. The van behind me graciously allowed him to pull right out into our lane and pull me over. I am just glad the officer was cool. He gave me the ticket I deserved, and let me on my way.

So anyhow Wednesday morning I headed out before the sun again and went out to Princeville to investigate a massive fish kill. This pond we had stocked and hopping with some of the best fish in the county! Big bass, big catfish, and big bluegill all dead. There were still some small fish gasping for air at the surface yet this morning, but all the big ones were toast (more like rancid bloatedness than toast, but you get the point). I have the fish kill pinpointed to the nasty water that was pumped into the pond on Sunday. The silt pond above the main pond was being renovated so they broke the dam and pumped the rest of the water into the main pond.

Something in that water caused some sort of reaction in the pond that sucked all the oxygen out of the good water and actually is still causing all the oxygen to be depleted in the pond. This pond has a very good aeration system rolling and yet all the big fish still suffocated to death. I can tell the cause of death is suffocation and not from toxic substance, because all of the small fish are still alive and gasping for breath at the surface, but all the large fish are deader than a doornail.

From the fish kill I was off to deliver some hybrid striped bass, hybrid bluegill, and 300 lbs of fish food to a goose hunting club near weematuk. From there I headed out to meet Steve Cicciarelli with Pipco for an afternoon meeting that turned into a fishing trip. The weather was just too nice to not go fishing. With the high pressure, bluebird skies and plenty of sunshine we decided to fish jigheads tipped with nightcrawlers down on the bottom. We caught a dozen nice hybrid striped bass in the 20 foot zone, and caught 10 really nice rainbow trout down in the 40 feet deep zone. Steve had a huge trout come up from 40 feet down like a kamikaze rocket and jump literally over his head and 6 feet into the air- one of the coolest things you will ever see. Anyhow that fish ended up breaking the line, but he did manage to land this nice 8 lb rainbow later on in the day:

We only planned on fishing an hour, but that turned into an extra hour when we found the schools of stripers, trout, and a few bonus bluegill, smallmouth, and walleye. All down deep on the jigheads tipped with 2-3 inch night crawler chunks.

From there I headed straight home and into the pool with Mae and Noah. Brook brought us some Mcdonalds to eat poolside. The kids hadnt seen me since Sunday evening and needed some serious dad attention. We finished off the evening with some ice cream and Robin Hood the cartoon.

Thursday will be another fun day of delivering 12 Texas Hunter Fish Feeders and 10,000 lbs of fish food to a client, then off to a consultation in Lewiston, and delivering forage fish to Cuba. Friday we are gonna kill some weeds for a couple people and then off to the lake for the afternoon and overnight. Saturday I will be delivering some big hybrid striped bass to Cuba and then will be guiding some guests for a client at his property for an afternoon fishing trip and then lord willing fish fry if we are so lucky as to catch some dinner. Chef Todd is gonna help with the collecting of fish and especially the cooking of dinner. Gonna be fun and then back to the lake to finish camping with lots of family until Monday!!!!

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