Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shark, Doves, Ponds, Food Plots, and Solar Aeration

Pond and lake management is on the downhill slide for summer maintenance, but we are eagerly gearing up for fish stockings and electrofishing surveys this fall. We got alot of stuff happening at the moment because work stuff is in complete transition, summer help is gone, plus add in a whole bunch of land management stuff like food plots, timber clearing, and hanging deer stands, plus throw in the start of football season, also the fish are really starting to bite, and my family needs a little time, plus been helping my brother in law build his house on top of a few fishing park outings and life is pretty crazy at the moment. Oh yeah, I backed my truck into my office managers car today as I was leaving in a hurry to go install an aeration system too. I love the chaos and busyness of managing 30 things at the same time, but dont love the whole car smashing thing. Anyhow here are some pics and stories from the last week or so:

We cooked Mako shark, deer burgers, and grilled bananas at our Outdoor Lunch with Chef Todd at the fishing park last Friday. We had 100 people come out for lunch!! I am super thankful for everyone who has helped out this summer! Here is Charlie Bracket and Chef Todd cooking up the last of the food:

Justin and I built this deck for a client's house overlooking his lake. What a view! The deck only took us one day to build. The bench seats are much better than typical boring railings.

Here are some food plots coming in real nice after last weeks rain. We have planted round up ready beans, clovers, turnips, brassicas, winter wheat, buck oats, and all kinds of other biologic mixes for several different clients this fall. Here are some pics of our own plots.

We installed this solar aerator last night for a 2 acre pond near Roseville. Our water tests showed the pond has 500 ppb of phosphates and ideally we like to see that number below 100 ppb. This particular solar aerator not only mixes water, but it also has a special polymer log that will filter the nutrients out of the water. We also will be planting lots of water lilies and wetland plants in the shallow water to act as a natural wetland filter as well. This pond had a major fish kill this summer, but is now on track to grow some monster fish in the years to come!

I did a consultation for a family looking to purchase this acreage outside of Metamora. They love the land, but want to make sure they can build a pond in this front gulley before pulling the trigger. They can build the pond, but it won't be as big as they hoped.

Been clearing some trash trees with the loftness timber ax and turning some nice useless pockets into major wildlife zones!

Here is a row of turnips connecting two big food plots.

This tower blind we took down and moved to one of the new food plots for a client:

This plot is tucked down in a valley and is coming in real nice!!! You can see the row of turnips down the center.

I was invited to a dove hunt with a client and whole bunch of his buddies on september 2nd. He had a real nice set up with sunflowers and we all had a great time shooting at doves.... We did hit a few and my partner Pat had a dog that would go fetch em for us. If you haven't done it yet, you got to go plant some sunflowers and have a dove hunting party next season! Eating the brisket and pulled pork is icing on the cake to compliment a great hunt, but watching the dog do his thing is definitely the highlight of the day.

Jared and Amy had their company picnic out at the lake on Friday evening. Chef Todd came out and cooked up a feast of chili glazed quail, pork chops, and special mushroom sauce chicken.

I put up a new dog kennel at the lake to keep the dogs in at night. Anyhow the kids spent about 6 hours playing in the new kennel.

These young deer must of thought I was a retarded human pulled over on the side of the road bleating out loud like a sick deer and snapping pics. They just stared me down.

I did a consultation for a doctor with a new house and an inherited pond. The pond needed dredged so that was priority number one. Next step we will be electrofishing to assess the current fish population later this month and will be stocking or removing whatever fish are necessary to establish a natural balanced population. Here is a pic of the dredger being unloaded:

I watched some football games and did alot of fishing over the holiday weekend. I am going to dedicate a complete thread for the fish pics, because I have like 15 pics of huge fish. We caught some monster smallmouth bass, northern pike, hybrid striped bass, and largemouth bass. Here is just one pic, the rest will follow on another day. Anyhow this is perhaps the biggest smallmouth bass caught in Illinois this year! She is a beast!! Pat West caught it during Plattner Orthopedics company picnic at our lake on Friday evening:

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