Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pond Waterslides, Algae, and Fish

Memorial Day Weekend was definitely a highlight for the year! I absopositivealutely love hot weather (when I am near water that is). Well, this weekend was hot and I was very near the water! We built waterslides all weekend so that was kind of fun to figure out.
Anyhow Friday morning we were in the water at Ravina on The Lakes in Peoria by 6:15 am. They had several weddings this weekend and a nice fresh batch of filamentous algae covering their lake. When they called Thursday night in despair I was so close to saying there was nothing I could do about it on this short notice going into the weekend, but for some reason I just have a soft spot in my heart that still needs hardened up a bit....
Jared and Phil had no clue what was in store for them Friday morning, all they knew was 6 am at Ravina with swim trunks. We had the pond cleaned up by 8:30 and were in route to Cuba, IL to work on the coolest floating dock in Illinois. This dock is 120' long connnected to the lodge, then the stairs are also 120' long going down to the 120' long floating dock with extra cool wood bark railing. We had to calibrate the floats for the weekend!
Then we finally ended up at the lake and set out the rest of our fish feeders. I use tiny 1/16" high protein fish pellets in Texas Hunter tripod scatter feeders in 3-4' of water to feed all my small fish! Most people use feed programs to feed their adult fish, but its even more important to feed your little fish!! I have been doing lots and lots of experimentation and research on fish food diets and am getting amazing results on species of fish that dont even eat fish food because of the feed programs geared for growing forage.
Ok so then on Saturday morning we got started on our main project for the weekend. You see my family's idea of a great weekend is to work on a project. Seems like there sure has been alot of great weekends lately, project after project after project. Anyhow this one was really cool. We built a waterslide 8 feet wide by 92 feet long with 29 feet of elevation down into the lake. We got a 2" pump and plumbed a pipe from 15' down in the lake and rigged it up to come out of both sides of the slide for an awesome ride down! Here are some pics of that project going together, it turned out AWESOME!!!
Took us a day and a half from start to finish the waterslide. Then once we got that done we caught a bunch of fish for a fish fry Sunday night. Also we made sure to save a little time each evening to catch a few fish. Here are some of the fish pics from the weekend. These pics dont even scratch the surface of the fishing that went on. Kids were fishing nonstop, I just had a bit too much going on to snap photos, these are what I got typically with the last few minutes of light:
We fed 55 people Sunday night fresh fish (oh yeah, I had the priviledge of cleaning lots of fish, burned through two electric knives this weekend.)  Guests coming out for the weekend were like you dont even have the fish caught yet??? No worries, we can catch fish for a hundred people lickity split! 50 people is nothin. Anyhow we tried out a new batter from a fish breading company in Florida that they shipped up to us to try out for a sample. Was amazing! Will make a seperate blog post for that breading once we use it again and I remember the name. Everyone loved it and it fried up nice!! So then Monday comes along and we decide to squeeze in yet another project. Only this time my smarter brothers and sisters headed home to relax and just Justin, Jared, and I were left to tackle this one. We bought a fiberglass slide from craigslist or ebay or a garage sale last fall for pennies on the dollar, but it didnt have any directions or hardware, etc. We just started coming up with ideas and places and ways to use this thing and by the end of the day we were pretty proud to have this baby put together and operational!! Still have to get a pump and some plumbing and some railing up top, but the kids sure loved it with just using buckets of water for the trial runs....
So I get home about 7 pm monday night just sunburned and beat. I took a short 2 hour nap in my chair and then went to bed about 9:30 pm. I could of actually slept in Tuesday, but like an idiot I had an electrofishing survey scheduled for 8 stinking am in the morning. Was a very neat 17 acre property a guy had just purchased and it had a nice looking 5 acre strip mine lake. I knew instantly it was full of carp since the water was so cloudy, but was very surprised to only find the maximum depth at 7 feet deep. Next time you guys want to buy a new lake or property, have me come out before closing on it!

Anyhow, I am currently figuring out a way to pump water from the creek to bring the lake level up a few feet....I have set up several pumps along the shoreline pulling water directly out of creeks and other ponds piped to other ponds, but this particular situation will require some sort of wet well or bored well or concrete enclosure for a submersible pump. Anyone out there have any experience with this sort of application?

So life is speeding along at 180 miles per hour and I cant even depict a small portion of whats going on in these blog pages. Got several big announcements coming up in the months ahead involving real estate, tv stuff, and our business is transforming and evolving literally daily, been pluggin away at building my house every spare moment, been helping my brothers/in laws on their houses every other spare moment, and been working on my parents house/addition all the other spare moments. This is all in addition to working on over 170 local properties just in the last 4 months. On top of all this I am trying to do the best job humanly possible raising my young family. June is booked up to capacity and I am finishing up the month by going deep sea fishing down in Venice with my brothers and some friends! I have a few minor announcements and events to post coming up, but it might be awhile before I get a chance to personally post a blog entry....

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like the most fun a person could working their butt off!!!