It seems I always have to have something to worry about. Since the ice melted on the pond, I have been worrying about fish in my pond. When I first had my pond built, I went to a local lake and netted out some Red Shiners that were swimming along the shore. Red Shiners are small, minnow-size fish that only grow about 2 inches (5 cm) long. They eat algae, small invertebrates, and I was surprised to see that they also like eating the fluff of willow trees, when it blows onto the pond.
I usually see the fish immediately after the winter ice on the pond has melted, but this year, I didn’t see any until a couple of days ago, weeks after the ice was gone. The little fish are a favorite food of Belted Kingfishers (I just saw one today) and some of the diving ducks. I was really concerned when I saw the pair of Hooded Mergansers on the pond. I was hoping they would nest here, but that would have been doubtful if there were no fish for them to eat.
One of the things that can happen to a pond is a winter die off. When ice is on a pond for along period of time, sealing off all the oxygen from the air, decaying aquatic plants can use up what oxygen is in the water, causing the fish to suffocate. Since I hadn’t seen any fish, I feared that maybe a die off had occurred, but that didn’t seem likely since there had been a constant supply of oxygen-rich water from our waterline that goes into our pond all winter long.
Well, like I said, I always have to worry about something, but I guess I will have to worry about something else, now that I have finally spotted the fish in the pond.
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