Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Protecting Their Investment

Twice in the last week I've fished a small pond that is tucked in a group of homes. These are my favorite ponds because they are often overlooked and under fished. In fact, in all the times I've been there, I've never seen anyone else fishing it, other than those friends and family I take with me.

Well, twice this week I've had home owners from the neighborhood sneak up behind me and start a conversation. I don't think they realize that sneaking up on a guy casting a hook and 30 foot of line isn't a good idea. In fact one guy started to step back behind me mid cast. I swear he almost got a sharp reminder not to do that again.

Both times these guys came up to talk to me with one thing in mind. Money! Cold hard cash! See, both of them have put in $23 each (presumably with the whole neighborhood) and purchased 7 grass carp. Their hope is that these carp will keep the weeds down and help make the pond "cleaner." The truth is, I wish they hadn't done this. My favorite bass ponds do not have carp and DO have weeds, and moss, and scum, and everything else possible that gets stuck to my hook. The reality, to me, is that this vegetation helps keep the water clear and that helps when it comes to spotting fish, or fish spotting a fly.

"In a pond where largemouth bass-bream sport fishing is an important goal, it is desirable for aquatic plants to dominate 5-25% of the pond. Grass carp are probably not a good choice for a bass-bream sport fishing pond where plants cover less than 25% of the pond." (Source)

Both of the men where very polite, but wanted to ask me to release any carp I caught. I agreed I would, but deep down I think putting them in was a mistake. They have a water fountain they put in during the summer, and I feel that does enough to help maintain the ponds beauty.

I'm not an expert on grass carp and what they do to a pond, but it seems like I might have a year or two before I start to lose this great bass pond to the muddy waters of the carp.  .....I better go fishing!


Fat Bluegill said...

What will happen, and I have seen this happen in my in-laws pond, is the carp will eat the eggs of the bass and panfish. Grass carp don't just eat grass! They will root up the bottom and actually make the pond more cloudy. You will have stunted bass and panfish and an over popluation of carp. In effect they will have an oposite effect of what they are looking for. Sorry for your lose.

GFP said...

That's exactly what I fear. From a fishing standpoint that pond is perfect! I wouldn't change a thing. Unfortunately someone doesn't like the plants that provide a balance to the ecosystem. I never thought of them eating bass and panfish eggs, so I guess it will be worse than I originally anticipated. I'll have to enjoy it now before it changes.

Fat Bluegill said...

I hope it works out. In the small ponds that I fish they now want you to throw out the carp that you catch.

jfogle said...


Like your blog.

We have 5 or 6 grass carp in a farm pond. We put them in their in 2005 and 2006 - they are now between 25 and 35 lbs.

We USED to have a LOT of bass - a few over 4 lbs. And we had a very large number of larger bluegill (9 inches or more) with very few small bluegill. We also have channel cats over 10lbs (we have caught an 11, 13, and 14 recently). And we even had some LARGE crappie.

Now we have this "wolfpack" of grass carp, stunted bluegill, very few bass and they are small - but we do still have a few larger catfish - what we don't have is any cover, weeds, etc.

Obviously, we made a mistake.
We're hoping to harvest the grass carp in the coming weeks with the use of a bowfishing kit added to my hunting bow.

Then perhaps we can start toward recovering our previously great fishery.