A little over a year ago I read a thread at the Pond Boss forum about using "rot baskets" as a source of additional forage for pond fish. Basically you suspend a dead animal over your pond in a wire basket and as the resulting maggots mature they drop into the pond and feed the fish. I liked the idea of free protein, but didn't want to deal with disease carrying pests and foul odors near the pond. I started looking for a cleaner type of insect that didn't have those drawbacks.
When I first read about the black soldier fly, I was sure I had found the right bug (larva) for the job. No pathogen problem, no bad odors, and no dead carcasses. Besides that good news I learned that these harmless insects have the potential to transform the way we process waste even up to the municipal level . Essentially you can use BSF larvae to efficiently convert household food waste into high quality animal feed.
BSF larvae won't work exactly like a rot basket, but the way they can work is even better. With a BSF colony you can get a steady stream of larvae for forage and instead of hanging anything over your pond you can set up the colony in a more convenient spot. When BSF larvae mature they will migrate away from the food source to find a good spot to pupate. With a simple ramp you can guide them so that they drop into a collection bucket. Another possibility is that instead of a bucket you could direct them into a pipe that would extend over your pond. BSF larvae will crawl up to 300 feet in search of a pupation site so you have the option of keeping your BSF colony away from your pond and still allow for the larvae to drop into it automatically. They can climb a 40 degree incline so you could bury the pipe if it was watertight. Running the pipe underground and then along a dock would be pretty neat. I'll bet you could count on some fish hanging around waiting for the larvae, and when you're ready to catch the fish you have the perfect bait available. I hope to test a rig like this soon.
THE MAIN BENEFIT OF BLACK SOLDIER FLIES
Using BSFL as feed or bait is really just a side benefit. The main use for them is to process organic waste. They have amazing digestive systems. The only plant or animal products they can't readily eat are high cellulose items like grasses and paper. Mammal bones aren't practical either, but with enough time they can eat fish bones and even chicken bones. Their digestive system is so efficient that they usually reduce the volume of household food waste by 95%. A healthy colony in a 2 foot diameter container can eat more than 10 lbs of organic waste every 24 hours under optimum conditions.
When I discovered the benefits available from BSF larvae I started a thread at the Pond Boss forum. You can read that thread here