Do you love big bluegill?
A little over a month ago, during a winter storm, I was driving by a local park that has a pond I've fished a few times. I noticed it was up to full pool. Hot Diggity!
At the end of last Summer, that pond was only about 6 - 12" deep, and I think the only fish present were a few minnows and a couple Gar. I had written it off as dead; it appeared that city parks had no interest in maintaining it.
I talked to the gent that runs the baitshop at my home lake (lake is also maintained by city parks). He said they finally got a new pump, and pumped some water out of the creek to refill the pond. Supposedly it will be restocked here soon as well, probably the standard ODWC load of Bluegill, LMBs, and Channel Cats.
I hit that pond up today, armed with the 4wt I got from Tooty and most of my flies. I didn't catch anything, but then, I wasn't expecting to. I wanted to get a little time on the water with this rod, as well as look around at the pond. Clarity in the pond is about 24", maybe a little more. I saw several different species of insects, some frogs, even a whole BUNCH of minnows in water that was only about an inch deep. Shallow water heats quickly, you know! I did see a surface disturbance, but not what caused it. It could have been a fish inhaling a bug, or a turtle going under, who knows?
Good for you, I hope they restock it soon. A friend of mine has two ponds that went almost dry last year. We thought the birds and raccoons cleaned out the few fish that were left.......but this year the water is back and so are the fish. I have read that fish will burrow into the mud of a low water pond and go into a sort of hibernation to remain there until the water levels return.........might be something to it....I don't know but with fish back in his ponds, it makes me wonder....(there might be more fish in that city pond than you thought)...................Don
Different fish species have varying requirements when it comes to surviving the minimal dissolved oxygen and warmer temps usually associated with low water periods. two of the hardiest species that pop into my head right off the bat would be bullheads and green sunfish.......they're tough!
I know that Bullheads are one of the most low-dissolved-oxygen tolerant fish out there. Go north far enough to "freeze-out" lakes, and often, Bullheads are the only fish living there. I have yet to catch a Bullhead out of that pond, so I don't think it has any (if it did, I would be harvesting them Flathead bait). I can't remember if I caught any Green Sunnies out of there.
There is a creek within spitting distance from this pond. I actually think the pond is an old oxbow of the creek (it has the "loop" shape). City Parks probably just made sure each end is well-filled to prevent draining, and stocked it with some fish (maybe). I know on at least two occasions that the creek has flooded, and connected to the pond. That's how the Gar got in there, as well as the Carp I saw rolling in the weeds a couple years ago.
If we get a good flood this year, it might happen again. Who knows what will end up in that pond? 5 years ago, someone caught a 40 lbs Flathead Catfish out of the creek just 100 yards away from this pond.
That's good news. If you have bugs, the fish will survive and multiply.
Good news for you!
Last summer a small pond, maybe 20'x20' with an island in the middle in my local park stopped getting its water flow, it got really really low so I am anxious to see if any fish survived. This pond has a mini stream going into/out of it and the water is pumped from a larger pond below back up into the smaller one, somehow this pond had pumpkin seeds, warmouth, bluegill and a few bass + some sort of trout species which is just crazy considering how small it is...it's so small you can pretty much see every fish and count how many there are...I really hope some of them survived though.
that's great news fuzzy I hope u start catching fish out of it soon as the weather warms up. happy fishing.
Kinda sucks that the pond's viability is dependent on a pump running, somewhere.
But its nice that it will likely spring back, at least for the critters at the low end of the food chain.
In a couple of years, who knows?
I know of many ponds that owe their ability to hold fish, if not their very existence, to the fact that they are contuinually supplied with water. I have a friend that pumps 36,000 gallons per day from his well into his pond in order to keep up with the loss. Groundwater ponds will fluctuate with the level of water in the ground after all, and will often seek an equilibrium with the surrounding area, resulting in a water level that is too low.
Similar to the decision of whether to feed or not, adding water is another management tool. A lot of folks prefer the natural course, of simply digging a hole, filling it with fish, and letting things run their course. And that's fine. But like most other endeavours, proper management will allow for the maximum potential to be realized.
I get that. I just imagine the power going out in a disaster, government takeover, owner gone bankrupt, zombie apocalypse, etc.
This particular pond does not have a very big "upstream" watershed, maybe a few acres at the most. Coupled with the typical hot Okie summers, and not much rain last year, is the main reason it almost dried up. It's managed by city parks, so they try to keep it up for folks in town have a place to fish.
I hear you, and I've done my share of worrying also. But you know what? Worrying about what might happen leaves little time for enjoying what has already happened.