Sunday, July 19, 2009

Avimor Town Lake - Stocking Fish

Last year we obtained a permit from Fish & Game to stock the Avimor Town Lakes with fish. These ponds are completely independent ecosystems; not connected to any of the streams at Avimor.

Last summer we only put in a dozen Bluegill that my son Kyle caught at another pond. Much to young Kyle's delight, those Bluegill have been pretty successful at spawning and we now have thousands of little Bluegill at various stages of development without any enemies or competition.

We needed to bring the pond ecosystem to a good balance. With the help of Rich Cunningham of Opaline Aqua Farms, we are working toward that balance. He had plenty of anxious help as all of the Avimor neighborhood kids joined in the pond stocking effort.

Rich supplied us with Large Mouth Bass fingerlings, Crayfish, Gambusia (a very prolific mosquito eating fish), tad-poles, and Grass Carp.

This mix of critters should provide good checks and balances for each other as well as keeping the mosquitos and algae down. All but the Grass Carp should be able to reproduce and perpetuate fish-life in our ponds.

I will watch the Avimor Town Lakes with great interest to see how this new ecology affects the birds. Right now, there is an abundance of mosquitos and other water bugs that support the huge numbers of Bank Swallows that nest in the sand quarry above the ponds. Will the swallow population decline now with compeition for the same mosquitos? With actively spawning fish, will we get more waterfowl, herons, egrets, and maybe even kingfishers? It will be fun to see what happens with our little biological experiment in Boise's foothills.

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