I thought I'd do a spot of pond dipping this morning to see what was lurking in the margins of the weed prior to dragging out and composting a large amount, as the Cabombacaroliniana, or fanwort has spread to cover about a third of the pond area, is growing at a very quick rate and shading large areas.
I was surprised to discover at least three different batches of fish fry, ranging from very recently spawned 5mm ish long to some older fish 20mm or so long. Obviously they are too small to make out what they are but there are a lot more than I expected. This has modified my thoughts on the removal and composting of the weed somewhat, as removing their cover will almost certainly sign their death warrant at the hands of the Orfe (Leuciscusidus) and Rudd (Scardiniuserythrophthalmus), which I can't bring myself to do. I will draw the weed to a deeper part of the pond and stack it in the hope that they will have an equivalent amount of hiding spaces.
Various fry and larvae from a single dip, the picture is poor so you can't see the smaller fry unfortunately. Cheers Steve
Used to have Fred, many years ago when I had a dedicated wildlife pond as well as fish pond and I still occasionally get one or two, from introduced aquatic plants, but their fairly free swimming attributes make them easy game for the fish I'm afraid.
Well i can confirm that at least four of the small fish survived the winter and the attentions of the larger hungry fish, with at least three being goldfish as they are changing colour from black to their mature colours, the fourth shows no colour change as yet and could ( by its shape) be either another goldfish or some other carp. I will have to wait to see. Cheers Steve
After a little autumnal pond maintenance i can see more of the pond and can report that there are at least nineteen of last years fry that survived, thirteen being goldfish varying in colour from white, dappled white and gold to pure gold, and six or more that re still black, all are now 3-5" long. The black fish are probably be goldfish that haven't changed colour yet, but could possibly be other carp forms, time will tell. I will have to rehouse them next year, the neighbours will hopefully oblige. Cheers Steve