In early March, when the ice finally thawed, we kept noticing a rather large fish flapping its pectoral fin above the water. For hours on end, the enormous fish would swim back and forth on its side, waving its fin above the water. Though we’d go outside to see it, it was always really difficult to get a picture of because of the reflection of the water. As best as we could guess, it was several feet long, and we nicknamed it Loch Ness because it was so mysterious. We knew the pond was stocked with minnows, sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and grass carp, so we assumed the big guy was the plant-eating grass carp, which prefers to eat the algae and other plant matter in the pond.
This weekend, Evelyn kept telling me that she could see a dead fish out in the pond and repeatedly, I kept blowing her off. It isn’t uncommon to find something floating dead out on the water. It wasn’t until I took the time to look that I realized, yeah, there really was a dead fish and it was HUGE.
It’s hard to say what did the poor thing in but judging by its size, it had a nice, long life, paddling around the pond and eating our algae. Jack had to drag the thing out of the water and it was heavy work.
For size comparison, Kate agreed to lay down next to the smelly fish. She’s over four feet tall, so your guess is as good as mine. However long it was, it was the biggest thing we’ve ever pulled out of the water.
Then, we had to decide what to do with the poor thing. Jack suggested it could go decompose in the garden (ummmm, no. I don’t want to be weeding through an enormous fish skeleton next season) or out back in the manure pile. Since the manure pile is far enough away that we wouldn’t get a whiff of the stink it’ll surely produce, I had him haul it to the back. Of course, with the number of predators and scavengers we have around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if it got ripped to shreds and eaten tonight. Even Raven was trying to sneak a sniff or two in. She’d better leave it alone or she’s going to get a cold bath outside if she comes wandering back, smelling like rotting fish.
Come spring, we’ll buy a new batch of grass carp that’ll have plenty to do in the pond. For now, fish tacos, anyone? 😉
|I gagged when I brought these up from the storage room and thought of making fish tacos from carp…|