Thursday, July 13, 2006
I Otter Knowed Something Like This Might Happen...
(photo: Guana Lake near St. Augustine...not my pond)
If you've been paying attention, you know the following:
After the hurricanes of 2004, my small pond was resplendent and relatively vast.
In October of that year, I stocked 100 baby catfish into my way bigger than normal pond. Upon release from the plastic hatchery bag, they swam off, seemingly into oblivion.
Always (mostly) the optimist, I caught wild warmouth and bluegills in local creeks and added them to the pond throughout the following spring and summer.
The pond slowly shrank back to within it's normal banks, but that was okay.
Early in 2006, the mysteriously absent catfish reappeared. Apparently the wormhole closed quickly, as only 8 were ever seen, but these 8 grew fat and sleek. Walking onto the dock would bring them finning in anticipation of feed pellets tossed upon the waters which they happily hoovered.
The pond shrinking accelerated as the spring drought intensified into a summer drought.
I began planning a rescue catch of my remaining catfish as I have a large aquaculture tank set up near my little barn. Perhaps I could "Ark" them until the rains came again.
That much has been said in various fishy posts here at Pure Florida.
Recently, I have not been able to spot my big cats, even when food was offered. I told myself they might be estivating somewhere 'neath the weeds due to low oxygen in the now very shallow, warm water.
Last evening, near dusk, I walked down to optimistically toss a few fish food pellets from the dock.
I was not alone.
An otter was staring at me from a few yards away.
I don't think I'll be needing those "fish rescue" plans after all.
Posted by R.Powers at 6:28 AM