Friday, 10 September 2010

Fish Trap

When the pond we've just had renovated was ready to be restocked, I rescued a couple of dozen sticklebacks from a drying-up ditch in Fowlmere bird reserve and  bought a similar number of European minnows from a nearby pet supplies shop.

The idea was that we used to have common goldfish in that pond, and they bred so furiously they ate all the wildlife, so I figured sticklebacks and minnows would be a much better bet.  They'd still eat the midge larvae, so we'd not get bitten as much as if the pond had no fish at all, but they'd do less damage to the rest of the wildlife.

Unfortunately, the trug I used to store the sticklebacks for the few days until the pond was ready had previously been used to store said common goldfish, and although I thought I'd got all the goldfish out, I missed one.  My excuse is that this one hadn't changed to orange, so was still black on top and therefore invisible in the rather murky water.

I've been trying to catch it for weeks now, but I suspect it was just swimming through the chicken wire my fish trap was made from, so today I made a new trap using a finer mesh plastic netting.  It had been in the pond only half an hour before I rather optimistically  checked it.  I hadn't caught the goldfish, but I did have one of the larger minnows!  Oh well, it won't harm them and it does at least prove that the design works.

This design has an open top as the old, chicken wire trap caught several frogs, two of which sadly drowned.  With an open top, frogs will be able to reach the surface, even if they can't climb out.

No comments: