Yesterday, Kevin and Martin drained the large pond and transferred the remaining trout into the smaller pond next to the chicken coop (and before you ask, no eggs yet from our Egnas! it's been a month since we've had them... hopefully soon). With all the preventative measures Kevin has taken (e.g. creating a gate that can close off the river water coming into the canal when the water is dirty, adding a grate to collect as many leaves as possible, installing two nets in the sediment pond to filter whatever leaves and dirt sneaked through the first gate), the large pond is relatively clean. There's always a bit of work to be done, but for the most part, Kevin is pleased with the result. It was worth implementing the changes... the aqueduct system is more efficient and requires less manual labour at the end of the day. Martin is pretty impressed, too. Last year it took three men a whole week to clean the large pond. This year, it will take the two men three days max. That's the good news.
The bad news is we have 110 trout left... and they're big, too! From our calculations, it appears we've lost approximately 240-ish fish to Mother Nature. That's a 1/3 of what we started out with! As soon as we realized the Blue Heron was helping itself to dinner, Kevin added a fishing line barrier, which I'm sure has helped reduce the amount of lost fish. However, it took some time for us to realize that the otters, the gluttons, were taking several trips up to the all-you-can-eat buffet. Kevin has installed an electric fence, which we turn on only at dusk and turn off in the morning. It's enough to shock the little critters, but not kill them. Martin says losing a 1/3 of any crop as a farmer is normal. 1/3 for customers. 1/3 for our own consumption. 1/3 to Mother Nature. We don't mind sharing, and we're not so naive to think we won't lose a few, but a 1/3 of a large number has a much bigger impact on our bottom line. And in a few days, once the big pond is clean, we'll be transferring the baby trout... 1,500 of them... into it. Kevin's wheels are turning... thinking of other ways to secure the ponds.
While Martin and Kevin were draining the big pond, we were also catching fish for our neighbour, Roberto. They caught a 1.8 kilo (almost 4 lb). She was a beauty! We kept her for ourselves and Kevin is smoking her right now... If we were to buy just one smoked filet, it would cost at least $20... there are some perks to this gig. Can't wait for lunch!
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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