Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"That's a minnow???"

Since our pond is relatively small not many of the fish grow to a large size. It is doubtful that any really large bass will ever be caught. I've never heard of anyone catching one over 3-4 pounds in the pond. The bream type fish (bluegills, etc.) can grow to a respectable size, however. And the catfish? Well, that is for another post.

There are, however, other fish in the pond that appear monstrous compared to the bass and bream. And, they are actually minnows.

This fish is a grass carp and is the largest member of the minnow family. Grass carp are often added to a pond or lake to help control the growth of unwanted vegetation in the water. They are herbivorous and do not feed on the other creatures in the pond. The grass carp are treated to be sterile to prevent them from reproducing and upsetting the natural ecosystem. Normally adding 2-5 grass carp per acre will keep vegetation under control.

Grass carp were added soon after the pond was built. For several years we would see the last two of them swimming together.
Two years ago we started seeing only one and never two at the same time so we figured one had died. So, last year we added 3 new grass carp, each about 8"-10" long.

Grass carp grow very fast in their first year if adequate food is available. In just one year they grew to probably 24"-28" and maybe 15-20 pounds.

It's difficult to see exactly how large they actually are until you see them from the right angle.

Interestingly both of the older grass carp showed up this spring. Evidently they had been hanging out in the deeper water beyond our view. Recently, however, they have disappeared again. I'm hoping they will show up again and I can get some shots of them. They are really impressive being at least 50% larger than the 3 younger ones. I imagine the largest one weighs 30 pounds or more.


  1. Hi Baker...I love just to watch fish swim by.....they can be quite hypnotic.....he sounds like a good fish to have in your beautiful pond.....keeping the vegetation down and making for some beautiful photographs.....

  2. Hey Rose - Yep - They are really big. People seem to always be amazed when they see them the first time even though we have told them how big the carp are.

    Cheryl - Usually the carp come up when we feed the fish, but almost always if we spend a few minutes at the pond we will see the 3 newest ones just cruising along.

    As with any introduced species there are some ups and downs and you have to be careful, but it seems we have a good balance at the moment.

  3. Hi Baker, I really enjoy the photos of your pond. :)

  4. Hi there tammy - thanks for the visit and kind words

  5. Hi Baker, my friend! I have been so busy over the last few days and it's always a treat to come over here and read interesting facts and see beautiful photo's.

    Thanks for the support re elephants!



Thanks for stopping by to visit our little pond. We would love to see you again real soon.