On Wednesday September 30th, 2009 I had the opportunity to assist Nate and Justin Herman of Herman Brother Pond Management with a survey of a 22 acre lake at a private facility.
This was my first time doing something like this and it was a unique experience for me, not to mention a lot of fun.
Bluegills and other panfish
Nate began by testing the conductivity of the water. He also made a prediction as to where the fish would be based on the weather pattern and current conditions (post cold front), and he was 100% correct. I know a lot of fishermen who wish they could do that.
Justin Photographs a Goldfish held by Nate
We put the boat in the water and were joined by Kevin and DJ who are two employees of the facility. Nate started the generator and explained that there would be an optimum setting for safely shocking up the fish. He also mentioned that it wouldn’t be a good idea to touch the water – which I forgot and did after handling a carp. He warned me that in some lakes I would have gotten quite a jolt and that was enough for me to remember that from now on.
Justin measures a Largemouth Bass
As Nate moved from spot to spot, fish would float up near the electrodes that were hanging in the water. The bigger fish would recover instantly and if you weren’t quick, you’d miss them. We took turns netting the fish and making sure they were put into the tank properly. It was obvious that Justin had been doing this for a while because he was scooping up fish that I never even saw. Once I got my hat and polarized sunglasses out of my car, I did a little better.
Me with two Largemouth Bass
After we had enough fish, Nate and Justin carefully measured, weighed, and inspected the fish for signs of disease. All the fish were healthy and showed no signs of disease. From the weight and length, Nate explained how he could determine if the fish were eating enough. He also explained that the weight/length ratio would vary at different times of the year.
Me getting another fish to measure
After releasing the first group of fish, we set out to survey the second half of the lake and repeated the process. Not only did I have fun but I learned a few things too. That’s not unusual when you spend time with someone like Nate who really knows his stuff.
A Largemouth Bass about to get weighed
When we were finished, Nate explained he would provide the facility with a complete report and also with a few recommendations for maintaining the lake.
Nate demonstrates how to hold a Largemouth Bass
If you need pond supplies, fish to stock, help with a weed problem, or anything else lake or pond related, Herman Brothers Pond Management can help you out.