About a month ago I was at the MFA store. On the way out I noticed a flyer for Arkansas Pond Stockers who would be there delivering fish in a few weeks. After I got home I called them and ordered fish for the largest pond. The “largest” pond isn’t very big however maybe half an acre, but I doubt it. I figure that if anything will thrive in it it will be catfish. so i ordered 100 cats and 100 bluegill fingerlings. The catfish seemed fairly large. The bluegill were little. The order totaled $275.
On the Saturday that the stockers were in town I drove up to Buffalo to fetch my fish. I had several coolers in the truck plus a large box. When I arrived there was a que of about six or seven people standing beside the truck. It was a large flat bed truck that had large metal tanks built on it that held the fish. There was a man standing on the bed scooping the fish up with a net and putting them into plastic bags. Then he filled those bags up with air. I went around to the passenger side to pay for my order. There was a women there up in the cab smoking a cigarette and I asked her if she was who I needed to pay. She said that she was and she found my paperwork and I wrote her a check. Then I went back around to the other side of the truck to get in line.
There were a few hillbillies in line and one man who looked like he belonged to the country club. For some reason the woman in front of me had bought six carp. We called them “suckers” and if we ever caught one in the Satilla River we threw it on the bank to make sure it wouldn’t reproduce. I’m not sure why they sell those or who would want them in their pond. (update: The fish are called Grass Carp and they eat the algae that grows in the ponds around here.)
A couple came up behind me and we started talking about shooting turtles. Evidently you need a deer rifle to shoot turtles with and if you don’t kill them they will eat all of your fish, which begs the question, what are they eating now? I haven’t seen or caught any fish out of our pond and my neighbor whose like Bill Dance didn’t catch any either. We do see lots of turtles though. I haven’t shot at any yet.
When it was my turn to get my fish he asked me how far I was going and I told him about 15 minutes. I think I ended up with about six bags of fish and I have no idea how he counted them. They wouldn’t all fit into the coolers and box that I brought so I ended up putting one in the tool box. I high tailed it back out to the sticks because I didn’t want to lose any fish to suffocation and drove straight down to the pond. That was kind of a mistake though because I was wearing long pants. I rolled them up as high as they would go and started installing the fish. I sank about a foot into the mud right away. According to the instructions you are supposed to temper the water in the bag with some pond water first. The water in the tanks that they came out of is cold. Probably to keep the fish as docile as possible for the travel. I did this to the best of my ability but maybe not as long as the instructions called for. The fish weren’t very put out and they seemed to like their new found freedom though a bit disoriented. The catfish seemed to take to it better than the bluegill. There were maybe two dead fish in the whole bunch. So far I haven’t seen any fish floating so hopefully they are doing fine and have not all been eaten by turtles.