Two summers ago we repaired the dam on one of our best ponds. It was also filled with bass and bluegill, something that gave use pleasure on many occasions. However, as we prepared to make this parcel ready for a conservation easement for endangered species, we were required to remove the fish.
We pumped the pond dry last fall and all the fish died. Of course we invited some friends to come up and catch as many fish as possible first, but they only caught a small portion of what the pond held. The rest were sentenced to flop on the ground until dead.
Nearly a year later, we circled the pond, me with camera in hand. Here’s what we found.
A juvenile red-legged frog sat at pond's edge - ready to hop into the pond for protection.
A large California tiger salamander larvae floated near the surface.
There were juvenile CRFs along the shore and in the pond.
Here's a CRF tadpole with legs.
Here's a good look at a California newt larvae. Much smaller than the CTS.
As we watched a red-legged frog tadpole turned on it’s side, swam in circles and floated to the surface dead.
This tadpole died right before our eyes.
From bad to worse. Not long after that we found the remains of the young buck. I guess that’s life and death at the former fish pond. The good news? It was the first time in many years that any of the above critters survived in the pond, as the fish did a very good job of consuming all of them.