There's nothing more relaxing than spending an hour or so sitting by the pond and doing a bit of pond watching. This year in particular I've noticed a marked decline in the aquatic creatures living in the pond and the lack of Damsel and Dragon Flies in the garden, I think I can put it down to one reason, too many fish in the pond. Many years ago I introduced sticklebacks to the pond from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and about 6 years ago minnows from the local moorland stream. Both of these fish have bred prolifically but the minnows are taking over the pond so I've decided to removed as many as I can and take them back to their original home .These are at least 2 generations on from the original fish I introduced.
I'm using the old method I learnt from my childhood " The Jamjar Trap"... a jamjar covered with a piece of cloth and tied on with a length of string and a small hole cut into the cloth , the jar is filled with water and bread is added to temped the fish inside.The trap is then swung out over the pond and sunk in a suitable location, the fish are wary at first but the pieces of bread inside the jar soon tempt them in.
Up to date I've caught 117 minnows in batches of about 20 so I've had to make several visits back to the river. On the last visit it looks as though the minnows have settled down in their new home because they've started to swim in a shawl in the deeper part of the river's many small pools.
After I've cleared out the minnows I'll start on the sticklebacks and return them back to the canal.