It is getting too cold for tilapia in our Minnesota pond --they need the water to be 65 degrees and with nights in the 40's lately, the water is chilling and they are not happy. So, Chris has decided to harvest the tilapia, which have grown to about 2 pounds each now, and replace them with hardy channel catfish. Today Chris confined the tilapia to a small section of the pond using a seining net.
Chris got 50 pounds of channel catfish (about 30 fish) and brought them home in aerated barrels in the back of his truck.
After combining the water from the pond and barrels to equalize the temperature, he began to net the fish and transport them to the pond in 5-gallon buckets.
Catfish wrangling has its challenges--they have sharp spines!
They splash a lot and you get wet.
Zinnie was fascinated by the new livestock on the farm. How do you herd these things?
Most of the catfish are albino, the standard for fishery-raised channel catfish, but at least one was the natural gray color. The gray catfish are less spooky-looking to me, but the white fish are much easier to see in the dark pond.
Releasing the catfish into the pond.
It is hard to believe we have to prepare for winter already. Very soon the pond will be covered and enclosed - sigh. Must savor every warm, sunny day!
In September 2008, we dived into our dream of creating a small, sustainable farm. Neither of us has previous farming experience, but we have enthusiasm and many ideas for this little 10-acre farmstead.