The pond (Bluestem Pond, we call it), has taught me the need for an ongoing tussle with Mother Nature, who wishes to make it into a cattail garden. Last year, I used a long-handled cutting rake to break them off at the root and haul them into shore. I hurt myself doing it.
This year, we worked with the company who dug the pond in the first place, and invested a good deal of funding into a box full of chemicals, dyes, and probiotic solutions. These promised to break down the cell walls of the cattails and then kill them down to the roots. Other products were to be sprayed on the algae to discourage them as well. I was uncomfortable with attacking it with such force but I no longer saw any other way.
Several weeks and (hours of effort) later, the pond is back to clear and usable. You may notice the little boat in the picture. Yes, we found a used pedal boat for sale in someone’s yard and decided it would help to get out to the areas we couldn’t reach from shore. I’m still working on this part of the project and found myself tangled up in the weeds and stuck turning in a tight circle as the paddle churned up the cattails below me. I had to climb out and walk through the muck to the shore. Embarrassing.
If I had concerns that this process would harm the wildlife, one evening of fishing proved that not only are my bluegills and bass alive and well, some of them are giants! This one was over 10 inches long and has probably been caught multiple times over seven years of swimming in our pond. The bass are keeping the population of minnows to a reasonable level, and the frogs are singing with gusto every night.