Fish Farming: Autumn is the Time to turn out the Fish
Autumn For The DIY Fish Farmer - Turning Out The Fish
By Vin Haynes
Once the fish have gotten past the delicate stages of their lives, it's time for the big pond. Releasing the fish happens in the autumn.
Turning the fish out doesn't mean the fish farmer's done working though. He's still got work to do, protecting & feeding his brood. By early fall, your first brood of farm raised young trout will have survived the most critical times.
The fish that have made it this far are certainly hardy and ready to face the next stage of their life.
The DIY fish farmer will spend most of his time doing regular pond maintenance. This includes dead fish removal, vegetation care and the addition of earth to the water. In addition, the fish will continue to need daily feedings.
As the young fry were growing, they were fed smaller quantities of food four times a day. At this time of the year, twice daily feedings are more appropriate. However, the fish will be requiring larger portions at each feeding.
Your fish will be very well fed and have a nice variety in their diet if the pond was stocked with food species. Natural food sources like water bugs, small crustaceans and smaller fish are necessary for a healthy fish population.
By late fall, your DIY fish farm crop is active and strong. They're ready to be released into larger waters. This is a permanent, natural setting pond or lake. The fish should be provided with everything they've needed all along, protection, shade and food.
If the rearing boxes have been in the larger pond all along, it's a matter of getting the fish out of the box. one way is to submerge the box further in the water. This could be done by pulling up the anchoring rocks and moving the box to deeper water.
Alternatively, the box can be tipped onto one side. This action, if done in careful way, will allow the fish to swim right out on their own. A few might think they'd like to stay in the box, but they can be easily convinced to come out.
If the fish have to be moved any distance to their final home, special care has to be taken. Young fish of any kind are quite delicate and can be hurt or killed in transport. Take all precautions to be sure your fish arrive home in healthy condition.
Use containers with some of the water from the fishes new lake to move them in. This helps to get them used to the waters. Don't put too many fish in the containers at a time. This might stress them out and cause unnecessary injuries. It's better to take a few at a time and make it as easy on the fish as possible. Keep the containers covered in transit so nothing contaminates the water.
Once back at the big pond, the containers should be placed directly in the water. The tops are removed first and the entire container submerged. This will allow the fish to swim right into the lake. Never pour the fish in, the impact can cause damage and even kill them.
If the fish are going to be living in their permanent pond through the winter, a deeper, more natural setting is preferred. If a spring feed or other natural running the water feeds the pond, all the better. If not, aeration systems may need to be set up and maintained.
Your fish will be yearlings in the spring and ready for catching and for market. At this time, you can literally fish all day and catch your limit every time in your own lake! Plus, the fish can be sold to markets or restaurants and you can reap some sweet rewards for all that hard work.
Of course, you won't want to stop there. It's a new season and there are plenty of tiny fish to hatch and raise!
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