Earthaven Trout Pond
by Michaeljon Drouin
In March of last year, 200 four to five-inch Rainbow Trout were stocked by me in our small pond by the hydropower plant. The month beforehand, Andy and I raised the height of the existing pond level by four inches by installing an overflow pipe that would return all of the water to Rosy Branch Creek. This four-inch pipe was designed to allow several irrigation options downhill or to channel the water to other ponds. This formerly stagnant pond received extra life and oxygenation when we ran 400 feet of inch-and-a-quarter pipe upstream to achieve enough “head” to lift the water over the bank into the pond. The pond already contained thousands of pollywogs, and the young fry gorged themselves. Some of them grew at the rate of one-and-a-half inches per month. This year, Andy has promised to help me install a small electric light overhanging the far end of the pond, which will help bugs fall into the water for more natural food, in addition to the conventional feed. In this way, thanks to our hydropower generator, the stream will still indirectly feed the trout . . . pretty cool. I figure last year we lost about forty percent of the trout to turtles and great blue herons. When we made the primary harvest in October, we were delighted that some of the trout had reached seventeen inches. There was also one six-inch rainbow that had different markings; I am convinced that it entered the pond through the inch-and-a-quarter pipe as an egg or a fingerling, and that the Great Spirit also had stocked our pond from Rosy Branch Creek. My primary goal was to provide an opportunity for Full Members and their children to catch, eat, and simply observe these beautiful fish. This year, we plan on stocking 250 fingerlings and on getting the turtles relocated quicker.