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Now having a 3 acre pond for 3 years I realized that I'm going to have to keep some of the fish. Thinking about building a fishing cleaning station. Wondering what thoughts folks have about were to build it. At edge of pond? At barn? Keep it away for the house? If I run power for lights and water to cleaning station may want to use area to clean deer and hogs. Would this be a problem if blood etc gets in pond? Just looking for input so I can build this once.

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I gotta ask about this rumor running around our parts. I have heard that you don't want to clean fish and let the runnoff go into your pond or throw the carcass in your pond. "They say" (whoever they are) that there are something like hormones, pheremones, enzymes, or chemicals resident under a fishes skin that trigger the termination of spawning. The idea is that if you let the huge amount of these chemicals from a cleaned fish get into a lake or pond that it can stop all spawning activity over an entire lake. Any experts know if this is true. If it is, you may not want to clean fish near the pond. I've heard that here in MN we are told not to clean fish and throw the carcass in the lake for this very reason.


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Not a chance.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Hogs are to hard to clean/skin/scald. I would not want that anywhere near my ponds. Deer cleaning either.
















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I want to set up a sink indoors (in a barn) where I can run a hose for a quick, temporary hookup, have a drain line running outside, have real good electric lighting, and be out of the bugs in Summer and out of the wind when it's cold. Cleaning on the tailgate of the pickup is getting old.


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I like Theo's thoughts. but would just add that an elevated area larger than the largest fish you anticipate cleaning should be in place next to the sink. I built a shelf just about waist level and on it placed a large cedar block which is perfect for fish cleaning.


Regarding what to do with left-overs from fish cleaning....if you have a garden, use them there. The first occupants of this country used fish as their garden fertilizers...it works just as well today as it did when they were here. It works!!

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Want to see what Tilapia remains turn into at my place? My LMB eat algae via Tilapia and tonight we will be eating fresh collards, brock, onions, etc. via Tilapia. We will feast on transformed Tilapia remains most of the winter.



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Ok this may seam a little strange to some, but we had a bathtub, waist high, with a counter and top next to it to clean fish deer or what ever. It really came in handy. I was a dog grommer so the tub was used for that as well, but we sure miss it and are planing on puting one back up in a shed just behind the house soon. One of those, ("Gonna have to do that one of these days.") things.


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Did anybody answere the original question? Is it ok to clean fish at the edge of the pond and through the remains back in?

This is what I plan on doing, and have even started planing to build a cleaning table that will drain into my pond.

My assumption was that the fish would eat everything that ends up in there and it would be a high protein food source.

Eddie


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That'd be a bit to much organic matter for me to dump back into my pond (1.5 acres, and we clean lots of fish) but in your case, maybe your pond's big enough to handle it.

Iowa DNR builds cleaning stations at all state-owned lakes and that's where they dump into...the water. They also put small pitcher pumps on them to provide water. Beats running electric very far...

If I DID do it, I sure know where we'd put the turtle traps...


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Personally, I don't want my fish skeletons, especially catfish skeletons and the associated spines, in the pond where I swim and seine. Soft tissue, I have no qualms about returning to the pond, but that's basically just CC skin and fish innards.


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I ran water and electricity to the pond with the intent of putting a cleaning table on the dock with a garbage disposal in the sink to grind the remains before dumping back into the pond. Like Eddie, I would hate to do this if it is going to create unforeseen problems.

bz has me sufficiently worried.

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I imagine if you had alot of turtles and a larger lake you could get by with it! Personally I would just chain a garbage can somewhere close to the cleaning station and take the bag out when I was done.


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I swear the concern I mentioned was something I either read in an outdoor publication or one of our NDR publications but can't find it now. I'd really like to know if there is anything to it.


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I just can't see a problem. Ponds, like all of the natural world, has mortality. Nature provides a fairly efficient cleanup crew. Now, I wouldn't want to use my pond as an organic garbage dump.

However, tissue breakdown occurs much more rapidly in warm than cold water.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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I don't see a problem with throwing everything back in. Fish die, there is no garbage man to come and remove them from the pond, they just complete the circle.
At my last place I threw everything I cleaned back into the pond, in the creek channel where our fishing dock was. At least 100-200 pounds of fish (live weight). I just figured I was chumming for the cat fish, although I think the turtles may have gotten more of the food. Before I moved the water was down over 6 feet (I think he had leak in that pond, told me it was the builders first time). I could walk across the creek bed in front of the dock where there had been 4-5 feet of water before and where I dumped all my cleanings. There was no sign of remains, no bone piles, nothing.
I wouldn't hesitate to put some deer or other carcasses in either, as nature does the same. At the same pond one winter the neighbor checked to see if we still had our dog, as something had made it to the center of the pond before falling through the ice. I went out and checked the tracks and it turned out to be a deer. Probably fed some critters for a while.
I actually wanted a high powered/big a** grinder to chop things up to feed the fish nice high protein feed. Most pond Bluegill I've seen will eat anything.
Now if I was cleaning commercially I might be careful about overloading the pond, but if it came out of the pond, it goes right back in.
Also in a real small pond I would not add much/any outside matter, but still can't see a small amount fo fish cleaning making much of a difference.

I am in the planning stages of a cleaning station for Pauls place right now (just found a Utility sink I have laying around, now all I need is a water pump and a battery, gotta keep looking).
I will start another thread when I get to it.
It will be at the edge of the pond and all cleaning will go right back into the pond.

Matt Wehland

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If the offal and cleaning discards are eaten by the scavengers then it becomes food. However if there are uneaten items then they will naturally decompose and that area of the pond may experience slightly increased filamentous algae growths due to excess nutrients. One might then decide to use a herbicide to kill the excess unsightly algae in a fequently used area. Not dumping the discards back into the pond would have probably prevented the excessive localized algae growth and a use of herbicides.

Removing fish and not throwing discards from fish cleaning back into the pond is a way to slow down the eutrophication process of a water body. Fish contain large amounts of bound nutrients obtained from the food web of the aquatic system, removing fish or anything that grew within the pond is a method of removing significant concentrations of nutrients from the pond and slowing its aging process. Fish and animals grown in a water body typically contain a lot more phosphorus (primarily in protein) compared to plant matter. Phosphorus is the primary nutrient responsible for eutrophication. Make your own conclusions.


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I prefer to put my fish remains in my garden. Grows great tomatos!


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Thanks Bill for the first REAL reason not to put fish waste in the pond. So I guess the real answer is ...
it depends.
I guess I was doing good putting my waste into the back pond, as the front one was fenced in and used for cattle in past years, can you say algae bloom. The back pond didn't have this problem, newer, much deeper, no excess 'fertilizer' runing into it. Also I'm sure that everything was getting eaten, my first use of cleanings was to bait trot lines and then chum the channel.
I tried putting stuff in the garden at my last house, critters kept digging it up. The coyotes even dug up a deer carcass that my landlord buried with his bobcat. Then our dogs rolled in it, worst smell ever (and these were smelly dogs back then).
Maybe if I had built a bomb proof compost pile, but that was too much like work. Vegetable remains just got tossed along the lean too to decompose, animal waste got buried or fed into the pond, and burying didn't work too good for us.

Matt

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If a pond has decent sized catfish (16"+), then I suspect that they would be able to eat practically all of the offal and fish waste discards.


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Well where I was dumping/chumming where were definately 16"+ CC. Caught many 2-6 pounders and lost bigger ones.
Turns out I don't need to worry about a cleaning station for now any way, Paul came on down with some friends and someone has convinced him that catch and release if the way to go. 20 acre lake, better not take any fish out at all. But I was also told by someone that they wouldn't had taken down the beaver dam and that the beavers were just building the dam to keep the river out if it overflowed.
With advice like that being given who can argue?
Two guys caught 13 bass in a couple of hours, sounds like all about the same size (supposedly 1-2 pounds, but I would want measurements and weights, too many fish stories/bad judgement out there). Just like every other fishing trip I've heard of out there, tons of the same size bass.
I wish I had the money to get Paul a subscription to Pond Boss, but then I'd have to get him to read it also. Oh well. I will gather my evidence and prepare a presentation for him in the future.

Matt


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