Missing fish in pond

We have a large pond and have 3 generations of fish which we feed daily. Last year 10 surfaced in the spring and we assumed they died of lack of air so this winter we made sure that air holes in the ice were kept open. This year we have not seen one fish. NONE!! There were about 200 fish last year. The neighbour put in a few bass one year and they have multiplied over the years. How could that many fish disappear without a trace? Would a snapping turtle clean out a pond? The pond is about 50 x 100 feet. We are completely puzzled.
Lori
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What kind of fish were you feeding? If you were feeding bait fish then the bass ate them. If you had a snapping turtle he would have been dormant in the winter. Try throwing out something that floats and makes a little noise which will attrach whatever predator is in the lake. Just make sure the hooks are sharp. Bass are very good fried.
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it depends on how much water is in your pond. 200 fish is a lot, and they produce a lot of waste, use a lot of oxygen in winter under the ice. on rec.ponds the recommendation is to keep an air hole open all winter AND use an air pump with a couple big airstones to put oxygen in the water. If your pond is open and leaves ill in over the years a lot of dead, decaying material builds up on the bottom of the pond and the rotting uses up the oxygen in the pond. it also produces toxic gases that can weaken and/or kill the fish. there are critters that eat fish including mink, weasels, snakes, herons, kingfishers, raccoons, owls, cats. But I think your problem is stuff in the bottom of the pond. one other thing, dont know how cold your water is, but koi, for example dont eat until water hits 46-50oF. and if a predator has been to the pond fish will hide. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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Sounds like an oxygen-depletion die-off. It would improbable for predators to kill every last fish..themselves included. How deep is the pond, and how old? Have you tested for ammonia and Dissolved oxygen at various times of the yer??
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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Snapping turtles, water snakes, herons, raccoons and bass will eat fish. After the fish are gone, the predator will leave too. If you have a snapping turtle make a trap from chicken wire. Basically, a cylinder with an inward entrance cone on one end. Bait the trap with a raw chicken bone. Set the trap such that some of the trap is above water (to allow the turtle to breathe). Check the trap in a few hours and relocate the turtle at least 5 miles away. These can remove a finger, so use caution when removing the beast from the trap. Whenever we catch a snapper, it is covered with blood-sucking leaches. Check with rec.ponds for more info.
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Kayla (afwt snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com) wrote: with editing... : We have a large pond and have 3 generations of fish which we feed : daily. Last year 10 surfaced in the spring and we assumed they died : of lack of air so this winter we made sure that air holes in the ice : were kept open. This year we have not seen one fish. NONE!! There : were about 200 fish last year. The neighbour put in a few bass one : year and they have multiplied over the years. How could that many : fish disappear without a trace? Would a snapping turtle clean out a : pond? The pond is about 50 x 100 feet. We are completely puzzled.
Don't know where Wightman, Ont. is but on the west coast here, river otters would easily clean out 200 fish in a week. Breaking ice would give them access to the water when all other ponds in the vicinity were frozen over. These little critters move over land when it is dark and can be gone by the morning, and rarely ever get noticed.
Regards.        RAF
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Thanks for all your replies and you had some good suggestions. The fish are or were bass. If they died then they would be floating. The deep end is about 10 feet. We haven't seen a snapping turtle. That was just a thought. Other years at this time we always saw them swimming around because they do come for their food. We will look into getting the water tested. There are a lot of trees around. The pond is 20 years old and the fish have been in there that long. I threw some worms in today and there just is no activity in the pond. Another thing we noticed. The frogs are back. We haven't heard frogs for the last few years.
Lori

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not necessarily. many fish sink to bottom after death and decompose.
If they died then they would be floating.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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Bass probably ate them before. or their spawn. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with fish, could be an illness befell them, a fungus can wipe them out, and .. the fish don't always float when they die. Temperature of water matters.. it's rapid decay that creates internal gasses that make them float, if they die in the winter, when there was ice on the water, could have floated and sunk too.
There are no absolutes. Good luck in determining the health of your water, and perhaps put a mix of fish in, catfish, bluegill, or crappie, or both.. pumpkin seeds whatever will live there along with bass if you like them. Or.. grow koi.. man those things are spendy, could be a cash crop!! Even ones that aren't super duper wonderful go for $10 and up when they attain a fair size. Bronze the first year or so. But put them in, they will grow and multiply! And they're purty and can become quite personable ;-)
Janice

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Lori wrote >>We haven't seen a snapping turtle. <<
They can be hard to spot. After many years of answering questions on rec.ponds about snapping turtles I've had folks swear there wasn't one in their ponds... until they drain the pond and they find the snapper. Of course these are smaller ornamental ponds and fairly easy to drain. One thing they had in common was finding lily pads that had been snapped off at the base, so they were floating on the surface trailing their long stem behind them. Of course there can be many other reasons, did not see the beginning of this thread. Good idea to get your water tested. Good luck!
kathy :-) <A HREF="http://www.onceuponapond.com /">Once upon a pond</A>
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