Snappy’s Fishpond has been an Evergreen jewel since 1998. Back behind Snappy’s there is a unique and often missed oasis. A beautiful trout pond with waterfall, a courtyard, a view of the Osprey Nest featured on our Osprey Cam (www.ospreymontana.com) and a beautiful park like courtyard.
Keeping the pond looking beautiful and the fish healthy has been one large learning experiment. With wonderful helpful advice from the biologist at Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks and research/experimentation on our own, we have learned and relearned many different tricks, tactics, and lessons along the way.
One thing that remains a constant is good ole deep cleaning. We have wonderful fresh water cycling in the pond, we aerate with a bubbler system, and we skim the top layers of the gunk that accumulates. However, twice a year a deep clean is required.
To really get the muck that settled at the bottom of the pond, we must first drain most of the water. We do this at times where the fish load is low, and we make sure keep pumping lots and lots of fresh water into the pond for the remaining fish. Despite how low the water gets, with the massive amounts of fresh cool water coming in, the fish remain healthy and safe. We drop the level of the pond to about waist deep (4’) and get ready to get wet. (Well, we stay dry thanks to waders and gear)
Once the pond is drained, we let the side walls with all the algae and plant matter “bake” in the sun for a couple of days. This makes it much easier to collect and wash off. Then out come the hoses and gloves. We use high pressure water to rinse off all the muck from the top down. All the while at the bottom of the pond we have people working a “garbage pump” to suck all the accumulated gunk (think fish waste, decomposing plant life, extra fish food, etc.) out of the pond and out onto a field to dry and become fertilizer. The nutrient value is remarkably high, and the grass grows quite green in that area.
Since the water level is low, it is also a terrific opportunity to clean the windows on the water side. It is quite a stark difference in the visibility before and after.
All this washing and pumping takes two full days and about 4-6 volunteers helping us. Long, wet, stinky days, but the end result is quite a change.
I would love to thanks Jim (Retired FWP Region 1), Kirk (Local Guide/Hooked on Fishing), Clay (Hooked on MT Guides/Hooked on Fishing), Sarah, and everyone in the past who has helped us with this task.
After we get what we can washed and sucked out of the pond, it is time to refill. This process takes about half a day, and during there is still a bit of particulate that gets stirred up. But we can already see a difference and the fish enjoy the fast flow of cold fresh water. They line up in the current just like being in the river. It is fun to watch. After filling and a day to settle the water looks crystal clear and the fish are no worse for the wear and you all can come, feed the fish, check out the underwater windows and just relax and enjoy.
The pond is open whenever the store is open (weather permitting). We have a fish food dispenser that takes quarters in exchange for a cup of fish food. They are ALWAYS hungry! We are working again this year to get our Saturday Morning Kids fishing back up and running. We will be sure to post details once it is all worked out. We hope that you have enjoyed a little “behind the scenes” about our pond.