Saturday, June 30, 2007

The big ones that didn't get away

Boy, those bigheads are heavy ! Raised in our ponds as an experiment, we nearly forgot about the bighead carps (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) until a storm swept past Nueva Ecija and some "big fish with large heads" were caught in the nearby river. We later realized that the carp fry had matured and some escaped the flooded ponds into the nearby Cabu River. Over the years several species of native fishes have alternatingly dominated the pond population. The indigenous pond population consisted of a balanced and stable number of 'gouramis', 'liwalu', 'lukaok', 'hito', and 'dalag'. At one point the ponds were teeming with carnivorous species like mudfish or 'dalag' (Ophicephalus striatus) and native hito (Clarias macrocephalus). They were replaced for a short period by the highly prolific 'alembong' whose eggs were so numerous we used to make fish roe patties out of them. Then the 'tilapia' (Tilapia mossambica) took over and continue to be the dominant species...

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Silent Beauty, Macatbong

Silent Beauty, Macatbong
The pond is teeming with freshwater fish. The trees in the background are home to brightly colored avians and occasional migratory birds. Ramos Pond is Eden revisited !