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NFC: Ongoing NFC Project

I wrote this for our local homeowners association newletter they are
paying me to redo their ponds.....Its exciting...I being a dummy donated
all the proceeds to the NFC ....:)

On The Waterfront.

For those of you who didn't know our Ponds are getting some much needed
attention in Sutters Landing. After some consultation with a local
biologist it became apparent that our ponds needed some changes. We had
been using herbicides to keep the algae down and it was having negative
side effects on the pond its inhabitants and our budget. The biologist
recommended  some significant changes to how we do things and we concur.
We are going organic. Instead of herbicides to control problem algae we
will be using natural controls like aquatic plants , native fish and
ducks. Yes Ducks. We will be releasing wild mallard ducks on all the
ponds in the early spring. They are voracious algae eaters and will fly
between the ponds munching your algae away depending on how much food
they find in one place or another. Please do NOT add domestic ducks to
our ponds. They will breed with our wild ducks and make a duck incapable
of taking care of itself . It will become nuisance. So any domestic ducks
seen on our lakes will be removed.

We have also installed wood Duck houses on every pond. Wood ducks are a
beautiful native wild duck that is threatened by lack of suitable houses
to raise its young. These sturdy houses will last for years and hopefully
give homes to many generations of young wood ducks. Please do not disturb

We will be stocking all the ponds with native species of fish that will
help keep the algae down and provide a food source for larger sport fish.
So bear with us as it will take 18 months or so to get our ponds balanced
with the right amount of fish ,ducks,plants etc to keep that nasty algae
away. When our ponds are balanced they will be almost carefree and will
save the Association a lot of money each year in upkeep. Speaking of
sport fish it is all catch and release in Sutters Landing. If you catch a
big one take a picture and let it go. Our ponds are conservation ponds
put here to help the wildlife around us. Not  for filling your freezer.
Every resident is welcome to fish No One is welcome to keep. It takes
years to grow a Big Bass and only minutes to take it away. Don't let it

One a side note the "feeder" fish we will be stocking include many
beautiful small species that are great for the home aquarium. So consider
setting up a fishes of Sutters Landing in your local home or school
aquarium. It's great way to share with your kids what aquatic diversity
we have here in Florida. When your done with the just send them back to
their Sutters Landing pond home. However please don't mix them with "Pet
Store Fish"  in a tank as they could pick up a sickness and upon release
spread it to our pond and never release any aquarium "Pet Store" fish in
to our lakes. We will do all we can to make our lakes the best example of
Florida's special aquatic heritage. We don't want or need non native fish
in our lakes. By the way if you get interested in those little fishes a
great book for Fish Identification is Petersons Field Guide to North
American Native Fish you can find it at almost any big book store or
on-line at www.nativefish.org.

We hope to make the ponds a integral part of our community supporting
recreational activities and wildlife. Help us by keeping the fertilizers
and pesticides and herbicides as far away from lake as you can. Use don't
abuse our lakes and report abusers to your home owners association.

If you any questions about our Pond Efforts please contact your
homeowners association member. Oh yeah and look for some wildflowers
tucked away in quite spots around the subdivision. We will be seeding
suitable locations all Spring.

How about that  garden !

Does a Butterfly garden interest you ? Do home grown veggies get you
going ? How about a Native Wild flower garden ? Well its just beginning
but we have a gardners club in the making. They hope to meet 4-5X a year
share tips plants ,seeds and just have fun. If you'd like to get involved
in this informal club contact Robert Rice at 337-9676. First meeting in
loosely scheduled for February 2000.