Our ponds have fallen to the scourge of summer pond scum. I swear, this is no ordinary scum; there is scum growing on the scum in places. You can't cast anywhere without dragging in a pile of slime, weeds, or some mysterious green plant with the texture of fiberglass. My weedless frog even drags in weeds. For the sake of all pond life (and my personal sanity), it was time to do some aquatic habitat management.
My mother is very proud of her trusty paddleboat, and nothing makes her happier than taking a spin in the S.S. Minnow with a kiddie-sized fishing pole, "trolling" for whatever is biting as she soaks up the sun. However, for our mission, we commandeered the paddler, now aptly named the S.S. Pond Scum, to attack the scooge (mom's term for scum) on a hot afternoon.
Mom has a bad knee due to a series of unfortunate events, so she was the chemical brains and I was the paddling brawn, even though she protested "its summer, I can't science today" in a very convincing manner. Many people try to kill pond scum with regular herbicides and succeed in killing everything in sight, plant and animal. Careful to avoid a scorched earth approach to pond management, we used copper sulfate granules rigged in the most hillbilly fashion possible--a pillowcase, circa 1980, with a Shrek pool float stapled to the top as a floatation device, secured to a wooden rake handle with a rope attaching it to our boat. Classy, but effective. After testing our handiwork gingerly in shallow water, we set sail, dragging our sack of poison behind us.
The whole treatment covered only a quarter of the pond, but took probably five times longer than necessary due to the fact that the scum was so thick it actually clogged the paddles under the boat, halting our progress and forcing us to paddle backwards until the clog belched out in front of the boat like aquatic roadkill. At one point, I hopped ashore and grabbed a pitchfork to physically sling scum out of the pond, despite the protests from my mom of "don't stand in the boat, you'll tip over and drown!" (Safety Alert: the pond was only 20" deep, so her motherly concern was appreciated, but ridiculous. It was a very "you'll shoot your eye out" moment).
Time will tell if our experiment worked. I'm brainstorming ways I could rig a floating rake to at least get some casting lanes open, because the two-week waiting period is enough to kill me. However, the S.S. Pond Scum did its job mightily, and hopefully it will be ready to go for a night cruise this weekend. The crappie are calling, and I have sparkly red Crappie Bites and a new rod and reel that are dying to be used.