So this weekend we had a very warm stretch, getting to the upper 50s, and we figured this might be our last chance to get fish out of the pond and to clean the pond. We were right on with the fish: in one trap we had five baby fishes who are now in the basement trying to get straight exactly what happened to them, as best the other fish can figure out. Am I ridiculous for wondering if fish try to form theories about the events around them? Maybe, but I stand by it.
And there's vacuuming the pond. This gets leaf and other plant matter off the bottom of the pond by shooting water through the garden hose into a kind of mop, and filtering what's stirred up by all this. I was worried about catching fish in this and the peril of throwing them into the composting bin, but bunny_hugger pointed out how we couldn't catch a fish with nets aimed directly at them and moving swiftly; a mop-like construct rolling slowly over the bottom was so escapable we shouldn't worry. Also I couldn't think of a way to filter the debris to recover any fish anyway.
We had a pretty good session of it, marred a little by the bucket holding recovered debris falling back into the pond right over the lily pads where we can't vacuum. So I went back to scrub the bottom as best I could, and in swinging the vacuum back and forth deep in the middle of the pond I broke the little hinge thing that attaches the base to the pole. This will require fixing by some method in the future, and finishes off the winter pond cleaning. (I recovered the vacuum by pulling on the water hose attached to it, but only after I realized the pond scoop, meant for yoinking leaves out of the water, was too flimsy for it and I couldn't find the vacuum base in all the silty water.)
We would have to wait a day for the silt to settle down, to see if we knocked over the little fish shelter we put in so they could hide from nuisances like pond vacuums, and tossed the traps back in just for one last hail-Mary at getting some more fish out.
Trivia: Fred Allen's wife, Portland Hoffa, was named for the city (in Oregon) where she was born. Her sister was named Lebanon (Pennsylvania), and brother Harlem (New York City). Her next sister was named Lastone, and the one after that, Doctor Fredericka Hoffa. (Her father's name was Frederick.) Source: Fred Allen: His Life And Wit, Robert Taylor.
Currently Reading: Dimensional Analysis, H E Huntley. Curse you, fascinating introductory book, for leaving a typo in an intriguing-looking exercise for the reader!