Monday, May 3, 2010

North Carolina Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory--Real World Example

Here is a good example of the work at the North Carolina Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (NCVDL). This article was taken from The NCVDL Report Volume 5 Issue 1 and written by Dr. Richard Oliver, Director of the Arden Laboratory in Fletcher.

Western North Carolina was subjected to abnormally low temperatures from late December 2009 through January 2010. Over a two week period that coincided with the onset of sub-freezing air temperatures, an owner reported losing around 30 common carp. The fish were swimming at the pond's surface while lying on their sides. The fish were able to swim away when approached. The pond had a very high stocking density with about 50,000 pounds of fish in approximately 3-acres. It had an iced over surface covered with snow during most, if not all, of this episode.

One 26-lb female carp was submitted for laboratory evaluation. She had a good amount of flesh with respect to skeletal muscle mass yet there was virtually no visceral fat present. The gastrointestinal tract was devoid of content and the majority of the body cavity was dominated by an expanded air bladder along with a vast amount of ovarian tissue which showed some indication of deterioration. Mucus scrapes and gill preps indicated low parasite numbers. Histopathology confirmed widespread, chronic ovarian degeneration. The diagnosis was Dystocia.

In spawning, fish dystocia is the lack of spawn coupled with the non-resorption of egg
s in the body cavity. Ovarian swelling induces impingement on the pneumocystic duct and the fish's ability to pnuemoregulate is impaired. (The air bladder swells and can not be properly deflated--you try diving with a life preserver)! Increased pressure in the body cavity also leads to a decrease in feed consumption and ultimately, liver and kidney malfunction. The condition is greatly exacerbated by extreme cold with water temperatures below 37 oF being the critical point.

Special thanks to Jeffrey Hinshaw, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research Station for his assistance on this case. Thanks also to Dr. Richard Oliver for allowing me to post his article to my blog.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Salt as a Treatment for Fish

Salt is a common and relatively inexpensive treatment for fish. The use of non-iodized table salt or rock salt (suitable for consumption by humans or livestock) is acceptable for treatment. For ease of application, many pond owners use 50 lb salt brine blocks. "Brine" blocks are salt blocks. Granular salt can also be purchased in bags or bulk.

Seawater contains 3% (30,000 ppm) salt concentration. Two hundred ppm (200 ppm) to 500 ppm can be used as an indefinite treatment in ponds to relieve stress. Ten thousand ppm (10,000 ppm) to 30,000 ppm can be used as a prolonged treatment in tanks for 30 minutes or until fish show signs of stress. Thirty thousand ppm (30,000 ppm) can also be used as a quick dip (60 seconds) in treatment tanks. To achieve 30,000 ppm in a tank, you add 2 1/2 lbs of salt for every 10 gallons of water. For ponds, 1 ppm is equal to 2.7 lbs/acre-ft of water. You need to know how many acre-feet of water you have in your pond (surface acres x average depth) to determine the treatment rate.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Carp Pond Forum 2010

The Carp Pond Forum 2010 is scheduled for Monday, March 29 at 6:30 pm at the Cleveland County Extension Center, 130 South Post Road Suite 1, Shelby. Carp Pond owners, this is your opportunity to interact with Calvin Keith Crawford, Midway Lakes, Manuel Fredell, Creekside Carp & Catfish Lakes, and Doug Whitaker, Whit-Mar Lakes, as they lead a round table discussion on owning and operating a carp pond. Dinner will be provided with your $10 registration fee ($15 for 2). Make checks payable to: McDowell Cooperative Extension. Mail to McDowell Cooperative Extension, 60 East Court Street, Marion, NC 28752. Call Molly Sandfoss or Cheryl Mitchell at 828-652-7874 with questions. Must register by March 25.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2009 Milestone--Marine Corps Marathon

This post is long overdue. If I am motivated enough, I try to attempt a milestone each year. A physical feat. At least, a feat for me. Here is a summary of my milestone for 2009, the Marine Corps Marathon.

In 2009, I decided not to attempt the Assault on Mount Mitchell. Been there, done that mentality I guess. Also, logistically, it can be rather nerve racking. The ride is on Monday. Weekends are much better for transportation both drop off and pick up. My husband works, my son is now in school. In 2008, my husband dropped me off in Spartanburg, SC at ~6:00 am. The
y watched me start at 6:30 am then rushed back to Marion, NC to have my son in school by the bell. He did it. I just didn't want to put him through that again. Although, he would have. (I think).

I actually thought I would take it easy this year with no goals in mind. Just enjoy myself. Training can be more mentally taxing than physical especially if you have a real job and family. Am I training enough? I need to get more miles in? It's exhausting just thinking about it.

My sister runs and ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2008. She wanted to do the Marine Corps Marathon in 2009. I run as an alternative to bad biking weather. I actually think I'm a better runner than rider, but I LOVE my bike. I don't have a Bucket List. So many people have "run a marathon" as something to do before they die. Makes running a marathon sound clich
e. But it is definitely a challenge, and I knew that.

I jumped on board finally, and signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon. Now I was committed. Training started in late June. I followed Art Lieberman's beginning marathoner training plan found in The Everything Running Book. My first long training run was 10-miles in hot, humid Myrtle Beach. I was beat. Talk about questioning your goal. I had run probably 9-miles at the most up to then, and mostly winter running. It was definitely a wake up call that this was going to be HARD.

I followed the training plan religiously. Although I did skip my easy Saturday
runs with a bike ride. At first, I thought I could keep up with both my running miles and my bike miles. No such luck. I injured myself the day following the 17-mile long run. I tried to run the very next day. I walked home after 2.5-miles with much pain. I treated my injury and was concerned that I would not be able to run. I talked with friends that were runners or former runners who all gave me very good advice. The lesson I learned don't push it. Your body can only take so much especially at my age. Tough, painful lesson. I'm not Super Woman after all.

I completed the training, running in pain for a time after my injury. Completed the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon in September in preparation for the whole. Asheville Citize
n-Times Half Marathon was a great training run since it is a VERY hilly course. Not good for my injury, but I took it easy knowing that this run was not my ultimate goal.

The actual marathon day was great. I had my sister escort me around since she was the expert. She told me about the Clif Bar Pace Team so I could have someone else worry about my pace and not me. Running and concentrating on your time is hard so why not let someone else do it for me? Over 21,000 runners that day. Never ran in a group quite that size. That was the most difficult, sharing the road with so many people. You had to stay alert.

I kept with my pace group until mile 22, I think. I can't rem
ember exactly. But I knew I was on mark to achieve my goal. The group would run through water stops and at that point, I needed my water. I reminded myself that the ultimate goal was to finish. I wasn't going to finish without fluids. I crossed that finish line, and I was so thankful that it was over. My official time was 3:41:44. Good enough to qualify for Boston at my age. Not bad for my first (and only) marathon. There were plenty of spectators on the route with motivational signs. One of my favorites...Pain is temporary. Pride is forever. It helped me immensely. It is so true.

Oh, by the way, my sister finished too! Very proud of her. I relied on her throughout this process to get me through. She did the same for me for the first year of my son's life. (She has three boys). We would update each other on our training runs. Even though we weren't physically training together, we were together in spirit--often a sweaty, tired, and sore spirit.

We also enjoyed our short time as tourists in DC. Went to a museum and a few monuments. We country folk loved the Metro. Got caught in a torrential downpour. We had a blast! DC, a great place to visit.

Now what for this year...I would like to say that I just want to enjoy pedaling or running without any training for an event or goal. Maybe this year, I will accomplish just that!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Management Tips

Winter is a good time to lime. Lime increases alkalinity. pH will stay fairly stable at higher alkalinities. Also, alkalinity reduces the toxicity of some chemicals in water. If you have to treat with copper sulfate this Spring or Summer, copper sulfate is less toxic at higher alkalinities.

Treating your pond with salt also is recommended before stocking your pond with a new load of fish. Fish are stressed during harvest and transport. Salt acts to reduce this stress.

If your pond has little inflow and outflow, it may be necessary to break the ice. With a pond that has little inflow, most of the oxygen in water is resulting from contact with the air during winter. If the pond surface is completely frozen for an extended period, this can act as a barrier to replenishing the oxygen in the water. This is especially true if there is snow covering the ice. Most ponds have constantly flowing water so this is usually not a problem.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Stocking Permit

As of July 1, 2005, anyone interested in stocking inland, public fishing waters with fish, mollusks, or crustaceans must obtain a stocking permit issued by the Wildlife Commission. The purpose of this permit is to protect native, or legally established aquatic species from the potentially damaging effects of unauthorized stockings. Fish stocked into public waters have the potential to escape into adjacent waters and create problems for existing aquatic communities by feeding on eggs, fry, or adults of existing fishes. They may compete for food and habitat. Stockings may also introduce diseases and parasites, and possibly interbreeding.

The only waters not affected by this rule are private ponds, which by statute is defined as bodies of water arising within and lying wholly upon the lands of a single owner or group of joint owners or tenants in common, and from which fish cannot escape, and into which fish of legal size cannot enter from public waters at any time.

Since most ponds in western North Carolina are built by impounding streams, they are considered public waters. The term public does not imply that the general public has the right to fish these waters without landowner permission. It means that the waters flowing through the pond are contiguous with adjacent streams.

There is NO charge from this permit. You can find out how to apply by visiting or by calling 919-707-0226. I can also help you getting an application for the stocking permit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Basic Seafood HACCP Training

Basic Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Training, February 16-18, Morehead City--This annual, two-and-a-half day workshop is designed for personnel in regulatory agencies, the seafood industry, particularly distributors and processors, and others who are required to have an FDA Seafood HACCP Plan in place for handling fresh seafood and seafood products. Cost is $150 per person which includes training, course books and certification fee. The link to the website,