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Dec 22, 2010 9:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Residents Offer Support For Poisoning Fish In Mill Pond

Dec 22, 2010 9:54 AM

A group of Water Mill residents claiming to represent the majority of homeowners along the shores of Mill Pond threw their support this week behind a proposal to use poison to kill off carp in the troubled freshwater body.

Six members of the Friends of Lake Nowedonah, a civic group that takes its name from the historic name for Mill Pond, told the Southampton Town Trustees that they support the use of the chemical poison rotenone to kill the carp as part of a multi-phase effort to end deadly algae blooms and restore water quality in the pond. The group offered to lend the Trustees whatever assistance they would need in making sure the carp are killed effectively and safely, be it manpower or financial assistance.

“We’re willing to donate 100 volunteer hours as our Christmas present to you,” said Toni Maloney, speaking for the group. “Whatever you need from us, we can give. We’re a bunch of very passionate people. We want to see fishermen pulling big bass out of that lake again.”

The use of rotenone to poison the fish has been pitched as the most effective way to rid the pond of carp, a crucial first step in any effort to restore water quality, according to the Trustees’ environmental consultant, Jim Walker of Inter-Science Associates in Southampton.

Carp eat native vegetation that keeps pond water oxygenated. After most of the predator fish in the pond were killed in a massive die-off two years ago, the carp population has exploded, so reducing the carp population—a necessary first step to restoring the vegetation—has become a difficult task. The Trustees have hired fishermen to net carp, but they have acknowledged that netting will never catch all the carp in the pond.

Rotenone, which inhibits the ability of fish to draw oxygen from the water through their gills, is expected to kill all the carp—but it also would kill all the other fish remaining in the pond. Mr. Walker argues that in the wake of the 2008 fish kill, the Trustees are presented with a unique opportunity to remove the carp with a minimum of collateral damage to other species. The pond could then be restocked with a proper balance of forage and prey fish and seeded with native aquatic species of vegetation, without the carp eating it before it could establish itself.

Mr. Walker has made his case for the use of rotenone to the Trustees on multiple occasions and found a board unwilling to discuss the idea because of the expressed fears that the chemical would escape into Mecox Bay, which is connected to Mill Pond by a small outflow creek. Mr. Walker said the outflow into the bay could be stanched and the rotenone dyed so that its movement could be tracked.

Mr. Walker said Monday that it will likely take a combination of several other steps to restore the pond to its former health, but that clearing out the carp should be the first move. “To invest in these other treatments without having done this when we had the chance would be remiss,” he said.

The Trustees did not show signs of switching their stance on the rotenone proposal, but agreed to meet with Mr. Walker and residents to examine the costs and logistics of using the poison—particularly blocking off the outflow and gathering the thousands of dead fish. “Let’s pull our resources together and look at this ultra-carefully,” Trustee Fred Havemeyer said.

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We're is Kevin McPondkeeper when you need him.

Kill the fish, reset the pond, stop the bull carp (I spelled it that way on purpose!)
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Dec 25, 10 11:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Good. Take the residents up on their offer. Have them convert all their cesspools to holding tanks so that their sewage can be transported to a treatment site. Ditto any road runoff. Arm them with nets, pitchforks and scuba gear so that they can remove the invasive aquatic vegetation. Have them seine haul the pond and move the carp to a location that doesn't abut expensive residential properties. Restock the pond with fish they like. Otherwise, even if they kill every living creature in the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 26, 10 10:16 AM
It does seem counterproductive to kill every living thing in the pond, I assume this means any frogs, snakes and any other aquatic animal ? Seems like the worst thing you could do ! Too bad aren't as valued as mako !! They would already be gone ! What are the other steps Mr Walker is proposing ? Is it really only 6 nitwits that are supporting the poisen plan ?
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Dec 26, 10 10:27 AM
2 members liked this comment
we must kill everything in the pond so the aquatic life may live! makes perfect sense people
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Dec 26, 10 12:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
All proponents of this mass poisoning should be required to post personal performance bonds for the widest possible environmental damage TBD (ballpark estimate including all upland and downstream species of animals and plants, plus all restorative costs could be $100 million at least IMO). This list of bond posters should include:

-- Friends of Lake Nowedonah
-- Board of Directors of FLN
-- six members of FLN referenced above, incl. Toni Maloney
-- Southampton Town Board (as ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 26, 10 12:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
Mill Pond is a hole in the earth that reaches beneath the water table. The water in Mill Pond is the same as the water that stretches under the houses that border the pond, plus runoff. Mill Pond has become Mill Slough because it is full of poo-poo.

With virtually no turnover in the pond water, the poo-poo water is cooked into a stew upon which algae thrives. The algae blocks light and vegetation dies. Oxygen content plummets. The least sturdy fish die first; eventually, all fish will ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 26, 10 3:56 PM
3 members liked this comment
all right all right-- i'll stop crapping in the pond!
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Dec 29, 10 5:34 PM
With all the cancers that we are seeing in our area. Young friends die way too early. Do we really feel safe when we are purposefully poisoning a whole pond...and possibly a bay? Drain it if you have to! No poison...no dye.
Scoop the poop!
By c'mon now (46), southampton on Dec 26, 10 4:48 PM
Unless I am wrong, the pond was relatively healthy until the "homes" were built by the pond. Non-native landscaping, living room shag rug quality lawns, and the fertilizers to feed them have taken their toll.

So much for EPA impact studies...
Dec 26, 10 7:10 PM appended by Mr. Z
"Poison" would be the EASY way. Why would you NOT expect people to take the option easily? DDT was "safe" too, and so was that pesticide they used in the Midwest, which actually prevented trees from absorbing water in the long run. No poison is "safe".
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 26, 10 7:10 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 26, 10 7:16 PM
Apparently, I can't say poo-poo.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Dec 30, 10 9:13 PM
Maybe they should move! What is wrong with you people????
By SueHas (5), East Hampton on Dec 27, 10 7:44 AM
Why not let all the Chinese restaurants in NYC fish the pond for free?
By jose1 (28), southampton on Dec 27, 10 1:50 PM
POISON NO GOOD !
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Dec 28, 10 8:38 AM
There is a truley stupid idea.
By Tree Man (19), Southampton on Dec 28, 10 9:05 AM
The carp are the problem. They were introduced to the pond and now they rummage around on the bottom stirring up the fine particles. The pond will never be right unless the carp are eliminated.
The other species will repopulate the pond.
Unfortunately, regretfully....it is the ONLY way. I would not want to be the one who is going to make this call.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Dec 28, 10 10:03 AM
While the water quality of Mill Pond has declined during the last few years, there was still an excellent bass fishery with a healthy breeding population. The lake's fish had great genetics that consistantly produced some truly LARGE fish. The problem seems to be the Solar Bees that were installed by the very homeowners who now want to poison OUR lake. When the Solar Bees stirred up the sediment the troubles began. The lake belongs to ALL Town residents, not just to the homeowners and we need to ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 29, 10 9:14 AM
Here's an even better idea for the millside residents, hydrochloric acid. Bomb the pond with this and, not only will everything be killed, but the pea soup color will vanish within minutes and the pond will look just like their swimming pools. Vermont is full of lakes and streams just like Mill Pond that are all crystal clear because acid rain has killed everything. Of course, without the regular addition of acid that occurs serendipitously in Vermont, Mill Slough will reemerge because of the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 30, 10 11:03 AM

What do the idiots think will happen to the poison that kills the carp?Is the pond going to be ideal for stocking otrher fish ? How can it be sutiable for other marine life? Whoever is in charge is Dangerious --- Get rid of them right away ---
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on Jan 1, 11 5:11 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on Jan 1, 11 5:26 PM

"The Commitee is Poison" "They are ignorant . who said ignorance is bliss?

Oh-- On second hand - - the poisons do work perfectly good on their lawns, keeping them green - and leaching into the water table - - I applaud this "{ Good Thinking" Group . ---Oh -- by the way , which one owns the chemical factory?
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on Jan 1, 11 5:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's all about Balance. Just remember Then a couple of things happened. Over fishing, Water quality due to pollution,
fertilizers, and altered water ways continued to decline. People began
to notice that in some cases the only survivors were carp. Instead of
admiring the carp's tenacity and mending our own ways, Americans began
blaming carp for the problem of declining native fish stocks. Not too
logical since carp were a response to the problem rather than the cause
of ...more
By robm1093 (6), franklin sq on Feb 12, 11 10:08 PM
Problem is, the bass can't survive in the squalid, almost anoxic state of the pond.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 14, 11 7:59 PM
Back during the industrialization of America, natural water ways were being diverted, dammed, drained, and polluted. This coupled with freshwater commercial fishing lead to the not so surprising situation of declining natural fish stocks. The US goverment was well aware of the problem. After much research, they decided that one solution to the
problem was to import and stock Cyprinus Carpio - aka Carp.

There reasoning was that carp were hardy enought to survive the less than ideal ...more
By robm1093 (6), franklin sq on Feb 12, 11 10:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wow, it seems like the root cause of the problem is the delivery of agricultural and other contaminants, in the form of run-off. Has anyone advised the Association of the problems that will cause for "native" species? Recruitment and growth of panfish and bass will be a non-event, unless the run-off problem is solved first. I never cease to be amazed by how ill-informed "the experts" are in environmental matters; their first (and often, only) approach is to blame the one fish still hanging in there, ...more
By robm1093 (6), franklin sq on Feb 14, 11 7:37 PM
Electric motors (i.e., Minn-Kota) are the only drives, besides oars, permitted on bodies of fresh water in Southampton Town.

Nothing like that greasy feel of the bay, during the summer heat.

Eliminate ALL non-native landscaping, and that includes the living room rugs these fools call "lawns".

Good ideas, all, but I can say I'd prefer to be a bit more extreme. All these petrochemical fertilizers. What ever happened to Stanley's Cow Manure, of Head of Pond?

Oh, ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 14, 11 7:56 PM

New research shows carp don’t eat fish eggs and they help the bass survive, also it’s possible that man is taking out the bass to eat. Maybe they should make this a catch and relies water only for all fish including carp, this way the predators will control the population of carp . The other possibility is this water will never be clean and is not suited for bass. So maybe it’s time to enjoy the sport of carp fishing. also rember green water Is not unhealthy water bass can ...more
By robm1093 (6), franklin sq on Feb 25, 11 9:32 PM