04-30-2011, 11:34 AM
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Years ago I frequented a park in the Adirondack park (New York State) called Animal Land. The owner claimed that in the fall he would catch the pond goldfish, place them in a 55g drum, seal and bury them in the ground. In the spring he would dig them up and they would have survived the winter - no aeration, no food all winter long (November - April) - believe t or not! Just like fish in our Northern lakes here (even lakes that do freeze over) cold water fish are very tolerant to very cold water. I would expect their metabolism to slow down some, although based on the numbers of fellas that enjoy ice fishing (and although I enjoy fishing, I enjoy staying warm more!) the fish will feed in the winter...but can go for very long periods in a kind of stasis, like suspended animation.
I live near one of the finger lakes in NYS. It is a very deep lake that does not freeze in winter except for the very shallow ends of the lake. One boat launch is open year round. They keep the water from freezing over by bubbling air to keep the water moving as moving water will not freeze - or is very difficult to freeze. (I do not know if the air that is bubbled is warmed?)
With a decent air pump and some strategic air stones, you could likely keep your pond from freezing over, or if it did, the ice would be very thin and the fish would still be protected.
Last edited by AbbeysDad; 04-30-2011 at 11:37 AM..