Johnnie St. Vrain: What is the pond monster on Ute Creek’s 12th hole?

Dear Johnnie: I live in a condo on Ute Creek golf hole No. 12. Last Monday, I watched something very strange happening in the pond right outside my window. There were big circles in the pond near the south end, and bubbles came up. I watched for a long time thinking maybe a cormorant was underneath the water surface and would come up eventually.  I stood there for a long time waiting and waiting, and once in a while something black, looking like a fin, appeared above the water surface, but never a whole body.  After at least 15 minutes, it seemed like a rather big black body swam near the surface, and I was mystified as to what this could have been. How can I find out what this was? Do you have a clue? — Curious Resident

Dear Curious Resident: I headed over to the Ute Creek Golf Course clubhouse, figuring that someone there would have the answer, or that maybe I could pick up a fish sandwich for lunch.

I spoke with Jeff, the course supervisor, who told me that the No. 12 pond con tains catfish, bass and carp and that what you saw probably was a carp.

With his permission, I went over to the No. 12 pond to take a look for myself. There, I saw several carp near the surface. Each looked to be about a foot long, grayishbrown with dark, almost black coloring along the ridges of their backs and their dorsal fins. It’s possible that what you saw was a carp. They can reach up to 30 inches long.

However, it’s possible that you saw a catfish. Channel cats are a dark gray, almost black, on their tops, and they, too, can grow to be more than 2 feet long. Catfish have more prominent dorsal fins than carp, at least more prominent than those I saw. And catfish are more active in the evening.

So, Curious, it could depend on when you saw the fish. How did the fish get into that pond? Jeff told me that the pond on No. 12 is connected by canal to the pond at No. 8, which is connected by canal to Terry Lake. So, these fish likely migrated there from Terry Lake. — Johnnie

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? Write Johnnie St. Vrain in care of the Times-Call, P.O. Box 299, Longmont 80502 or email johnnie@times-call.com.
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