The pond is now 7 yrs. old and still a wonder to behold. BUT... it was accumulating a lot of silt on the
bottom, so we decided it was finally time for a pond cleaning. We did this VERY CAREFULLY so as to
disturb as few of the critters that were over-wintering there as possible. Click
here if you have the courage to see the 'naked' pond being cleaned!
We found that if we placed the dredged pond plants and even the silt on a wire mess over a little plastic children's pond, most of the dragonfly, pond beetle and other nymph would wriggle and fall through and then accumulate there in the kid's pond. Then that water was added back into the pond when we refilled it. I know we were successful because of all the new life emerging from the pond this spring: ~ 20 Cardinal Meadowhawks, ~6 CA Darners, at least one Blue-eyed Darner and many many Pacific and Western Forktails.
We ended up with a horrible algae bloom this Spring, undoubtedly a consequence of having disturbed the balance of plant life. Luckily it only lasted a little under 2 months, and as I write this in late April, it is already looking its gorgeous self!