The Buzz

Homer Glen man checks pool, finds 'thousands' of tadpoles

(Photo by Chad Merda)

We get our fair share of calls about wildlife, but right out of the gate it was clear this wasn't going to be a standard one.

On the other end of the phone Wednesday morning was Homer Glen resident Mike "Chops" Czopkiewicz, who warned us it wasn't a prank call from the 1990s comedy act The Jerky Boys and his story indeed was "legit."

Czopkiewicz went on to say that he had "thousands" of tadpoles in his pool and was looking for any advice on what exactly to do. Curious, we met up with him to check out the claim because while tadpoles in pools aren't extremely rare, the sheer volume he mentioned isn't something one sees every day.

As it turns out, he wasn't spinning a tall tadpole tale.

On top of the cover on his in-ground pool were thousands of tiny tadpoles swimming in the rainwater that had collected on top. Thousands definitely aren't out of the realm of possibility, given that one frog can lay as many as 20,000 eggs.

“I've been here eight years and this is the first time I ran into this," Czopkiewicz said. "I mean, we'll pull the cover off and we'll see a few wolf spiders, but nothing like this."

In the past he's had a frog or two jump into the pool and he's kindly released it back into the yard so it can go on its merry way. This time, it's not necessarily that easy.

"I don't want to get rid of these or hurt them," he said. "I'm hoping I can find somewhere for them."

That somewhere would be a nearby body of water. The only problem? The nearest water source — other than Czopkiewicz's pool — is Spring Creek, which is a bit of a haul from his house.



So what now?

Czopkiewicz says he's "pro frog."

"I have a van and plan on relocating them," he said.

To properly and safely remove tadpoles from a pool, experts suggest using a net to scoop them up into a bucket that is filled halfway with water from the pool, or in this case, the top of the cover. Tadpoles don't need a lot of room, but should be able to freely move around for the short period of time while being transported.

It's a good idea to slowly add some water from the new location into the bucket to get the water temperature closer to that of the stream, creek or river they'll be dropped into.

Given the number of tadpoles, Czopkiewicz has a bit of a job ahead of him.

If he's in no hurry to open his pool for the season, there is another option besides some backbreaking work.

Natural Resource Management Supervisor Dave Robson said he can always play the waiting game for the next few weeks, letting the tadpoles morph into frogs, at which time they'll leave the pool on their own.


That may be a fitting ending to this saga, considering Czopkiewicz referenced the Old Testament when he called on Wednesday morning, saying he was waiting for the locusts to come.

After all, he's already experiencing the second part of the Plagues of Egypt.

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