I've searched on here and haven't found anyone with quite the same problem - or at least not the same solution.
I woke up this morning and noticed the eyelets flow was way down so I went and checked the pump. It was only half full of water which was unusual. I went to check the skimmer because this is what I pulled out of it last night!
That's just ONE day with the maple tree above the pool and some high winds.
I pulled out several handfuls of the same but it wasn't clogged. I checked the filter and it had risen from 12-15 to about 26 psi. Figuring maybe that was the problem, I changed the valve to "recirculate" and the pump filled up completely and my eyelet pressure was back. So I set it to backwash (without the hose! ) for 5-10 seconds hoping that would be enough so it could run until I got home from work. I put it back on filter and the PSI started in the mid teens but quickly rose to the 25 or so and the pump chamber was half empty again.
So... is that normal behavior? I'll have to do a real backwash when I get home but for the day I just left the pump off. Why does a restriction on the filter side cause a the pump chamber to not fill to the top? I suppose if it can't push the water through fast enough it can't draw in enough to fill the chamber?