Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO

Posted by: s252101

Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/14/16 12:30 PM

I am currently in the early stages of building a 2 acre pond in Livingston County, MO. I grew up on a farm and witnessed the building of a couple ponds and loved it. Now I am building one for my family just beyond our backyard. I will be doing all the work myself. I have access to the equipment to do it and plan to post additional videos of the progress. Ponds are awesome. Drones are awesome. Large equipment is awesome. It doesn't get much better than a combination of the 3 if you ask me! I have learned so much from this site and thought I would share in my process in hopes that it will help others that are potentially tackling the same project or just want to see some cool drone footage. The pond should push 2 acres and be near 20 feet deep. I have plans to put an island in an area where there is a natural hump. My largest concern is limestone rock. We hit some pretty big individual rocks (1 ton+) while putting in our geothermal system in the construction of our house (this area is just south and east of the pond location). As you can see from the video (4:40 mark or so), there are tons of ponds nearby. Let me know what you think and any tips would be welcomed. I will try to post more soon (I'm a school teacher and it gets dark pretty quick this time of year so we will see how it goes). Most of the trees were dead or dying elms and black/honey locust. I had the time before the equipment was available, so I decided to cut the trees out for firewood, etc. I am hoping to send some of the black locust to the sawmill for lumber to build the dock. Again, we will see how this develops.

Here's the video link. If you computer can handle it, crank up the quality and enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6UG38HuNaM&t=186s
Posted by: RER

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/14/16 12:43 PM

pretty neat!
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/14/16 12:50 PM

Cool video. I have to admit, I watched it thinking I might have hunted or fished around there in the past. My father in law used to teach and then ran the adult Ed at the vo-tech school in Chillicothe. In 1977 when I was dating his daughter, he took me fishing in several ponds around Chillicothe. Plus he had English setters, and he took me quail hunting on several farms around Chillicothe also. Sadly he passed away several years ago. My mother in-law still lives there, but I've only hunted around there a few times in the last several years, and haven't fished around there in more than 15 years. He sure got me hooked on farm pond fishing, and I wanted my own pond ever since.
Thanks to the guys here, I'm pretty happy with the results of our pond build two years ago.
Don't know if you are going to follow the typical Missouri stocking plan of BG, LMB, and CC, or something different. I decided on RES, YP, SMB, and HSB for my stocking plan. We ate another 20 YP this weekend. Caught while taking a break from the deer hunt.

Welcome to the forum, by the way. I'm looking forward to following along on your construction.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/14/16 03:48 PM

SetterGuy, how are you liking your stocking plan? I was debating on what I wanted. I think it would be awesome to have SMB! Are you catching any that have size to them? Let me know your thoughts.

You very well could have been out near this place. I grew up on a farm about 15 minutes east of Trenton, but we built our house about 7 miles west of Chillicothe.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/15/16 08:22 AM

So far, I'm very happy I went the way I did. We really like eating fish, and YP are delicious. I probably caught 12 SMB this summer (all released) and they are great fighters, but won't get as large as LMB. I'm fine with that. I did put some HBG in so that no matter the time of day or year, the grandkids could catch something. They are fun on a fly rod for sure. The only downside to them is they are like piranha when you are swimming. I'm hoping they don't reproduce much, and stop biting people when they get bigger. You are a lot closer to Lincoln NE than I am TJ, here on the forum is pretty much an expert on this stocking plan, and occasionally has a extra fish or two to sell. I got most of my fish from Rainman here on the forum also, he has access to any fish, and knows a lot about all things pond related. Hopefully those guys will see this thread and chime in.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/16/16 10:30 AM

I am leaning toward a plan like yours as long as it is financially feasible. smile I don't want to do SMB if they only get to a pound or two. Any shot some of yours will reach the 3-4 pound mark? Will they readily reproduce in a 2 acre pond with 18-20 feet of water? I should be able to provide some rocky structure for them as well. I am also intrigued by a forage pond. I was wondering what people's thoughts on how small I can make it and if this would provide me a continual supply of FHM and crawdads etc.?
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/16/16 11:36 AM

Here's another big question I have. Winter is quickly approaching in North Missouri. If I don't get started soon I could be in trouble. I can't build a dam and compact it if the ground is freezing on a regular basis can I? Will I just have to wait until spring?
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/16/16 12:36 PM

I hope the SMB guys jump in here, and some construction experts.
I am thinking my SMB will get to 3-4 pounds. I hope so. I also hope they reproduce. I dumped a lot of 8" rock in, and built gravel beds on top of that.
Posted by: beastman

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/16/16 02:42 PM

Setter- how old are your SMB and what size now? I would think SMB could reach 3-4 lbs , especially if pellet feed and/or adequate forage base...would just take more time than LMB.
I am planning on doing a SMB, YP, HSB, HBG pond (currently being built as I type)
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/16/16 04:50 PM

My SMB were introduced 10/10/15. 60 ea 4-8". (I never see how they get the measurements they do..)


October 6th this year. I did not measure, but if I had to guess, I'd say easy 10".



I've still got large schools of FHM. I'm catching a few GSH that are 5-6", so I think they have spawned. My feeder works over 50% of the time, but I'm only running 20 seconds a day when it's running. (50#s of feed lasts a month.) It's gone in seconds when it works.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/28/16 11:45 AM

Here is the next video in the process. All the trees have been cut out. I moved a line that was going to interfere as well. I've burned quite a bit of brush and have TONS of logs to push around once the bulldozer arrives. Really glad to have the trees cut and most of the brush piled. It was a lot of work doing it all myself while having a full-time job (especially since daylight savings kicked in). The plan is to have the track hoe here in the next week or two to rip out the rest of the larger stumps. Hope you comment and enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQjynu_dAW0&feature=youtu.be
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/28/16 11:48 AM

Good documentation - keep up the good efforts and reporting. With proper population management of wise harvest, always lots of forage food and some pellet feeding you should be able to grow smallmouth to 5 lbs in MO. Don't let them get too crowded which results in not enough food to keep the big ones growing well. Ideally you should get 1.5"-2" of grow on adults per year. A 5 lb smallie is around 20" at 5-6 yrs in the pond starting with 5"-7" pellet trained SMB.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/28/16 09:44 PM

Bill,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm really excited about the prospect of a SMB pond. I have been talking a bit with Rainman as well. I'm leaning toward SMB, HSB, and HBG with GoldenS and FHM as my forage species. What are your thoughts on this setup? I would really like to have at least some Bluegill in the pond for my kids to enjoy, but don't want them to compete with the SMB or become overpopulated. I have heard and read on here that SMB and HSB are a good combination. I'm a bit skeptical but I'm really inexperienced in this department. Also, I would like to get more information about a forage pond to provide a continual supply of FHM and GoldenS. I could pretty easily create a 1/4 acre pond with about 8-10 of water. Anyone know if this would be successful? It would be great to be able to just go seine out some forage species a few times a year to provide an extra boost. I am also interested in looking into crawdads. Any thoughts/opinions would be appreciated. I will hopefully have more progress to post in the coming weeks.
Posted by: Charles Anderson

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/29/16 12:48 AM

I can't decide which I a more jealous of... The DJI P4 or the pond big enough for SMB. I just started with ponds and drones. Sooooooo much fun.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/29/16 07:24 AM

I'm really glad the experts have jumped in here. Great advice from them. I second TJ's comments above about YP. They are great eating, and easy to fillet. Once I found out how to catch them, they are pretty easy for grandkids to catch. (Spring and fall)
The last video looks good. Lots of progress.
Also, I overstocked on the FHM, and they are still present 15 months after stocking SMB, and HSB. Almost 20 months since stocking YP and RES. My GSH are doing well also.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/29/16 10:35 AM

Thanks for all the advice guys. I know I am a long way off from needing fish, but I want to get my ducks in a row and am hoping things move pretty quickly once the equipment becomes available.

I have read through a lot of posts on here and some things have been answered here and there, so forgive me if I ask a question that has already been addressed.

1. I fully understand that there is a carrying capacity for my body of water. Can someone explain why SMB and HSB are a good combination? I am concerned that there will be a ton of competition for food between the two species.

2. Fish species in the lineup so far are SMB,HSB,HBG, and 2 forage fish (mulling around YP and/or a few WE). What stocking rates would be recommended? Again the plans are to get somewhere between 1.8-2.0 acres of water.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/29/16 07:47 PM

The smallmouth and HSB work okay together better than HSB with LMB. TJ covered the main co-habitation relationship. LMB will produce too many offspring that put too heavy predation on the forage often making forage a limiting food. HSB will tend to feed on different items with a strong pellet consumption compared to SMB. You will have to harvest manage the smallies to keep predation pressure limited so forage is always present.

Small forage ponds of 0.1 to 0.2 ac work well to provide additional forage whenever you have time to harvest and move it.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 11/29/16 10:14 PM

This all sounds good to me. I'm soaking all the information in!

So I could easily just settle for SMB and HBG and just overwhelm the pond with forage and be really successful? What about replacing the HSB with WE? I'm thinking the WE won't reproduce just like the HSB and will be about as competitive for food. Will the WE decimate my HBG population? Just a thought.


I could very easily create a couple .15 acre forage ponds for FHM and/or GSH (I think that's the abbreviation for golden shiners). My hope is that I could dig them, let them fill, stock them, and not have to do much to them other than take fish out of them every once in a while. I simply won't have the time to devote to giving a ton of care for them. Can I still be successful with this approach?

Also, once I start feeding with pellets am I locked in to doing this for eternity? Just looking at this from a limited budget.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/15/16 01:40 PM

The track hoe was dropped off yesterday and I started pulling the bigger stumps. The top 3-4" of ground is already frozen and it makes it difficult to get a lot of the dirt off the root ball. I should get close to getting the rest of them pulled tonight after work. I plan to do a video with my drone once the stumps are out. I'm becoming increasingly worried about the amount of rock that I'm encountering. In nearly every area sampled, just beneath the black dirt is a layer of rock anywhere from 3-8" thick. It's been pretty easy to bring up and there seems to be pretty good clay underneath. In one spot I dug down about 6' and got into some black material that looks like some type of shale. I guess we will find out once I get the black dirt stripped. Hopefully I don't end up with a dry pit and divorced! The forecast for the weekend is -3 with a high of 12. Stuff is going to get more difficult soon and it looks like best case scenario that I will get the area cleaned of all debris and the black dirt pushed off before waiting for spring to build the dam. I'll keep you updated.
Posted by: aighead

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/15/16 03:20 PM

Nice videos and it's good to learn about stuff along with you s252101! I'll keep watching...
Posted by: highflyer

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/15/16 07:51 PM

Tim,
Doing it right the first time is the best way to do it.

And now I "need" a drone......Thanks for that!

You can take any advise from Bill and TJ to the bank. Bill is one of the best, and TJ is not far behind.
Posted by: teehjaeh57

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/16/16 02:12 AM

Thanks Brian, I was beginning to suspect my advice got wedged in the new member spam folder again.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/16/16 05:05 AM

S252102. I had rock all through the clay when we dug our pond. It definitely added to the stress. So far so good. I've got a small leak, I guess. Losing 1/4" a day, if I could get any rain in NE Missouri, I wouldn't care at all. I sure don't remember seeing many dry ponds around Chillicothe. I will bet that yours will be fine. This weeeknd is going to be crazy cold. I was going to go quail hunting, but I hate to bust up covies, when it's in single digits.
TJ, your advice and recommendations have helped me immensely.. Don't stop! Ha!
Posted by: teehjaeh57

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 12/19/16 01:45 AM

It's funny in a way, I've related that amount of information to a client and was paid $75/hr plus travel costs [$1/mile] - and I'm cheap as it's not my primary profession. I think Lusk charges $1,000-$1,500/day plus travel - and he's worth every dime. Bottom line, direction is hard earned through years of expensive trial and error/ intensive research and is exceedingly valuable - it's discouraging when one doesn't get an acknowledgement, let alone a "thank you" after several days. Etiquette apparently is a thing of the past - yet another reason why I no rarely visit/post on the forum these days.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 11:31 AM

It's hard to believe I started this post over 2 years ago. I got really busy, waited on equipment forever, and it got really dry, but I've finally got a pond that is near full. I have several pictures of construction, stories of successes and failures from along the way and plan to update and share on here to help others thinking about tackling the same project, or if nothing else, for cheap entertainment! Trust me, it's been a roller coaster of a project. Looking forward to sharing, moving forward, and learning more.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 12:16 PM

Seriously consider contacting PBoss magazine editor B.Lusk about publishing the story of your pond build. This will be a unique story because you have a several pictures using aerial views. Pond build stories are always interesting reads in the magazine. The wording you use here on the forum is very acceptable as a draft copy for Lusk to use in an article. He will put any 'polish' that's needed for the article.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 12:27 PM

Here are a couple pictures from December 2016. The guy getting me the equipment brought out a track hoe to pull all the stumps. As you can see, the ground was starting to freeze pretty deep and it made removing some of the larger stumps a bit more difficult.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 12:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Seriously consider contacting PBoss magazine editor B.Lusk about publishing the story of your pond build. This will be a unique story because you have a several pictures using aerial views. Pond build stories are always interesting reads in the magazine. The wording you use here on the forum is very acceptable as a draft copy for Lusk to use in an article. He will put any 'polish' that's needed for the article.


I'll give it a shot Bill. Thank you. I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in here in that I'm on an extreme budget and have done ALL the work by myself. This being said, I've still tried to do it "right", but probably not to the extreme that many would, or could afford. I've spent a lot of time reading and researching various resources including, of course, this very forum. I've got ideas for the future as far as stocking, aeration, and other management practices are concerned. I don't want to upset anyone when I ask for advice and end up going another route because of financial restrictions if that makes sense. Honestly, my only goal of this project is a place to relax and spend quality time w/ my family.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 01:14 PM

Here are a couple pictures from October of 2017. Yes that's right, the project sat for nearly a year while I was waiting on equipment. Needless to say, my wife wasn't overly pleased with the view trade; once green trees for a couple months of bare dirt followed by a great 2 acre crop of 8' tall ragweed all summer/fall (I would have kept it sprayed, but it was so rough from pulling stumps with the track hoe). The quail loved it, but our seasonal allergies, not so much.

Finally, I was able to get a hold of a smaller dozer to strip the black dirt off. I pushed only a little behind the dam as I was constricted by a fence that was staying put, and starting making piles at each end of the would-be dam. I was shocked with the amount of black dirt in some areas (up to 8 feet) as this area is notorious for thin topsoil. Decades of farming before being placed in CRP had washed 12 acres of runoff area down into the ditch. It certainly would have been nice to have for the yard when building my house a few years back!

In the second photo, you'll spot the on-site supervisor checking on progress (my then 8 y.o. daughter).
Posted by: Redonthehead

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 02:50 PM

I remember your project - guess I did not realize its still in progress. Only thing I would add is be sure and back up all your photos and videos. I had four 16GB cards of drone videos and photos of my pond under construction, inside an envelope inside my laptop case. It disappeared. I did have a bit of it stashed on Google Drive.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/15/19 05:55 PM

Glad you are back and posting some pics! Looking forward to the rest of the story. I think every pond in northern Missouri should be close to full, or full. Iíve even got water running out my drain pipe.
You should have got ahold of me if you had some nuisance quail. I would have come in and helped reduce the population a little! wink
Looking forward to the updates. Glad youíve got it done!
Jeff
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/18/19 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Glad you are back and posting some pics! Looking forward to the rest of the story. I think every pond in northern Missouri should be close to full, or full. Iíve even got water running out my drain pipe.
You should have got ahold of me if you had some nuisance quail. I would have come in and helped reduce the population a little! wink
Looking forward to the updates. Glad youíve got it done!
Jeff


SetterGuy it is hard to imagine filling a pond from October to March in north Missouri! I'm excited to move forward with the project for sure!
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/18/19 08:50 AM

I received an 80,000 lb. early Christmas gift December 19th, 2017 in the form of a Cat D8N dozer. You could not have beat the smile off my face after waiting for so long to get the project started. The excitement I felt was the culmination of every hour I'd spent as a kid excavating with Tonka toys in the back yard and riding with my grandfather who ran a dozer for a living his entire adult life.

It wasn't all without a catch, though. We'd had a mild winter thus far, but normal temperatures were less than a week away and the dozer was moving to another project the end of the month. On top of that, I'm a school teacher and we still had two days of school left before winter break! This meant I would have to push through the night to optimize time, which wouldn't have been a big deal if the dozer had operational lights! I spent a couple hours rigging up led flood lights onto the hood and back of the cab of the dozer and hooking them to a deep cycle battery with an inverter. My other grandfather, king of the bush fix, would have been proud.

Here are a few pictures. One is from the first night rigging up the lights and the others are from the next day, continuing to stockpile black dirt on the ends of the dam. In one of the pictures, you can see the stockpile near my shed. As that pile grew and space got limited, I could easily see over the top of my shed as I climbed it with the dozer. I had never run a dozer of this size before, and getting the feel for it in the dark that first night was a bit unnerving, but they really are very simple machines to operate.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/18/19 08:59 AM

Big Boy toy
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/18/19 10:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Redonthehead
I remember your project - guess I did not realize its still in progress. Only thing I would add is be sure and back up all your photos and videos. I had four 16GB cards of drone videos and photos of my pond under construction, inside an envelope inside my laptop case. It disappeared. I did have a bit of it stashed on Google Drive.


It took far longer than I had hoped, but it was worth it. I backed up my photos immediately, so no problems there, but I did have a problem with one of my SD cards while getting some footage with my drone which was really frustrating.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/20/19 08:31 AM

Nice dozer. I donít know squat about them, but thatís one of the largest, correct? Looks like itís got a lot of life left thatís for sure. I first thought it was new.
If we keep getting this much moisture in northern MO itíll be a very unusual spring, thatís for sure.
I feel sorry for the folks north and west of us. Nebraska, and Iowa. Whew..
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/20/19 03:11 PM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Nice dozer. I donít know squat about them, but thatís one of the largest, correct? Looks like itís got a lot of life left thatís for sure. I first thought it was new.
If we keep getting this much moisture in northern MO itíll be a very unusual spring, thatís for sure.
I feel sorry for the folks north and west of us. Nebraska, and Iowa. Whew..


The dozer was in great shape. Cat makes them up to D11's which are exponentially bigger than this model (something like 370 gross HP compared to almost 1000 gross HP on the D11). The amount of dirt it would move in one push was mind boggling. I had an absolute blast running it!

I'm hoping we have a somewhat normal year from here on out. I shutter at the thought of another drought like we had last year. Yes, our neighboring states certainly are hurting. It seems like we get way more extreme weather and less and less of the "normal" stuff....
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/20/19 04:05 PM

From December 19th through Christmas Eve I pushed dirt with every spare minute I had. I would literally work until 2 or 3 in the morning, then maintenance/check the machine, go to town to get fuel, and run back for a few hours sleep before doing it all over again. I really wish that I could have had more of a window to enjoy the process and operating the dozer, but it just simply wasn't an option.

Here are a couple pictures of the process along the way. Another downside to not having much time is I really didn't get much drone footage because daylight was so precious. I'll try to keep posting stuff as I find a few minutes and should be able to get some video up soon.
Posted by: RAH

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/21/19 07:42 AM

Very nice! How big will it be?
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/21/19 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RAH
Very nice! How big will it be?


It's got about 6 inches to go until it's full, but it should nose right up to 2 acres.
Posted by: RAH

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/21/19 02:19 PM

That should be great for you!
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/21/19 03:01 PM

Here are a few more pictures of the process and a couple links to videos that my brother took one day when he was out checking on the project.

A few of the pictures will show the first real clay being pushed up on the dam. I had SO much black dirt down in this ravine that I actually got a little worried about having enough clay to line everything. The north side of the pond was very gently sloping and I was able to dig out as much clay as I would ever need to put about a 3' layer along the entire front side of the dam and track it in. Most of the basin was already clay by the time I finish digging everything out. I did hit a layer of shale about 10" thick that I packed good clay over anywhere it was exposed. I know a sheepsfoot roller would have been ideal, but it wasn't an option for me at this point. I did everything I could with what I had to compact it as best I could. I know a dozer's footprint isn't heavy comparatively, but I'm hoping having a larger one made some difference. Time will tell.

The 8" drain pipe and seep collar were delivered on 12/22 and were immediately welded and put in place as a buddy of mine has a portable welder and got right to work. We hooked the pipe to the corner of the dozer blade and used my skid steer to move it into position as best we could. The pipe was almost 120' long, so it was not easy to do with a big machine and limited space. There are a lot of logistics to think about when placing the pipe! I tried to push some clay mix over the top of the dam on either side of the opening I had left so I could backfill the pipe once in position. I had to hand dig under the pipe for the seep collar to fit into our trench. I feel like my dam compaction is pretty good as this was nearly impossible to do even with a good sharp tile spade. We used the dozer blade to massage it down into final position. All of this would have been a lot easier with a track hoe for sure.

If you watch the videos, you'll see me starting to back fill the drain pipe from the back side of the dam. It is pretty darn steep at this point and I was glad to have a couple days of running the dozer under my belt before this portion of the project. I won't lie, there is a certain point when operating a 40 ton piece of equipment that isn't yours, on a steep grade, with little room to maneuver that makes you as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!

You won't see it in the videos, but I pushed just enough dirt in there to cover the pipe and plate well and then began tracking over it several times to compact that area. I ran across it and up and down it several times. It was so nice to be able to run all along the back of the dam after that and start to really shape it.

Once the pipe was in, I was really committed to the project. I needed to make sure and get the basin and dam finished before it froze solid (just 2 days away) or began to fill with water.

YouTube

YouTube

Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/21/19 09:53 PM

Looks good. Howís it holding?
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/22/19 08:53 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks good. Howís it holding?


Seems to be holding well. Less than 1/2" drop in almost 2 weeks. I would expect some drop for being the first time it has ever filled up? Am I right on this or completely off base?
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/22/19 09:16 AM

Iíd be super happy with 1/2Ē drop in 2 weeks. When things dry up and we stop any rainfall I lose about 1/4Ē in a day..
Posted by: jludwig

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 03/22/19 09:33 AM

Originally Posted By: s252101
Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks good. Howís it holding?


Seems to be holding well. Less than 1/2" drop in almost 2 weeks. I would expect some drop for being the first time it has ever filled up? Am I right on this or completely off base?


Yeah got to saturate the banks. They will absorb a fair amount on initial fill.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/10/19 04:06 PM

Finally back to continue sharing the pond build journey. I'm hoping post most of the rest of the project in the next couple weeks before things get really, really busy.

To finish up the project, I had less than two days to: 1) finish pushing dirt to the dam 2) lining the front side with 2-3' of good clay 3) shape the dam and continue tracking it in with each layer of clay added 4) push the two big piles of black dirt over the top and face of the dam 5) push my rock and stumps back down into the basin to provide structure 6) general clean up and finishing touches. I finished everything I could at about 2:30 in the morning on Christmas eve. It had been really cold for over 30 hours now and had been snowing steadily for a few hours when I finally finished. I considered the dam to be 100% done as far as construction and as smooth as I could get it with a D8 dozer in the dark and snow. That would be easy to work on later, when it thawed next spring. To say that the basin was exactly as I wanted it would be a stretch. There were a few things as far as fish structure and shape that I would have liked to have spent a bit more time on. It had been a whirlwind 5 day project, and it was a lot of fun, just wish I had more time to enjoy it and change just a couple things. Now, it was time for a few other projects before it started to fill.

Here are a couple of pictures. One is a view out our back door when I was finishing pushing the black dirt over the dam on 12/23. The other is Christmas Eve after the snow had fallen. Hopefully I can get more posted soon.

As you will see in these pictures and future ones, the pond basin is pretty rough with piles of dirt (which I know will erode and be pretty flat eventually), rocks everywhere, stumps and brush all over, and even some other junk down in it. This was completely intentional as I wanted all kinds of varying areas and habitat for fish. It would have been easy to push it all up neat and clean, but that was something I did not want. Some people will look at it and shudder, and that's okay.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/10/19 10:13 PM

Looks good to me. Itís a big BOW compared to mine. Plenty of room for structure of all kinds.
Iím looking forward to seeing ďthe rest of the storyĒ.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/13/19 04:11 PM

After finishing the dam, and thinking that we would have a normal year precipitation wise, I wanted to get the dock and a few other projects completed before the pond gained measurable water. I was, of course, on a budget as well as not interested in a floating dock, but rather one that would be permanently fixed (or at least so I thought.....I will get to that later). The dock was to have a slip for an old pontoon boat I had managed to land and have a ramp for access to the bank as well as the island. The overall platform was a 24x24 foot square (minus the slip for the pontoon).

After some research, I chose to re-purpose some of the black locust timber that was cut out of the original ditch. Everything I could find about them said they would have no problem holding up underwater for decades due to them being almost all heartwood. It wasn't hard to find larger, decently straight candidates for my posts.

My largest issue was the fact that there was nearly solid rock in the area where the dock was to be built. It was impossible to dig any kind of hole for the posts. My solution was a couple of things. One, level an area for each post and place a large flat rock down. Two, center each post on each rock and brace it up. Three, pile rocks and dirt around the base of each post to provide some amount of anchoring. I managed to get this done with the help of my skid loader, but it was still a fair undertaking for one person.

Once the main posts were braced, I used a transit to mark elevations and notch the posts with a chainsaw. Getting the 2x12 band lumber attached made me feel a lot better about all those posts sticking up in the air with not much holding them. I used 2x10 joists and deck boards to finish out the platform. I've built cabinets and furniture for various projects in the past, and this was certainly not cabinet worthy work, but for the terrain, elements, lack of man power, and the materials used, it would do just fine. I really felt like the dock couldn't go anywhere since it was all tied together on top, but as a final step I used a couple heavy rocks and some cable to anchor the front side.

Here are a few pictures of the project. The dock story isn't finished, to say the least.......
Posted by: Brettski

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/13/19 04:44 PM

If you are in an area that freezes, your greatest foe for dock stability will be when the wind blows the ice floe that freezes and locks up against the dock verts.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/14/19 06:50 PM

Looks good. Youíve definitely got me wondering about the rest of the story. Ha
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/15/19 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Brettski
If you are in an area that freezes, your greatest foe for dock stability will be when the wind blows the ice floe that freezes and locks up against the dock verts.


You are correct sir......sort of. I experienced a bit of this over the winter. I'll share a bit more about the project build and then cover that debacle.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/15/19 02:42 PM

In January of '18 I began work on another project that I had stumbled upon a year before fishing a student's pond. It was a half sunk mid-80's (I'm guessing) 24' pontoon boat. Someone had, for whatever reason, knocked a hole in the back of each pontoon in an effort to sink her. She was floating nose up out in the middle of a 10 pond. We drug it to the waters edge, drained the pontoons, and loaded it on a trailer with a tractor and front loader. I paid $300 bucks for the old girl and felt pretty good about it. What would duck hunters pay for an 8' x 22'+ flat surface to build on???

The deck, seating areas, outboard motor, and pretty much anything that wasn't made of metal were completely shot. I stripped everything off of it, replaced the decking lumber and covered it with outdoor carpet. I only put the side railings on the the back half and of course put the metal roof back on. I wanted to leave the front entirely open and not hassle with putting any seating back on it. We figured we would just bring whatever seating we wanted out and put it back when we were done. I've got a 70# trolling motor that isn't being used to mount on the front. I'm pretty excited about all the open front area to be able to use for all kinds of stuff, and of course to be able to easily fish from.

I straightened out all the aluminum pieces as much as possible and patched and welded the holes in the back of the pontoons. It was far from looking like a new vessel, but it will certainly be very handy on our little pond!

Here are pictures of the project. You have to check the name out on this boat....it's a classic and has been a great conversation piece for everyone who sees it.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/15/19 03:16 PM

Thatíll be great. Iím always looking for shade.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/15/19 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Thatíll be great. Iím always looking for shade.


I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.
Posted by: Flame

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/15/19 06:12 PM

I actually use a covered 30 foot pontoon for my floating dock on my 2 acre pond. Has been working great for about 3 years now. My Texas Hunter feeder is even mounted to it. You did a good job on that restoration. Believe it or not people will still pay you several hundred dollars for that old motor for parts. Because we made ours a permanent dock I also sold my trailer. Ended up a whole lot cheaper than I could have built a floating dock. Hah!!
Posted by: jludwig

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 07:57 AM

We also use a pontoon boat for our dock. It works great!
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: s252101
I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.


We made the banks fairly steep around our pond. Not easy for anyone to climb out, especially with slick clay. The ladder on the dock is used 90+% of the time. Also means cleaner water vs stiring up the bank, and climbing out through leaves and FA.

Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Flame
I actually use a covered 30 foot pontoon for my floating dock on my 2 acre pond. Has been working great for about 3 years now. My Texas Hunter feeder is even mounted to it. You did a good job on that restoration. Believe it or not people will still pay you several hundred dollars for that old motor for parts. Because we made ours a permanent dock I also sold my trailer. Ended up a whole lot cheaper than I could have built a floating dock. Hah!!


Flame, Just curious, how much food do you go through in a month? As far as the restoration goes, I need to clean all the metal railings and pontoons from sitting underwater for so long, but for now it is fully functional. I had never dealt with a pontoon and wondered why this one hadn't sunk until I discovered that each pontoon is broken into 2 separate compartments, which makes a lot of sense!
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Originally Posted By: s252101
I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.


We made the banks fairly steep around our pond. Not easy for anyone to climb out, especially with slick clay. The ladder on the dock is used 90+% of the time. Also means cleaner water vs stiring up the bank, and climbing out through leaves and FA.



What is your ladder made out of SetterGuy? I made a very gradual sloping area and, when it dries out enough to get a truck in, will make a beach area.
Posted by: Flame

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 12:22 PM

s25, I go through 50 pounds about every 3 weeks. I feed year around but very little in the winter. Water temp has only got below 50 one time in 4 years.But I am in deep east Texas.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 02:26 PM

Thanks for the info Flame. Our water gets a bit cooler in the winter months crazy
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 03:08 PM

Here is a video and a few pictures of some of the structure in the pond. A bunch of black locust stumps were used and of course a lot of the rock that was pushed out. I didn't have the equipment to separate all the rock from the clay so a lot ended up in mixed piles. As the body of water ages a fair amount of this structure will be surely covered up.

The two smaller concrete structures you see in the video are boats that my student's design and made out of concrete for a project. They floated with over 1,000 lbs. of landscaping blocks in them, but how practical is a small 300 lb. boat? They were a great project and will make great structure.

As you can see from the video, the bottom has a ton of structure. I tried to vary the depths greatly from 3-14 feet and plan to aerate the pond so hopefully the deeper stuff can be utilized during more than just the winter months. Let's hope that all the structure benefits the Walleye and Smallmouth that will be stocked later. It will be exciting to put my fishing boat on it and check out all the structure with side imaging.

There are a few larger rocks that were propped up in various locations and some of them are over 6 feet long. I'm hoping that they will provide cover that's a guaranteed Smallmouth any time you fish.

The second video was taken by my 6 year old from the dock. When you have waited 15 months to get the project finished and you finally get a little water, you fish!

YouTube - Pond Structure
YouTube - Fishing


Posted by: Flame

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/16/19 03:52 PM

Water is still just a tad to shallow for the pontoon! Hah! Years ago I used a tractor to dig a small pond by my house. Just didn't have patience to wait for rain. My wife came home from work and found me out there trying to fill it with a waterhose!! True story about our 30 foot pontoon boat that we use for a dock...we knew we wanted a pond but had not even broke ground on it yet when we saw the boat for sale!! It was a year later before we built the pond. Talk about can't wait for things and putting the cart before the horses!! I actually did the same thing on my house. I had a custom made pool table made before I built the add on to the house to put it in!! Reading this back...I think there may be something wrong with me?? Your pond looks great!!
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/17/19 01:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Flame
Water is still just a tad to shallow for the pontoon! Hah! Years ago I used a tractor to dig a small pond by my house. Just didn't have patience to wait for rain. My wife came home from work and found me out there trying to fill it with a waterhose!! True story about our 30 foot pontoon boat that we use for a dock...we knew we wanted a pond but had not even broke ground on it yet when we saw the boat for sale!! It was a year later before we built the pond. Talk about can't wait for things and putting the cart before the horses!! I actually did the same thing on my house. I had a custom made pool table made before I built the add on to the house to put it in!! Reading this back...I think there may be something wrong with me?? Your pond looks great!!


I've certainly been known to put the cart before the horse before, but like to refer to it as strategic planning. Several of my student's thought that you filled a pond with a source like a garden hose. Silly kids.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/17/19 04:08 PM


What is your ladder made out of SetterGuy? I made a very gradual sloping area and, when it dries out enough to get a truck in, will make a beach area. [/quote]

I have little time, and low mechanical skills. So I went to Menards. Bought dock kits, and put them together and carried them down to the pond with my tractor. I bought a ladder from them also. It was too easy.. Not nearly as satisfying as building everything my self. It works great though. I wanted on I could rotate up and out of the water when we left. It has zero algae on it. No slip.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/17/19 04:13 PM

Pics and video are great. Looks like your BOW could be called a lake (in my book). I talked to a guy that sells farms one time. I asked him how Big does a pond have to be before itís a lake. He said itís simple, if your selling, itís a lake. If youíre buying, itís a pond. wink
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/20/19 11:13 AM

Thanks for the info SetterGuy. I would like for the ladder to fold up and out of the way as well. I will probably make it out of aluminum for the dock and pontoon.

It certainly looked more like a lake than a pond this weekend after all the rain. Lots and lots of water running out he overflow pipe and emergency spillway. Good thing I had a screen up over the emergency area, I think. Not sure how many forage fish (GS and FHM) are attracted to areas like that and get sucked out? I only found 2 dead shiners up against my screen. I don't have anything over my 8" pipe to keep them from going right down. I'm pretty skeptical about having a bunch of debris plugging things up too much and keeping the water from getting too high with my fixed dock. What are your guy's thoughts on bait fish leaving through pipe and emergency areas?
Posted by: roundy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/20/19 02:11 PM

we need a pic of it full now.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/21/19 01:46 PM

Continuing with the pond build story, we had a very dry winter in 2017-2018. About the only snow we got came as light dustings Easter Sunday and the following two Sundays after. We got a few showers that spring and then.....It. Just. Did. Not. Rain.

I am 35 years old and I am talking the worst drought for filling a pond in my lifetime for this immediate area. My wife was not happy that we had cut down all her "green trees" and dug a giant hole but I had explained to her that most ponds that are built and ready to go for spring rains are filled in a few months. Boy was I wrong.

Attached are a few pictures of the pond that spring and summer. It got to be a pretty depressing sight as the ragweed slowly took over the entire basin. On the bright side, there was almost no silting in! It got pretty desperate for me, as I would stand at the back sliding door every morning for 7 months hoping for rain. If you've ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation, I was like Clark Griswold staring out his kitchen window visualizing his pool in his back yard. In case you were wondering, I never had any red bikini top smack against my window. The pond never got more than 3 or so feet of water in it at one time, and by mid-August was down to less than two feet.

One of the pictures shows the drought areas for the state as of August 28th, 2018. I live in western Livingston county which is a part of the cluster of counties in the exceptional drought. In fact, when the exceptional drought area started as a fraction of a county a few weeks earlier it was directly over my area. I grew up on a farm and my family still farms, so a silly pond sitting dry was one thing, but row crop and especially livestock farmers were really struggling.

We got a few little rains in September and then finally relief came in October. We received several inches of rain in about a 4 day period that put a lot of water in the pond. The water was turbid and nasty looking and a lot of it was due to the dead ragweed covering the entire basin, but hey, it was water. Volume wise, we guessed the pond to be a little less than half at this point. It was finally a good start for a pond that was almost 9 1/2 months old.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/21/19 01:52 PM

Originally Posted By: roundy
we need a pic of it full now.


I'm hoping to finish sharing the story and be caught up with current pictures in the next few days.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/21/19 03:44 PM

With the pond filling, there were a few more projects to tackle before last winter hit. We had decided to put a small shelter area on the island and I wanted to build some Smallmouth spawning structure, if for nothing else, added structure for fish in general.

For the shelter area, I dismantled and relocated a 14' diameter grain bin. I used five 4x4 treated posts to support the top ring and roof. When you are working by yourself there is a fair amount of redneck ingenuity involved. Eventually, I was able to get the ring raised, secured, and the roof put back on in 3 different sections. Getting the holes to line back up proved pretty tricky. I used some treated spacers and old barn wood from my wife's grandfather's barn that was torn down to wrap the posts to give it more of a rustic look. We are happy with how it turned out and aren't sure what the plans are yet for the rest of the island. We definitely want a fire pit and sitting area somewhere eventually. A project for another day.

For my Smallmouth beds, I used large plant pots left from landscaping and buried them so there was a good 6-8" sticking out of the ground to keep them from silting in anytime soon. Then flat rock was stacked around the pot and built up around the shallow side of the bed to support a black locust log that would sit above. The pot and area around it was filled with river rock to create the actual spawning bed. The logs were placed on top of the flat rock and wired on each end with 100+ lbs. of chunk rock. I made 6 of these total all over the pond, facing different directions, and in depths from 3-6 feet (at full pool). Like I said earlier, even if the Smallies don't spawn on them, they should be great structure for all fish alike.

Also on the list of things to do was add on to the drain pipe. When the pond was built, I wanted to leave it low to have flexibility with the island, dock placement, dam freeboard, etc. Since all of this stuff was taken care of I was able to add about 16-18". Again, working by myself, redneck engineering to hold the pipe in place was necessary.

I forgot to add, a little ancillary benefit of not having rain for so long meant that a large number of the stumps that were piled up in various spots dried out and lost any remaining dirt from the root ball and floated to the surface with all the rain in October. I was so mad and feel like had we gotten rain when the stumps had some moisture and dirt on the root balls they would have stayed in place, but I could be wrong. We went around on the Miss Behavin' and sunk several of the best stumps by wiring rocks or landscape blocks onto them. It didn't take much to send most of them down to their watery graves.

We had received some more runoff in the form of rain and snow by this time (Jan. '19) and the pond had come up another couple feet. At this point I felt like we were in the clear; most projects were done and we could relax and let the rest take care of itself.
Posted by: Augie

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/21/19 05:02 PM

The grain bin gazebo is too cool.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/21/19 05:08 PM

Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyíve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Weíre all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnít listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Augie
The grain bin gazebo is too cool.


Thanks Augie. We hope to get a lot of relaxing use out of it.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 10:57 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyíve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Weíre all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnít listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.


SetterGuy that's good news about your SMB. Now I need you to get out there and catch a few of your original stock and post some pictures. I would love to see how they have grown. Have they been in there 3 years yet?
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 11:29 AM

Originally Posted By: s252101
Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyíve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Weíre all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnít listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.


SetterGuy that's good news about your SMB. Now I need you to get out there and catch a few of your original stock and post some pictures. I would love to see how they have grown. Have they been in there 3 years yet?


This was last year. Havenít caught one this year, but see them moving in the shallow water. They were stocked 10/10/15, 4-8Ē. (60 of them) Hopefully they are 17-18Ē by now. Stocked along with 25 HSB that have never been seen again. whistle
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy

This was last year. Havenít caught one this year, but see them moving in the shallow water. They were stocked 10/10/15, 4-8Ē. (60 of them) Hopefully they are 17-18Ē by now. Stocked along with 25 HSB that have never been seen again. whistle


Man that's a beautiful, healthy looking fish. So he went from 4-8" to 16" or so in shy of 3 years? I'd say you are doing well. If this chart is accurate, looks like that fish was on the high side of the medium growth rate. I'd be happy with similar results for sure. Looks like that fish should be pushing two pounds. Get out there and catch one so we can see this years class!
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 02:17 PM

As winter progressed, we received a fair amount of snow, and a few rain showers on frozen ground which led to decent runoff. I was setting at about 2-3 feet from being at full pool in January '19. It hadn't been ridiculously cold as of yet, but as February rolled in, it got that way fast. I didn't think much of it, but the current water level and the building ice were about to become a problem.

Before sharing about that, know that where we are located is hit and miss for thick ice from year to year. There are some years we can not safely ice fish a single day, and there are others that we can fish, everyday, for 3 months straight. Up to this point, the ice hadn't been thick enough to get on, but it was about to get really thick for our area. February was cold for us. Several days with lows of -5 to -10 and highs barely reaching zero. The ice grew and grew, engulfing whatever was at the surface at that current level; this included nearly all of my Smallmouth logs, and of course, all of my dock posts.

This was really all fine, except for the scenario that happened next; we got quite a bit of snow, and then an inch of rain on a couple warmer days. The ice had made it to 8"+ thick by this point and the ground was still entirely frozen which meant 100% runoff of all the rain and melting snow. Water was rushing in. This set of circumstances is really unheard of around here, like I'm talking almost NEVER happens. For the most part, pond levels maintain during the winter, but rarely rise drastically until early spring. Also, we typically don't get ice that thick, and if we do, the air is very dry. We certainly don't usually have an inch of rain with 8" of ice on the bodies of water and snow on the ground. All the stars aligned for max runoff and that's what we got.

I came home from work that evening and was afraid to look. Exactly what I was worried about had happened; some of the runoff ended up on top of the ice (about 6" deep) and the rest had made its way under the ice and forced the whole mass upward. Since ice is strong and it was so thick, whatever it was attached to, it just brought with it. So, all my Smallmouth bed logs that were anchored with 200-300 lbs. of rock were ripped upward as the #9 wire had broken from the force. All that work would have to be re-done. Sigh.

To make matters worse, I noticed that the dock was sitting very awkwardly. As I walked out onto it, it was obvious that it had been lifted by the ice as well. I was a bit panicked because as it was still raining at a pretty good clip and all the tributaries were doing their part to add water to the pond. I rushed and grabbed the chainsaw and, while standing in 6" of water, began cutting around each of the dock posts. As I finished each cut, the dock would literally slam down almost a foot! To make matters worse, the Miss Behavin' was frozen in the slip making it all but impossible to get to a few of the posts. By the time I was done sawing and busting ice with a long pry bar, it was completely dark, still raining, and I was soaked from head to toe. I was beginning to think that if I didn't have bad luck with this project, I'd have no luck at all.

The dock was still structurally sound, but there was some permanent shifting that I will have to live with. The portions that were anchored to the large limestone rocks had lifted a little because the anchor rocks were not 100% straight below those points, so they rose in a bit of an arc if that makes sense. It was a great time, let me tell you.

For the remainder of the winter I made sure to keep the ice broken away from the posts when the forecast called for any precipitation. Eventually, the ice thawed and, by that time, the pond was within 6" of being full. I didn't get many pictures of the near disaster with the dock, as I was scrambling to salvage it rather than document the event. Thank goodness for spring.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/23/19 04:27 PM

That last pic looks great. Youíve got to be proud of that. I didnít realize the dock would take you to the island as well.
Weíve had 3Ē in the last few days. Luckily just warnings for tornadoes and no sightings. I feel sorry for the folks in Jeff City.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/24/19 01:00 PM

The last few weeks have been really wet for us. The first week of May was the first time water ever went down the overflow. I think it has been running most days since that time. The emergency spillway has even been used twice now. I set the grade on the emergency spillway to be about 8 inches higher than the lowest point of my overflow pipe. Since the dock is fixed, and at full pool the water is just an inch or two below the dock, I didn't ever want water to get too high on it. You will see in some of the pictures that the water is about half way up on the 2x12's on the dock. I'm not sure it would get much higher with an 8" pipe running full bore, and a 14' wide emergency spillway running a couple inches deep with only about 12-14 acres of runoff. My emergency spillway doesn't have any vegetation on it yet as I just got it to final grade after adding on to my overflow pipe and before putting my screen up this spring. The spillway is long, wide, flat, and dug into virgin ground so there was very minimal washing. I will probably seed it with a grass clover mix this fall. I had a few kamikaze Shiners that died up against the screen, but I saw several scurrying back to deeper water.

Now, onto the fun part; managing the body of water to produce fast growing, healthy Smallmouth, Walleye, and Yellow Perch. Here's where I am at thus far:

October 2018 - 20lbs. of FHM and 1000 Northern Crayfish
March 2019 - 100 Redears and 20lbs. of Golden Shiners
May 2019 - 30lbs. of FHM

Future Stocking Plan:
Fall 2019 - approx. 80 SMB and 200 YP
Spring 2020 - approx. 60 Walleye

My goal is to have fewer numbers and better quality. I'm hoping to have a massive forage base by this fall. I'm planning to build a .2 acre body of water to raise Shiners (and maybe another species) and supplement in the coming years. I'm really excited to get this off the ground and open to suggestions. I plan to aerate the pond with 4 diffusers once my budget allows later this year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance. I plan to periodically post and keep this all updated with successes/failures. I also plan to get my drone up and get some good footage to share when the weather calms down a bit (another 4-5" predicted for the next week).
Posted by: roundy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/24/19 01:33 PM

Thanks for sharing your journey. The place looks 1st class all around.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/24/19 02:04 PM

Looks great! Also looks like your water is reasonably clear with all the rain weíve had. Just curious, where are you sourcing walleye?
My pond is gushing out the overflow pipe also. Trying to get some mowing done before the next storm system comes in. Went down to the pond last night and a huge ash tree from behind the dam toppled over, just barely into the water. It was history anyway due to ash bore. Iím losing 5 more around the house. frown
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/28/19 08:46 AM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks great! Also looks like your water is reasonably clear with all the rain weíve had. Just curious, where are you sourcing walleye?
My pond is gushing out the overflow pipe also. Trying to get some mowing done before the next storm system comes in. Went down to the pond last night and a huge ash tree from behind the dam toppled over, just barely into the water. It was history anyway due to ash bore. Iím losing 5 more around the house. frown


Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back with you SetterGuy, busy weekend. The pond certainly has more color than I would like, but the amount of water coming in for the last month has been enough to fill this pond twice! Even with grass all the way around, there is a fair amount of turbidity.

I am getting my fish from NEMO fisheries out of Perry, MO. That can't be more than a couple hours from you I wouldn't think. They have been wonderful to work with and seem like doing a good job is top priority. They haven't tried to sell me fish, in fact, they have talked me out of certain things. Cody and Vince are the father/son that run the place.

It stinks losing an investment like a tree for sure. The only trees between my house and the pond are elm because that is all there was, and I am sure they will die in the next few years.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 05/28/19 10:10 AM

We lost a huge elm last year. On the trail to our pond, it was the biggest elm Iíve seen in a long time.
I like those guys at NEMO. They are 10 minutes from my pond. I did not know he had walleye. Iíll have to stop in. I knew he had YP. I think I have a pretty good population of YP. I really overstocked at the beginning.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 06/21/19 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
We lost a huge elm last year. On the trail to our pond, it was the biggest elm Iíve seen in a long time.
I like those guys at NEMO. They are 10 minutes from my pond. I did not know he had walleye. Iíll have to stop in. I knew he had YP. I think I have a pretty good population of YP. I really overstocked at the beginning.


You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 06/21/19 03:11 PM

My next phase of the process is aeration. Again, I'm on a budget. I know most are probably saying "Oh Lord, he's cutting corners again". I'm looking forward to the challenge of a decent system with costs that aren't outrageous. I have read a fair amount on aeration and had a system drawn up from a company. The quote was way too much for me to even think about spending. Here's what I'm thinking:

-Compressor will sit at my shed (200 feet to waters edge)
-I plant to run the equivalent of 2" of airline to a manifold at the waters edge (it may be 2 - 1" lines together).
-I'm hoping to use 5 - 12" diffusers (the unique shape of the pond will require something like this)
-I plan to use pipe that is a little larger than 5/8" to feed each diffuser.
-Diffuser #1 = 200' @ 15' deep
-Diffuser #2 = 100' @ 17' deep
-Diffuser #3 = 250' @ 9' deep
-Diffuser #4 = 200' @ 10' deep
-Diffuser #5 = 140' @ 8' deep

My biggest question is whether the two pumps I am looking at will work.

Here they are:

Lifeline LL-RP80P

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BN563QY/?co...lv_ov_lig_dp_it

OxyMan OM800

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NR6UJO6/?co...lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Would either of these handle 5 diffusers with the length/diameter of pipe, depth/number of diffusers? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will document the process and report back as it progresses.
Posted by: SetterGuy

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 06/21/19 05:20 PM

Originally Posted By: s252101

You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.


I was there on Saturday. They donít have either right now. Said they will have YP in when it cools off in the fall. Not sure about WE, I asked, and they arenít sure.

Iíve posted the pic of my daughter holding up a 17Ē SMB in two other threads. Iím afraid Iíll get booted out of the forum if I post it again. Ha! 17Ē is our biggest one to date though. Daughter had a blast catching it.

Edit, I canít answer you aeration questions. My pond is 900 feet from the barn. Not running electrical or air lines that far. Plus a big ravine to go through. If they ever get solar aeration affordable, Iíll go that way.
Posted by: s252101

Re: Drone footage of pond build - Livingston Co., MO - 06/21/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Originally Posted By: s252101

You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.


I was there on Saturday. They donít have either right now. Said they will have YP in when it cools off in the fall. Not sure about WE, I asked, and they arenít sure.

Iíve posted the pic of my daughter holding up a 17Ē SMB in two other threads. Iím afraid Iíll get booted out of the forum if I post it again. Ha! 17Ē is our biggest one to date though. Daughter had a blast catching it.

Edit, I canít answer you aeration questions. My pond is 900 feet from the barn. Not running electrical or air lines that far. Plus a big ravine to go through. If they ever get solar aeration affordable, Iíll go that way.


I have my fingers crossed for SMB and WE for this fall/next spring.

I found your post with the SMB your daughter caught. Beautiful fish and family!

I'm hoping that some guys who know a bit will chime in. I know I could post in the aeration topics, but would like to keep everything on this one thread. We'll see...