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#324002 - 03/02/13 04:28 PM HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!!
My4x4v6 Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Kansas City
Hi, I'm new. I have 160 acres in Kansas and only one waterway to dam up which gives me about an 80 acre watershed that would support a 5 acre pond in my region. The Army Corps of Engineers office has determined my property contains a "high water mark" and building a pond of any size falls under their jurisdiction.

A local engineering firm told me that it would cost approximately $25,000 just to submit the initial phase of the application, and from their experience, the Army Corps is not fond of issuing new pond permits due to the Clean Waters Act. In fact, the firm had recently represented a rather well known and deep pocketed individual who just wanted to renovate his PRE-EXISTING eight acre pond.....spent SIX FIGURES going through the application process....and the Corps denied the renovation!

I spoke to the Corps officials directly to see if there is any way of building a pond without their "jurisdiction". They said that any pond with a dam height greater than 25 feet or holding more than 50 acre-feet of water is subject to their purview....and probably would not be approved in this day and age. They said, thirty years ago, they could have just rubber stamped it no problem....the Clean Waters Act has put a halt to anything except cattle ponds less than an acre in size.

They said I best look to purchase a property with a pond already on it....meaning it'll be 30 years old, silted in, and out of balance...and I'll never get to build my "dream pond".

So....how is it that I'm reading about all these Pond Boss members building new ponds multiple acres (5, 10, 15+) in size? Who can I call for help?????

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#324003 - 03/02/13 04:39 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
Welcome to PB. You might be better off to get you a few cows and build a series of ponds that did not have to approve. You could set up each pond for a different fishery. I would like 2 smaller ponds better then one pond that is bigger.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324005 - 03/02/13 04:48 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: kenc]
george1 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/30/07
Posts: 3794
Loc: Plano Texas
Originally Posted By: kenc
Welcome to PB. You might be better off to get you a few cows and build a series of ponds that did not have to approve. You could set up each pond for a different fishery. I would like 2 smaller ponds better then one pond that is bigger.


Good advice - I love small ponds - easier to manage and don't have to look for your fish... smile
_________________________

N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)





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#324010 - 03/02/13 05:31 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
ewest Online   content
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19497
Loc: Miss.
You need a natural resources attorney. What they are saying is not correct but is an attempt to scare you off.
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#324020 - 03/02/13 06:39 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
After reading your post again, you said waterway. In Virigina you can not dam any source without getting approval from the corps. You can dig out one with hand tools but otherwise you are screwed. Can you get to the side of the water scource? Maybe that way you could avoid the permit.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324024 - 03/02/13 06:55 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: kenc]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
How big of a pond do you want to create?
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#324029 - 03/02/13 07:19 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: ewest]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5681
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Originally Posted By: ewest
You need a natural resources attorney. What they are saying is not correct but is an attempt to scare you off.


That is exactly where I would go. None of this seems to make sense.

I don't normally suggest contacting Bob Lusk or Mike Otto at Pond Boss headquarters since they are so busy, but a call to the main office may get you some of the answers you need.

Possibly one of them will see this and provide some guidance.

Also -- the suggestion of a number of smaller ponds is excellent. It would give you several specialized ponds that would be easier to manage, and it would provide much more diversity than one big pond.


Edited by catmandoo (03/02/13 07:21 PM)
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#324031 - 03/02/13 07:22 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Can't dam anything 5 acres and above up here without ACE and DEQ approval. Need to hire a PE to evaluate and submit cartoon's, then see it thru. You think Lawyers are expensive... shocked

I, third the multiple smaller ponds also.


Edited by JKB (03/02/13 07:26 PM)

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#324033 - 03/02/13 07:26 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: JKB]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
If I had the area, and lived in Michigan, and wanted a pond largerthan 5 ac, I'd probably make a number of ponds, VERY close together that were 4.99 acres each.......
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#324036 - 03/02/13 07:32 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: esshup]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
I would be safe and go a tad smaller. This is for creating a dam. You can dig bigger holes in the ground, but over 5 acres, the state may also make a claim on it. Pretty screwy crazy

Best way to do that esshup, is to get a mining permit, and if the hole fills with water, oh well!


Edited by JKB (03/02/13 07:36 PM)

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#324038 - 03/02/13 07:40 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
I think his problem is related to a waterway that is there. 4x4 check out this on zillow 20801 Holloway ave. 23803. It has the property lines that google and bing does not have. We just bought this parcel last week. My lawyer friend danced around with the corps for several weeks. As you can see it is a perfect place to have a good 8-10 pond. I can't do anything with it except put up treestands,foot trails and board walks. We are going to use it for deer hunting(season from Sept 1 through Mar.31) so that is alright with me. The days of being able to do what you want to do with your own property is over.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324053 - 03/02/13 10:20 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: kenc]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Too much Gub, and Too much Greed out there.

The honest guy has little to fall back on, except for integrity and fortitude, to deal with all the BS.

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#324054 - 03/02/13 10:42 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
The governing powers don't seen to realize or care that this hurts our economy and our country. It would create a lot of jobs if the Gub. would let property owners improve their properties. That being said,a PE told me that the powers to be didn't want any more ponds built anywhere.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324058 - 03/02/13 11:08 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
small pond Offline


Registered: 01/31/13
Posts: 616
Loc: somerset county pa
Like the pros said go for a smaller pond or ponds if needed the lake doesn't have to be huge my pond is only 20' by 50'and thats plenty of room to cast+a smaller lake is cheaper to stock will cost less to build and is the best option if you like pulling them in one after the other every time. theres a local pond only 1/2 acer and i do realy good there. caught my bigest fish ever in it 25 in lmb.
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#324060 - 03/02/13 11:29 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: kenc]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: kenc
The governing powers don't seen to realize or care that this hurts our economy and our country. It would create a lot of jobs if the Gub. would let property owners improve their properties. That being said,a PE told me that the powers to be didn't want any more ponds built anywhere.


Gub don't care about you and me.

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#324064 - 03/03/13 06:41 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4215
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I am not in favor of most government regulation and have been stung by it also, but this regulation was put in place because some folks built large ponds/lakes with tall dams and they let go harming those down-stream. When the risk extends beyond an individuals property lines, somebody has to make sure decisions are equitable. Unfortunately, common sense seems to go out the window once the goverment nimwits get involved. Otherwise, the regulation would consider each situation on its own merits.

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#324066 - 03/03/13 08:50 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
The large dam regulation is a old law and a good one. The higher powers have expanded upon this to include all good sized ponds whether it is a dam pond or a dug pond. A dug pond is no danger but they are very strict on them if you can get approval. I will not try to build another pond.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324073 - 03/03/13 09:37 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: JKB]
woodster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Wi
Been there and done that! In my neck of the woods it's the same. After being told no to getting a permit to dig a small pond I realized nobody in those organizations will make a decision. To say yes means they except responsibility for what you do. So they look at is what's on paper. They have a list requirements that must be met. They simply go down the list and if every answer is correct you have the permit. You have one thing that dose not fit, your done. This is why they it seems they don't know what their doing and don't even come out and look at your project.

Here's what I did. I spent a year inviting DNR biologists out to see my land and talk about it. Not to tell them what I was going to do, but ask them whether it would be good to have some open water along the wetlands. They said yes it would be good to have some open water, but they said digging a hole may drain the wetlands. So I invited the land conservation people to come out and look at the soils to see if it could drain the wetlands. They said its all clay, and at the water table so there's no way it could drain the wetlands. Of course I got all this in writing. Then I went to the Private lands biologist who plans wetland restorations on private properties. I gave her copies of what the others had said. She took the information to Corps of Engineers and got approval!

Since then I bought a few acres of farm land next to my wetlands and asked to do a "wetlands restoration". I got all the experts to come out and look at it. They took pictures and and discussed building a berm after digging out tile lines. The Private lands biologist took the lead on the project. The Corps was concerned with backing up water onto other properties and flooding homes. So we had the area surveyed to show the top of the berm would be a foot below any surrounding land, so the berm could be underwater and no other properties would be flooded. This removed the liabilities they were concerned with. See the pattern? Find out what does not fit on paper and prove it's not an issue or change it.

Ironically after being told I could not touch my land, I received an award for my dedication to improving the water shed! I found out the sane people who said no entered my name for the award.

Never give up!

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#324076 - 03/03/13 10:04 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
Kiko Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 94
Loc: Anderson, SC USA
Hint: Contract with a local civil engineering firm who know how to talk with the right people. The COE want to know you're not creating liability for those downstream. Get some livestock to qualify for an Agricultural Exemption where the pond provides water per head. Only way could be done here. COE permit says the the pond is subject to being drained if used for any other purpose. (housing development)... An ah exemption may get you what you want.

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#324139 - 03/03/13 11:17 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
hang_loose Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Sunbury,Ohio
My4x4v6,Welcome!!! Had to take my glasses off to read your post then put them back on for the next one grin.

These guys have given you very good advice. Personally, I'd rather have four 1/2 ponds than one 2 acre pond. (or even two 1 acre ponds). But $$$ always gets in the way (dant it).

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#324143 - 03/03/13 11:37 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
kenc Offline


Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 909
Loc: Aylett, VA
Woodster, you are a very patient man. How many hours did you spend in getting your pond approved. Hope you enjoy it,big time.
_________________________
Two ponds, 13 and 15 acres on the Mattaponi River.

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#324144 - 03/03/13 11:38 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
Rainman Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 6962
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Can you keep the dam under 25' and the retained water under 50 acre/feet along with staying above their "high water" mark? That should keep the COE out of the loop...

Better idea would be to have the Corp use your property for a "training excersize" and they build it for you.


Edited by Rainman (03/03/13 11:39 PM)
_________________________
Rainman

www.TilapiaStockers.com


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#324147 - 03/04/13 12:20 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: kenc]
My4x4v6 Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Kansas City
Wow! I appreciate all the input, thank you.

To answer as many questions as possible: I want to build a 3-5 acre pond due to the limited rainfall and drought conditions we encounter. I see a lot of smaller ponds dried up right now and starting with a larger pond leaves more wiggle room for years with little precipitation.

Also, 95% of my property is in crops and is terraced. Having 4-5 smaller ponds will disrupt a lot of terrace function. All the terraces drain into a central waterway that runs north/south and this waterway is the only "ditch" on my property. Corps says that any portion of this waterway would constitute a wetland...so they're automatically involved.

Yes, I did visit with a civil engineer and that is the person who told me it is futile to deal with the Corps and they just are not approving ponds that hold more than 50 acre feet of water. The firm is nationally known.

I also spoke to NRCS, FSA, and the water district people. To control siltation, I proposed creating an upstream "marsh" surrounded by warm season grasses and even pollinator habitat.....all buzz words I thought would help...but no luck.

Shoot...there is even a government initiative to control siltation of the river that my waterway drains into...thought my pond would be something they'd be interested in.....again, no luck.

I know a large pond is pricey and I don't mind footing the bill. What bothers me is the expense of going through the Corps application process and the Corps telling me just what the engineer told me about denying larger ponds.

Then, I read in Pond Boss about people in other states getting to build ponds much larger than what I'd like to do...and I ask "How?!?!?...aren't they subject to the same obstacles with the Corps? Who do these people know?"

What if I just dig a strip pit (no dam) away from my waterway and make it deep enough to tap an aquifer to fill it? I'm sure that has legal ramifications as well!

Ughhhhh! It's hopeless.

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#324156 - 03/04/13 07:28 AM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
Kiko Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 94
Loc: Anderson, SC USA
No mention of livestock in your conversations? Goats, man, goats!
_________________________
- Dave
4.5 acre woodland pond constructed Feb 2011
- began fill Aug 25 - full pool Nov 18
- fish stocked Oct 25: 1200 Shellcracker; 3800 bluegill bream; 500 channel catfish
May 2012: 500 LMB May 2012; 50 "permitted" sterile grass carp.



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#324180 - 03/04/13 12:49 PM Re: HELP...Army Corps of Engineers Issues!!!!!!!!!! [Re: My4x4v6]
Tums Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 721
Loc: Alabama
Originally Posted By: My4x4v6
Wow! All the terraces drain into a central waterway that runs north/south and this waterway is the only "ditch" on my property. Corps says that any portion of this waterway would constitute a wetland...so they're automatically involved.

"The federal regulations implementing Section 404 of the Clean Water Act define wetlands as:

Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water (hydrology) at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation (hydrophytes) typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (hydric soils). Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas (40 CFR 232.2(r)).


Jurisdictional wetlands -- those that are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under Section 404 -- must exhibit all three characteristics: hydrology, hydrophytes, and hydric soils (US ACOE 1987). It is important to understand that some areas that function as wetlands ecologically, but exhibit only one or two of the three characteristics, do not currently qualify as Corps jurisdictional wetlands and thus activities in these wetlands are not regulated under the Section 404 program. Such wetlands, however, may perform valuable functions. "

http://www.water.ncsu.edu/watershedss/info/wetlands/definit.html

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