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#422283 - 08/26/15 07:48 PM How does one make an existing pond larger?
CJD Offline


Registered: 08/25/15
Posts: 57
Loc: Fl, USA
Is it possible to do without draining the pond? I have a 1 and a half acre pond that averages about 4 1/2 feet deep. I'd like to make it larger....maybe by at least another 1/2 acre or so. I have 18 acres so even digging out another pond and joining the two could be in play.......the original pond has a snow melt stream running into it that dries up in early summer. The bottom is heavy clay as much of the ground in this part of NC is. I'm not worried about the newly dug area holding water, I'm pretty certain after tamping it or rolling it down, it will be fine. I'd like to add some deeper areas and some rock substrate to the bottom to promote spawning and of course get some additional size to the current pond.

Currently with the dry summer that we have had, the pond is about 8" low. I imagine I could pre dig these areas, flatten them out and then take a back hoe and knock down a few spots separating the pond and the new area for water flow and wait until the stream fills it up. It should work.....at least in my mind it does but therein lies the problem, I know nothing about any of this...these are just the voices in my head talking to me. If you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

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#422287 - 08/26/15 08:04 PM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: CJD]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 971
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
CJD,
Welcome to Pond Boss....tons of info and lots of helpful folks here....Can you send some pics of your existing pond with regards to watershed, pre-existing dam, and which direction you'd like to expand to? I'm sure one of the dirt pro's can lead you in the right direction....I expanded a small circular pond to about 3 times the original size (to kidney shaped) a year ago. The pre-existing pond had been there for 12-13 years prior and was 7' deep at the time. I went ahead and had the guys cut the levee and pump it down. They ended up mucking up about 5' of silt, mud, decomposing, and deteriorating debris from the bottom of the pond until we got to 12' (the original clay bottom). So, my place was basically drained and mucked out before it was expanded. I'm glad I had it done afterwards...I've never smelled anything more awful than the decomposing matter that was lining the bottom of that lil BOW. Good luck and keep us posted.
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#422294 - 08/26/15 09:07 PM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: CJD]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5680
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Mike Otto and Bob Lusk (Pond Boss partners and owners) suggest raising the dam if you can, to expand a pond.

I may have missed what fish might be in that pond. If you have fish in your present pond, they probably will be severely stressed (like mortality) with heavy excavation.

Several years ago I raised one of my ponds by only about 8 inches by adding to the stand pipe (drain).

Because this pond had been very well designed and constructed, I didn't need to raise the dam. The drain is still about two feet below the emergency overflow at full-pool, and about four feet below the top of the dam.

The pond isn't now very much larger than before adding the 8-inches of water, but it is much healthier. It caused the sides to be steeper all the way around. I now have virtually no water weeds, except for some desired and beautiful water lilies growing in about 3-5 feet of water.

As for a second pond -- that would be my vote. In my opinion, you can add a lot more diversity and fun by having several small ponds instead of one big pond. The exception might be if your pond could be over about 20-40 acres. Most of us don't have that luxury. Based on your description, that doesn't sound feasible.

Bob Lusk has published a "Mini-Pond" article in nearly every issue of Pond Boss Magazine. These are truly mini-ponds that are usually 1/10th acre or smaller.

Cecil Baird, who has been active here on the forum for about a decade. He raises incredible trophies in 1/10 acre ponds.

My most favorite pond is my 1/3 acre put-and-take pond stocked with Hybrid Bluegill (HBG), Hybrid Striped Bass (HSB), and Channel Catfish (CC). The pond is in its fourth season. The HSB reached trophy size in less than a year. There are many CC and HBG are at or close to trophy size.

A put-and-take pond like this does need to be stocked every season with enough reasonable sized fish to provide the next generation, yet they need to be big enough to not become snacks for the older fish.

Ask lots of questions.

Ken
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#422310 - 08/27/15 12:55 AM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: catmandoo]
CJD Offline


Registered: 08/25/15
Posts: 57
Loc: Fl, USA
Ken, raising the water level is a feasible idea to me, I can easily do that. I guess my next question is this......I do have some low lying land on two sides of he pond that could potentially flood if I raise the water level another 6 to 8 inches......would it make sense for me to perhaps dig that low lying area out to give it some potential depth?

I currently have LMB and BG in the pond and I did catch a black crappie but I suspect there are not many in there.

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#422323 - 08/27/15 07:56 AM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: CJD]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2361
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
CJD, I met with my dirt contractor yesterday to discuss building a small pond beside my 3.5 acre pond, with the plan of attaching the ponds after smaller pond is full of water and fish. But I discovered this will not be an easy task, so I have decided to build the smaller pond and use it as a grow out pond for CNBG and maybe GSH. I can then move the fish out and add to my bigger pond along with pumping the water over to the bigger pond when it could use a drink.

Tracy
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#422424 - 08/27/15 09:46 PM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: TGW1]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24028
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
CJD, I did exactly what you are contemplating. I drained the pond with a trash pump to concentrate the fish into the deepest part of the pond. I then built a dam between them and the area that I was digging out. I dug the existing pond deeper in the previous shallow areas, and enlarged it at the same time. I dug it deeper than I wanted, because I knew when I breached the dam that a lot of dirt would be washed into the new deeper area of the pond.

When the water and fish flushed into the new part of the pond, I scooped out as much of the muck from the old part of the pond, removed any dirt from the dam that didn't wash into the new section of the pond and prayed for rain.

I added a million golden shiner fry to the old pond where the fish were being held, I had an aeration system running in there, I also added 25 pounds of FHM since I wasn't feeding the fish while the construction was going on. I lost 2 fish, which I think was pretty good.

I went from 7' max depth to 22', increased the surface area from 1/3 or 1/4 acre to 1+ acres, depending on the water level.

Enough dirt washed in during the dam breach and the next weeks torrential rain that the 22' deep area is now 18' deep at max pond water level.
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#422444 - 08/28/15 01:40 AM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: catmandoo]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4924
Loc: SE Kansas
Adding along the lines of catmandoo's thinking about adding another smaller pond as an alternative, here is a thread with some links along those lines.

Specialty ponds links
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#422586 - 08/29/15 01:43 PM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: snrub]
CJD Offline


Registered: 08/25/15
Posts: 57
Loc: Fl, USA
Originally Posted By: snrub
Adding along the lines of catmandoo's thinking about adding another smaller pond as an alternative, here is a thread with some links along those lines.

Specialty ponds links


There is a very good possibility of that actually happening. I do have a large area where this creek comes in that I am contemplating digging out and making into a second pond. The more I think of this, the more I get crazy ideas about stocking hybrid stripers and channel cats and then some type of horror if the dam broke and they got into the original pond.

I was thinking I could drop that water level a foot or so in the original pond and dig out on of the sides and roll it. In NC we have a ton of clay, I don't see it not sealing correctly. Then I could just bring the pond up to pool level and tat area would hypothetically fill in. I'm just toying with ideas. I likely won't act until next summer.

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#422591 - 08/29/15 02:40 PM Re: How does one make an existing pond larger? [Re: CJD]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 4924
Loc: SE Kansas
In my old pond that I refurbished and cleaned out, after the initial refill with water, I decided it could have been bigger. This was not at all an efficient way to do things, but it was more a matter of when I had time available to work on it. I have my own equipment so do my own excavations.

I used a backhoe (tractor-loader-backhoe) and went around the entire circumference of the pond (all except the dam area) to expand the pond size. Not the most efficient way as I was working in water with the backhoe. But I did get it done and it turned out ok. I just piled the dirt around the bank and moved it later when it dried out with the dozer.

I, like you, have lots of clay and there was little concern with the new excavated part leaking.

A much better way would have been to drain the pond down enough so I was working with more dry material. Another much better way would been to have used a trackhoe excavator (but which I do not own). The excavator has a REALLY big advantage of being able to rotate 360 degrees. One problem with the TLB that I used is keeping the tractor out of the way and getting rid of the dirt. With only a 90 degree swing, I had much less area to deposit the dirt than with a trackhoe.

I'm telling you this not because I did anything in a good sort of way. Actually it was kind of a bad way. But it did work and suited the time and equipment I had available. The point being, sometimes things can get done that turn out satisfactory, even if the methods are not perfect. Alternative methods are sometimes all that are available to a person. I worked with what I had and got the job done.
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