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#446307 - 05/04/16 01:41 AM Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Don't want to make my first real post too long, so here goes..

I have a pond (dam) in NE Georgia. When I first bought the property the pond had been stocked with large mouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie. There were frogs, geese, ducks, snakes, etc, you name it.

The property was originally just an investment, not my home, so I've neglected it for several years, and now it appears to have been taken over by snapping turtles. I don't see any minnows or hear many frogs, just small bream and bass, and loads of turtles sunning in the water.

The dam standpipe has rusted and broken down almost to the point it enters the dam, so the water is down about 3 feet. I'd like to install a new PVC siphon drainage system. Having a hard time finding anyone willing to do it, but I'm still working on that as we "type." wink

Just this week I've started trying to reduce the snapping turtle population a little using milk jug lures. It seems promising---I've caught a couple on the first go 'round with just a dozen jugs.

I'll post a couple of pictures just to get started. Any comments or advice you can offer, at any time, are really appreciated.

View of the dam in the distance:



View from the dam:



Broken off standpipe:




Edited by NancyGA (05/11/16 12:42 AM)

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#446310 - 05/04/16 05:25 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
TGW1 Offline


Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 2762
Loc: Harrison Co. Texas
NancyGa, Welcome to the forum, some others have had similar experiences with their drain pipes (reading past post here). Maybe they will jump in for a suggestion or two. Looks like a nice piece of property.

Tracy
_________________________
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.


Tracy

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#446318 - 05/04/16 08:21 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13864
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Nancy, welcome to PB. It is unlikely that the turtles are a problem. They are about 90% scavengers and/or vegetarians. On rare occasions, a turtle might be able to catch a healthy fish.

I'd spend some time identifying the balance of fish. Do a lot of fishing and keep a log.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#446324 - 05/04/16 09:21 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Dave (or anyone), I agree the turtles can't catch healthy fish. But don't you think they would go after fish eggs, like in bream beds, and frog eggs? At least when they run out of everything else to eat?

I can spot a dozen turtles at a time sunning everywhere on the lake, and I can't really see a benefit of having so many snappers.

BTW, when I read webpages of fish hatcheries, many say they only provide to new ponds and those where all of the fish have been killed off. Is that true? (I don't expect to get them for free.)





Edited by NancyGA (05/04/16 09:23 AM)

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#446360 - 05/04/16 02:20 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Welcome to the forum.

Fish hatcheries will sell to anyone that will buy the fish. Ideally they should work with the pond owner so they don't stock the incorrect fish for the pond owners goals, or incorrect sizes of fish (that may be eaten within a few days of stocking).

Snappers will walk a mile or more to get to a body of water, especially males during breeding season. So, even though you may eliminate some now, different ones may be there next month.

Eggs are probably too small for the turtles. Dead fish, crayfish, etc. will be food. If they run out of food, they might leave the pond to walk to another one too.

Are the turtles you see sunning snapping turtles or are they a different species?

As for a siphon drain, look in the Pond Boss Resources Guide. Maybe someone there can help.

http://www.pondboss.com/resource_guide.asp?c=9


Edited by esshup (05/04/16 02:25 PM)
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#446394 - 05/04/16 04:48 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: esshup]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 972
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
NancyGa...Welcome to Pond Boss......tons of info and good helpful folks here. Have you thought about what your goals are for the pond? Something to think about.
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#446437 - 05/04/16 10:44 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Fair enough. Here are my goals. Hope this makes sense.crazy Of course, all this depends on what is possible with my setup....

I think of a pond as a, more or less, closed ecological system. I'd like to maximize the diversity of species in the system, and have wildlife balanced in such a way that is sustainable over time, assuming occasional tweaking from me.

I'd like to see healthy fish, frogs, snakes, plants, whatever could live there compatibly, in a good balance.

I can control the input of fish species and the numbers, the habitat for natural species to some extent, the health of the water, water plants. I have heard that the siphon drainage system provides better water turnover, and results in a healthier pond, than the old standpipe drain-from-the-surface system.

But it might be months before I could get the new drainage system in. Meanwhile I've got the summer free and I'd like to do what I can, now.

I've noticed as the water has gone down, it has provided swampy areas around the edges that seem to be more beneficial for the frogs. There are many more frogs than there were before the standpipe rusted. This should also help newly hatched fish species I would think. Sometimes I just call these minnows, probably incorrectly, covering all speces of stocked fish.

When the new drain system is put in place this will change. Maybe I can make this change more gradually. Not sure if that's possible with a siphon system, though. Probably not.


Edited by NancyGA (05/04/16 10:53 PM)

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#446438 - 05/04/16 10:52 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: esshup]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: esshup
Snappers will walk a mile or more to get to a body of water, especially males during breeding season. So, even though you may eliminate some now, different ones may be there next month.

When that happens, I'll put out some more jugs. They are pretty easy to set up.

Originally Posted By: esshup
Are the turtles you see sunning snapping turtles or are they a different species?

Absolutely snapping turtles. They float out in the middle of the pond with just their heads out of the water. I've caught two so far. There are a few red-eared sliders also. They sun themselves on logs. Not that many of them, though. I caught a dozen of those with a PVC trap a couple of years ago.

Thanks for the link, esshup.

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#446445 - 05/05/16 12:59 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
Rainman Offline
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Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 7022
Loc: St Louis, MO area
Originally Posted By: NancyGA
Dave (or anyone), I agree the turtles can't catch healthy fish. But don't you think they would go after fish eggs, like in bream beds, and frog eggs? At least when they run out of everything else to eat?

I can spot a dozen turtles at a time sunning everywhere on the lake, and I can't really see a benefit of having so many snappers.

BTW, when I read webpages of fish hatcheries, many say they only provide to new ponds and those where all of the fish have been killed off. Is that true? (I don't expect to get them for free.)


I think the "hatcheries" you checked were probably state owned and most states that stock, make your pond "Waters of the State". Private fish farms will sell whatever you order. Many fish farm operators don't know, (or forgot) how to reach goals in a sportfish pond, since their ponds are vastly different in growing fish and goals.

As for reaching a "balance", nature will always balance out, but that balance may not be anything at all of what you envision a balance to be. You can put a wide variety of species in the pond that can co-exist well, but if wanting to fish for table fare, you may need t be more specific on what main species and sizes you'd like most.
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#446446 - 05/05/16 01:38 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
I think I'm getting off to a bad start here. Ha!

Several of you asked for goals, so I gave it my best shot, while trying to keep it brief. Not interested in fishing at all, except maybe when relatives come to visit and they want to try it. smile

I'll ask specific questions if I can't find answers in the archives.

Thanks for your replies.

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#446447 - 05/05/16 01:47 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
In a pond, a balance is only for a nanosecond. Like trying to walk on a knife edge. It is either forage heavy or predator heavy. In a small ecosystem, man will always have to be the manager or the teeter totter will become very heavy on one side.
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#446454 - 05/05/16 06:36 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13864
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Nancy, I have never seen or been concerned about turtles eating fish eggs. Maybe they do but that's nature at work. I've also found small turtles when cleaning fish.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#446460 - 05/05/16 08:52 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
basslover Offline


Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 545
Loc: USA
Sounds like you need to address the broken pipe first, if you want the water level to rise, correct? So maybe that is your first action item.

And if it broke where you see it then it will likely break again beneath the water's surface to I would recommend having it fixed all the way. You mentioned a siphon system, so you may then consider capping that standpipe off after filling it in.

Depending where in Georgia you are you will always have turtles entering your pond. Our pond is pretty remote, and it is surrounded on 3 sides by steep "hills", but I still spot new turtles occasionally. We've got 2 snappers I know well, but I do wonder where the new sliders come from. Turtles are pretty slow on land. Yet each year there are 1 or 2 sliders that appear. And that amazes me because the land all around our pond doesn't appear to be turtle friendly land. lol

What do you want from your pond? What are your goals? Do you want to make it natural and have water plants and wildlife? Fishing? Swimming?

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#446519 - 05/05/16 07:04 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
stickem' Offline


Registered: 08/10/14
Posts: 972
Loc: S.E. Texas, Polk Co.
Originally Posted By: NancyGA
I think I'm getting off to a bad start here. Ha!

Several of you asked for goals, so I gave it my best shot, while trying to keep it brief. Not interested in fishing at all, except maybe when relatives come to visit and they want to try it. smile

I'll ask specific questions if I can't find answers in the archives.

Thanks for your replies.


NancyGA,
I'm sure you're doing just fine. Don't get discouraged. Patience is a virtue when owning and managing a pond. Remember for everything you do or don't do, there is a repercussion for it. Take your time. I agree with basslover though...maybe you need to address the busted overflow pipe situation first. I have a siphon system in my pond. It was there before we expanded the pond...so, we just kept it as it was. It works great. I'm sure you will have great fun and learn a lot in the process. I hope you continue to post pics of your progress.
Charlie
_________________________
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#446531 - 05/05/16 11:33 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: stickem']
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I agree, get the overflow pipe taken care of first. The rest doesn't matter if the pipe rusts thru where it goes through the dam, and you end up with part of the dam washed away.....

Then there would be no point in doing anything with the pond until that was fixed.
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#446545 - 05/06/16 07:00 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1942
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
IF it is an option, I would take advantage of the broken stand pipe and low water to put in some structure and cover.
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#446942 - 05/10/16 09:57 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner---been very busy. Just an update.

I got in touch with the contractor, who I've been trying to hire to install the dam drainage system since last fall.

He says he will arrange for someone from Soil Conservation to take a look at the dam next week and determine the appropriate size for the pipe. And that he can't get to the job before August or September. This is fine by me. Usually the dry season.

However I'm not holding my breath. Things like this always run late, and sometimes never happen, but I think sending the SC person out is a good sign. Fingers crossed.



Edited by NancyGA (05/10/16 09:58 PM)

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#447067 - 05/12/16 09:24 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: liquidsquid]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: liquidsquid
IF it is an option, I would take advantage of the broken stand pipe and low water to put in some structure and cover.
Do you have some examples of cover that could be used? Took the boat out last week. The water is *really* clear, probably too clear. The bottom that I could see looks void of all cover.

In the now shallow parts, the FA (filamentous algae?) is starting to grow. Will that go away by itself if the water becomes 3 feet deeper? Or will I have to do something about it?

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#447079 - 05/12/16 01:08 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24033
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: NancyGA
Originally Posted By: liquidsquid
IF it is an option, I would take advantage of the broken stand pipe and low water to put in some structure and cover.
Do you have some examples of cover that could be used? Took the boat out last week. The water is *really* clear, probably too clear. The bottom that I could see looks void of all cover.

In the now shallow parts, the FA (filamentous algae?) is starting to grow. Will that go away by itself if the water becomes 3 feet deeper? Or will I have to do something about it?


There is quite a bit of information about cover in this thread from the archives: http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92463#Post92463

The FA will continue to grow and will eventually break free from the bottom to float on the pond surface. Every place that the sun gets to the pond bottom, the FA will grow if there isn't 1) Something in the pond that eats it (Tilapia) or 2) Competing underwater plants that will utilize the nutrients.
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#447794 - 05/21/16 09:07 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Thanks esshup.

Just a quick update about cover...

Recently began cutting down alder bushes that have grown up right below the full water line around half of the pond. If you don't cut these, they become trees, eventually fall into the water, and erode the banks of the pond. I'm going to try to make a few bundles of those and sink with concrete blocks for cover. There is some untreated scrap lumber in my basement. I may try to build some kind of structure with that also.


Edited by NancyGA (05/21/16 09:10 AM)

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#447805 - 05/21/16 10:11 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
scott69 Offline
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Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 1086
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
my pond is 2 years old and i have so many sliders it is unreal. i wish i was closer to you, i would love to have the snappers in my pond. i have put 4 in there so far, but i haven't seen them since. i think they are pretty neat. my friend is trying to get me a softshell turtle. he said they are more apt to stay around. i am slowly eliminating the sliders.
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#447852 - 05/21/16 10:07 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Scott, I was feeding the fish today and a little snapper, about 4" long shell, came crawling along the bottom to eat, too. I had a fish net with me, but every time I moved, it scurried away. I would have gladly shipped him/her to you. Ha!

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#447856 - 05/21/16 11:18 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
scott69 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 1086
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
i'll take em.
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#453543 - 08/06/16 01:32 PM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Just a quick update. Had a visit from a civil engineer sent out by the dam excavation contractor some time ago. After an inquiry from me on the status, he emailed me a contract with an estimate ($3350) for the cost to design the drainage system on the dam---23 days after his visit. Does not include the materials or labor for actually doing the work.

Seemed kind of high, but I don't know much about these things. No update from the excavation contractor as to when he might be free to do the job. These things sure move slowly, don't they. wink

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#455926 - 09/14/16 10:45 AM Re: Want to bring 5 ac pond in GA back to life [Re: NancyGA]
NancyGA Offline


Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 24
Loc: NE Georgia, USA
another update: Just received a copy of the engineer's plans/drawings. The only thing surprising is he recommends SCH 80 PVC pipe, instead of SCH 40. This would be a 12" drainage system. Seems like overkill, but not going to question. Just want to get it done. Ha!

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