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#472813 - 05/28/17 11:38 PM Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
We picked up a property with a couple ponds this spring. We had high hopes for this pond (just under 2ish acres) but also planned for the worst going in. Well after finally getting on it with a depth finder, it pretty much runs around 5'-6' (just a blip at 7' in one very small area). I had already planned to raise the level a couple feet which we'll do for sure now but I'm looking for any/all thoughts going in. Built in the early 80's... and I think actually built and designed really well but of course has silted in over the years. At one time we've been told by many in the area that this was a prime fishing pond... certainly not these days but hoping to get it back to those days over time.

1) Grass growing around the entire pond in the water... is this what grass carp get after if we put them in??

2) There's some ??sea weed?? on the bottom of the pond... will grass carp get after this too? I'm assuming just adding more depth will help eliminate this as well.

3) We're buying a 8500 lb mini excavator (reach 17'-18' with a digging depth of 10'-11'). We're buying it to help clear the property but of course planned to used of for some pond maintenance as well... cleaning up shorelines and so on. Possibly dig down a bit around the pond shorelines to get add a little more depth. I certainly understand it'll have limits. At some point when I'm efficient with the machine, I figured I could rent a big boy excavator to get out and actually dig it back to 10-12' or so.

We have constant water flow coming into this pond from several acres of farm ground/water shed around us... the overflow pipe really dumps a pretty good amount of water. The pond stays at a nice steady level and in the winter I'm assuming probably keeps water coming for much of the winter as well until get really get into our hard freeze for the winter. I thought about trying to empty the pond and redirect that flow so I could piddle and dig it out, but I think that's a job for down the road after we have a little more personal history with the pond. For now, I'm looking for any thoughts at all since you guys are all experts. smile

Thanks!!

Pics were taken today. 5 28 17




Below it's hidden now by grass... but there is the overflow 18" pipe... this needs cleaned up... but my thought is to add a 90* elbow or T Connect which will raise the water up another 2' or so. The cool thing I noticed... is with the amount of water coming and leaving the pond, it seems that if I kept this area cleaned the top algae seems to make it's way to the pipe and exits the pond. Right not of course it's starting to build up because the grass is now stopping it from exiting the pond.




Edited by Shawk (05/28/17 11:39 PM)

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#472816 - 05/29/17 06:37 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Depending on you goals, you might take a boat out and drop a line. It could be filled with big LMB. It is a bit shallow but if you can raise the water level 2' then you would at least have a 9' hole. Grass carp can help but you need to be patient. They can take a couple years to control and stabilize things. Too many GC is not a good thing either as you probably want some cover for fry. If you have the kind of fish you want to catch already in the pond, then a floating dock might get you out past the weeds to a fishing area. The mini excavator can also be used around the edges, but if you already have desirable fish in the pond, you may want to go slowly so as not to release too many nutrients into the pond in one session. You could plant desirable emergent plants in the areas that you excavate around the pond as you go. These can be good for wildlife, out compete invasives, and add beauty. Most importantly, have fun!

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#472833 - 05/29/17 09:24 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: RAH]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: RAH
Depending on you goals, you might take a boat out and drop a line. It could be filled with big LMB. It is a bit shallow but if you can raise the water level 2' then you would at least have a 9' hole. Grass carp can help but you need to be patient. They can take a couple years to control and stabilize things. Too many GC is not a good thing either as you probably want some cover for fry. If you have the kind of fish you want to catch already in the pond, then a floating dock might get you out past the weeds to a fishing area. The mini excavator can also be used around the edges, but if you already have desirable fish in the pond, you may want to go slowly so as not to release too many nutrients into the pond in one session. You could plant desirable emergent plants in the areas that you excavate around the pond as you go. These can be good for wildlife, out compete invasives, and add beauty. Most importantly, have fun!


Thanks Rah! Yeah, we fished the thing and there may be something in there but we didn't catch any. I had planned to stock it heavy this spring but decided to hang tight not knowing depth and so on (glad I waited!). I did add about 50 adult bluegill though in that 6"-8" range. I figured we'll get them going, do some pond work/cleanup over the summer, raise the water level and then add just a few bass in the coming fall/spring (very few to start). Later on if we really get after it and dig the pond down much deeper we'll think about starting from scratch again. For now though, I wanted to get something in there besides frogs and turtles. wink

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#472835 - 05/29/17 09:29 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4243
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Might try a minnow trap to see what you catch?

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#472836 - 05/29/17 09:43 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: RAH]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: RAH
Might try a minnow trap to see what you catch?


I like it!! Will do... smile

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#472843 - 05/29/17 10:50 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
I have only been fishing actively for a few years now, with only limited previous fishing. So I am not presenting myself as a fishing expert. But I have fished my ponds a lot to sample how the fish are doing.

Something I see when friends come to my pond is usually they have big baits and big hooks. That is probably fine for catching big fish and is probably preferable when a person is not wanting to be bothered with a bunch of small fish. Seen a dad have his kid start to BG fish with this gigantous hook and was getting a few bites but few hookups. I put a 1/32 oz jig on and a tiny Gulp artificial bait and the kid was pulling up BG as fast as she could get the hook in the water. And a few 8" ones along with the lots of small ones.

But if I want to catch something in my pond, especially when fish are not biting well, I go to a very small hook (or lure) and small baid. I have been "not" catching fish with a very small peice of bait, cut the bait size in half (to about the size of a kernal of corn) and started catching fish. Not monster size fish, but from no fish to catching some.

So for anyone wanting to see what species are in a pond for sampling I would recomend a 1/64 oz jig, a number 10 cricket hook or even a number 12 hook, or the smallest spinner or crank bait you can find. I have caught adult FHM, in the mouth, with a tiny bait on a #10 cricket hook. Fish close to the shore or cover to sample forage fish.

Another trick with a minnow trap is widen out the standard opening from 1" to 1.5 or 2". You can then sample larger fish. Be aware fish can get back out easier with the bigger hole so you have to check the trap more often. I like a half hour to an hour after baiting for a 2" opening. A wider opening more like 10 minutes. Otherwise the fish eat the bait and leave. Be aware many states have restrictions on opening size of minnow traps in public waters, so making the opening wider may make it so you can only use the trap in your pond.


Edited by snrub (05/29/17 11:14 AM)
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#472844 - 05/29/17 11:05 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
I have used a backhoe to go around a pond and deepen the edges. It worked well for me, and a track hoe (that can pivot 360 degrees) would be twice as good. With a regular backhoe and a pond edge, you quickly run out of room to stack dirt/mud. An excavator can get the pile farther away and with more room to stack before having to move the muddy mess. There are pictures of my prrocess in one of my threads if you want me to dig up a link to them.

One thing that is hard to tell when digging in water is what you have and have not dug. You only have the "feel" of the bucket. There are places I thought I got and left some ridges. I just call them purposeful fish structure and pretend I planned it that way. grin

Be aware that with some soils and areas this could cause a pond to leak by disturbing the pond bottom seal. That is rarely the case in our area (unless a sandstone outcrop or gravel vein is hit - possible but not common). But from your description it sounds like you have regular water flow so you might be ok.


Edited by snrub (05/29/17 11:12 AM)
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John

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#472875 - 05/29/17 11:59 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: snrub]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: snrub
I have used a backhoe to go around a pond and deepen the edges. It worked well for me, and a track hoe (that can pivot 360 degrees) would be twice as good. With a regular backhoe and a pond edge, you quickly run out of room to stack dirt/mud. An excavator can get the pile farther away and with more room to stack before having to move the muddy mess. There are pictures of my prrocess in one of my threads if you want me to dig up a link to them.

One thing that is hard to tell when digging in water is what you have and have not dug. You only have the "feel" of the bucket. There are places I thought I got and left some ridges. I just call them purposeful fish structure and pretend I planned it that way. grin

Be aware that with some soils and areas this could cause a pond to leak by disturbing the pond bottom seal. That is rarely the case in our area (unless a sandstone outcrop or gravel vein is hit - possible but not common). But from your description it sounds like you have regular water flow so you might be ok.


All good stuff... thank you!! I trimmed up some of the 3'-5' grass around the pond today. After trimming, I see that I should be able to get pretty darn close around most of the pond with the mini. I'll likely dig the shorelines and use that dirt to build the shoreline up a bit better all the way around. Out of curiosity, how much reach do you have with your backhoe and how deep did you go around our shorelines?
Regarding fish... I'm not a pro either but I'm pretty comfy thinking there's not much in it other than what we added. I mentioned that I put 50 adult BG in... I read 15-20 per acre when stocking adult. However I did add another 100-150 little guys that we had in a little garden pond to at home. My kids put 4 BG in at home a couple years ago and they exploded to that 100-150... hopefully they'll do the same in the big pond and then we can get some LMB soon too. I still plan to do the minnow trap for kicks though as well. Thanks for those ideas...

One of the little guys we put in... smile



Here's in water source coming in... cleaned it up so I can get at it when the mini comes. Thinking about digging this fairly deep...




Shoreline across cleaned up a bit... a whole lotta cut'n to do yet!


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#472880 - 05/30/17 06:59 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Hey Shawk,

That does not look like a BG to me. I'm terrible at fish ID but I'd guess GSF.

Bill D.
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#472884 - 05/30/17 08:29 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Bill D.]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Hey Shawk,

That does not look like a BG to me. I'm terrible at fish ID but I'd guess GSF.

Bill D.


smile Yeah, I think you're right Bill. I've always had a habit of calling them the same!

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#472894 - 05/30/17 09:30 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
One thing I can tell you is this. Be careful how much you do to quick. A pond reacts to change much like a large pendulum. At first it doesn't seem to effect it very much and then all of a sudden you can't stop the change until that pendulum stops.

Looks like a great place. I have Grass Carp and they have done well for me. I have a 1 acre pond and only have 6. Most fish places will tell you, that you need 8 to 12 per acre. I would be careful with this. This is one of those pendulums I am talking about. Depending how much weeds you can get out of the pond I would only put in about 12 to start with, but that's just me. Remember when you put the in also cause they really need to be removed is possible and replaced around the 7 year mark. Cause after that they don't do you much good anymore as far as eating grass.

Congrats on the new place and have a blast with it!!!

RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#472898 - 05/30/17 10:05 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: RC51]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: RC51
One thing I can tell you is this. Be careful how much you do to quick. A pond reacts to change much like a large pendulum. At first it doesn't seem to effect it very much and then all of a sudden you can't stop the change until that pendulum stops.

Looks like a great place. I have Grass Carp and they have done well for me. I have a 1 acre pond and only have 6. Most fish places will tell you, that you need 8 to 12 per acre. I would be careful with this. This is one of those pendulums I am talking about. Depending how much weeds you can get out of the pond I would only put in about 12 to start with, but that's just me. Remember when you put the in also cause they really need to be removed is possible and replaced around the 7 year mark. Cause after that they don't do you much good anymore as far as eating grass.

Congrats on the new place and have a blast with it!!!

RC


Thanks RC... you're right... I need to get moving and get them in there asap! I'll stay on the low side then... good advice. wink Have a great day.

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#472899 - 05/30/17 10:45 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
That is a GSF you were holding, not a BG.
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#472913 - 05/30/17 01:51 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: snrub]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: snrub
That is a GSF you were holding, not a BG.


Yep... couldn't get that past you guys! smile


Here's a pic of the little bigger boys we put in...


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#472914 - 05/30/17 02:00 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
Nice BG, but I am not so sure on the "boy" part. grin

Just can't pleas us, can you! laugh laugh

Good looking fish no matter what persuasion it is.

Your GSF looked good too, for a GSF. For all the malignment they get, I keep and throw back the very best GSF in my main pond. The small ones I catch I cut the tail off and throw them back for a LMB snack.


Edited by snrub (05/30/17 02:01 PM)
_________________________
John

I subscribe to Pond Boss Magazine

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#472938 - 05/30/17 04:10 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: snrub]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: snrub
Nice BG, but I am not so sure on the "boy" part. grin

Just can't pleas us, can you! laugh laugh

Good looking fish no matter what persuasion it is.

Your GSF looked good too, for a GSF. For all the malignment they get, I keep and throw back the very best GSF in my main pond. The small ones I catch I cut the tail off and throw them back for a LMB snack.


Alrighty... you guys a comical! laugh From here on out, I will simply post pictures with no description...

As a side note... after tons of homework on an which excavator to buy (something I should clearly be doing on sunfish, bluegills and the sex of fish!!), we bought a mini today. We have a ton of projects for it including this pond. I think in the end for what I can rent a big boy for, I'll educate myself with our little excavator and then rent a big boy possibly this fall to get the water back to 10-12'. We'll see... after things get cleaned up and I can get a better look around, there's still a chance I may just raise the overflow 18"-24" and call it good for now.
Thanks a bunch all!! Any other suggestions... please feel free.

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#472949 - 05/30/17 05:53 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
Matzilla Offline


Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 343
Loc: Iowa
Looks like a great place!!!! Nice to see some more Iowa ponds on here - I'm in southeast Iowa.

You might want to build or buy a cloverleaf style trap to get an idea of what size and types of fish you have in the pond. They're pretty simple to make or cheap to buy.
_________________________
Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP

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#472967 - 05/30/17 08:54 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
I've kept quiet up to this point regarding the GSF and BG, but this is simply going too far. You purchased a mini excavator and didn't post any photos of it?? C'mon man! grin
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#472971 - 05/30/17 09:35 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Matzilla]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Matzilla
Looks like a great place!!!! Nice to see some more Iowa ponds on here - I'm in southeast Iowa.

You might want to build or buy a cloverleaf style trap to get an idea of what size and types of fish you have in the pond. They're pretty simple to make or cheap to buy.



Thanks Mat... I've seen a few of us here looking through the old threads. smile

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#472972 - 05/30/17 09:42 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: sprkplug]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I've kept quiet up to this point regarding the GSF and BG, but this is simply going too far. You purchased a mini excavator and didn't post any photos of it?? C'mon man! grin


The other guys have me scared to death to post pics now! I'm not sure what to call my mini excavator... regardless, I might be wrong to it's true identity!! laugh
Nah... we bought it today but won't get it home for a few days yet... hopefully by weekend and then I'll put it to work and get some pics posted. wink


Edited by Shawk (05/30/17 09:43 PM)

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#473327 - 06/03/17 11:28 PM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: sprkplug]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I've kept quiet up to this point regarding the GSF and BG, but this is simply going too far. You purchased a mini excavator and didn't post any photos of it?? C'mon man! grin


smile



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#477552 - 08/04/17 01:22 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
Shawk Offline


Registered: 04/07/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Iowa
**Update**

Well, I'm officially a little stuck with progress (or lack of). wink I've gotten a better feel on this pond since we've owned it since spring now. I plan to add the elbow on the outflow to hopefully raise the water level around 18"-30". I'll start at 18" and see how the water level settles in around the pond. For the past couple weeks now it's been pretty darn dry so the water has completely stopped coming into the pond. We've only dropped about 6", so not bad with the heat we've had to boot... adding an extra 18" may do wonders now and over the winter.

I met with a local excavator and he suggested a couple things. My main issue is while I like the size (1.7 acres), I'm realizing that the size limits maintenance, dredging and so on. At 150-200' wide it's simply not an easy excavation job even for a decent excavator which still only reaches out 30' or so.
Option 1: The quickest and cheapest would be to go around the perimeter and dig to whatever he could. Reach on his machine is 30' unless he rented a long arm. So he seemed to be thinking in that 12'-15'ish range.
Option 2: would be to expand the pond with a much deeper area which he seemed to think was best. Maybe another 1/4 to 1/3 acre or so. No sure what I think about this... sounds nice, but I still have 1.7 acres of shallow pond.
Option 3 (this one is my thinking and mentioned to him): Breech the dam and let it sit for a year or so... then have him come in with a dozer and clean house.

btw... the pond is probably around 30-40% moss/algae covered now on the surface (and it's thick from top to bottom on much of the pond). Is this something that I should kill off next spring? now? If we just dug a donut around the perimeter I'm assuming over time it would fill/fall in and level out... ??...?? Is this a reasonable solution for those that have done it?

The few Bluegill and Sunny's we added are doing really well in there (FAT and healthy)... About the only thing in the pond other than the fish we added are crawdads, clams and a decent population of fatheads the previous owner would have stocked years ago. I have seen a few little rock bass maybe?? But I'm convinced there's not a whole lot of anything in here... assuming a winter kill got 'em at some point since there's been no stocking for at least 10-15 years (or more probably).

Any additional thoughts guys? At this point I'm looking for our most economical solution (like most). We don't live on this property so it's tough to dive in to deep at this point on it... Thank you!! smile

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#477563 - 08/04/17 09:28 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1456
Loc: East Texas, USA
If it were me, I'd go for Option 3. Too much shallow water will require constant attention & money, much better to deepen the whole thing.

Also, could reshape for fishing hot spots, put in habitat, and rid yourself of anything that you don't really want. After that, you can stock stuff you do!
_________________________
8 acre E Texas, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12 inch N LMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18

There are only 10 types of people; those who understand binary and those who don't




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#477567 - 08/04/17 11:24 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
troymillian Offline


Registered: 05/28/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Iowa
If limited by budget, like most on here, I would get estimates for #2 & #3. That most likely will tell you what you can or can't do. I agree with anthropic and would go for #3 if I could afford it. I'm also a pond owner in Iowa and a 5' deep pond with a lot of weeds is not good here. Some years I will have close to 2' of ice on my pond, so it would be very difficult for fish to make it through the winters here in a shallow pond like yours, especially if you have a weed problem.

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#477571 - 08/04/17 11:32 AM Re: Thoughts? Grass, carp, depth, mini excavator-PICS [Re: Shawk]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1157
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
I have an old 2.2 acre pond with similar problems as yours. If I had the budget for #3, that's what I'd do. Dealing with the spoil (muck) is an issue but can be solved with money.
_________________________
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