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#478018 - 08/11/17 02:45 PM Buying An Old Lake?
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
I have read a number of times that fixing is usually more expensive than building but I am a slow learner.... so Im currently considering buying a property with an old lake on it.

What should I be doing as far as due diligence before the purchase? Are there any things that I can do to help determine the quality of the construction, the current vegetation and the condition of the fishery?

If your suggestion is to call someone, just tell me who to call in the Central-Western part of Arkansas!

Thanks

Joshua

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#478019 - 08/11/17 02:53 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
scott69 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 913
Loc: Chambers county(Valley), alaba...
Share some pictures here and some of the pros will almost instantly see flaws if there are any. i would suggest downloading google earth pro and scroll back thru the timeline to see if it stays full during dry times.
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#478020 - 08/11/17 03:06 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
BrianL Offline


Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 570
Loc: Paris, TX
What size are you looking at? Biggest problems are usually dealing with water shed. Is there enough, too much, how does the water get in/out and is that area in good shape? How deep?
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#478024 - 08/11/17 03:54 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
Redonthehead Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 88
Loc: Missouri
Are there any homes, roads, facilities, etc downstream that would be effected if the dam failed? Probably not likely, but a big dam can have big liabilities.

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#478028 - 08/11/17 04:35 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: Redonthehead]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23945
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Nutrient load on the lake (that will determine aquatic weed/algae control budget for the upcoming years), condition of the dam and condition of any water level control structures. i.e. will the lake need to be partially drained and the dam breached to repair a rusty drain pipe soon?

Do your goals for the fishery correspond to the species of fish in the lake? That's minor, pushing the reset button isn't THAT expensive compared to dirt renovation work.
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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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#478029 - 08/11/17 04:41 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: esshup]
esshup Offline
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Oh, and welcome to the forum!!!!
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#478092 - 08/12/17 08:53 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: BrianL]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
Originally Posted By: BrianL
What size are you looking at? Biggest problems are usually dealing with water shed. Is there enough, too much, how does the water get in/out and is that area in good shape? How deep?

It averages about 18 acres but looking back on google earth it looses ground down at the shallow end pretty bad in some years.

Is there a site where I could go back and look at local rain fall by year and month?

The watershed is somewhere between 400 and 450 acres 90% wooded and has at least one small spring. Current owner claims that the spillway runs 6 to 8 months of the year on average. The spillway is a fairly nice 40' concrete level sill that flows gently into a creek and down the valley. The area past the spillway is currently grown over with wild flowers and weeds so Im guessing it is not eroded much if any.

Current owner says about a 1/4 of the lake has an old rock pit and goes over 20' deep. It comes up a shelf to about 10' and the majority of the lake is about 7' tapering off to a obviously very shallow end. I am hoping to get out on the lake with a depth finder to verify this in the next couple of days.

The issues that I see without knowing much are the vegetation in the shallow end, large trees on back of damn and a soggy bottom behind the damn. Due to the trees surrounding the entire bank I assume there are several feet of muck on the bottom that may need to be dealt with too.

Now I need to figure out how to post pics!


Edited by InTheHills (08/12/17 09:04 PM)

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#478094 - 08/12/17 08:59 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: Redonthehead]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
Originally Posted By: Redonthehead
Are there any homes, roads, facilities, etc downstream that would be effected if the dam failed? Probably not likely, but a big dam can have big liabilities.

About 1.5 miles down stream there are a couple RVs and a barn at an MX track. They sit at least 20' above the creek bed and the valley is fairly wide there. Damage is not likely but worst case would be washing out some dirt work on the MX track and a couple RVs.


Edited by InTheHills (08/12/17 09:04 PM)

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#478096 - 08/12/17 09:10 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: esshup]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
Originally Posted By: esshup
Do your goals for the fishery correspond to the species of fish in the lake? That's minor, pushing the reset button isn't THAT expensive compared to dirt renovation work.

According to the current owner the lake has 5-7 lb class LMB but most are smaller. It also has bluegill, sunfish and some catfish. There are crappie but mostly long skinny ones.

If I had my perfect pond it would be lots of huge panfish, some decent bass and a few decent catfish. I think I can get from where it is now to where Id like it with some culling and stocking... and time.

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#478098 - 08/12/17 09:26 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
This should be the most recent google image



Sept 2013 - Normal pool but lots of edge vegetation



Jan 2006 - Way Down



40' Concrete Spillway into creek





Edited by InTheHills (08/12/17 09:28 PM)

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#478099 - 08/12/17 09:56 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
Bill Cody Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 11950
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Creating a good map of the depths will be a big help in future management. You and the owner may be surprised to learn the real depth of the organic sedimented rock pit. Without good aeration it could easily have accumulated 1"-2" of dead, organic, muck-slop per year.

Water of 18 ac will take lot of money to fix problems, maybe not soon but not to far distant. If a big portion of the area up from the rock pit is less than 6ft deep then this could be a water weed or algae nightmare and costly to treat at 18ac size. Plan on the near term budget to some late summer, fall drain it down to lower pool to probably the location of the top of the old rock pit. Let dewatered areas dry, and then late fall or winter deepen the edges and the shallow, inlet end basin as much as you can afford. I would negotiate a lower property cost due to the lake being more of a liability than an asset due to its current aged and filled in shallow condition which will be costly to deal with, maintain and get FIXED. In its current condition it could be a money pit.



Edited by Bill Cody (08/12/17 10:01 PM)
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#478100 - 08/12/17 10:00 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
John Fitzgerald Offline


Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 1478
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
What county is this in?
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#478104 - 08/12/17 10:11 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: John Fitzgerald]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23945
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I agree with what Bill Cody said. The wet area behind the dam in worrisome. As is the large trees on the dam.

I'd see about having a dirt ponds specialist look at it before you sign on the dotted line.
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#478107 - 08/12/17 10:45 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: esshup]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
Originally Posted By: esshup
I agree with what Bill Cody said. The wet area behind the dam in worrisome. As is the large trees on the dam.

I'd see about having a dirt ponds specialist look at it before you sign on the dotted line.

Current owner said swampy area behind the damn has been there for at least the 20+ years he has owned the property. Im not sure if that is good or bad.

I have not had any luck finding a pond specialist within a 5 or 6 hour drive of Central AR. I have reached out to the NRCS, AFGC and a few fairly local large fish farms without any real leads. Im open to suggestions...

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#478108 - 08/12/17 10:52 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: Bill Cody]
InTheHills Offline


Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Wandering Woods, MO
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
I would negotiate a lower property cost due to the lake being more of a liability than an asset due to its current aged and filled in shallow condition which will be costly to deal with, maintain and get FIXED. In its current condition it could be a money pit.

Buying a money pit is one of my main concerns. I understand the maintenance of a pond this size will be expensive but Im not sure im prepared to handle the repair bill. As the negotiation stands the pond accounts for a significant portion of the overall cost of the property.

Is there any reliable / easy way to determine exactly how much muck is on the bottom that would need addressed? Or should I jsut survey the depth to find out how much of the depth is under say 7 ft?

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#478158 - 08/13/17 07:02 PM Re: Buying An Old Lake? [Re: InTheHills]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23945
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
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