Here are links to past discussions on the Pond Boss Forum about members who built forage ponds. What we really need is for members who have built forage ponds to come back and update us as to how the ponds are working for them. Help the members by updating us about the progress of your forage pond after it is built.
There is lots of reading and homework below:
FORAGE POND BUILDING THREADS
Wants 3 forage pondshttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=357505
snrub’s small pond project Mar 30 2014 5 pageshttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=484095
snrub’s list of special small pond threadshttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=444065
Feeder Pond 800bman thread Dec 12 2017 http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=484095
Minimum dimensions forage pond Dec 11 2009 Oklahoma 2 pageshttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=195140
20X20 Iowa forage pond dshay Mar 14 1011 http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=251436
Nebraska – hehunter Small pond for baitfish Jan 16 2017http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=462118
Forage silt pond – nhc 2002 Apr 24 2013http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=332175
Crayfish Forage pond n8ly (Nate Herman Bros) Aug 07 2011http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=267226
BG or Fish in 300 Gallon tanks nehunter May 27 2017http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=472731
RAH - Bulding a forage pond wants it to be a Fenhttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=35285&Number=469818#Post469818http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=36783&Number=480899#Post480899
Hatchery, forage, grow out pond questionshttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=487324&#Post487324
Finding a pond building companyhttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=367970#Post367970
Here are some of my comments about building a forage pond.
If you can build a small shallow 5ft-6ft deep forage pond it is very helpful. The more predators you have in a larger pond the more benefit the forage pond becomes. If in Michigan or other northern states with harsh winters and you plan to keep fish in the pond all winter without aeration I would build it deeper 8-10 ft deep when there is snow cover all winter. In areas with mind winter weather, forage ponds can be about any depth even temporary ponds. Draining the pond each year for one to several months helps extend the life of the pond because when dry the organic sediments can naturally decompose and have less black muck accumulation over time.
Forage pond can be any size. Obviously the larger it is the more fish that can be raised. Without fertilization nor crushed pellet feeding you could raise 300 lbs of fish per acre. More if you feed the forage fish around 2-3 times more fish pounds can be safely raised.
For 10 ft deep pond with 3:1 slopes the pond has to be at least 60ft wide with a point in the bottom which is very hard for a bull dozer to accomplish. Normally ponds have a flat bottom for draining it down and seining out fish. So this means around 80X80ft = 0.14ac as minimum size for a 10 ft depth. If you don't periodically drain and seine then all forage fish have to be removed by trapping or using a drop net. If you plan whole pond seining, the seine should be 1.3X deeper than the water. Ponds can be drained down to make the water shallow for seining. When designing a pond plan for it to be seined at some point, have one deep end that concentrates fish into a smallish basin thus the common paint roller pan design.
I have discovered that fish parasites will readily invade the forage pond and periodically all fish have to be removed and restocked when a large percent of the fish are infected. Plan for that problem. I periodically drain and treat the remaining water to restart the forage pond. Waterfowl, mostly herons, bring in the parasites.
Forage & fingerling ponds tend to collect a lot of silt and organics and ideally it is best to drain the pond in the fall, allow sediments in it to dry, decompose and then refill in spring pre-spawn. Expect at least 1" of sludge accumulation per year. This is why forage ponds are mostly shallow 4-6ft deep.
1. A 30X50 pond would be a good small size for growing lots of various fish species. Have you seen the post of small ponds from the fellow from Canada that raises yellow perch in his small similar sized ponds? I will look for his post that shows pictures of his ponds and his fish feeder. Okay --- go to youtube and search for Feeder for Yellow perch larvae. Or on youtube search for Azteca JC This shows some of his small ponds. He is on pond boss forum with the name of Azteca. Or In the PB forum search put his name in the box: Display Name Search. in the box ‘Newer Than’ use 2 years. Hit Submit. Then look for his post titled Moving YP Ribbons; in this thread, he has a link to his Youtube video that shows his small ponds.
2. You can drain the forage pond any time from Sept to when the ice forms. A 30x50 pond should drain down quickly with a 2"or 3" trash pump.
3. Abundant crayfish in the forage pond can keep it algae and weed free. Turbid water or a plankton bloom from fertilization will also keep the algae and weeds minimized. Paper shell or northern (virile) crayfish will lay eggs in Michigan around May. So if you don't get some stocked prior to the females carrying eggs production of a new crop will be delayed. After spring hatch of egg bearing crayfish, you can accumulate them for the next year's production. You can add anywhere from 25-50 to up to 200 in 30x50. The more crayfish that are in the pond the less there will be filamentous algae and weeds. Abundant crayfish will control most any type of weed growth.
An aeration windmill or solar aerator can keep the pond fairly well oxygenated during harsh deep snow winters and the need for 8-10 ft of a forage pond depth is reduced.