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#493474 - 07/08/18 09:03 PM New small (0.1 acre) pond owner-need advice!
Swamp_Yankee Offline

Registered: 07/08/18
Posts: 8
Loc: Hunterdon County, NJ
Last fall we purchased a beautiful two acre property surrounded by 250 acres of preserved farmland. Our land slopes gently from the front up near the house to the rear. Our neighbor to the north has about 120 acres of hay and our neighbor to the south has another 120 acres of soybeans, hay, swamps, and some overgrown orchards. The rear of our property is basically a small valley where everything drains through, going north to south (from the hay farm down my neighbor on the other side). The previous owner took what was basically swampland/a vernal pond and had an excavator dig it out to make it an actual pond about 25 years ago. He mounded up the spoils around the low side and put an 8" PVC drain in which drains to the south into the swamp on my neighbor's land.

The result was this:

These images were taken late summer/early fall-the first two with my cell phone the second two with a trail cam I had posted back there. As you can see it is getting kind of weedy/grassy around the edges. One of my fears is that it will slowly turn back into a swamp, but I do realize that the grasses/weeds do provide cover for fish, so any information on what to pull/what to leave would be great. Here are some facts about it:

  • Located in Hunterdon County (Northwest) NJ
  • Oblong shape - about 50' x 75'
  • Pond is about 300' from the house so aeration would be big $$$
  • Average depth of 5' in the center, 3' as you get closer to the sides
  • Very shaded
  • Water is what I would describe as "tea colored" with a visibility of about 2'
  • Level stays fairly constant with water almost always even with top of drain pipe-I saw it drop about 3-4" below the top of the pipe last August/September
  • Water source seems to be mix of drainage from the fields and ground water (there is 25' hand dug well on the property up the hill from the pond-water level is fairly close)
  • Bottom is fairly mucky-when I was doing depth measurements (from my canoe) I found that if I stiffened the tape measure I could jam it down another 6-8" and when I pulled it up it had that "swamp gas" smell
  • This winter it probably froze 6" thick or more with no slushy or open spots

Given all of this, what can I do in order to manage this pond as a (relatively) mosquito free, fun fishing pond for my young (currently 3 and 6) daughters and their friends? Also, the long term goal is to make the clearing next to the pond a picnic/BBQ area with a grill, firepit, picnic table, etc... I don't really care what goes into the pond (sunnys, bass, catfish, carp) as long as it provides some fun for my girls. The previous owner said that he would catch fish elsewhere and throw them in but didn't really apply any thought to it. We haven't seen any signs of life beyond frogs, tadpoles, and one medium sized snapping turtle. Looking forward to learning a lot as a new pond owner and hopefully finding some ways to get more out of this little pond.

Edited by Swamp_Yankee (07/08/18 09:05 PM)

#493479 - 07/08/18 09:49 PM Re: New small (0.1 acre) pond owner-need advice! [Re: Swamp_Yankee]
KapHn8d Offline

Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 160
Loc: TX
Howdy! I may not be able to help ya much as I'm also a pond newbie (relatively speaking), but I can tell you that you've found the right place for the answers you seek.

I started in a little different place last year when we had our mini-pond dug, so that is a whole different set of challenges than inheriting a 25 year old pond. Your pond is quite beautiful by the way... love how serene it looks.

There are aeration options that may not be the "big $$$" you are assuming. Since the pond is a hundred yards or so from the house, you could conceivably do all the power and compression at the house and run an air line from the house to the pond cheaper than running copper the same length to a sub-panel. There are also solar aeration options you could look into. I think aeration is definitely worth investigating. Everything I've seen, read, and heard since I started researching building a pond supported aeration being a powerful tool in managing water quality.

Anyhoo... welcome to the forum and congrats on a gorgeous little minipond. I'm looking forward to seeing how your project progresses.


edit ps. If you haven't yet, Pond Boss magazine is worth every penny of the sub... you will get a wealth of information in every issue. Highly recommended!

Edited by KapHn8d (07/08/18 09:50 PM)
Edit Reason: shameless plug
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

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