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#501828 - 02/09/19 11:25 PM Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
The NRCS calculated we have 1100ac of watershed going into our valley. There are two tanks before us on the neighboring property. Water flows in from due south, which is really different for the area in northern mid-west Texas outside of Eastland. Once those tanks overflow they spill into our portion of the valley which is the wetland. On a aerial photo from 1953 it was always a marsh created by a large dam where we dug a 1.5ac tank. The marsh is roughly 3ac. Knowing we would eventually have a lot of waterflow we had a 80x40x4ft sediment trap dug. The wetland is separated from the tank by a dirt road that various oil companies have reinforced with heavy gravel. There are two small tinhorns/culverts on one end. The tank was completed in February 2018 and overflowed in October. During really heavy rain about 5in over water flowed over the road from the wetland. The tinhorns continued to drain water for weeks. Very clear water was observed coming out of the wetland! Huge mosquitoes came out in force immediately. Dragonflies eventually helped but then winter set in and more rain came. Over the last 4+ months the tank overflowed altogether for well over a month. Fortunately we have a natural solid beautiful rock spillway. We just do not have the budget to make the tank larger and did not see the watershed when the property was purchased. Normal rainfall watershed is 50-60ac. The wetland had hundreds of "salt cedars" and the tank site was full of trees and brush. No longer.
After typical warm winter weather, now the mosquitoes are horrible and I observed thousands of larvae in the 6-12in deep area that is most of the 3ac wetland. Going into the wet season I had to try something and started reading on here about forage ponds. Ding ding! Thanks Snrub!
On 2/7/19 we added 5lbs of FHM and 100BG from the fish truck. I was advised of questionable fish truck genetics and will keep you posted on the BG growth rates. I do not plan on feeding them since their primary purpose is to control the wetland invertebrates. WHEN drought comes the deep area should concentrate them for capture and thus forage for the tank. After several weeks of no rain the wetland is still mostly 6-12in deep plus the deep area.
The tank received 500 more BG and 10lb FHM on 2/7. 400BG, 200RES, 100HBG, 100CC and 13lb FHM were initially stocked 10/26 2018. 50 NLMB will be added in spring of 2020!
After the last rain a large pothole formed in the center of the road above the tinhorns indicating they are rotten. Another immediate project is on the agenda. I will be adding a screen on the new larger tinhorns and likely a long screen where the wetland overflows during big events. See pic from 12/14/18.
I do not hunt ducks but there are quite a few and they are enjoyable. Ideas for enhancing duck forage on a budget would be appreciated.
I will continue provide updates as necessary!


Attachments
20181017_081138.jpg (126 downloads)
20181214_174531.jpg (107 downloads)
20190120_162147.jpg (115 downloads)



Edited by ShortCut (02/09/19 11:57 PM)
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February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#502673 - 03/04/19 09:51 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Added 4 floating pallets to the forage pond for FH habitat. After over a month of no significant rain the water level is down but the entire wetland is still flooded. Hundreds of mosquito larvae were observed in a shallow area before this cold front.


Attachments
Wetland 3.1.19.jpg (95 downloads)

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How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#502675 - 03/04/19 10:28 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5867
Loc: Boone County Illinois
IMO adding the 4 pallets was a step in the right direction but, probably a small step. I would add more pallets, floating boards, waxed cardboard, etc. if you can get them for those FHM to use for spawning. I would also throw some Gams (there is a reason their nickname is mosquito fish!) into those wetlands if you have a nearby source.

Sago pondweed and wild rice are both good duck forage that are relatively inexpensive.


Edited by Bill D. (03/04/19 10:33 PM)
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#502677 - 03/04/19 10:37 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: Bill D.]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Thanks Bill. So far I have not found a gam source.
The local grocery store may have a good source of free odd size pallets. I plan to add many more even though it will look trashy. Swarms of giant mosquitoes are highly frowned upon!
We also have lots of small biting knats. Not sure what to do about them but assuming they originate from water hopefully their larvae will also feed the minnows.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#502687 - 03/05/19 09:20 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1186
Loc: West Central Missouri
Sink your pallets in the shallows with rocks to avoid the trashy appearance. Roughly one cinder block's worth of weight per pallet should do it unless they are in a high water flow area.
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Noel

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#502697 - 03/05/19 04:29 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1788
Loc: East Texas, USA
You might try to source dragonfly, damselfly, and even put up a bat house. All could help against mosquitoes, I think.
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8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19





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#502701 - 03/05/19 06:45 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13884
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Curious about whether mosquito larva survived the cold spell Texas just went through.
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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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#502709 - 03/05/19 10:07 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
My owl house was misheard by a cousin as outhouse so I now have both. A bat house was discussed just last week! I need another project anyhow.
I will hide some floating pallets in the shallow area that has tall standing weeds. Going to war against the mosquitoes. During big events there will be large amounts of water but the area is 2+ac so the current should be fairly distributed.
Yesterday when it was still below freezing I easily saw mosquito larvae slowly swimming around. I doubt the cold had any significant affect.
My best friend does environmental assessments. He is bringing a cool toy this weekend that tests salinity, DO, PH, resistivity and several other levels. There is an old shallow saltwater storage/evaporation pond we added a diversion ditch to that is filled with cattails. I am really curious about the salinity in it and everywhere else. There used to be a lot of saltwater storage ponds in the area. Basically every oil well had one. 5 on our place alone...Only the one with cattails regularly holds water.
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How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#502734 - 03/06/19 10:23 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 177
Loc: Texas
Any small fish, baby gills, FHM etc should 100% clean up your mosquitos lickity split. Gambusia are great. If you can find them around in puddles etc a couple of dozen will rapidly reproduce and do the job. Your county probably has a vector control office to control mosquitos, they'll often provide you with some gambusia.
_________________________
4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#502735 - 03/06/19 10:32 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Bill Cody Offline
Moderator
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12820
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
As Vortex says, If any small fish esp Gambusia (aka mosquito fish) can get into the area where the mosquito larvae are growing the little fish will aggressively eat the very easy to catch and vulnerable small larvae. Gambusia due to their small size, prolific reproduction, and adaptability are often used in wetlands by Metro Parks to control mosquito larvae. Fish that grow larger size than Gambusia 2.5"+ in reality may not be the best choice in wetlands because larger fish will eat the larger dragonfly and damselfly larvae who eventually hatch and eat adult mosquitoes. Once the mosquito larvae hatch into adults, then air borne predators are your best defense.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/06/19 10:48 AM)
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#502751 - 03/06/19 04:23 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Well, 100 2in BG and 5lb FHM were added a month ago. Our mosquitoes are huge so maybe the BG will stay interested longer!
Just spoke to County Ext office. He had never heard of gams or mosquito eating minnows. Gave me phone number to a hatchery to try.
He is going to ask around and is interested personally.
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#502753 - 03/06/19 04:57 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2031
Loc: West Michigan
Someone from TX can help you but I was told that almost every puddle in Texas naturally fills with Gambusia. If they are everywhere naturally then the hatcheries probably do not culture or sell them?

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#502757 - 03/06/19 08:30 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Bill Cody Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12820
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Some fish farms do sell mosquito fish. I know of some small fish farms who have bought them for resale.


Edited by Bill Cody (03/06/19 08:30 PM)
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#502767 - 03/07/19 08:08 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
Vortex 4 Offline


Registered: 11/28/16
Posts: 177
Loc: Texas
Canyoncreek is right. Gambusia are endemic. I got (rescued) mine from a mud puddle in front of my apartment after Hurricane Harvey. They were living in hot water 1/2 inch deep. These fish are very very robust.

Look in any creek, drainage ditch etc. They swim along shore.

Be careful. Personally I have a hard time identifying minnows and small fry. You might unknowingly stock something you don't want.

Harvesting from a puddle sounds stupid but is a good way to ensure you get the right species, as everything else won't survive after a week cooking in the sun. Puddles along a drainage ditch that flood during high water are a great place to get them.

Again, call Vector Control offices. They throw these little guys into abandoned swimming pools and any other permanent standing water. Especially with Zika there is vigilant mosquito control.

In Arizona Vector Control would harvest gambusia from a small pond in a flood control park when they needed some. I'm betting your VC guys have an arrangement to scarf what they need from a local BOW.


Edited by Vortex 4 (03/07/19 08:08 AM)
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4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18

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#502770 - 03/07/19 08:54 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
snrub Online   content


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5441
Loc: SE Kansas
Originally Posted By: ShortCut
I had to try something and started reading on here about forage ponds. Ding ding! Thanks Snrub!


You are welcome.

I added this thread to the list.

Sediment, forage and other specialty ponds
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#502895 - 03/10/19 12:37 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Finally downloaded Google Earth Pro hoping to see updated aerial of our valley. No luck yet. The historical photos were very educational though. The neighbors pond upstream is actually a large sediment pond and has been since before 1994. That is very exciting! It will overflow quickly and catch sediment before flowing into my wetland area. In 2011 the trees and brush were removed from it and the dam was extended. The oil guy said the state did that work.
Upon closer inspection of our wetland the lack of significant rain and warmer temps has dropped the water level to several inches across most of the area. There are some high spots that are dry. The water is getting pretty nasty in the shallows. Going to have some light rain the next few days.
We tested the water yesterday as well. pH, salinity, acidity and everything else are within the recommended levels.
The next big rain event will add a lot of great nutrients and organisms to the main pond.
Also tested the 80+ year old saltwater storage pond that has lots of short cattails. Salinity is 13! Not as many mosquito larvae observed but some. Saw some rooted moss that I had not previously seen. Will take a pic on the next visit. There is also some aquatic grass. Although the cattail pond has several seeps it still has about 12in of water. Approximately 80x40ft. Last year we put in a diversion ditch for it to catch more water. I do not have any additional plans for it.


Edited by ShortCut (03/10/19 12:49 PM)
_________________________
How are you going to know unless you try!

February 2018 1.5 ac main pond fed from 1100ac watershed going through two 2+ac sediment ponds
900BG, 200RES, 200HBG, 100CC and 23# FHM

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#503894 - 04/02/19 11:17 PM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
A couple weeks ago we had 1.25in rain and it raised the wetland to almost overflowing into the main tank. Lots of high wind and warm temps have dropped water levels to dry ground across most of the wetland area. The forage pond has observable surface BG activity and FHM. 7 floating pallets are for FHM breeding habitat in addition to lots of standing dead heavy weeds.
Yesterday the wind was minimal and mosquitos were not a problem. Today no mosquito larvae were observed. Likely a combination of predation and wind affects on the forage pond surface. We need rain!
The new 13in and 10in culverts were installed about two weeks ago. Thanks to Brandon's Dozer Services! Old pipes were totally rotted out. I added .5in screen to each new culvert aka tin horn around here. They will clog with debris but will be easy to clear. At some point the road separating the forage pond and main tank will need to be raised at least 6in to ensure full flow through the culverts before the road is overflowed. I used a string to measure the low point.


Attachments
20190318_174503.jpg (74 downloads)
20190318_174703.jpg (62 downloads)
20190318_193530.jpg (64 downloads)
20190318_193635.jpg (64 downloads)


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#506486 - 05/25/19 10:23 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
April 24 significant rain raised the tank 4-5ft and lightly overflowed the spillway. The water flowing from the wetland into the tank smelled like a bait shop! Several days later and another 2" of rain - water went over the emergency spillway for the first time. The wetland and tank have been overflowing non-stop now for a month. Once the water receded some I observed some BG swimming from the main tank upstream to the wetland. Since then I have not observed any BG in the wetland. There are thousands of FHM though!
The mosquito population exploded in late April. Since then the dragonflies and everything else has significantly reduced the numbers and no larvae have been seen in the wetland!
The water results came in. As expected it is pretty salty. Our watershed includes an old salt lake and our tank site was also likely a salt lake in the 50s. The wetland is significantly more saline than the wetland. I am posting the full water results on a separate post for review.


Edited by ShortCut (05/30/19 12:30 AM)
Edit Reason: Flying vampire update

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#508086 - Yesterday at 01:22 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
Observing FH in the entirety of the 2ac wetland/forage/sediment pond. Catching lots of BH YOY that washed in from neighboring ponds. No mosquito larva though!
Our valley has incredible topsoil that our dirt guy loves since his yard is only 5mi away. He got a big job and needs material. Fill and topsoil. 3000-5000 yards of it. Free tank expansion! They are taking it from the area between the wetland and main tank. Got started today with a big excavator. I believe his D6 would be a better choice but his choice. 5ft down and it's still topsoil. This is very rare for the area. They are planning on digging almost to the bottom of the clay which was about 4ft thick when the tank was dug. Going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the summer. Will be better for everyone if we don't get much rain.
I'm still debating on how the expansion should look when done. Since a lot of water flows down the road into that area I may leave it as a deep pool to catch primarily sand.

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#508133 - Today at 12:57 AM Re: Wetland/forage pond and mosquito management [Re: ShortCut]
ShortCut Offline


Registered: 01/24/19
Posts: 57
Loc: Morton Valley, TX
The attached is the current pond is in thin blue line and sediment trap w thick teal line. The wetland extends to the property line on the south side, also thin blue line. Water flows in south to north. The green area is where the expansion is taking place and they will dig north until material needs are met. Water has overflowed the road several times. I plan to leave a underwater ridge so that the expansion area slows the water overflowing the road and traps additional silt. Good idea, bad idea or any other thoughts?


Attachments
Eastland 1.5ac tank.jpg (15 downloads)



Edited by ShortCut (Today at 11:49 AM)
Edit Reason: Correction

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