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#505548 - 05/09/19 09:07 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Buddy got back up there last Wednesday and hooked up the big pump!! We had ~18" of new snow since he went up last!! Unbelievable amount of snow this year. Had more snow yesterday and more snow and/or rain in the forecast.

As soon as the big pump was connected we immediately started having large gains in the size of the hole daily. Sadly there was no DO data recorded. He said the conditions were really tough and he didn't feel like trying to get down there and dig through the snow to get down to ice and all that. I don't blame him.

Lots of lessons learned this year. Unfortunately those lessons cost money. I keep telling Highflyer I DON'T WANT TO GET ANY SMARTER!!!!

Crossing my fingers at least some fish were able to find a refuge and survive. In addition to windmills, there was the Thomas 2660 running all Winter just no holes open for a long stretch and low DO early on.


Here is the hole on 05.08.2019. One week of running the 1HP compressor 7.5 hours per day. The very small lone hole is from the Koenders windmill.


Here is a pic to illustrate snow depth on 05.01.2019.


Here you can see the results of the small pump in the snow on the lake. Clearly the small compressor just doesn't produce a plume with enough intensity to cut through that much ice and snow. The big pump immediately got to work.


Edited by wbuffetjr (05/09/19 09:08 AM)
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#506040 - 05/17/19 08:53 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Starting to get some light at the end of the tunnel!! I would LOVE to have some DO data!

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#506194 - 05/20/19 03:35 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
It just wouldn't feel right up there if Mother Nature didn't give me one more kick to the teeth. Special weather statement called for up to 24" of snow at our elevation..... in mid-late May..... Got to love it. Might be mid June before a vehicle can even get to our cabin!

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#506195 - 05/20/19 04:21 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Wisconsin
At least it looks like your aerator is keeping the holes open. Remember...
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
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#506252 - 05/21/19 02:07 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Joey
The positive is we needed the snow. Last year was the worst drought on record where we are. This years snow should go along way towards bringing us back.

This graph shows this year compared to average/normal. Staggering amount of snow this year. Almost 2,000% more snow on the ground today as there was on the same day last year.

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#506307 - 05/22/19 10:41 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 296
Loc: southwest Colorado
Probably snowing up there right now, too. We went to bed last night, and awoke to snow this morning way down here at 6500 feet. Now it's just raining bison and elk. That means snow at your pond.

We're expecting a full McPhee reservoir, and a decent boating season on the Dolores river downstream.

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#506377 - 05/23/19 12:50 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
4Corners

You were right. We have definitely gotten even more now! This will be the first year I have had the 1HP pump up and aerating when the run off happens. Especially with the amount of run off we are going to get. I am hoping this big of a flush substantially improves the water quality up there and makes it easier to over Winter the fish for 2019/2020.
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#506400 - 05/23/19 09:50 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5882
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I have really enjoyed following along on your journey at 10K feet. I hope Bob L. picks up on it and has you do an article for PBM.
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#506485 - 05/25/19 09:35 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Thanks Bill D! I truly appreciate the interest. Things will get a little more interesting this Summer. I am replacing the American Eagle windmill compressor with an actual wind turbine capable of making ~2,500 watts. This should give me quite a bit more power with the winds we have up there especially in Winter. One of the really cool functions this allows me to do is divert power. Here is the plan: Once the turbine is installed, whenever the batteries are fully charged and the wind is still blowing the wind turbine charge controller will activate a relay that will turn on a second air pump. This second pump will be on a second timer set to only run outside the hours of the first pump. SO, if the 2nd pump timer is on (outside of solar hours) AND the relay is on (batteries fully charged) we will be getting additional aeration any time the wind is blowing instead of wasting that power. This should give me a staggering increase in aeration run time. I think this will be a game changer for keeping a hole open through Winter. It should help with the major issues I have faced. Hard for the hole to freeze closed with aeration running, hard for big snows to bridge over the hole with aeration running and hard for condensation to freeze up with aeration running. It also allows me to run the 1HP pump all Winter without having to be concerned about lack of power during the big snow storms.
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#506813 - 06/03/19 09:21 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Getting close to open water I THINK. My guess is 3-5 days and we see some clearly open water. Neighbor went to his place this past weekend. He's 500-600' lower in elevation than us and he still had 4' of snow at his cabin. He thinks one to two weeks before he can drive his pickup to his place and even longer for us. Hopefully my other buddy is going to snow shoe in sometime this week to check on the spillway, gather some DO data, etc.



Edited by wbuffetjr (06/03/19 01:01 PM)
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#507166 - 06/10/19 03:41 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Finally getting some open water!!

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#507172 - 06/10/19 04:51 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
Very awesome! Please give us that important update on oxygen readings and any signs of life in the shallows next time someone travels up there. Looks like you can go by vehicle and foot now?

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#507197 - 06/11/19 08:28 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Wisconsin
Wbuffetjr, I really enjoy your photos. Looks like it won't be long and you'll have green grass and running water.
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#507199 - 06/11/19 09:09 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Thanks guys!

Got someone going up on Thursday to gather some data and a few other things. I am very excited to see the DO and temp readings. I will post the results. Unfortunately, it will most likely be a walk in trip. Our driveway is long, steep and on the North face of a ridge so it is usually some of the last snow to melt. If there is ANY snow around the cabin then there is a lot of snow still on the driveway.

Highflyer and I are thinking this will by far be our best year for water quality progress. We turned on the big pump 2.5 months sooner than it has ever been turned on and we did that on a year that the pond is going to receive a staggering amount of run off. The water should be fully mixed and we will really flush the pond out. Hoping that makes a significant and lasting improvement that makes this coming Winter somewhat easier to deal with.

I am HOPING for some fish survival, but over the years of failure I have become cynical about that. We will see. It would be really nice to have some holdovers.
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#507204 - 06/11/19 10:48 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2068
Loc: West Michigan
Ok, so this winter was ranking worse than last winter or any prior winter due to heavy snow fall. But did the air lines ice up as much or more than other years? Would you say your amount of open water was similar to last year or much less?

What is the plan to prevent condensation in lines this coming winter? Or do you plan to just use a system with stronger power to keep blowing the condensation out of the lines?

The run off, how does it flush your pond? Does it have a outflow or does it just expand its overall area and then go back down to original size?

Please post pictures this week, can't wait to see if you have salamanders, crayfish, scuds etc...

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#507211 - 06/11/19 12:28 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Canyon - at the bottom I attached a graph that shows this year to the last couple years plus "normal" and average. This year CRUSHED 2017 and 2017 was a big year. We have a large spillway and normally spill a lot of water in the Spring and for a big chunk of the Summer. (We have NEVER spilled water with the water fully mixed though and we think this will make a substantial change!!!) Last year, worst drought on record, was the first year I have ever seen the water level drop. We have estimated that on a normal year I have enough run off from snow to completely fill the pond 2-3 times over. This year is ~1.5 times or more normal.

We are still not 100% sure if the lines froze up this year or not. We know for sure the 1/2HP pump does not make the "plume intensity" needed to get through thick ice and massive snow. This year we plan on building a Winter only diffuser set up that is (rough draft) 4 Vertex heads and 2 heads that make larger bubbles for 6 total heads. We are going to feed that with a 1" airline that is direct connected to the main 1" airline. This will prevent any turns, restrictions, etc that gives the condensation any place at all to collect. We are also going to place this setup in shallower water than before. Not sure how shallow yet. Our base goal is to keep a hole open PERIOD. We think this new design (thanks in big part to MNFISH) is our best shot. If it fails again, I will be building a small dock and putting the compressor right out on top of the water with airlines going literally straight down to deeper water. I think that is bulletproof answer and has been proven by MNFISH to work, but I am trying to make that last resort.

I am also installing an axial flux wind turbine to the system this Summer. I will be removing the American Eagle windmill compressor, throwing it in the lake for fish structure and using it's tower for the new turbine. In addition to substantial extra power the wind turbine gives me an excellent opportunity to "divert" excess power to some chosen load. The load I am going to use is a second air pump. This second air pump is only going to run out side of the solar hours when there is excess power from the turbine and the solar pump is not running. This could possibly double my aeration run time especially in the Winter. That would keep DO up, make it harder for the hole in the ice to close up/get snowed over AND allow less time for any condensation in the line to freeze up.

We will see how it goes.


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#507219 - 06/11/19 01:52 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
Joey Quarry Offline


Registered: 11/04/17
Posts: 147
Loc: Wisconsin
This may be a silly idea butt...

If you really want to keep the hole open in winter, what about a solar powered fish feeder but broadcast sodium chloride? I have seen feeders that hold 400lbs, or you could just add a hopper to increase capacity on a smaller one. You would only have to broadcast for 10 seconds, once a day, probably first thing in the morning.

Maybe?
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#507599 - 06/17/19 12:39 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Joey - Interesting idea and first time it has been mentioned. As of now I have a plan A and a Plan B. If those fail I will be open to try ANYTHING! As a general rule up there - I try to solve problems with the least amounts of moving parts as possible. It seems all Mother Nature needs is the slightest opening and she slips in and whips my butt.

On a side note: I am VERY interested in hearing about your Brookies! I think you and I may be the only guys on PB managing them! You should make a post with some pics!!


Edited by wbuffetjr (06/17/19 01:42 PM)
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#507627 - 06/17/19 04:09 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Pic from today. This pretty much sums up how this year has been so far... more snow..... in mid June...

Still waiting for my buddy to get up there. I will be up there myself at the end of this month. Hoping we won't have any trouble getting in. The last 1/2 or 3/4 mile or so to the cabin is all North facing thick timber. Supposedly still 4' of snow on that stretch.

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#507957 - 06/23/19 08:08 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Well, yesterday I got the best news I have gotten in a while! Buddy were to the cabin to get some data and make a couple adjustments for me and said there were trout busting everywhere!! I can't believe it! That is two years in a row of over Wintering for me. For those of you that weren't bored enough to read this thread from the beginning (I don't blame you), this place went 20 years with Winter kills every year! If that doesn't prove the power of Pond Boss and aeration I don't know what does!

DO at surface was 8.6 PPM. DO at 12' was 7.7 PPM. Water was 50 F top to bottom. We have NEVER started the year with those kinds of numbers! He said there are millions of scuds swarming the shoreline everywhere and tons of fat heads as well. No real way to verify what percentage of fish survived, but judging from the activity he saw I am assuming a good bit. Interesting side note: Summer 2018 everyone thought all the fish had died. Hours were spent fishing and just watching the lake for signs of activity. It wasn't until mid July that we saw the first fish hit the surface and realized they had lived. Looking back I THINK lower DO had possibly kept their activity suppressed. This year they are apparently going gangbusters.

He said water was murkier than he has ever seen it which is not at all what we were expecting. I am assuming that is because we have had a huge snow-melt runoff this year. We THOUGHT that would make the lake clearer than ever. Still have a fairly substantial amount of runoff to go. He thinks there is at least 2' or more of snow still in the timber above the lake.

While he was up there a storm blew through and hailed on him. He and his truck had to dive for cover!


Cool pic of the lake after the storm


Thank God the solar panels held up. I am impressed.
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#507965 - 06/23/19 10:53 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
gehajake Offline


Registered: 12/31/18
Posts: 69
Loc: Central MO
Wow, this whole story is impressive, seems like a lot of work to maintain your fishing hole, this being past the longest day of the year, the days are already getting shorter, how soon will it freeze over again on average, how long will you get to fish and enjoy it before winter? it is a beautiful pond tho in a beautiful setting. You have a tranquil postcard setting there! Enjoy!
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#507972 - 06/23/19 11:43 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Thank you! It has definitely been a labor of love AND a learning process. One of the most complicating factors up there is the variability of the conditions. It is hard to predict what is going to happen weather-wise year to year. For example, the lake was frozen over for almost a month longer than normal this year. On "average" it will freeze over sometime in late November or early December. I have not ice fished it yet, but I hear ice fishing is loads of fun so Winter doesn't necessarily end the enjoyment.

Another complication is the lack of people operating in conditions like we are. I have only really talked to one person, MNFish, that deals with conditions similar to ours.
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#507974 - 06/23/19 01:06 PM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
4CornersPuddle Offline


Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 296
Loc: southwest Colorado
Whoa! Our temp here was 31 degrees this am. I'm wondering if the shoreline of your pond saw some skim ice.
All western streams and lakes get some degree of murkiness in spring. Some look like chocolate milk, some like coffee with cream; many only are very slightly discolored. I suppose most of the color is from erosionary forces and a smaller amount of discoloring is from biological responses to nutrient additions.
That's such incredibly wonderful news that fish have survived. So many of us have followed your journey, fascinated by your every post and pic. We just KNEW that you were on the road to success, and seeing your determination, we knew you'd get it figured out.
Congratulations!!!

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#508014 - 06/24/19 07:02 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
Thank you for the kind words 4Corners! I am still on Cloud 9 and might be for the rest of the year!

Highflyer and I have been excited about this run off for the chance to flush a bunch of nutrients out of the lake. (First time ever having the lake fully mixed when the runoff came). I had not considered how much erosion might come with this big of a run off. I am curious to see what the net effect to water quality and clarity is going to be. We were hoping flushing a bunch of nutrients would make Winter 2019/2020 some amount easier to deal with.
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#509748 - 08/04/19 08:32 AM Re: 8 acre pond at 10,000' - lots of aeration ?s [Re: wbuffetjr]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 1002
Loc: in the mountains
I am back from the mountains. Highflyer came out again and we got a bunch done.

DO levels were better than ever! We were at 9.0-9.5 PPM at the surface and 6.5-8.0 PPM at the bottom! I have never had readings like that at this time of the year. Leaves me excited to see what we can head into Winter with.

I did not have the "Green Slime" out break this year like in years past so that was a positive. The water was turning extremely green when I was leaving. Almost starting to look pea soup green in some areas. It has done that before, but I wasn't expecting it this year. Highflyer thinks the massive runoff this year helped with visibility. We are agreeing to disagree on that one. I do not think it helped and was disappointed in clarity. Secci disk read 30" when we tested it on ~8/22 but I think that number had decreased quite a bit before I left at the end of the month. I really thought the big runoff/flush would get rid of a lot of nutrients.

Once again made some major improvements that should help make this Winter a little easier to deal with. I redesigned the the valve system in the power shed and the valve system in the valve box. We are now on Version 4.1b- LOL. This new design dropped the PSI reading on the 1HP pump 3-4 PSI. This reduced the power draw from the pump almost 200 watts. That will help substantially over Winter.

Also added the Axial Flux wind turbine seen in the video below. Standing this baby up was NOT fun, although I think next time will be easier. This turbine ties into the existing power system (it's power will help charge the same batteries the solar panels charge). Hopefully this turbine will produce it's best power on days the solar panels struggle (when big storms are coming in/out). Unfortunately the turbine still needs a ton of work. Tail has to be redesigned and so does the hail shield. Also have to custom program the power curve in the charge controller that manages it. Anyway, on to the stuff pond guys care about. The charge controller for the wind turbine has a bunch of auxiliary functions. One of them is called Float High. This basically says IF: the batteries are in "float" (100% charged) and there is extra power coming in THEN: turn on this relay. I installed a second timer, separate from the 1HP pump, that controls a secondary pump. The second timer's hours are set opposite of the first timer. Basically if Timer 1 is on then Timer 2 is off. So if Timer 2 is on AND there is extra power coming from the turbine, that would otherwise be wasted, the relay turns on and activates the second pump for extra aeration run time that is totally automated and supplemental. This second pump's extra run time alone could provide a massive amount more aeration than we have ever had before especially over the Winter. This extra aeration should do a few things:

1) should not allow holes to close up as fast. When big storms blow in with a bunch of snow the holes seem to bridge over over night and take longer to open. This extra aeration should reduce that some amount.

2) the more we are running air through the airlines the less time any airline has to freeze up. With the 1HP pump running we measured the new metal valve system in the valve box and it was 10 degrees over ambient. Side note: We think this additional heat will help with lines freezing up this Winter.

3) IF the 1HP pump happened to go down this Winter we will already have a back up pump in place that will be providing some aeration. Totally automated and requires no one to make an emergency trip up the mountain.

As you can see I think we are more than prepared for this coming Winter. HOWEVER, every time I feel supremely prepared Mother Nature has a habit of slapping me around like a little baby so I am expecting more of the same.

Big thanks to Brian for all the help and talking about this project.



Edited by wbuffetjr (08/04/19 11:46 AM)
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