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#509031 - 07/17/19 03:31 PM Tiny pond in the Northeast
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
I just moved from the south to upstate NY. The new pond is 0.1 acres and not very deep. I'm looking for anything I should know about managing a pond this small.


I assume that aeration will be trickier (especially in winter), and that put-and-take strategies might work well. Other than that, I don't know what I don't know about a pond this small.

What should I know?


Edited by Scott E (07/17/19 03:32 PM)

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#509034 - 07/17/19 04:28 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
RStringer Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 162
Loc: Parsons KS
Pictures or it didn't happen LOL. My pond hasn't a whole lot smaller than that when it was 1st dug. Now i'm on my 2nd redo 3rd try LOL. It will be almost 3/4 an acre when done. Does yours hold water year round. How deep is it? any fish in it? What is your plan for your pond? Welcome to the forum by the way.
_________________________
The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto

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#509035 - 07/17/19 04:40 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1423
Loc: West Central Missouri
I would start by getting to know your pond. The first thing I did was map it out. Google maps has a measurement tool that will allow you to get the size of the pond (dam length, perimeter distances, surface area). Then you will want to know how deep it is. A small boat or raft is handy along with a piece of string, a weight, and knots every foot, but it can be done with a pair of swimming trunks (or not!). You want to "map it" so to speak by getting as many depths as you can in an organized fashion so that you can estimate how quickly the banks drop off to the deepest part. This will help you estimate it's average depth. This information will be important when exploring aeration system designs.

It is also good to determine what size of watershed it has. Topo maps are handy (Thanks Brettski for the follwoing link!)...

https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/advanced-viewer/

Next, what is living in it? Plant identification, fish presence, forage species like frogs, minnows, crawdads, etc. Fish it, trap it, net it, etc.

Water chemistry is also interesting to get into...PH, Nitrates, phosphates, ammonia, etc.

The list goes on and on, but you can do nothing, which is a very common approach, or you can do ALOT. It depends on your hobby interests.

After you learn what you have purchased, the next big step is figuring out what you goals are for the BOW. Casual fishing, growing big fish, swimming, gardening, etc.

Define what exists, determine what you want it to be, then live and breath at the PondBoss forums to get what you there.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#509080 - 07/18/19 01:02 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
My plan is to be able to occasionally catch some good eating fish from it. I'm not a huge fan of bluegill or black basses.

There are frogs, but no other fish or animal life. Over the majority of the area the water depth is about 4 feet (plus about 18" of silt/muck on the bottom). I just got here last winter so I don't know yet about the water depth in the late summer or the fall. There are some grasses growing around the edges, but no other plants. I know nothing about the water chemistry yet.

These are all things I would look into even if the lake was 20 acres. Is there nothing in particular I should know about managing a tiny 0.1 acre pond? It must be different somehow compared to a larger BOW. Right?

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#509083 - 07/18/19 03:12 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1961
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
With that depth, keeping fish will be very difficult. In the winter, unless you drop in a heater or some other method of keeping some water open, you will loose the fish. You need a fairly decent volume of unfrozen water as an oxygen source when the surface is frozen and there is snow on top.

Dead fish can be somewhat mitigated by keeping snow off the ice, but my experience is I have shaved a few years off my life by almost busting through on a few occasions.

For now to cut down on skeeters, toss in some bait fish, which are typically fathead minnows. I have found that shiners don't do very well in shallow ponds that get too warm.

Do NOT put in goldfish, as they are the one thing that will survive the winter, and there will be a point you don't want them.

Perch have an ability to do pretty well in low oxygen water, but they are not big fans of heat. They need a cool refuge in the hottest parts of summer. It doesn't hurt to try, and they do a stellar job of keeping snails out.

I would keep in mind it is much easier to deal with 1/4 acre to 1/2 acre ponds with a depth of at least 8' on average, preferably more. A big hole, but the volume you need to keep healthy fish through our 11 months of winter and one month of bad sledding. Keep in mind that it would be worthwhile to expand at some point in the future.

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#509086 - 07/18/19 03:40 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
The good part is that the warmest it gets is 80 degrees at the surface. I was worried about winter kill considering how shallow it is. For such a shallow silty pond, would air diffusers still be the best method for destratification? Since the volume of water is so small, would it be possible to prevent winter kill by using directly oxygenating it (sort of like yo would do with a big tank of fish)?

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#509092 - 07/18/19 04:07 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1423
Loc: West Central Missouri
Disclaimer: I have never lived north of Kansas City/St Louis so I don't know much about northern ponds...Other members can shoot me down if I stray from good advice.

That shallow of a pond would not stratify by it's truest definition. Yes, the surface would be warmer than the bottom, but not by much in the heat of the summer. A small aeration system would be beneficial in maximizing your pond's carrying capacity and reducing some muck build-up, AND it might be useful in the winter time to help keep the ice open. I'm not confident that using it in the winter would be a good idea with such a shallow BOW for fear of chilling it down too much, but then again, not using it could be bad too with regards to the ice overs.

I would explore stocking the flathead minnows now that Liquid mentioned and then putting in about 15 channel cats next year. Then feed them pellets for a "put and take" pond.



Edited by Quarter Acre (07/18/19 04:08 PM)
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#509136 - 07/19/19 12:33 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
When you suggest doing put-and-take with CC, do you mean I should stock them in the spring and harvest them all each fall to avoid winter kill?

Or do CC have better tolerance to low 02 levels, thus increasing their chance of surviving the winter in the tiny pond?

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#509140 - 07/19/19 02:37 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Quarter Acre Offline


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1423
Loc: West Central Missouri
I was thinking that you would stock CC and restock as you take them out over the the years, but I can not tell you if CC will make it through the winter in such a shallow BOW that far north.
_________________________
Fish on!,
Noel

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#509146 - 07/19/19 09:52 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
SWMO 2 Offline


Registered: 05/01/19
Posts: 48
Loc: Missouri
I hate to be the one to do this but the bullhead catfish might deserve a mention in this scenario.
_________________________
bucket stock......anything

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#509168 - 07/21/19 11:46 AM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
Is there a way to prevent them from spawning too much? Or in a small pond is possible to controll the population with angling alone?

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#509203 - 07/22/19 10:15 AM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Augie Offline


Registered: 10/29/18
Posts: 169
Loc: Boone County Missouri
Originally Posted By: Scott E
Is there a way to prevent them from spawning too much? Or in a small pond is possible to controll the population with angling alone?


No and no.

Cast net tossed on top of the black ball works wonders.

If you have a decent population of LMB it's unlikely the BHs will get out of control. Baby bullheads are like candy to a bass.

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#509216 - 07/22/19 01:17 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8157
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I wouldn't waste time trying to manage a shallow BOW that far North, you'll have vegetation issues in the Summer and likely winterkill every season due to lack of depth.

I would recommend managing it as turtle/frog pond with maybe some FHM stocked to help control mosquitoes if you are not interested in investing in rehab.

I rehab ponds professionally - and this looks like a straightforward project. Drain, dry as much as possible, excavate organic slop/silt and increase depth to at least 8' - 12-14' would be preferable. With the increased depth and water volume you'll have the upper hand on vegetation issues due to shallow and nutrient rich water and you'll not have to worry about winter kill events.

A project this size in NE would likely cost $1,500-$3,000. No clue on costs in upstate NY. Happy to help anytime, feel free to ping me on PM.

TJ
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#509229 - 07/22/19 04:44 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
In my last pond an aeration system eliminated the muck in a single season. That pond, though, was spring fed from below so I think the muck was exclusively organic content with no inorganic silt.

Am I correct to assume that if the muck layer of my current pond is primarily inorganic silt, that an aerator would just keep the water perpetually turbid?

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#509231 - 07/22/19 05:30 PM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8157
Loc: Lincoln, NE
5.5' max depth I suspect is still too shallow for your extreme winter temps. BOWs in Northern NE deeper than that still winterkill every few seasons if they are without springs, and you're quite a bit north of us.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#509251 - 07/23/19 10:32 AM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1961
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
What part of Upstate are you? I am in the Western Fingerlakes region. If you are truly upstate, in the ADK area, then a pond that size is simply going to be a mosquito breeder without adding bait fish each spring.

Aeration will help in many ways, but you do have to be careful in mid-winter on not super-cooling the water column. I don't think you have to worry about that too often though. I had a much smaller garden pond for many years (another thread shows the update in size), and for the first few years I managed to keep a few goldfish and a single pumpkin seed sunfish alive in there. It was only 8x10' and 3' deep. The aeration just needs to be sized appropriately, and likely much reduced in the winter when things are dormant.

So in the winter, you are not looking for a turn-over of water as much as keeping a hole open and O2 in the water column.

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#509313 - 07/24/19 07:28 AM Re: Tiny pond in the Northeast [Re: Scott E]
Scott E Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 30
Loc: Upstate NY
I'm in Dryden, near the southern tip of Cayuga Lake (agricultural zone 5b).

Is there a particular way to operate the aeration system to limit ice cover without supercooling the water?

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