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#985 - 09/22/05 04:04 PM Enlarge Existing Pond
chad miller Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 10
Loc: new braunfels, texas
Hey guys----new to the forum. Can't believe I didn't find it sooner.

I currently have a small pond. 10+ years ago my wife's family fished it all the time...probably damn near out. (Germans). After we started dating, I started fishing it, but never got a bite. (I've fished since I was a kid, and consider myself fairly decent). Like a lightswitch, the fish started biting...up to 4lbs. I now want to enlarge the pond.

It is currently about 1/3 to 1/2 acre. I would like to dig it out, build up the dam, and bring the surface to about 2 acres. It is currently down (the lowest I've seen it). Do I just start digging around the edges and building up the dam?

HELP!!
_________________________
There are those who love to catch fish, and those who fish for the opportunity to catch.

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#986 - 09/22/05 06:26 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Alligator Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 821
Loc: East Texas
hi Chad, welcome to PB!

Sounds like you have a really good "opportunity" for a nice fishing spot. In general I recommend you do in depth reading on the PB site - this can help answer a lot of questions + you may also consider subscribing to PM Magazine. As far as specific answers to your pond question, it might help to have someone with pond building experience take a look at it firsthand...a local pond building contractor or your local NRCS agent would be a good start.

There are things to consider like watershed, possible permits, dam construction, soil types and availability...ect. before digging.

I'm sure others will have good advice on this topic too! Good Luck and keep posting the details.

Gator
_________________________
- Smoke 'em if you got 'em




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#987 - 09/22/05 09:42 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Chad,
Welcome to the Forum. In the last two years, I've renovated two ponds myself very similar to yours. Maybe I can give you some pointers.

First, you need a plan. Decide on dimensions and sight it all in. At the same time, you need to drain the remaining water; either pump it out, knock a hole in the dam, or dig out the spillway. On one pond I dug out the old spillway, and on the other knocked a hole in the dam. Do what makes the most sense for you in that location. Clear out all trees and brush from the dam. Follow your plan, including attaching the new segment to the old segment. In doing this be sure to core out for the new dam and also rough up the soil on the existing dam especially where the new meets the old.

Since the rainy season is fast approaching (less than 24 hours from now I'm looking at possibly 25 inches), plan your work accordingly. Leave an open path for the water to drain throughout construction.

Perhaps the biggest problem you will face relates to the muck that is in your old pond. Muck is the accumulation of sediment and plant and other decaying materials that forms a substance that is almost impossible to work with. You can either track-hoe it out (very expensive and you have to find a place to put the muck), dozer it out (again somewhat expensive and still have to find a place for the muck), raise the dam and leave in place, or do what I did...and as far as I know no one else has done this...but it works spectacularly...turn the muck from a liability into an asset by pushing it with a ring of clay into an island that will eventually be submerged. This island then becomes deep water structure which attracts fish provided spawing beds and hang-outs. By combining this with raising the dam, you can really haev a uniques pond bottom that is very "fishey". Like I said, I've done it twice and it works spectacularly.

If you are doing the work yourself, a small dozer and a back-hoe front end loader will do the entire job. I have both and now have two beautiful ponds, where before had shallow mud puddles and cattle watering holes.

If you need any help, send me an e-mail and I'll do what I can remotely from East Texas. You may want to only do your planning work now and wait on construction for next spring, depending on your rain patterns. For me, construction season ends tomorrow with the first rain bands from Rita.

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#988 - 09/26/05 04:37 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
chad miller Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 10
Loc: new braunfels, texas
Just curious....what types of permits are required for doing this digging? Obviously I want to check for water/elec. lines and what not. Almost positive there aren't any in the pond area. I'm out in the middle of the country. I was hoping to leave the trees that have grown into the damn (more like brush) as it provides at least a little shade. I know I am going to have to go deep...probably 13-16ft with deeper ditches. I am an aspiring pond enthusiast at heart, and for some reason have always wanted to go into pond construction as a trade. I guess it all ties into doing what you love for a living. I think I can make it work, barring an engineering nightmare.
_________________________
There are those who love to catch fish, and those who fish for the opportunity to catch.

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#989 - 09/27/05 12:15 AM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
pat Offline
Member

Registered: 06/07/05
Posts: 19
I've added on to my pond 6 times in the last several years.I started with a 3 acre pond and now up to 6.25 acres.I did not let any water out of my pond when i added new sections.The way i did it was dig the new section then cut a low spot in levee to the point if it rains the water flows into the new section not the overflow ditch that it would normally go in.After new pond fills with water bring track hoe back and dig out old levee connecting the ponds together.I've had real good luck with this system,only problem i do have,while removing levee the water gets muddy digging the old levee out.

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#990 - 09/27/05 12:22 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by chad miller:
I was hoping to leave the trees that have grown into the damn (more like brush) as it provides at least a little shade.
The conventional thinking is to remove all small trees and leave the large ones in place...but I'm not conventional because I've seen the damage trees can cause to a dam...if renovating a pond anyway, I would remove all trees on the dam and repair the affected areas. Trees can do extensive damage to the dam structure and plus they suck out much water from your pond. Its a tough choice, but if renovating anyway, I say remove all trees on dam.

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#991 - 10/03/05 10:32 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
zhkent Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 229
Loc: Burlington, Kansas
Chad,
About 4 years ago I enlarged my pond from aprox 1 acre to 3 acres. My local NRCS said I didn't need any permits.
Get a plan. You need to rent, borrow, or find someone with a level. If any doupt to accuracy of level set it up by the widest spot of your pond then use the water (thats level) to see if you get the same readings on the near side and far side.
Now find an elevation all the way around the pond where you would like the water level. Surveying this you want the same rod reading (level) all the way around the new proposed shore line.
Now check how high you would need to build the dam to safely back water up to the proposed shore line. Adjust water level if dam will be to high.
If possible rough figure the cubic yardage to be moved so you have an idea of how long it will take you to do it or how much it would cost to have done.
I guess I'm recomending first plan what you want to do, then make a plan on how to do it.
_________________________
Make it look easy,
http://zhkent.com

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#992 - 10/04/05 08:49 AM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Matt Clark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 822
Loc: S.E. Iowa
If you're like me and lucky enough to have a buddy in the construction trade, see if he/she has a laser transit you can borrow. If not, the local rental shop has one at $35/day.

This consists of a rotating laser unit that you level and the standard 24 foot stick to which you attach the receiver. It beeps when you reach the correct elevation. It is SO sweet and I've used the thing many times in making decisions as to elevation for the pond and confirming overflow height. It doesn't lie and with some surveyor's flags, it can really help you picture where the water line will eventually be. Look around, they can be found....
_________________________
In a lifetime, the average driver will honk 15,250 times. My wife figures I'm due to die any day now...




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#993 - 10/04/05 09:39 AM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Matt,

Some time back Gator started a thread on something like "your top ten wish list for your ponds". I couldn't think of anything at the time, but your thread reminded me how COOL that laser transit is and how much fun it would be to have one...even though it wouldn't get used much, its a neat tool.

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#994 - 10/04/05 02:06 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
bobad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
Matt,

Some time back Gator started a thread on something like "your top ten wish list for your ponds". I couldn't think of anything at the time, but your thread reminded me how COOL that laser transit is and how much fun it would be to have one...even though it wouldn't get used much, its a neat tool.
ML,

My buddy has one I can borrow any time. I'm looking forward to using it. When it gets too wet to dig inside the pond, I'll use it to get my levees perfectly level.
_________________________
Shrimp

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#995 - 10/04/05 11:08 PM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
bobad,

I had a crazy idea while reading your post and will throw it on the wall to see if it has any sticking power...like I said, it may be a crazy idea.

What if we had a "Pond Boss" co-op? A co-op that would have members buying shares of certain high $, infrequently used equipment in return for periodic use of that equipment. That transit, for example probably costs over $500, but say it was $500. If 10 guys put in $50 apiece we could have one and share it when needed.

Sophisticated water testing equipment could be a candidate also. Maybe fish haulers. Maybe certain traps. Construction equipment might be too much money, but I would consider it with the right folks. Top of the line GPS units for ponds. Things that cost a lot, but are used infrequently. Crazy idea? FedEx the stuff around to who needs. Last one to use it sends it on to the next requestor.

I think it could work with the right folks involved...and requires a degree of trust in each other. Any interest?

p.s. my dozer would not be available for the co-op. \:\)

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#996 - 10/07/05 12:13 AM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
bassmanjg Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 11
Loc: Tulsa
Hey Guys,

Just found this site on the web. Signed up pronto. I have 2 ponds on 11 acres in Tulsa. One was built in 52 and the other in 72. Need to do some work and extend the dam on the older pond. I would appreciate a referal if you know anyone in this area that is qualified to extend the dam and dig some dirt? Still
trying to figure out how this all works so I hope I posted this right. Thanks for any help!

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#997 - 10/07/05 06:19 AM Re: Enlarge Existing Pond
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
The local NRCS office should have a list of dozer guys. Pick one and ask for references. Contact the references and actually go look at their work. Talk to customers. Lots of difference in clearing land building a fishin hole.

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