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#485056 - 01/08/18 08:02 PM Reviving an old pond that's never held fish
hoocli Offline


Registered: 01/08/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Saskatchewan
We have an old pond on our farm that was created around 50+ years ago when a new road was built between sections of the property. I imagine it is now full of muck/silt and whatever else but at one time it was 12 feet deep in places or so im told.

The damn is more like a siv near the top its pure stone/rock and water overflows it. The pond is fed by atleast 1 underground stream from what I'm told and all the land around the pond is higher except for where the damn is. The water that goes over the damn heads into a stream at the north end of the property.


I'm pretty new at this and looking for some help on how to get started.




Red is the dam


This is a picture of the site. It has been overgrown with willows and most sides have trees near or overhanging the water. There is also a beaver or two hanging out in the water.

We experience temperature swings from -45f to 95f. usually average around -4f in the winter and 77f in the summer.

I have never been a huge fisher other then pike so I'm unfamiliar with what a good fish tastes like. Although I like the fight pike give, I'm thinking more of a trout/bass situation if possible. I figure I wouldn't be able to get much pike in such a small area, as well pike are a pain to clean so something easier would be nicer.

I know I will need to get aeration going to help clean up the muck problem. That is my step 1. I don't know yet what my step 2 or 3 should be.


I can't afford big equipment right now but hope to have an acreage tractor in the near future if things work out.

Also have been told birds of prey are an issue in the area and enjoy picking off fish.



Edited by hoocli (01/08/18 08:26 PM)

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#485068 - 01/09/18 11:15 AM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: hoocli]
ewest Online   content
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19078
Loc: Miss.
Welcome to PB ! Assume all is frozen now given the location. I would suggest as a first step do a survey yourself by small boat taking depth readings. If ice is safe and you have an auger you can do it now. You can use a weight and marked string. Take pics of the dam and vegetation. Looks like vegetation removal/reduction and muck removal is a needed step. What general approach to take is dependent on if there are fish and if you want to save them. Sometimes raising the water level is easier than muck removal.
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#485086 - 01/09/18 05:56 PM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: ewest]
hoocli Offline


Registered: 01/08/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Saskatchewan
Originally Posted By: ewest
Welcome to PB ! Assume all is frozen now given the location. I would suggest as a first step do a survey yourself by small boat taking depth readings. If ice is safe and you have an auger you can do it now. You can use a weight and marked string. Take pics of the dam and vegetation. Looks like vegetation removal/reduction and muck removal is a needed step. What general approach to take is dependent on if there are fish and if you want to save them. Sometimes raising the water level is easier than muck removal.


No fish that I am aware of. Never was stalked in the last 50 years to my knowledge.

Normally Ice would be safe but in this case I may have beavers hanging out in there. They were last year I have to confirm. If they are there then I really don't want to be on the ice right now as if I make a mistep I could be going through the ice.


This location unfortunately is about an hour away and no one lives at the old homestead anymore. I'm in town but would like to move out there at some point in the next few years.

Raising the water level right now is what has me unsure. If I raise it to much it will break through on the left side of the map and overflow into a couple acres of grass land that I didn't want full of water. I could raise it a couple feet but its so thick in there its hard to tell how much I could raise it.

I figured aeration would at least start helping with the muck problem but from my understanding it won't do much until the ice is off.


Edited by hoocli (01/09/18 06:00 PM)

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#485098 - 01/09/18 08:37 PM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: hoocli]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12115
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
From the picture it is lucky if the pond is 7ft deep. I doubt trout will survive in those water conditions. It likely has to much muck and dead organics (leaves) which results in periods of very low dissolved oxygen (DO). The water may have some native minnows try to get a wire minnow trap (Gee brand is the best). Bait the trap with old bread and let trap fish for 6-36 hrs. If small fish are present you should catch some. Use your trap to find some beaver pond minnows and stock them into your pond. Allow them to breed so you can catch lots of them in your traps. Then you are ready to stock sportfish. With low DO your best fish will be yellow perch YP and pike; both tolerate low DO well. Allow the YP to spawn then add a few pike. Eat the perch and use pike to control numbers of YP. You can try trout but I doubt they will survive the conditions of your organics enriched water body and likely periodic low DO. Trout need not only cool water but also high DO 24/7. It is doubtful SMB will survive in your pond due to low DO, but if it were mine I would 1st try stocking them instead of pike. SMB might survive.

If water runs over the dam 24/7 you likely will get fish to live in there year round. The incoming stream may provide enough DO.


Edited by Bill Cody (01/09/18 08:43 PM)
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#485099 - 01/09/18 08:39 PM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: hoocli]
CMM Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 554
Loc: West Central MO
Hey hoocli, Welcome to the Boss! My dad was born in Rock Glen and I have cousins in various parts of the Great White North, notably Moose Jaw. Grandparents homesteaded in Cold Lake Alberta back in the day.

No advice on what to do, other than to get a plan first!

Question, is that one pond with lots of vegetation, or several smaller ones?
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#485101 - 01/09/18 09:51 PM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: Bill Cody]
hoocli Offline


Registered: 01/08/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Saskatchewan
Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
From the picture it is lucky if the pond is 7ft deep. I doubt trout will survive in those water conditions. It likely has to much muck and dead organics (leaves) which results in periods of very low dissolved oxygen (DO). The water may have some native minnows try to get a wire minnow trap (Gee brand is the best). Bait the trap with old bread and let trap fish for 6-36 hrs. If small fish are present you should catch some. Use your trap to find some beaver pond minnows and stock them into your pond. Allow them to breed so you can catch lots of them in your traps. Then you are ready to stock sportfish. With low DO your best fish will be yellow perch YP and pike; both tolerate low DO well. Allow the YP to spawn then add a few pike. Eat the perch and use pike to control numbers of YP. You can try trout but I doubt they will survive the conditions of your organics enriched water body and likely periodic low DO. Trout need not only cool water but also high DO 24/7. It is doubtful SMB will survive in your pond due to low DO, but if it were mine I would 1st try stocking them instead of pike. SMB might survive.

If water runs over the dam 24/7 you likely will get fish to live in there year round. The incoming stream may provide enough DO.



Fair enough, If its only 7 feet there is a good chance it could fully freeze during the winter.

I'm not so concerned about getting in fish right away. I want to work on getting the pond into better shape. Reason I figured aeration would start and help atleast get rid of some of the muck. Other than aeration is there a way to help open up this area without heavy equipment? Can't really afford that right now but as I mentioned I hope to be getting a 40-60hp tractor with a loader in the next couple years to help out.


I have no problem with stocking pike, figured bass/trout would be better tasting. Never caught one but I heard they were better.

The whole area is technically 1 pond. but I'm not sure if its just high muck levels where willows and other plants are growing or if it was existing dirt. The water does stretch much further to the left side of the map but its mostly bogish.

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#485102 - 01/09/18 10:02 PM Re: Reviving an old pond that's never held fish [Re: CMM]
hoocli Offline


Registered: 01/08/18
Posts: 4
Loc: Saskatchewan
Originally Posted By: CMM
Hey hoocli, Welcome to the Boss! My dad was born in Rock Glen and I have cousins in various parts of the Great White North, notably Moose Jaw. Grandparents homesteaded in Cold Lake Alberta back in the day.

No advice on what to do, other than to get a plan first!

Question, is that one pond with lots of vegetation, or several smaller ones?


Thanks I live about an hour east of moosejaw

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