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Pat Williamson, RStringer
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by snrub
Hi, John here but go by snrub as my signature.

Never thought much about ponds. Then one day while gazing out over the pasture south of our house from the patio I made the off hand comment that a pond there might look nice, what did she think? Her comment was something on the order of "when are you going to start, when will it be finished and how big will it be?" You would think I would avoid making off the cuff comments to her after the one about taking the motorcycles to Alaska and three weeks later we were in Alaska for a 12,000 mile trip, but then I am a slow learner.
Maybe about 3/4 to an acre would be nice. "Not near big enough, needs to be much bigger." You realize as the size goes up the volume of dirt gets much larger, fast. How big? "The whole pasture would be nice".

Well she did not get the whole small pasture (had cows in it just the year before) but the majority of it. Basically the whole part that we could get to hold water behind a dam. So that was the initial venture into my ponding experience. I'll post a couple of pictures below. We do own a nice D6N XL dozer that we use on the farm courtesy of the housing crisis and the east coast was giving away used construction equipment for about half price. The "big" pond she wanted (as opposed to a small cow pond we are accustomed to in this area) gave me the perfect excuse to buy a 12 yard dirt scraper that I had wanted for the farm (clean out waterways and patch terraces) for years but had a hard time justifying the cost. We got started in the spring of 2012 (built the pond ourselves as you have now figured out) with most of the major cuts made, the core trench and majority of dam finished and the pond started filling by late that summer. We lined the bottom with top soil as muddy clay looking water like most of the new ponds in the area have would not do for wife to look at and NRCS said that would help with water clarity. We finished up some of the dam work as farm work time allowed that fall and through the next spring and stocked FHM and BG along with a few RES.

I don't fish. It just seemed like with such a nice pond it was a shame not to put some fish in, and I do have several employees that fish, who have kids that like to fish, and I have grandkids that like to fish. So we stocked fish. See where this is going from my original vision of a small 3/4 acre pond to look out over from the patio? It took on a life of its own.

Having seen some erosion as the pond was filling I hated to see the banks erode so we ended up putting lateral rock around the rim. The NRCS had designed a "bench" for erosion control but the rock just seemed like a good idea. Wanting to be able to walk around the pond in any weather we put crushed rock on the "bench" which was not planned in the beginning. More dollars worth of rock than I even care to think about, we have a nice place to walk or drive the 4 wheeler even right after a rain. I rarely miss going around the pond at least once daily.

Seemed like there ought to be a dock out there so we could sit on it and enjoy the sunset. 160' of 8" I beam and other assorted metal, a lot of treated lumber and 10 - 12-14" diameter Osage Orange (hedge locally) posts harvested off a tree row along with the help of three grandsons and a purchased used floating section from Craigs list and we have a beautiful 8' wide by 100' long dock that we enjoy a lot. The grandsons will enjoy that dock and remember the time we spent together building it for the rest of their life (the fact that it was an afterthought and we put over half of the posts in concrete in standing water and did the final install in the water after the pond was mostly full)

Did I mention I don't fish? I scuba dive and look at lots of fish under water with 100 foot visibility but have never had much interest in fishing other than taking the kids perch (green sunfish I have learned) fishing a few times when they were small. But someday I will get too decrepit to scuba dive so maybe I better make preparations for another hobby now. Takes time to grow fish. Put in the LMB and CC this fall.

Had no plans feeding them but the guy we got the fish from said it would sure make them reproduce better. Having paid a princely sum for something I had little care for catching after getting them, I darn sure wanted them to do at leastsomething like reproduce so started a limited feeding program. I enjoy feeding them so much and observing that it is sad that the water temperature is approaching a time to stop. Go figure.

Some stringy algae forming..................maybe I better check into aeration................ green slimy pond is unacceptable for wife to look at.

All this from a casual comment, almost a wistful one, to my wife. You would think I would learn.

Anyway we have a beautiful pond we enjoy to no end and it all seems worth it. All that from something I would never imagined I would enjoy two years ago, but here we are. Just discovered Pondboss forums a few weeks ago. Wish I would have known about it earlier.

Edit: Pond design ended up at 3.5 acres (Edit: measured acres ended up being 3.1 - I think the maximum possible was 3.5 and we decided on a slightly smaller footprint) and we added a little during construction so the shoreline had some "character" (wife is an artist) and a small shallower spawning area. So 3.5 acres plus (Edit: ended up 3.1). Pond from above picture shows the tops of some fish structure with the pond about 3-4 feet below full pool. Graveled outline is full pool line.

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by snrub
Bedding effects are a lot better when me and my partner lose 160 pounds between the two of us.......literally. grin

Just noticed yesterday in the RES/SMB pond a small school of about 3" long SMB fry swim along the edge of the bank while I was fishing. Was surprised a SMB had spawned that late.

Pictures are of Saturday morning chores before it gets hot. Had 35 in the holding pen, mostly hybrid BG and hybrid RES with a couple stray GSF we filleted this morning. Caught over the last couple days. No CC this time which is unusual.

Edit: wife hates it when I take pictures of her in clothes that were never meant to be in public. eek

The hybrid RESxGSF she is filleting came out of the RES/SMB pond and weighed 1.2#. Wish they were all like that! 360 sunfish (90% being hybrids) and 53 CC harvested this year to date out of the ponds. Not counting a bunch of smaller ones I clip the fins and put back for bass food. So far returning most of the pure BG and RES back to the water as we catch them as long as they are attractive looking specimens. Keeping the hybrids for the table.

The CNBG males went back in the water. One was out of our old pond and one out of the main pond. I really like the looks of CNBG. They are pretty fish. The picture does not do them justice.

Last one of course is a RES about 8" long. It also came out of the RES/SMB pond.

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