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Thread Like Summary
anthropic, CityDad, Steve_
Total Likes: 7
Original Post (Thread Starter)
If You Could Start All Over... #525669 09/09/2020 12:04 AM
by Steve_
My pond is about a week away from being complete (I hope), and I thought it might be interesting to hear what current pond owners might do differently, if they could start all over with the knowledge they have now. It might be a good resource for those of us just starting out, or even still in the planning process.

I have compiled all of the responses so far to give a running total. I'll try to monitor this thread and update it when I can:

Better and/or more habitat and structure: 8
Different stocking rates/species: 8
Bigger or deeper pond: 5
Built own pond vs buying one: 2
Planned for erosion control: 2
Planned for a boat ramp: 2
Planned for a dock: 2
Hired a more experienced pond builder: 2
Planned for a forage pond: 1
Better vegetation plan: 1
Liked Replies
Re: If You Could Start All Over... #525677 Sep 9th a 02:01 AM
by Zep
Over-all I like my pond. The pond was built 2-4 years before we purchased the property. In several areas the incline from the shore is not steep enough...it should drop off sooner. These shallow shoreline "shelf areas" go out several feet into the pond and they tend to get the most algae every year. A few "shallow shelfs" would be ok for spawns and fry...but I have too many of these. Also the guy that owned the property did not place hardly any structure in the pond as it was being built. I'd probably add some kind of "boulder walkway" out into the water if I was having a pond built....to me it looks neat, you can cast from it, and it's kind of unique structure...sort of like images below. Much easier to get big boulders placed before a pond fills.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
2 members like this
Re: If You Could Start All Over... #525740 Sep 10th a 03:47 PM
by MisterA
My thoughts for whatever value they have - if your primary purpose for owning land is to have a pond then I would recommend build. I am sure there are downsides to building but my pond was here so I can only speak to buying an existing pond. If you are going to buy a place with a pond determine what was the primary purpose of the pond for the prior owner. Maybe it was a fishery and has been managed well but maybe, and probably, not.

The upside for me in buying a place with a pond is that I know it is tight as a drum and holds water, it never went dry during the drought of 2011, and it has a great watershed. The downsides are it was a 1-1/4 acre stock tank that also provided a place for the owner to also occasionally wet a hook but its purpose was not a fishery. That great watershed coming from north, south, and east.....well, it literally brought pasture loads of manure with it for a long time (at least 20 years probably more like 30). I wish it was bigger and the land and watershed can support it but given the cost, complexities and patience required, as long as I own this place I am going to have a 1-1/4 acre pond. It took a couple of years of fishing and keeping records to work out a stocking plan that hopefully will work with what was already living in the pond. I can't just say I want this fish and that fish and go to it. I have to be mindful of what the pond already is. Don't get me wrong, I love my pond and am getting a lot of satisfaction in turning it around and seeing it improve both aesthetically and as a fishery. But, the bottom line is, this pond was not built to be a fishery and so I have had to adjust my goals and be flexible.

So to me, if your primary purpose of having land is to have a pond - build the pond. If you get a place with a pond then understand the history of the pond and be ready to compromise.
2 members like this
Re: If You Could Start All Over... #525702 Sep 9th a 08:07 PM
by Quarter Acre
Quarter Acre
Given the budget I was on and the amount of physical work that was was doing...I couldn't of changed much.

Although, I should have added a finer grate over the outflow pipe. My pond gets allot of water throughput and I'm 94.7% sure that most of the 600 panfish (HBG & RES) that I stocked washed out and left my pond with very few forage producers. It has taken most of 3 seasons for the panfish population to start to show some enthusiasm at feeding time. I remember standing on the overflow pipe and thinking about it and decided that the hassle of keeping a 1/2" wire mesh clean was not worth the risk of most of the panfish moving to the creek...I was wrong. Most of the HSB stayed in the pond (I think...they were 10 larger in size), but my goal of growing larger HBG and making easy and abundant catching washed to the creek too.

Come to think of it, I should add the mesh now before wet weather comes again and try to keep the recruitment that I am currently witnessing at feeding time. They are about as big as the original stockers.

Thanks for asking the question and making me think of this!

Take the budget constraints away, then the physical work problem goes away too, and I would have had someone else build a FHM forage/sediment pond followed by a HBG/RES pond followed by a HSB pond...1/8 acre, 1/2 acre, 1 acre respectively. The upper two would have valved drain systems that would allow the FHM and HBG ponds to be mostly or partially drained to the next as a feeding operation....but now I'm dreaming!
1 member likes this
Re: If You Could Start All Over... #525711 Sep 10th a 01:08 AM
by esshup
Hindsight is 20/20.

I wish I would have found a "now" friend earlier. We were both digging ponds at the same time. He has pure clay, I have almost pure sand. He needed sand, I needed clay.... The dump trucks could have gone both directions loaded. We ran into each other a year later.

Build cover BEFORE the pond started filling.

I would also have taken out the island - would have gotten more water volume and could have gone deeper.

I wish we would have finished a day or two earlier and that would have given myself time to put erosion mats all around the pond. I left for a 10 day hunt in Wyoming and the day that I left Hurricane Ike rolled through the area, dropping 12" rain in 24 hours and washing 3' of sand back into the pond.
1 member likes this
Re: If You Could Start All Over... #526162 Sep 22nd a 01:24 AM
by Funky
If I could do one thing different, it would be to find Pond Boss magazine and this forum eight years ago! We dug our pond seven years ago, the the help from the magazine and all the great voices in this forum would have made our pond building life much easier and more fun. We enjoy our pond, but had to make mistakes to learn on our own. Great to be in this group! Thanks to all!
1 member likes this
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