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4CornersPuddle, anthropic, ccarse, FishinRod
Total Likes: 7
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by ccarse

Just purchased 9 acres upon which sits a 1.5 acre pond. Well I'm told it is 1.5 acres but I haven't tried confirming that yet. The pond was built in 1965. The previous owner is an older lady in her 70s and I don't think she's done anything to the pond other than enjoy it. She said the pond used to hold many large bass but she didn't think there were any fish left and she wasn't sure why. There's a lot of frogs and turtles I do know that. I did try fishing it a bit but no luck and didn't see any fish while doing so. Where do I start? Is there someone I can hire to come do a "survey" or something and tell me what I should do? I'm in Central Ohio.


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by FishinRod
That is a beautiful pond, ccarse!

I can't imagine that pond could easily go from large bass to fishless. It might not have a good, balanced population at this time, but truly fishless would imply some large problem in the pond's history.

The worst thing would be that the pond was almost completely filled with silt and muck. (It does NOT look like that from the photo.)

Have you been out in the boat? Do you have a depth sounder? If not, just stick the oar in the water at several points - starting from the water inlet and working your way towards the dam. If the oar won't reach, then get a few more readings with your anchor rope.

If your pond water is of good quality, then there are experts here that can help you fix literally any problem with your pond.

If the condition and depth of your pond looks good, then I would recommend that you send a PM to esshup. He has a pond management business in Indiana. (You can also click on the link to his business www.hoosierpondpros.com)

I don't know if you are in his service area, but if you are not, I am pretty sure he could recommend someone in your area. He can also help you determine if you need to gather some more information, and probably estimate your costs for an electro-shock survey if you reach that point.

Congratulations on your new property and pond!

P.S. I think I am in full agreement with the two young men in your picture hoping that the pond will some day be brimming with fish!
2 members like this
by Bill Cody
Bill Cody
Turtles did not cause the fish loss. Turtles basically only eat dead, sick, weak or almost dead fish. Turtles are basically clean up or cleaner crews and not basically predator killers.

Do the old original plans specify a maximum depth and depth of the upper areas? Compare those depths to the current depths. This might allow you to calculate how much muck accumulated each year.

Without knowing or seeing the pond, I suspect that summer fish kills or winter fish kills or both types of fish kills have occurred because the pond is surrounded heavily by trees and the annual deposits of leaves from those trees takes it toll and contributes way too many leaves that decay and fill the pond basin with decomposition that robs oxygen from the water and periodically suffocated the fish during the last several years. Lots of trees closely surrounding a small pond causes it to age, degrade, and fill in much faster.

If your goal for the pond is to do what the previous owner did as do nothing to the pond other than enjoy it, then all is well. If you want it to produce a quality fishery then there will be numerous challenges ahead some will likely be pretty costly. Firstly the maximum depth should be determined. 2. see if you can probe the bottom in the upper areas to determine the depth of the sediment. 3. All the trees surrounding the pond are heavily contributing to its current degraded condition. It will no doubt soon begin to produce huge amounts of plant growth. The previous owner could have had a pond company come in before the sale and chemicalize all the excessive plant growth. Be prepared do deal with that possibility next spring. A consultant will want to come in and install costly aeration to minimize fish kills. Aeration system will slow the aging but IMO the damage has been measureable and should be significantly mediated.

IF it were my pond I would start investigating cost of draining, removing all the muck and some trees and restating the entire pond. 60 years surrounded by trees causes lots of damage to a shallow smaller pond. In lakes the trees are not as big of a problem due to water surface water volume ratio. Maybe resize current pond to a smaller pond what would be less expensive than to maintain than the original size. A rebirth. The aeration is an investment and will be beneficial in the old or rebuilt pond. Building a new smaller pond away from tree leaf deposition zone may be a cheaper better option that has a high quality fishery than rebuilding the current 1.5 acres. The old pond could be used to produce lots of forage foods for the new smaller pond. Fish kills might only happen occasionally in the old pond which is not a bad thing for the purpose of a forage fish pond.
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by Bobbss
Welcome to the Forum! Maybe one of the pros can tell you who can do a electro shock survey in your area. For now I would keep fishing and put out a minnow trap. Also you might want to figure out how deep it is. If it is real shallow you might of had a fish kill.
1 member likes this
by esshup
ccarse, welcome to the forum! You can try Jones fish for a survey, but I would just call and ask for a price first. Maybe Bill Cody will chime in, he's in Malinta, OH.
1 member likes this
by tim k
tim k
First of all you are clearly ahead of most new pond owners - you know what questions to ask and have already produced more information than most experienced pond owners could do -
I have bought and owned a number of properties with ponds. Certainly not as informed as many experts on here but here is my advice - One....... do not over think it. Much of it is common sense - you clearly have too many trees around the pond that not only affect the water but also the ability to fish the place. Two ..... my advice is to pony up the money and get someone like Bob Lusk or someone he refers to come look at your pond and give you a game plan. You can spend a lot of $$ trying to figure it all out yourself or spend less money to have an expert come look at it - good luck to you
1 member likes this
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