Pond Boss
I have an existing small pond that hasn’t been maintained in probably 40 years. I bought the property a few years ago and I’m currently improving the pond. We are building a new pond behind the existing pond. Then the plan is to cut about 1/3 of the old damn out and then rebuild a wood bridge where the old damn was that we tore out.

1) build new pond behind old pond
2) Either drain the old pond empty or cut away the old damn and let the water from the old pond drain into the new pond
3) re-dig out the old pond
4) build a wood bridge where we tore out 1/3 of the old pond to reconnect the old damn, but the two ponds will now be connected into one pond.

The old pond is overgrown and has a lot of muck in it. There are some minnows, perch, and a lot of those little Polly wogg catfish. Should I start fresh and drain the pond completely out? Or should I let the water/everything in the first pond go into the existing pond? The goal of the new pond is Largemouth Bass. I am located in East Texas in Polk County.

I’ll try to post some pictures. I am open to any other advice!!! Thanks.

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Probably a matter of preference, If I had some monster bass or other species that I wanted to keep I might do that but with just general baitfish which you say you have, I would cut them lose and start from scratch. but thats just me. some of the professionals might chime in with some pros and cons.
If you cut out the dam now, the water will flow to the new pond location, and then a huge amount of soupy muck will ALSO flow to the new pond. IMO, that is the last thing you want for the new pond. You will immediately lose some of the depth you just paid to create.

Will surface runoff water to the new pond mostly flow in through the old pond? If so, then I think the old pond has some value as an upstream sediment trap. That will allow your new pond to have a much longer life.

Is the edge of the new pond going to be right up against the dam of the old pond? If so, then another option is to connect the two ponds. However, I would make the connection very shallow. For example, just cut down one foot deep into the old dam for the span of your proposed bridge.

Regardless of whether you connect the ponds, you should probably consider draining the old pond (away from the new pond) and performing a fish kill. Otherwise the undesirable fish in the old pond will make it over to the new pond and disrupt your fish stocking and management plans.

The experts on the forum (not me) have indicated many times that starting from scratch is usually much cheaper and much easier in the middle to long run.

Good luck on your pond projects!
Like Jake and F-Rod said, I would drain the old pond and kill off or 'relocate' any existing fish.

I would think it would be good to drain the old pond and let it dry out so you could go in and clear away the decades of muck and silt build up.
Short answer, I wouldn't.

With unwanted fish in the old pond, unless you use a fine micron filter bag to keep them out of the new pond, I'd just let the water go and refill the new pond with clean water.

You could transfer nutrients that you cannot catch in the bag, and if you have any unwanted plants/algae in the old pond it could end up in the new pond via the water transfer.
I appreciate the responses. I’ll drain the old pond first.
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