Pond Boss
Posted By: Huntmaster My Dug Pond Project - 07/01/13 07:53 PM
Well after doing some research around here and going thru all of the permitting process over the last two months, I finally broke ground on my pond the other day. So far all we have done is strip the topsoil and then we have had 5+" of rain since, so I kinda already have a pond...

I am building the pond in my backyard and will be using it for fishing, swimming and wildlife viewing. The pond is going to be around one acre at full pool. I have decided that I'm going to give the SMB/RES/YP stocking combo a try. I also have an unlimited supply of broken concrete and brick type material to utilize for structure in the pond.


Here's a picture off my back deck from last winter showing it before I started any work.



Here's a picture of the area stripped of topsoil and after nearly 5" of rain...



Here's a shot from the opposite direction looking back towards the house. You can see that we just bermed the topsoil around the perimeter and plan to use it to cover some of the berms being built around the pond.




Here's a rough drawing of the pond perimeter and some contours of the ponds bottom.


Posted By: Omaha Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/01/13 08:43 PM
That place looks incredible and I love the extensive planning. Keep at it!

Jumping ahead here, but considering the structure and the species (and potential species) you're going with, what forage base were you considering for this pond? This could help with structure suggestions as certain forage fish prefer different types of spawning habitat.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/01/13 09:35 PM
I have seen on here that most people seem to use FHM for forage. I was thinking something along that line as well. But then again, I'm open to whatever the pros here think would work for my scenario.

In the coming year, I'm planning on taking the crops out of rotation and installing some shallow wildlife ponds/wetlands in the field and surrounding them with Warm Season Grasses. I could dig one pond deep enough to raise my own FHM as well. Or anything else for that matter.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/01/13 09:37 PM
Another thing that I haven't seen on here much is ice fishing. If you are going to ice fish your pond, does that change anything?
Posted By: Omaha Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/01/13 09:42 PM
Fathead minnows are a good start, but you will eventually want something else that will sustain a population. Fatheads will eventually go extinct. You can consider golden shiners or check out this thread for other options. Some people don't like the golden shiners for various reasons (bait stealers, competition, etc.).

Just noticed your new post about ice fishing. You're speaking my language! Your plan already includes some deeper water which would be one thing I'd want in a pond I'll be ice fishing. If I think of anything else I'll chime back in.
Posted By: Todd3138 Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/03/13 02:21 PM
Agreed that FHM may be a decent starting point, but they are small fish and as Omaha said, they'll likely be of limited use as your dominant fish grow. I'm not as well versed on SMB and their preferred forage, but crayfish are a definite good forage for them. However, crayfish bring some of their own issues to your pond such as burrowing (never good with a dam, perhaps less of a concern for you with a dug pond). There are also restrictions from state to state on the different types as some are considered invasive, so you need to be cautious about that.

There are several folks here on the forum who are very well versed on SMB and who should chime in with thoughts if you just sit tight for a bit.

Great looking plans and nice land, by the way!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/15/13 05:50 PM
Well it finally quit raining and we had some sunshine to dry things out a bit. I think if I would've dug the pond a month earlier, it would be full now...

I have stripped the topsoil around my entire property creating a place to put the excavated pond materials. This will create a 5-6' tall berm around the entire place. Following which I will plant spruce trees on top to create a long term living fence around the homestead.



My excavator is on-site and we should be ready to go this week.



And my boy wanted to help clean the tracks...

Posted By: Dudley Landry Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/15/13 07:31 PM
When you create a wetlands area on your property, do you retain control of that wetlands area or does the wetlands then fall under the control of a government agency?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/15/13 08:32 PM
They always remain your property, but can become regulated depending on the type of wetland. Mine are preconversion wetlands and since I'll be leaving the preexisting field drainage system in place, I can drain them anytime I want and they can be converted back into crop fields.

I could also do a Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) on my place and then they would be a bit more regulated. Under WRP, they basically pay you 90% or so of the property value for converting them to wetlands. Not a bad deal if you don't ever plan on selling the place...
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/23/13 03:03 PM
Well the wait is finally over... We started the pond footprint yesterday and with two weeks of good weather in the forecast, we should be able to move quite well.

Here's a pic of the crew from my deck just before (hopefully) the last shower moves through for the week.




Using the dozer to set the initial side slopes so the guys hit my goal of 3:1



Looking down into the hole. Love seeing blue clay...

Posted By: Omaha Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/23/13 03:06 PM
That is going to be an absolute dream of a view Huntmaster. Wish my grass looked that good. crazy
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/23/13 06:40 PM
Originally Posted By: Omaha
Wish my grass looked that good. crazy


It's only that nice since we have been hammered by rain...

You know the funny thing is, I have been wishing for the last month or so that it would quit raining and in another two weeks, I'll be praying for rain... grin
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/25/13 02:45 PM
Here we are after three days of excavating and over 8,000 yards out of the hole.





If you look closely, you can see the 5' and 10' below elevation shots painted on the side of the pond. The first day he got a little aggressive/steep on the left bank in the pic below. You can see how I had him change the grade right behind the kids after seeing the aggressive bank the first night.

We are doing a 3:1 slope until 4' of water and then changing it to a 4:1 until 8-10' of water then adding a shelf 4-5' wide and then dropping down deep after that.



Here is one of the shallow gravel areas. We have to do a little finish work on this, but it should make a good place for spawning once its finished.

Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/25/13 03:43 PM
Awesome.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/29/13 04:18 PM
All of the material coming out of the pond is going into berms lining the outside of my property. I have been trying to get a good picture showing how much dirt really is getting moved and I just haven't been able to do that very well. I think these photos will help show that a little better.

This is what the view from the road sitting in my pickup looks like before the berm is finished.



This is what the view from the road sitting in my pickup looks like after the berm is roughed in.



We still have to place the topsoil on top of the berm yet and I will be planting grass and trees on top of it as well. Once complete, I will have a berm that is over one half mile long that looks just like this surrounding my property.
Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/29/13 04:58 PM
Will you be trapping water anywhere (in or out) with that berm?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/29/13 06:11 PM
It actually works out that any trapped water stays on my property inside the bermed area or I wouldn't have been able to do this. I am putting a tile under one spot of the berm so my pond can over flow into a private ditch that is shared by my neighbor and I. Another spot that ponds water during heavy rain events will just be pushed a little further out into my field and will be carried away by my drain tile that is in the cropped field.

I am also in the process of enrolling the property into a CRP program that will convert portions of the property into a wetland. I am going to use a constructed wetland to be my overflow mechanism for the pond which will then overflow into the ditch system.

My property and surrounding area is very flat. The highest elevation change I have is no more than 3' across the entire property.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 02:09 AM
We finished the underwater portion of the beach area today. We cut the clay and designed it like a bath tub so when we add the sand, it won't want to slide down the slope as much. The sand stops around 6' below water level, then it drops down a foot, then slopes down to 10' before it drops to a 12' deep shelf and then down to 15-17' or so.



This is looking back the opposite way. You can see the beach area off to the right. We will be finishing the underwater peninsula that juts out to the center of the pond and another hidden one that is in between that and the beach area tomorrow.

Posted By: esshup Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 03:13 AM
That looks like some solid clay! I hope those underwater structure features stay that way for a long time.
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 09:52 AM
I would think twice about planting trees on the dam. The tree roots can damage the integrity and cause a breach.
Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 01:02 PM
Don't think this pond has a dam...
Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 01:36 PM
I see what you mean. My mistake
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/30/13 02:24 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
That looks like some solid clay! I hope those underwater structure features stay that way for a long time.


It is great clay! When it dries out it is as hard as concrete... It will also stand vertical for 10-15' no problem...

I know some of the areas will silt in through time, but with limited runoff coming from grassy areas, the silt load on the pond should be minimal. There should also be limited shore erosion since two sides of the pond will be lined with rip rap.

Any guess under those circumstances how long some of these shelves with last? 10-15 years?
Posted By: liquidsquid Re: My Dug Pond Project - 07/31/13 01:19 AM
If it freezes, not very long I'm afraid. If you have rip rap available, buttress them with stone walls? If below the freeze line, it should be ok, but critters will disturb them also. Depending on the clay and moisture content, clay will flow.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/01/13 01:39 PM
Well by the time I get home this afternoon, we will have the entire pond excavated... I'll try to get some more pics posted of my peninsulas now that they are finished.

We still have to excavate 5' of width around the top 1.5' or so of the perimeter that is sand so we can recompact clay back in to bring the pond elevation up some. We also will be moving some broken brick and concrete into the hole and placing it on the peninsulas.

Now all the habitat placement can get started...
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 03:52 PM
When we were shooting some elevations to confirm the pond bottom, my operator mentioned that he was at 19'6" depth and that was my target depth of 20'. Needless to say it didn't take much ribbing from me that he was a little short... The next morning, the first thing he did is head to the bottom of the hole and he decided to give me 25'4"... even after silting in, it should be plenty deep.



Placing some broken block on my main under water peninsula.





Couple piles in the deep end of the pond. I have one at 20' and the other at 17' below.



Here's a final view of the bottom contours. (If you click on the pic you can pull up a full size pic to see it a little better)

Posted By: Omaha Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 03:57 PM
Great updates Huntmaster! Looking great!
Posted By: fish n chips Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 04:14 PM
I agree, you are doing a fantastic job of documenting and spending a lot of time with the pics. Thank you.
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 05:09 PM
Now that's a pond with some structure to it! Love it.

What kind of cover are you going to add?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 07:33 PM
Thanks guys!! Glad to see it all coming together now and with today's cell phones documenting a project is so easy...

I haven't put them all together yet, but I have been running two game cameras on time lapse since we started... I played around with it a week ago when I downloaded the pics from the cameras and it will be pretty cool when it's done.

Most of the cover is going to be my concrete and the rip rap that we will be installing on the South and East sides. I will put some PVC structures on the West and North sides along with some pallet structures for the minnows.
Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/02/13 09:33 PM
How are you getting water in this thing?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/03/13 01:15 AM
Here's a little background on the property which leads to how I plan to get water in the pond and maintain it;

My crop field (37 acres) has a conventional field tile system that drains into a underground storage tank and then is pumped into the ditches and then carried away. This is necessary because my field sits lower than the surrounding ditches and this system has been in place for 30+ years dating back to when my Grandfather originally cleared the property.

Sooo...I have what we will call a sump pump on steroids (4" electric float operated) already on the property and I have 37+ acres of water shed that feed it.

My plan from this point forward...I will get all of the habitat items in the pond basin and then temporarily replumb my pump and push the water from my field tile system into my pond basin. This will fill the pond up much faster than relying on mother nature to fill it. My guess is that by November I will have a full pond if not sooner depending on rain. Some of my neighbors ponds have taken six to eighteen months to fill up naturally, so since I have the pump at my disposal, I'm not waiting that long.

Once the pond is filled, it should hold within a foot of my high water elevation based on the natural water shed and rain that will be feeding it. In the coming years, if I have more evaporation than influx and the pond level continues to drop, I will then hard pipe my field sump pump and use that water to keep the pond filled on a as needed basis.

I know it's not necessarily a good idea to utilize field runoff as your water shed because of all the chemicals and fertilizers that are used on the field. However, I also plan to put all of my field into CRP with Warm Season Grass which will not need any fertilizer to establish or maintain in the future. I will likely get a little fertilizer load when I first fill it up, but all that should do is give the aquatic life a jump start and move the natural process along a little quicker.

Based on the ponds I've looked at in the area, most have very little water shed and hold water quite well.
Posted By: fish n chips Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/03/13 11:49 AM
So, will you have a gate or valve at this pump to control when you need water? What happens when you get to much water in the pond, is there an overflow area?
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/03/13 05:28 PM
What are you doing for a dock?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/05/13 04:40 PM
Originally Posted By: fish n chips
So, will you have a gate or valve at this pump to control when you need water? What happens when you get to much water in the pond, is there an overflow area?


When I hook it up temporarily, there won't be anything, just direct plumbed to the pump and run across the ground.

If I need to hard pipe it in, then I'll put a valve at the pump that will direct water to the pond or the ditch depending on the pond level.

I am putting in a drain tile right now that will move the water from the pond to the ditch in front of my house if it overfills for the short term. In the long term, I will likely put in a wetland out in the field to carry any excess as well.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/05/13 04:46 PM
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
What are you doing for a dock?


I plan on doing a floating dock that will extend out in the water 20' or so and have a 16' x 16' platform with chairs on it. Pretty similar to some that have been posted on here in the dock pic thread. I need to have it setup so I can dock my 16.5' pontoon on it, have some seating area and also hold my feeder.

I have room for it on the Southside of my beach area.

I keep bouncing back and forth between floating and permanent, but for right now it floating.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 09:13 PM
Here's a picture from yesterday morning taken from the roof of my house with a game camera that is doing a time lapse from the start of the project. I wish I had a bit of a wider angle lense, but it catches most everything.

Posted By: fishtruck Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 09:25 PM
Fine looking!

Rob C
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 09:50 PM
Cool photos. If you're using an iPhone I believe there's a way to stitch together panoramas from individual pictures if you need a "wider angle":



http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/09/20/how-to-use-panorama-iphone-ios-6/ [video:youtube][/video]

Also re: dock, have you considered doing part permanent and part floating? Permanent walkway then a ramp to floating platform.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 09:55 PM
The wide angle photos that I've already posted are from my HTC phone. The desire for a wide angle lens I was referring to is for the "Game Camera" that took the above photo and is doing a time lapse of the project.

I'll have to take a photo of it this weekend from my roof with my phone and it should show the entire pond quite well now.

Just saw your dock question...

I haven't really thought of doing half and half really. What would be the advantage of doing that?

Here's kinda what I was thinking but with a longer narrow dock to make room for my pontoon. That may be wishful thinking on my part though. Might be hard to get it out and around the platform on the end.

Posted By: gully washer Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 10:01 PM
Cool project! Look forward to seeing the time-lapse video.
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/07/13 11:17 PM
Fixed portion for stability esp. if you're going to put furniture on it, float portion to maintain proximity to water.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/09/13 01:36 PM
We placed the sand for the beach area yesterday.


We put non-woven geotex under the above water portion and a little ways down into the pond to keep the 12 inches of sand from getting pushed into the clay bottom.




Here's a finished shot of the beach area



Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/12/13 01:45 PM
And now we have water!

I was going to just use my 4" filed pump, but I couldn't come up with any 4" hose at our shop. We use so little of that size, I didn't want to go out and buy any. So, I just grabbed a 2" submersible pump that we had on the shelf and 900' of hose. It won't come close to the volume of the 4" pump, but my water source wouldn't be able to keep up with the 4" pump anyways, so it might all equal out in the end.

Here's my 900' of 2" hose waiting to get spread out.



The tank where I put the 2" submersible sump.



The hose running on top of my berms. I had the pump push the water up on top of the berm as fast as I could to reduce the length that it needs to push the head. This will help the pump last and also increase the amount of water it can push. After the first 50-100', gravity is helping pretty much the rest of the way.



Here's the bottom of the pond where I put the end of the hose to limit erosion.



A pic just 24 hours later. To bad the top half won't fill up as quick as the bottom...



And again this morning before I left for work and before the heavy rains hit.



You can really see it moving as the piles in the bottom slowly get smaller.
Posted By: rmedgar Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/12/13 02:56 PM
Lookin' good...
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/13/13 05:49 PM
We received 3-4" of rain since my picture yesterday morning and the pond added several feet of water in 24 hours. The point with rock on it is about 12' below full pool.

Now the easy half of the pond is filled and we are on to the slow half.


It looks like I better get my PVC habitat finished and placed on the small peninsula to the right before I have to do it after the water raises up.

Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/16/13 12:13 AM
Is it worthwhile planting anything on those banks or do you expect rapid filling?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/19/13 03:26 PM
As of this morning, I have 6.67' of water to go to full pool. At the current rate that I'm pumping, I should be close to full in three to four weeks without any rain. I do plan to get the pond edges planted as soon as we finish grading them out this week.
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/19/13 03:38 PM
You can add FHM already!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/19/13 03:46 PM
Here's some of my DIY structures to resemble the fishhiding guys work.

Before bending into shape. I used 8" PVC as the base and cut the siding into 3-4" wide strips.



The kids helping me get them in place. It also gives an idea as to the size of the habitat.



The bottom three are sitting in about 8' of water and will be well within casting distance of my dock.



The bottom ones placed and the top four placed but not bent into shape yet.



Here's a view of all of them in place and the water coming up. You can see the newly placed rip rap in the background. I'll post more pics of that tomorrow after I get better pics.



A shot from this morning.

Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/19/13 03:49 PM
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
You can add FHM already!


I was out of town a bunch last week, but I have them on my list to get in this week! I didn't really anticipate that the water would move quite as well as it has, but that's a great thing.
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/19/13 05:41 PM
So much rain this year! Post some stocking photos smile

Just make sure you have a reliable source for the FHM and inspect the goods before adding them in. Too many stories here on the PBF about people being sold "minnows" and ending up with something else mixed in...
Posted By: Peepaw Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/20/13 01:02 PM
What an awesome fish paradise!
The contour work is exceptional, along with the mix of substrates/bottom material. Your custom "Keeper" models are perfect, well done!!!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/29/13 09:19 PM
The pond is filling quite well now. Since this pic was taken the pond has filled even more. As of this morning, we were between 3-4' below full pool.

Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/29/13 09:22 PM
Well I took the kids with me this past weekend and we were able to pick up 10 lbs of FHM and 75 2-3" RES. They made the trip home in good shape and are enjoying their new digs...

Kids had a ball releasing some of the FHM, I'm not sure how many lived that they let go, but they had fun. They keep asking me if we can go see the red ears and minnows. smile

Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/29/13 09:26 PM
I made some SMB spawning areas. They are not 100% complete, but I got them as far as I could with the materials that I have.

I have these placed in 2.5-3' of water and spaced about 30' apart along two sides of the pond. I have added some rip rap and minnow cages to the back of them after I took these pics. I'll post pics of them later.







Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/29/13 09:34 PM
I also trenched in a 4" corrigated pipe for an overflow and installed a 1" air line, electric and a water line that runs from my future dock to my barn.







Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/29/13 09:36 PM
Here's the finished beach area. I boxed in the sand with buried 4x6's to give me an edge to contain the grass.

Posted By: loretta Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/30/13 04:49 AM
It looks GREAT!!! I can't wait to see it full.
Posted By: fish n chips Re: My Dug Pond Project - 08/30/13 12:01 PM
Looks like your doing it up right!!

Not sure about this, but will the FHM spawn sites be to deep. I always thought they liked it near the surface.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/03/13 07:44 PM
Pond is filling up nicely. I measured last night and we were only 1' 10" below full pool.

Here's a finished SMB spawning bed before the water came up.



Here's some of the SMB spawning areas under water now.



Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/03/13 10:35 PM
I require an overall shot...


:o)
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 01:15 PM
Originally Posted By: Yellow Jacket
I require an overall shot...


:o)


Is this the overall shot you were looking for?



We had to stop the pumps for the past couple days because we are grading and seeding the area where the hose was running. So we haven't gained any ground since Monday when I took this photo.
On a good note, we got a nice rain shower right after we planted the grass around the pond and it has germinated quite nicely.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 01:27 PM
A few days ago I decided to do something a little different to speed up filling the pond...

Well...I added another pump to the mix and I'm using my future outfall, my ditch and gravity to move the water over 900'.



This ditch only has water in it a couple days a year, so I plugged my culvert and ran a pump in it filling the ditch up until it covered my outfall and pushed water uphill back into my pond...



I added a hose to my future outfall so the running water wouldn't wash out my sand and stated pumping.



By adding the second pump to the mix, I went from around 45-50 gallons per minute to around 130 gallons per minute. As mentioned above, we had to shut the pumps down the last two days so we could finish grading and seeding, but it would've been full by tomorrow if we wouldn't have.

I will take and post a picture tomorrow of the outfall area as it is completely filled with water now.
Posted By: rmedgar Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 02:41 PM
Good job, and thanks for all the pictures...
Posted By: Yellow Jacket Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 03:19 PM
Man does that look nice.

Are you going to plant any trees around, or keep it open, and do you have an army of teenage boys to keep all that grass mowed?
Posted By: Bocomo Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 04:12 PM
WOW that was fast.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 04:20 PM
Originally Posted By: Yellow Jacket
Are you going to plant any trees around, or keep it open, and do you have an army of teenage boys to keep all that grass mowed?


I will be planting some trees, but not too many to block my view of the field behind as I like watching the wildlife. I will probably do scattered clusters on top of the berms in the back corners, some along the beach area to screen my neighbors and then a fair amount of them on the left side to screen another neighbor out.

I will only regularly mow between the house and the pond then around the beach/pole barn/dock area. I will let most of the berms grow natural and only mow a couple times a year to keep the weeds at bay. I'm a huge fan of mature natural looking grass, so I'll only mow what will make access around the pond comfortable and just maintain the rest.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 04:28 PM
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
WOW that was fast.


I know, kinda surprised me a little as well. I started pumping water on August 10th and I was hoping to get it filled by November at first. The more I thought about filling it and stopping erosion of the bottom contours from rain, the more I wanted it done. As you know when you get to the top, things really start to slow down, so that's when I added the other pump and really picked up the pace.

I was hoping to reach full pool before I leave tomorrow for a antelope/elk hunt, but when I come back in two weeks, the grass should've filled in nicely and it will be full.
Posted By: esshup Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/04/13 04:38 PM
Good luck on the hunt! Where and what state?

If you let the grass stay long near the pond edge, it will discourage resident geese from using your pond. They like to walk out of a pond to graze on grass, and don't like walking thru long grass.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/05/13 02:15 AM
Originally Posted By: esshup
Good luck on the hunt! Where and what state?

If you let the grass stay long near the pond edge, it will discourage resident geese from using your pond. They like to walk out of a pond to graze on grass, and don't like walking thru long grass.


thanks! I'm Going To Wyoming. Antelope In The South West Part Of State And Elk In North East Part.

Nice Tip For The Geese!!
Posted By: esshup Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/05/13 05:29 AM
My cousin lives in Casper, and we usually stomp around in 72 or 73 for speed goats. Still haven't found a place for Elk (rifle) yet, so my buddy and I are still maxed out on preference points.

Good luck! I want to see pics when you get back!!

From 2008




Same year, same trip, although this is from when we were chasing Mulies in the Greys River area.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/24/13 04:11 PM
Well, I made it back to a full pond!!!

It also has good grass growing around it as well. Now that the grass is coming up pretty well and the pond is full, I think I'm going to remove some of the silt fence this week since it looks so bad...



The outfall is working pretty good, because when I was gone my wife emailed me to tell me to have my neighbor shut off the pump because the water was up over the banks after a real heavy rain that we had. Now that it has settled back down some, I am still about 3" over my designed water level. Using my ditch as an outfall is tough because it is basically flat for so long, the water doesn't move that fast.

I will watch it over the next few weeks and if it wants to stay close to where it is, I may just adjust a few things and let that be the final elevation, but time will tell.

After doing a quick tour of the pond, I did notice that the geese and the deer have already moved in...
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/24/13 04:26 PM
Originally Posted By: esshup
My cousin lives in Casper, and we usually stomp around in 72 or 73 for speed goats. Still haven't found a place for Elk (rifle) yet, so my buddy and I are still maxed out on preference points.

Good luck! I want to see pics when you get back!!


Well here are your hunting pics...

My speed goat...



Some scenery pics from the elk hunt...





I burned six points on this tag and it was well worth it. Being one point behind max, I had to settle for a second level unit or wait another 10+ years and that wasn't going to happen...I wanted to elk hunt this year!

I was in bugling bulls pretty well every day and then I proceeded to goof up on my best shot opportunity on the last morning. I some how sailed my arrow right over the back of a nice 6 point bull that was standing broadside at 35 yards... I am still trying to figure out how I managed that, but it was a fun trip regardless.
Posted By: esshup Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/24/13 07:41 PM
Beautiful pictures! Sorry to hear about the Elk tho. I just bought this years preference points today. So, after this year it'll be 8 for Elk, 5 Mulie and 5 Pronghorn.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 09/24/13 08:52 PM
I'm sitting on 7 points for mulies now. I saw a couple that I should've chased since I had a leftover tag while I was out there, but I was to focused on elk to chase the deer.

I would love to draw a moose tag someday, a guy shot one right next to our camp on opening morning and I saw a couple other bulls within bow range while I was there as well.

Beautiful Country. I love hunting the mountains, it's so much more fun than chasing whitetails around here. And that's coming from a total whitetail nut!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 10/02/13 07:35 PM
Since getting back from my hunting trip, I was able to take a couple more pics of the project.

Here's one from the top of my barn looking down on the pond. It's a little disoriented, but gives you a good idea of everything now that the pond is full.



Here's some showing the berms and how the grass has filled in nicely in the last month or so.



Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 10/25/13 06:51 PM
Well I have now stocked my crayfish and my shiners. Done stocking until spring when I'm on the lookout for YP.







Posted By: Stacy Re: My Dug Pond Project - 11/03/13 09:18 PM
If you don't mind telling, how much do crawdads cost.

Last week I drained a little pond that will actually be under water when my lake is full. I saw 50-75 crawdads in the bottom of it. There is also evidence of c-dads along a 1/4 mile of ditch that will be under water when the lake is full.

Is that enough c-dads to get things started?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 01/30/14 03:34 AM
While we were digging the pond this summer, I put two covert game cameras out to overlook the project. I ran them on a 5 minute interval. I wish they were a little bit more wide angle, but they caught most everything.

Here are both videos that I put together.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK3uVe7PjHY


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8fUjo25NLk
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/29/14 05:37 PM
I finally made it around to getting my perch in the pond.

150 4-6" perch were planted last week. Kids were excited to help put the new fish in the pond.



The older two wanted to put some in and show them off.



And away they go...



One that the kids squeezed a little to much while putting it in the pond.

Posted By: Dave Davidson1 Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/30/14 11:22 AM
The Kids are what it's all about.
Posted By: ToddM Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/28/15 03:19 AM
This was worth bringing back to the top, nice build!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/28/15 03:08 PM
Thanks Todd! I just reread most of it myself!

I still have to put the dock in, but the grass is doing well.

I do have a lot of suspended clay in the pond right now, so hopefully once the vegetation gets a little more established in the water part it will settle down some and I'll get some visibility in the pond.

Still haven't caught a fish out of it yet. The FHM have spawned, but not sure about my perch because the water is so cloudy, it's hard to see. Same goes for my SMB. Something of decent size is hitting my feeder, but I can't quite tell what they are.

As my kids have grown some since building this pond, we have fished another LMB/BG pond that we have and they are totally hooked on fishing. I can't wait until they can walk out the back door and catch fish!
Posted By: Mike Otto Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/28/15 09:16 PM
The motto is;

YOU NEVER SEE KIDS GETTING IN THE BACK OF A POLICE CAR WITH A FISHING POLE OVER THEIR SCHOLDER!!!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 06/02/15 08:06 PM
Since Google Earth updated the aerials in my area, I was lucky enough to get a new pic of the pond completed. This pic was taken April 11th of 2015.

Figured I'd post it here for those that followed along during the build.

Posted By: Mike Otto Re: My Dug Pond Project - 06/03/15 10:19 AM
Good picture, it appears to be full am I seeing that right?
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 06/03/15 12:18 PM
Originally Posted By: Mike Otto
Good picture, it appears to be full am I seeing that right?


Yeah, it filled up right away and has only fluctuated a foot or so during the dry summer last year. After the heavy rains this past weekend, it was probably 6" over full, but my drain tile is moving that water away.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 06/17/15 07:45 PM
After getting more rain than the over flow could handle (6" in 48 hours on top of 4-5 inches the week before), the pond is probably 1.5-2' above its normal level. It is dropping pretty well now that we have had a day without rain, but it got pretty high as you can see. If you look close, you will see our entire beach area is under water.

Now that I know the worse case water levels of the pond and a newly installed wetland behind the pond. I am going to install another overflow so this type of event doesn't happen again.

Posted By: 3z3k3l Re: My Dug Pond Project - 10/23/15 08:53 PM
Any updates on the overflow? I'd love to see what it looks like, Great job on this write up with pics. Very inspiring.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 10/29/15 08:04 PM
Well my secondary overflow now consists of a hand dug trench...lol
Posted By: ksessions Re: My Dug Pond Project - 12/28/15 12:18 PM
Nice work!! A well done project!!!
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/16/22 06:11 PM
Wanted to add a recent drone pic of the pond. It has cleared up nicely and matured well. You can see some of the structure that I placed. Have some scrap 1" air line left over from my aeration install, so I'm going to make some porcupine trees out of it and some 5 gallon buckets to add to the under water sloe on the back side. Beed catching some real nice perch and bass last couple years.

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Posted By: Sunil Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/16/22 06:48 PM
Here's the picture:

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Posted By: canyoncreek Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 12:55 AM
Thanks for stopping back Huntmaster!!

How are the fish populations? Bait fish present? Self sustaining or are you feeding pellets? I'm very curious if you know how your YP are doing? They seem to be the strongest and most adaptable species in my pond. Kids catch them and are not alway so gentle with them and never had one die from handling. I'd love to know if yours are reproducing and if the kids are still catching them!

This post is about 9 years old now? I'm sure we wouldn't even recognize your kids in the pictures anymore!

In your signature line you reference SMB and you made nice spawning structure for them, did they reproduce?

finally, you listed you have pike in your pond? Did you source and stock yourself or they found their way in? Are they still there?

So much to learn from your experiences with this mix of fish in SE Michigan.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 08:31 PM
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
Thanks for stopping back Huntmaster!!

How are the fish populations? Bait fish present? Self sustaining or are you feeding pellets? I'm very curious if you know how your YP are doing? They seem to be the strongest and most adaptable species in my pond. Kids catch them and are not alway so gentle with them and never had one die from handling. I'd love to know if yours are reproducing and if the kids are still catching them!

This post is about 9 years old now? I'm sure we wouldn't even recognize your kids in the pictures anymore!

In your signature line you reference SMB and you made nice spawning structure for them, did they reproduce?

finally, you listed you have pike in your pond? Did you source and stock yourself or they found their way in? Are they still there?

So much to learn from your experiences with this mix of fish in SE Michigan.



I've posted some of this along the way in other threads, just figured I'd put a pic with the original build thread even if some pics have disappeared thru the years.


How are the fish populations? No formal survey, but seem to have strong healthy populations of LMB, YP and a growing population of BG.

Bait fish present? Most of the original shiners are gone now, but that gap was filled with GSF and the LMB seem to be fat and happy at the moment.

Self sustaining or are you feeding pellets? I have been feeding a couple hundred pounds of pellets a year from the beginning.

I'm very curious if you know how your YP are doing? They seem to still be doing well. We catch 12-14" perch on a regular basis with out giving it much effort.

This post is about 9 years old now? I'm sure we wouldn't even recognize your kids in the pictures anymore! That is a fact!!

In your signature line you reference SMB and you made nice spawning structure for them, did they reproduce? They did not, but I also had LMB contaminate my pond right from the out set, so they likely outcompeted the SMB. I haven't caught a SMB in a hot minute, so not sure if they are completely gone at this point of not.

finally, you listed you have pike in your pond? Did you source and stock yourself or they found their way in? Are they still there? They likely hitched a ride in when I used the ditch water to expedite filling the pond. Had one make it to a healthy 36", but it ended belly up last summer. Think it might've died from a swallowed hook that the boy hooked it with. He has caught another 25" pike a couple of times. Caught it last night actually.
Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 08:36 PM
Some pics from 2021 season.

A nice fish fry!


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36" pike that is now dead


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Couple well fed LMB


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Posted By: Huntmaster Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 08:42 PM
Pics from this spring 2022

Couple average perch


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Caught this guy again last night actually


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Posted By: FishinRod Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 10:35 PM
Awesome pics, Huntmaster.

It looks like they document some awesome fun!
Posted By: canyoncreek Re: My Dug Pond Project - 05/17/22 10:49 PM
Thank you Thank you for taking the time to document all that and share the pictures. So awesome to see kids smiling with the excitement of catching fish!!

YP look so healthy. Hoping more people will put them in their ponds all across the fruited plain. Sounds like your YP self-sustain despite the predator fish around? Do you see lots of ribbons and successful spawns judged by tiny YP in the shallows each spring?

Keep trying for SMB, maybe some survived.

Pike can be a great stock a few and later catch species. You could also try Walleye as a bonus species and see how they do. Sounds like plenty of forage for a few stocker walleye as well.

keep up the good work!
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