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#11291 10/06/04 08:09 AM
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I am just finishing the dirt work on a 2.0 acre pond in SE Nebraska. Dunbar to be more precise. This pond is spring fed, and is already pooling wating in the bottom. We should end up at around 16 feet deep at the deepest point. My first question, keeping in mind, our resources are tapped out with all of the dirt work, what is my next step towards stocking??? Second is does anyone know of a reputable supplier in the SE NE area?

#11292 10/07/04 11:37 AM
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Hi Kevin: you can get a list of fish dealers from Nebraska fisheries. I would guess that Kansas also provides such a list. In Nebraska, there are only two people that handle a variety of fish. They are Richard Carlson at Wayne (402-375-3262) and Rex Ostrum at McCook (308-345-4795). Both of these people travel widely to deliver fish. There are many other people that handle smaller numbers of species.

You're far enough south to use the standard 80% bluegills and 20% redear sunfish combination. If you get enough water that your lake won't winter kill, my bias is to stock these species immediately. I would also add fathead minnows immediately. This time of year, getting larger fish is usually easy and cheap. Read everything you can here about establishing the microflora and fauna in your lake. I have no idea what your fertility is but obviously all of these living things need food. Once you get a spawn next spring, you can add predators.

It is always interesting to hear about new lakes. Can you add more about your goals, how your lake is filling, about the spring, watershead and how you want to use your lake. Good luck!


Norm Kopecky
#11293 10/09/04 12:31 PM
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Hey Kevin,
I always use Gaylord Crawford out of Hastings (Willow Lake Fish Hatchery) he's been very good to me over the years, he's friendly and knowledgeable. You could go the free route with the NE Game & Parks (contact Jeff Blaser). But, you have to wait until the fish are available and they don't provide catfish.

Hope you have better luck than us. We have a new pond that will be 4-1/2 acres of water when full, if this drought ever ends.

Brad B.
Valparaiso

#11294 10/10/04 09:01 PM
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Norm,
Thanks for the rsponse. My goal with this pond is to use it primarily for fishing. We have some recreational idea's (swimming) but see that mainly for the kids.

I would be looking to grow trophy size bass. I started fishing bass on the tributaries of the Colorado River back in 1983, and have always enjoyed the challenge.

Anyhow, this pond is around 13-16 ft deep. It was origanally buit back in the 1950's. What we did was have 40 years of silt removed. We placed a jetti on the west bank in order to add a fishing area, and more structure. I had the contractor create a shelf at about 3-4 feet deep, 10-15 feet from the shore.

I had some wells dug for a Geothermal system for our house. The well driller found water at 37 ft. He reported that we have a heavy layer of blue shale, which is reported to keep water from getting through. The bottom of the pond is also blue shale. The spring is so productive that a LGP Dozer hit it got stuk and worked his way into a hole. They dug/pulled him out leaving a hole @ 15 feet in diameter 4-6 ft deep. The hole was completely full of water the next morning.

The dam had been broken to drain the pond, and has been put back together for about 6 days now. I would estimate the we have about 1 1/2 ft of water in at the deep end right now. The pond is filling from the spring and from a very small creek (also fed by springs). The water has a high iron content. So much so that the first water seeping out from the spring left puddles of orange sediment.

I will look into some of the accessories like feeders and areators, but funds are limited right now.

I have also dug out a much smller pond that is about 8 ft deep, and is fed with ground water putting aout a much greater flow rate. It is about 2ft from bing full. Dont know what this will be used for, so idea's are welcome.

This is my first pond so I have lots to learn about managment. The problem is so much information that I've been jumping around as to where to start. I am pricing lime, and I read on the MSU websight that you should start a new pond with lime and then every 3-5 years after.

#11295 10/11/04 09:45 AM
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Kevin,

Good luck on your pond. I keep waiting for someone to call me from the Dun Bar, telling me I've won a bunch of dollar bills.

Pond Boss Bretheran, only folks from Dunbar, NE and surrounding area will understand this post.

Pedro

#11296 10/11/04 11:52 AM
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Kevin -- By MSU website, I assume you mean that great information at Mississippi State University?

I don't know where Dunbar is (I even checked my atlas!) in Nebraska. However, I really doubt that you need to lime your pond. The MSU folks are down in the southeastern part of the country where the high rainfall leads to infertile, leached soils. Low soil fertility equals low pond fertility. The ponds thus often are fertilized to increase productivity (increase the weight of fish that can be supported in the pond), but this technique does not work in waters with low alkalinity. So, they lime the ponds to increase the alkalinity, so they can then fertilize. Whew! Long-winded, aren't I?

Anyway, I doubt that there are many places in Nebraska with infertile soils or with low alkalinity in ponds. You might check the alkalinity before you go to the time and expense of liming. This is not a standard technique in the fertile plains states.

Any other Nebraska pondmeisters out there?? Have any of you checked your alkalinity? I'll bet it's way above the 20 ppm standard below which the MSU website indicates you should lime the pond.

Dave


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#11297 10/11/04 12:06 PM
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My pond's alkalinity is 410.8

My location is Denton, NE.

I've never encountered a pond in Eastern Nebraska that required liming. Quite the contrary. A lot of Nebraska ponds could use alum treatment to suppress high pH and extremely high fertility.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#11298 10/11/04 12:22 PM
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Thanks, Bruce.


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#11299 10/11/04 08:54 PM
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OK, first of all thanks for all of the replies. Never really used this type of thing in the past, but see that it is a great tool.

Any suggestions on the books & that listed on this site. Just want to catch up on the curve before I get to far behind.

Dunbar is in SE NE @ 6 miles west of Ne City. And there is a bar called the "Dun Bar".

I plan on spending some time working on the habitat stuff this fall and winter. Things like submerged trees, tire, gravel, and rock piles. What about used bricks. Any do and don'ts.

#11300 10/11/04 09:26 PM
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Don't get all that habitat - structure stuff too deep because it will prevent you from ever seining a drawn-down pond for any harvest or fish management.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#11301 10/18/04 10:04 AM
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Bill,

Thanks for the response, but I am a little unsure what you mean by too deep, and how that would affect the seining. I have read that you should drawn your pond down every winter to do maintenance, but worry about what that would leave for depth.

Your response raised a question of your thoughts on the habitat I spoke of. Necessary or just in the way later?

Kevin

#11302 10/18/04 08:40 PM
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Kevin - As I recall B. Lusk has said that fish structure (aka fish attractors, features, or cover) should be placed at depths of 6 to 10 ft and shallower. The smaller the water body the shallower the cover needs to be. A search on PB forum should verify his recommendation.of depth placement. Often in many ponds the wind does not mix the upper waters much deeper than 6 ft unless they have bottom aeration (exceptions do occur). In your case, a windswept pond of 2 ac could have a thermocline at about 7-8 ft. Fish can not and will not use fish structure located deeper than the mid-summer thermocline. Very rarely will a pond have adequate oxgen concentrations below the thermocline for fish survial during summer staratification. Deepwater cover is used by fish only during periods of complete mixing usually early spring & late fall-winter. I also agree with this 6-7 ft maximum depth for structure placement especially in cases where the pond may need to be seined some day or seined on a regular basis for fishery management..

Underwater Structure's Impact on Seining Using a seine to collect fish for sampling or removal is a useful pond & lake management method. Fish seines are available in many lengths and mesh sizes but to cover a larger area and collect larger fish the seine should be 50 to 100 ft long or more. Obviously trying to pull a seine through the basin of a pond that contains lots of obstructions is practically impossible. Thus one would want all the fish structure out of the lower basin, bays and or channels, in order for a seine to be pulled through these areas. Try and keep the fish structure above the water level of the drawn down.

Draw Down.
In fall draw downs water levels are typically taken down 4 to 6 feet from full in ponds. Recommendations for draw down depth can also be to half the pond size. Draw downs are usually designed to expose weed growth so it dies or is killed back. Typically most rooted vegetation does not grow much deeper than 4 - 6 ft deep.unless the water is quite clear. Draw downs are also useful for managing fish populations because the lower water level usually forces small fish out of the weed beds and concentrates them into more open water where predators can more easily thin numbers of overabundant panfish,.

Draw down is done in late summer - fall before the fall or early winter rains. Sometimes the pond can remain at low water level until spring. If one does not get much snow and ice during winter the necessity of refilling the pond before winter in minimal. In theory, late fall rains will bring the pond back close or near full before winter freeze-up and snow cover. More water depth during ice & snow cover creates a greater "oxygen bank account" and minimizes winter kill. Also the draw down exposes pond bottom and associated organic accumulations which can oxidize (decay) quickly when they are exposed to the air. Less organic muck causes less oxygen demand on the whole system when the exposed sediments are again underwater.


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