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#150653 02/23/09 11:49 AM
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This saga has been going on for 2 years now, and the end is in sight. This pond is in Sandy soil (sandy clay/gravel @ 13'), and when I bought the house, I was told that the pond was 20' deep. I don't have any pictures from when I first bought the place in 2003 'cause the CD's that the pics were on don't work now. cry

I'll keep adding pics every few days of what I have, and try to post a Google aerial Pic of the pond at full pool from the Spring of 2005 before I started the renovation.

The previous owners had the pond dug with a dragline and excavator, and for reasons unknown to me they left ALL of the sandy dirt piled around the pond. Whoever dug it knew nothing about pond construction, and the sides were left very steep - 1:1 or 2:1 slope and the piles were washing back into the pond. When the water receeded towards the end of summer, you had to climb up the bank on all 4's - no way would you walk up on just your feet. The water would drop 5' from Spring to Fall because the pond relies on the water table for most of the water, and a small amount of run-off in the spring.

The first winter, I had a 90+% winterkill. 4# to 6# LMB, CC to 10# and numerous BG and Crappie were dead. (I closed on the house in late November 2003 and took possesion in late February 2004). I then checked the water depth, and there was one area about 20' in diameter that was 7' deep, the rest averaged 3' deep. So, I picked up an aerator and ran it the next 2 winters, without adding any more fish while I worked on the house (it's a 100+ YR old farmhouse).

In the meantime, a local contractor needed some dirt, so I traded him some work for some dirt (he took roughly 500 Cu. Yd of sand the first year, and that only removed one pile, maybe 1/4 of the dirt that was piled around the pond).

I'm guessing that the pond averaged 1/4 acre at normal water level (July) and the Google link shows the pond at a bit over 1/3 acre. The North portion of the pond which has the large island in it would completely dry up around the island from 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock by end of August, with the deepest part of the pond to the South of the largest island. The part of the pond that is surrounding the smaller island and to the east of that isalnd would be 2' deep by August, and the finger that is the easternmost part of the island would dry up as well. To the North of that finger, and completely surrounding the South side of the island were piles of sandy dirt over 12' tall.

My parents bought a place 7 miles away, and needed some fill for a pole barn, so I rented a dump truck and a backhoe, and paid a buddy with a semi-dump truck to move dirt. We knocked most of the piles out in a weekend, and we estimated that we moved close to 1,000 Cu. Yd. of dirt in 2 LONG days. So, that is where I can start the pictures.

Here's what the pond looked like after the dirt pile was moved from the North side (I'm standing on the North side of the pond).
The piles to the South of the pond are still there. The pics are of the East, center and West views of the ground. The water is low and unless I walk to the edge, you can't see much of the water. The trees in the last pic are on the island, and that will be removed and made into a 3' deep shelf for spawning.

From where the targets are to the pond was a dirt pile that was 15' high and about 40' x 60' which made for a good backstop.







The island that has the weeping willow will stay. In the Google link, the pond is approx. 250' wide, by 150' tall if you were to "box" it in. The smaller island is roughly 20' to 25' in diameter.

More to follow in the upcoming days/weeks! You said you liked pictures! grin


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Nice pictures. That looks like a fun project.



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Beautiful setting. I really like the island. Looks like you have your own personal slice of paradise there.


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Thanks guys. It's been a slow process because I've been doing it myself and work seemed to keep getting in the way. ;\)

Here's what it looked like in the Fall of 2007. All the piles of dirt have been removed, and the trees & stumps are gone as well.

East side of pond, looking South The green behind the pond is Buck Forage Oats, and believe it or not, the good sized tree with yellow leaves is a Hard Maple tree that is about 6' across at 5' above the ground.
[img][/img]

Center of pond, looking South The 4 posts that are sticking up in the background to the left of the willow on the island will eventually be a deer blind, 15' up in the air. A buddy works for a road crew and these posts are 6" x 8" treated that they use for roadside signs. We sunk them 6' in the ground and locked them in place with cement. The island that the willow on has a hump roughly 4' wide running to the West and with the water this low the hump is about a foot above the water.
[img][/img]

West end of pond. This shows where I removed the larger of the 2 islands, and filled in around it. This shelf that is left will be between 2 and 4 feet under water, depending on the level of the water in the pond. The water that is directly South of that shelf drops off another 4 to 5 feet really quickly - it was clay at the end, and we cut an almost vertical wall to get the depth quickly. That little platform that you see to the left of the small evergreen tree has the feeder on it. The white pipe is 4" dia. & is running into the pond from my well (28 gpm when needed) and the little doghouse keeps the aerator pump out of the elements.

[img][/img]

All the real work is going to happen next year (2008)!


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These pictures are from February 2008 - the date is wrong on the pics.

As you can see, the water is a bit higher....... This should have told me something - for instance "be prepared to pump a LOT of water when you are digging the pond this year!"
East side:
[img]http://[/img]

Center: That little "strip hump" that is to the left of the island is the far South bank of the existing pond. There's about 30 Yds of water between that hump and the oak tree.
[img][/img]

West:
[img][/img]

Looking from where the deer stand will be towards the house/barn. I was standing on the pile of snow covered dirt to take the other previous pictures. Don't mind the neighbor's dog.......
[img][/img]

I don't know if you can see them or not in the other pictures, but the orange surveyor flags are where I plan on having the upper water level of the new pond.


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Great pictures and an amazing setting. Is there a dam or is the pond all dug out? I sure don't see a dam and with the contours of the shoreline, it looks very natural. You've done a very nice job of cleaning it up.

Eddie


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Thanks Eddie. It's all dug, no dam. The surface water naturally runs from East to West if the ground is saturated like it normally gets around this time of the year. In fact, last night the pond came up another 8" to a foot, and water is pouring out of the outflow culvert and flooding the woods to the West of me. I tried to follow what small contours that the ground had, and enhance them at the same time.

I'll get more pics up this evening.


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It does look like you are having fun.

otto #151396 02/28/09 08:17 PM
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Well, Otto, the fun has started. We ran one pump for a week straight just to get the level of the water down. We ended up running the pump 12 hr out of every day just to stay ahead of the water that was coming in, and I ended up buying another pump to get ahead when the rains came thru. I learned a lot about pumping out a pond. 1) keep the suction hose off of the bottom, or it will get plugged, even if it's placed in a bucket.
2) Keep the suction hose as short as possible, or else it'll get covered with sand and then it's impossible to get out without going thru a LOT of work.
3) The best way to place the suction end is inside of a truck innertube, tied so the suction end is just below the surface.
I used a 15,000 GPH trash pump to dewater the pond, and at times, one pump wasn't enough. The groundwater was running down to the level of the clay, then filtering into the pond as we were digging. As it came in, it pulled in the sand/gravel that was on top of the clay. It was a constant battle.

[img][/img]





[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]



[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]



[img][/img]

If you go back and take a look at the 4th picture from the top, in front of the white chair you can just see a pipe sticking up from the bottom of the pond. The previous year I placed that pipe in dry ground at the edge of the water, and marked 1' increments on it with black tape up to 5'. The black mark @ 5' is just barely visible at about the same level as the green grass under the oak tree. Right now, that is the current water level of the pond (2-28-2009).

Last edited by esshup; 02/28/09 08:29 PM.

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[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

As you can see from the pictures, the existing banks were pretty durn steep. The woods behind the pond stayed flooded thru the end of August, and the mosquitoes loved it. If the equipment didn't have a cab, you carried a can of bug spray on the equipment or you couldn't stand the bugs! The cattails in the pics were at the edge of the existing pond, and hopefully the only ones left were a small stand that we didn't get that was at the island.


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It can be a full time job keeping ahead of the water.

Just keep in mind the water you are fighting now will be your friend when the job is done.

Good work.

otto #151517 03/01/09 07:59 PM
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Thanks Otto. I'm dispersing the last of the dirt now with a JD 310SJ, and should be done in a couple of weeks. We were able to completely drain the part that we were digging out, and the fish migrated to the West end of the pond (that was the deepest spot). We added dirt between the island and the North shore to make a dam, burying a 4" PVC pipe for an overflow "just in case" and the fish survived just fine. The water was pretty cloudy for a couple of months, but I guess the fatheads and GS that I put in that Spring gave them something to eat while I was making their house bigger. More pics will be added tonight.


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Mid May of 2008 this picture and from the island to the shore right in front of the camera in the next picture is the deepest part of the previous pond. When we drained the part that is further East (to the left) all the fish ended up here. We made a dam between the island and the shore closest to the camera to hold whatever fish were in the pond. They survived until we finished the East side of the pond (late July), then we broke thru the dam and finished re-conturing the bottom of the pond on this side. I only found 3 dead BG during the whole renovation.






Standing on the SE side of the pond looking north, then panning West.


Looking West from the East side of the pond. Those cattails in the foreground were on the East shore of the pond before renovation started.




Standing at the Southernmost finger looking North. This is the area that I want to place a 1/8" mesh net across and keep the closest part to the camera devoid of fish until I throw a couple pounds of FHM in it for breeding.




Standing just West of the island looking at the South East Shore.
The SouthEast shore will eventually end up about 8' away from the oak tree on the right (where the red stake is).


Fly little camera, FLY!! Looking South South West to the pond.





Here's a closer look at the excavator. I believe it has a 22' dig depth, and it's a 2 yd. bucket. PC200LC




I believe the barn is as old as the house. Most of the uprights in the barn are just native trees (Oak) with the branches lopped off. The 10" x 10" beam that is on top of the foundation perimiter of the barn is solid centercut Oak.




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From the white chair to the right (west) to the platform that has the feeder on it I placed close to 300 8"x8"x16" cinderblocks that were from a couple of dry wells that I found on the property to help stabilize the steep bank that would be under water. We put roughly 20 cu. yd. of dirt and broken cement pieces in front of the platform to try and stabilize that part. From the platform to the North end of the pond we placed between 60 and 80 tons of broken concrete and tamped them into the bank to try and keep that part from sliding into the pond as well. Those parts of the pond and the small island is the only part of the pond that we really didn't touch. When we switched sides of the pond with the water, we filled in at the end of the shelf there on the West side, and tried to keep it flat and about 3' to 4' below the high water line for a bedding area, just like the finger that is on the South side of the pond.


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Lots of good pictures. It still looks you are having fun.

otto #152695 03/08/09 07:37 PM
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Here's some images from February this year. At this water level, the pond is about a foot below full pool. All those dirt piles were what we couldn't get moved last year. I'm working on them this Spring and should have them gone be the end of March.

I'm standing on the platform that the fish feeder is on and panning from left to right (NW to SSE)










Here's a pic of the island. Remember this water level, you'll see a drastic shrinkage of the island in the next 2 batches of pics. The water has come up 2' since these pics were taken, 1' over full pool.


These next 2 pics were taken from the Southern most end of the finger that I am going to partially block off and turn into a FH hatchery. The outlet for the pond is at the lower left of the image, right where the water disappears out of the picture.




More pics to follow


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Here's the view from the NW side of the pond looking SSE. As you can see, the island is shrinking. The pond is at what I consider full pool.
[img][/img]

Standing to the right of the fish feeder platform looking NNE That pipe that is in the pond was put in when the water was at it's lowest point 3 years ago, and I wrapped electrical tape around it at 1' increments. Right now in this pic it's slightly below the 5' mark.
[img][/img]

Looking North from the end of the finger
[img][/img]

Looking due West

[img][/img]


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Here's pics from today. It's amazing what 2 1/4" of rain in <24 hr. will do when the ground is already saturated.
Looking South along the East end of the pond. The ridge is there to help keep the water that puddles up there from running into the pond until I can get some ground cover established. The pond is to the right of the ridge....


A closer look at the water that is running over the ground into the pond from my neighbor to the East. There IS a 10" culvert under the stones in the background.


This is looking WNW across the South finger of the pond. All that water in the background is in my woods and the neighbor to the West of me as well. The outflow 10" culvert is in the center of the picture just to the right of the tree that has the black dirt under it.


Here's looking more North from the East end of the finger.


Here's the 10" "out" culvert.


Standing at the South end of the finger looking NNE. That's the neighbor's pole barn, and it's standing in 3" of water.


Remember the island?


Looking across the pond from West to East.


Here's the finger. That stake is what we thought would be highest watermark. We were wrong!


Standing on the feeder platform looking at the island. Compare this to a couple of weeks ago!




The feeder platform.


Looking South from the NW side of the pond.


Looking East along the North shore.


Looking West from the same spot.



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I don't know how to blend together pictures to get a panoramic view, but the following are all taken from the same spot (on top of the remaining dirt pile) panning from West to East.
West








As it is now, the pond is approx. 290' wide (E to W) and 330' tall (N to S)


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Wow. It's amazing what a lot of rain will do. Bummer that your neighbor's pole barn is filled with water.


JHAP
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Thanks to Theo who told me what I needed to do to get this posted.

JHAP: The neighbor said that he had everything up off the floor 'cause he's been thru this before. I ended up taking the backhoe and digging a trench from the water on his place to the woods so any excess would drain back there. During times of high rainfall or excessive snow melt, the water usually runs from his place into my pond, but the couldn't get into the pond quick enough, so it backed up on his place. The trench worked, the water has gone down a good 8" since Sunday afternoon. But, they are calling for more heavy rains tomorrow. It'll be a good test for the trench.
Here's a stiched together pic of the pond from a month ago.


The surface water enters the pond on the upper left where the ice is melted, and any excess goes out a drain the same size (10") as the inlet which is located at the end of the finger directly behind the willow on the island.


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ES, first off nice job on "stitching" the photos together, that offers a very cool perspective. Secondly, it was very nice of you to use your backhoe to dig a trench for the neighbor. If more people helped out their neighbors in this fashion this world be be a lot better place.

Keep us posted on how you fare with the next batch of rain.


JHAP
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JHAP:

The credit for stiching the photo has to go to my sister. I'll pass it along. The photo is misleading, the pond really is just as deep as it is wide. I was standing on a 20' or so high dirt pile to take those pics, and now that pile is now only about 8' high. It'll look a lot better once all the dirt is moved and the final grading is done around the place, AND it's green instead of bare dirt. The water level has gone down a foot since Tuesday.

Cal, the Springer has been swimming the past few days chasing the geese that are trying to take up residence at the pond. There is normally 1 pair that has been coming back to nest on the island for the past 4 years, but the last few days he's been chasing 8 geese. They put up with him for about 20 minutes then they hit the road. Good dog!!

Being out in the country, the neighbors look out after each other. Not much goes on out here without someone knowing about it!

Last edited by esshup; 03/14/09 10:06 PM. Reason: can't spell!

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OH MY GOSH this is lovely and soooo much work - recent photos?


"both feet firmly planted in mid-air"

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Lunker
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Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 28,606
Likes: 861
Thanks.

I'll take some tomorrow. The pond is down about 16" from full pool - it's a groundwater pond in sandy soil and we haven't had any decent rain for a number of weeks.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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