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#212506 04/12/10 03:11 PM
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06will Offline OP
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I would love to learn about peoples opinions on how well natural structure on the pond bottom holds up ie. drop offs, sunken islands. I wont be digging a pond anytime soon but around here a large majority of our ponds are dug out ponds, so it seems to me over time those structures would have a tendancy to seep and flatten or fill in over time. I dont believe that many are clay lined or anything like that. So how well will structure such as sharp drop offs, sunken islands, cuts and ditches, and deep holes keep their shape? I love looking at pond construction pics to see bottom contures, and remember seeing some major drop offs and spawning ledges in pictures here on the forum. I m interested about the stability and if they seep.

There was a forum member from Texas that posted pictures of their pond while under construction. They took a picture looking in at the shore from a hole just maybe 50 yards out from a dock they had built. About 10 to 20 ft out from the dock was about a 5 to 6 ft straight drop. Ever since I saw that pic it was something I ve desired in a future pond. That must be phenominal fishing off that dock.

I also remember someone who talked about having a sunken island. It seems like to me if you had something like that with drop offs evenually it would become just more of a heap. No matter what it would be very cool structure.

Like I said I wont be digging a pond anytime soon nor do I know much about the digging process. I love to sit around my bowl shape pond and day dream about creating a place fish would love to call home.

Last edited by 06will; 04/12/10 03:24 PM.
06will #212507 04/12/10 03:16 PM
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I concur. Seeing a pond bottom before it fills is very cool, as well as underwater pictures and video as well.

Omaha #212546 04/12/10 08:39 PM
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There is an old saying that 90% of the fish are in 10% of the water. However, I believe that by properly sculpting the bottom you can create fish highways and holding areas. Then you might change the ratio to something like 40/60 or something like that.


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I think what the contours are made from has a bearing on how long they last. I think heavy clay will keep it's shape longer than sand or loam.

A lot also depends on whether the water level fluctuates greatly, if there is considerable wave action, and it also might depend on tha amount and type of fish in the pond.


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esshup #212644 04/13/10 11:55 AM
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Thats kind of what I figured the answer would be. If you have good clay you can probably do a lot more with contour and sculpting.

What about rock reefs and natural structure like that? How well do they stay in place and is it worth the effort? I imagine without currents they would eventually get silt covered and muck would, over time, bury them. I thought it would be very cool to have a section of 4 to 5 ft deep water maybe 100 by 100 ft with volleyball size rock on the bottom.

I want to see what the thoughts are one structure like this because we often talk about man made structure like PVC trees and stuff like that. I know that stuff has its place but if I get the chance to dig the pond I've always wanted, I want it to be as natural as possible. Having said that there would be no reason to create all this contour and structure to find out 5 years later its another bowl shaped pond with a rock reef under it. I know an aerator could probably help to make sure the reefs and rock bottom stay exposed.

Last edited by 06will; 04/13/10 11:57 AM.
06will #212737 04/13/10 08:05 PM
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Good questions. I'm in the process of planning a pond and thinking some of the same things. Natural contour breaks vs. artificial stuff like pvc or cinder blocks or pallet structures and everything else. What about those of you who have drained your ponds? What does different kinds of structure look like after awhile? What would you have done differnt?

vamaz #212828 04/14/10 01:39 PM
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It is true that the contours will change over time with water over them. Trenches will become shallower and hard breaks will become softer. Hard clay resists this better than softer soils, but will occur some. With this in mind you should dig deeper and wider depending on your soil. One thing to remember though, a contour is a contour to a fish. If the alternative is a smooth bowl for a pond bottom, a one foot silted in ditch or ridge will attract a lot of fish. I like to work with contours and hard cover in conjunction, not just one or the other.

-HH

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06will Offline OP
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HH - Thanks for the good thoughts. It hadnt really crossed my mind to make features more dramatic to compensate to seepage and silt. I wouldnt choose one type of cover and neglect the other. I do want a lot of natural contour but I ll never be able to forget those underwater videos that Nate posted with all the fish around the porcupine fish attractors.

I m more interested in creating a natural habitat overall. That will be my goal. Of course I would like big smallmouths and good eating perch and I understand there are tools that will help achieve those goals such as feeding and aeration. I also want to create some sort of marsh that will act as a breeding/safe haven for minnows, crayfish, and frogs. I know that all that will find its niche without a marsh but hopefully that will help produce more food and natural enviroment.


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