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#372332 04/14/14 04:23 PM
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Looking for advise on how to improve our shoreline. Our pond is a dugout and has no problem with leaks. The soil is heavily clay and there lies our issue. Our shoreline rarely dries enough to become solid. I've thought about adding a lot of gravel and stone along it but would like advise. The pond is about 1 1/2 acres and in the Catskills of NY state.

Tuzz #372347 04/14/14 05:26 PM
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If your shore line does not get solid and you do decide to use rock, probably need something fairly coarse for the first layer to keep it from just sinking into the mud. Then top it off with finer stuff that is easier to walk on.

Pictures of our shore line linked in our member introduction thread.

Pictures of pond shoreline at bottom of written text

These shores have 2-3" crushed lateral rock as the base (rock used for septic system lateral lines) and AB3 for the topping (1" rock with fines and various sizes in between).

I also ran the larger rock about 2' down into the water to stop shoreline erosion from wave action. We get a lot of wind at times.

One way of maybe helping your problem.

Last edited by snrub; 04/14/14 05:30 PM.

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snrub #372398 04/15/14 06:52 AM
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How far back from the water is it soggy ?.I have 1 1/2 to 2 inch rock on the waters edge and this time of year i can't walk on the rock without sinking in a bit but the grass above the rock line is solid enough to drive my tractor and mower over without making ruts and the way it sounds my pond has about the same amount of clay yours would have here in Ohio so I would think it would help you there.
Heres a tip that you may already know, when i first built my pond 5 yrs ago I had 3 big dump truck loads of stone brought in and i used a loader tractor and a hand rake to spread it on the banks and did most of it myself which means climbing on and off a tractor 100 times and took me 2 weeks off and on to make all the way around.
Well last summer i realized I didn't put it on thick enough so i called a trucking co. that has a stone chucker type truck and for very little more money he drove around my pond and sprayed it on the banks and put down another 2 truckloads in about an hour and did just as nice of job as I did spreading it by hand..jeezzzzz that was easy...
But needless to say it was very dry here last summer so the ground was hard enough to get those heavy trucks around the pond without leaving ruts.. Larry

Tuzz #372612 04/16/14 11:39 AM
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Do you have local gravel, sand, and stone unsorted available? It may provide for a more natural look. Around here we can get glacial till cobbles of all sizes mixed with sand, and that seems to form a fairly good compacted layer for our driveway. If you can find it, it would look nice.

I have never liked the look of rip-rap (crushed stone) as it looks like mining debris to me.

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One thing about any kind of rock, in our country at least, is that unless there is fairly heavy traffic driving over it grass will take it over to the point it can't be seen. I expect I will be mowing all my rocked area in 5 years unless it has a herbicide to keep it controlled. Bank will be solid with rock under but growing grass as if no rock is there.


Wife may request a walking path so her feet don't get wet and so may treat a 4 ft wide path, but otherwise bank will have weeds to weed eat and road will look like the rest of the dam soon.


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Tuzz #375572 05/08/14 12:11 PM
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I agree with Squid. Everyone puts rip rap all around their ponds and lakes and it looks trashy.

Tuzz #375608 05/08/14 07:15 PM
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I disagree


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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I've seen some ponds with riprap around them that looked absolutely beautiful.


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Tuzz #375612 05/08/14 07:22 PM
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I wish I had rip rap around some areas of my ponds. I like the look.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
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Two of the nicest things I like about our pond is the bench style dam so I can stand or sit in a chair at waters edge on level ground and the fact that the rocked bench allows us to use the shoreline in any weather. I think we would spend less time enjoying the pond had we not done those two things.


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esshup #375629 05/08/14 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: esshup
I've seen some ponds with riprap around them that looked absolutely beautiful.


I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

As far as looking "natural", that was never a goal for our pond. I can walk a quarter mile and see all the timber and creek line that is as natural as it comes for this area. So for my wife and I, "natural" is not a highly prized look as we have it available anytime we want it. She wants the "well kept and neat look". I want it to look like I have actually done something. I've got farms with some "natural" areas on about every one of them. So we do not prize the "natural" look because it is available anytime we want it.

I can certainly see someone who has spent significant time living in a city or concrete jungle highly appreciating getting away from that environment. I can see where a more "natural" look would be highly prized. I know it would be for me if I had to live in a highly confined, structured environment and wanted to get away from that environment.

I like the rocked look around our pond. Wish it would stay that way. But it will not. Nature will do its best to turn it into grass at it earliest convenience and if I don't mow it, trees. So within a few years we will have a green grass bank pond like most. But at least it will be solid underneath and we can drive on it anytime we want. I would prefer the nice, white, "artificial" look, but nature will likely win out.


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Tuzz #375640 05/08/14 09:49 PM
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I have egg sized cobblestones around my pond. When my pond was built a shelf 6" deep was cut in around the top to help hold the stones in place. 6' wide landscaping fabric was laid under the stones. It works great at keeping my dogs from tearing up the edge and it keeps them cleaner when they come out, no more muddy legs and less clay gets suspended to cloud the water. I've had the cobblestones about 3.5 years now and I'm just now seeing some grass encroach over the outside edge of the stones.

The downside is the expense and it's more difficult getting plants established in your pond, not much has grown in the stones. I'm adding another 3' wide strip around the pond on the land side to make it more safe to mow around with my zero turn mower. I love the look of natural ponds just as much as the type of pond I have and for me it's easier to maintain especially with my dogs.


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Tuzz #375652 05/08/14 10:27 PM
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I would put down a landscape fabric before putting any kind of stone down, this will keep your material from embedding in your soil. The fabric I use has a 20 year guarantee as long as it's covered with a few inches of material, I think mine requires 3-4" and I'm told it will last much longer than that. It looks like a roll of felt, very very durable, comes in different widths and thickness's. I have a different type of fabric keeping my gravel from disappearing on my driveway, it's more like a woven plastic tarp but wasn't recommended for using around my pond.


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loretta #375656 05/08/14 10:45 PM
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The fabric might also be a reason you don't have plants coming through the rocks.

Using fabric is a great idea and reduces the amount of rock needed. The alternative is to put a layer of larger rock followed by smaller rock to keep the small rock from disappearing into the mud.

I have not used the fabric but know it is used under heavy traffic gravel roads with good success. I should use it, just years of habit doing it like I always have done, then afterwords thinking "I should have put fabric down first".

Last edited by snrub; 05/08/14 10:45 PM.

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Tuzz #375658 05/08/14 10:54 PM
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As the pond is getting older more sediment is washing into the cobblestones. I'm going to try to start some pickerel weed or some marsh iris that I have between some stones. I haven't had much time to experiment with it yet. My iris is pretty cool, it has softish grass like leaves with purple flowers on a long stem. It will tolerate having it's feet wet but I'm not sure for how long. I wish photobucket worked better on my computer I would post more pictures. BTW snrub, your pond looks great!!!

My driveway has the road fabric with 6" concrete chunks for a base and gravel with fines on top of that. It's all stayed where they put it and it hasn't packed down much.


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loretta #375660 05/08/14 11:01 PM
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Thank you. We really enjoy it.

My wife would like some more plants but we have yet to try and establish anything. I'm a little gun shy of doing it until I know what will not become a management nightmare. She would like lily pads and cattails, but she wants them right where she wants them. I explained to her, they have a mind of their own and will likely try to grow everywhere. So thus far, we have added nothing.

We've got all the FA we need though! mad

Last edited by snrub; 05/08/14 11:01 PM.

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Tuzz #375662 05/08/14 11:08 PM
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Hahaha, I would get along with your wife just fine. I tried lily pads in a tub years ago, they grew well but the turtles and my one goose (RIP Willie @ 17 years old!) managed to kill it. I even fenced it in. The wire rots kind of fast too. I might try a tray of spiral eel plants this year to see if they will come back, maybe another lily. I will never have cattails again. My algae isn't bad so far, no matts or anything floating. I don't know why, I do have an over sized aeration system for my size pond and I use beneficial bacteria religiously.

Last edited by loretta; 05/08/14 11:19 PM.

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