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Alright to give some back story on why I am draining my pond currently. This last winter I lost all of my fish, at least all of any size out of my pond due to ice/snow coverage. Since I am going to have to restock my pond I decided that I should fix some problem areas before restocking.

So here is a satellite picture of my pond from a couple of summers ago when we had a really bad drought. You notice the dried up shallow areas on the north(up) end. The blue arrows are where the pond gets the majority of its water from the neighbor across the roads yard thru to culverts. The yellow line is my current siphon path pictures further down in the thread. Orange dashed is the spillway from the pond. Red dashed is a drainage ditch that this pond several others and a large farm field drain thru.



My goal is to deepen these areas to the north back to a 3-5 range to help with the weed growth problems we fight every year due to them being so shallow. I plan to take this dirt to reslope the pond side of the damn to make it more mower friendly.

Now for the siphon, I built this siphon last friday and thus far i think I have dropped the pond 18" or so.

Float for siphon end.


siphon top side assembled.


siphon bottom side


Short video of the flow I am getting and the ditch I am draining into.
http://vid32.photobucket.com/albums/d34/...zps4a5b199d.mp4

Progress of Sunday mid day, stick was put in when I started the siphon Friday around 5pm.


North end of the pond Sunday evening, shows how quickly this area is draining out with minimal water level drop.



So my plan is to let this dry for a while and I am going to try to move a little of the dirt with my compact tractor and my dads. I suspect I will be calling around to excavators in the area to get quotes to move the dirt and reslope the banks though.

Really looking forward to hearing you guys opinions on what I am doing and any advice you can give on how to do it differently.

Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 08/12/14 10:45 AM.
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Any way to increase the size of the siphon? You've got a pretty small pipe there, going to take awhile....

Now is definitely the time to make improvements, have you given any thought to what you want, fish wise, in the pond?





I had a red 72 Camaro........


"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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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Any way to increase the size of the siphon? You've got a pretty small pipe there, going to take awhile....

Now is definitely the time to make improvements, have you given any thought to what you want, fish wise, in the pond?





I had a red 72 Camaro........



I dont plan to increase the size as it gets pretty costly to go bigger. That is a 2" pipe and it is 200' long currently. I dont plan to drain the pond completely but to drop the level 7-8 feet to allow these shallow areas to dry out so I can work on them. I am all ears though as I have absolutely no experience doing this kind of thing.

As for fish, I plan to restock with blue gill, red ear, Large mouth bass, and channel cat. The pond had bluegill, bass, crappie, and supposedly catfish before the kill. I can confirm all but the catfish.

Yeah my blue camaro hasnt been blue for 10 years or so now, its been in primer for quite some time.

Here is basically how it sets as you can see it was jambed out to become cany apple red but then I was in a bad wreck that sidelined it for quite a while and then other projects jumped ahead of it in line.


My build thread if anyone wants to see more of it and a couple videos of the engine running on there.
http://www.nastyz28.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112614


Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 08/12/14 11:10 AM.

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Very sweet build on the Camaro, love the attention to detail.... is it a factory RS? That rat motor will provide plenty of motivation!

So you aren't planning on a total drain, gotcha. I would probably go ahead and kill the pond off when the level drops. Start with a blank canvas and do it right.....sorta' like an F-body project.....


"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?
PB answer: It depends.
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Hey I'm in Macoupin County too!! Small world.

You're going to be surprised how deep that muck goes if I was to guess, depending on the age of the pond...you might be better served to either rent a small track hoe or have someone come in with a larger excavator and clean out your areas for you. I buried my loader tractor several times trying to clean my smallest pond out some years ago.

The guy that built my large pond does good work reasonably...PM me if you want more info.


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Another vote for draining down further and killing any remaining fish in it before starting over. Just making sure the slate is really clean so to speak.


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So what is the easiest way to kill the fish off in whats left? Prefer to be able to do it myself if possible. The only fish that were in there that I want to make sure are gone are Crappie, this pond just isnt big enough to have them in there in my opinion.

As far as what I would like to have back in the pond I would like to have bass, blue gill, and some channel cat. The pond had a lot of nice bass,really nice bluegill, and some decent crappie before. I would like to get back to the nice healthy bass, big blue gill, and a few decent catfish as well.


sprkplug, no it is a solid bumper car and will be kept that way with a solid bumper that will be minus the fangs and smoothed out as well, atleast thats the plan.

Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 08/15/14 09:03 AM.

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A couple pictures as of last night.





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You can use hydrated or quick lime. Get a pool pH test kit. Put enough in to get the pH to 11 and that should kill the fish. The less water to treat the cheaper it is.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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Looks like to me an excavator would be your best bet for how you are wanting to proceed.

I've went around a pond like that with a backhoe (tractor/loader/backhoe) because that is what I had, but an excavator would be so much better. One problem with a TLB is you can only park sideways to the bank to give any swing to get rid of dirt. Having room to pile the dirt was as much of a problem as the actual digging. With an excavator and 360 degree swing the waste pile can be further away from the machine and bank allowing a larger pile.

I think you will quickly tire of trying to use a compact tractor to dig much. A mechanical front drive would be a must (waste of time trying with a 2wd tractor), but even then unless you can get right down to solid clay for the front wheels to run on, it's use will be very limited because all your weight is transferred to the front (small)wheels when the tractor is pointing down the slope. A very heavy counter weight on the back end of the tractor as well as rear wheel weights or fluid filled rear tires will help. If time was on your side where everything could dry completely out it might be more feasible. But with the size of your siphon, any reasonable rain event will put you right back where you started. So with that in mind, it is down to handling mud.

Where you are going to use the waste on the backside of the pond, you will need time to let the spoils dry. There will be no way to shape that mud till it dries out some. I cleaned out my son's pond and put a lot of the muck on the back side of a very old, steep dam. It is a good use for the spoils, but it was a mucky mess getting it pushed around there with a dozer. I had to wait till it dried considerably before it could be "worked", and even then it was spongy. I'm going back in this fall to do the final level and grass seeding. I mention this, because there is no way I can see that your project is going to be anything other than a two part project. Part one removing material from the pond, then later equipment coming back to do something with the soil once it has dried out a lot.

The least disruptive (to your way of life) is if the guy with the excavator also has a dump truck with the right type of bed (U shaped) to haul nasty, sticky, stuff. Excavator dumps directly into truck, truck hauls to piling area at back side of dam and dumps where a dozer piles it into a pile that will shed water so it will dry over time. Then about 6 months to a year later comes back with a dozer to do something with it on the back side of the dam.

The other option, which will have your yard screwed up for quite a while but might be cheaper, is to have the excavator simply pile the dirt around the pond, being careful to leave places for water to get around the pile back into the pond. Let it dry in this "windrow" until it is dry enough for a dozer (or loader and truck) to transfer it to the back side of the dam and shape it as desired.

Muck is nasty stuff to deal with. I've cleaned out three ponds so far (I'm no professional, just a dirt farmer with some construction equipment we use around the farm) and it is no fun. I'm semi-retired so I "play" with the Tonka toys while the younger generation goes out and makes a living doing the farm work. Building a new pond is a lot more fun than cleaning out an old one (I along with employees have built 3 new ones). But with your pond location adjacent to your house, you obviously are stuck with the clean out option.

Keep us up to date with pictures as you progress.

Here is a link to my experience cleaning out a 50 year old pond that appeared to be completely dry because the dam had been breached for a number of years. Cleaning out my son's pond

I never made a complete thread about the clean out and expansion of my daughters pond, but here are some pictures and discussion about it. Daughters opnd expansion and clean out of old portion

My two projects above might give you some ideas. Or thought process to avoid some bad ideas. grin

Last edited by snrub; 08/15/14 09:34 AM.

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snrub,

I had actually read a couple of your threads already and what you have done is on a completely different level that what I am trying to accomplish. I have no plan do much besides maybe just a little bank grading work on most of the pond. But I realize there will be a lot of dirt that has to come out of the two shallow fingers on my pond as well. I plan to give it a go and if it doesnt pan out I will call an excavator in.

On the siphon not keeping up, it held its own this weekend very well. We got 3 inches of rain saturday and sunday and I managed to loose about 4-5" of water level over the weekend still.


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Playing around with the panoramic on my phone last night. SOmewhere around 5-6 feet down now.

Progress would be much better if it would stop raining every couple days. We have had around 6" of rainfall since I put the siphon in on the 8th.

Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 08/21/14 08:45 AM.

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Keep us up to date on how your efforts work out. I bet there are lots of other pond owners in a similar situation that are thinking of doing something like you are doing and wonder if they can also "do it themselves".

A good record of your efforts shared here could be very helpful to others in the PBF community.

You will either get'er done or learn a lot in the process. With a little luck, maybe both! wink

Last edited by snrub; 08/21/14 10:54 AM.

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Kind of what i think to snrub. I gaurantee for better or worse I will learn quite a bit in this process.


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Well figured I better do a quick update.

First off any ideas what in the world this could be???

It is aprox. 10 foot under water when the ponds full



This is the only picture i have but it explains quite a bit of where I am at right now.



I had a guy with a backhoe in over the weekend to dig a ditch for water entering the pond to go straight to the main body of the pond as I had been fighting the dirt being wet with the wet fall here and the fact that almost all the water entering the pond had to come across the areas I was wanting to work. He ended up going 5+ feet deep to find the clay where the pond was originally built. With this being the case I am going to hire the digging portion out as there is no way the two little fords will ever get this job done with out a ton of wear and tear on them.

The two small piles on the left that are lighter in color is what we had dug out with the two little tractors minus a few bucket loads that a friend hauled off. All the other dirt is the backhoes work in 3 hours, the plan thus far is a trackhoe, a dirtpan, and a bobcat for excavation. Dirt will be hauled to the dam end of the pond and piled up behind my shed for drying and I will deal with it as time allows in the future.


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Hiring the heavy equipment was a wise choice. Trackhoe can do a lot.


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Well here are a few pictures I managed to take of the project as we are going along, I wish I had more pics but since I was running a bobcat the whole time it was hard to take many pictures of the big equipment working. The major shaping is done and waiting on dirt to dry so the dozer can work to shape banks up.

Saturday an hour or two in with the track hoe, dozer, and two tracked skidsteers running dirt. For reference the top of the counter weight to the bottom of the tracks on the track hoe is between 7 1/2 to 8' so gives you an idea of how much dirt he is pulling out of that finger.


Crappy picture due to a dirty windshield, I think I had to stop and clean it about 3 times thru out the day Saturday.


Me and the old man running dirt on Sunday, to muddy for the big equipment to work much. They came by for about an hour to fuel the skidsteers and stir the dirt to try and get a little air in it to dry some.


My dad running the second loader, we were both ready for the day to be over after running dirt up and down the road created in the pond all day long.


Here is a picture I snapped as I left for work this morning of the far finger where the track hoe was in the first picture, it used to only be a couple feet deep all the way to the main pond body but now falls off to 6 foot deep or so in the first 10 feet and is somewhere in the ball park of 8 feet at the pond end. Also you can see the dirt pile behind the shed that was all moved by dad and I on the skidsteers, It is roughly 40 foot wide by probably 70 foot long and 8 foot tall...



Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 10/29/14 10:32 AM.

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Looks like fun......for the first 30 minutes! laugh grin

I love it whem pond owners talk dirt_y.

You will be glad you did it....... About two years from now. grin

Carry on.


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It looks like you are doing a great job. It will be a new pond world for you with all those acre ft of extra water. Have you decided if you are installing fish/ minnow habitat or structure? Aeration?

How old was the pond and the five ft of mud you have taken out?

Are you still going to be at the 8 or so ft. pond depth you were shooting for?

I am sure some of the PB experts can tell you if the 8ft depth will allow for a better chance of winter survival for you area of the country.

It has been a few years now since I had my pond built, but I still remember the process and how excited I was to start filling and dreams of fish capacity beyond the thoughts of mere mortal men! Capacity numbers and pounds have changed but the dream lives on.

Thanks again for the pics.


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I am going to install some habitat but still trying to figure that part out as to what and where as I dont have many areas that are shallow at all now.

Aeration, yes I plan to put a system in but it will be next year before I can afford to purchase a system after I am done paying for excavation and shaping.

Pond age was unknown but it has to be near 40 years old at a minumum as one neighbor came and got some dirt for his yard and said the pond was there when he moved in 37 years ago. In areas there was close to 8 feet of mud pulled out before hitting the original clay.

The pond is somewhere in the area of 16 foot deep in the middle of the area with water still in it, as the water is near 4 foot deep out there currently and it is apporox. 12 foot from full.

My winter problems werent from freeze up but from oxygen deprevation last year with ice and then snow covering it for a month and half and the fact I had never heard of winter kill in my area from this before.


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Originally Posted By: snrub
Looks like fun......for the first 30 minutes! laugh grin


Agreed the bobcat loader I ran had 68 hours on it when dropped off Friday evening, it was at 90 at the end of the day Sunday and I put another 4 on it Monday night after work... To say the least I have had my fill of running a bobcat for the time being!


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Digging a pond moves an amazing amount of dirt, doesn't it?

Do you think you could have done it with your tractor like you first planned? wink grin

re: pond sides.

I'd be careful if they are steeper than 3:1 (1' drop vertical for every 3' horizontal).

Steeper than 3:1 and they are a PITA to walk on, and there's the good possibility over time of them sloughing off and moving the pond edge futher out until they reach a point of equilibrium.

If it's clay, then there's the possibility of someone slipping on them and sliding all the way into the water before they come to a stop.


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When the backhoe opened up the drainage channels a couple weeks ago it quickly became apparent that the little tractors werent going to do this job at least not without me keeping the pond drained down for years for me to work on it. Regarding the banks only the ones in front of the neighbors house are steeper than that above water and yes you can end up in the pond very quickly over there! Been there done that a couple times now. Now as for the banks under water much of them are a lot closer to a 45 degree pitch and there is no way you will walk up them easily right now.


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For anybody trying to get a reference point on something for height the trackhoe is a deere 225dlc and from the bottom of the yellow body to the top of the cab is just over 6 1/2 feet and it is just under 10 foot tall from the bottom the tracks to the top of the cab.


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Well I think the big work for the dozer on the pond is pretty much complete at this point. Finally got firm enough for him to really move some dirt Friday afternoon before the rain hit. I think it was a combo of it drying some and being partially frozen.

Pictures from my picture window yesterday afternoon watching the rain come down. That much more water that I need to pump out to kill off everything since I watched a GBH picking fish out around the xmas trees on the far bank last week....



I know in one of my threads I had a few doubts on the depth of the pond. The area where the red dot was checked when I shot elevations last week and is 7.6 feet deep now. This area would have been no more than 24" when the project started. If you look closely you can see the orange flags running along the bank, this is water level when the pond is full.




Last edited by BLUE72CAMARO; 11/24/14 09:06 AM.

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