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#35257 03/09/06 10:15 AM
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Not sure where to put this post since i have a myriad of questions....but my most urgent concern is grass control.

I have a 50ac pond in SC. It is actually either an old carolina bay or just groundwater discharge (or both?)....certainly one of the largest naturally occuring freshwater ponds around. It has dried up twice in the last 30 years, to my knowledge, but has always fought back on its own. There has been a fair amount of "urban encroachment" that, IMHO, has caused the groundwater to be less than adequate over the last 4 years. The owners decided it was time to dig a well and control the water levels. Well we did. (pun intended) In spring '04, as I recall, the water was less than 2 feet deep and HEAVY in vegetation, mainly in the form of tall grasses (switchgrass?, johnson grass?). The pond was not fished due to the vegetation. I seem to recall a stocking of 5000 bluegill and 2000 LMB in that time frame. I do not know if it was wise to stock before the pump was installed, but it seems to have worked adequately. We have been pumping for about 9 months and are now at "full pool." The deepest portions are in the 8 foot range.

So, here we are. A 50 acre pond with a great deal of these grasses. At a meeting we discussed carp and chemicals. I was against both at this stage because i felt that these plants will not survive the new water levels. Ergo, no need to mess with them. True or false? or need me to take pics? The amount of visibly open water is increasing and the "mat" of grasses in these areas is substantial, but no signs of regeneration.

Secondly, I put a trap out and caught plenty of bluegill in the 8-14oz range. Surely not scientific, but that leads me to believe that we are on track with fish, if not too many. I directed the club to keep any/all bream they wished. I only caught one bass in the trap (14oz) but have seen some activity and feel that more are available.

The duck hunting was good.

So, I guess I need some help.
  • Is it too early to make a determination about weed control, seeing as how the pond is only recently filled with water?



  • What is the simplest way to determine success of stocking?



  • I fear carp. I have some in other ponds that have gotten so big that I wish they would quit eating everything in sight.



  • I fear chemicals. I have seen a fabulous lilly pad section disappear with overzealous 2-4-D. Is there a better alternative? One that doesn't kill EVERYTHING?



  • I want control over the vegetation if it gets out of hand, but it is a FISHING pond and needs structure. Now that we can control the water and know the fish will always have water to live in, what are some affordable ways to increase the structure if we lose most of the vegetation to die off?


Thanks in advance. I know I will get lots of opinions. Just looking for direction. Our SC DNR no longer supplies freshwater (pond) fisheries aid. It is sad....

Anyone in SC or nearby interested in helping manage this pond?

#35258 03/09/06 02:10 PM
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thanks for the quick replies. grass is getting taller.

#35259 03/09/06 05:09 PM
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OK. I released 100 sterile carp and flew a copter over the pond that dropped 100 cubic tons of 2,4D. Was this wise?

#35260 03/09/06 05:42 PM
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You made all these decisions, watched the grass grow, bought carp and flew a helicopter since 9:15 this morning? If I make decisions that fast, errors come even faster! \:D


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#35261 03/09/06 05:57 PM
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2thDoc:

Nice to see some humor. \:D While this forum is not always fast it is accurate -- and that is good.

The thing that first jumped out at me was the question of what will happen this summer when it is 100 degrees , the water is very warm and the dead grass decay reaches a high point-- in a shallow pond 8ft. ? You may have a DO problem as in not enough oxygen . The well water if oxygenated may help with temps. and DO if its vol. is enough. You may need aeration.

Structure links :

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000137#000003

http://www.pondboss.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000138#000007

http://www.sdafs.org/reservoir/manuals/habitat/Main.htm

Pics. of the lake would help. If SC allows tilapia that may be an option and would add to your forage base.

You might contact Gerg Grimes who works your area and he could take a look and make an assessment both as to weeds , water quality and fish. I would hold off on chems. and carp pending a better evaluation of the above.
















#35262 03/09/06 06:06 PM
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Ditto

Spend the money and hire a professional. With a big project comes the potential of big and costly mistakes. Hiring a professional will save you a lot of grief and money in the long run.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#35263 03/09/06 06:57 PM
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I really don't like to solict business here but I will be in Orangeburg SC every qtr managing a like there if you want to talk. where is this lake? In lieu of that most of those terrestrial grasses will die fairly quickly once covered with water.

You need to answer one major questions before making those fish harvest rec. what is fishing/pond goals? it is best to determine fish populations based on electrofishing. Some grass is good especially if they want to duck hunt as well. I have a license to sell talipia in SC but all fish dealers have to apply for permit for tilapia so start thinking ahead. I will be out of town for two days on project in KY/TN but feel free to send me an email greg@lakework.com. thanks and good luck sound like you have a great place there. sorry for rushed answers.


Greg Grimes
www.lakework.com
#35264 03/10/06 12:17 PM
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thanks for the info. i think we are on the right track. never thought to worry about the DO, but will have to take that into consideration for the first time.

GG-i will ask the membership about consulting with you. they are tight-wads.

as for the goal of the pond, it is certainly for fishing. it has been a quite fertile pond in the past with 8-10lb bass coming out of it each year (when it had water).

pond is located in Kershaw County...about 45 minutes north of orangeburg.

thanks again for the replies.

#35265 03/10/06 12:27 PM
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[img]http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=12&Z=17&X=650&Y=4725&W=1&qs=%7celgin%7cSC[/img]

#35266 03/10/06 12:28 PM
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ouch. the dreaded red "x." click on the "x" and copy the url under properties and paste it in your browser to go to terraserver to look at the satellite image....if you are really bored.

#35267 03/10/06 09:56 PM
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I think you are dealing with multiple problems. The first is that very few members of this Forum have experience on the magnitude of a 50 acre lake. Only Greg and other Pro's have been there. That's why you didn't get quick responses.

Your tremendous opportunities are pretty well matched by potential problems and the need for ever increasing oversight and maintenance.

Aquatic vegetation management has very few options. Chemicals work but the dying vegetation can create increased nutrients to bring on more vegetation. Sterile grass carp are considered a natural remedy in lieu of chemicals. However, they won't feed on all vegetation. The bigger they get, the less appetite they have and they're not easy to catch and remove. Thus, smaller ones have to be restocked. If they do eat it all they will root in the mud for more and make a mess. Sometimes fertilization works by depriving the plants of sunlight. Other times it just fertilizes a bunch of weeds.

No easy answers and no inexpensive ways out on something this size. That's why I would hire a Pro. Their fee is not bad if you consider the possible alternative of having a 50 acre, unfishable, water hole that you can't even swim in. Greg would be my choice in that part of the world.

BTW, the larger bluegill are your breeding stock. I would go easy on keeping them until I knew more about the total picture.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#35268 03/13/06 09:56 AM
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thanks for the response. I was certainly kidding about NOT getting a quick answer in an hours' time.

the pond has done well throughout its history. i just feel that we have some "start-up" issues that I would like to see addressed. i will try to get the proposal of a "pro" through committee. its like pulling teeth...but what would I know?


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