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#480497 09/28/17 07:19 AM
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Found out how to bury a dozer:( - Hit a buried mud pit up on the slope. Had to dig out in front of the dozer with the backhoe and barely got out.



Pond is getting there! Black spot in the bowl is one of our German shepherds


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It's amazing to me to see such nice dirt/clay, without all the rock I encountered. As dry as we are around my place, I don't think I'd be hitting any wet spots like that..
Looks good!


9 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (only one seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) Have seen one of these.
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
Otter attack in 2023
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We have very nice clay like that, but hit wet spots. Beware, if water can get in, it will get out. My pond leaks. Please compact it very well on all sides and bottom.

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I think these are very old deposits of water trapped in the clay. They hit one in my last pond that filled the basin of the 1-acre pond with 3' of water in one large swoosh. The water turned blue like pictures from the Caribbean. That pond does not leak. We are bone dry in the mist of a very bad drought. We installed a drain the pond bottom that I though would drain this water away, but it seems to be holding back in pockets in the clay. Very interesting geology.

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RAH, u stuck a dozer and I stuck or almost stuck a rental track hoe. I was kinda a freeken out at the time due to the event. And I have not been back in that area digging since. If I dig a 5 foot deep hole it will be full of water the next morning. Good luck on your project.


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I pushed out a path for the trapped water to drain last night with the dozer and continued to dig out the bowl. The water did not run out hardly at all but just held in the sloppy mud.

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Question: I am planning to install a valve on the pond drain entrance which opens like a gate when the lever is pulled up. I plan to tie a float to a line hooked to the valve handle and am looking for ideas for the line such that it will not rot or degrade over time?

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Maybe light gauge SS cable would work as a valve rope? Put the overflow pipe in today and graded out the emergency spillway. Just need to put the drain valve in the bottom of the pond.

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Wow... this is a good looking project. I'm looking forward to seeing more progress pics! Thanks for sharing these...


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Originally Posted By: RAH
Question: I am planning to install a valve on the pond drain entrance which opens like a gate when the lever is pulled up. I plan to tie a float to a line hooked to the valve handle and am looking for ideas for the line such that it will not rot or degrade over time?


put the valve on the dry side of the dam. you never have to get wet, open it anytime you like, and you can have two in a row in case one fails. also very inexpensive. i have done it on my last 2 ponds. my drain pipe is actually a 4" pvc pipe that is desperate from my 12"standpipe. both run thru anti seep collars. i open mine from time to time to let some of the old stinking water off the bottom (no aeration) and also have opened it twice during heavy rain events. i didn't want it going over the emergency spillway since grass wasn't 100% established.


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That would not be good where the weather freezes. I do have plastic gate valve in a pit for my first pond to keep water in the pipe from freezing, but have never used it and bet it would break if I did. Having the valve on the pond side also prevents any possible leaks in the drain pipe from mattering. I would just cap the pond side of the drain plug, but I want to be able to drain it without diving if the bottom turns out not to be sealed. There was a very thin sand lens between the red and grey clay layers that I hope I sealed up.


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Gate valves on the water side can be a problem over time. I try to design around them with a stand pipe with included siphon.
















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What sort of problem? I am using a knife valve which operates by pulling to open and pushing to close. The pipe is 3". I hope to never use it. The exception will be if the pond leaks and I need to drain and patch the holes/springs.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
That would not be good where the weather freezes. I do have plastic gate valve in a pit for my first pond to keep water in the pipe from freezing, but have never used it and bet it would break if I did. Having the valve on the pond side also prevents any possible leaks in the drain pipe from mattering. I would just cap the pond side of the drain plug, but I want to be able to drain it without diving if the bottom turns out not to be sealed. There was a very thin sand lens between the red and grey clay layers that I hope I sealed up.



i stood a piece of corrugated plastic pipe up on top of my valve and put dirt around it. i keep a piece of plywood laying over the top. looks like it would be easy enough to keep it from freezing by burying it. it sure would be a lot easier to move a little dirt off of it to open than having to dive to the bottom of the pond trying to get the stuck valve shut.


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This will be my first valve on the feed side of the drain. I may regret it later, but I am going to give it a try. If it accidentally drains due to valve problems, then I will unscrew the valve and cap the pipe.

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Valve update. The knife valve that I installed today appeared to open too easily, so I tied the lever to some weights with copper wire in the hopes that this will help keep it from coming open by accident. If it does leak, I will drain and replace with a cap. We have finally been getting some rain, so I was covered in mud after the installation. Sorry, no pictures. Will add the plastic catfish spawning drums today or tomorrow.

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Gate valves tend to stick over time. Have seen many that will not open with the common circular handle on an iron bar. Even pipe wrenches with extended cheater handles don't work.
















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It really only needs to be functional for a year in case the wet spots in the pond bottom turn out to be leaks into the water table. After that, a good permanent seal would be best on the drain. The valve is threaded onto the pipe, so it could always be removed by a diver.

Any advantage to adding FHM in early November if the pond gets enough water by then, or is better to add in spring?

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Nice project! You could add a fitting to the discharge end to have the ability to screw a cap on in case of a leak/emergency. Of course then the pipe would be full of water and need to be protected from freezing.

Last edited by Redonthehead; 10/06/17 08:16 PM.

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I agree and have a threaded end on the outlet of drains in 2 different shallow ponds/wetlands in case I ever need to uncap the inlet and drain them. My hope is that his will decease the suck and make uncapping the inlets safer.

I added two plastic drums as catfish spawning structures. Based on rangefinder, it will be right at 1/2 acre.


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Just wanted to ask again if stocking the partially filled pond with FHM in early November (assuming it is filling nicely) has any advantage over early spring stocking next year? Just thinking about throwing in one pound, so its a pretty low investment.

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I can't see any harm in throwing in a small number of FHM. They won't reproduce until next year, but if you feed them a little this fall, they might help to jumpstart the food chain a bit.

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That was my thinking, but I was not sure about winter survival in a new pond.

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I stocked the first FHM into my newest pond on February 5 of this year, as soon as it had sufficient water. I didn't see any dead ones afterward, so think they survived OK.

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This will hopefully be a blue catfish pond, and someone here had suggested pumpkinseed as a forage species but I cannot find a source. How would longear sunfish compare with pumpkinseed as forage for blue catfish? Would crappie have a chance at providing the forage needed for blue catfish in a 1/2 acre pond? If I have to settle for channel cats instead of blues, would that make a big difference on the forage species? I could also add some yellow perch if that would help the mix?

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