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[Linked Image][Linked Image]Hello everyone my name is Tom Ryan,
Very happy to join Pond Boss this looks like the perfect place to learn pond management.

I am hoping for some help with an issue we have been having with our community pond.
Our pond is normally very clear, but for the last 2-3 years it turns brown in the fall and stays brown until late spring plus it also has brown scum or algae floating on the surface during this time.
This issue has never happened before our pond has always maintained good water clarity all year.

Culprit or Coincidence?
On April 4th, 2020 a city water main pipe that runs parallel 20 feet from our south shoreline burst and the treated city water gushed into the pond for about 24 hours before it could be repaired. This actually happened twice when the repair needed to be repaired. lol
The gushing water was brown in color possibly due to soil erosion before it entered our pond; however, it did change a portion of the water to brown.
It appeared to stay contained to a small area of our pond 3-4 acres where it had flowed in and was only visible for a few days then the clarity became normal and remained clear all summer until fall the entire pond changed to brown with a surface scum in areas and has been repeating this cycle for the last 2-3 years. The old sandpits in our area have not been affected.

I am told the water had been tested by a local lab and all is healthy with the exception of some lake turbidity. Can it be rust or something that was in the city water lines that contaminated the whole pond? It is a large horseshoe-shaped pond not sure how it could travel to the other side of the pond. Could this be a winter-long turnover and if so why just the last few years? Should I get it retested?

If this annual issue is due to the city waterline break, without actual proof and the 2-year time that has lapsed It would probably be impossible for me to hold the city responsible.

The pond is a horseshoe shape sandpit of approximately 11 acres with a max depth of 30’
sandy bottom with rip rap rock lining 90% of the shoreline, 25+ years old.
Fishing is average LMB, bluegill, Carp, and a few crappies. We have been trying to add vegetation but with the sandy bottom, the ducks and carp seem to devour or uproot as soon as we get them planted
will take another swing this spring.

I will try to add some photos.[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]

Thanks ahead for any advice,
Tom Ryan

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Last edited by Tom Ryan; 01/07/23 02:03 PM.
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Bump.

Tom, welcome to Pond Boss!!

There's a few threads and categories for muddy water that you can check out while we wait for replies.


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"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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You almost certainly answered the question of why your water is brown in the last sentence of your post....CARP! Where there are common carp, I'd bet you also have bullhead catfish that are also rooting around on the bottom and suspending sediments into the water. Do a jar test to see if your water clears...Just get a sample of lake water in a clear glass jar, cover it, and let it sit undisturbed for 5 days...if some sediment sinks to the bottom of the jar, mechanical action is the cause of turbidity (wind/wave action or fish)....you can place a second sample jar in a dark closet for 5 days also...if rhe cause is an algae, it will die and either sink or float in the jar........The scum looks to just be a combination of protein slime from natural organis decay with lots of dust and pollen trapped in it...a decent rain will get rid of it

Last edited by Rainman; 01/08/23 11:22 AM.


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To add to what Rainman said, even if they are Triploid Carp, if they denuded the bottom completely of plants, then they will root around in the bottom looking for something to eat. In one clients pond they are rooting around to eat whatever cattail roots they can and sometimes will break off young cattail shoots. The pond owner reported a cattail plant moving across the pond like a periscope of a submarine. One guess who the culprit was.

I forgot to ask, what kind of ducks do you have, and how many are there?


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Thank you for the welcome and replies,
I am told 200 grass carp was added to the pond in 2014 in an attempt to rid the summer algae,
The research I have found suggest 7 carp per acre x 11 acres 77 total so yes any aquatic vegetation has been depleted.

Normally the water is clear enough to see 6-10 ft deep just rock bank with sand bottom then the bottom drops quickly to 15' + Lots of LMB, bluegill, sunfish patrolling the shoreline.
While I am fishing for LMB and I do see may 2 schools of 12 or so in the summer most are close to 3' long , I have been feeding them some bread from my dock and then wrap a slice around a topwater lure to catch and remove them slow process. But fun!
I have never seen a bullhead in the pond we do have a few maybe a handful of flathead catfish 10-12lbs avg.
I am going to try the jar test that Rainman has suggested.

esshup,
I will keep a lookout for a moving periscope. lol that had to be a site to see.
We have do about 20 Mallard ducks they are wild and beautiful , but they are a demise to any newly planted vegetation.
I wish I could get rid the carp and then find some type of bottom grass that we could grow from seed.
Thanks again,
Tom Ryan

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200 Triploid Grass Carp is way too many, I'll bet that there is your problem. Ducks can muddy water too, if they are all in one area they can do that. A customer had a pair of white ducks that he let into his pond. The pond was about 3/8 acre. They kept the water muddy and continually washed dirt out of the bank, eating the roots of whatever grew along the banks. Once Coyotes or Hawks/Owl removed the last duck I was amazed at how fast the pond water cleared up.


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Alright after calculating the cost to use Alum to floc the turbidity in our 11-acre pond, if I did the math correctly approx. $1000 per acre and does not include the lime and labor, this is not in our budget.
So I feel the need to ask this question can we apply loose Alum or gypsum in front of the 10 concrete storm drains (2-foot diameter) just before a rain? Will this help to settle the turbidity over a period of 1-2 years?
Or just leave it alone it does clear itself up every spring and stays until the water flips again then ugly for 6 months again.
Tom Ryan

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Originally Posted by Tom Ryan
Alright after calculating the cost to use Alum to floc the turbidity in our 11-acre pond, if I did the math correctly approx. $1000 per acre and does not include the lime and labor, this is not in our budget.
So I feel the need to ask this question can we apply loose Alum or gypsum in front of the 10 concrete storm drains (2-foot diameter) just before a rain? Will this help to settle the turbidity over a period of 1-2 years?
Or just leave it alone it does clear itself up every spring and stays until the water flips again then ugly for 6 months again.
Tom Ryan

If you do that I think you'd be throwing your $$ away. Alum will drop the pH, you have to use 50% hydrated lime to buffer it and you can't put it all in one place in the pond, it has to be spread out over the surface. Work on getting 60+% of the TGC out of the pond and save your $$ for the next couple of years to build up a fund to do the alum treatment correctly.


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Alum is only a very temporary a solution for your lake since it is "normally" clear. Also, a natural turnover is not going to cause turbidity, nor will 20 ducks muddy 11 total acres. Until you find the mechanical cause for the turbidity, the water will not clear except when under ice. Do you have areas of heavy bank erosion? Does the lake have considerable wind/wave action. Has anyone added Koi? Are there any common capr or bullhead catfish?



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essup, I agree the TGC got to go! They have ruined ALL the vegetation in this pond nothing sand bottom, and continue to feast on anything we try to plant. Should I fertilize this pond for the first time ever?
have not found a good solution yet to rid of the carp, but I will.

Rainman, the muddy water just came about the last 2 winters now, just after the city water line broke and poured thousands of gallons of water in our pond, this happened in April 2020.
Summer of 2020 the water was fine
Fall 2020 was the first time ever it turned muddy
Spring 2021 is back to clear, so we thought maybe it fixed itself.
Fall 2021 turned back to muddy again
Spring 2022 cleared up again
Fall 2023- current Muddy again?
The shoreline is the same as always 90% riprap rock, and 10% sand/dirt shoreline we are trying to get more vegetation to help aid in erosion but with the tall trees shading the shoreline, nothing wants to grow in the shade, may try a ryegrass mat this spring.
No Koi, Bullhead.
Thank you
Tom Ryan

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“ essup, I agree the TGC got to go! They have ruined ALL the vegetation in this pond nothing sand bottom, and continue to feast on anything we try to plant. Should I fertilize this pond for the first time ever?
have not found a good solution yet to rid of the carp, but I will. ”
One thing you could do is bowfish the number of grass carp you need to remove from the lake when they’re swimming on the surface. Just an idea I wanted to pass along.

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What Heppy said...

I think bow fishing and some regular fishing are your only good ways to remove the grass carp.

Killing them with a rifle is not recommended due to the high chance for ricochet.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Another vote for bowfishing.


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Shockem, Bowfish, or crossbow activities would be your best options.


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I’ll tell you how I got rid of my carp, you can buy cottonseed cakes at about any bait store, take a gallon milk jug or any jug, put about 5 ft of trot line, or about 180 lb line on the handle and tie a weight on the end of the line. About 2ft above the weight, tie on a trot line hook so it stays off the bottom, just the weight should hit the bottom of the pond, leaving the hook suspended in about 3 ft off the bottom of the pond. Hook the cottonseed cake to the hook, they come with a hole in the center of the cake, just push the hook thru the hole, make a loop and put the hook thru the loop. Now just throw the jug line in the middle of the pond and let it float. When the jug drifts towards the shore, the weight will hit the bottom, it will leave the bait about 2 ft off the bottom, that leaves a better chance of them getting hooked, works like a charm. You can throw out as many jug lines as you need, only thing is you need a boat to chase the jugs when the carp are hooked. You will know when they are hooked, cause the jug will be bobbing like a bobber. The reason for the cottonseed cake as bait is that about the only fish I have that will eat them is carp, my grandpa showed me this way to catch carp, he kinda liked eating them, not me so much,
Good luck, if you try this, let us know how it works for ya
Gregg

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Gpugh, I do have a Coleman crawdad boat with trolling motor.
We have tried about every recipe on the internet but not this one so we will defiantly try this in the spring when the carp become active, Thanks for sharing.
I do have a nice line of site from my elevated deck to the shoreline/water about 20 yards to carp city if the water clears up and I chum them, so a crossbow may be the next investment.
Thank you everyone for all the ideas!

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Amazes me how the different parts of our great nation are still so unique.
Here in the upper Midwest I'm quite sure you could search every baitshop within 150 miles and not find this thing called a cottonseed cake. I can't even find it online. Amazon has a large cottonseed cake listed as a catfish bait but no hole in the middle and unless you can easily break it apart would be too much for even a big catfish to swallow.

What about cottonseed would make a fish try to eat it? It sounds pretty dry/stuffy in the mouth.

I love learning new fishing techniques so thanks for sharing!

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Canyon, if you look up Ole Dogz Fish Bait company online you will find it there. There is even a video of them showing you how to rig it up, they are rigging it up for a trot line, but you rig it the same way for a jug line. Yes, the cakes are a little big, I just cut the corners off and make them the size I need depending on the mouth gap of the fish I am targeting. These cakes have a hole in the center to thread your line and hook thru. You can also buy cotton seed meal and make your own and size you want, I just cut mine myself cause I find it easier than having to mix it up.
Give it a try, might surprise you. Besides those carp are pretty smart and will avoid you like the plague after you shoot one or two of em, they will haul ass as soon as they see or hear you coming. I got them to come to feed for about a week, letting eat all they wanted, then I shot a couple and that was all she wrote, after that, as soon as they heard or saw me, they were gone.
Gregg

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If you go online and do a search for cotton seed carp bait, you will find a whole bunch sites selling it. A lot of the sites say it’s really good for catfish also, though I have never caught anything but carp on it

[video:youtube]
[/video]

https://oledogzfishbait.com/

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Originally Posted by Gpugh
Besides those carp are pretty smart and will avoid you like the plague after you shoot one or two of em, they will haul ass as soon as they see or hear you coming. I got them to come to feed for about a week, letting eat all they wanted, then I shot a couple and that was all she wrote, after that, as soon as they heard or saw me, they were gone.
Gregg

I agree with this, with one possible exception - when the carp are spawning. That makes them stupid, or at least hugely "distracted".

I have observed carp rolling over each other during the spawn in a large reservoir. We wanted to check how big the fish were, so we waded into the shallow water with our landing net and caught multiple carp.

They weren't quite breaching the surface, so I don't know if it would be possible to shoot them at that time. However, I believe two guys with a 100' seine could have pulled 20 at a time onto the shore on the day we were dipping them out.

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Totally agree with this comment from Greg "Besides those carp are pretty smart and will avoid you like the plague"
I chummed with bread slices last summer when the water was clear we could see 20+ carp right from the dock, added atop water lure wrapped with a slice of bread, set in the pole holder within 2-3 minutes bam carp on!
I Caught 2 this way and never saw them again all summer.

I used to catch carp from rivers with corn kernels years ago, but does not work here maybe because these are Grass carp, we have tried some different carp recipes found online and because they are very affordable we will continue, will be trying cotton seed cakes this spring, Sounds like spawning may be prime time.
I wish we could seine them but the lake bottom drops very quickly from the shoreline. (10 feet from shore is about 6-7 feet deep) the incline continues.
I wonder if we could find the right bait and hooks and then toss some free-floating jug lines out overnight when the lake is quiet and calm, any thoughts?
TY for all the help.
Tom Ryan

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Originally Posted by Tom Ryan
Totally agree with this comment from Greg "Besides those carp are pretty smart and will avoid you like the plague"
I chummed with bread slices last summer when the water was clear we could see 20+ carp right from the dock, added atop water lure wrapped with a slice of bread, set in the pole holder within 2-3 minutes bam carp on!
I Caught 2 this way and never saw them again all summer.

I used to catch carp from rivers with corn kernels years ago, but does not work here maybe because these are Grass carp, we have tried some different carp recipes found online and because they are very affordable we will continue, will be trying cotton seed cakes this spring, Sounds like spawning may be prime time.
I wish we could seine them but the lake bottom drops very quickly from the shoreline. (10 feet from shore is about 6-7 feet deep) the incline continues.
I wonder if we could find the right bait and hooks and then toss some free-floating jug lines out overnight when the lake is quiet and calm, any thoughts?
TY for all the help.
Tom Ryan

You could try a gill net. Size the mesh according to the size of the fish you want to remove.


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Originally Posted by esshup
You could try a gill net. Size the mesh according to the size of the fish you want to remove.

That's a good idea that I don't remember seeing on Pond Boss before!

I think it might work for any big fish to be culled from a pond where the desirable fish are out of that size range.

You could build a floating fish cage with the four side panels made of gill nets. Chum the interior of the cage with the preferred food of your target species. Make it a floating cage so when a big fish fights to get free, part of the energy will go to moving the cage, rather than tearing up the net. Tether the cage to the dock or shore for easy management.

Could work for big, ol' carp, catfish, etc.

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The new issue Jan-Feb 2023 of PBoss magazine editor Lusk mentions use of gill nets and a few other methods in his article EVALUATING YOUR FISHERY pg 38-39. There is also a net called a flag net that is a version of a gill net.. Flag nets are the least expensive of the gill nets, but when used in still water and little or no wind, they are still quite effective in catching fish. Flag nets aka shirt tail nets are constructed out of multifilament or monofilament gill netting with a small rope at the top. There are no floats, leads or bottom rope. The net is fished by tying it between trees, stakes, or jugs. As the fish approaches the net, the water displaced by the fish's movement causes the netting to swirl, catching the fish through gilling or tangling. Flag nets are not recommended in moving water or in windy conditions. Several net companies make and sell gill and flag nets.

If you are going to use the cotton seed meal cakes as bait I would first chum with small portions of cotton seed meal bait in the area where you want to fish daily for a few days prior to using hooks in the bait. Baiting the area get the carp attracted and actively feeding on the bait. Let us know how well the cotton seed meal bait works.


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Wanted to thank everyone for the quick reply, and also to add an update on our muddy water problems.

Contacted the City Department Manager's on-site meeting and after 2 hours of denial they do not think this brown water could be due to the 2 separate water main ruptures, the list of their investigations was endless
1. Grass clipping or fertilizer from the lawn mower company that services the lawn around the lake. (Same company for years they push mow and bag the grass adjacent to the shoreline).
2. Excess Stormwater runoff ( even though we have been in a drought for almost 2 years now)
3. My personal little 2 hp water fountain by my dock ( I run for a few hours on a weekend mainly for aesthetics)
4. The concrete around one of the street gutters had been stained with iron from the water well irrigation very common for all the neighborhoods in the area ( Although the lake water only turns brown in the winter months when our sprinkler system is shut down). late spring and throughout summer months the clarity is back to normal very clear 6-10 foot visibility.
5. The city slickers wanted to visit other sandpits in the area to compare ( we have 4 or 5 within a square mile) ALL of the sandpit ponds were normal like the water clarity we used to have all year long.
So after they finished scratching their heads and trying to align the stars to avoid responsibility they decide to send out a groundwater specialist. Scheduled for Friday (yesterday) No word back on that yet.

Yesterday we took a water sample to a local swimming pool store after looking at the sample in a mason jar which actually looks pretty darn clear with the exception of rust-colored looking blobs that have no substance when you try to pick it up, but it was not very cloudy like one would think. The manager really believes it may be red or brown algae and should be visible through a microscope that hydrogen peroxide may be a good test, and he also saw that the water is high in PH and copper, he recommended not to swim in the lake until it is fixed.
Adding the test results below.

Free Chlorine: 1.2ppm
Total Chlorine: 1.2ppm
Combined Chlorine: 0ppm
pH: 8.2
Alkalinity: 281ppm
Calcium Hardness: 152ppm
Cyanuric Acid: 12ppm
Total iron: 0.5ppm
Copper: 2ppm
Phosphate: 376ppb

My personal tests using glass mason jars, again to these old man eyes the water almost looks pretty clear so the water samples have has the brown substance as I described (above) while the others do not.

Adding alum sulfate stance mix stir the jar and the brown substance settles to the top

Adding hydrogen peroxide same result as alum sulfate

Adding Gypsum the water looks like black coffee, maybe using the wrong type of gypsum (pelletized from a local store)

Adding nothing the substance also settles to the top just takes more time.



I am not sure if this helps any of you to help pinpoint or direct us in the right direction.
One thing I do know for sure is the fish will be calling me in soon and I would rather be in a boat answering their calls than in front of this computer.
Thank you guys and gals ahead of time,

Thank You,

Tom Ryan

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