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After reading every post ever posted containing the word 'trout' or 'Canada', I have devised the following...

The perfect trout pond is 50 acres in size, 1000 ft deep, is fed by the runoff of cool glacial ice at 1000 gallons per hour, fish are fed 2x per day, aerated all winter to keep the ice open and stocked at 500 per acre.

My mother, who was questionably sane, always said... "Remember that there is a difference between scratching your arse and ripping it all to pieces." I hope she was intending to advise me that moderation was wise, and not that I had my hands in my pants too often.... either way.

So with that, I open the floor for the experts to recommend variations to my take at the 'perfectly adequate trout pond'. Here are my guesses.

Size: 1 acre (1/2 is too small, 2 is getting difficult to manage)

Depth: 50% to 15' min.

Slope: 3/1 edges for safety

Stocking: trout only, 100 per acre (to limit loss when I mess up), no other species to mess up balance

Feeding: up to 3% at 60F, little to nothing all winter

Cover: cattails at some edges, table-like cover in some shallows to guard against birds.

Aeration: summer only, nighttime only.


Last edited by howabouttheiris; 01/23/08 03:43 PM.

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I am interested in a trout pond also. There is so much literature out their on trout pond you will get ideas galore. The one lake in my area that is stocked by the state has the biggest population of trout I have ever seen. It is stocked with browns, Rainbows and brookies 8 times a year. It is nothing to catch 50 trout on each outing. The lake is approx 50 acres and varies in depth from 1 to 18 ft. The trout in the summer stay in the main channel at around 15 to 18 foot. The lake is fed by a stream that is nothing more than a trickle in the summer.
My thoughts/plans for my pond are 1.5 acres average depth 15 ft, max depth 20 foot, 3/1 sloped sides. I have a little 35ft x 35ft pond (spring fed) currently that will flow into it. I did have trout in it since the end of July with no problems but have since transported them to my uncles farm to restock his lake. I stocked 10 pounds of Fathead's in the little pond and figure they will eventually propagate the bigger pond on their own. By the summer it should be black with Fatheads everywhere.


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I'm always in search of the "perfect pond" for a particular species, so I think this is a very important question.

Believe it or not, I think that the perfect trout pond in any kind of marginal climate is actually a "series" of smaller trout ponds. Cecil has proven again and again what incredible trout can be grown in tiny ponds. I think the key to water quality is the ability to completely replace the water on a regular basis, and a great way to do this is injecting well water. Because of the inherent cost of pumping water I think that my perfect trout pond would be four separate 2,000 sf ponds, each with it's own dedicated water source, then all draining together into a yellow perch pond. This would be the best of all worlds. Plenty of fresh cool water for the trout, and a nice semi-cool fresh water source for YP. Individual smaller ponds would also limit your risk to total die-offs, and create opportunity to raise different species of trout.

Just my .0000000000002 cents worth.


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Thanks for your input guys....

I like Bruce's idea of smaller ponds as it would allow for much more experimentation and the options of different species.

(inserting my own situation)

Only one issue I see is that 2000sqft is below the 'minimum' size (assuming a significant Canadian freeze). To even get to 15' deep, one would need 2800sqft for a 2/1 slope and it grows to 6300 sqft for a 3/1 slope. To have 50% of the surface area at 15', the numbers are twice that or 5600sqft and 12600sqft.

I do have some cold year-round springs uphill, so I will investigate what flow I can expect from them.


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If you have a smaller pond with groundwater being infused in some manner, either well water or aquafer, your smaller ponds will be less likely to have ice as thick as surrounding ponds.

Is that a reasonable assumption?

Why would you need to follow traditional edge sloping in an excavated pond? Couldn't you use a 2/1 slope on one half, and a 1/1 on the other? I would think that would help control rooted aquatic vegetation as well.


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Assuming overheating in the summer is not an issue (due to northern local) and you get max 4' of ice.. would a 10' deep pond be adequate? How much water do you really need for the fish under the ice.

I am trying to get a handle on how much of the 15' minimum depth recommendation is a Texas number to keep the water cool and how much of it is a Maine number to keep unfrozen water under the ice.


The traditional edge sloping may be chosen for safety (child, animal, etc)

There is probably no reason why the slope could not be 2/1 or 3/1 around the egde and then rapidly increase to 1/1... assuming the soil would allow such a slope.



Last edited by howabouttheiris; 01/25/08 02:26 PM.

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Good questions. Would you have the ability to manually remove snow from the top of the ice? If so, the maximum depth of the pond becomes less of an issue. Light penetration is key in order to keep phytoplankton and rooted vegetation from dying and consuming oxygen during prolonged winter ice-overs.

My feelings are that if ten feet is adequate in Nebraska with 2' of ice, then 12 feet should be adequate up north with 4' of ice--provided that light is allowed to penetrate. Any chance of using aeration of some type to keep the ice from completely covering the pond? If so, I think you could configure your system to allow for good water quality throughout the winter.


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... aeration and ice hockey do not mix.

... snow removal and ice hockey are a perfect match.


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 Originally Posted By: howabouttheiris

... aeration and ice hockey do not mix.

... snow removal and ice hockey are a perfect match.

How about aeration and mid-Winter water polo matches by the Polar Bear Club?


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 Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
aeration and mid-Winter water polo matches


Actually they go hand-in-hand, be my guest. \:\)


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 Originally Posted By: howabouttheiris
Assuming overheating in the summer is not an issue (due to northern local) and you get max 4' of ice.. would a 10' deep pond be adequate? How much water do you really need for the fish under the ice.


This is really my backyard, so let me add this to the discussion:

Overheating will occur in the summer, guarantied! in fact the most limiting factor in this latitude is often the temperature in the summer (depending on species of trout).
Summer on PEI you can expect many days in the upper 90 F on the land and maybe 80F near the ocean. A still pond, even if 12' deep could become too hot for trout in summer.

Aeration is must, but in the summer it should be thermally controlled so it running only when temperature is bellow 68 F.

The other point is that you will never see 4 feet of ice on a pond in PEI. 4 feet of ice is more for sub-arctic condition where wind blows the snow off the ice and temperature is generally in the -20 F range. PEI has lots of snow, mild winter temperature which accounts for about 18" of ice in the deepest part of winter. Expect 12" and maybe one year out of 15 a potential 20" of ice.

Snow removal for skating is fun, but I do not know anybody who does it anymore when its piled 4 feet tall. So generally skating rinks are not fun anymore around mid February. The days the rink closes, the aerator can be turned back on.

Personally I have designed successful ponds for trout with 10' to 12' of water maximum, as long as the aeration device and method follows certain rules as mentioned before.

Often a new pond built in a field will not become a trout pond until trees are planted and aquatic plants are in place to maximize the coolness of the water and stability of temperature. The same pond, built in the forest, will do better for trout.

and that is just a start!

Regards


Mario Paris,
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 Originally Posted By: howabouttheiris
The traditional edge sloping may be chosen for safety (child, animal, etc)

There is probably no reason why the slope could not be 2/1 or 3/1 around the egde and then rapidly increase to 1/1... assuming the soil would allow such a slope.


Good point! The reason why slopes need to be 2:1 minimum is that the pond while filling will hold its shape.
The soil in PEI is red clay, very impressive color but its clay. Clay will become loose and settle at the bottom of the pond if the slopes are too steep.
That is basically work done for nothing. A good excavator would know that, the majority would not have clue as they do not know what is going on under the water once they left the job.

A good example is a pond built to be 15 feet deep should be a minimum of 60 feet across. If the pond is 15 feet deep at construction time and its only 40 feet across, the year after it is built, it will be likely be only 10 feet deep.
1:1 slopes work in bedrock of clay-boulder deposit.
2:1 is the rule
in sand 3:1 will be your maximum slope.

Using boulders to build submerged stones walls is a good way to create retaining slopes and fast dropping depth in this type of pond.

Good luck with you perfectly adequate trout pond Howabouttheiris


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Thanks for your feedback Mario. (in this and some of my other threads.)

I guess I overestimated the PEI winter and underestimated the summer. (Living in Austin for 9 years will do that to you.)


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Howabout,

Yours was the funniest trout pond message I've seen in a long time! thanks for the chuckle!

The only thing I would add would be to have the ability to adjust water supplies etc incase you came up a bit short in summer.


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