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#161756 05/02/09 08:25 PM
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Hello everyone,
I have a 1/2 acre pond, about 6 feet deep, overgrown with cattails, and has some unwanted species in it. The pond was constructed a long time ago and needs some work.
The good news is the pond is spring fed. There was a old spring house once located about 10 feet from the pond edge where the water now comes up and runs into the pond. The spring is flowing around 3 gpm and about 57 degrees. My main question is would it help increase the DO by running a pipe slash gutter past the cattails and into the deeper part of the ponds. I know this a different idea but as a college student I really don't want to spend any money on the pond, just my own time.

Thank you

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Welcome to the forum!

The biggest issue with spring water is that it doesn't have much DO in it. If there is some way to get the spring water to tumbled over gravel before entering the pond to help aerate it, that would be a real big improvement. 3 gpm is not a strong flow but may be enough. You could also maybe attempt to get the flow to run into a raised pipe and then pipe it out to a further from shore section of your pond where it come then trickle in.

Removal of the cattails can be done by hand, but it is back breaking work... There are also herbicide treatments that can be used to remove them. 1/2 acre size pond can be a great size for trout. What other species are in it? Warm water species will often out compete trout unfortunately, especially in a pond such as yours. Are the trout able to survive in your pond year round currently?

One member Cecil raises trout in small ponds and some of his trout have gotten HUGE! He may be able to give you some advise as well.

What part of PA are you in? My family owns hunting land in Bedford Co, PA... There are several other PA members on here.

Check out our Forum Map and see where we all are and add yourself if you like!

You've come to the right place for help...

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I've seen people oxygenate spring water by letting it pass through some baffles of pipe that is filled with medium sized gravel. Cecil did it and once posted some pics of his setup.

I know very little about raising fish in 57 degree water. That sure beats sweating out rain.


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.

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Thanks for the ideas. The spring actually comes out about 3 feet above pond level. SO right now we have the water running into a ribbed pipe and then dropping about 6 inches into a gutter where it then shoots out towards the middle of the pond. I think we will try the gravel idea.

About ten years ago the pond had nothing but 2-3 inch bluegills. We through a couple 12-15 inch bass in which helped helped control the food web. Being twelve I thought it would be great idea to throw other fish in from our creek not knowing the consequences. So of course the 2 species we put in were green sunfish and brown bullhead. Neither fish has taken over but we have been removing them when ever we do catch one.

Btw the way I am from just outside Gettysburg PA.

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Have you tested the water temp and DO level in the summer to see if the water quality is good enough for trout? At 3 gpm, it may not have enough flow to keep the temps down and the DO up?

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I graduated from Fairfield.
Not sure which side of Gettysburg you're on.....

Scott

Last edited by wivell; 05/04/09 09:29 AM.


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I hate to be a downer but 3 gpms is not anywhere near enough to keep a 1/2 acre pond cool enough for trout in the summer-- even if you do aerate it. I run 45 gpms into my 1/10th acre trout pond and it still gets up into the low to mid 60's in the summer with well water that is 51.6.

I use plastic media to aerate my well water. The well water drops through five gallon buckets filled with plastic media that breaks up the water, not only adding oxygen, but blowing off nitrogen and other gases.

Here are a few pictures:

The plastic media I use. Basicially you use a size commensurate with the size of the flow you have.



The five gallon buckets filled with plastic media (hole cut in the bottom and plastic screen inserted to hold the media in).



The top bucket has a plate with holes drilled into it to make sure the water distributes evenly across the media. There is media under the plate.



Notice the iron stain. My well water has about 2 1/2 ppm of iron in it. I have to remove the media once a year and clean off iron deposits with muriatic acid. A real pain!

My twin brother (cost accountant/comptroller with a brown he got out of my pond last fall. He hardly ever fishes and wasn't that impressed believe it or not.



A friend of my mom with a big brookie out of the pond a few years ago:



However don't give up. You can still raise trout for food in a homemade tank with that flow. A good book that explains it is Small Scale Aquaculture by Stephen VanGorder.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/09/09 06:22 AM.

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






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BTW the best way to get rid of cattails is to spray them with the appropriate herbicide mixed with a surfactant to penetrate the waxy leaves. You may have to spray twice. Once the leaves turn yellow cut them all down.

There are some nice weed cutters available on the market that can be manually pulled through the cattails.


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






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I don't recall ever seeing that photo of your aeration bucket set up Cecil - very cool. And dang you've grown some huge trout!


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Nice fish and nice bucket set up Cecil.


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Cecil, what is the size of that brown trout and the age? The spotting pattern on that brown trout looks a lot like the spotting pattern on the brown trout we get from the trout hatchery we use.

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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Cecil, what is the size of that brown trout and the age? The spotting pattern on that brown trout looks a lot like the spotting pattern on the brown trout we get from the trout hatchery we use.


Size went from as small as 1 lb. 8 oz. to 7 lbs. 2 oz. last fall at harvest. Average size at harvest was in the mid 5 lb. range. That one was in the upper 5 lb. range I think.

Age 3 at harvest. I got them at age 1 as ~ eight inch fish. The following fall they typically run 14 to 16 inches and next fall of harvest they run 20 to 23 inches.

Trout grow quite fast if they are fed well. Afterall they've been selectively bred for fast growth for at least 100 years. It will be interesting to see what happens to various pond species after a few years of selective breeding as in what Dr. Condello has done with bluegills and what Dr. Wang of the Piketon Research center is doing with yellow perch.

This particular strain is known as the Seven Pines strain due to the name of the hatchery I got them from in Frederick, Wisconsin http://www.sevenpinesfishery.com/

However they were originally the Plymouth Rock strain from Massachusetts (last I heard the trout hatchery sits idle as the father died and the son has no interest), which is used by several hatcheries. That may account for the similarity in spotting pattern, but I will say their spotting varies quite a bit between sexes and fish. Look at this guy:





And this female:










Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/10/09 07:30 AM.

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






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Cecil is sevenpines still in business? I tried to email them and it got kicked back. I have a friend looking for brown trout and I havne't had luck finding them in WA


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 Originally Posted By: RB Blackshear
Cecil is sevenpines still in business? I tried to email them and it got kicked back. I have a friend looking for brown trout and I havne't had luck finding them in WA


Yes as far as I know they are still in business. You have to call them. They don't use the email. Not sure why they have it then but one of the owners said, "Oh we don't answer emails" when I asked her why she didn't answer her emails. Sweet lady and great people but not much into the computer.

They do have beautiful fish and are very dependable. They are just not much for email.


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






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Cecil, here's what most of the brown trout I stocked this year look like pattern wise.




I had thought all the trout didn't hold over this year, but my dad caught a nice hook jawed brown trout last week that was 21". The largest trout we stocked last year was 15". Not a bad growth rate for 1 year in the creek without feeding... Of course he didn't take a picture of the fish!

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That's a great looking brown, I guess they have plenty of natural food.
How about getting your dad a camera built into his hat, then he's got no excuses. \:D



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I was there for 4 days this past week fishing and turkey hunting. The water was extremely high, but I was amazed at the hatches of insects coming off. The air above the creek was sometimes so thick you choked on the bugs. The one rainbow trout I caught coughed up a 3" crayfish and several of the browns had minnows in their mouths. One of the larger browns I kept to eat had a 4" white sucker partially digested in its stomach... So they definitely have plenty to eat if they can just survive the warmer months of July, August and September, avoid the osprey and decide to not swim up or down stream!

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For the trout fisherman do you have difficulty with having browns survive being caught? I have a tough time releasing rainbows out of lakes over here. About 40% of them go belly up after being released. I guess it could be chaulked up to high temps and stress of the fight, but I wanted to see if browns are a little more successfully released upon catching.


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IME browns are definitely hardier, but with any fish that prefers colder water and higher DO levels, catching them in the warmer months is gonna lead to hook fatalities after the release no matter how careful you are in not fighting them too much and handling them properly...

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I would always keep a tub of water on the dock to put the trout immediately into before removing the hook, I think this cut down on the stress and I never lost a fish, unless the trout died later.



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Thanks for the advice guys.


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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
Cecil, here's what most of the brown trout I stocked this year look like pattern wise.




I had thought all the trout didn't hold over this year, but my dad caught a nice hook jawed brown trout last week that was 21". The largest trout we stocked last year was 15". Not a bad growth rate for 1 year in the creek without feeding... Of course he didn't take a picture of the fish!


Good for you. That is a good growth rate. Although sometimes the toughness of brown trout is exaggerated in literature, they do seem the best of brooks, browns, and rainbows to handle marginal conditions. I am convinced they live longer too, and we all know they are the most wary of the three species.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/11/09 08:38 PM.

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







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