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#251436 03/14/11 04:11 PM
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Im thinking about digging a 20x20 forage pond 5 foot in deep end. I have all the equipment to build it and it will hold water (good clay ground). I want to raise some golden shiners in it for my pond and a few of my buddys ponds for a better bass forage food. What I am thinking right now I will have some kind of small aerator in the pond Im also thinking that I can get a bloom to grow in a small plastic kids pool and dump it in the forage pond weekly. I plan on draining the pond yearly and cleaning it out. Is there any reason why my idea wont work or anything that I havent thought of? How may shiners should I put in it before they spawn? I know I could just go buy some but I have spare time on my hands any help or ideas would be great and help full. Thanks for your help.

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Thinking about doing the same thing so I'm interested to see the replies.

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Dig it in a paint roller design, it makes it easier to seine it and remove the fish. There are a number of things you can do to encourage GSH to spawn. I do not see any reason why it wouldn't work. Check the archives and utilize the search function to look up spawning needs of GSH. It has been thoroughly covered. You really don't need to drain it each year. Seine the vast majority of fish out each fall, allowing a few to be your brood stock. GSH are low DO tolerant and will do fine in a 5' pond in winter in low numbers. Come spring your GSH will be ready to spawn... You can lower to water a little in early spring to plant rye along the edges and then allow it to fill over the rye in time for spawning season.

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So no aeration necessary Travis? How small do you think one could get away with at that depth with no aeration?

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Josh, that might all depend (where have you seen that before?) on the biomass that's left in the pond and the amount of ice/snow cover.


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I would imagine removing snow from such a small BOW would be easy enough, as well as keeping up with numbers. I was wanting to set up about three of these little pools for separate forage species. Might start as early as this spring so I have something to do while the bigger excavator is finishing up the real pond. laugh

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Cecil Baird can provide info on this topic since he has some almost vertical sided small ponds. A little larger pond of 20x30 up to 50x50 will IMO work much better, although it will be interesting to see how it works at the 20x20size. Maximum depth of 5ft will mean almost vertical sides which are prone to sloughing and sliding. A 20 ft wide pond with 2:1 slope and a V bottom is 20ft wide. A V bottom will be very hard to seine in that area.

I think CJBS in his post above meant "paint roller pan design". You can't construct that shape at 20ft wide and 5ft deep unless you have essentially vertical or 1:1 slope sides. Not much space available for side slopes and a flat bottom with 4-5 ft of depth and 20 ft wide.

The pond can have 5 ft of hole depth but with about a foot of free board above the waterline and the average dry period water level,, expect about 4 ft of usual water depth. Depth of 4-5 ft in such a small pond will stratify at least long enough in mid-hot summer to cause DO depleation low water quality in the deep water. Suprising but true, due to very little surface area for wind exposure and 'hopefully' low visibility water. Also a relatively high ratio of deep water to surface area can cause water quality issues when the pond periodically naturally destratifies. Monitor for it, and plan to have minimal aeration for destratification, mixing and maintaining better water quality for large numbers of fish per ac. Shallower water than 5ft will be less prone to stratificaition.

A shallow pond as you are planning will have significant submerged weed and filamentous algae issues. Plan for them and how to deal with or minimize them. Fertilizing and feeding ground feed would be a good idea IMO.

Annual draining and drying during winter even if it in every other year is a good thing. Production fish hatcheries do this and they are not dumb. Periodic draining and drying of bottom sediments minimizes a LOT of problems in the small shallow ponds.

GSH brood stock density would IMO be adequate at around 25 to 40 in a 400sqft pond. A healthy larger female can produce 8000-10000 eggs/season. I estimate this small 400 sqft pond if managed really well will grow about 8 to 10 lbs of shiners (~2500 @ 2"). Keep good records and keep us inforned on your progress. We can learn from your efforts. It will be very interesting to see how many pounds of shiners you can grow in 20'X20'.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/15/11 10:41 AM.

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Bill, the last time I helped Cecil seine his 1/10 ac ponds he mentioned that he wished that the sides weren't so steep.....

We stay above the pool area and pull the seine along with rope tied to the ends of the seine. No way can you walk in the pool area, the sides are too steep to stand on.

He was able to make his ponds that way because his clay soil is almost like pottery clay. They don't slough off and slide down like regular soil would.


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Thanks for all the info so far. Im not too worried about having a flat bottom. Imo a v type bottom would be ok. I Think I would seine the pond every couple of weeks just to keep the amount of fish in it down so it doesnt over populate. If I missed fish when I did that it wouldnt be a big deal and when I drain it in the fall I would be able to get most if not all the rest of the fish out. I dont think 4 or 5 foot deep will be near deep enough for a northern Iowa winter.
I think when I drain it in the fall I would build a cage and put the cage in the big pond for the winter and in spring restock the 20x20 pond with those fish. Im not sure if that will work? I also think that a aerator would help keep the water quality better for the fish. Im not sure if there is anything else I can do to keep the water quality in super good shape a barley bail maybe? I plan on putting a bunch of AG lime in the bottom when I build it. From what I have ready GSH eat FA so they alone should keep that in check but if they dont I can always rake it out.
Thanks for all the help and thoughts so far there greatly help full.

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Barley bale could very well also suppress phytoplankton develpment. Barley works better on some algae and not others. Suppressing phytoplankton if not replaced by equivalent pellet food will stifle fish production. Phytoplankton and smallest zooplankton are very improtant to development of fish fry.
Caging fish. This should work okay to over winter some breeders in the larger pond. I have done that, it should work for you.
GSH. If they can keep the FA controlled in your pond, I want to know about it. Good luck on that one. If FA is present it can make seining fish a real pain. Consider using granular Green Clean (same active product: Phycomycin) to control FA in the small pond. Copper based algacides can be harmful esp to fish eggs and fry.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/15/11 07:56 PM.

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Scot,

Actually I'm adding rip rap to the two back ponds. Leaving them mostly empty over the winter was a mistake. I've got some sides caving in due to the frost heaving etc. Before this winter I left them mostly full.


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, will the rip-rap make it harder to seine, and harder on the seine itself?


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I recently built a new pond on the farm and I discovered that it is leaking. When walking around the pond bank i observed a swirling in the water near the bank that looking identical to a bathtub draining. I assume this is a hole or point of the leak. Has anyone ever seen this before and how do I fix it?

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Originally Posted By: esshup
Cecil, will the rip-rap make it harder to seine, and harder on the seine itself?


Only if I put the rip rap all the way around, which I don't have to. I have areas on the ponds where there is plenty of good vegetation and I shouldn't have to use it there. At least for now it will be where there is some slipping.


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 - How steep or at what slope were your back ponds dug?


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Don't know for sure but very steep. Some are close to vertical!


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






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Originally Posted By: kyfarmer
I recently built a new pond on the farm and I discovered that it is leaking. When walking around the pond bank i observed a swirling in the water near the bank that looking identical to a bathtub draining. I assume this is a hole or point of the leak. Has anyone ever seen this before and how do I fix it?


Wrong place for this question.. Start a new thread and you'll get answers.. But I doubt the swirl is from a leak.. Probably a fish or frog or something. Is it still swirling now?


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

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Originally Posted By: Bluegillerkiller
Originally Posted By: kyfarmer
I recently built a new pond on the farm and I discovered that it is leaking. When walking around the pond bank i observed a swirling in the water near the bank that looking identical to a bathtub draining. I assume this is a hole or point of the leak. Has anyone ever seen this before and how do I fix it?


Wrong place for this question.. Start a new thread and you'll get answers.. But I doubt the swirl is from a leak.. Probably a fish or frog or something. Is it still swirling now?


I respectfully disagree BGKiller. It could very well be a leak.


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've seen it on one of my perenially dry ponds. It looks like someone has just flushed a toilet. I've never messed with it so can't advise of a sure thing fix. The normal fix is for a couple of feet of well compacted clay. Compact the clay in layers.


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Is there a way to put a six inch pipe from the forage pond to the main pond and by opening the valve drain the forage and the water into the main pond? This would be easier than seining and is what I am considering.

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Originally Posted By: james holt
Is there a way to put a six inch pipe from the forage pond to the main pond and by opening the valve drain the forage and the water into the main pond? This would be easier than seining and is what I am considering.


Absolutely! You want to make sure the pond bottom slopes toward the drain though. I would even go a step farther. I would put in a hole at the deep end to scoop out the fish that don't go out the drain.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 03/18/11 08:49 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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James...I used a 4" pipe and intend to use my .5 acre forage pondto grow FH and GSH.




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