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Joined: May 2011
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Rockville, there has been some discussion on the site that one issue with SMB is that they can be tricky to source, especially at times other than the fall, and that our neck of the woods, the Mid-Atlantic, isn't exactly SMB Central in the best of times. Zetts, for example, doesn't list SMB in their catalog.

I keep a google doc in which I cut and paste every post I can find from this site relevant to the kind of SMB/YP/RES/diversified minnow pond I plan to have (and which I couldn't have imagined before I discovered this site). As I was putting in CJ's helpful remarks about RBS, I happened to see an older post from Ken in which he mentioned that he had purchased trout from Steve Haines of Flowing Springs Farm in Rio, WV and that he has a SMB pond that's fed by the outflow from his trout raceways. Might be a source to consider.

There's a pretty good group of NoVa/WVa folks (not many Marylanders other than you, for whatever reason) on the site, including, as you've seen already, some of the most active and knowledgeable posters. I hope you'll join the gang and especially keep those photos coming.


No pond yet, not even land. But working on it.

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Get plenty of shallow cover in for all that forage to thrive in. Habitat substrates, provide surfaces for bio film to grow and ultimately feed your fish as well as provide cover to grow to the desired size for your bass.

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Thanks for the kind words dlyle! I double-checked Zetts' catalog and they do list smallmouth although they say "very limited quantity" http://zettsfishhatchery.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/CompleteCatalog.pdf I put a call into Zetts and left a message. I have no problem stocking forage in early spring then introducing smallmouth in the fall. I know it would be ideal to let the pond sit for a full year before adding predators but if smallies are only available in fall then I will just have to stock more forage fish this spring to account for the shortened breeding time.

Well I went up to the farm Saturday morning expecting to start making smallmouth beds and placing various cover only to learn that we have to postpone that a week as the rains on Friday slowed us down just a bit. There is still a bit of dirt that needs to be moved and the emergency spillway needs to be completed. Now I will be going down next Saturday to lay out the structure. On the good side this means that the porcupine attractors I ordered should be in by then and I won't have to dump them in to an already-filling pond. The construction guys are moving the rest of the dirt today and the posts for the dock are being added tomorrow. We have a ton of rocks left over from the excavation and we have a truckful of gravel being delivered Wednesday. The guys will be making a 15' wide, 20' deep, 4" thick gravel bed on the right shoreline (as you face the dam) on Thursday. Here are some updated pictures:

Here is one of the springs, taken from where the emergency spillway will be:


Here is the spring from the top of the dam:


The dock is going to be installed on the shoreline on the right:


Here is where the emergency spillway will be, we are getting short on dirt so we are digging into a hill away from the pond and bringing more dirt in to build the walls for the spillway which will channell that water into the creek:


Closer view of where the mouth of the spillway will be:


The right shoreline (the light brown part) is going to contain the gravel bed:


This is our shallowest area, at the opposite end of the dam. The creek comes through here, I will be making some smallmouth beds here:


This area already has a nice brush pile:


Here is the waterfall, unfortunately the leaves have covered a lot of the water flow so you cannot see how much water is coming through:


Here is the spring-fed creek above the waterfall:



Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 02/27/12 01:58 PM.

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Top of the waterfall looking down (darn leaves ruining the picture):


Views of the pond from the top of the waterfall:




Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 02/27/12 01:59 PM.

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Very pretty! Lots of rocky structure would be great.

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I would recommend smallmouth bass as well. In a pond that small it would be very easy for the bluegill necessary for largemouth bass production to get out of control.

I have never seen a pond with too many fathead minnows or golden shiners in it.

My number one focus would be on constructing great habitat for forage. You will want those fatheads, shiners, and crayfish breeding like mad. If your water will support them I would recommend lake chubsuckers as well. They get larger and they make fine forage for smallies. Also, don't forget the grass shrimp! They can add a lot of meat to your food chain.

I don't have any experience with yellow perch and smallies, but I can tell you that yellow perch are a great fish on their own. I can see how they could be useful forage for smallies.

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Construction on the pond is 95% complete, the only thing preventing it from being finished is heavy groundwater coming up from the springs and soaking clay before it can be applied to the slope of the dam. They dug out a lot of clay and spread it out to dry, when it has dried it will be applied to the inside area of the dam to give it some slope and prevent erosion. On Saturday I went up with my Daughter to lay out the fish structure, I arrived with 5 porcupine fish attractors, 4 wood pallets, and 25 cinder blocks. Since the remaining work is focused in one area we felt that adding the fish structure now would allow the cap to be put on the dam as soon as the final work was finished this week, some of the structure might be moved out of the way to allow for rollers but they will be moved right back. Per my father's request we did not put any structure in a 30 foot radius of the dock so that nobody dives off the dock and gets hurt, personally I don't think anyone will be doing much swimming here but I could be wrong.

Wood pallets with rocks, cinderblocks, and gravel. The tops of the pallets will be in 5-6 feet of water:







Here are some big rocks surrounding some huge stumps and logs. This will be in water over 10 feet deep and I expect to catch a lot of fish off of this:





A big rock pile next to the logs and stumps, good crayfish habitat:



Our dock which is currently under construction. The main posts are drying in concrete and the diagonal supports will be removed once the concrete is set. I put two of the small porcupine fish attractors under the dock to ensure that it holds fish:





The three big porcupine fish attractors each weighted down by a cinderblock, these will be put in the creek bed once the last work is finished:





Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 03/19/12 11:39 AM.

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Here is my version of a smallmouth bed. It has 6" of big gravel inside it, the rocks and blocks will act as a shield keeping silt from covering all the gravel. I would have liked to use smaller gravel but this is what we had to work with, perhaps I will buy 20 bags of pond gravel and pour it on top next saturday. I will be putting one of the porcupine attractors in the creek channel in front of it:





Here is another big gravel bed that we surrounded with two big logs and some big rocks to act as a shield from the silt. This is 20 feet from the other smallmouth bed. I expect this to be home to a lot of crawfish and a place where smallmouth get it on:







From the dock looking at the gravel bed/smallmouth bed:



Here is the dam with the clay drying on top:



From the dock looking towards the dam, we put some huge logs and two rock piles in to attract fish, one of the fish attractors will go here when the dam work is done:









Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 03/19/12 11:40 AM.

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From the dam looking back to the dock:



From the dam looking to the shoreline accross from the dock, notice how much water is coming out of the spring. We already have a lot of noisy frogs calling that puddle home:





Back of the dam, was seeded (along with the a lot of the pond interior) on Friday with rye grass:





I have blisters all over my hands, my car has cinberblock fragments throughout, I ruined a good pair of boots, and my back aches but when there are fish in here it will definitely be worth it! Should be ready to stock our first minnows in two weeks!


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Are you weighting down the logs? Can't tell from the pics.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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The stumps in the middle have some rocks on them but otherwise they are not really weighed down.


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Yeah, I bet your back hurts! All that structure looks great! But those logs and stumps will want to float. Before my pond filled, I bought some cheap metal fence posts and sledgehammered one next to each stump, then drove nails through them to anchor the stump. At one stump, I could only get the post down about a foot and hit rock. when we got water it floated. I had to anchor it so it wouldn't float around and sink somewhere I didn't want it. Took a couple months before it finally soaked up enough water and sank.

Your pond's gonna look great when it fills!

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That looks great! Very impressive! Love your thought process on choosing the SMB/YP option. Looks like you're going to have some happy fish.

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Thanks for the kind words! I guess I am going to have to go up next Sunday and hammer those logs down! I have no idea how I will keep the biggest one down....


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crossed TPosts over each end or some concrete blocks with cables.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Would drilling a 2x4 into a tree and sticking the other end in a bucket of cement work?


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I expect it would.


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.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Search for duckbill earth anchors. There was an article about them in PB magazine a year or two ago. I got mine at a local feed store for 2-3 bucks each.



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Those look like just the ticket! If I can find some locally I will buy them, if not I will fill a few buckets with concrete, take a long wire and a small piece of wood to each end, wrap the wire around the tree and stick both pieces of wood into the concrete bucket.


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OK time for some pics! Here is the pond as of 4/15/12, it is about 4' from full pool thanks to the recent drought:












Here is the creek feeding the pond, this will be covered by 2-3' of water when everything is full:







Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 04/24/12 10:57 AM.

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So yesterday I took the family to Zett's fish hatchery in WV and we bought 1000 FHM (unfortunately 20% were rosy red minnows since they raise them together), 200 3" golden shiners, and 100 crayfish. It was pouring rain and the pond had risen 2' from the previous week but the water also seemed to be pretty cold and the air temps were barely in the 50's. I forgot to take pictures of the stocking until I got to the last bag of minnows. Here are the FHM/RRM after sitting in the pond for 20 minutes with several cups of pond water added in 5 minute intervals, they took off as soon as I lowered on side of the bag:







I should have taken more pictures of the pond itself but it was cold, I was soaked, and my daughter was quickly losing patience with the whole situation. Now I am working on sourcing some satinfin shiners, spotfin shiners, tesselated darters, and bluntnose minnows to be added. If the weather cooperates I will hopefully get a chance to meet up with Travis and go seigning for them on the Potomac River, if not I have found some promising leads on the internet. I will also be adding grass shrimp (as soon as the pond reaches full pool and I plant some lillies and spiral eelgrass), banded killifish (as soon as Zett's has them available which should be in May), and some RES (Zett's says they will have them when I get the banded killifish). Then the pond will sit until I add 30 SMB and 100 YP either in the late fall of 2012 or spring of 2013.

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 04/24/12 10:58 AM.

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Sounds like you are well on your way! I just hope there were no hitch hikers in the FHM you bought. Those rosey reds sure do stick out don't they!

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On Friday I went up to the farm as I had a delivery of spiral eelgrass, hybrid lillies, and grass shrimp arriving. The pond was 15" from full pool and hopefully will be filled to the brim by this upcoming weekend. I planted the eelgrass in 2-3" of water along the shoreline and planted the lillies in a flat that will be 2.5' deep at full pool. The shrimp arrived from Fattigs fish without a single floater and they swam off quickly after being acclimated. Here are some pics:
The shrimp:









The plants:



The Pond:





Some shallow pallets that are halfway covered:



This upcoming Friday I have a shipment of spotfin shiners, greenfin shiners, bluntnose minnows, and johnny darters arriving from Jonah's Aquarium. Since some of these only spawn in crevices I took CJBS2003's advice and made a 24" tall stack of cd's and spacers and hung it from the dock where it sits 4" off the ground in shallow water. The picture does not really show the 5" of cd's that are already underwater. At full pool it will be totally submerged and should allow these fish to multiply rapidly. I have enough blank CD's leftover to make another one and hang on the other end of the dock (I ran out of spacers this time). Here is what it looks like:





The week after next I will be adding banded killifish and RES and then I will be done stocking until the late fall or early spring when the SMB and YP get a chance to wreak havoc on all this bait!

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 05/07/12 01:05 PM.

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Oh and the fathead minnows and rosy reds have already starting multiplying, they were everywhere! I also saw many golden shiners in what appeared to be a pre-spawn mating ritual. I would see a shiner chasing another shiner through the shallows only about a half inch behind the lead shiner, I saw this happen 5 or 6 times throughout the pond. Hopefully they spawn like crazy! Oh and millions of baby tadpoles have lined the shoreline, there will be frogs aplenty in a few weeks!


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Looking great!

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