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Hello all, I am brand new not only to this forum, but to pond management. Over the last couple of days, I have been reading several of the threads to try to get an idea of what I needed to know to attempt to try to grow some fish. I have a couple of ponds. One is an acre and completely over run with 3" green sunfish, and the other is about 1/2 to 3/4 of an acre surrounded by woods. I talked to KDFW and the biologist said I needed to put around 60 6-8 inch LMB in, and let them eradicate the greenies, then stock BG. I guess this is ok? The pond right now has no cover or structure at all and I might need some ideas about that also. The smaller pond I was wanting to put SMB in. I researched how to make spawning beds and so on, and planned to do that this weekend. Is this possible to grow SMB in a small pond like this?

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 09:11 PM.

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I would do something a little different with that pond filled with green sunfish. Umm...it would be poisoned, drained, remodeled and started over. Green sunfish are a menace that you do not want in your pond ever.

Is there any way that you can enlarge or combine the two ponds?

Small ponds like that are often very touchy to manage.

Smallmouth can and will spawn in smaller ponds, but the problem is that if they do spawn you are going to spend most of your time harvesting smallies to keep them from overpopulating such a small pond.


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I think you got good advice from the biologist. That will give a lot of forage for the bass. As greatwhite mentioned, you might also think about draining or poisoning the pond. There are a number of ways of doing it. A rented, or purchased, trash pump should drain it in a couple days. Liming the pond at that point will kill whatever is left. You can also search this site for rotenone, which will kill the fish in the pond, but is non-toxic to most other life. I believe you need a licensed professional in KY for rotenone application.

I personally like smaller ponds, and would rather have two smaller ponds than one slightly larger pond. It gives you more options.

Smallies will work, just not in the presence of largemouth. You'll need a long term forage base like bluegill to keep them going. They just aren't as easy to manage as largemouth.

We have a lot of people here on the forum who have experience with your type of issues.

By the way, how did the greenies get in the pond. After you get rid of them, is it possible that more can get in?

Ken


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Ken, I have no clue how the GSF got into the pond. Haven't had it that long. I did think about having someone apply rotenone, but think that all the GSF would create a feeding frenzy for the fish we stock and help th to grow quickly. I don't think they coils get back in as the closest water source is my other pond that has nothing in it, and it is a half mile away.
Great white, is having too many smallies ever a bad thing??? My plan is to keep the two species separate, and have one pond for bigger LMB, and the smallmouth are more of a project. I really enjoy catching SMB and would not care to take the appropriate number out to keep them in check. If I can keep forage (what should I use?) and I selectively harvest can I grow 2-3 pound SMB in a pond that size?


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I have a small pond as well that was full of GSF, but I did not know this until I stocked it and started catching them a year later trying to pull out some HBG and CC.

I was worried as well since many say they are a pain, but since LMB were stocked in the pond along with BG, I catch very few GSF any more. Plus when I do catch one they are usually larger 6-8 inch fish which are plenty big enough for me to keep and cook up.

GSF make for a wonderful meal and their meat tends to be thicker then my BG so even though the fillet is small it is still a solid piece of fish.

I do however wish I would have moved some to one of the other ponds first before trying to eradicate them. As I have a pond that can not grow much of anything do to being only 3-5 foot deep and plan to turn it into a bait fish pond (at least until we can renovate it) so it will get some use.

Thanks

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I believe the advice given by the KY biologist is sound as well. Any pond that was over run with GSF but was later stocked with LMB and BG ends up with the few GSF surviving and those left being larger in size. There is no doubt GSF will compete some with BG and smaller bass, but they aren't as big of a problem as other species in my opinion.

If you decide to try a SMB pond, skip the BG. SMB can't keep up with their reproduction. Ask TJ about his experiences in SMB(along with HSB and WE) controlling BG numbers. It's a never ending battle. Sunfish species like RES and RBS would be better options as they are less prolific. PS and possibly even LES could be considered as well. Good forage options that are sunfish would be YP, spotfin shiners, LCS, FHM, BNM and FHM among others.

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The only reason I do not want to put them in my other pond is because I REALLY want smallmouth in it. I have heard that they are nest robbers and since it will be such a tough Job getting SMB recruitment, I want to some other option for forage in my little pond.


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Don't forget golden shiners.


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I plan on putting FHM and golden shiners in as forage. My only concern abouty SMB pond is that it is completely surrounded by woods. It has some decaying plant matter at the bottom of the pond. How will I know what needs to be done to ensure water quality?


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Bottom aeration is the biggest help in mitigating the leaves accumulating issue.

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I just drove out to the pond to drop off some cover and supplies fir SMB spawning beds. Water is way low because of the drought, but it has also been completely cover by duckweed! I have to remove the duckweed before I put in forage fish? How can I remove the duckweed and ensure that it doesn't come back? My pond management has now encountered it's first major problem! PLEASE HELP!!!


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Sounds like you need to start over.. Poison, renovate, use one pond for the SMB setup your wanting the other for forage or grow out.. 2 ponds are better than one..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Duckweed in a newly built pond? That is rare since duckweed is characteristic of older, organic laden, eutrophic ponds. If the pond is new DWeed may not return after the pond has stabilized next year. Annual duck weed problems indicate poor and risky water quality for raising SMB who prefer higher DO concentrations. Expect frequent DO sags in ponds infested with DW.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/11/12 09:15 PM.

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I don't think the ponds new.. I think it's new too him..


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

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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Froggy,

I can only sympathize with your drought. It has been a couple of years for us since we had those problems, and I almost lost my tractor cleaning out the visible muck.

As for your duckweed, it shouldn't affect your introduction of forage fish.

I'll let my friends talk about duckweed control. I've only experienced it on my dog when he recently thought it was a beautiful extension of a friend's lawn -- and he thought he could walk on it! (He was power washed downstream of my ponds.)

Regards,
Ken


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Bluegillerkiller, I don't have any fish in it at all right now,
So I am basically starting fresh.
Bill Cody- it is a very old pond, just new-ish to me. This weekend I plan on taking as much brush and junk trees as possible with the frontend loader. I know that I need to have better aeration, and plan to add it as soon as it is feasible. Is there anything short of draining the pond that I can do to eradicate sludge and duckweed.

Guys, thanks for all the help and answers that you are providing.


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FoggyJ - your long term plan for this pond should be a draining and scraping or deepening the basin. You will 'limp along and apply band-aids' until then. It is the old organic deep muck accumulations and possibly nutrient enriched runoff that are affecting / adjusting the water quality (eutrophy) that are creating conditions condusive to growing duckweed - watermeal. Change the conditions and that will change what plants will grow there. Certain plants tend to be indicators of certain water conditions - we call them water quality indicators. Duck weed is an indicator. All types of aquatic habitats have them. Trout are another good common example of a water quality indicator.

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Mr Cody, thanks, even though that is not what I want to hear, if that is the best solution, that is what I will do. If I go ahead and drain and re-shape the pond now, I can probably put forage in it in the spring? When should I look at adding my SMB? I can drain it tomorrow while I am out clearing all the underbrush away. Again, thanks for all of the help guys!


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If you want to do a smallmouth bass pond it is best to stock forage and then give the forage a year to multiply before adding predators. I am 6 months into the waiting game with my forage and I have decided to wait until fall of 2013 to add my Yellow Perch and Smallmouth.

Once the pond is ready add some golden shiners, crayfish, grass shrimp,red eared sunfish, bluntnose minnows, banded killifish, and spotfin shiners (sourcing the last three can be tough but http://www.jonahsaquarium.com/ has them, get 50 of each, the prices for bulk orders are WAY better than what is online). Three months before you intend on stocking predators add 1000 fathead minnows. Be sure to plant some small hybrid lillies and try to get some beneficial grasses going. Get plenty of wood, rock, and PVC structure set up as well. In order to get the spotfins to spawn you will need to create some crevice structures like this one I made out of blank CDs, electrical wire, and metal spacers (these pictures are from when I first hung the cd structures before the pond was at full pool, they are now submerged):




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To help your forage get a good jump start on growth you should consider adding a feeder and/or starting a fertilization program. I added a Texas Hunter Feeder with 125lb capacity and have been feeding my forage Aquamax 400 and 500 for two months now. The growth of the fish and number of offspring is amazing since I added that feeder!


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Rockville, thanks so much for that info. I guess I'm gonna bring the dozed over tonight to prepare for draining tomorrow. I will start setting structure as soon as the bottom gets reshaped and will add spawning beds then also. If pond gets water in it later this fall, can I start to add forage this year and add the bass next fall?


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You can add the forage in the fall with no problems.


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I'd wait to stock the GSH until you stock the SMB. If given too big of a start they can be serious bait stealers and produce so many YOY they become too abundant outcompeting other species and eating their fry and small YOY. When you stock your SMB, stock breeder size GSH, 3"-5" fish. Just a pound per acre is fine for a SMB pond.

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What size SMB can I grow in a 3/4 acre pond with proper management and ample forage? I might need some info on how to reshape pond after the drain. Is there a thread on here for that? Sorry I am so new to all of this, but I guess we were all new at one time or another!


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I grew some SMB to 21" in a 1/3 acre pond. So it can be done, and I used Aquamax high protein fish pellets to suppliment the growth of fish that I pellet trained myself. Thus I hand picked the stockers. Sorry no pics, so it becomes just a 'fish' story. I am confident that some of the largest fish could have made it to 22" maybe 23" since they were only 7 yrs old when I drained and restocked the pond. A 21" SMB should be easily gain 1/2" per year if the fish is well fed. A 21" SMB should weigh 5.5 lbs and a 23"er should weigh 7.3 lbs.

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Wow!! That's amazing! Just for future reference, how do you pellet train smallmouth? Also when they spawn is it possible for the new fish to be trained? I would love to grow some that big!


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Check for current threads in the sunfish section by Cecil Baird and Shorty on their feed training methods. In smaller numbers you can accustom the SMB to you feeding them live feed, then gradually switch to frozen/dead feed, then moistened freeze dried, then moistened pellets then hard pellets. Most species can be feed trained in this manner. I have 2 RES, 1 black crappie and 1 YP I have trained this way in my tank. I'm currently starving them for the conversion to hard pellets. They were caught as 1" fish and are now in the 3"-5" range.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=287829#Post287829

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=299490#Post299490

SMB are harder than many species to pellet feed train. Some wild born fish may learn from larger feed trained SMB to take pellets but that would be in low numbers. You can capture small YOY and feed train them and release them. Otherwise subsequent generations of SMB will be non feed trained for the most part.

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Great info CJ, I just got back from the pond. Cleared a bunch of the underbrush and saplings out. Duckweed has almost blown all the way across the pond to one side. I also checked the muck. It is only about 6 to 8 inches deep before I hit hard bottom. I checked all the way around the pond and it was consistent. Will I be able to run my frontend loader or bull dozer and scoop this out, or what is the preferred method. I did not break open the dam to drain the pond yet. Still lots more work to get it where I can mow or bush hog around it, but already looks much better. If I can figure out how to post a picture from my iPhone I will put up some before and afters so y'all can see my progress and continue to give me pointers. Thanks again for everyone's advice and help!


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What professionals often do when rebuilding a pond and dealing with damp or still wet slop is to mix dry dirt with it so it can be pushed or lifted. Don't get stuck in that wet stuff,, it can be deceiving and sticky. Maybe after the pond is drained, let it dry out for at least a week. A week of warm sunny breezy weather can cause a lot of drying of wet sediments. My advice is keep your banks steep down to 6-8 ft or the bottom on some shorelines to minimize weed growths. Create a ledge 3-5 ft deep to hold stone, rocks, broken concrete from rolling all the way to the bottom. FYI - Flat spots or humps 6-8 ft deep with clear water can easily grow submerged weeds if the water has visibility of 3-4ft which is good clarity for a SMB pond. Line downwind shorelines with rocks or broken cement from contractors. Cement contractors are good guys to know when looking for rip rap. Minimize flat shallow areas unless you want weedy mossy nursery areas with wetland type vegetation. Maybe one or two small areas (5% max 2000sqft) per acre.
When you rebuild the dam make doubly sure it is well packed. Maybe even mix some bentonite packed in with the dirt esp on the dam face. I suggest that you rip-rap the dam face at least a few feet above and esp below at the waterline. Stone, riprap covered shorelines down to 3-5 ft below high water line reduce wind erosion and discourage muskrat-nutria from digging burrows.

Others may disagree and are welcome to add input.

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Thanks Mr Cody. I will do all of that. I really appreciate all of the great advice I have received. I can get tons and tons of crushed and broken concrete as my neighbor is a contractor. He has already given me a few good truck loads that I was planning on building my SMB beds with. Is there a certain formula to creating water clarity to 3 or 4 feet. I was under the impression that I only wanted about 18inches of clarity with fertilization due to plankton bloom. Will my forage food be able to survive with water clarity that deep? Again, not trying to ask stupid questions, I just want to get this right. I am trying to read threads, and everytime, I learn something else new and amazing!


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No stupid questions if one does not know the answers. It is a learning curve and we are here to help pond owners with that curve.

Here is my 'take' on your questions. Others may have good opinions to consider. Firstly, historically 18" of clarity due to a bloom and the resulting pond or ecosystem productivity is based on BG-LMB, minnow-shiner production pond type systems. This amount of visibility is also condusive to minimizing submerged weed and FA growths. IMO these higher productivities are too productive and too "risky" to produce and maintain for a truly quality SMB fishery. These higher productivities at the 18" level are much more likely to have periodic DO crashes within the life span of your typical SMB compared to ecosystems with 3ft to 5 ft+ visibilities. These clearer water systems are typcially where SMB are most common and naturally thrive. Thus this is my rationale for clearer water and higher annual DO concentrations that are more condusive to consistantly growing great smallies. Consistant and long term being important items here.

I not saying that one cannot grow smallies in waters with 18"-2ft visibilities, but what I am saying is more problems will occur and long term chances of succeeding will be fewer, IF the water has higher phytoplankton densities due to higher fertilities. This applies especially to more southern waters where higher annual water temperatures prevail. see next.

Secondly - Remember as water increases in temperature, its ability to hold DO DECREASES and decreases fairly rapidly as temperature increases above 75F and 80F. There is probably a graph for this phenomenon.

Thirdly - I suspect that adult SMB have a lower DO threshold compared to adult LMB. Another factor to consider in this big 'picture'. I suspect that SMB evolved in higher oxygenated clearer water environments compared to LMB.

Forthly - Foggy asks: "Will my forage food be able to survive with water clarity that deep (3-4ft)?"

Your your forage will most certainly survive in water visibilites of 3'-4'. It just won't have as many foragers, i.e. less productivity equals fewer naturally produced individuals including fishes. Phytoplankton and zooplankton thrive quite well in very clear water (10-30+ft visibility). Waters with this clear of water almost never have summer fish kills due to very low BOD - Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Not as true in ice covered waters. Plankton and forage including fishes in clearer waters are fewer in number and biomass, but they are thriving and thriving quite well. Sometimes the community composition is even different in clearer lower nutrient waters. This all basically means you raise fewer pounds of smallies per acre in the lower productivity waters. Productivity and the resulting food chain or web is on a continuium from low to high or high to low. Nature's tradeoffs.

Fifty - There is no real formula as I know it, for producing water visibilities of 3-4ft. Visibilites at least those due to phytoplankton are due to the amount of nutrients available for the phytoplankton growth. More nutrients equalling more growth and phytoplankton as being the base of the food chain. Actually it nutrients and bacteria form that base of the food chain, but here we will use phytoplankton-plants as the base. More fertilization = more phytoplankton = in the end, more fish.

One place to start is if your water is clear, add fertilizer gradually until the transparency gets to where you want it. This assumes the alkalinity is adequate. Then try to maintain that visibility by thereafter regularly adding fertilizer in lesser amounts compared to the 18" visibilities recommendations. IMO is could be a very 'slippery' slope if a 'clear water' type fish is the goal.

If I was doing it, and for IMO simplicity, I would want as clear as water as possible and then just feed the smallies and the forage fish to keep higher numbers reasonable in the clear water. Or just be satisified with fewer predators (smallie pounds) per acre - the easiest plan-path. Big smallies can be raised well in very clear water. You may just have one 5 pounder per 1-2 acres. It would be very interesting to hear the clarity of the water where Ozarkstriperscom and Bobby Rice who recently caught large smallies in Wisconsin and where ever Ozark got his dandy SMB. There could also be data available of the poundage of smallies per acre of these water bodies which would help us better understand the standing stock of SMB in water with higher transpariencies.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=24047&Number=302320#Post302320

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=301763

FYI - here is info from Dale Hollow Reservoir where one of the record smallies was produced. "Summer secchi disc readings average between 18 and 20 feet. Dale Hollow is fairly infertile, and there is adequate dissolved oxygen throughout the water column. The remote location and lack of development keeps the water quality quite high." Note the last sentence suggesting low nutrients & low productivity.


Sixtly - Now keep in mind that the clearer water will naturally result in the pond growing more submerged plant growth due to clear water. Plan on that happening (problem). My plan would to have on the average deeper water for increased carity. There are some ways of dealing with weeds in clear water. Thus this puts us back to the beginning,,, mainly in the design of the pond - preplanning to minimize weed growth in clear water. Something that is not considered by most people wanting to raise SMB. IMO raising smallies requires a different philosophy and from the beginning, the pond should be designed for smallies or other more clear water thriving fish species. Rather than have a pond and just put smallies in it. That too can be done, and often done well, if ones uses proper management and with some 'luck'. This becomes more true esp in more southern waters where annual DO budgets become a larger "player".


Maintaining a population of smallies on feed is a big challenge and one that is not for most managers especially if the pond is large. I have found that the SMB that I have worked with are easier to feed train compared to LMB of the same size and age.



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I hear about a lot of people fertilizing ponds to get a bloom. I know fertilizing a pond can increase phytoplankton and reduce visibility but is there any scientific evidence that increasing phytoplankton increases zooplankton populations?


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Large amounts of scientific evidence are available that occur in hundreds and likely a few thousand articles- how much you feel like reading? Also - Zooplankton species composition of the community will be greatly affected by the types (species) and numbers of grazers.

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Would a smallmouth pond in southern water benefit from additional aeration to turn the water column more than once a day?


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""Would a smallmouth pond in southern water benefit from additional aeration to turn the water column more than once a day?""

Very good question and probably the answer is a big yes. It would likely depend on numerous factors but generally yes IMO. Raising smallies in the more southern regions is really a NEW concept and science that needs a lot more practical research and trying it so we have better ideas of what works best and what fails in the various types of waters. I still contend that the most common or main limiting factor in the absence of LMB is adequate dissolved oxygen 24/7 and not temperature.

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Sounds like a good PB magazine article in the future!


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Could SMB handle highly fertile waters but you just don't find them in them because of competition with LMB? Whereas without LMB being presnt to outcompete the SMB, the SMB would do fine in fertile waters where clarity is less than 2'? In other words, it's not the fertility and subsequent occasional DO crashes that keep the SMB out but rather competition from LMB. In lakes, you generally can't keep them LMB free but in smaller ponds, you can.

I just wonder how DO and temp sensitive SMB are at different sizes. I do believe larger SMB are far more senstive to low DO than small SMB. One may be able to grow SMB in highly fertile waters up to a certain size at which point they become far more suceptable to fish kill from DO crashes, much like comparing small HSB to large HSB. However I don't think the DO needs are as extreme in SMB.

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Again thanks everyone for all of your comments and help. The nice thing is that we will be draining my pond (3/4 of an acre) and will be able to start fresh. As mr Cody stated earlier, I can make the edges 6 to 8 feet deep as needed. I am going to be looking into aeration to add as soon as I get closer to putting water back in the pond. I am thinking about maybe a windmill type of aerator. I think this will be a good experiment to try. Especially if I have all of you guys in here to helpe through!


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We'll be learning a lot with you. Please check back in as you progress and keep us posted on your results.

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Cj, I will be on here everyday. I will try to find out how to post pictures so I can show you updates as well as tell you and ask questions. This is really exciting and I am getting really ready to get it all underway and not just in the planning stages! Thanks everyone.


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With a windmill, we can't help if the wind doesn't blow strong enough to produce a good uwelling boil when DO is needed on cloudy windless days. it will truly be an experiment.

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So windmill aeration is not a favorable source? There is no electricity at either location of my ponds. What options do I have? Should I check into putting electric on the farm? What type of aeration is mostl commonly used for ponds <1 acre?


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Without electricity, windmill aeration is acceptable especially so, if there is good exposure to wind from all directions. Don't put a windmill in a wooded area where I've seen some located. In good conditions I've seen where a windmill can work okay in a 3/4 ac 17ft deep pond. A good working windmill is a lot better than no aeration. Also explore solar aeration. I have no experience with solar aeration. Maybe others here can provide input about solar aeration. I would at least check on the cost of getting electricity to within 400ft of the ponds. From there a buried airline can deliver the air to the pond.

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We are working at clearing the woods out. Mostly it is thicket type underbrush that is very undesirable. I have decided to keep a few of the nice larger maples, but will open the majority of the bank up. I think I will try windmill aeration for a while until I can get electricity to the farm. Trying to get all of my ducks in a row to break the dam open this weekend and drain.


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If the windmill aeration system isn't taller than the trees, or not at least a couple hundred feet from the trees, the performance will greatly suffer.

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FoggyJ - I've seen SMB survive to sizes of 19" long with a couple HSB for 20 yrs in a small pond with no aeration (despite my pleas) until an algae bloom, and the DO sag killed them one August (due to progresive pond aging and eutrophication). No HBG nor YP died. The pond owner then installed electric aeration. The pond is used as a domestic water source. The pondweeds were kept to less than 20% with grass carp and aquashade. Tree leaf and corn fodder inputs were minimized with fences. Fish received pellet feedings about once or twice a week.

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Esshup, there is no way that I will be able to get above the trees, I can set it as far away as needed, the pond is in the middle of a pasture feild in basically a thicket. That is why I have been clearing it out. I would suspect that once it is clear, there will be very few trees anywhere near the pond. Maybe 25 very large maple or oaks. As far as setting it a couple hundred feet from the pond, that is not an issue with space, only with cost. As long as I can talk my wife into it, distance should not be an issue. We are set to drain now, as soon as the rain stops, we will cut the dam open and get all the water out.

The pond has hundreds of big mature bullfrogs. I have made several trips over there in the last couple of days to thin them out, will they return when the water does? Will a SMB eat a bullfrog or tadpoles? Again just some questions that I have wondered about. Thanks again for all of the help guys.


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SMb readily eat bullfrog tadpoles and the young frogs. You likely will not have very many bfrogs with smallies unless you have good amounts of emergent vegetation and some small shoreline shallow wetland - marshy areas. Hybrid water lilies would work in these areas also. Places and habitat that provide some refuge for frogs.


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Mr Cody, yesterday evening I talked with my father-in-law and he suggested the same thing you did. He wants to deepen the banks also. The banks are currently very steep and are about 3 to 4 feet straight down in many areas, but we are planning on going deeper. I love the idea of having 19 to 20 inch smallies. One concern that I do have with fish that big, is in such a small pond, won't I only have enough area to support very few fish especially of that size? I can look at getting electricity and will eventually have it there, but I guess any aeration is better than no aeration. I think that o would be sick to my stomach to have such a high quality fishery and have an algea bloom kill the all off! Again, I am brand new to all of this and every comment and price of advice is greatly appreciated and listened to. I want to get this right!


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Should I look at planting this type of vegetation or should I leave it alone? I would rather not have something that is going to hinder what I am looking at accomplishing. I can build a shelf on the front side of the pond to support the aquatic vegetation if it is desired, but I do not have to if it will hurt the chances of what I want to accomplish.


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Hybrid water lillies provide great cover for your minnows. You can plant them along the shoreline in 6-18" of water. If your banks are real steep it might be harder. I have planted several in a shallow end of my pond and they were quick to take hold, unfortunately the geese that have started to call the pond home ate them all over the weekend. Once goose season starts (September 15) we will make sure they don't return...


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I can make some shallower areas to plant the hybrid lilies. There is a big shallow area on the front of the pond. I will level it out to be around 12 to 18 inches and that will be where I plant them. All the rest of my banks will really be around 4 to 6 feet strait up and down except for the dam which has a less steep pitch. The sam will be covered in rip rap. Is there a certain spacing requirement for planting lilies? Do they tend to take over certain spots? How much sun do they require? Thanks for all the help.


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Rockville, I hate that the geese have done that to you, but I always like a man with a plan! Hammer down on those honkers! We have a few residential birds around here, but we have been mostly forced to hunt migrators. Good luck.


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Can we assume that your steep banks have some slope-pitch or are they vertical? Vertical banks could cause you problems with cave ins, erosion and slippage. How well can vertical banks be compacted to miminize leakage? 2:1 slopes-pitch as steep banks are best for stable non-sloughing compacted sidewalls and 3:1 'pitch' also work well.

Hybrid water lilies:
1. since the pond is new it is best to put a little topsoil (6") in the areas where you want lilies. Lilies can grow easily in 2'-3' of water which is probably a better depths considering water going down during dry periods. IN one area maybe put larger rocks down to 2'-3' and plant the lilies on a ledge there below the rock line. that should be aestetic when they bloom and provide small fish-crayfish extra rocky cover.
2. Hybrid lilies will spread fairly slow so I would plant them about 5 to 30 ft apart depending on the size of the lily (dwarf, small, medium, large).
3. Lilies grow fastest in soft sediments and shallow water. Much slower in hard packed clay bottoms. This can affect the spacing of plantings.
4. Lilies do best with at least 4 hrs of direct sunlight.

See this link for more homework about hardy hybrid water lilies.
If you have never dealt with hybrid water lilies you should read my article in Pond Boss magazine about what to do and not to do and how choose, plant, transplant and to control them.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=110943#Post110943

Repeat from the link above:
1. WATER LILIES IN PONDS? Part 1. by Bill Cody March -April 2010: pg 36-38. Types of floating leaf lily-like plants, their features, and control methods.
2. HYBRID WATER LILIES Part 2. Jul-Aug 2010: pg 48-52. All about hybrid hardy water lilies, root types, choosing from the many varieties, numerous examples, planting, dividing and transplanting, sources.


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Again thanks Mr Cody. A few of the areas are very steep but do have some pitch. Bit around 1/3 of te banks are completely vertical. I am not sure how it was packed, but it has been that way since I started dating my wife around 15 years ago. I have frog hunted this pond since then (it's really her farm) and the banks have always seemed stable.


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Steep banks and somewhat vertical are good IMO if you can keep them from caving in. Steep banks minimize weed growth and concentrate submerged plants into narrow bands around the edges esp in clearer waters. Steep banks help a lot to keep weed growth to that ideal 15%-25% coverage.


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Well, we are set there. Once we get all the water out, I'll take a few more pictures and do my best to post. I've been talking around with some friends and they are willing to help with the renovation (for a fishing pass!) and have chipped in on the brush removal. By next week we will have clear passage to the pond on all sides. Things are looking up as it is changing from cesspool to the beginnings of a pond! Thanks fellas!


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In giving the m the fishing pass, just make sure they abide by the rules you set out to ensure that your goals are met.

It's kinda like what I do when shooting for a dog trainer. I try to drop the bird where he wants it dropped, and when. Not when I think I should shoot the bird.


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Esshup, I agree. All of my buddies will play by the rules. That's why we are buddies! I would only let the people I know and respect go unattended. Most will be taking their children or wives. This will be a good place for gamily fun is what I am hoping for.


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Froggy--- You haven't mentioned(at least that I have seen) how you are going to remove the muck. A bulldozer can push it, but the muck acts like a really wet concrete mix. What I mean is that if it's like the stuff I had, there is no way it will pile up. Just be prepared..........

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Bull dozer is the plan. What I have may not be muck but really soft mud. I am not for sure of the difference. When we cut the dam out, I don't care to push the muck/mud out of the drainage ditch that we cut. I'll just push it on down the hill. I wouldn't even care to have a shallow marshy area at the bottom of the hill to continue to frog hunt. I guess that is the plan. Not really sure as I have never done it before. Guess I was kinda hoping redneck ingenuity would take over and provide a solution! Any ideas on muck removal?


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Repeat from above: "What professionals often do when rebuilding a pond and dealing with damp or still wet slop is to mix dry dirt from other dry parts of the pond with it so it can be pushed or lifted. Don't get stuck in that wet stuff,, it can be deceiving and sticky. Maybe after the pond is drained, let it dry out for at least a week. A week of warm sunny breezy weather can cause a lot of drying of wet sediments." The old time operators I've watched use a dozer to do the mixing. It might take an experienced operator to get that job done to know how much dry stuff to mix so it pushes well. Wet slop that was spread fairly thick from the pond bottom took a good two years to dry well for me when I rebuilt.

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Edit:Bill responded as I was typing. Heed his advice. He has been around this stuff for a long time. Muck is deceiving because it will all level out nice and flat. You start in it when it is only a few inches deep, and then before you know it your in a deep whole covering your whole dozer....

You will have to work it out as you go. Just when you get it figured out, invariables will force you to change plans. If you can cut the dam down to drain all of it, that will help tremendously. I am glad to hear that you can push it out and downhill out of the way. Trucking it is a hassle. Bill mentioned some good advice on moving the muck earlier. I was told to start on one side and take solid dirt and create a dam that starts pushing against the muck. In a very carefull approach, the muck will slide ahead of that solid dirt/dam and you can move it in the direction you want without having to be in it. Of course this is dependent on if it really is a soft muck like watery concrete. It turned out that I could not do it this way because of my terrain.

The one bit of advice that was given to me that was simple but worth its weight in gold. "As you work, always plan as if it is going to rain in the next hour."

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Bull dozer is the plan. What I have may not be muck but really soft mud. I am not for sure of the difference. When we cut the dam out, I don't care to push the muck/mud out of the drainage ditch that we cut. I'll just push it on down the hill. I wouldn't even care to have a shallow marshy area at the bottom of the hill to continue to frog hunt. I guess that is the plan. Not really sure as I have never done it before. Guess I was kinda hoping redneck ingenuity would take over and provide a solution! Any ideas on muck removal?


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Sorry, don't know how I re-posted the same comment! I am gonna try to spread the dry dirt on the slop, I guess we will just keep working at it until we get it. My wife's uncle is pretty famous around here for dirt work. He is the man that has shown me a bunch about dozers and tractors. I may consult him about helping. $100 an hour sounds much better than a disappearing dozer! If anyone I know can get the muck out, he can. I just want to do as much as I can for myself. Long term, I would like to learn how to core a dam and build a couple of more ponds on the property. 250 acres is to big to only have 2 BOW totaling less than 2 acres!


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