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#304979 08/29/12 06:56 PM
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just started on my first pond. ive never made a pond before but ive done a bit of research and had 2 different pond guys i know look at it and they both say they wouldnt think twice about it. im uneasy about it since i have to wipe all the trees out to do it and it may or may not hold water. They say it will be no problem so ive bit the bullet and pretty much have to try to make it work now. heres the area i have and the water is planned to come to a hair above the backhoe when all is done. i test dug down about 8 ft at the dam and ran into solid dark clay,which i would think should work for the core.anybody see anything im missing or havent thought about before all these trees are gone?

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how big do you plan your pond being when you are finished and it is full?


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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When you do the core, make sure you take it out past the pond basin and tie it into good soil.

What are you going to use to compact the clay? I'm assuming that you will be digging down to clay and using it to "plate" over the non-clay soil that is near the surface around the edges of the pond?


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it should be a little over 2 acres. i had planned on coring back in the back like you described. i have a dozer and backhoe and if it ever rains and i only pack 6 inches or so at a time, i would think it would be good enough? i plan on stripping all the topsoil out down to clay around the whole thing. once i get it logged, i just have to wait for rain. i dont think its rained all year it seems like, and its just powder everywhere around here.

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and im still trying to decide how big of an over flow pipe i should put in,or even maybe 2 smaller ones instead of one big one.

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The tracks usually won't pack it tight enough. They're designed to float over soft surfaces......

Multi tired pan scraper or sheepsfoot. Load the pan up and drive it around 'till your dizzy. Or Sheepsfoot and let it walk out of the clay before adding another 6". I'd shoot for a minimum of 18" compacted with a target of 24".

You expecting to get any rain from Issac?


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How many acres of watershed will be feeding the pond? Where 'bouts in Hoosierville?


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This is not the best of times to build a pond. The clay/soil needs to be moist enough to compact.


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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^ i agree, which is why im not doing anything yet. lol.theres approx 8-10 acres around that feeds into it.

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heres a pic of the dirt about 2 ft down which im told is good. does this look like decent clay to be packing the bottom and the dam with?


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Drill some 1/4" or so holes in the bottom of a 5 gal bucket. Pack 6" in the bottom. Fill with water. See if it leaks out....

If it does leak, and you used dry clay, try adjusting the moisture content before packing and see if that solves the leakage problem.


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actually, i did just that today...lol. ive got a few inches of gravel in the bottom as well. so far, not a drop has came out. and as dry as the ground is right now, its really not packed that great, so that seems like a great sign to me. i have a little bit redder clay down in the dam area i need to check as well. i may need to pack some of this stuff down there if it doesnt do as good as this i assume? also, question.... this clay seems to be over most of the area,especially on the shallow end. i would love to leave some stickups near the bank in a couple areas,which i am finding is a no no. but i have seen it many times work. is that worth trying or no?most lakes have alot of that and were never packed or anything and hold fine.

Last edited by bottledgt; 08/30/12 07:26 PM.
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Yeah, but the lakes were formed naturally and back when they formed, nobody cared if they were there or not.....

Clean the bottom, pack it good and place your own stick-ups where you want them. After spending $$ to build the pond, you don't want to spend the same amount or more $$ fixing a leaking pond.


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no, im talking about man made dammed up lakes. im just thinking , if theres substantial clay under the trees, then it could work?

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If you have a constant spring running into it the trees could probably be left if not I would do as esshup recommends and add them back in later


"I think I have a nibble" Homer Simpson

34ac natural lake



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no, no spring. how would you add them in later exactly?

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Look in the archives, there's a large thread about adding structure to ponds.


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yeah, i can add structure later. logs, tires etc. but a few standing stickups would be neat as well.

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eh, ill just save the stumps i dig up and set them back in when its done i guess. same effect

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Now you're getting it! wink grin


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the more trees i take down , the more nervous and second guessing im getting. but i did test the more redder clay i found as well in the bucket and so far its not leaking any either. it looks as if it wouldnt hold water to me, but who knows

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If both are not leaking any, and you want to see which one will seal the best, find a taller container (more water weight on the clay).

Heck, if you wanted to see how the clay would perform under, say, 10', 15' or even 20' of water, get a 2" dia piece of PVC, pack 6", 12" , 18", etc. of clay in one end, drill a few holes in a cap and slip the cap on tightly (no glue). Support the cap on something porus, stand it up and fill it up with water.


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clearing is getting farther along. my stomach is gonna be sick until "IF" or "WHEN" it holds water. i hate getting rid of this woods


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Going back to the first threads, spend the money and rent roller. Find a sheepsfoot and a smooth shell roller and compact. We ran all over my ponds with large rubber tires for days as we moved and laid down the first layer of clay but that minor compaction did not compare to what the rollers did. Make it right the first time not like me.

Don't shortcut the compaction, great title for Mike
Otto's Biography ha ha


13 acres,
5 ponds 1 still working
FHM, Shiners, CC, SMB, WE, Yellow Perch
living the dream




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i cleared trees up to this point today.literally dropped one 10 ft from this before i saw it...


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