New member, but I have been lurking around for a few months. I’m a new pond owner. Last September we bought 26+ acres in Central NC. It’s about 50/50 trees and pasture with a 2.1 acre farm pond that has been used by cows for the last couple decades or so. The house was built in 1901 with a couple additions between 30 and 60 years ago. Other buildings include a 5 car detached garage (35’x45’ metal building), a 20’x40’ pole barn, a couple very old small storage buildings that will be torn down before they fall down, an old barn that is held up by the vines growing throughout it and a in-ground swimming pool that doesn’t hold water but does has a couple small trees growing in of the deep end. Needless to say we have 10+ years worth of DIY projects ahead of us. My next free weekend will be sometime in 2023, when I retire.
I’m an Architect so the renovation needs of the buildings and structures are perceived to be under control at this time. I’ll be posting on the Human Habitat section once I get started. Plan is to have the house renovated within 5-6 years. First project is building the workshop in the garage. The pool will become a natural swimming pool, with a new hot tub of course. Pole barn may become the greenhouse and/or chicken coop. Lots of plans and opportunities, only need time and money.
Now to the pond.
Since finding Pond Boss I have learned how much I don’t know about owning a pond. You guys have such a wealth of information and I plan on taking full advantage of that. I have already subscribed to the magazine and ordered a couple books. Finding this site will make this journey much more enjoyable and productive.
The pond is 2.1 acres. It is spring fed and has a watershed of about 15-18 acres. The neighbor said he has never seen the water down more than a few inches in the last 40 years. So I don’t think lack of water will ever be an issue. It looks as if it is full of muck/silt. The dam also needs work on the pond side but is not leaking. It has a clay/dirt spillway that only has flowing water after a rain. An overflow pipe is about 3” above the spillway height but I have never seen water touch it. I thought about pushing it lower but it drains to near the top of the back of the dam. The spillway drains through the woods. The water was milk chocolate brown when the cows use it. In the last three months without them the clarity has improved to 12” to 18”.
There are fish which surprised us. In mid November I tossed in a lure just to see. To our surprise we caught 5 bass in 15 minutes, all skinny between 8” and 11”. The next day my son caught 15 bass in 45 minutes, all in the same size range. Until the weather got cold we were catching a bass every 3 or 4 minutes, all skinny and 13” was the biggest. Lots of fun with light tackle. So what I learned from this website is I have an overpopulation of bass that is stunting their growth. I have not caught anything but small bass and all were released. A couple weeks ago something bigger grabbed the lure and took off. I was using a real light setup and it got off after a 20 second fight. I hooked it near weeds in 3 feet of water in the same spot I had just caught a couple small bass. I was told an 8 lb bass was caught many years ago so there is potential.
I have pond renovation ideas but need to get more info before planning anything. I’ll go into these in more detail in future posts. My tentative schedule is:
2013 – Investigation: Depth of water, amount of muck, extent of damage to dam, water quality, fish count, county and state rules and regulations, etc…
2014 – Design and start renovation / rejuvenation.
2015 – Finish renovations, Start building pond house (man cave/poker room).
2016 – Stock forage fish and critters. Finish pond house.
2017 – Stock predator fish.
2018 until the end of time – Maintain and enjoy.
2019 – PB “thanks for the help” party and fish fry. All are welcome.
As you can see I plan on being around and asking lots of questions for years to come. So I might as well start now. Due to work needed on the house I am not going to start any major project with the pond until the summer of 2014 at the earliest.
What are minor things I can do until then to improve / maintain / stop deterioration of the pond?
What do I need to investigate (other than mentioned above) to make good decisions on what will be the best options in the future?
And now the photos.
This is the whole property.
South property line looking towards house. Taken day we made the offer to buy.
View from house
From west side of pond. Dam is on the left.
Dam, taken last week. Spillway right of pipe.
Back of dam.
Spillway right after rain.
Thank you in advance for any comments and future help and advice.