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#357270 11/15/13 08:53 PM
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I am building a small lake and I want to build 3 forage fish ponds. I would like information on the best size, shape, and depth. These will be for bluegill, red ear, and tilapia.
thanks in advance,
jon

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Will they be rubber lined or soil?

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They will be soil lined. High P.I. clay.

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I think I would go about 1/10 acre. I have one about that size and find it just about right.


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.

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Consider at least one of the three forage ponds twice as large around 0.2ac. There has been prior discussion here about design of forage ponds for easy fish removal. Several members here have small ponds just for raising forage. Hopefully a few of them will provide advice based on their experiences so far.

Shape and depth should be essentially like a paint roller pan or slanted basin so all water flows towards one deeper end. Shallow one end and deeper at opposite end. You want to be able to easily drain and refill it even if it is by pumping. You want to be able to easily seine it when at low pool. Often forage ponds are completely drained for the winter and allowed to dry out to minimize muck build up and reduce the rooted weed growth of next year. Refill and stock early each spring.

I think a rectangular shaped slightly deeper catchment basin in the deep end for concentrating fish and/or easy seining - draining is a good idea. During summer it would be a good idea to have an aeration diffuser in the deeper water of the catchment basin to keep this deeper sump aerated and mixed with oxygenated water. If you build and use a forage pond please return later and provide feedback for members. Thanks.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/08/18 10:56 AM.

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I have four micro ponds that range from .1 to .4 acres. I raised SMB and RES in two of them, and built them shallow [6' depth] and flat bottomed to help facilitate seining at season's end for collection. After several years of fighting various vegetation and having to enlist volunteer help, I moved away from the seining pond design on my latest reproduction pond in hopes I could alleviate many of the issues I was facing on the other seining ponds. The design of the new pond was based on Bill's advice above.

I built a .1 acre, rectangular pond with an 8" drainpipe at the lowest/deepest point of the dam. The entire pond is sloped like a bathtub to drain to this point. On the backside I have a 8" gate valve which controls the water release. On the end of the drainpipe I have a 90 degree elbow which I attach to direct water into a 8' diameter stock tank, which I covered with plastic 1/2" netting and secured along the sides. This Fall I opened the gate valve and all water/SMB flowed through the pipe and into the stock tank. Water went through the netting, fish stayed put. Once it was drained it was easy to net and collect all SMB. No seining, no vegetation issues, and the entire process took about 2.5 hours and there was far less handling stress on the SMB. Didn't lose a single fish.

If I was designing a primary, large pond again [2-5 acres] I'd create several growout/forage ponds like this around the perimeter of the main pond and have the drains feed directly into the main pond. Supplemental stocking of forage or game fish made pretty simple.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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