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Joined: Jun 2014
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Hello all, 1st post here.

I have been using the commonly seen "lake rake" with some success. Just a 3 foot aluminum landscape rake attatched to a rope. I cast it, let it sink and since I have a muddy bottomed pond, the weeds come right out with ease. The problem is my pond is approx 300 ft across in some areas so I cannot cast to the middle. One of my neighbors who I share the pond with suggested we tow it out with a paddle boat to the middle and drop it. Good idea only that it will take forever doing this with a 3 foot rake. This is where the new idea comes in.

I just returned from Home Depot where I bought
(3) 3' landscape rakes.
(1)9 foot piece of heavy duty aluminum "angle iron"
(1) 6 foot piece of heavy duty aluminum "angle iron"
(2) eye bolts
150 feet of climbers rope
And various stainless bolts and nuts

The plan is to fasten all 3 rakes side by side by bolting them through the face to the heavy duty angle iron and use the shorther piece at the end of the handles to stop them from moving side to side, strengthen the assembly and hold the eye bolts. Creating one large 9 foot version of the common lake rake.
Then we will drop that in the middle by boat and pull it to shore. Hopefully by hand but if it's too heavy we will use a 4-wheeler to tow.

Anyone here ever seen or heard of this idea? I will post pictures of the contraption and hopefully results this weekend.

Ben


Last edited by BDCANETTI; 06/26/14 03:14 PM.
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Welcome to the PBF...

I have been trying to source combine reel fingers to make a similar style rake...Can't wait to see some pictures and hear how it works...

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Why not get 300' of rope, skip the boat and drag from shore to shore with 4wd. Even if the rake fills up, it should uproot the weeds and have them float to shore where wives/kids/friends who wanna fish can easily gather up and mulch all yer trees and shrubs?


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I may actually try that.

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This is just the basic idea before I bolt it all together and attach the rope.


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Looks good! Just be sure of your weed I.D. Some types of weeds are actuall spread by breaking them into smaller fragments.

Years ago we did the same thing on the public lake that the house is on. We used a heavy piece of angle iron and rope, towing it behing the speedboat. It worked, but was a real PITA to deal with all the weeds once they were near the seawall.


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Just a thought. I wonder how well it would work, if instead of using the rake, you were to take a 10 to 20 length of heavy chain and stretch it out along the shoreline, tie a long length of rope to each end, and then simultaneously tow both ends of the rope around each side of the pond, dragging the chain across the bottom. If it were to hang up, you could reverse direction, or simply release the rope on one side of the pond and pull the chain out of the water from the other side.

I seem to recall someone on the forum trying something similar, but I dont remember what the results were.

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UPDATE:

The rake as a bottom weed pulling device sucks! It doesn't pull enough weeds to make it worth it's cumbersome handling. HOWEVER, I then attached pool noodles to make it float and then pull it from one side to another in order to skim top weeds and algae blooms and for that it worked awesome. Of course you then have to pitch fork whatever you just pulled in on to shore.

I also rented a 250CC 3" intake trash pump to try and suck the weeds out that I pulled to shore....Did not work as planned. It was more trouble than it was worth.

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I saw a guy use the inards of mattress(just metal springs) weighted down. It worked well.

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I want to really thank BDCANETTI for posting what he has been doing with these rakes.

I was out with my backhoe today taking out my annual crop of purple loosetrife on my main pond (0.7 acres). While doing so I took out a lot of leaf muck, which is my ponds' other nemises.

My other smaller pond (about 0.3 acres) gathers a lot of leaves. Both ponds get one heck of a lot of leafs each season.

I'm staying in town tonight, and I'm right near a Lowes. I'm going to get a couple of those rakes before I head out to the farm tomorrow.

Now that I've seen what has been done, my plan is to extend the handle to twice its length using a removable piece of conduit, to get leaves within 8-10 feet of the shore line.

The idea of the paddle boat is brilliant. I am going to try dragging two of the rakes behind my paddleboat. Although, I may need outriggers.

I've got a small flat trailer that allows me to easily transport the paddle boat from pond to pond with my UTV.

I'll post my results in the next week or two.

Thanks again for the great idea.

Ken


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Hopefully I can explain the process a little better.

This is ideal with a 5 man team but a 3 man will work and anything less is very difficult.

In the picture below, 2 men stand at each "red diaganol" on each side of the pond. While the 5th man (In this case my Dad) canoes the rope (not the rake) back and forth across. You pull the rope, in this scenario 230 feet across collecting a massive amount of top floating weeds and algae. Then the other man begins to pitchfork it out, swapping jobs every other pull for obvious reasons of fatigue from the heavy lifting. Then you hand the end of the rope back to the canoe and reposition the rake to make the trip back across. You continue this until your help (my brothers and my Dad) say screw you and your weeds and go drink your beer. We worked for about 2 hours and cleared about 30% of the surface. It is a 2 Acre pond measuring 430' x 230' at its widest and longest points. You cannot carry the rope around the shore due to trees along the way preventing you from doing so.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve this process, please chime in. I'm always looking for a better or more efficient way. I even entertained the idea of shooting the rope across the pond with my bow. The rope being tied to the end of an arrow of course. I just haven't done it yet, nor will I. Also, please read above as I am using the pictured rake WITH floats for top floating weeds and algae.

I would really like to find a better way to remove the harvested weeds from the water without the pitchforking as I explained above with the trash pump idea. Maybe a bigger pump with a bigger intake. The one I rented only had a 3" intake.

By the way, that is an old Google Maps image and I wish I only had that much weed coverage. I was at nearly 90% when we started and down to about 25% now.


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Why not put the ropes on some kind of pulley system making it easier to pull and you don't have to stretch it back to the other side it just runs in a loop.. Also hook the rope somehow to a atv rim and put it uupon a block figure out a way to use the rear wheel to coil your rope.. just some ideas no specifics really


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I'm seriously thinking about drawing my older pond down 3-5 feet in the next couple of years, and renting a large trackhoe, like a CAT 320. I have several friends with track loaders, skid steers, and dump trucks who can then move the sludge I take out. The clay bottom of my pond is solid enough that I figure I can drive the trackhoe in at least up to half the track height without getting stuck. With the bucket in the "float" mode I figure I can use a wide bucket to skim the muck off the compacted clay bottom without doing much damage.

I actually do that now with my little backhoe or a friend's medium size Kubota rubber-track excavator. But my backhoe can only get out about 10 feet, and the excavator can only get out 15-18 feet at depth, while working from shore during full pool.

Being in NY, I have to ask if tilapia are legal to stock in any way, in ponds, in your area? If so, have you thought trying to use them? I know people in Mt. Kisco, NY growing tilapia, but they are doing it in a closed aquaponics system (Cabbage Hill Farms).

Lastly, think about our great Pond Boss friend, Dr. Mark Cornwell, at SUNY Cobbeleskill. Just Google "SUNY CORNWELL" and you can find contact info. Nobody knows more about NY state ponds and fisheries management than Dr. Cornwell.


If for no other reason, being in NY state, you should think about subscribing to Pond Boss Magazine to read his regular articles about his research and raising fish, in ponds, in the state of NY.

Regards,
Ken



Good luck,
Ken


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I bought one of the rakes last night to see what they were like.

I was impressed. The majority of leaves in my ponds sink near the shoreline. Today, in 98 F degree heat, I was able to pull sunken leaves from about 100 feet of shoreline on my smaller pond in less than 30 minutes.

I then tied a rope to the handle, threw the rake out, but brought in minimal debris from about 6-ft of water, 15-20 feet from the edge of full-pool.

Whatever it might be, it sure seems to be a good pond edge cleaning tool, for a reasonable price.

Ken


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I initially bought one from an online vendor and now wish I hadn't. From them I paid around $90 plus shipping and all I really needed to do was go buy it from Lowes or Home Depot for $44 plus some rope and an eye bolt. They are advertised as the "Lake Rake" online but all it is, is a 3' landscaping rake.

That being said, it does work amazingly well and that's why I decided to fasten 3 of them together to make a 9' version and cover more ground per pass of the rake. It works well for bottom dredging or as a floating skimmer by zip tying the pool noodles to it.

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The Original Lake Rake and maybe some of the other commercial Lake Rakes styles do have rake teeth that the last 1" at the tip are bent 'down'. This feature improves the function of the rake for digging sediments and uprooting lightly attached weeds. I have used both types and for all around use, I prefer the Lake Rake version with bent tips. It is worth the extra money when 'working' the sediments. For removing floating material bent tips are probably not all that important.


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Again, I want to thank BDCANETTI for bringing up the subject of these rakes. I would never have known about them otherwise.

It is a fantastic rake, and perfect for what I needed. I'm just now setting up a aquarium to see what has been spawning in my put-and-take pond.

As I mentioned, I'm using the rake manually to pull leaves off the bottom from within about six feet of the shoreline on this pond. Because of our constant winds, nearly all leaves end up sinking near shore.

Lots of fry get raked in with the leaves. Many are so small I can't tell what they might be. Others are about an inch long, and I can't tell whether they are RES or F2/F3 offspring from my hybrid bluegill.

The great news is that my Small Mouth Bass in this pond had a successful spawn this year. They are pretty easy to identify at about 1 inch.

Without this rake I'd never have known these things.

Thanks Again,
Ken


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Rather than fixing all three rakes together, let them individually settle on the bottom, pivoting at the end of the handles. That way more of the length of the tool can be contacting the bottom at a time. You may need to tie a brick onto each of the three rakes to help hold it down.

I used one of these rakes to prep the soil around the pond for seeding as they work great for leveling and stone removal over large areas. I have not tried it yet for weed removal, but I think you need to add weight to make it stay on the bottom when dragging.

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I am allergic to work, which the rake appears to be. Are Grass Carp out of the question? 5-10 have worked wonders for my 3 acre retention pond weed problems.

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I use a 6 ft piece of a harrow. Put a chain on it, tie the works to the tractor and drag it.It only takes about 5 minutes to get all the spaghetti off of it.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 07/10/14 04:38 PM.

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Hey Dave -- what kind of harrow are you referring to?

I guess this is kind of like the difference between a pond and a tank -- it depends on where you live.

To me, a harrow is a row-crop tractor cultivator with spring teeth to control weeds in strawberry fields, potato patches, etc.

But, in my days of coaching youth sports, it was also a piece of chain link fence, with hooks and a cable that was dragged behind a lawn tractor to smooth the baselines of baseball fields.

Regards,
Ken


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I suppose if u had a winch attached to the front of your truck u could run the cable out to one side of the pond (assuming that distance is not too long, since the winch cable is only so long) get a straight heavy piece of angle iron , maybe 4 to 6 feet long, attach each end of the angle iron to the winch cable, drop the iron in at one end of the pond, the winch at the other end, and winch it across the pond bottom, dragging whatever leaves, weeds and muck comes with it. Kind of like an iron rake!

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Ken, just saw this again. Yeah, the harrow has/had teeth. Now, it is mostly an old rectangular piece of junk iron with braces. I have to wade it out into the pond which is a PITA and drop it. Then the tractor drags it and the spaghetti out. Then redo the whole thing. It's kind of a character builder but does drag a bunch of crap out.


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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Ready to purchase a pond rake and the weed razor. I have a Lilly pad problem to deal with. I am questioning which rake to buy. I see short toothed rakes with floating attachment and the longer toothed rakes. Any advice on which rake to purchase? Am I right to think the Lilly pad cuts will float to the surface when cut? If so, I am thinking the rake with the floating attachment. Please advise.


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