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Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...*Updated w Pics*
#386669 09/04/14 12:36 PM
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Hey guys,
I have been on here since 2005 and have been dreaming of owning land and building a pond since I stumbled onto this site and even before.I'm a single dad of 4 kids (3 daughters and a son). After years of dreaming about it, today I close on 12 acres in Kaufman County, Tx! Planning to build a pond 1-3 acres.

About the pond...
The Ponds main purpose it to grow/house lunker bass......
Forage Plan
Shallow Water Forage
Snails
Grass Shrimp
Crawfish
GG Bluegill
Gambusia Minnows
Fathead Minnows
Deep Water Forage:
Threadfin Shad
Golden Shiner * Possibly

Predator Fish:
LMB F1 or Bass

*I am thinking of doing something unconventional and stocking only 5lbs+ and above...I fish a lot and catch many bass of this size from ponds/lakes etc and thought over time, if I only have baitfish and add one or two (5+) bass a week, that I could have a lunker program in half the time... because of the run off from ponds above mine, I don't think I would be able to grow and maintain a clean strain of F1's or Camelot but thats not to say I won't try them either...

Vegetation:
Do you suggest planting any vegetation or allowing things to take root naturally? I know some vegetation will clear up muddy water and I would like to have a "clearer pond".
Recommendations on vegetation to add to a pond that won't over run or be a nightmare later?

Structure:
There are so many things I want to do, from a shallow area with log jams, to a rocky shore with rip rap, an island, underwater humps...Got so much to plan for...
Any ideas where/how to do or find materials cheaply?

About the Land
This land is shaped like a utility knife. I would love to have 3-5 acre pond but I think I will build 1 acre as a time as my pocketbook permits. The land has a patch of dense trees which are located in the flood plain.. My goal is to dig out the floodplain, build a dam and clear out some of the trees...I want to keep as many trees as possible as I love the thick forest there but I will dispose of them quickly for large bass..sorry not sorry ha.
I'm thinking of creating a channel where the creek would normally be and just have that go through the pond..3-4ft dug down...any problems with having a channel through a pond?

Any issues with building a pond in a floodplain? Things to watch out for?

I am attaching a plot of the land so you can see what I am working with.

Looking forward to hearing feedback.

Thanks,

- 1 Excited Texan
Photo Gallery 1- Land and Before Pictures

Photo Gallery 2 - Clearing Land Pictures

---> Photo Gallery 3- Digging the Pond

Photo Gallery 4- Pond Filling Up



Attached Files
Last edited by 3z3k3l; 02/26/15 12:01 AM.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386676 09/04/14 02:02 PM
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3Z slooooooooow down big boy!! smile I can tell from your post you are excited!! Whoo! Congrats man! You are on your way but you need to buy the book Perfect Pond Want One? Do some more reading.

I can tell you this Transferring 5 pound bass usually dont work out to well. At that point they are to big and been in a certain BOW for to long and most will not fair well or die. I would not go over 2 pounds if your going to transfer any.

I can also tell you if your wanting a Trophy bass pond 1 acre isn't going to cut it. It's just not big enough. I would suggest 2 acres minimum... and even then it's going to be hard.

RC


The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386677 09/04/14 02:10 PM
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Remember they say about 50 lbs of predator fish per acre if unfertilized. 100 pounds if fertilized. So you do the math.

At 100 pounds that's about 13 or 14, 7 pound bass.

At 50 pounds your only talking 7 LMB at 7 pounds.

Not sure what you consider trophy but those bass are gonna get real hook shy fast if you keep catching them....

I had the same plans when I started out with my 1 acre pond. I have now concided to the fact that my 1 acre pond is better off having trophy BG and ok size bass. I have 10 and 11 inch BG and 2 to 3 pound bass and it works well.

Just giving you a heads up thats all. Lets see what other may have to say.

RC


The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386683 09/04/14 03:17 PM
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Hey RC,
Yeah I need to slow down a bit haha but I am just brainstorming/planning. This is the fun part till the reality and costs set in...a guy can dream can't he? ha.
Anything over 10s would be great as a trophy for my kids but even 5lbers would be plenty for them. 1 acre would only be (10) 5lbers...and not much else..hmm.. Gotta give that some more thought. They are just as happy catching colorful bluegill as they are large bass so it def something to consider.

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386685 09/04/14 03:25 PM
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Hey 3Z yes dream on my friend. That's what it's all about!! Then a big dose of reality will smack you right back in the face! smile LOL

10 pounders yeah that's what I was afriad of when you said trophy. I don't think I have heard or met anyone out here on this site that has produced 10 pound bass in a 1 acre pond? 5 pounders yes even 6 pounds but 10... that's pushing it.

Yeah plan and read those to things don't cost much and they will SAVE you tons of money when you start to actually put your plan in action!

If you do figure out how to consistantly raise 10 pound bass in a 1 acre pond please let me know! smile I wanna try it!!

Oh and yes my 2 sons have a blast catching 10 inch BG!! They are a blast on a 5 foot light action rod!! smile

RC

Last edited by RC51; 09/04/14 03:26 PM.

The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386689 09/04/14 04:04 PM
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Hi 333, I hope it all works for you. I would say the bottom you are going to clear would need some core testing to be safe. The vegetation will come,Trust me. I would suggest watching what you get from birds that come in, etc. and wait to plant extra if needed. Since you will live in Kaufman, I would suggest a well, so you can control water level better unless surrounding property of say 20 to 50 acres will have runoff into your pond. I have 12 acres in East TX. and my pond just would not fill after two years(dug well).

As well you would most likely have an all around better pond if you bought a book or two from the PB site. Bob Lusks' book Perfect pond want one, would get you started,IMO.

Thanks for picture and keep us updated with pic's when you can,you will be glad you built a picture diary in the future especially with the kiddos helping! Good luck


Life is more fun with a pole in your hand.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386695 09/04/14 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: 3z3k3l
Hey RC,
Yeah I need to slow down a bit haha but I am just brainstorming/planning. This is the fun part till the reality and costs set in...a guy can dream can't he? ha.


Unfortunately you can't hurry success. I don't know if you have been a subscriber since you first registered, but Bob Lusk has written extensively in those years about what happens when large bass are moved from one pond/lake to another. There aren't a lot of success stories.

But, if you can give it two to three years, you can have a fantastic pond. It just takes lots of study, work, time, attention to what is happening, and luck.

Lots of info is in our archives. Ask lots of questions before starting something that could become a nightmare.

Good luck,
Ken


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Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386722 09/05/14 05:53 AM
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3Z, welcome to the show. You're about where most of us have been. The problem is that big predators need big food; not a lot of small food. A 5 pound bass needs a bunch of 7 to 8 inch or larger bluegills. I've not found that coppernose work a whole lot better or grow a lot bigger than Texas bluegills. Some might disagree with that statement but every pond is unique and different. Essentially, if you stock bluegills, you have to wait quite awhile to stock your whopper predators. And, they might not do too well if you change their environment.

The other problem is the catching. You can catch a big bass but they tend to realize that there are strings attached in small(non lake) waters and seldom bite but once. Seeing them and knowing that they are there but not catching them is about like kissing your sister. I've tried this more than once without a lot of success or enjoyment by the pond owner.

I might also rethink the GG. I assume they are Georgia Giants. Very few have found that they do any better than the non crosses. There's a lot of pond hype out there just like in anything else.

The general, tried and true, recipe for anything that's not a lake is to stock about 5+ pounds of fatheads per acre, 2,000 sunfish(BG or CNBG) with 20% mix of Redears. Skip the snails and fairy shrimp. The snails can be a problem and the shrimp around this area are an unknown. Come back a year later and add 50 F1 female bass that are about 6 inches long. They're going to get big. Stocking any larger bass is about like adopting teenagers. The results are really unpredictable and as stated by others, they often languish and never thrive.

A fun fish for the kids is channel cats. You can stock them at 6 to 8 inches. They readily take food and are a ball to watch feed. The downside is that the kids will name them and some have a tendency to never bite. Once the kids name them, it's about eating the family dog. They can wind up ruling the pond. I stocked 125 about 15 years ago and still have 2 left in a pond about the size that you're contemplating.

Have fun on the trip and pick a damn knowledgeable pond builder, not a good old boy who knows how to drive a dozer.


Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 09/05/14 05:55 AM.

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
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386723 09/05/14 06:09 AM
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3z are you in northern or southern Kaufman County?


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386739 09/05/14 10:53 AM
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@RC 51 - "10 pounders yeah that's what I was afraid of when you said trophy. I don't think I have heard or met anyone out here on this site that has produced 10 pound bass in a 1 acre pond?" - What is weird is that I have caught a 9lb bass (multiple times) out of a golf course pond near my house that was maybe half an acre...(clipped his fins so I knew if I caught him again) so I assumed I would be able to grow a 10 lber out of mine...but yeah I def realize there would be a limited number of them there..I guess having one or 2 there would be just as exciting too. ha

@mpc - I was told that Kaufman area was dry for wells, that there was no water there? I like the idea of a well, I'll have to look into it. Although it looks like this area gets a lot of water when it rains, it just doesn't hold it because it looks like it would only be a swamp...(I'll get some pictures shortly). I'm curious to see if I dug it out and did a rain dance if it wouldn't hold more water?

@catmandoo - Thanks for the info, I have several issues of Pond boss and read countless posts so far, but I do need to renew my subscription... Got a lot more reading and planning to do. Thanks for the advice.

@Davidson1 " The problem is that big predators need big food; not a lot of small food. A 5 pound bass needs a bunch of 7 to 8 inch or larger bluegills."
I thought about that as well, that is why I was thinking shad and shiner, don't both get shad get 3-4 inches and shiner about 6 inches..heck I'll throw in in gizzard shad at 12 inches to keep him full haha but I know that may be a very large biomass..and I don't expect them all to survive but I would think that one of them would be able to thrive...My thought process was if bass had more options of food choices, there would be a better success rate at eating/growth...I.e if he just had bg vs having shad, shiner, bg, frogs, tilapia, heck even trout in the winter... but I guess I should do a bit more research on that. Thx!

@Zep, North, right outside of Forney.


Would love to catch a few fish like this from the pond...

Also here is the plat with a 3d view of the watershed..think it should get some good water...

Attached Files
photo 1.JPG (145.56 KB, 490 downloads)
photo 3.JPG (132.3 KB, 500 downloads)
Last edited by 3z3k3l; 02/21/15 11:03 AM.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386740 09/05/14 11:26 AM
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3Z if you can I think you would be able to reach your bass goals a little better if you could go 2 acres on the pond. That 1 9 pound bass in that golf pound may be the only one in there and who knows how old it is??

Keep us posted man and once again congrats on the land!!

RC


The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386747 09/05/14 12:07 PM
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My first thoughts, beyond what everyone else has already offered:

Build the pond to fit the site. If the site dictates a three acre pond, build a three acre pond. If it suggests a smaller one, build it to the proper size. Determine that primarily by the size of the watershed. In Kaufman County, expect to receive 35-40 inches of rain yearly in a normal (whatever that means nowadays) year. A safe estimate is that it will take 7-10 acres of watershed to support one acre of pond. If you have 40 acres of watershed, you'll need a five acre lake. If you have 15 acres of runoff, an acre pond, maybe two. If the watershed is 100 acres... you get the gist. If the pond needs to be bigger than your budget, wait until the budget grows.

As you do your due diligence, definitely buy "Perfect Pond..." That book will take you through much of what you need to do to make good decisions.

Long term success will be determined by the habitat you build. If you build excellent habitat for all size classes of each species of fish, you'll have a successful pond. If you don't offer great habitat, your pond will become what it is destined to be by the fourth or fifth year. You won't want to "money-whip" it to be something it can't be.

With great habitat, manage your food chain. Diversity is good in nature and that applies to the food chain. As you make your plan, include fish that spawn prolifically and can reach the sizes of your dominant size classes of fish as they grow.

One thing I will reiterate from the voices above, if you bring adult bass from another lake to yours, don't expect them to thrive as they did in the one where they grew up. A pretty high percentage will decline as they just won't be able to re-condition from what was a great environment for them to a new environment. Fish are conditioned to their environment. Since they don't have the ability to think, they have a hard time trying to make it in water with different chemistry, and clarity, as well as different ambush points, plant life and ecology.

You mentioned "Flood Plain". Be sure you won't need any permits. If you plan to build in a delineated flood plain, there may be some restrictions...not to mentioned a watershed too large for a small pond.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386749 09/05/14 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: 3z3k3l
@Zep, North, right outside of Forney.


3z we are practically neighbors.

I would try to use a professional pond builder,
it will pay off in the long run. So many nightmare
stories about leaks, dam failures, etc when people
try to save a buck and use some yahoo that has a bulldozer
but not much experience doing it right.

The two best pond builders I know of in this area
and they've both been to my property are:

Pond Boss Legend - Mike Otto
www.ottosdirtservice.com
1-800-882-DIRT (3478)


Lee Thornton Pond Builder
Grand Saline, Texas
(214) 394-7970


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
Zep #386791 09/05/14 10:36 PM
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I wouldn't use the GG Bluegills because they won't grow as much forage for you as regular Bluegills or Cop[ernose Bluegills.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386941 09/09/14 10:12 AM
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@RC51 if I could flood the 11acres and keep .1 for my little island house I would, would be fishing all day haha but yeah def want a 2-5 acre lake. That would be awesome!

@Bob Lusk - Thanks Bob, I am not quite sure how to determine watershed I thinking the low lying area of the property would be around 2-4 acres ... How do you accurately measure watershed? A typo map? I've included one that I found online and edited it to show where the land would be in relation to it..
Or is that something someone has to come out and survey? There seems to be a creek that runs right through that area and from talking to neighbors I think its partially underground. Don't know but the area is part of a creek even though it seems to be dried up. I will def order that book as there is a lot to learn when planning a pond much less building one.

@Zep Thanks for the references I will reach out to them.

@esshup - Just my initial thoughts, I hear in 1 or 2 generations they grow back to normal size anyways.. I think a lot of my ideas will change the more I listen to experience on here. ha.
Thx!


The creek you see is dried up or underground..is a slightly marshy in that area through the land and covered with trees.

Last edited by 3z3k3l; 02/21/15 11:09 AM.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386942 09/09/14 10:23 AM
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You can go to acme planimeter to determine your watershed area. From the picture it looks like our watershed will be large.

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386949 09/09/14 11:11 AM
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For my 2c I'd like to say that I once wanted a larger pond, but now that I know how much work it takes to manage it to get the results I want, I'm very happy with my 2.2 surface acres. I'd rather have 2.2 acres that I can use selective harvest by rod and reel to meet my goals than 10 acres of stunted LMB. I'd much rather have less overall biomass with higher quality average fish. Sometimes less really is more.

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
Chris Steelman #386953 09/09/14 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted By: Chris Steelman
You can go to acme planimeter to determine your watershed area. From the picture it looks like our watershed will be large.


Is this correct? see attached, I can't read that latin at the bottom..haha, is that the watershed or is there somewhere else I need to go?

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Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 11.01.10 AM.png (129.22 KB, 509 downloads)
Here is the map from that..
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386958 09/09/14 12:03 PM
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11.86 looks like the size of your property, not the size of the watershed.

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #386975 09/09/14 03:56 PM
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From what I can tell, your watershed is huge, off the map you posted back to where the creek is sourced. Basically you map out the topomaps to the same elevation and above as the surface of your water will be. Imagine a line bisecting all of the ridges and hill tops surrounding the valley that makes up that creek on the topo-map. Anything that can drain into that creek.

You may have a different sort of problem, dealing with too much water during high-rain events. Design wisely my friend!

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream...coming true
3z3k3l #401454 02/20/15 05:49 PM
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A few quick updates and a quick question...
- I moved onto my land in December 14'
- Put in the driveway, electrical and water
- Cleared the land for the foundation and pond
- Built a fenced in area...for my new omelette makers.
- I'm in the process of building a Container Home
- Poured the foundation for the container home
- Started digging the pond..



In the process have already built some neat memories, burning brush piles, listening to coyotes at night, found some hog tracks and have gone dove hunting...

So much to still do...and there is a ton of dirt...anyone want some? smile

More pics to come...

Now I am trying to look into how to fill it instead of waiting for rain...
Anyone ever try to dig their own shallow well? How did it work?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7RZv73maYI

Installing the culvert over the driveway


Great view of the sunset


A view before it was mowed


Same view before it was cleared


Land Cleared


It rained hard before we started building the pond frown ...oh well looks like the pond should fill up quick when its dug!

Fire


Track excavator... man was this fun to drive, its like driving a tank!



Attached Files
Mowingpana.jpg (1.98 MB, 462 downloads)
Container Foundation to the right, Pond to the left
Last edited by 3z3k3l; 02/21/15 09:37 PM.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream..*Updated w pics
3z3k3l #401837 02/23/15 10:14 PM
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We are making progress on the pond...waiting for this freeze to thaw and fill the pond! ha

Photo Gallery 3









Started pumping some water into it..gotta wait for a big rain or flood..


Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream..*Updated w pics
3z3k3l #401840 02/23/15 10:22 PM
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Looking good!


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream..*Updated w pics
3z3k3l #402069 02/25/15 10:51 AM
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@Zep. I'm almost finished. I didn't realize you were so close. Send me a pm would love to have you come over and check it out.

@liquidsquid. You and others were very right about a huge watershed... It only took one storm to fill the pond up. The water is so high it's almost over the 3 foot embankments we created. Good news is we anticipated this and the "low side" of the pond is towards the flood plain. Now my only concern is fish I stock actually getting out during a flood.

@sparkplug. Thanks!

I have been mentally preparing myself and family that the pond would fill up in a year...it literally filled up in 1 day of rain... It's completely full.
Now to see if it holds the water and if it will leak.

I didn't even have time to put in much cover... I have one load of crushed concrete set up in the middle and nothing along the banks yet...but I'm not complaining, this is just awesome.

I know it's only been full for 1 day but is it too soon to try to fish in it? wink

Here's a thought it may already have fish in it. When I was pumping water from the creek I found several bluegill. (That I did not transplant) So now that it's flooded I'm sure some found there way into the pond already and who knows what else.

More pics to come.

Re: Single Dad's Texas Pond Dream..*Updated w pics
3z3k3l #402085 02/25/15 12:06 PM
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Posts: 24,503
Likes: 18
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Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 24,503
Likes: 18
I bet that with this precipitation that we're getting (I'm near Sulfur Springs now) that you'll be overflowing for a while!


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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