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neg7729 Offline OP
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Hi!

My husband and I are in the planning process of digging a 1+ acre pond. We will be using the dirt to build up our 6 acre property in Lafayette louisiana. My husband does dirt work and has a little experience with pond digging.

We have a few questions that I am hoping you (as well as the perfect pond book I just ordered) can answer.

1. How deep should our pond be to promote bass and bream.
2. What's the best/most popular shape? We want it to look like a natural pond. So not square or rectangular.
3. Should we do 1 acre or 1 1/2?

I am sure I'll have more questions but I'll start small:)

We have picked a site and dug a test hole about 12 ft to see what dirt we were working with. At that depth we are still in pure clay. We pumped a few hundred gallons into the hole and after 3 days ( with no rain) our water level has remained the same. See picture attached.

Thanks for your guidance!

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Welcome to the PBF!! I'll take a stab at this even though I am no expert but I'll give you my OP! smile

1. How deep? Well for Bass and Bream 12 feet at the deepest would be fine. MY pond is 1 acre and it's about 10 feet and average is about 5 to 6 feet deep and I have great Bass, and BG.

2.Most folks would tell you kidney shaped maybe leave an island in the middle of it.... that's all up to you though. Remember that shape you choose will maybe determine how many air stations you need to setup if you ever decide to have air put in your pond. If you do kidney shaped you could get by with probably one air station in the middle. If you have an island you may have to put 2 air stations in the pond one on each side of the island to get good air flow and D.O. in the whole pond.

3. I have a 1 acre pond and wish it was 1.5 to 2 acres so I would go 1.5 acres if you can!!

RC

Last edited by RC51; 03/28/16 07:33 AM.

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!!
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Hi, and welcome, neg7729!

The shape of your pond may be determined by the topography of your land, but if fairly flat, you can make whatever you like most. Points and curves are always a plus for the fish. So are trenches and rises (structure) under the water.

Try planning out as much as you can first. Wanting a dock, sand beach, zip line, swimming area? All those things are best when thought out ahead of time.

Even with great clay, since your pond sounds like it will also be integral to the overall home, I would make sure I used a sheepsfoot roller to seal everything as well as is possible!



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Thank you!

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Thank you!

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Ditto to what Rainman said. Islands can cause problems or be a blessing.

They detract from the overall depth of the pond, because you have to consider the slope up to the island. They can contribute to a leaky pond if the slope going up to the island is such that it cannot be driven on and compacted by a sheepsfoot roller. The island can be a safe haven for geese to nest on (they contribute a lot of poop to the water). Also an island, unless you have some way to get to it with landscaping equipment, can look very unkempt.

Islands are good if the pond is large and you don't want to move a lot of dirt.

As for depth of the pond, it all depends on the type of soil, and the physical size of the pond. With slopes of 4:1 - 6:1 in swimming areas and slopes no greater then 2:1 (3:1 is better for the contractor to compact the soil) the depth of the pond will be determined (to an extent) on how wide/long the pond is.

One thing to consider is that a pond starts to fill in as soon as it is completed. If anyone will be diving into the pond, I would want 12' depth minimum in that diving area.

Muck/sediment can build up a few inches+ per year depending on what falls or washes into the pond. So, if it is 12' deep, it can be 10' deep in less than 10 years.

I had over 24" of soil wash into my pond within 2 months of it being completed......

I would have jute reinforced erosion mats and grass seed ready to spread out as soon as construction on the pond was completed. Some plastic reinforced erosion mats can act as gill nets if they end up below the water line.

To promote bass and bream spawning areas, you want a gradual slope, not a fast slope, and they do very well spawning in small gravel areas, like pea gravel areas. Steep slopes all around the pond limit spawning areas, and if the water level fluctuates during spawning season, you could lose an age class of fish due to a failed spawn.


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My 2 cents would be to go as big as you can. I would also shape it so that you are looking across the longest part of it. This is the most pleasing to the eye. Looking across the short part does no justice to it. I would also place the dock in the forefront of the view.

The curvier you can make it look (kidney) the more natural it will look. An island in a 1 1/2 acre pond will consume a lot of dirt and time, I don't think I would do it, you can always place a floating island later.

Make sure to place a lot of structure. Pallets with rock on top of them make great spawning areas in 3-5' of water. Rock areas and a few downed trees also help with cover areas and the "natural" look. Good luck with your project and keep the photos coming!






Last edited by ToddM; 03/28/16 09:53 AM.
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I never said they had to do an island I said quote "that was all up to them" dang it man..... smile LOL

The guys are right though and island would take up a bit of room. If you could go 1.5 to 2 acres I may consider it if it were me... but you could also maybe look into a couple small peninsulas instead of an island... fish specially bass love peninsulas and they don't have to be that big.... bottom line is it's your pond have fun with it be creative and keep us posted.

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!!
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neg7729 Offline OP
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Thank y'all so much!

Since we are digging for the dirt...and we need A LOT of it, we will probably skip the island.

Our land was once rice fields and crawfish ponds so we are pretty flat if not in a bowl. Just our house pad needs to be about 6ft high Yikes!!

I'll make sure to post pictures once we are up and running

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Neg7729,

Welcome to PBF!

My place sounds a lot like yours. We also have 6 acres. When they poured the foundation for the house the garage floor was 9 feet above grade! That takes a lot of dirt to back fill. One thought is you might consider two ponds to have some flexibility in the future. I wish I had gone that way.

Good Luck!

Bill D.


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I never thought about 2 ponds. The issue that we will run into is that the new FEMA maps that will go into effect soon put us in a flood way (we are now in a flood zone) I couldn't put a shed on my property without getting an engineer to do a certificate of no rise.

One of the contingencies to be able to build a house is to dig a pond with a certain amount of head space for water to go in case we ever flood. That extra flood water has to be able to drain from the pond to the rice ditch at the back of our property. (If the pond ever gets full).

This whole process is complicated.....and annoying haha!!

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Pure clay can be a consideration. When it dries, it cracks and can lead to leaks. It also has problems when trying to grow grass. Can you mix some soil with the exposed areas of the dam and the exposed areas of the sides?

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 03/29/16 04:43 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
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Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
Pure clay can be a consideration. When it dries, it cracks and can lead to leaks. It also has problems when trying to grow grass. Can you mix some soil with the exposed areas of the dam and the exposed areas of the sides?


The clay is only at the bottom and most of the side. We have about 1 ft top soil at the top, then fill dirt...then mixed clay and fill, then the clay. The clay will be under the water. Do you think that is good or should we still mix? If so, where?

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I would try to mix what I could. The best material is a sandy loam for a dam. Of course, the bottom parts can be pure clay. The potential problems come when the water recedes and the sun bakes the clay.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 03/29/16 07:01 PM.

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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