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I am currently in the early stages of building a 2 acre pond in Livingston County, MO. I grew up on a farm and witnessed the building of a couple ponds and loved it. Now I am building one for my family just beyond our backyard. I will be doing all the work myself. I have access to the equipment to do it and plan to post additional videos of the progress. Ponds are awesome. Drones are awesome. Large equipment is awesome. It doesn't get much better than a combination of the 3 if you ask me! I have learned so much from this site and thought I would share in my process in hopes that it will help others that are potentially tackling the same project or just want to see some cool drone footage. The pond should push 2 acres and be near 20 feet deep. I have plans to put an island in an area where there is a natural hump. My largest concern is limestone rock. We hit some pretty big individual rocks (1 ton+) while putting in our geothermal system in the construction of our house (this area is just south and east of the pond location). As you can see from the video (4:40 mark or so), there are tons of ponds nearby. Let me know what you think and any tips would be welcomed. I will try to post more soon (I'm a school teacher and it gets dark pretty quick this time of year so we will see how it goes). Most of the trees were dead or dying elms and black/honey locust. I had the time before the equipment was available, so I decided to cut the trees out for firewood, etc. I am hoping to send some of the black locust to the sawmill for lumber to build the dock. Again, we will see how this develops.

Here's the video link. If you computer can handle it, crank up the quality and enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6UG38HuNaM&t=186s

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pretty neat!


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Cool video. I have to admit, I watched it thinking I might have hunted or fished around there in the past. My father in law used to teach and then ran the adult Ed at the vo-tech school in Chillicothe. In 1977 when I was dating his daughter, he took me fishing in several ponds around Chillicothe. Plus he had English setters, and he took me quail hunting on several farms around Chillicothe also. Sadly he passed away several years ago. My mother in-law still lives there, but I've only hunted around there a few times in the last several years, and haven't fished around there in more than 15 years. He sure got me hooked on farm pond fishing, and I wanted my own pond ever since.
Thanks to the guys here, I'm pretty happy with the results of our pond build two years ago.
Don't know if you are going to follow the typical Missouri stocking plan of BG, LMB, and CC, or something different. I decided on RES, YP, SMB, and HSB for my stocking plan. We ate another 20 YP this weekend. Caught while taking a break from the deer hunt.

Welcome to the forum, by the way. I'm looking forward to following along on your construction.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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SetterGuy, how are you liking your stocking plan? I was debating on what I wanted. I think it would be awesome to have SMB! Are you catching any that have size to them? Let me know your thoughts.

You very well could have been out near this place. I grew up on a farm about 15 minutes east of Trenton, but we built our house about 7 miles west of Chillicothe.

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So far, I'm very happy I went the way I did. We really like eating fish, and YP are delicious. I probably caught 12 SMB this summer (all released) and they are great fighters, but won't get as large as LMB. I'm fine with that. I did put some HBG in so that no matter the time of day or year, the grandkids could catch something. They are fun on a fly rod for sure. The only downside to them is they are like piranha when you are swimming. I'm hoping they don't reproduce much, and stop biting people when they get bigger. You are a lot closer to Lincoln NE than I am TJ, here on the forum is pretty much an expert on this stocking plan, and occasionally has a extra fish or two to sell. I got most of my fish from Rainman here on the forum also, he has access to any fish, and knows a lot about all things pond related. Hopefully those guys will see this thread and chime in.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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I am leaning toward a plan like yours as long as it is financially feasible. smile I don't want to do SMB if they only get to a pound or two. Any shot some of yours will reach the 3-4 pound mark? Will they readily reproduce in a 2 acre pond with 18-20 feet of water? I should be able to provide some rocky structure for them as well. I am also intrigued by a forage pond. I was wondering what people's thoughts on how small I can make it and if this would provide me a continual supply of FHM and crawdads etc.?

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Here's another big question I have. Winter is quickly approaching in North Missouri. If I don't get started soon I could be in trouble. I can't build a dam and compact it if the ground is freezing on a regular basis can I? Will I just have to wait until spring?

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I hope the SMB guys jump in here, and some construction experts.
I am thinking my SMB will get to 3-4 pounds. I hope so. I also hope they reproduce. I dumped a lot of 8" rock in, and built gravel beds on top of that.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Setter- how old are your SMB and what size now? I would think SMB could reach 3-4 lbs , especially if pellet feed and/or adequate forage base...would just take more time than LMB.
I am planning on doing a SMB, YP, HSB, HBG pond (currently being built as I type)


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3/4 Acre Pond: HSB,SMB,YP,HBG,RES
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My SMB were introduced 10/10/15. 60 ea 4-8". (I never see how they get the measurements they do..)


October 6th this year. I did not measure, but if I had to guess, I'd say easy 10".



I've still got large schools of FHM. I'm catching a few GSH that are 5-6", so I think they have spawned. My feeder works over 50% of the time, but I'm only running 20 seconds a day when it's running. (50#s of feed lasts a month.) It's gone in seconds when it works.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Here is the next video in the process. All the trees have been cut out. I moved a line that was going to interfere as well. I've burned quite a bit of brush and have TONS of logs to push around once the bulldozer arrives. Really glad to have the trees cut and most of the brush piled. It was a lot of work doing it all myself while having a full-time job (especially since daylight savings kicked in). The plan is to have the track hoe here in the next week or two to rip out the rest of the larger stumps. Hope you comment and enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQjynu_dAW0&feature=youtu.be

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Good documentation - keep up the good efforts and reporting. With proper population management of wise harvest, always lots of forage food and some pellet feeding you should be able to grow smallmouth to 5 lbs in MO. Don't let them get too crowded which results in not enough food to keep the big ones growing well. Ideally you should get 1.5"-2" of grow on adults per year. A 5 lb smallie is around 20" at 5-6 yrs in the pond starting with 5"-7" pellet trained SMB.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/28/16 11:57 AM.

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Bill,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm really excited about the prospect of a SMB pond. I have been talking a bit with Rainman as well. I'm leaning toward SMB, HSB, and HBG with GoldenS and FHM as my forage species. What are your thoughts on this setup? I would really like to have at least some Bluegill in the pond for my kids to enjoy, but don't want them to compete with the SMB or become overpopulated. I have heard and read on here that SMB and HSB are a good combination. I'm a bit skeptical but I'm really inexperienced in this department. Also, I would like to get more information about a forage pond to provide a continual supply of FHM and GoldenS. I could pretty easily create a 1/4 acre pond with about 8-10 of water. Anyone know if this would be successful? It would be great to be able to just go seine out some forage species a few times a year to provide an extra boost. I am also interested in looking into crawdads. Any thoughts/opinions would be appreciated. I will hopefully have more progress to post in the coming weeks.

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I can't decide which I a more jealous of... The DJI P4 or the pond big enough for SMB. I just started with ponds and drones. Sooooooo much fun.


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I'm really glad the experts have jumped in here. Great advice from them. I second TJ's comments above about YP. They are great eating, and easy to fillet. Once I found out how to catch them, they are pretty easy for grandkids to catch. (Spring and fall)
The last video looks good. Lots of progress.
Also, I overstocked on the FHM, and they are still present 15 months after stocking SMB, and HSB. Almost 20 months since stocking YP and RES. My GSH are doing well also.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I know I am a long way off from needing fish, but I want to get my ducks in a row and am hoping things move pretty quickly once the equipment becomes available.

I have read through a lot of posts on here and some things have been answered here and there, so forgive me if I ask a question that has already been addressed.

1. I fully understand that there is a carrying capacity for my body of water. Can someone explain why SMB and HSB are a good combination? I am concerned that there will be a ton of competition for food between the two species.

2. Fish species in the lineup so far are SMB,HSB,HBG, and 2 forage fish (mulling around YP and/or a few WE). What stocking rates would be recommended? Again the plans are to get somewhere between 1.8-2.0 acres of water.

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The smallmouth and HSB work okay together better than HSB with LMB. TJ covered the main co-habitation relationship. LMB will produce too many offspring that put too heavy predation on the forage often making forage a limiting food. HSB will tend to feed on different items with a strong pellet consumption compared to SMB. You will have to harvest manage the smallies to keep predation pressure limited so forage is always present.

Small forage ponds of 0.1 to 0.2 ac work well to provide additional forage whenever you have time to harvest and move it.


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This all sounds good to me. I'm soaking all the information in!

So I could easily just settle for SMB and HBG and just overwhelm the pond with forage and be really successful? What about replacing the HSB with WE? I'm thinking the WE won't reproduce just like the HSB and will be about as competitive for food. Will the WE decimate my HBG population? Just a thought.


I could very easily create a couple .15 acre forage ponds for FHM and/or GSH (I think that's the abbreviation for golden shiners). My hope is that I could dig them, let them fill, stock them, and not have to do much to them other than take fish out of them every once in a while. I simply won't have the time to devote to giving a ton of care for them. Can I still be successful with this approach?

Also, once I start feeding with pellets am I locked in to doing this for eternity? Just looking at this from a limited budget.

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The track hoe was dropped off yesterday and I started pulling the bigger stumps. The top 3-4" of ground is already frozen and it makes it difficult to get a lot of the dirt off the root ball. I should get close to getting the rest of them pulled tonight after work. I plan to do a video with my drone once the stumps are out. I'm becoming increasingly worried about the amount of rock that I'm encountering. In nearly every area sampled, just beneath the black dirt is a layer of rock anywhere from 3-8" thick. It's been pretty easy to bring up and there seems to be pretty good clay underneath. In one spot I dug down about 6' and got into some black material that looks like some type of shale. I guess we will find out once I get the black dirt stripped. Hopefully I don't end up with a dry pit and divorced! The forecast for the weekend is -3 with a high of 12. Stuff is going to get more difficult soon and it looks like best case scenario that I will get the area cleaned of all debris and the black dirt pushed off before waiting for spring to build the dam. I'll keep you updated.

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Nice videos and it's good to learn about stuff along with you s252101! I'll keep watching...


Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.
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Tim,
Doing it right the first time is the best way to do it.

And now I "need" a drone......Thanks for that!

You can take any advise from Bill and TJ to the bank. Bill is one of the best, and TJ is not far behind.


Brian

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A dry fly catches no fish
Try not to be THAT 10%
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Thanks Brian, I was beginning to suspect my advice got wedged in the new member spam folder again.


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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S252102. I had rock all through the clay when we dug our pond. It definitely added to the stress. So far so good. I've got a small leak, I guess. Losing 1/4" a day, if I could get any rain in NE Missouri, I wouldn't care at all. I sure don't remember seeing many dry ponds around Chillicothe. I will bet that yours will be fine. This weeeknd is going to be crazy cold. I was going to go quail hunting, but I hate to bust up covies, when it's in single digits.
TJ, your advice and recommendations have helped me immensely.. Don't stop! Ha!


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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It's funny in a way, I've related that amount of information to a client and was paid $75/hr plus travel costs [$1/mile] - and I'm cheap as it's not my primary profession. I think Lusk charges $1,000-$1,500/day plus travel - and he's worth every dime. Bottom line, direction is hard earned through years of expensive trial and error/ intensive research and is exceedingly valuable - it's discouraging when one doesn't get an acknowledgement, let alone a "thank you" after several days. Etiquette apparently is a thing of the past - yet another reason why I no rarely visit/post on the forum these days.


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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It's hard to believe I started this post over 2 years ago. I got really busy, waited on equipment forever, and it got really dry, but I've finally got a pond that is near full. I have several pictures of construction, stories of successes and failures from along the way and plan to update and share on here to help others thinking about tackling the same project, or if nothing else, for cheap entertainment! Trust me, it's been a roller coaster of a project. Looking forward to sharing, moving forward, and learning more.

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Seriously consider contacting PBoss magazine editor B.Lusk about publishing the story of your pond build. This will be a unique story because you have a several pictures using aerial views. Pond build stories are always interesting reads in the magazine. The wording you use here on the forum is very acceptable as a draft copy for Lusk to use in an article. He will put any 'polish' that's needed for the article.


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Here are a couple pictures from December 2016. The guy getting me the equipment brought out a track hoe to pull all the stumps. As you can see, the ground was starting to freeze pretty deep and it made removing some of the larger stumps a bit more difficult.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Seriously consider contacting PBoss magazine editor B.Lusk about publishing the story of your pond build. This will be a unique story because you have a several pictures using aerial views. Pond build stories are always interesting reads in the magazine. The wording you use here on the forum is very acceptable as a draft copy for Lusk to use in an article. He will put any 'polish' that's needed for the article.


I'll give it a shot Bill. Thank you. I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in here in that I'm on an extreme budget and have done ALL the work by myself. This being said, I've still tried to do it "right", but probably not to the extreme that many would, or could afford. I've spent a lot of time reading and researching various resources including, of course, this very forum. I've got ideas for the future as far as stocking, aeration, and other management practices are concerned. I don't want to upset anyone when I ask for advice and end up going another route because of financial restrictions if that makes sense. Honestly, my only goal of this project is a place to relax and spend quality time w/ my family.

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Here are a couple pictures from October of 2017. Yes that's right, the project sat for nearly a year while I was waiting on equipment. Needless to say, my wife wasn't overly pleased with the view trade; once green trees for a couple months of bare dirt followed by a great 2 acre crop of 8' tall ragweed all summer/fall (I would have kept it sprayed, but it was so rough from pulling stumps with the track hoe). The quail loved it, but our seasonal allergies, not so much.

Finally, I was able to get a hold of a smaller dozer to strip the black dirt off. I pushed only a little behind the dam as I was constricted by a fence that was staying put, and starting making piles at each end of the would-be dam. I was shocked with the amount of black dirt in some areas (up to 8 feet) as this area is notorious for thin topsoil. Decades of farming before being placed in CRP had washed 12 acres of runoff area down into the ditch. It certainly would have been nice to have for the yard when building my house a few years back!

In the second photo, you'll spot the on-site supervisor checking on progress (my then 8 y.o. daughter).

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I remember your project - guess I did not realize its still in progress. Only thing I would add is be sure and back up all your photos and videos. I had four 16GB cards of drone videos and photos of my pond under construction, inside an envelope inside my laptop case. It disappeared. I did have a bit of it stashed on Google Drive.


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Glad you are back and posting some pics! Looking forward to the rest of the story. I think every pond in northern Missouri should be close to full, or full. Ive even got water running out my drain pipe.
You should have got ahold of me if you had some nuisance quail. I would have come in and helped reduce the population a little! wink
Looking forward to the updates. Glad youve got it done!
Jeff


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Glad you are back and posting some pics! Looking forward to the rest of the story. I think every pond in northern Missouri should be close to full, or full. Ive even got water running out my drain pipe.
You should have got ahold of me if you had some nuisance quail. I would have come in and helped reduce the population a little! wink
Looking forward to the updates. Glad youve got it done!
Jeff


SetterGuy it is hard to imagine filling a pond from October to March in north Missouri! I'm excited to move forward with the project for sure!

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I received an 80,000 lb. early Christmas gift December 19th, 2017 in the form of a Cat D8N dozer. You could not have beat the smile off my face after waiting for so long to get the project started. The excitement I felt was the culmination of every hour I'd spent as a kid excavating with Tonka toys in the back yard and riding with my grandfather who ran a dozer for a living his entire adult life.

It wasn't all without a catch, though. We'd had a mild winter thus far, but normal temperatures were less than a week away and the dozer was moving to another project the end of the month. On top of that, I'm a school teacher and we still had two days of school left before winter break! This meant I would have to push through the night to optimize time, which wouldn't have been a big deal if the dozer had operational lights! I spent a couple hours rigging up led flood lights onto the hood and back of the cab of the dozer and hooking them to a deep cycle battery with an inverter. My other grandfather, king of the bush fix, would have been proud.

Here are a few pictures. One is from the first night rigging up the lights and the others are from the next day, continuing to stockpile black dirt on the ends of the dam. In one of the pictures, you can see the stockpile near my shed. As that pile grew and space got limited, I could easily see over the top of my shed as I climbed it with the dozer. I had never run a dozer of this size before, and getting the feel for it in the dark that first night was a bit unnerving, but they really are very simple machines to operate.

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Big Boy toy


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: Redonthehead
I remember your project - guess I did not realize its still in progress. Only thing I would add is be sure and back up all your photos and videos. I had four 16GB cards of drone videos and photos of my pond under construction, inside an envelope inside my laptop case. It disappeared. I did have a bit of it stashed on Google Drive.


It took far longer than I had hoped, but it was worth it. I backed up my photos immediately, so no problems there, but I did have a problem with one of my SD cards while getting some footage with my drone which was really frustrating.

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Nice dozer. I dont know squat about them, but thats one of the largest, correct? Looks like its got a lot of life left thats for sure. I first thought it was new.
If we keep getting this much moisture in northern MO itll be a very unusual spring, thats for sure.
I feel sorry for the folks north and west of us. Nebraska, and Iowa. Whew..


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Nice dozer. I dont know squat about them, but thats one of the largest, correct? Looks like its got a lot of life left thats for sure. I first thought it was new.
If we keep getting this much moisture in northern MO itll be a very unusual spring, thats for sure.
I feel sorry for the folks north and west of us. Nebraska, and Iowa. Whew..


The dozer was in great shape. Cat makes them up to D11's which are exponentially bigger than this model (something like 370 gross HP compared to almost 1000 gross HP on the D11). The amount of dirt it would move in one push was mind boggling. I had an absolute blast running it!

I'm hoping we have a somewhat normal year from here on out. I shutter at the thought of another drought like we had last year. Yes, our neighboring states certainly are hurting. It seems like we get way more extreme weather and less and less of the "normal" stuff....

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From December 19th through Christmas Eve I pushed dirt with every spare minute I had. I would literally work until 2 or 3 in the morning, then maintenance/check the machine, go to town to get fuel, and run back for a few hours sleep before doing it all over again. I really wish that I could have had more of a window to enjoy the process and operating the dozer, but it just simply wasn't an option.

Here are a couple pictures of the process along the way. Another downside to not having much time is I really didn't get much drone footage because daylight was so precious. I'll try to keep posting stuff as I find a few minutes and should be able to get some video up soon.

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Very nice! How big will it be?

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Very nice! How big will it be?


It's got about 6 inches to go until it's full, but it should nose right up to 2 acres.

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That should be great for you!

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Here are a few more pictures of the process and a couple links to videos that my brother took one day when he was out checking on the project.

A few of the pictures will show the first real clay being pushed up on the dam. I had SO much black dirt down in this ravine that I actually got a little worried about having enough clay to line everything. The north side of the pond was very gently sloping and I was able to dig out as much clay as I would ever need to put about a 3' layer along the entire front side of the dam and track it in. Most of the basin was already clay by the time I finish digging everything out. I did hit a layer of shale about 10" thick that I packed good clay over anywhere it was exposed. I know a sheepsfoot roller would have been ideal, but it wasn't an option for me at this point. I did everything I could with what I had to compact it as best I could. I know a dozer's footprint isn't heavy comparatively, but I'm hoping having a larger one made some difference. Time will tell.

The 8" drain pipe and seep collar were delivered on 12/22 and were immediately welded and put in place as a buddy of mine has a portable welder and got right to work. We hooked the pipe to the corner of the dozer blade and used my skid steer to move it into position as best we could. The pipe was almost 120' long, so it was not easy to do with a big machine and limited space. There are a lot of logistics to think about when placing the pipe! I tried to push some clay mix over the top of the dam on either side of the opening I had left so I could backfill the pipe once in position. I had to hand dig under the pipe for the seep collar to fit into our trench. I feel like my dam compaction is pretty good as this was nearly impossible to do even with a good sharp tile spade. We used the dozer blade to massage it down into final position. All of this would have been a lot easier with a track hoe for sure.

If you watch the videos, you'll see me starting to back fill the drain pipe from the back side of the dam. It is pretty darn steep at this point and I was glad to have a couple days of running the dozer under my belt before this portion of the project. I won't lie, there is a certain point when operating a 40 ton piece of equipment that isn't yours, on a steep grade, with little room to maneuver that makes you as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!

You won't see it in the videos, but I pushed just enough dirt in there to cover the pipe and plate well and then began tracking over it several times to compact that area. I ran across it and up and down it several times. It was so nice to be able to run all along the back of the dam after that and start to really shape it.

Once the pipe was in, I was really committed to the project. I needed to make sure and get the basin and dam finished before it froze solid (just 2 days away) or began to fill with water.

YouTube

YouTube


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Looks good. Hows it holding?


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks good. Hows it holding?


Seems to be holding well. Less than 1/2" drop in almost 2 weeks. I would expect some drop for being the first time it has ever filled up? Am I right on this or completely off base?

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Id be super happy with 1/2 drop in 2 weeks. When things dry up and we stop any rainfall I lose about 1/4 in a day..


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: s252101
Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks good. Hows it holding?


Seems to be holding well. Less than 1/2" drop in almost 2 weeks. I would expect some drop for being the first time it has ever filled up? Am I right on this or completely off base?


Yeah got to saturate the banks. They will absorb a fair amount on initial fill.

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Finally back to continue sharing the pond build journey. I'm hoping post most of the rest of the project in the next couple weeks before things get really, really busy.

To finish up the project, I had less than two days to: 1) finish pushing dirt to the dam 2) lining the front side with 2-3' of good clay 3) shape the dam and continue tracking it in with each layer of clay added 4) push the two big piles of black dirt over the top and face of the dam 5) push my rock and stumps back down into the basin to provide structure 6) general clean up and finishing touches. I finished everything I could at about 2:30 in the morning on Christmas eve. It had been really cold for over 30 hours now and had been snowing steadily for a few hours when I finally finished. I considered the dam to be 100% done as far as construction and as smooth as I could get it with a D8 dozer in the dark and snow. That would be easy to work on later, when it thawed next spring. To say that the basin was exactly as I wanted it would be a stretch. There were a few things as far as fish structure and shape that I would have liked to have spent a bit more time on. It had been a whirlwind 5 day project, and it was a lot of fun, just wish I had more time to enjoy it and change just a couple things. Now, it was time for a few other projects before it started to fill.

Here are a couple of pictures. One is a view out our back door when I was finishing pushing the black dirt over the dam on 12/23. The other is Christmas Eve after the snow had fallen. Hopefully I can get more posted soon.

As you will see in these pictures and future ones, the pond basin is pretty rough with piles of dirt (which I know will erode and be pretty flat eventually), rocks everywhere, stumps and brush all over, and even some other junk down in it. This was completely intentional as I wanted all kinds of varying areas and habitat for fish. It would have been easy to push it all up neat and clean, but that was something I did not want. Some people will look at it and shudder, and that's okay.

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Looks good to me. Its a big BOW compared to mine. Plenty of room for structure of all kinds.
Im looking forward to seeing the rest of the story.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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After finishing the dam, and thinking that we would have a normal year precipitation wise, I wanted to get the dock and a few other projects completed before the pond gained measurable water. I was, of course, on a budget as well as not interested in a floating dock, but rather one that would be permanently fixed (or at least so I thought.....I will get to that later). The dock was to have a slip for an old pontoon boat I had managed to land and have a ramp for access to the bank as well as the island. The overall platform was a 24x24 foot square (minus the slip for the pontoon).

After some research, I chose to re-purpose some of the black locust timber that was cut out of the original ditch. Everything I could find about them said they would have no problem holding up underwater for decades due to them being almost all heartwood. It wasn't hard to find larger, decently straight candidates for my posts.

My largest issue was the fact that there was nearly solid rock in the area where the dock was to be built. It was impossible to dig any kind of hole for the posts. My solution was a couple of things. One, level an area for each post and place a large flat rock down. Two, center each post on each rock and brace it up. Three, pile rocks and dirt around the base of each post to provide some amount of anchoring. I managed to get this done with the help of my skid loader, but it was still a fair undertaking for one person.

Once the main posts were braced, I used a transit to mark elevations and notch the posts with a chainsaw. Getting the 2x12 band lumber attached made me feel a lot better about all those posts sticking up in the air with not much holding them. I used 2x10 joists and deck boards to finish out the platform. I've built cabinets and furniture for various projects in the past, and this was certainly not cabinet worthy work, but for the terrain, elements, lack of man power, and the materials used, it would do just fine. I really felt like the dock couldn't go anywhere since it was all tied together on top, but as a final step I used a couple heavy rocks and some cable to anchor the front side.

Here are a few pictures of the project. The dock story isn't finished, to say the least.......

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If you are in an area that freezes, your greatest foe for dock stability will be when the wind blows the ice floe that freezes and locks up against the dock verts.

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Looks good. Youve definitely got me wondering about the rest of the story. Ha


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: Brettski
If you are in an area that freezes, your greatest foe for dock stability will be when the wind blows the ice floe that freezes and locks up against the dock verts.


You are correct sir......sort of. I experienced a bit of this over the winter. I'll share a bit more about the project build and then cover that debacle.

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In January of '18 I began work on another project that I had stumbled upon a year before fishing a student's pond. It was a half sunk mid-80's (I'm guessing) 24' pontoon boat. Someone had, for whatever reason, knocked a hole in the back of each pontoon in an effort to sink her. She was floating nose up out in the middle of a 10 pond. We drug it to the waters edge, drained the pontoons, and loaded it on a trailer with a tractor and front loader. I paid $300 bucks for the old girl and felt pretty good about it. What would duck hunters pay for an 8' x 22'+ flat surface to build on???

The deck, seating areas, outboard motor, and pretty much anything that wasn't made of metal were completely shot. I stripped everything off of it, replaced the decking lumber and covered it with outdoor carpet. I only put the side railings on the the back half and of course put the metal roof back on. I wanted to leave the front entirely open and not hassle with putting any seating back on it. We figured we would just bring whatever seating we wanted out and put it back when we were done. I've got a 70# trolling motor that isn't being used to mount on the front. I'm pretty excited about all the open front area to be able to use for all kinds of stuff, and of course to be able to easily fish from.

I straightened out all the aluminum pieces as much as possible and patched and welded the holes in the back of the pontoons. It was far from looking like a new vessel, but it will certainly be very handy on our little pond!

Here are pictures of the project. You have to check the name out on this boat....it's a classic and has been a great conversation piece for everyone who sees it.

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Thatll be great. Im always looking for shade.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Thatll be great. Im always looking for shade.


I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.

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I actually use a covered 30 foot pontoon for my floating dock on my 2 acre pond. Has been working great for about 3 years now. My Texas Hunter feeder is even mounted to it. You did a good job on that restoration. Believe it or not people will still pay you several hundred dollars for that old motor for parts. Because we made ours a permanent dock I also sold my trailer. Ended up a whole lot cheaper than I could have built a floating dock. Hah!!


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We also use a pontoon boat for our dock. It works great!

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Originally Posted By: s252101
I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.


We made the banks fairly steep around our pond. Not easy for anyone to climb out, especially with slick clay. The ladder on the dock is used 90+% of the time. Also means cleaner water vs stiring up the bank, and climbing out through leaves and FA.


Last edited by SetterGuy; 05/16/19 09:06 AM.

8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: Flame
I actually use a covered 30 foot pontoon for my floating dock on my 2 acre pond. Has been working great for about 3 years now. My Texas Hunter feeder is even mounted to it. You did a good job on that restoration. Believe it or not people will still pay you several hundred dollars for that old motor for parts. Because we made ours a permanent dock I also sold my trailer. Ended up a whole lot cheaper than I could have built a floating dock. Hah!!


Flame, Just curious, how much food do you go through in a month? As far as the restoration goes, I need to clean all the metal railings and pontoons from sitting underwater for so long, but for now it is fully functional. I had never dealt with a pontoon and wondered why this one hadn't sunk until I discovered that each pontoon is broken into 2 separate compartments, which makes a lot of sense!

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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Originally Posted By: s252101
I'm certainly looking forward to relaxing evenings just floating around! I need to build some sort of ladder for it so the kids can climb on when they are swimming.


We made the banks fairly steep around our pond. Not easy for anyone to climb out, especially with slick clay. The ladder on the dock is used 90+% of the time. Also means cleaner water vs stiring up the bank, and climbing out through leaves and FA.



What is your ladder made out of SetterGuy? I made a very gradual sloping area and, when it dries out enough to get a truck in, will make a beach area.

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s25, I go through 50 pounds about every 3 weeks. I feed year around but very little in the winter. Water temp has only got below 50 one time in 4 years.But I am in deep east Texas.


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Thanks for the info Flame. Our water gets a bit cooler in the winter months crazy

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Here is a video and a few pictures of some of the structure in the pond. A bunch of black locust stumps were used and of course a lot of the rock that was pushed out. I didn't have the equipment to separate all the rock from the clay so a lot ended up in mixed piles. As the body of water ages a fair amount of this structure will be surely covered up.

The two smaller concrete structures you see in the video are boats that my student's design and made out of concrete for a project. They floated with over 1,000 lbs. of landscaping blocks in them, but how practical is a small 300 lb. boat? They were a great project and will make great structure.

As you can see from the video, the bottom has a ton of structure. I tried to vary the depths greatly from 3-14 feet and plan to aerate the pond so hopefully the deeper stuff can be utilized during more than just the winter months. Let's hope that all the structure benefits the Walleye and Smallmouth that will be stocked later. It will be exciting to put my fishing boat on it and check out all the structure with side imaging.

There are a few larger rocks that were propped up in various locations and some of them are over 6 feet long. I'm hoping that they will provide cover that's a guaranteed Smallmouth any time you fish.

The second video was taken by my 6 year old from the dock. When you have waited 15 months to get the project finished and you finally get a little water, you fish!

YouTube - Pond Structure
YouTube - Fishing



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Water is still just a tad to shallow for the pontoon! Hah! Years ago I used a tractor to dig a small pond by my house. Just didn't have patience to wait for rain. My wife came home from work and found me out there trying to fill it with a waterhose!! True story about our 30 foot pontoon boat that we use for a dock...we knew we wanted a pond but had not even broke ground on it yet when we saw the boat for sale!! It was a year later before we built the pond. Talk about can't wait for things and putting the cart before the horses!! I actually did the same thing on my house. I had a custom made pool table made before I built the add on to the house to put it in!! Reading this back...I think there may be something wrong with me?? Your pond looks great!!


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Originally Posted By: Flame
Water is still just a tad to shallow for the pontoon! Hah! Years ago I used a tractor to dig a small pond by my house. Just didn't have patience to wait for rain. My wife came home from work and found me out there trying to fill it with a waterhose!! True story about our 30 foot pontoon boat that we use for a dock...we knew we wanted a pond but had not even broke ground on it yet when we saw the boat for sale!! It was a year later before we built the pond. Talk about can't wait for things and putting the cart before the horses!! I actually did the same thing on my house. I had a custom made pool table made before I built the add on to the house to put it in!! Reading this back...I think there may be something wrong with me?? Your pond looks great!!


I've certainly been known to put the cart before the horse before, but like to refer to it as strategic planning. Several of my student's thought that you filled a pond with a source like a garden hose. Silly kids.

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What is your ladder made out of SetterGuy? I made a very gradual sloping area and, when it dries out enough to get a truck in, will make a beach area. [/quote]

I have little time, and low mechanical skills. So I went to Menards. Bought dock kits, and put them together and carried them down to the pond with my tractor. I bought a ladder from them also. It was too easy.. Not nearly as satisfying as building everything my self. It works great though. I wanted on I could rotate up and out of the water when we left. It has zero algae on it. No slip.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Pics and video are great. Looks like your BOW could be called a lake (in my book). I talked to a guy that sells farms one time. I asked him how Big does a pond have to be before its a lake. He said its simple, if your selling, its a lake. If youre buying, its a pond. wink


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Thanks for the info SetterGuy. I would like for the ladder to fold up and out of the way as well. I will probably make it out of aluminum for the dock and pontoon.

It certainly looked more like a lake than a pond this weekend after all the rain. Lots and lots of water running out he overflow pipe and emergency spillway. Good thing I had a screen up over the emergency area, I think. Not sure how many forage fish (GS and FHM) are attracted to areas like that and get sucked out? I only found 2 dead shiners up against my screen. I don't have anything over my 8" pipe to keep them from going right down. I'm pretty skeptical about having a bunch of debris plugging things up too much and keeping the water from getting too high with my fixed dock. What are your guy's thoughts on bait fish leaving through pipe and emergency areas?

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we need a pic of it full now.

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Continuing with the pond build story, we had a very dry winter in 2017-2018. About the only snow we got came as light dustings Easter Sunday and the following two Sundays after. We got a few showers that spring and then.....It. Just. Did. Not. Rain.

I am 35 years old and I am talking the worst drought for filling a pond in my lifetime for this immediate area. My wife was not happy that we had cut down all her "green trees" and dug a giant hole but I had explained to her that most ponds that are built and ready to go for spring rains are filled in a few months. Boy was I wrong.

Attached are a few pictures of the pond that spring and summer. It got to be a pretty depressing sight as the ragweed slowly took over the entire basin. On the bright side, there was almost no silting in! It got pretty desperate for me, as I would stand at the back sliding door every morning for 7 months hoping for rain. If you've ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation, I was like Clark Griswold staring out his kitchen window visualizing his pool in his back yard. In case you were wondering, I never had any red bikini top smack against my window. The pond never got more than 3 or so feet of water in it at one time, and by mid-August was down to less than two feet.

One of the pictures shows the drought areas for the state as of August 28th, 2018. I live in western Livingston county which is a part of the cluster of counties in the exceptional drought. In fact, when the exceptional drought area started as a fraction of a county a few weeks earlier it was directly over my area. I grew up on a farm and my family still farms, so a silly pond sitting dry was one thing, but row crop and especially livestock farmers were really struggling.

We got a few little rains in September and then finally relief came in October. We received several inches of rain in about a 4 day period that put a lot of water in the pond. The water was turbid and nasty looking and a lot of it was due to the dead ragweed covering the entire basin, but hey, it was water. Volume wise, we guessed the pond to be a little less than half at this point. It was finally a good start for a pond that was almost 9 1/2 months old.

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Originally Posted By: roundy
we need a pic of it full now.


I'm hoping to finish sharing the story and be caught up with current pictures in the next few days.

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With the pond filling, there were a few more projects to tackle before last winter hit. We had decided to put a small shelter area on the island and I wanted to build some Smallmouth spawning structure, if for nothing else, added structure for fish in general.

For the shelter area, I dismantled and relocated a 14' diameter grain bin. I used five 4x4 treated posts to support the top ring and roof. When you are working by yourself there is a fair amount of redneck ingenuity involved. Eventually, I was able to get the ring raised, secured, and the roof put back on in 3 different sections. Getting the holes to line back up proved pretty tricky. I used some treated spacers and old barn wood from my wife's grandfather's barn that was torn down to wrap the posts to give it more of a rustic look. We are happy with how it turned out and aren't sure what the plans are yet for the rest of the island. We definitely want a fire pit and sitting area somewhere eventually. A project for another day.

For my Smallmouth beds, I used large plant pots left from landscaping and buried them so there was a good 6-8" sticking out of the ground to keep them from silting in anytime soon. Then flat rock was stacked around the pot and built up around the shallow side of the bed to support a black locust log that would sit above. The pot and area around it was filled with river rock to create the actual spawning bed. The logs were placed on top of the flat rock and wired on each end with 100+ lbs. of chunk rock. I made 6 of these total all over the pond, facing different directions, and in depths from 3-6 feet (at full pool). Like I said earlier, even if the Smallies don't spawn on them, they should be great structure for all fish alike.

Also on the list of things to do was add on to the drain pipe. When the pond was built, I wanted to leave it low to have flexibility with the island, dock placement, dam freeboard, etc. Since all of this stuff was taken care of I was able to add about 16-18". Again, working by myself, redneck engineering to hold the pipe in place was necessary.

I forgot to add, a little ancillary benefit of not having rain for so long meant that a large number of the stumps that were piled up in various spots dried out and lost any remaining dirt from the root ball and floated to the surface with all the rain in October. I was so mad and feel like had we gotten rain when the stumps had some moisture and dirt on the root balls they would have stayed in place, but I could be wrong. We went around on the Miss Behavin' and sunk several of the best stumps by wiring rocks or landscape blocks onto them. It didn't take much to send most of them down to their watery graves.

We had received some more runoff in the form of rain and snow by this time (Jan. '19) and the pond had come up another couple feet. At this point I felt like we were in the clear; most projects were done and we could relax and let the rest take care of itself.

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The grain bin gazebo is too cool.

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Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Were all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnt listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: Augie
The grain bin gazebo is too cool.


Thanks Augie. We hope to get a lot of relaxing use out of it.

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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Were all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnt listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.


SetterGuy that's good news about your SMB. Now I need you to get out there and catch a few of your original stock and post some pictures. I would love to see how they have grown. Have they been in there 3 years yet?

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Originally Posted By: s252101
Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Love the grain bin gazebo! We have some friends in Chilli that have one by their pond. They have a few other friends that all have them. I think theyve formed a grain bin gazebo society. Or something like that. Were all in our 60s so it could just be us old folks involved. Ha!
Also, my SMB have reproduced, and my SMB beds are not nearly as nicely made as yours are.
My county isnt listed as dry as Livingston, but my place was that dry. But the drought is now, way more than over. More rain coming through tonight.
Love to see the kids swimming early. We did the same. Looks great.


SetterGuy that's good news about your SMB. Now I need you to get out there and catch a few of your original stock and post some pictures. I would love to see how they have grown. Have they been in there 3 years yet?


This was last year. Havent caught one this year, but see them moving in the shallow water. They were stocked 10/10/15, 4-8. (60 of them) Hopefully they are 17-18 by now. Stocked along with 25 HSB that have never been seen again. whistle

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8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy

This was last year. Havent caught one this year, but see them moving in the shallow water. They were stocked 10/10/15, 4-8. (60 of them) Hopefully they are 17-18 by now. Stocked along with 25 HSB that have never been seen again. whistle


Man that's a beautiful, healthy looking fish. So he went from 4-8" to 16" or so in shy of 3 years? I'd say you are doing well. If this chart is accurate, looks like that fish was on the high side of the medium growth rate. I'd be happy with similar results for sure. Looks like that fish should be pushing two pounds. Get out there and catch one so we can see this years class!

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As winter progressed, we received a fair amount of snow, and a few rain showers on frozen ground which led to decent runoff. I was setting at about 2-3 feet from being at full pool in January '19. It hadn't been ridiculously cold as of yet, but as February rolled in, it got that way fast. I didn't think much of it, but the current water level and the building ice were about to become a problem.

Before sharing about that, know that where we are located is hit and miss for thick ice from year to year. There are some years we can not safely ice fish a single day, and there are others that we can fish, everyday, for 3 months straight. Up to this point, the ice hadn't been thick enough to get on, but it was about to get really thick for our area. February was cold for us. Several days with lows of -5 to -10 and highs barely reaching zero. The ice grew and grew, engulfing whatever was at the surface at that current level; this included nearly all of my Smallmouth logs, and of course, all of my dock posts.

This was really all fine, except for the scenario that happened next; we got quite a bit of snow, and then an inch of rain on a couple warmer days. The ice had made it to 8"+ thick by this point and the ground was still entirely frozen which meant 100% runoff of all the rain and melting snow. Water was rushing in. This set of circumstances is really unheard of around here, like I'm talking almost NEVER happens. For the most part, pond levels maintain during the winter, but rarely rise drastically until early spring. Also, we typically don't get ice that thick, and if we do, the air is very dry. We certainly don't usually have an inch of rain with 8" of ice on the bodies of water and snow on the ground. All the stars aligned for max runoff and that's what we got.

I came home from work that evening and was afraid to look. Exactly what I was worried about had happened; some of the runoff ended up on top of the ice (about 6" deep) and the rest had made its way under the ice and forced the whole mass upward. Since ice is strong and it was so thick, whatever it was attached to, it just brought with it. So, all my Smallmouth bed logs that were anchored with 200-300 lbs. of rock were ripped upward as the #9 wire had broken from the force. All that work would have to be re-done. Sigh.

To make matters worse, I noticed that the dock was sitting very awkwardly. As I walked out onto it, it was obvious that it had been lifted by the ice as well. I was a bit panicked because as it was still raining at a pretty good clip and all the tributaries were doing their part to add water to the pond. I rushed and grabbed the chainsaw and, while standing in 6" of water, began cutting around each of the dock posts. As I finished each cut, the dock would literally slam down almost a foot! To make matters worse, the Miss Behavin' was frozen in the slip making it all but impossible to get to a few of the posts. By the time I was done sawing and busting ice with a long pry bar, it was completely dark, still raining, and I was soaked from head to toe. I was beginning to think that if I didn't have bad luck with this project, I'd have no luck at all.

The dock was still structurally sound, but there was some permanent shifting that I will have to live with. The portions that were anchored to the large limestone rocks had lifted a little because the anchor rocks were not 100% straight below those points, so they rose in a bit of an arc if that makes sense. It was a great time, let me tell you.

For the remainder of the winter I made sure to keep the ice broken away from the posts when the forecast called for any precipitation. Eventually, the ice thawed and, by that time, the pond was within 6" of being full. I didn't get many pictures of the near disaster with the dock, as I was scrambling to salvage it rather than document the event. Thank goodness for spring.

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That last pic looks great. Youve got to be proud of that. I didnt realize the dock would take you to the island as well.
Weve had 3 in the last few days. Luckily just warnings for tornadoes and no sightings. I feel sorry for the folks in Jeff City.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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The last few weeks have been really wet for us. The first week of May was the first time water ever went down the overflow. I think it has been running most days since that time. The emergency spillway has even been used twice now. I set the grade on the emergency spillway to be about 8 inches higher than the lowest point of my overflow pipe. Since the dock is fixed, and at full pool the water is just an inch or two below the dock, I didn't ever want water to get too high on it. You will see in some of the pictures that the water is about half way up on the 2x12's on the dock. I'm not sure it would get much higher with an 8" pipe running full bore, and a 14' wide emergency spillway running a couple inches deep with only about 12-14 acres of runoff. My emergency spillway doesn't have any vegetation on it yet as I just got it to final grade after adding on to my overflow pipe and before putting my screen up this spring. The spillway is long, wide, flat, and dug into virgin ground so there was very minimal washing. I will probably seed it with a grass clover mix this fall. I had a few kamikaze Shiners that died up against the screen, but I saw several scurrying back to deeper water.

Now, onto the fun part; managing the body of water to produce fast growing, healthy Smallmouth, Walleye, and Yellow Perch. Here's where I am at thus far:

October 2018 - 20lbs. of FHM and 1000 Northern Crayfish
March 2019 - 100 Redears and 20lbs. of Golden Shiners
May 2019 - 30lbs. of FHM

Future Stocking Plan:
Fall 2019 - approx. 80 SMB and 200 YP
Spring 2020 - approx. 60 Walleye

My goal is to have fewer numbers and better quality. I'm hoping to have a massive forage base by this fall. I'm planning to build a .2 acre body of water to raise Shiners (and maybe another species) and supplement in the coming years. I'm really excited to get this off the ground and open to suggestions. I plan to aerate the pond with 4 diffusers once my budget allows later this year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance. I plan to periodically post and keep this all updated with successes/failures. I also plan to get my drone up and get some good footage to share when the weather calms down a bit (another 4-5" predicted for the next week).

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Thanks for sharing your journey. The place looks 1st class all around.

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Looks great! Also looks like your water is reasonably clear with all the rain weve had. Just curious, where are you sourcing walleye?
My pond is gushing out the overflow pipe also. Trying to get some mowing done before the next storm system comes in. Went down to the pond last night and a huge ash tree from behind the dam toppled over, just barely into the water. It was history anyway due to ash bore. Im losing 5 more around the house. frown


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Looks great! Also looks like your water is reasonably clear with all the rain weve had. Just curious, where are you sourcing walleye?
My pond is gushing out the overflow pipe also. Trying to get some mowing done before the next storm system comes in. Went down to the pond last night and a huge ash tree from behind the dam toppled over, just barely into the water. It was history anyway due to ash bore. Im losing 5 more around the house. frown


Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back with you SetterGuy, busy weekend. The pond certainly has more color than I would like, but the amount of water coming in for the last month has been enough to fill this pond twice! Even with grass all the way around, there is a fair amount of turbidity.

I am getting my fish from NEMO fisheries out of Perry, MO. That can't be more than a couple hours from you I wouldn't think. They have been wonderful to work with and seem like doing a good job is top priority. They haven't tried to sell me fish, in fact, they have talked me out of certain things. Cody and Vince are the father/son that run the place.

It stinks losing an investment like a tree for sure. The only trees between my house and the pond are elm because that is all there was, and I am sure they will die in the next few years.

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We lost a huge elm last year. On the trail to our pond, it was the biggest elm Ive seen in a long time.
I like those guys at NEMO. They are 10 minutes from my pond. I did not know he had walleye. Ill have to stop in. I knew he had YP. I think I have a pretty good population of YP. I really overstocked at the beginning.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
We lost a huge elm last year. On the trail to our pond, it was the biggest elm Ive seen in a long time.
I like those guys at NEMO. They are 10 minutes from my pond. I did not know he had walleye. Ill have to stop in. I knew he had YP. I think I have a pretty good population of YP. I really overstocked at the beginning.


You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.

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My next phase of the process is aeration. Again, I'm on a budget. I know most are probably saying "Oh Lord, he's cutting corners again". I'm looking forward to the challenge of a decent system with costs that aren't outrageous. I have read a fair amount on aeration and had a system drawn up from a company. The quote was way too much for me to even think about spending. Here's what I'm thinking:

-Compressor will sit at my shed (200 feet to waters edge)
-I plant to run the equivalent of 2" of airline to a manifold at the waters edge (it may be 2 - 1" lines together).
-I'm hoping to use 5 - 12" diffusers (the unique shape of the pond will require something like this)
-I plan to use pipe that is a little larger than 5/8" to feed each diffuser.
-Diffuser #1 = 200' @ 15' deep
-Diffuser #2 = 100' @ 17' deep
-Diffuser #3 = 250' @ 9' deep
-Diffuser #4 = 200' @ 10' deep
-Diffuser #5 = 140' @ 8' deep

My biggest question is whether the two pumps I am looking at will work.

Here they are:

Lifeline LL-RP80P

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BN563QY/?co...lv_ov_lig_dp_it

OxyMan OM800

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NR6UJO6/?co...lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Would either of these handle 5 diffusers with the length/diameter of pipe, depth/number of diffusers? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will document the process and report back as it progresses.

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Originally Posted By: s252101

You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.


I was there on Saturday. They dont have either right now. Said they will have YP in when it cools off in the fall. Not sure about WE, I asked, and they arent sure.

Ive posted the pic of my daughter holding up a 17 SMB in two other threads. Im afraid Ill get booted out of the forum if I post it again. Ha! 17 is our biggest one to date though. Daughter had a blast catching it.

Edit, I cant answer you aeration questions. My pond is 900 feet from the barn. Not running electrical or air lines that far. Plus a big ravine to go through. If they ever get solar aeration affordable, Ill go that way.

Last edited by SetterGuy; 06/21/19 04:22 PM.

8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted By: SetterGuy
Originally Posted By: s252101

You ever stop in and check out their walleye stock? Any Smallies caught recently? Hope all is well.


I was there on Saturday. They dont have either right now. Said they will have YP in when it cools off in the fall. Not sure about WE, I asked, and they arent sure.

Ive posted the pic of my daughter holding up a 17 SMB in two other threads. Im afraid Ill get booted out of the forum if I post it again. Ha! 17 is our biggest one to date though. Daughter had a blast catching it.

Edit, I cant answer you aeration questions. My pond is 900 feet from the barn. Not running electrical or air lines that far. Plus a big ravine to go through. If they ever get solar aeration affordable, Ill go that way.


I have my fingers crossed for SMB and WE for this fall/next spring.

I found your post with the SMB your daughter caught. Beautiful fish and family!

I'm hoping that some guys who know a bit will chime in. I know I could post in the aeration topics, but would like to keep everything on this one thread. We'll see...

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Pond Boss Forums,

It's hard to believe that is has been nearly 3 years since I last shared about my pond project. It's unbelievable how fast time has gone! I will have a little time over the next couple weeks to catch up on all that has happened with my body of water. It's certainly been a fun couple years to watch my pond and continue to progress it the best that time and resources have allowed. It looks like my last posts pertained to my aeration project in July of 2019 so that's where I plan to pick back up. One of my main goals from this thread is to provide as much of a comprehensive log of my journey as possible all in one location so that others can pull ideas of what to do (and certainly what not to do) when they have a question about their pond build and management. I know I have spent hours and hours reading through threads on this forum and have benefitted greatly from the experience of its users.

Here is a link to the thread that was started on aerating my body of water. Pond Aeration

I ended up making my own "weighted" line using landscape irrigation pipe and 4" corrugated pipe. I cut the 4" corrugated pipe into 2.5" sections and drilled a hole through each one so it could be threaded on to the irrigation pipe and filled with concrete to sink it. I spaced the corrugated pipe sections about 6' apart and that seemed to work just about right. The line wasn't too heavy to handle on the bank and yet it sunk fine. I didn't get pictures of this on my pond, but put in another system for a friend and got pictures of it. We measured how long our runs needed to be and cut and stretched the air lines out on the dam. We then threaded all the "pucks" onto the line and mixed and poured the concrete in each puck. We let them sit over night and moved them the next morning. Overall, it took 100' of corrugated pipe, a few hours to cut it into sections and drill the holes, and a couple hours to thread them onto the lines and pour the concrete. I then used 5 gallon buckets to mount my diffusers on. We poured about 15 pounds of concrete in the bottom of each bucket and the diffusers I bought fit snugly onto the top of the bucket with the bucket handle lifted straight up. On my buddies system we did everything from start to finish in a day and a half and he has 6 diffusers, over 1000' of pipe, 250 pucks, and 15 bags of Quickcrete. We just had to make sure that we ran the pipes out on the dam in the correct order so that when we swung them out into the water we didn't have to drag lines over one another and risk them becoming entangled. I would set the bucket with diffuser on it on the deck of my boat and use my trolling motor to pull them out into position. Another person stayed on the bank and fed the line into the water. You do have to be careful not to kink the line as you swing it in. We did that a time or two but were easily able to straighten it back out; that irrigation line is tough. Once in position, I would tie a small string to the bucket handle and drop it down to the bottom and then tie a 4" section of pool noodle to the string as a float right above the aerator. I did this thinking that it would make it easy for me to grab and just pull the whole system up for maintenance or cleaning, but I have never once had to do that on my BOY in the almost 3 years that system has been running and I don't notice any decrease in air flow. We used irrigation valve control boxes for our valves and I made a homemade box for my pump to set outside my shed that was about 200' away. The box is pretty redneck looking, but it keeps the system pretty quiet and out of sight. The entire system cost less than $1,500 for all materials and works great. There are a couple pictures attached that show what it looks like set up on the dam and ready to go into the water.

I have had no problems with the system and I'm on season 3 with it. I've never even touched the ball valves since they were adjusted on the first day. One picture shows the impact that the aerators have on turned the water over. When it rains lightly, the areas that each diffuses impacts show up really well; it's pretty cool to see.

I typically run my system from Aprilish to Novemberish and remove my pump at the end of each season. Overall, I'm really happy with my system and know that it has been a great addition to my pond.

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Here are the stocking rates that I used for my pond. Again, it is just under 2 acres and about 19 feet deep.

October 2018 - 20lbs. of FHM and 1000 Northern Crayfish
March 2019 - 100 RES (2-3") and 20lbs. of Golden Shiners (3")
May 2019 - 30lbs. of FHM
October 2019 - 100 SMB (4-5"), 200 YP (3-4"), and 50 WE (4-5")

If I had it to do over again, I would wait another 6 months to a year to put in my predator fish and let my forage base absolutely explode and would bet that I'd be ahead by this point in the game as far as growth is concerned. My forage base grew incredibly, but man did those fish put a hurting on them. I stopped trapping FHM in about a year. To this day there is still a great population of GSH of all sizes as well as crawdads, but they have certainly been working on them as I will cover later. I certainly believe it is true that you can never have enough food in your pond for your predators!

Here are a few pictures of my fish and some of the giant crawdads the pond was producing. I've also included a link to the crawdads desperately trying to grab some of the floating fish food as the wind pushes it by. It's always entertaining to watch them.

Crawdads/Minnows Feeding

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Jeez!!!! Did any of those poor crawdaddy's ever snag a feed pellet???!!!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
Jeez!!!! Did any of those poor crawdaddy's ever snag a feed pellet???!!!

Their success rate is pretty low, but they will manage to grab a piece every once in a while! When they do, you can tell they are excited. Is it possible to tell when a crawdad is excited??? : )

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Fast forward to the spring of 2020. My forage fish had been in for 12-16 months and my predators had been in the pond for about 6 months. Here are a couple pictures of samples we trapped or netted just playing around the pond. We have thoroughly enjoyed trapping fish and throwing the cast net around just to sample our critters!

It was also decided to add a small 0.2 acre forage pond that would be about 6' deep just above my actual BOY to continue to provide ample food for my fish. I had access to an excavator and spent a couple days carving it out. Any day that you spend on heavy equipment is a good day! Of course, I got to experience putting a track back on after running the left side off while packing part of the dam. Come to find out, the front idler wheel was almost completely worn out and needed to be replaced. Once full, the forage pond has an emergency spillway that empties into the larger BOY.

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During the spring/summer of 2020, my predator fish seemed to be off to a great start. I still had a few FHM swimming about and had some GSH that were 7"+ already. I was really excited for my main forage to be large enough that they would reproduce freely without being eaten by any of my young predator species. I've heard and read that GSH are the most fertile at 3-4" and not so much when they reach 7-8" because their eggs contain a lot of fat, but they still have to be contributing a fair amount. We saw a few RES that were pushing the 8" mark already which we were pretty surpised by. The YP and SMB were growing rapidly from just a few months ago. I knew they had plenty to eat at this point in the game, but it was shocking how quickly they were growing. We also had quite a population of bullfrogs which we began to harvest that summer. I really didn't have a predator in the pond to keep their numbers down and they were chowing down on my crawdads so I unleashed my secret weapon them-----my 8 year old redhead!

Attached are some pictures of those species that summer and an estimate of my fish growth.

Summer 2020 fish sizes.....

SMB - 8"+ at just over a year old
YP - 6"+ at just over a year old
RES - 7-8" at two years old with plenty of evidence of recruitment
WE - 7-8" at just over a year old
GSH - 7" at two years old

Here is a link to a video of my SMB chasing GSH as they feed. We have really been entertained by our fish feeding. I wonder what it would be like to be a GSH in my pond. Out comes the feed and you just can't resist coming to the surface to grab a bite, but as soon as you do, you become lunch!

Also, the aerators really attract the baitfish as well. The SMB are constantly breaking the surface around them chasing food.

SMB chasing food

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Fall of 2020 was eventful for my BOY. We had a couple unwanted guests show up in the form of two adult otters. I am really fortunate to live less than 100 yards from my pond and can keep a close eye on it every day. Needless to say their stay was short (less than two days). grin It's amazing how far those things will travel to get from one body of water to another. I was surprised to see them show up and happy to see them gone.

That summer/fall was also unique in from a precipitation standpoint. We received just enough rain to keep things green and growing, but we didn't receive a runoff producing rain for almost 4 months! My forage pond was only half full from that spring and my main BOY of water was down almost 20". So, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I took the opportunity to spread shot rock all the way around my pond. Shot rock has fines all the way up to chunks that might weigh a couple hundred pounds. Since the water was low, I was able to use my skid loader and spread it down into the water and up the banks to slightly above the full pool level. It took about 250 tons of rock to get this done. Obviously, there are many benefits from an addition like this. I did it mainly for wave protection and added structure for crawdads and forage fish. I'm really hoping that crawdads will be a permanent fix in my pond with the amount of structure they have available. I probably should have put a heavy fabric under the rock before I spread it, but I was worried about the negative affects it would have on my crawdads. I can see the need for more rock coming, it breaks down itself as well as silts in a bit.

With the lower water I was also able to see several of my SMB beds that would normally have a couple more feet of water over them. They looked like they were still in good shape.

As for the fish, the rapid growth seemed to continue. Once every couple weeks we would throw the cast net out during feeding and pull in a pretty good haul. At this point, I had about every size of GSH imaginable for my fish to eat. It was about this time that I never saw another FHM again, which is hard to believe with their reproduction capacity and they amount I originally stocked.

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I almost forgot about another project that took place the summer of 2020. Since the entire planet was shut down due to COVID, we had plenty of time on our hands to build a treehouse on the east edge of the pond. We had enough old lumber to build the stairs and platform and were able to repurpose more of the black locust logs that we cut out to build the pond. Our options were limited for trees to put it in, but we made due. We really didn't have a true plan in place when we started, it just kept evolving as we went. It was a ton of fun to work on this project with my girls and not have a laundry list of other things that needed accomplished right at that minute. We ended up with a small, but pretty cool space to hang out when we finished. Another advantage of living right next to our pond was that we were able to easily run electricity to it ourselves and even have internet out there.

One feature that was a suprise to my kids was a zipline that we added. Growing up, I always thought they were really cool and, with a little research, we were able to create one that ran from the top deck of the treehouse to the pond dam. It starts about 20 feet high and runs a little over 400'. I was right, they are cool, because I enjoy a trip down it as well!

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Winter 2020/Spring 2021 update.

Our fish continued to grow well. The pond was full, and all species seemed to be doing well. I forgot to mention early that, as of this point, we had not caught a WE yet. We had cast netted two, but never caught one with a rod and reel. I have attached a couple pictures of some YP and SMB. The YP are fat and healthy and the smallies are constantly after something it seems.

I also added a fish feeder on the end of the diving board we mounted on our dock. It's about 10 feet deep off the end and a simple deer feeder has worked great. If we want to swim, we just slide the whole thing off the end of the diving board and replace it when we are finished. The 5 gallon bucket holds enough feed for almost two weeks. I've set it to operate once in the morning and once in the evening for one second each time. It throws quite a bit of food in that amount of time. Most of my food is gobbled up by spastic GSH heading to the surface and back down as quickly as they can, but over the last year or so, several YP feed regularly. I've never seen another species eating any pellet food.

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Spring/Summer 2021 Update.

I was really excited to have my pond in a position that it felt like it was just about completely set up. My forage base still seemed to be very strong and my fish were growing well. My water quality seemed pretty decent and my water clarity was somewhere in the 14"-18" range.

My forage pond was completely full and its runoff was no contributing to keeping my large BOY of topped off. In one of the pictures you'll see that I need to adjust my spillway on my forage pond a few inches as there is almost NO freeboard when the emergency spillway is running a couple inches deep. Still some adjustments to be made there. This pond has really frustrated me though. I put in 20 lbs. of FHM in the fall of 2020 with a plan to trap several pounds a month in the future to add to my large pond just to supplement with. The pond is about 6 feet deep with fairly steep sides to avoid a ton of vegetation growing. I cut 4" corrugated pipe into 1' lengths, drilled a hole through it and strung it accross the pond in three different places to give them spawning habitat. I spaced each section out about 3' on the rope and anchored them from just under the surface to a couple feet deep. I had read that FHM are territorial when they spawn and wear themselves out competiting for areas so I thought this would allow them plenty of space to space without too much competition. I was never able to pull any minnows out worth throwing in my pond. The 20 lbs. that I put in were large, healthy minnows and all I could ever catch were tiny, 1" little things. I'm not sure if it was a spawning habitat issue or a lack of food or another issue. I really thought you couldn't screw up FHM, but somehow here I am. I do feed them with ground up food once a week or so, but forget quite often. This spring I added a whole bunch of hedge tops that reach all the way to the surface in hopes that it helps, but we will see. I'm planning to add GSH to the pond just to keep their population going strong in my large BOY. I hope this is a good idea and I'm not really sure how much I can expect to take out of there in a season. Any ideas on my issues with this 0.2 acre BOY? There are no predators in there. The water is pretty cloudy.

One of the most exciting things we introduced in 2021 was the purchase of a fish tagging system. I taught science for 14 years, so data collection and interpretation are always fascinating to me. We purchased 100 tags and created a document that tracks the following: species, date caught, time of day caught, tag number, location in the pond caught, means of catching, length, weight, length/weight ratio, and a column for additional notes. We started tagging and documenting about 80% of the fish that we caught and have had an absolute blast doing it! On top of the valuable information we are starting to compile, it is always fun to reel in a fish that has been previously caught and check to see how much or how little they have grown. I always laughed at people who said, shortly after a catching two fish within a few minutes of each other, "that's the same fish!" We have actually had that happen a time or two because the tags certainly don't lie! I will attach some images of the document in a later post.

In the southeast corner of the pond near the treehouse, we get almost half our runoff. I was able to build a simple catch basin and pipe it into the pond. This has provided a couple benefits. One, it has kept silt and clay out during heavy rainfall. Secondly, whenever whatever is blowing through the pipe and into the pond, you better grab a rod and a go, because just about everything in the pond will be congretating in front of it. This was the case on June 26th, 2021 when my favorite little fishing buddy and I headed out to see if that held true once again. After catching a couple SMB on just a few casts, my daughter hooked what she thought was another smallie. It certainly fought like one. When she got it to the bank, it turned out to be an 11.25", 1 lb. 2 oz. RES! I know they grow really big down south, but that qualified for a Master Angler award from the Missouri Department of Conservation. I thought we might get a few to this size eventually, but this fish was just barely 3 years old at the time. I don't know who was more excited, my daughter or me!

I have also attached a picture of an image from my side imaging sonar that shows the two concrete boats that my science class had built that we sunk on the bottom of the pond. You can easily made out a large cedar tree seperating them. Side imaging is a pretty cool technology!

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Fall/Winter 2021 update.

We still had no luck catching a WE in the 2 years they had been in the pond. I contacted our local conservation department and they were excited to come out and shock the pond to see what we could find. Nearly every body of water they handle is standard largemouth, crappie, bluegill, and catfish in this area. They came out in late October and we spent about an hour working around the pond. We were able to sample several YP, SMB, GSH, and RES but still had no luck finding a WE. I had hoped with the cooler water temperatures we would find one shallow enough to bring to the surface. At this point in the game, I was growing a little concerned about the status of my WE and whether or not they were still surviving in my BOY. I thought that maybe the otters had focussed on them that short period they were in the pond or that maybe other conditions were unfavorable for them and they had not surrvided. It certainly wasn't for lack of trying to catch them; we had used about every method that has been successful for us on other bodies of water with no luck. This includes nightcrawlers, FHM, GSH under a bobber, and artificial lures of about every kind. We did find that the SMB and YP sure love most of the above. No joke, we caught several 9-10" YP on 4+ inch GSH. I couldn't believe it. I have also attached a picture of a crawdad dangling from a chunk of nightcrawler that I tipped a plastic grub with. I have caught three crawdads just slow dragging lures on the bottom searching for a WE. Hard to believe we can literally catch mud bugs with a rod and reel and not WE. I would gladly take any advice on catching WE in small impoundments like mine!

Results of shocking produced several 13-15" SMB and 9-10" YP. I was happy with that growth considering these fish were only 2.7 years old at that time. It was so much fun to be a part of this whole process! Again, the science nerd in me was fascinated by the process and the critters involved.

I've also attached a few pictures from our ice fishing endeavors last winter. The last two years we have caught several GSH while ice fishing. They are BIG, but I wish they would just be a meal instead of trying to make a meal of our lures.

From the summer of 2021 throughout the winter, the pond water has been very cloudy. Visibility has been below a foot for a long time now and is something that I need to address and will look for some guidance on. It's one of the variables that I can see being frustrating to control that can have a pretty negative affect on the growth of my sight predators. I will address it in a later post once I'm all caught up to the current date.

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Hello.

Thank you s252101, for taking the time to make and put these photos on the forum.
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Originally Posted by azteca
Hello.

Thank you s252101, for taking the time to make and put these photos on the forum.
A+


Azteca,

No problem, I have really enjoyed documenting the whole process. I hope that someone will find something valuable to use for their own project.

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Spring 2022 update.

Life has been really busy and we haven't been able to spend as much time as we would like fishing or managing the pond this year. We had a cool spring and extremely windy weather this spring that kept us inside when we did have a little time. The pond is still very cloudy (around 8" of visibility). I turned on the aerators in early May this year because the water temperatures were so cool up to that point and the water was already full of color so I don't think it is an issue related to this system. I have done a jar test and the water seems to clear up only slightly after several days of sitting. I have mixed in gypsum in a couple other jars in varying amounts and it hasn't seemed to help much if any at all. I'm thinking my issues are organic in nature and really want to come up with a plan soon. I know that the low visibility in the water has to negatively affecting my sight predators.

For the first time we caught what we are sure is a second generation YP this spring. I have attached a picture of the 5" little guy; to me there is no way this fish was an original. Our YP have just turned 3 years old and from what I understand when they get to 3-4" they are capable of spawning. If that is correct, we should have seen YP reproduction for the last two springs. I feel like there is a plenty of structure for them. We have had two 30' cedar trees and late this winter I added several tops of hedge trees. There is an area in my pond that is probably 60' x 30' that is full of brush from the bottom to the top. I would think that would provide a decent area for them to deposit their ribbons. Time will tell. Would my large GSH be raiding eggs and eating tiny YP fry?

We saw our first dead SMB. This is the only record we have of one of the original 100 dying. I've attached a picture. It turns out that his eyes were larger than his mouth as he chocked on a 4" RES. That's more proof that they don't go well with spiny backed fish.

I have also attached a few pictures of our spreadsheet with our data on it. We have a spreadsheet with all fish on it and then tabs for individual sheets for each species of fish. So far we have used about 140 tags. Of our original 100 SMB, we have tagged almost 90 of them! We have noticed a couple that we have caught who have lost their tags, but for the most part they seem to be staying in pretty well. Smallie #1279 has a propensity for eating artificial lures and has been caught four times since he has been tagged. I have color coded my spreadsheet tag number to keep track. Fish caught a second time are in blue, a third time in green, and a fourth time in orange.

I was late to have the conservation department come out and shock the pond this spring. Last fall we had a plan to have them come out early this spring to try and find a few WE. That just didn't happen. They were finally able to come out May 10th this year. We were in the middle of a four day stretch of 90+ degree weather and didn't have high hopes for finding a WE. We shocked for about 30 minutes and found lots of healthy GSH, SMB, RES, and YP. It was fun to see how many of them were already tagged. As we continued, we pulled up to one of the SMB beds in the northeast corner of the pond and in about 3' of water up rolled a WE! I was beyond ecstatic and so were the guys from the department. We quickly put her in the tank and continued on for a few more minutes. When we were finished we tossed all the other fish back and measured and tagged the WE. I knew she was a good fish when she boiled up but had no idea how good she actually was. Honestly, I expected a WE to be 14-16" or so at this point or even smaller since we have had no luck catching one. Check out the picture. This fish just turned 3 years old and was 21.5" and 3 lbs. 12 oz.!!!! I couldn't believe it. She was incredibly healthy and growing at a better rate than any other species in the pond. It certainly made my day and gave me reason to believe that the other WE in there were doing well too. I would have to think that this fish is in the top 10% of my WE that have survived, but it just makes us want to catch a couple even more just to see.

I have 30 lbs. of GSH headed to my pond in a few days to continue to supplement my forage base. I plan to add a few pounds to my forage pond and try to get them going well in there. Now if I can just fix my cloudy water, I would feel great about where my pond is headed.

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Glad you are catching us up on your ponds progress. Looks great.
Couple of questions.. Can you deer hunt from that treehouse? Ha! Just kidding.
Also, you said the Mo Dept of Conservation came out and shocked your pond? Did you have to pay them? How did you arrange it? I’d like to do the same. See if any of my HSB survived, and see if my HBG numbers are as low as I think they are. I think I’ve knocked them down a bunch.


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
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Nice update. Looks like that SMB bit off more than he could chew........


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Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Glad you are catching us up on your ponds progress. Looks great.
Couple of questions.. Can you deer hunt from that treehouse? Ha! Just kidding.
Also, you said the Mo Dept of Conservation came out and shocked your pond? Did you have to pay them? How did you arrange it? I’d like to do the same. See if any of my HSB survived, and see if my HBG numbers are as low as I think they are. I think I’ve knocked them down a bunch.

Sure you could deer hunt from the treehouse. I actually shot one of the otters from the top deck when I was building it!

As for the pond shocking, I just called our local Conservation department and set it up. It was free of charge.

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Originally Posted by snrub
Nice update. Looks like that SMB bit off more than he could chew........

Yes he did. I was surprised to see that and could barely remove the RES when I found him.

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Originally Posted by s252101
As for the pond shocking, I just called our local Conservation department and set it up. It was free of charge.

That’s great to hear. I had no idea. I’ll be making that call next week.
Thanks!


8 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (going away), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Originally Posted by s252101
As for the pond shocking, I just called our local Conservation department and set it up. It was free of charge.

That’s great to hear. I had no idea. I’ll be making that call next week.
Thanks!

I hope you have better luck then we did with our local conservation dept shocking fish for a pond evaluation, Ive caught as many fish out of the pond as they brought to the surface with their shocking, rattling around in their cumbersome boat and electrodes rattling, the fish were long gone before they got close enough to shock them, according to their survey the pond didnt have enough fish in it to fill a stringer, when I had filled many stringers out of that pond with some healthy sized LMB, they never floated anything over a lb.


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Originally Posted by gehajake
Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Originally Posted by s252101
As for the pond shocking, I just called our local Conservation department and set it up. It was free of charge.

That’s great to hear. I had no idea. I’ll be making that call next week.
Thanks!

I hope you have better luck then we did with our local conservation dept shocking fish for a pond evaluation, Ive caught as many fish out of the pond as they brought to the surface with their shocking, rattling around in their cumbersome boat and electrodes rattling, the fish were long gone before they got close enough to shock them, according to their survey the pond didnt have enough fish in it to fill a stringer, when I had filled many stringers out of that pond with some healthy sized LMB, they never floated anything over a lb.


They didn't do too bad of a job, but I agree, I felt like like a bull in a china shop at times. But, for what I paid for their services, it was outstanding!!! We probably shocked 200 fish (not including GSH) to the surface in about 30-45 minutes each time.

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by esshup - 09/24/23 10:05 PM
What is the maximum allowable drive time?
by esshup - 09/23/23 11:53 PM
Failed Retention Pond
by Mesta-80 - 09/23/23 08:09 PM
What do CC do ?
by jpsdad - 09/23/23 06:21 AM
Aeration How many hrs per day to keep on?
by jpsdad - 09/22/23 08:47 PM
Need advice
by scott69 - 09/22/23 06:32 PM
New pond stocking
by FishinRod - 09/22/23 10:20 AM
Feeder for Optimal 5.5MM floating
by FishinRod - 09/20/23 06:28 PM
Newly Uploaded Images
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12
Caught fishing without permission
Caught fishing without permission
by Theo Gallus, June 22
1 acre Northern Catskills NY
the "grass" in our pond
the "grass" in our pond
by Mama Rachael, May 28

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