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A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
#459159 11/15/16 08:57 PM
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Been debating if I "need" another pond. One more thing to chase geese away from, more to mow, yada, yada, yada. I needed some dirt to raise the level on my old pond so I used a ravine to get some good clay. Well that pretty well destroyed it for any other use............... so why not build a pond?

Pictures below of the start of construction. This was actually done several days ago (internet has been out here). I'm a lot further along than these pictures but will get some more tomorrow.

The plan is to create a RES only pond. Will be stocking only FHM and RES. If they over populate two or three years down the road, will consider a predator at that point. Maybe some HSB. Or if I could find a commercial source for fingerlings some spotted bass. But that will be later only if needed.

Thought I would shoot for about a half acre to maybe up to an acre. After laying it out with the laser level and flagging the water line where I could make maximum use of the ravine, I think it will be closer to 1.5 acres. Which means a lot more dirt to move than I originally anticipated. Since all my help is out actually making a living harvesting soybeans, it will all be up to me to get it completed.

Pictures below of the beginning showing building the core of the dam.

Thread with RES information and links to many other RES threads

Attached Files
IMGA1991.JPG (204.83 KB, 1506 downloads)
Packing in the core
IMGA1992.JPG (176.82 KB, 1097 downloads)
12 yard scraper loaded to get proper compaction, multiple passes
IMGA1993.JPG (330.96 KB, 1151 downloads)
some of the clay I'm working with. Acme makes bricks out of this five miles from me.
IMGA1989.JPG (214.85 KB, 1205 downloads)
IMGA1990.JPG (234.45 KB, 1108 downloads)
Last edited by snrub; 08/07/18 10:20 AM.

John

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459160 11/15/16 10:45 PM
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John,
How deep are you planning for? Length? Width?

I would consider seining out extra RES in a year or two to control the population. Adding predators is hard to undo. I would want to control with a net if at all possible.

Love the clay.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
highflyer #459161 11/15/16 11:53 PM
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Seining would be difficult. 9' depth in several places and numerous underwater humps coming up to within 3 feet of the surface. My main pond I put a LOT of man made structure. Knowing I would not have the time to do that for this pond this late in the season I instead made it look like a motocross track on the bottom. Has a tremendous amount of interior shore line that way.

Don't know the dimensions. Just estimating the size based on the 1 acre old pond that sits adjacent to it. This one is significantly bigger.

One thing about HSB is whatever a person puts in that is what they end up with. No reproduction at least.

So far my little 1/20th acre forage pond with RES only has not stunted but it is only a couple years old. Also it is small enough I can and do pull out a lot of fingerlings via minnow traps. Caught a couple 10" ones by hook and line. Not bad for a tiny two year old pond.

Last edited by snrub; 11/15/16 11:54 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459162 11/16/16 07:35 AM
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John, looks like some fun when building your own pond smile So, if you go with an Res and HSB pond, are you going to feed the hsb or add something like GSH for the hsb and res to feed on? Good looking clay.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459166 11/16/16 09:08 AM
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Current idea is there will only be predators as needed. Preferably none. So if I do eventually need a predator to control recruitment of the RES it will be viewed mostly as a trash fish to reach a resolution, not managed for the benefit of the predator.

Sometimes my plans change though. laugh

I have been enjoying the build. About 2 days from finishing. Installed overflow pipe yesterday. Will get some more pictures today.

Last edited by snrub; 11/16/16 09:14 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459169 11/16/16 10:25 AM
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Your RES should do a pretty good job on keeping YOY in check so long as there is not a lot of cover for YOY to hide in. Even 3" RES like eating newly hatched YOY fry. One of these days I will post about about my aquarium and how quickly three small RES consumed most of my one week old bristlenose pleco fry when the RES were introduced.






Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Shorty #459212 11/17/16 08:09 AM
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From what I have read here on PBF over the last few years it seems RES are not excessively prone to overpopulation like BG or GSF. That said I likely will still have to remain vigilant of the potential.

Thanks for that comment. I was just considering what to put in for cover. I'm going to run out of time to do anything in short order but I may try to put a couple of cribs in made out of old hedge posts. Kind of like the cribs made out of 2x3's Ewest linked to the other day but I have a whole pile of hedge (osage orange) posts that were taken out of fence lines from this place that will last multiple times longer and have a much better surface than what cut boards would have. But maybe it is best my time is limited so not too much artificial structure will be introduced.

This pond has been a piece of cake compared to my big pond. The clay foundation was within a foot of the surface where the dam went so no 6' deep trench to dig like I had to do on the big pond for the core. Wide open area so no moving dirt around more than needed. Excellent material to work with for the dam at the proper moisture level for easy, good compaction. Not putting a "bench" in like in my big pond so about a third less material needed relatively for the dam. Only tall part of the dam is the east side and the wrap around on north and south very slight due to the existing ravine. All in all an easy build this time.

Attached Files
IMGA1995.JPG (243.2 KB, 831 downloads)
getting the bowl dug out
IMGA1997.JPG (209.36 KB, 755 downloads)
IMGA2000.JPG (224.15 KB, 705 downloads)

John

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459213 11/17/16 08:16 AM
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More pictures with descriptions.

Attached Files
IMGA2001.JPG (157.62 KB, 630 downloads)
Dam starting to get some height
IMGA2002.JPG (240.22 KB, 667 downloads)
Another picture of some of the clay
IMGA2003.JPG (273.38 KB, 638 downloads)
clay
IMGA2004.JPG (299.94 KB, 634 downloads)
prehistoric crayfish holes filed in with sediment?????? don't know, just asking. Have seen this before
IMGA2005.JPG (199.05 KB, 621 downloads)
Starting to get a little depth
IMGA2006.JPG (149.67 KB, 746 downloads)

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459217 11/17/16 09:55 AM
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Looking good snrub, I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses. One other predator option to think about might be smallmouth bass.

http://www.sdstate.edu/sites/default/fil...ul-Aug-2004.pdf



Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Shorty #459238 11/18/16 10:03 AM
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What a great article. Thanks! That is something I had not considered but sounds like I should.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Shorty #459241 11/18/16 10:41 AM
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Here are some pictures of the bowl area of the pond. I said earlier that it would be shaped like a motocross track and after it settles down with some weather it would actually work for one. Except for the fact it will be filled with water. grin

Descriptions with pictures.

Did I compact the basin? No. Unless we run into sandstone outcrops, coal seams, shale seams, or gravel beds from an ancient stream bed we simply do not have problems with ponds not holding water. Compaction will make them hold tighter, but compacting the bottom would not let me have the underwater structure diversity you see in these pictures. The clay pan soils we have in this area are a blessing for making ponds and a curse for our farming operation. Very little water soaks down, it has to evaporate away (something like a few one hundredths of an inch per hour water percolation in our subsoil). So a wet spring for us is a real problem. And it happens regularly.

Plus by not having to compact allows me to "cheat" on the depth. An explanation is in order. The scraper is the best tool to move the clay from the bowl to the dam. It serves dual purpose by not only moving the dirt but also compacting the dam in the process (with additional compaction only passes). The problem with a scraper is that it takes some distance to "load". Once I get to about a 6' depth in that size pond it gets hard to get a full load on a single pass for two reasons. The clay moisture increases so the tractors tires are on "greasy" footing so not as good for traction. And half the distance is now trying to load up hill, which is much less efficient. By putting these "underwater humps" out in the middle it allows me to use the scraper to move most of the dirt down to about a 6 or 7 foot depth, then as the dozer creates the humps I can create deep pockets with it. Where you see the water in the pictures most of these areas are about 9' deep with one hole at 10'. That is what I meant by cheating. It allows me to get the bulk of the material out with the scraper, then dig some deep holes with a short push of the dozer. The loose clay humps will eventually settle down a foot or so from their current height.

Edit: Warning! This only works with soils/clays that seal themselves well. Most people likely do not want to go without compacting the bowl of their pond because there is a good chance they will end up with a leaking pond. It could even happen to me here if there happens to be a gravel bed just below where I am digging and I do not discover it. So pond builder beware. I am taking a calculated risk that other potential pond owners might not want to take for fear of having a pond that will not hold water. I am not a professional pond building contractor. I'm a retired farmer with too much time on my hands. grin Do as I say, not as I do! laugh If I screw it up, I'm the one that has to fix it!

Attached Files
IMGA2010.JPG (313.25 KB, 658 downloads)
Looking west from atop the dam. Dirt mound in foreground comes within a foot of full pool
IMGA2011.JPG (318.36 KB, 708 downloads)
Looking NW. Ridge in lower left fish highway jutting out from dam.
IMGA2015.JPG (279.64 KB, 619 downloads)
These slabs of clay will melt down into "bumps" along side the south dam a foot or two under water.
IMGA2017.JPG (184.47 KB, 623 downloads)
Looking S SW at fish highways extending from dam. Water pools at 9' depth areas.
IMGA2020.JPG (307.75 KB, 619 downloads)
Looking E SE from farm field. Foreground is at the 5-6' depth. Ridge running N-S left in the middle of pond.
IMGA2023.JPG (273.34 KB, 641 downloads)
Looking E NE from the perspective of where most of the watershed water will enter the pond
IMGA2026.JPG (249.33 KB, 666 downloads)
IMGA2027.JPG (251.5 KB, 451 downloads)
IMGA2030.JPG (199.32 KB, 560 downloads)
IMGA2031.JPG (304.72 KB, 651 downloads)
Last edited by snrub; 11/19/16 08:49 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459260 11/18/16 07:07 PM
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Dang Snrub! I have come down with a bad case of "pond envy!" smile Well done Sir!

Bill D.

BTW all your posted pics appear sideways to me. Is it just my computer? Any chance you are taking the pics with a smart phone and holding it vertically instead of horizontally?

Last edited by Bill D.; 11/18/16 07:12 PM.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
Bill D. #459276 11/18/16 11:01 PM
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I use a dumb phone and yes I probably hold it wrong. Then I rotate the picture later when on the computer.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459277 11/18/16 11:14 PM
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There has been a lot of talk over the years of getting proper compaction and that a dozer does not really work that well as a compaction device. I have a picture below that shows the difference between compacting with a dozer and a filled 12 yard rubber tire scraper.

I had made a few passes with the dozer on the top of the dam to level things up a bit and finish working for the day. This was a layer of fresh clay leveled and run over with the dozer. The next morning on the first scraper load across the top of the dam to start packing in the clay deposited earlier. I noticed the track left and decided to take a picture so I could show the difference between the compaction of the dozer and the scraper.

That is the first picture. The second picture shows another factor that comes into play during compaction. A round rubber tire will find the voids and pack them down. A dozer by its nature will compact only the peaks and will bridge over the valleys, not compacting them properly. This is shown in the second picture.

Attached Files
IMGA2029.JPG (305.24 KB, 756 downloads)
dozer compaction on left, rubber tire scraper compaction on right. About 3" difference.
IMGA2033.JPG (248.27 KB, 730 downloads)
Notice round tire finding voids, dropping down in them and compacting area a dozer would bridge over

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459279 11/18/16 11:23 PM
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Some dam pictures. Close to full height.

Attached Files
IMGA2009.JPG (270.7 KB, 537 downloads)
South side of U shaped dam. Where I am standing the water will be about a foot deep inside the dam.
IMGA2012.JPG (300.62 KB, 496 downloads)
East side of pond where the dam goes across the ravine. Almost full height now.
IMGA2014.JPG (194.53 KB, 756 downloads)
Top of dam. Part of 8" overflow tube installed. Waiting for plumbing store to get more pipe.
IMGA2018.JPG (189.24 KB, 492 downloads)
IMGA2028.JPG (242.29 KB, 470 downloads)

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459281 11/19/16 12:11 AM
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I wish you traveled with your equipment, we'd have a blast out on my farm!

Looking good amigo, keep posting pics. Love your RES fishery project - Steve's right, SMB might be a good predator to help population management, but your KSB sound interesting too. HSB too would do the trick. I like your plan of wait and see.

Will you be feeding your RES? I've not had luck getting them trained on Optimal, but many others have. All too common theme in my fishery annals...but I digress.

If you need SMB, you're due for a visit, anyhow. wink


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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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
teehjaeh57 #459282 11/19/16 12:19 AM
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Thanks TJ. I had never really considered SMB because there did not seem to be a fit in my main pond where it already had LMB. That and they are not such an easy thing to source as LMB fingerlings are.

But they may prove to be a good fit for this pond. Time will tell if I need them. Or maybe even if I decide I just want them. grin

Edit: when adding this thread to my list of RES info and links I noticed NEDOCS thread link about his RES trophy pond that is stocked with RES and SMB. I have read it but kind of forgot. I'll have to read that thread again.

Last edited by snrub; 11/19/16 12:27 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459286 11/19/16 08:19 AM
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One thing I have both read about and noticed from personal observation is how easy it is for tiny fish to swim upstream or get flushed downstream in the shallowest of water during big rain events. I have seen inch long BG swimming around in inch deep water overflowing from my pre-sediment pond to my sediment pond. I've seen hundreds of small fish flow out my emergency overflow in the big pond during a big rain event.

One concern I have with this new pond is that my old pond is adjacent to it only maybe 150 feet south and share the same water shed. The old pond has both GSF and BH, neither of which I want in this pond and either of which would totally screw up my plans. Especially if they got in the pond early before the RES are established. Not quite as big of deal if it happened a few years down the road when the RES had filled the pond to capacity. But it would definitely change my need for having a predator fish in the pond.

With that in mind I ran a diversion finger or type of terrace up the hill a couple feed in elevation. It should divide the water far enough up the hill that only the very largest of rains might provide deep enough water for fish to swim up and get around the finger. I suspect some day they will, but I hope to put that day off as long as possible.

Pictures below of the ponds proximity and the diversion finger extending into the field.

Edit: Now that I write this post and think about the problems BH and GSF would cause for my "plan", I think I will get on the dozer this morning and extend a double channel terrace a lot further out into the field. Better safe than sorry. smirk

Attached Files
IMGA2022.JPG (256.3 KB, 708 downloads)
New redear pond on left, old refurbished one acre pond on right, 4 wheeler sitting on diversion finger.
IMGA2024.JPG (193.18 KB, 668 downloads)
finger extending west
Last edited by snrub; 11/19/16 08:51 AM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459306 11/19/16 08:58 PM
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Pics of the overflow tube installation. The clods at the inlet and outlet are only on the outer foot or so. The rest of the tube is well compacted.

I tried something different for anti-seep collars. Dug a foot or so below the pipe, stacked up dirt around it to make a form, put premix concrete dry so it would be at least 6" all around the pipe, covered it and compacted. We have set posts before with dry concrete and it sets up fine. Probably not an approved way of creating an anti-seep, but will see if it fails. Did four collars total. I have read mixed reviews in some publications in the past and some do not even use anti seep collars. The clay was a good moisture content to get good compaction around the tube. Took 4-14' sections of 8" sewer pipe.

Compaction was done with a TLB with the loader bucket loaded then the front tires used as a rubber tire compactor. Run down each side and over the top multiple times in layers. The clay seemed to work down good.

After everything settles in over the winter, next summer I will form up the inlet and outlet and cover the ends with concrete to protect them from the sun and mowers.

Attached Files
IMGA2049.JPG (210.83 KB, 689 downloads)
8" sewer pipe and quickcrete.
IMGA2035.JPG (304.08 KB, 641 downloads)
IMGA2050.JPG (217.32 KB, 620 downloads)
IMGA2051.JPG (257.26 KB, 489 downloads)
Compaction process
IMGA2052.JPG (262.04 KB, 590 downloads)
IMGA2053.JPG (288.61 KB, 433 downloads)
IMGA2059.JPG (328.64 KB, 639 downloads)
Outlet
IMGA2060.JPG (185.67 KB, 545 downloads)
Inlet
Last edited by snrub; 11/19/16 08:59 PM.

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459307 11/19/16 09:15 PM
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Finishing up. While the rubber tire scraper makes a good compaction device, it does not leave the surface level. The dozer tracks make a good final leveling and working device. They mash down the high spots and the grousers slightly work the soil surface.

When going over center on top of the dam, the added pressure of only about the middle half of the tracks making contact compress the edges of the dam and make a nice rounded finish.

I will leave this surface rough just as it appears in the pictures till next spring or summer. I may get a little erosion, depending on the rain we get over winter, but the grouser marks will help minimize it. The clay right now works about like Play Dough. Any attempt to work it with a disc or box blade and it just ends up a chunky nasty mess. So I will let mother nature do my work for me and the weathering process will make the top inch or two work very nicely by next summer.

Then I will box blade and harrow the surface and prepare it for seeding. Hopefully will get some lime on both the dam and in the pond sometime this winter.

I'm done with the pond construction process for now. Building a couple terraces in the adjacent field to direct water to it, but the pond itself is DONE and ready for rain to fill it.

Attached Files
IMGA2058.JPG (183.69 KB, 663 downloads)
Dam surface preparation with dozer track grousers. 4 passes (2 tracks x both forward and backward motion)
IMGA2048.JPG (240.95 KB, 665 downloads)
Track frame going over center and shaping the edge of top of dam
IMGA2047.JPG (313.26 KB, 558 downloads)
Close up of dam edge
IMGA2038.JPG (259.45 KB, 640 downloads)
IMGA2039.JPG (255.56 KB, 614 downloads)

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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459312 11/20/16 02:18 AM
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Awesome work and great project photos!


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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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459317 11/20/16 08:47 AM
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Snrub, You look like you are making great progress.I love seeing pictures and reading about your pond building projects! I would guess these projects are quite therapeutic.Keep up the good work.

Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459325 11/20/16 01:59 PM
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Very nice!!!

Nothing like having the right tools for the job........


Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
tubguy #459348 11/21/16 09:17 AM
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Therapeutic for everything except my bad back. It is about done for project wise for a while.

But I did enjoy doing it.

Finished the two field terraces yesterday and harvest completed Friday so all ready for rains to fill it.


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Re: A pond dedicated to Redear Sunfish
snrub #459351 11/21/16 11:52 AM
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John,
Is this a runoff only pond? Will it stay full enough during dry summers?

Any guess on total capacity? Would you ever consider pumping water out of that pond for crops or to fill another pond?

All in all, it looks great. Can't wait to see it full.


Brian

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These bass are thin, right?
by ewest - 07/14/20 10:43 AM
Newly Uploaded Images
Gast Pump Housing
Gast Pump Housing
by RWoodshvac, July 4
dam blowout/convert to spillway
dam blowout/convert to spillway
by drrehak, June 30
Transport Cooler
Transport Cooler
by Shorty, June 7
Fish Habitat or Fish Trap
Fish Habitat or Fish Trap
by Phoenix, May 30
Fawn Pic
Fawn Pic
by bryani289swmi, May 28

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