So I finally am getting around to clearing all of the trees from around the pond and plan to sink them as fish habitat. What is better a single massive brush pile or many smaller piles? Also what depth is best? Everything 6 feet and shallower in my pond is pretty much covered in pondweed now so I was thinking of around 10 feet deep. 13 foot is the deepest water there is. Thanks
The fish will use the deeper cover during the cooler time of year when the water is not stratified. Late fall, winter and early spring when there is little or no thermocline.
Be wary of sinking too many green trees at once, depending on the type of tree. Some have had some toxicity effects from sinking fresh oak trees. I can't tell you which trees are safe, but by letting the trees dry you reduce any risk.
The trees I will sink are mostly willow with a few maples. I don't really know if those are issues or not, I have sunk some in the past but never more than a couple at a time. The only reason I plan to sink them that deep is because it is one of the most accessible shore fishing spots. If the brush will not hold fish out deep I will place it shallower although that would be less than ideal.
Oak has tannins which is lethal. I much prefer cedar which lasts 4 years. When my pond was built there were some big oak brush piles that I had pushed into the bowl. It rained, got about half full and I stocked fatheads and bluegills. The water turned black(tannins) and everything died. I stocked again with the same result. Then I bought a pump and spent a long time pumping. When everything dried out, I burnt the wood and pushed the ashes and junk out. When we got some good rains, I bought minnows to check the water quality. They did ok so I went ahead and stocked.
I guess a small amount would be ok but I personally will never again take that chance.
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
You all are scaring me, My pond has tons of oak stumps, standing trees and brush piles in it, it's been filling for about nine months now, the water does have a brownish tint but I have had fish in it since May and they seem to be doing great, spawned several times thru the summer as is evident by the many different sizes of fry in it, literally millions, 16 acres but not full yet, lacks about 32" being full,, I had asked on this forum about the implications of that but best I remember, other than some discoloration of the water, I didn't understand that it was too bad.
All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
Might also keep in mind that vertical structure (piled up) is better than just piled on bottom. Low structure is only used at certain times where most vertical structure can be used most times of the year and can even change daily. A pyramid is better standing up than 3 laying on the bottom.
Don't sweat the oak stumps if you have a lot of water to dilute the tannins. I have never paid attention to the species that branches came from, but I don't overload my ponds with brush piles all at once. Of course, it can't hurt to avoid oak if that is an option. My now extirpated beavers did not get the memo and dropped trees in the pond indiscriminately. Fortunately, my fish also did not get the memo and did not seem any worse for wear:)
I do PVC in deeper water with various oaks and Hackberry in the shallowest water.
Disregard the porcupines, 4" PVC with 12-18" of headspace will float from the bottom if anchored. These were tests, but I've put out a few denser ones that span the summer thermocline. They're cheap, easy to make, and don't rot.
This pic was in January. Only thumb sized and smaller limbs are used. I've done this on 3 points, and am very happy with the results. I just chase the water level up and down as I restock them. It's very good fry cover in that 0-3' of water.
In my main pond I've had good luck with adding hedge (Osage Orange) brush. It should last quite a while and smaller fish seem to like it. This is picture of new pond that is filling, I've added some too. I need to tamp down the upper level when the pond freezes over this winter. Time got away from me this fall and water got too high - too fast.
This fall my water has gone pretty clear with around 6' of visibility. This make it pretty easy to see most of the cover I added to the pond. The man made cover (fish attractor) that was made with white pvc remains white to this day, some 4 to 5 yrs after it was added. I am not too happy with the look today and suspect not much of an attractant because the fish would stand out against the white pvc background. Making it not so good for a fish to hide in or around it. So, the past year or two I started ruffing out the pvc using a hand grinder and then I spray it with camo paint. This seems to work better on holding fish around the attractor.
Do not judge me by the politicians in my City, State or Federal Government.
I had a similar fish kill with oaks. New pond built in fall - 1/2 acre x 10ft deep - builder left all of the oaks in the bottom of the pond. Stocked w/ Bluegill, bass and channel cats. Come July here in Oklahoma of the first year; the pond burped and killed majority of the bass and catfish. When I completely drained the pond an pulled out all of the trees a few years later in attempt to seal it better, I was amazed at the amount of the timber down there!
I stopped at the local big box store and talked with the manager of the garden section. They are going to call me when they are done selling Christmas trees, I told them I'd take all they have left. Last year I was only able to get 30 trees, they had started cutting them up and throwing them out already.
I copied ewest and drove a 2" dia. piece of pipe in the deepest part of the pond bottom, it sticks up out of the water about a foot at full pool. Slowly adding trees to it every year, using a piece of rope with a loop on it. Loop over the pipe, other end is tied to the tree.