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Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
#518995 04/06/20 08:19 PM
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Hello, everyone! This is my first post on the forum-- thank you in advance for any help.

So we bought a 7 acre property (on a small river) in SW Colorado and it has a pond on it already...maybe about a half acre in surface area? It is not very deep and freezes solid in dry seasons when it is low and consequently does not support fish. We want to stock it with fish and keep the water clear (Has issues with algae as it is--plan to aerate it and plant lots of water plants). I was told when we bought it that it is fed by a spring, but the flow from the spring is not overally abundant as the pond can get quite low (maybe a foot? in depth).

My close neighbor told us that he dug a 10 ft deep standing pond on his property and irrigates from that. He told me to dig my pond down 10ft down at least on one end and I would hit the water table (I hear the water table is higher than 10ft down, which makes sense with how close we are to a river) and that would fill up the pond, like it did his.

The soil map for the county says the property is 99.5% tefton loam (the SW is not very "clay" like so it least it isn't all sand). I looked up tefton loam and I could only find this about it: "The Tefton series consists of very deep, somewhat poorly drained soils that formed in alluvium derived from sedimentary and igneous rocks. Tefton soils are on flood plains, flood plain steps and valley floors..."

My worry is if I dug down the 10ft and then just created a giant mud hole or made my water retention issues worse (the ground water connection pulling the water out of the pond). I can top off the pond from the well here and there, but would love to create a pond that is deep enough to support fish and irrigate a little out of.

Any thoughts on all this? I will attach a short video I just posted to YouTube of the aerial view of the pond and surrounding area. Any help appreciated! Thank you! [video:youtube]https://youtu.be/_HBSMzCNSgY[/video]

Last edited by jpscott17; 04/06/20 08:26 PM.
Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519001 04/06/20 10:25 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You mention sw Colorado. We might be neighbors, as I'm in the Dolores/Cortez area.

You could have a couple of test holes dug nearby your pond, to see what the underlying soils are and to see if you hit the water table. That way you would not be tampering with the present pond bottom. Test holes are prescribed before digging a new pond. I don't see why they wouldn't be a good idea before you enlarge or deepen an existing pond.

Can you determine if anything other than to alleged spring adds significant water to the pond? By that I mean well water, a channel from the river, irrigation water shares? We get so very little precipitation that rainfall and snow melt don't contribute much to our ponds.

I'm by no means an expert on pond construction. I'm just crazy about ponds.

Roger

Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519014 04/07/20 09:45 AM
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Hi, Roger-- thanks for your thoughts on all this! We are probably pretty close to each other :), about an hour or so if you are in Dolores (we are closer to Bayfield).

I am pretty sure the only thing feeding that muck pile of a pond we have is that spring. I guess the spring used to flow a lot and then they did some ditch modifications or something that greatly reduced how much water was coming into the pond (so I hear from the old owner--- we are new to this property).

I just had some test holes dug (for a hefty price) for the new septic, but I doubt those would work as it seems the "lower/wetter" parts of this property (including the pond area) have a very different soil profile than the high and dry area where we plan to put the new septic.

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can I dig the test holes myself? We are having some construction work on a building this summer and I am sure the contractor will have a back hoe or something and I could have him dig up a hole near the pond. Not sure what I would be looking for, though.....just that it fills with water and then holds it for an extended period of time? Again, sorry this might be a dumb question--- I am totally new to all this (except I have put in a koi pond and waterfall before on a different property, but we hand dug it and used a liner-- very different of course).

Thanks again for the help!

Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519019 04/07/20 10:45 AM
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Welcome to Pond Boss!!

You can dig test holes yourself, but it's a good question as to what you are looking for.

"Ground Water" or the 'water table' are double edged swords. Where water can come in, water can also go out especially when at near full pool or full pool.


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."

Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519051 04/07/20 10:28 PM
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jpscott17, I'd agree that you could dig some holes yourself when the hoe is on the property. That certainly is what I'd do.

Take pictures, then post them on here and ask for expert advice. Mike Otto, Bill Cody, the Pond Boss himself, RAH, teehjaeh57, snrub and several others could help you evaluate what you find. ewest, our librarian, could point you to Pond Boss magazine articles and PondBoss forum thread links that will give you all sorts of info. This forum is made up of very knowledgeable, friendly, and competent individuals who are generous with their time.

I often get to Bayfield for work. I'm an arborist and am all over La Plata County pruning and removing trees for people. I'd be very happy to stop by and take a look at your pond.

Roger

Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519137 04/09/20 04:22 PM
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Thanks so much 4Corners for the offer! One possibility that occured to me was instead of messing with the existing compacted pond floor, I could instead dig a new, deeper pond/hole right next to it and "connect" them with a little river/ditch thing-- then the main pond wouldn't be drained by a fluctuated water table, only the "side" (new) watertable pond would go down (the connection between the two ponds would at a certain height to control how much water leaves the main pond). This ideas does create a smaller, deeper section of the pond that fish can overwinter in and I can add water as needed if the table goes down, but it's not like trying to raise the water level of a 1/2 acre pond. Just brainstorming ideas here-- I can even put a liner in the smaller/new/deeper pond to avoid having to worry about soil type, etc. I would just have to figure out what size it would need to be to house the fish in the winter. In another house where I put in the koi pond/waterfall, the koi would just sleep in a little fish cave at the bottom all winter so they hardly used any space at all.

Last edited by jpscott17; 04/09/20 04:23 PM.
Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519143 04/09/20 05:34 PM
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Sorry to hijack.. I don’t know to start a new thread!. Am i crazy for wanting to put a waterfall disguised as a mini creek flowing into my 1/2 acre pond? I want to incread dissolved oxygen levels and maintain cool water temperatures. I want to stock trout for all season enjoyment. Any insight appreciated! Thank you!

Re: Shallow Pond Needs Improving- Pic/video Included
jpscott17 #519253 04/12/20 07:02 AM
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Click on the Thread Options link o the left side of the screen.


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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