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started on the forage pond
#522601 06/16/20 11:28 AM
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It's official - I've lost my mind again. Weather guessers said sunny and dry all week, so I started digging.

Got all of the topsoil off and piled up, then started removing clay. The clay in my cow pond was mostly the red stuff.
Down in the creek bottom where I'm making the forage pond the clay is what we call blue tiger sh*t. There's a good
bit of moisture in it right now, and it is some tough stuff. First time I've ever slipped the PTO shaft clutch on the tiller.
That thing was smoking. I hope I didn't wreck it. I expect at the least it will need some adjustment to hold properly now.

Once I got a foot or so of clay off it got soft enough that I was going to get the tractor stuck if I kept trying to run the
tiller over it, so I gobbed out what I could and called it quits for the evening. I'll get back in there after work today and
see if I can do anything with it.

Goal is ~40'x75' surface area. If I can get it down to 4'-5' depth that will be plenty good for what I need it to do,
which is raising FHM/GSH to support the cow pond, and hold BG/HBG/BH/CGC for catfish bait. If I can't get it that deep
before the next rain, however deep it winds up will do for now. It's set in a naturally low spot, so I'm not planning to
do a berm/dam on the low side. If I do it won't be more than a foot or so high. We will see.

Think I'll put a low terrace up-slope on the long side to keep it from getting too much runoff from the sunflower patch.
I don't use any ag chemicals down there, but I don't really want it to fill up with silt.

Having a little water hole down there will also make my sunflower patch that much more attractive come dove hunting season.

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Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522603 06/16/20 12:06 PM
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Heck yeah… What equipment are you using? Is Ms Augie shaking her at you again?


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: started on the forage pond
RStringer #522606 06/16/20 12:24 PM
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I'm using my old MF 50E. 3/4yd front loader and a 5' LandPride rototiller on the back.

Mrs. Augie has known for awhile that this project was close to the top of my list, so she didn't freak out on me.

I did get the old "And just WHY are you doing this?".

So I told her it was a water hole for her bird hunting spot. That made everything A-OK.

She loves to go to the dove field when they're flying good.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522608 06/16/20 12:41 PM
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Minnow additions are a must for skeeter control!


I Subscribe!
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522610 06/16/20 01:18 PM
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Yep. Soon as it has a little water I'll catch some FHM out of the other pond and toss em in.

Speaking of FHM, any idea what's up with this one's eye? I've noticed a few that have both sides messed up like this.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522612 06/16/20 01:25 PM
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Hey Augie, there is such a thing as Pop-Eye disease. Although I've never seen it...that screams pop-eye to me. As for the worry factor...I don't know if there is much to be concerned about, but look into it.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522644 06/16/20 10:30 PM
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2D photos do no justice to a hole in the ground. It's deeper than what it looks like in the pic.

I got caught up on work this morning, so I knocked off early and went to digging.

It was a bit sketchy getting through the water-saturated layer of clay that was below the topsoil. That stuff was super punchy.
Once I got an escape lane dug through that stuff and down to hard clay I was able to make some decent progress

It will do as is, but I'd like to get another 18" out of the bottom to avoid having to build a berm on the low end..

With any kind of good luck I'll finish it tomorrow.

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Last edited by Augie; 06/16/20 10:32 PM.
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522647 06/17/20 06:14 AM
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Can ya leave the tractor in the bottom for the next picture? Gives ya an idea of the size. Looks like you made a lot of progress in a day. Maybe next week you will get some rain. Out of curiousity any certain reason that you don't want a berm?


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: started on the forage pond
RStringer #522649 06/17/20 07:24 AM
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Four reasons not to build a berm.

I don't have a sheepfoot roller or an excavator, and I don't want to spend a bunch of $$$ on this project.

When the creek gets out this spot goes under water. Good chance a berm would wash out in a big toad strangler.

I'm tired of being dirt guy. I just want it done.

It's going to rain on Friday.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522652 06/17/20 07:49 AM
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I'm excited for you Augie! And, envious. It's supposed to be real nice today and digging a hole IS considered working from home. lol


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522668 06/17/20 02:27 PM
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My little forage pond i'm doing w/ a skid steer. The dirt quality is very good with little sand; and I have topped the berm with good clay; compacting with the weight of the skid steer only. Not worried about it leaking.

Re: started on the forage pond
RStringer #522680 06/17/20 10:58 PM
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One reason to build a berm.

Too many trips in and out of the hole made the subsoil layer so punchy it got to be a real pita to get through it
and get out with a bucket load of dirt. 4x4 wheeled machines get around like a billy goat, but they absolutely destroy
the soil structure when you drive on the same spot over and over and over again.

So I decided to build a berm. It won't be much. 18"-24" maybe on the low corner of the pond. With any luck it will
have a good stand of grass before the creek gets out.

Should have ~4'-4.5' of water where the tractor's stitting when it's full. 2'-3' on the shallow end at the right side of the picture.
That's plenty enough for the intended purpose of this pond.

I dumped one bucket load of crushed limestone in the corner to maybe make it a little easier to get out with a seine.
Likely will put some more in tomorrow after I look at it again.

If I don't have any pelleted lime stashed in the barn I'll pick up 500lbs at lunchtime tomorrow and toss it in the hole.
Shouldn't need any fertilizer. There hasn't been a hog on this place since the 1950s and the ground still smells like pig poop.

It's supposed to rain on Friday and at this point I'm ok with that.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Last edited by Augie; 06/17/20 11:00 PM.
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522687 06/18/20 07:50 AM
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Looks great! I had a backhoe for a year after moving to my place. It sat idle too long so I sold it; now I wish I had it to compliment my skid steer. My forage pond is my first "big" dirt work project, I must say moving dirt is both addictive and somewhat therapeutic. I'm proud of my little project. Next I need to buy a transit to start getting a little, ok a lot, more precise!

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522702 06/18/20 02:45 PM
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That's lookin pretty good. Looks like you and Nanner got busy. I'm pretty sure that's what ya nicknamed the tractor lol. Looks like a pretty size for what your doing.

Last edited by RStringer; 06/18/20 02:45 PM.

The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522708 06/18/20 10:08 PM
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It's as done as it's going to get for now.

The ground is so dang punchy down there I can't do anything more with it.

I got the berm semi-level after work today, put topsoil on it, tilled it in, then tossed out 10lbs of fescue seed.

It's supposed to rain here tomorrow. Hoping for luck and a nice half-inch slow soaker.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

And the collateral damage... Backed into one of the dirt piles with the tiller. Good job, Lamont, ya big dummy.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #522752 06/20/20 10:03 AM
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I put a bushel of feed wheat and ten pounds of dutch clover on the berm yesterday.

Got a nice slow rain last night. Sometimes the blind pig finds an acorn.


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Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #523161 07/02/20 12:20 PM
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We've gotten several more nice rains. The water is now well up on the gravel ramp. Wheat/fescue/clover is growing nicely on the berm

Yesterday I tossed ~75 BG/HBG, a couple dozen FHM, and half a dozen GSH into the muddy water.

The minnows took off like it was no big deal. The bluegills seemed a bit confused at first, but they took off after a couple minutes.

Tossed another trapload in this morning. Hopefully we'll get some more rain soon. I might get ambitious this weekend and pump
some water up from the creek.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #523171 07/02/20 07:17 PM
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Looking good. Is that clay or just mud?

Re: started on the forage pond
Steve_ #523192 07/03/20 12:00 PM
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It's muddy clay.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #523193 07/03/20 12:14 PM
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Can you post another pic with more water? And some pumping? Looking good!

Re: started on the forage pond
jim100 #523194 07/03/20 12:34 PM
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Can't post any new pics right now. Photobucket is jacked up again.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #523209 07/03/20 06:00 PM
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The FHM will really respond to some fish food if you are going to feed them. In that muddy water they could probably use some supplemental feed.

You will enjoy a forage pond.

Last edited by snrub; 07/03/20 06:03 PM.

John

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Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #523216 07/03/20 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Augie
It's muddy clay.

Not always a bad thing considering raccoons, herons, cormorants, etc.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 117




Re: started on the forage pond
anthropic #523334 07/07/20 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by anthropic
Originally Posted by Augie
It's muddy clay.

Not always a bad thing considering raccoons, herons, cormorants, etc.

Yeah, the water is really quite disgusting to look at right now, but with it only being a couple feet deep, that's probably not a bad thing.

I need to get a pallet stack in there for the FHM to breed on, but I'm out of pallets atm. I guess it's time to plan a raid on the junk pallet pile at work.

I've been tossing a handful of pellets in the evenings. The water is starting to grow some algae, but there's not much for the fish to eat yet,
not without some help, anyway.

Re: started on the forage pond
Augie #524246 08/03/20 08:38 AM
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We got 1.5" rain in about thirty minutes yesterday afternoon. It's not quite full to the point of overflowing, but it's close.

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