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New member/ city kid
#524020 07/27/20 12:29 PM
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Hey Guys!

Very new to everything that isn't in the city.

Always wanted to build a small reserve for wildlife to give back to nature a bit and bring the kids for some leisurely camping/fishing and finally ready to start doing that.

Subbed to the mag, read through a bunch of these forums, seems like yall are some good people smile


Definitely want to build a bass pond. Has anyone ever done this in the mountains of blue ridge, GA? I'm eyeballing some property backing up to a national forest, its got a spring and small creek so filling the pond should be fairly doable. In general there should be clay, what kind of testing should do before closing to guarantee that I can put a pond in?

I haven't seen a good detail on the day to day maintenance of a pond, Is there a period where a pond needs constant supervision? My campground will be used ~1/month for about a weekend-> week each go around.

My plan is to take a slow approach, Im gonna try to do a lot of the clearing/topsoil and then getting a contractor for the hardest parts (like a 67% chance I wimp out and have them do the whole thing ;)). If I get the first minnows in before nesxt summer I'd be shocked.

When the whole does get dug and filled, I'm going to start very simple with the plants, minnows, crawfish (frogs will make their own darn way) and make sure they are settled before bluegill get added in, and bass later. That should make my absence easier to manage since if i screw up the water depth/temperatures I'm not out too badly right?
I see a lot of info on ' get 300 pounds to stock a 1 acre pond' is there a reason I can't just grab a few dozen to begin with?

Weird question- is there anything I can plant outside the water that I could then toss in as fish food as a treat? Other things i can grow to attract/feed wildlife that are low maintenance (not necessarily to hunt them thought I'm sure my in laws will a bit)?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524029 07/27/20 03:01 PM
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Further!

If a company advertises it makes retention/detention ponds, can they be trusted to make a fish pond?
Thanks!


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524031 07/27/20 03:40 PM
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A good question for Mr. Otto!

Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524032 07/27/20 03:52 PM
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Surely you have a typo. 300 pounds to stock in one acre or 300 fish? 300 pounds of what? Just trying to get a better understanding of what you are wanting to do. I started from scratch and dug a 2 acre pond here in deep east Texas.


Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524035 07/27/20 05:10 PM
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A couple of thoughts. First, a couple dozen minnows in acre(playing area of a football field) are going to have trouble even finding each other, much less reproducing.
START SLOW and make sure you understand your goals and that they are realistic.

Maybe a retention pond company can dig a hole and stop up one end. But, you are building a home for fish and for family enjoyment. . There is a difference.

Your first investment will be information/knowledge.

Start with Mike Otto's book "Just Add Water". Mike has been pushing dirt for a long time. Study dirt. Some of it holds water and some doesn't. A mixture of clay/dirt or sandy loam works best by an operator who specializes in ponds. There is no shortage of good old boys who can cut grade and clear out trees but, ask if they have ever built a keyway. Ask to see their work. My best advice on dozer guys is to drive around the area looking for ponds. If/when you see one stop and introduce yourself. Ask who built it and what would they have done differently. Who built it and would they use them again.

Don't get in a hurry.


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
Re: New member/ city kid
Dave Davidson1 #524038 07/27/20 05:43 PM
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Starting slow is the goal!
I'm very much a study first then apply studies kind of guy. Then slow and steady, probably give minnows etc a full year before putting in the predators. Good point for needing enough to 'find' each other.

I was hoping mike's book would be on Kindle but it's not, will probably grab it shortly, currently going through a bunch fo homesteading/fish raising books that are free on my kindleUnlimited.

To be blunt my goals are as follows:

Have a safe haven for my family to get away from cities should the need arise

Comfortable 'part time home'/vacation campground

'Give back' to the environment (by not overbuilding and planting/creating vegetation etc to attract and promote wildlife/pollinators/fish etc)

Create something that will show at least a small return on investment (not as an income, but improving the property value for if/when i sell it years down the road 5+years).

I read a recent post on here about a dad building a pond with his 9 yr old. Ive got an almost 3 year old boy and thats what I want more than anything.


And FWIW
Learn enough to 'Go Bigger' next time (5+ yrs).


The only thing I need to 'hurry' on is learn what to look for when buying a property, as i want to do taht in the next 60ish days.

Last edited by CityDad; 07/27/20 05:43 PM.

Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524235 08/03/20 05:33 AM
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Hey Guys!

I'm visiting properties tomorrow to purchase for my future mini farm/ POND!

Any good articles I can read today about picking the right site?

Note- site is mountainside in blue Ridge area of Georgia.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524237 08/03/20 06:08 AM
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Lots of obvious stuff

Price/Taxes/Restrictions/Minerals

But; drive around and look at neighbors. They will be there when you aren't. I was once interested in a place as investment property. Then I drove down the road and looked at neighbors. About 1/4 mile away and adjoining, I found a scene out of the movie Deliverance. That made me pass. That property, although nice and attractively priced, was on the market for years.


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
Re: New member/ city kid
Dave Davidson1 #524293 08/03/20 06:45 PM
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Thanks! I'm in the RE industry so that kind of stuff I have covered.

Looking more at the pond specific advice!

Pretty sure clay wont be an issue, I think it's everywhere.

Anyone have a good trick to figuring it out (that would obv still need confirming from engineer etc)


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524309 08/03/20 10:29 PM
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You might want to look at some aerial maps of the area, on line. I would think that will make it easy to see how many ponds are in the area and make it easier to find them and drive by. Good Luck!


Bob


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Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524370 08/04/20 05:34 PM
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If there is already a small pond on the property is it safe at all to assume (for the sake of narrowing down my list before spending on an engineer) that Ive got the right soil around it to expand it?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524374 08/04/20 06:10 PM
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No, for the sake of safety, that would take a soil survey in several areas. And, not just surface. But, more than likely, it would be a good indicator.


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
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524403 08/05/20 04:06 PM
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Hey Guys!

The property I like has a baby pond on it, andi think the rest of the entire mountain is made of red georgia clay.

Cursory review was that this pond did not have any fish in it and somehow very few tadpoles etc. Obv I haven't tested it for PH yet or things like that.

it did have an overflow set up that looks liek it has dug it's own creek into the side of the mountain, so I'm going to say 'definitely enough water here to go bigger'

Right now I think it's surface area is ~60'diameter which is about 2800 sq ft or ~.07 acres

Do you think this is a good starting point to raise bluegill for my first pond? Assuming everything else checks out of course.

Pictures being uploaded.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524411 08/05/20 08:16 PM
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https://imgur.com/gallery/liLtErA

^^^ This is what I like, the Wife isn't overly fond of it.

Ill post pictures of what she likes tomorrow, it doesn't have a current pond but plenty of watershed (mountain) and i think the whole mountain is made of clay so I will likely give her what she wants.
The developer/owner on this one said he builds bass ponds, I may try to get one included in the purchase.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524414 08/05/20 09:36 PM
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If you buy the one with the small pond, you might want to consider using it for a sediment and forage pond if you have room to build the new one below it.


Bob


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Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524438 08/06/20 09:46 AM
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It looks like we're going for the lot my wife likes. Photos to come.
Goal is it get 2 side by side lots for a total of 3 acres. Not worried about watershed or clay at this point tons of it.

Good point about a forage pond. I brought it up today at the site since the are multiple good spots I think you put in ponds that ID guess are ~1/4 acre. Maybe bigger with more work.

I think starting with 1/4 for my first pond is reasonable get it stable and build another or expand.

Q- if I started with just FHM and goldfish would yall make fun of me? The goldfish should be easy eating fit BG and bass when I add then later. Any long term problems some big hungry fish couldn't solve?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524440 08/06/20 09:58 AM
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Goldfish can become a problem. They can reproduce like crazy and become larger than your fish will be able to eat. If your after clear water I would stay away from the goldfish. I didnt listen to that advice myself but i only put in 3 also. I wouldn't worry about anyone making fun of you. Its not our pond you do as you want. I personally like goldfish (koi in my case). I hardly ever even fish my pond but I feed them every night. I would say on average I walk around mine 3 times a day throwing out feed by hand.


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: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524442 08/06/20 10:41 AM
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I think most just start with FHM. Some start with FHM,BG and RES. I don't think I've ever seen anyone recommend goldfish.
I would try your best to build what you really think you want the first time around. It will probably be cheaper and easier in the long run. But I do understand budgets don't always allow for that.


Bob


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Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524445 08/06/20 12:20 PM
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One of the fish stockers in my area recommend them. Being slow and colorful =easy to eat for the predator fish


I doing think they'd get too big in only a few months while I make sure the pond is built correctly would it?

As far as the design/build goes. If I find a reliable pond/lake designer will they handle contacting any gov agency or do I need to take that on?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524446 08/06/20 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
One of the fish stockers in my area recommend them. Being slow and colorful =easy to eat for the predator fish


I doing think they'd get too big in only a few months while I make sure the pond is built correctly would it?

As far as the design/build goes. If I find a reliable pond/lake designer will they handle contacting any gov agency or do I need to take that on?


There's not really any advantage I'm aware of for stocking goldfish over other true minnow species that can't cause any problems. Why risk it? If you want additional forage species, let's get a discussion going about golden shiners and at your latitude, threadfin shad.

Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524447 08/06/20 12:39 PM
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For a creative look at what's possible in some Florida ponds, look here (hint...TARPON!):

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=490859

And here:

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=279586

Re: New member/ city kid
Bocomo #524456 08/06/20 08:06 PM
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My pond will be in Blue Ridge/Ellijay Ga, maybe i should change my profile to reflect.

TBh I thought goldfish would be cheap and colorful. Plus the kids will like em.
If yall think its bad Ill skip it or dig a standard goldfish pond that is apart from my real one


http://lakework.com/fishery-management/fish-species-we-stock/
^^^ pond management company that stocks goldfish as food for bass

My goal with stocking prey first is to stock the cheap stuff to make sure I can maintain it and add the big boys in later. I just dont want to 'waste' the bigger fish, maybe I'm crazy for thinking that way.

Can someone link me to a thread with the types of plants etc I should stock a brand new pond with?

https://imgur.com/gallery/o69Yhii
Pics of the lot my wife likes and I've taken a liking too, probably making an offer next week.

No pond yet, tons of watershed and I think the whole mountain is made of clay (ive got close up pics of the dirt in there i think)
Link to info on Georgia red clay
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ga/soils/?cid=nrcs144p2_021871
^^^ that stuff should be kosher?

The whole thing is going to turn into our 'prepper' spot. Farm, fish pond. Maybe some free range chickens. Will probably be there 1 week ish a month after we get it going. Parents have a huge cabin nearby so more likely we stay there and come here to work the farm until we build a house etc.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524465 08/07/20 06:15 AM
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A friend of mine tried free range chickens. They fed the free range coyotes on his game cam.


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
Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524489 08/07/20 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
My pond will be in Blue Ridge/Ellijay Ga, maybe i should change my profile to reflect.

TBh I thought goldfish would be cheap and colorful. Plus the kids will like em.
If yall think its bad Ill skip it or dig a standard goldfish pond that is apart from my real one


http://lakework.com/fishery-management/fish-species-we-stock/
^^^ pond management company that stocks goldfish as food for bass

I'm not going to second guess Greg!! If he has a stocking plan for you I'm not gonna mess with it smile

Re: New member/ city kid
CityDad #524503 08/07/20 06:09 PM
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THat guy is reputable? Glad to know! Any links to articles and stuff he's done?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
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