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Pond design 101
#519772 04/22/20 11:04 AM
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Newbie here, here was a part of my post on the new member intro page:
"Bought some land a while back with a small bout .25 acre pond that was basically used as a livestock watering hole. It's rectangular shaped with trees on 3 sides. Not sure how deep but I've never seen it get too low over the last 2 1/2 years. I've never seen, caught or even had a bite from a fish in there. It's usually completely covered by the good ol' green slime by early May til late October making it unfishable. The plan is to expand it to probably about an acre in size."
Basically the 3 sides with trees are a u-shaped levee covered in trees and the 1 open side is a gradual slope into the water for the livestock to easily walk into the water (livestock are off the property now). Long term goal here is just a fun fishing pond (LMB, CC, BG). So what are the basics for me to know for the design/expansion? Lots of shoreline (fingers/peninsulas, island or 2)? Water depths (I'm in northwest Arkansas)? Ratio of deep to shallow water? I did talk to a contractor that has experience building ponds (and not just holes in the ground), so that was really encouraging but we still need to come up with an overall design. Sorry for the basic questions, I'll take any advice y'all have.
Thank you!!
edit: I added a photo from a while back (it's the best I had), from what you can see of the trees, the right side of the pond (cut off in the pic) looks the same. You can also see the green scum as well and that pic was taken on Dec 22-2018 (at least the ducks like it!!). I may need to run out there and take a better pic or 2.

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Last edited by wps456; 05/02/20 09:46 AM. Reason: added photo
Re: Pond design 101
wps456 #524382 08/04/20 09:52 PM
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Here's a pic of the progress so far. Basically trees removed off the levee. The plan is to dig out the new area (extending to the top and right in the pic) then cutting through the levee next to the big tree to drain the existing pond, let it dry out then dig it out. I'll try to update when I can and am always open to any suggestions from the experts. Thanks!

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Re: Pond design 101
wps456 #524386 08/05/20 07:13 AM
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Very generally speaking, the topography influences the design/digging. Meaning: where does the water naturally flow from. Where can you stop it. % of clay vs sandy loam in the soil. And the list goes on.


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: Pond design 101
Dave Davidson1 #524389 08/05/20 09:29 AM
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Thanks Dave, looking at the pic in the 2nd post, the gradual slope of the land flows to the top of the pic which is where we'll be expanding the majority of the pond (it'd be to the right on the first pic). The builder's plan is to place the main levee with the drain pipe on that end of the pond. I told him simply to add a lot of character to the pond (8-10 feet deep at deepest, fingers, island, steps, we may add some big rocks for structure as well, etc.). We would've loved to expand to the bottom of the pic but would've been a lot harder due to the slope. We haven't had the soil tested.

Last edited by wps456; 08/05/20 09:30 AM.
Re: Pond design 101
wps456 #524424 08/06/20 06:44 AM
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Mike Otto, one of the owners here, has a dozer company. He told me the best way to determine whether the soil has the right amount % of clay. Roll it into a ball and throw it at the side of a pickup. If it sticks/holds together, it should hold water. If it shatters, too much sand.


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: Pond design 101
Dave Davidson1 #524448 08/06/20 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
Mike Otto, one of the owners here, has a dozer company. He told me the best way to determine whether the soil has the right amount % of clay. Roll it into a ball and throw it at the side of a pickup. If it sticks/holds together, it should hold water. If it shatters, too much sand.
I'm assuming soil consistency will change with depth so do you do this test after you dig out the pond and then add clay or a liner as needed? Or is the consistency fairly similar so would it work off of the top layer? I would think that moisture content would factor in as well. Thanks for the input, I'll start warming up my arm!

Re: Pond design 101
wps456 #524466 08/07/20 06:17 AM
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I would think that all of the clay would be the same but, according to my Wife, I'm wrong on most things.


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
1 member likes this: wps456

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