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Big trees in shallow water - new construction
#525460 09/03/20 07:40 AM
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I have begun construction on an 8 acre pond. The contractor comes with many references and I am confident in his knowledge of the design and construction practices. The construction area is relatively flat pasture with 4 ft of slope +/- from front to back. We do have a watershed of 50 acres as calculated by the NRCS which assisted in the design. Additional watershed will be tapped into by terracing both sides if you will which should add another 50 to 70 acres of watershed. Construction challenges that we have all discussed will be creating depth and habitat.

Habitat plans will include lots of timber: standing timber in the construction area and sourced cedar (no oak) brush piles from across the property. I have some shallow water habitat plans using artificial materials.

One question contractor has left to me to decide was to leave standing trees that will be in the eventual pond or take them down and make brush piles with them. I would guess there are 40 to 50 mature pecans, hackberry, and a few cedar in basically one long wide area. I know structure and habitat is so important my thought was to leave them standing of course. When pond is full, we estimate standing trees to be in 8-10 ft on the deep side and 3-5 ft on the shallow side.

Now these big trees in shallow water I want to leave standing - Should I "Top" these standing trees now or just let time run its course and let high branches fall off as decay takes its course over the years? I'm guessing there is no right or wrong answer and it comes down to preference on what do we want to look at for the next several years.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525465 09/03/20 08:54 AM
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The standing trees will die/drown. I personally think they will become an eyesore. Of course, removing them would mean pushing them from the pond and cutting them up. I like cedar for structure but, according to Lusk, they will rot away in about 4 years.

When mine was built, I had a lot of oaks taken down and pushed into the bowl. When it rained, I stocked and all fish died due to Tannins. The water turned black. I had to drain the pond and let Texas summer dry them out. I know you said no oak. I have no idea what pecans or hackberry will do. But, I PERSONALLY wouldn't chance it.


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Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525470 09/03/20 10:23 AM
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Almost all my shallow water cover is from Hackberry limbs. Cedars and Hackberrys are my natural cover of choice.

At the minimum, standing trees should be cut off at the full pool water line. It only takes a few years for them to turn into widowmakers if left standing.


AL
Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525482 09/03/20 03:41 PM
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I second cutting them at full pool height. I left my trees in very had to fish by. Hard to cast and not get tangled up. But I have a lot of trees, underwater the branches are almost gone now and now I have trees falling and floating where I do not want them. It is a lot easier to make your own structure and put it where you want to fish.


61 acre water shed lake. bass, channel cat, black crappie, wiper, walleye, redear sunfish and bluegill. To many bullhead and common carp
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Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525528 09/04/20 01:18 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies!

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525892 09/14/20 03:23 PM
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Did a lot of daydreaming, and a little work, at the new pond construction site this weekend; It was a nice dry weekend so I put about 12 hours on the skid steer and pulled about 50 cedar and hackberry from around the property and staged them near the construction site to be placed as structure when the crew gets everything completed.

Regarding the trees in place in the pool area...Cutting massive hackberry and pecan above the full pool mark will be risky. I think I'm or (Mr. D6 is) going to lay over about half of the trees and leave them on the ground in place. We talked this morning about dropping them in alternating pattern to cover more area. The other half I plan to leave standing.

Thank you for previous posts and comments about making the "Structure highways" from shallow to deep waters and give the smaller fish a path to get to the deep water. I think I can make that happen here.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525912 09/15/20 11:20 AM
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If you dont post pictures we will ban you from the forum.

Fyi.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525919 09/15/20 12:21 PM
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Cut or doze out any trees that will have their roots flooded, unless they are bald cypress. They will drown and become dangerous.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525923 09/15/20 01:10 PM
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Will try to link to IMGUR:

https://imgur.com/a/gPTsSfF

And short clip:

https://youtu.be/ipqv5Curhu4

Last edited by Jambi; 09/15/20 01:32 PM.
Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525928 09/15/20 02:37 PM
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Looks like you have a pretty good size project going on. Its an exciting time seeing a plan start coming together.


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: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525947 09/16/20 08:01 AM
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It is fun to see a plan come together. Consider adding areas for bluegill spawning. I have done this in several lakes. Guests always like to watch them guard nests since they have not seen this happen.


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Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
MOFishermen #525955 09/16/20 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MOFishermen
It is fun to see a plan come together. Consider adding areas for bluegill spawning. I have done this in several lakes. Guests always like to watch them guard nests since they have not seen this happen.
Thanks MO. I will have a large area of shallow water at full pool, in that 2 to 3 ft range. I have thought about a few loads of gravel, but not sure the $1k price tag will be worth it to me. Alot of reading in here shows that they like gravel, but will spawn in the flats just fine. We'll see how the budget ends up for this to happen. Have a great day.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525959 09/16/20 10:22 AM
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would a mat under the gravel prevent vegetation from sprouting up in that area?


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
CityDad #525966 09/16/20 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
would a mat under the gravel prevent vegetation from sprouting up in that area?
Great question, I thought this as well. If I spend money on gravel I don't want it overtaken w/ weeds/muck in a few years. Be interested in recommendations and ideas on an underlayment for gravel.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #525968 09/16/20 12:46 PM
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I used weed barrier Fabric from Home Depot. Placed a row of rocks or concrete blocks towards deep water to contain pea gravel. This has lasted for four years now and have not had weed issues ( too many bluegill spawning) or loss of pea gravel.


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Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #526453 09/30/20 02:51 PM
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A couple comments...

1. I used old carpet and put that down where I later wanted spawning beds to be. I then dumped some regular gravel on the carpet, with the idea that the old carpet would prevent most of the gravel from being swallowed by the mud. My pond was built in 2016 and stocked in 2017 and I can tell that I am getting good spawning output as there are fish of multiple species and sizes to indicated successful spawning.

2. I left a few trees standing that are now dead, but appear to concentrate fish more than any other area on the pond. I also rolled giant rootballs of some the big trees taken out of the pond basin during construction down into areas that would be about 4' - 10' deep now. I wouldn't leave a lot of trees standing, but I haven't seen anything yet that makes me wish I hadn't left some of them standing. I probably have a dozen total, most of them close to one another, left standing in a 2.5 acre pond.

Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Dave_IA #526454 09/30/20 04:15 PM
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Thanks Dave. My contractor just finished construction last night. I decided to do pretty much what you did - I left about a dozen of the 40 to 50 trees standing. Instead of felling those remaining trees completely, my operator used his big track hoe and busted the tops out of the other 30 or so trees. Now it looks like a good ole Oklahoma tornado went thru there. I will have time to either pull out those crashed limbs or just leave them where they are (which at first impression I will likely just leave them) The track hoe was perfect as the height left on the main tree trunks is about full pool level. There are another dozen or so standing trees in the pond, but they are scattered and not bunched up so i left them in place.

In addition to these trees, I've pulled in around 50 cedar/elm/hackberry trees to make brush piles all over the pond. Some shallow, some deep, many right off the dam for future fishing spots while casting from shore.

Thanks for the tip on the carpet too. Great idea.

Overall the construction went better than expected. The guys did more than I asked for, and stuck to the bid. Now let it rain!

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Re: Big trees in shallow water - new construction
Jambi #526456 09/30/20 04:42 PM
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Sounds good...just my two cents on leaving the "shrapnel" behind on the trees that the track how whacked for you. I would clean up the leftovers to prevent them from later on floating over to your outlet and possibly plugging it. (I assuming that you have an outlet of course. :))


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