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Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
#526795 10/15/20 04:05 PM
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Hello,

I purchased a property in Franklin County MO 5 years ago, with a full pond right next to the house. Seemed like plenty of fish, inverts....cast a line from the deck. Awesome. Unfortunately I bought the property in late spring/early summer (it was even raining 2 of the 3 times we looked at the property before buying) and since I've never lived on a property with a pond before I never thought to ask how or when it was built, or any questions around it at all.

I've been here 5 years and it always fills up every spring but then gets very low, almost drying up in the late fall. When it's full it is roughly 4 foot deep at the shallow parts and roughly 8 foot deep at the deepest point. It's been very dry the past couple months so the shallow parts are now completely dry and the deep part is probably a couple feet. My neighbors pond is bigger (about 3/4 acre) and his is only down maybe 1-2 feet from normal so my 5 foot swing can't be normal.

I've never noticed any wetness on the back of my dam, but I do have vegetation grown up around the edge of the pond and a couple big trees growing into the dam. Also there seems to be erosion on the bank by the house so I'm wondering if I'm losing water into the bank or the sides of the bowls.

My ideal result is to have the pond just be a bowl thats 10 foot deep instead of the two levels it is now. And of course to only loose a couple feet of water over the course of the year. I have an excavator coming out tomorrow hopefully to take a look, but I'm hoping to get some knowledge from this forum as well.

Any help on next steps or things to request from the excavator is appreciated.

Last edited by markmarkmark; 10/15/20 04:23 PM.
Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526797 10/15/20 04:12 PM
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Here's some comparisons of what it looks like now, vs what it looks like when it fills in the spring.

https://imgur.com/a/Z7x4LMI

Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526811 10/16/20 04:52 AM
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Big trees are water suckers and their root system can compromise the integrity of the dam. Dou you have adequate runoff for anything but big rains?


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: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526822 10/16/20 09:32 AM
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Those trees will need attention for sure....looks like you have large ones on the dam - is that a young shagbark hickory in the first picture? Good smoking wood if so

What fills the pond? Looks like a gutter run off pipe on the house side bank - or is that a septic drain?

The road running along the topside of the pond, does runoff backup above road? Is the road blocking off your pond fill run off source? Has the pond ever held water year round? Look it up on google earth and use the historical aerial slider to view past data

You can calculate the evaporation rate per surface area here https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/evaporation-water-surface-d_690.html
That will give you the baseline of how much water you "could" lose to evaporation so you can get an idea of water you lose due to leaking


Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP
Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526829 10/16/20 05:23 PM
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Yeah I know I need to address the trees. I've started cleaning up the smaller brush, < 12" wide but those big boys are too much for me so I'll have to let someone else handle them.

I talked to NRCS over the phone and they said for 0.2 acres I only need like 2 acres of watershed so I think I've got that. I don't think that trail would block run off, but I'm not really sure what counts as watershed. I assume just land thats sloping down into the pond right? Or if there is heavy underbrush on the sloped land does that suck up all the potential water?

My pond is the overflow from neighbor 1's 3/4 acre pond, connected by a buried 12" pipe when water is high. My gutters also go into the pond and the runoff from my neighbors 2's property flows into my pond from the other side.

Seems like the online version of google earth doesn't do history, I'll install the pro version and take a look. But it has always lost at least 3+ feet of water over the year for the past 5 years I've been here.

The deeper part that still has water has about 1.5-2 feet left in it. I just hammered a marked pipe in so I can measure how much the water goes down per day/week.

Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526837 10/16/20 10:22 PM
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Stop in at the NRCS office or call them and make an appointment. They can calculate the watershed for you. Make sure that they use a sheepsfoot roller to compact the bottom and sides of the pond. You could have what is called a watertable pond. The pond just shows the level of the water in the ground because the bottom/sides isn't sealed like a bathtub (with the plug in place).


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526887 10/19/20 10:40 AM
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I called NRCS, but played it pretty nice and just asked what they could do to help me. So far it was just a couple phone conversations and providing a list of the registered excavators in the county. I just emailed them again specifically asking for help on watershed calculations so hopefully they agree to that.

I had the pipe in to mark water level drop for 1 day before it rained, first time in a couple months LoL. So it dropped about 3/8" during the 24 hours before it rained. We got 3.25" of rain last night and the water level in the pond went up 6.5". So that seems promising from a watershed/runoff perspective especially since the ground was so dry I'm sure a lot was soaked up that would normally be run off.

Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526895 10/19/20 12:36 PM
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Hey Mark welcome to the forum and congrats on the pond. You could be looking at a full rehab considering the small size and low water volume it's probably your best bet as there's no substitute for a high plasticity clay liner to impound water. I've worked on several rehabs on my farm and also for clients throughout the Midwest - happy to share my experiences if you want to chat sometime. Too many of my mistakes to relate here.

Just as an FYI - cleaning up trees, excavating silt and installing/compacting a 12-24" clay liner on a 10k sq ft pond here would run around $2,500-$5,500 depending on whether you've got clay on site or not and whether you recore your dam. Your costs may vary significantly, just trying to provide an idea. Feel free to reach out anytime: tj@hudlandmgmt.com


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526936 10/20/20 01:21 PM
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NRCS did the drainage map and I have 5.6 acres of direct drainage not counting the other sources (gutters, overflows, etc). So I'm plenty good there.

At the start of this I had prepared myself for ~10K to get it dredged, bowl sides redone, and a new clay liner installed/compacted. Thanks for the comparison costs TJ, that's good news and I'd be very happy with that range.

Now I just have to get the excavators in my area to actually call me back.

Last edited by markmarkmark; 10/20/20 01:21 PM.
Re: Advice on 0.2 acre pond renovation in MO
markmarkmark #526956 10/21/20 12:26 AM
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Before you launch your project I encourage you to reach out - my time is free and I can help you create a checklist for your contractor to sign off on prior to launching project. We are here to help everyone on the Forum...I've been down this road many times, happy to assist.

TJ


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]



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