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Howdy from Texas!
#526577 10/07/20 01:54 PM
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Howdy everyone! Just wanted to do a quick introduction and tell you why I am here. I love fishing and I hate the city! My family and I (wife, one daughter and one son), have been looking for some property for a couple years now. I will be closing on some property, about an hour north of Houston, in the next month! We couldn't be more excited. One of the first things I'll be doing, is digging a pond, so we have dirt for our road, and structure foundations. It currently has a 1/8th acre pond on it. It is believed to be spring fed, is supposedly stocked with some blue gill and LMB and the soil is clay to 65 ft. I have hopes of digging it out to 2 acres, then stocking it for LMB fishing.

I came here looking for advice on what to do, and more importantly what not to do. I want to do it right from the start. The plan is to have a small island in the middle, a max depth of around 35 feet, with some shallow areas and a few points around the pond (or is it considered a lake, at 2 acres?). I know now will be the time to get my man-made structures built, and get the general layout I am looking for, but other than that, I will be looking for recommendations. I'm looking forward to taking in everyone's knowledge, experiences, and recommendations.

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526582 10/07/20 02:53 PM
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First of all, welcome to the forums and congrats on your new property! I'm still a rookie, but I can give you my 2 cents of what I've learned so far from the wonderful people on this site.

Quote
The plan is to have a small island in the middle
Just remember that islands have 2 major negatives. One, they take away from the surface area and holding capacity of your pond, and two, depending on how big you make your island, you will need a way to access it for mowing, maintenance, etc.
Quote
a max depth of around 35 feet
By most people's standards, this would be considered a very deep pond. To achieve those depths in a ~2 acre pond, you'll also have to have some pretty steep banks. Depths like that won't be used very much, if at all, especially if you get a thermocline, which will create a "dead" zone of water with little to no oxygen. I think the consensus around here is to stay at around 8-12' for a max depth, maybe 15', to utilize as much of the pond as possible, and to avoid a thermocline. Bass, in particular, won't be in 35 feet of water very often, regardless.

Re: Howdy from Texas!
Steve_ #526587 10/07/20 04:00 PM
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Hi Steve, thanks for the welcome and the info! I will definitely be hiring a pond specialist to tell me what I can and shouldn't do. The main reason for the island, is I promised my daughter we would have an island, and could put a zip line that goes over to it, haha! I am not too worried about mowing it. I have some kayaks, so worst case scenario, it will be small enough that I can just paddle the weed eater over there if needed.

For the depth, I was wanting to go with the 35 foot range not as an average, just at least one spot that deep. I am scuba certified, and want the rest of the family to be as well. It would be awesome if we could dive in our own pond, just for the heck of it. The "normal" training depth for beginners is between 25-30 feet, and I would probably build an small (10' x 10') underwater deck in that area. I didn't even think about the possibility of a thermocline though, so the rest of the lake can vary but average around 12-15 feet. Again, I will definitely get with a professional, and take their advice over my desires, haha!

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526588 10/07/20 04:11 PM
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Well your reasons for the island and the 35' depth makes more sense now, haha. You can definitely use aeration to circulate your "dead" water and prevent a thermocline (I think). Hopefully someone with more expertise than I will reply soon and give you some more/better info.

Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526593 10/07/20 05:46 PM
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Congrats on the new land and upcoming pond. A good friend of mine sells real estate, primarily farms and ranches in the Brenham/Chappell Hill area. Business is booming for him as there seems to be a mass exodus from Houston for those that have the means. It seems we a have all figured out we can be productive without going to an office. Where at north of Houston are you purchasing?

In regards to the pond build, I haven't built one but this is the correct place for very knowledgeable people. My first recommendation would be subscribe to Pond Boss and start reading past articles written by Mike Otto. He also has a book - "Just Add Water" - that seems to get a lot of recommendations by the experts on this forum. You may be close enough to his stomping grounds to use him as consultant/builder.

There are lots of advantages to building from scratch. As Steve mentioned you probably won't find a lot of fans of islands but its your pond and just make sure you know the pros/cons. One pro obviously being zip lines. My recommendation, and it doesn't really involve the pond per se, is while you are at it and if you are going to have the island, you should run electricity and water - electricity for sure. You may not miss if you don't have it but if you do have it you will be very glad and it will give you lots of options to further enjoy your island

Aeration will be probably be a must for that depth and the island would be a great place for the compressor if you have power. It will ease the difficulty of installation and the layout considerably because the island is going to be in the middle. In fact, if you are building a platform for diving that is probably a great place for a diffuser as you probably aren't going to be too worried about the water below the base of the deck.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526594 10/07/20 06:39 PM
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Our mentor the Pond Boss Bob Lusk has a zip line and no island. An island will make aerating and mixing the pond much more difficult due to the baffle affect restricting water circulation. An island in 2 acres requires more diffusers and probably a second compressor. Plan on the pond having water clarity of 2-3 ft. It can be difficult to maintain average water clarity deeper than that. A lot of clarity will depend on water shed and and ability to keep productivity low and type of fishery present. Get a consultation and second opinions from Lusk and Mike Otto before moving dirt.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/08/20 08:21 AM.

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526598 10/08/20 04:26 AM
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I would also decline on the island. It’s a good place for geese to crap and tough to maintain. Also, physically maintaining that structure may not be something that is doable.

I do like the idea of leaving a couple of underwater humps for structure.


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: Howdy from Texas!
Dave Davidson1 #526606 10/08/20 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
I would also decline on the island. It’s a good place for geese to crap and tough to maintain. Also, physically maintaining that structure may not be something that is doable.

I do like the idea of leaving a couple of underwater humps for structure.

Dave no geese around Houston

Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526609 10/08/20 10:43 AM
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Actually, if you like to goose hunt west of Houston is great goose hunting - around Eagle Lake, El Campo. Basically south of I-10 in rice country. Not that long ago, before it was a concrete jungle, Katy was outstanding goose hunting. But, on the I-45 corridor I am not sure I have ever seen a goose. Really not sure I have seen many ducks on the I-45 corridor. Goose and duck season are approaching - hopefully I will have more luck this year than last year.

Re: Howdy from Texas!
Dave Davidson1 #526618 10/08/20 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MisterA
Where at north of Houston are you purchasing?

if you are going to have the island, you should run electricity and water - electricity for sure

Aeration will be probably be a must for that depth and the island would be a great place for the compressor if you have power. It will ease the difficulty of installation and the layout considerably because the island is going to be in the middle. In fact, if you are building a platform for diving that is probably a great place for a diffuser as you probably aren't going to be too worried about the water below the base of the deck.

Mister A, the property is on the north side of Plantersville. I will definitely be running electric and water out to the island, as we MUST have amenities for the princesses tree house, haha! I already figured I would need some aeration due to the depth, but didn't think about the island causing any issues. I don't mind adding a few more diffusers to the pond in order to alleviate any dead spots.


Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
I would also decline on the island. It’s a good place for geese to crap and tough to maintain.

Dave, I don't really have an option at this point, as I already promised one to my daughter, haha! As I mentioned above, I understand it will be more work, but I don't mind spending the money on aerators in order to keep it working. And hey, if I do happen to have any geese, they won't be there long, as they will have some steel shot being flown their way! In fact, I welcome them. Worst case, if they crap all over, I will at least have a water hose out to the island so I can wash off my daughters tree house, lol!

Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526630 10/09/20 01:32 PM
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The sign used to say "Welcome to Eagle Lake. Goose hunting capitol of the world!"


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: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526642 10/10/20 05:38 AM
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Pat, there once were no water turkeys South of Bowie. That changed.


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: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526646 10/10/20 11:23 AM
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I assume the way back from a zip line over to the island during most months of the year will be by boat? And how is the boat going to get back over to the island once someone paddles it back to the zipline starting point? Some kind of rope-pulley system?


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
Zep #526651 10/10/20 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zep
I assume the way back from a zip line to the island during most months of the year will be by boat?

Actually, the plan is to build a tall tree house on the island, so you just have to climb up in it, and take the "return zip line" to get back. Because why have one zip line, when you can have two for twice the price?!?!?

Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526652 10/10/20 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BranClanFarm
Actually, the plan is to build a tall tree house on the island, so you just have to climb up, and take the "return zip line" to get back
gotcha...


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Re: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526844 10/17/20 05:59 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

I realize the reasons for the island, but it will also make achieving your depth more difficult unless the pond is somewhat shaped like a tear drop with the island in the tail. I recommend trying to get Mike Otto to come out to build it, or see if he can recommend anyone in that area (or a recommendation from Bob Lusk). Think about the slope required to get to that depth, and how big you want that depth to be, area wise. Going on the steep side of the slope, i.e 2:1 means that the pond will have to be 140 feet across at the deepest point to come down to a point, and if you want the deepest part to be bigger, add distance to that 140'. 3:1 is more realistic, so that's 210 feet. At 3:1, if you want that 35' depth to be 20'x20', then that's 230' across, then you want the shallow area to be less steep, so that makes the the pond even wider. Coming up to the island then going back down to have depth around it takes more room, that's why I suggested that shape.

It's doable, just needs some design work and thought.


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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: Howdy from Texas!
BranClanFarm #526855 10/18/20 08:00 AM
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... Your daughter sounds a lot like my kids, wish they could meet.

Please make sure to consult professionals about the zipline for safety!


Highly recomend the books that were mentioned, You can buy them from the main site here. Matter of fact I think you are in prime OTTO/Lusk territory for a consult from the best.


Pleas take lots of pictures/share here everything !


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Re: Howdy from Texas!
CityDad #526866 10/18/20 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by esshup
I realize the reasons for the island, but it will also make achieving your depth more difficult unless the pond is somewhat shaped like a tear drop with the island in the tail. I recommend trying to get Mike Otto to come out to build it, or see if he can recommend anyone in that area (or a recommendation from Bob Lusk). It's doable, just needs some design work and thought.

I already talked to Bob, and will probably have him come out to my property in the next couple of months. If he recommends getting Mike to come out, that is the way I will go. As for the depth, I will be working with about a 215' x 330' area (not including the island), but I may end up changing the desired depth to 25 feet instead, because of the reasons you mentioned. 35 feet may just be more trouble than it is worth, unless I can find a large diameter concrete pipe (or similar) that can be sunk in a certain area, to create a stable "tube" to gain that extra depth in a small section (I have seen this done down to over 100' in a professional dive pool).

Originally Posted by CityDad
Please make sure to consult professionals about the zipline for safety! Highly recomend the books that were mentioned, You can buy them from the main site here. Matter of fact I think you are in prime OTTO/Lusk territory for a consult from the best.

Luckily, my father is an engineer, so he has some friends that are going to calculate everything for the zip line system (distance, angles, cable diameter, etc). And I already have "Just Add Water" on the way, along with a subscription to Pond Boss, so can't wait for those to show up! I will be sure to document EVERYTHING, so I can share it here!!!


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