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Help Getting Started
#529630 01/13/21 05:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 4
Likes: 1
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L
Joined: Jan 2021
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Hello Folks,

My first post.

I recently aquired a small piece of property which includes an old farm pond. It's .96 acres when full. Currently, it's down about 18-24" from full. I think I have about 6-10 acres of runoff slope.

The dam has both large and small trees on and around it. It was not built with an overflow system. I do suspect a leak as I had water running below it recently despite a pretty bad drought these past 4 months.

I've seen old satellite photos from the 80's to now and the pond was there, always full. Currently, my max depth is 6-8' at the middle of the dam but most of the pond is 2-4' deep. ( it is 18-24" low ). There are no know fish but I do have a couple of muskrats I'll need to deal with. I have a small cattail growth at the far end from the dam

I would like to have the pond hold water and fish. I had an Excavator / Pond Builder come out to take a look. He said the trees must go for sure. Then, I had two options. One, He could rework the dam, look for and attempt to fix any leaks, build the dam up higher and see what happens when the spring rain falls. Two, he could do all of option one and bring out a dredge which would be very expensive ( like new pond build expensive ).

I guess other options would be to do nothing or destroy the dam and start fresh.

Any thoughts from the crowd? I want a place to fish with my Grandkids but at some point, I can just go to the lake.

Thanks in advance. I did cruise the archives but could'nt draw any conclisions on my situation.

Last edited by LarryBud; 01/13/21 06:06 AM.
Re: Help Getting Started
LarryBud #529639 01/13/21 08:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
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Welcome to the forums LarryBud! (from a fellow Missourian)

You did not say how you determined the actual water depths, so I should say that it's best done empirically. My property with a pond had a 1/4 acre pond on it when I purchased it that appeared to be 8 to 10 feet deep by looking at the size of the dam and the surrounding land, but it had silted in to be only 2 foot deep (very old cattle pond - circa 1950's???). I actually put a row boat in and could measure the depth with the oar all the way across. Dredging that would have been far more expensive than what I ended up doing.

I had the dam broke initially with a mini excavator that allowed it to drain all 2 foot of water, gave it the summer to dry out some, and then had a medium sized track loader come in and cut the dam wider and deeper so that it could drive through it and remove the 8 foot of muck. They packed the dam break after the muck removal with the clay and rock that was cut out and we waited several months for it to fill back up. This pond had no leak problems, so your situation is a bit different. The leak the second thing I would try to figure out (besides true water depth if not 100% sure).

The current depth of your pond is suitable for fish currently. You could do nothing but stock it and see what happens. It's curios why it has no fish however...Muskrats maybe? They are a strong candidate for the pond leaking too.

Have you owned it long enough to know if it gets a lot of algae growth in the summer?...The scummy floating kind (know as FA here on the forums - Filamentous Algae). An abundance of FA is usually a sign of an abundance of shallow waters and nutrients.

If you decide to tear into the dam, you should consider putting in some kind of overflow so that it can drain without going over the top. An appropriate sized through-the-dam pipe is the base model while a siphon drain systems would be top of the line.

The fact that the leak seems to be a more recent occurrence...I'd get that straightened out before investing much love and money into the rest.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Help Getting Started
Quarter Acre #529660 01/13/21 04:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
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Thank you for the reply. I do have confidence in depth measurments, I used a fishing pole with a weight and a slip bobber. I took my time on a calm day and feel pretty good about it.

I have not owned it throught the summer but the previous owner used it as a swinning pond. He said it stayed nice a clean all summer.

How do I determine the severity of my leak ( if it even has one )?

Re: Help Getting Started
LarryBud #529662 01/13/21 07:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
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Joined: Oct 2016
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Put a measuring stake in. I have a aluminum yard stick screwed to a wooden stake. That will let you see how much you lose each day.


Bob


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