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From the Buckeye State
#529513 01/08/21 11:31 AM
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Hey everyone, was referred to this site by another habitat site I frequent. I have 2 small 1/3 acre ponds on a hunting property, but have a natural bowl that I talked to an excavator about and this spring he's going ot put a legit pond/lake in it.

There are a couple springs coming out of the hill that'll feed it as well as rain run off. 3 sides will be natural slope, so we'll only have to dam off 1 end. gis map says we'll naturally be able to come in between 5 and 6 acres all told.

Laser says the deep end will probably be around 20'

I want to document the build and such, but will be trolling around here for ideas. Couple topics I'm interested in knowing more about:

1. Fish and Fish habitat. I think I have a big enough mass of water to do some pretty cool stuff with fish. We're goig to put a beach in for swimming on one end, and probably plan on that being our spawning area as well for bluegill.But with the depth and size, I thought it'd be fun to put, in addition to the standards of bass, bluegill (several breeds?), perch, crappie, What do you guys recommend? Also heard some cool stuff about wipers.

2. Fish Structure. There are some big sandstone rocks we'll be moving during excavating and I have all the trees/root balls I desire to put in the pond. If they're free on the farm, I'd rather go that route than pay to for something.

3. Dock. Would like to build a Tee dock or a sitting area at the end of the dock. No planning on a floating dock. Will put in pilings before the water fills.

Going to put a piped overflow in it, with an emergency spillway on it in case the overflow gets plugged or we get some sort of stupid amount of rain.

Not planning on mechanical aeration at this point as its in the back corner of the property and we don't have power right there.

Any suggestions, thoughts, opinions on the questions above. I have a lot to learn but have really enjoyed the solid ground aspect of deer habitat (chainsaws, plantings, native warmseason grasses, etc) so I'm excited to try it on the aquatic side of things.

Put it on me.

Re: From the Buckeye State
roymunson #529518 01/08/21 12:38 PM
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Greetings from your immediate South.

One caution made from the start: The last I knew, Ohio required an engineering plan/design for dams that would be impounding more than 5 feet of water (Bill Cody is one member likely to be on top of this requirement and there may be others). You should check into that.

1. Consider what fish habitat you may want done with dirt before the pond is finished, especially if it will reduce the amount of dirt that needs to be moved (e.g. underwater islands) and with it, cost.

You have lots of time to decide on what species to stock; start cautiously. If you only put in Fatheads, Gambusia, and (perhaps) Golden Shiners in the first year while it is filling, you will have a very good forage base for whatever ultimate predators you decide on.

2. Root balls may lose enough trapped dirt to float up after the pond fills - about half of the ones I put in did. I suggest staking/weighting any wood underwater structure down to prevent the possibility. This allows you to use submerged wood that doesn't have dirt affixed (I have a number of logs and even a "log cabin" in my SMB pond).

3. If placing posts for a dock before the pond fills, make sure they are good and solid.

Finally, the sage advice I give to all first-time pond builders: buy a copy of "PERFECT POND ... WANT ONE?" and study it. It's the best $27 you will spend on your pond's construction.

P.S. If you find/have a good pond excavator, let us know who it is. There have been at least two other Central Ohio pondmeister wannabees looking for excavators around here.

I loved the work my excavator did (not just on ponds), but he is no longer in the business. I think I'm done building ponds, but it is a recurring mental condition not easily completely cured.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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Re: From the Buckeye State
roymunson #529524 01/08/21 07:38 PM
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Maybe think about a sediment pond that can also be used as a forage or grow out pond. If you have multiple areas where the water runs in, you could have more than one.


Bob


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Re: From the Buckeye State
roymunson #529528 01/08/21 11:04 PM
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For a pond that size, I'd stay away from Crappie, at least for the first 3-4 years, and then only think about them if you can't live without them, but know in advance about their overpopulation issues. Hybrid Crappies might be an alternative, but again, only stocked after the predators are large enough to consume any YOY fry.


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Re: From the Buckeye State
roymunson #529532 01/09/21 05:12 AM
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I would visit ponds with "beaches" that have been installed for a few years. I have found that a floating dock with a fold-down ladder is far more serviceable for swimming. Perhaps someone here who has installed a beach can comment?

Last edited by RAH; 01/09/21 11:14 AM. Reason: typo
Re: From the Buckeye State
roymunson #529880 01/21/21 08:01 AM
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I'd skip a sandy 'beach'
You are in ohio only gonna use it like 4 days a year


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: From the Buckeye State
CityDad #529893 01/21/21 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
I'd skip a sandy 'beach'
You are in ohio only gonna use it like 4 days a year
It'll be usable for a good 3 months.

It's only 4 days if you insist on sunshine.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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