The USDA came out and drew up the plans for a 3.5 acre pond. Looks like about 3000 cubic yards of dirt to construct the dam. The area that will be flooded is covered in trees. He said the only trees I HAD to clear was a 100ft wide area along the dam. How do you fine folks feel about leaving trees in your pond?
It's hard to ensure that the pond basin is compacted properly with the trees there. If you have a large amount of water available to keep the pond full if the existing trees caused a leak, then I would be OK with leaving them there. If not, I'd sure feel better about taking them out, compacting the pond basin and then not have to worry about the possibility of having to fix it later..
You can stockpile the trees and use them for cover in the pond after the bottom is compacted.
I recently built 8.5 acre pond; there was about 20% tree coverage. I took down 80% of the trees - burned some and used many for cover. I left 5% standing and had the big excavator knock off the tops off 15% of them, leaving the main trunk a few feet above the water line.
Its two years old now; the stocked fish are doing really well. There is a lot of cover. I wished I would have just knocked them all down and stacked for cover. I think the ones I left standing will be two hard to fish around when the limbs start coming down. The ones that i knocked the tops off will be a little easier to fish around.
When stacking for cover try to place the main trunk at a 45 degree angle to the bottom vs just laying flat.
What kind of trees do you have? If it is 100% oak I'd be nervous to leave all of them in there as the oak will yield tannins that could be toxic to fish on down the road. I didn't have oak; just pecan, hackberry, elm and cedars.
Only two trees left standing were near any of the dam construction; those are in very shallow water - all of the others were well far away from the dam so I am not concerned about them causing future leaks with root decay.
Jambi is correct re the oaks and tanins. That stuff is lethal. When my approx 3 acre pond was built, we cleared some oaks. I had them pushed into a pile in the bowl for fish attraction. We got some big rains and the pond filled about 2/3. I stocked fish. Then the water turned black and everything died. I pumped for a couple of weeks. Then let Texas summer sunshine dry everything. Then, after awhile, we got a decent rain and it happened again. I pumped again. Luckily, we didn’t get any rain for a couple of months. Now, 30 or so years later I’m praying for rain.No tanin problems.
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
I have inherited my grandfather's farm with 20 acre pond in deep S. Georgia. The nucleus of his pond was a Gin Pond from the 1800's...I think it might have been 3-4 acres per some old maps. In the early 1950's he logged upstream from the Gin Pond and left the pine, cypress and whatever else stumps in place...they were cut from 6-12" above ground level.
Last February I cut the side dam and drained the pond. It was "fished" in 1975, last time I remember it being drained. It has gotten sedimented/sludged, started developing trembling earth (like in the Okefenokee) and we are the process of trying to restore the pond to its 1950's state. Here are some pictures of how he left the stumps from way back. His pond (Boyette Pond) was well known for big bass, bream, crappie in the 60's - 80's when it was open to the public for "pay fishing". He had a box on the front porch where folks paid to fish.
I left this part out....after he logged the upstream area, he then added height to a road that was downstream of the Gin Pond. We assume the stream went under the road. We still have access to the culverts that had removable boards so that he could control the water level in the pond. By making the road the new dam, the original dam (a "pre-Civil War dam" according to the National Inventory of Dams info page about our pond) became part of the new pond.
Every few years these folks... 'Environmental Compliance Specialist / EPD: Safe Dams Unit"...come to our ponds and inspect the dams. So far, so good.
I have attached the card that a wonderful employee there took the time, during the Pandemic, to track down the handwritten notes about our pond. This card put me on a path that has led to me understanding why we have a "Gin Pond" (the only one of over 90,000 dams the the National Inventory of Dams keep track of) and how it came to be in our family. Lots of details, too much for this thread.
Here is the email from the EPD employee that helped us start figuring out what we had -- a lot to unpack. May be too much to read for folks:
Glad to hear that you and your son are taking good care of your farm. I have updated our records to reflect you as the owner and made sure the information you provided matched what was in our system.
I was looking over what I have on the dam electronically and I do see a note in the system that says “This pond provided power for a cotton gin. The original dam was probably built before the Civil War. It is now breached and Boyette Road is the dam.” No one signed the note however so I’m not sure where this came from other than it was most likely written by a previous classifier that has since retired. I am away from the office at the moment but as soon as I am back there I will pull the physical file and see if there’s any leads to the history of the dam. It looks like the dam was originally classified by our office in 1983, so it’s unlikely I will have any records prior to that date, but I’ll check and see what I can find. The earliest aerial images that I have show Boyette Rd as the dam by January of 1993. You may also want to check out the USGS’s topographic maps database. It’s free to access online and their database starts for Georgia around 1880, though I think the earliest records they have available for south of Atlanta are from the 1950’s. Still, if you’re looking for leads on the history of the area it may be an interesting place to look. The link for their website is https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/
I’ll let you know if I find anything, in the meantime, good luck!
I have been lurking and reading for months and have considered making a dedicated thread, just haven't slowed down long enough to do it. I have LOTS / LOTS of pictures and video of what we are doing. It's kind of tedious having to resize pictures so they can post. I have considered using my smugmug site to share pictures.
See if this link works here..if so, I might start a thread that features a few pertinent pictures and then link to the site where lots of pictures are.
Does this work thru PondBoss? This is when we first started using the excavator to access the pond.
Yes...Grandaddy built the road higher and it became the dam. That made what I call "the Road Pond" and the area behind the "original dam"...sometimes called the Middle Dam now...grow to about 15+ acres. The Road Pond is about 1 acre, the South Pond is about 15 acres. The freakin' Beaver Pond was probably at least 5-17 acres...we are trying to recover some of that land. It has been flooding out some of our land where we have pine trees planted. That's another story.
If you like history, I have found out a lot about the family farm. If I get that dedicated thread started there is a lot to share.