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FishinRod and HTNFSH2, thanks for the input. Yes there is a risk in buying used equipment, but it takes the timing out of the equation vs. renting. We are talking about a Cat 320 series excavator and probably just a D5. Would rent the sheepsfoot because the cost is low. Still would rather have someone more experienced do it. There seem to be few PondBoss forum members in my area to suggest dirt diggers, and many of the ponds near were dug by the Amish, so "outside the Law" so to speak. Thanks again.

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FWIW I stopped at the local pond guy's place twice now, nobody home. Try calling these guys: Clearly Aquatics, Bloomfield, NY. they service ponds but last time I called they could recommend some well-known contractors that build ponds. I am not sure of their status with Pond Boss advertising so I will let you search them out.

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This place looks to be mainly a water garden / small pond type of company. If a pond management company does not have a short list of reputable experienced large pond builders then I would shy away from their services for good well educated management for larger ponds especially those ponds primarily for sport fisheries. Try looking more at the closest fish farms for suggestions for pond builders. Fish farms usually need good well built ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/09/21 08:46 PM.

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Brief update. I drew a 1hr circle and contacted all the larger excavation contractors that would have the needed equipment on hand. None of them were interested in doing the pond (although some cut their teeth in the pond construction business). In addition, the 3 most highly regarded pond builders in my area have all passed away in the last few years and their businesses are defunct. At least I now have an official permit from the state and can start construction....

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If you can't find someone to your liking, then you might check on hiring a pond builder from elsewhere and bring them in and rent equipment. Mike Otto used to do that, and others may do so now.
















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Has anyone had the Amish/Mennonites build their pond? Now that I have the state Stormwater permit, I could possibly use their services.
Any stories/history with Amish pond builders??

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I bring this up in part because I am talking with a local Mennonite crew about building a barn for me. The proprietor at the Mennonite farm store suggested one of their pond builders, but all the same issues may be there with proper equipment, etc. Just wondering in anyone else had gone that direction.

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Went searching for places to rent equipment and found one that sold CAT and would rent a D6 and a 320 excavator. Turns out that they had a crew that would do the excavating, I talked with the "VP" and we worked out a contract - now signed. Should take less than 3 weeks to complete, probably in early May depending on the weather. I am handling some of the SWPPP requirements, filtration fence, construction entrance, seeding, fertilizing, and mulching, since I have equipment for that. Should be about 1.3 acres, 9' at the deepest, just under 6' average. I should post a diagram but haven't gotten past that hurdle yet.

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Excellent news!

Did you get everything permitted to go over the 1 acre restrictions?


I am almost up to your same "build" stage on my new pond projects. I wish I lived nearby, so I could watch that crew work. I am also planning on the D6 dozer with excavator combo. I think I can get a 340 here for just a bit more rental bucks.

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The forum is a nice place to share ideas, but mostly vicariously. It would be nice to see work on your pond as well. A 340 is a good size machine.

The issue with ponds in NY is that you have to have a dam permit if it is over 6', so I kept it to 5' 8" and they said we should talk if things changed. I also needed a SWPPP and associated permit, and that was doable with the help of others. Fortunately my pond is in a fairly flat region, 2/3 dug and 1/3 dammed, so I get around a lot of issues as long as I keep the back side of the dam having a shallow grade. I have included some drawings of the proposed pond. The funny peninsula is because of a telephone pole. We chose this spot because it was almost too wet to mow and we could see it from the house.

Attached Images
pond plans on field .jpg (64.71 KB, 56 downloads)
pond depth topo.jpg (127.33 KB, 48 downloads)
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Retired,

I didn't mean for you to type out more discussion on permits. I made a few comments when you first started this thread. I recall you having a small permitting nightmare, but never saw a comment that you had achieved compliance.

I was just HOPING that you had everything all worked out on the permits side, so you could actually break ground!

P.S. I could not get your attached photo to open, even after logging into my Facebook.

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FishinRod,
Sorry about my longwinded reply. I attached the photos to the prior post. Thanks for your concern. And we can break ground any time.

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Haven't updated this for a few months so I thought I might.
The guys I hired brought a D6K and a D6T along with an excavator and roller and did the majority of the work in just over 3 weeks. As I mentioned in another post, we hit some veins of gravel/sand that leaked (water came in), so they did their best to not dig into these areas and I purchased 2 tons of bentonite and mixed it into 6" of clay at a rate of 2lbs/sf. I used this to "patch" over any areas that were dug slightly too low and this stopped >95% of the leaks. Overall, the pond is about 1' shallower than planned, a little over 8' instead of 9' as hoped, and we extended out some of the shallow spawning areas, but I think we maybe did OK.

We have gotten periodic rain but are in somewhat of a drought. This has made it possible to keep working. I put in some gravel areas and some topsoil for water lilies in the shallow areas. I have posts in the ground for the dock and am working of the spillways, inlets, and the beach.

I had put in over 450' of silt fence and a construction entrance, and the Department of Environmental conservation stopped by and talked to the construction crew; they seemed happy with what we were doing and didn't make a stink.

If rain holds off for another week then we should be ready to fill the pond when it does come.

I have included pictures of the entire pond, the "west end" with some structure, and the submerged island, and unfinished dock (I still have questions about how high above the water the dock cross-members have to be to avoid ice damage).

Attached Images
Pond 6-28.jpg (54.46 KB, 89 downloads)
Pond west end.jpg (60.54 KB, 65 downloads)
Pond submerged island.jpg (55.4 KB, 48 downloads)
Last edited by Retired on 40; 06/28/22 02:20 PM.
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It looks very nice.

I suggest adding a bit more structure if you're able.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Looks like it is going to be a beauty!

I agree with Sunil - every bit of structure you add now will be appreciated by many fish later. Any area away from the dock and the swimming area could use more structure.

I can't remember, are you adding aeration? If so, you could move it over near the dock in winter. The small open water area should prevent ice heaving from tearing up your dock, plus the other benefits of aeration.

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Sunil and FishinRod, Thanks for the comments, I know it looks pretty sparse. I have a couple piles of brush and tree roots that are on my list to add, I am just focused on getting the functional details in place first, like building a weir and turnout to bring water in from the agricultural drainage ditch that runs along the east side of the field. The turnout will allow me to control the rate of flow of water into the pond.

I would hope to add aeration and that will come after I get some solar installed later this year, or early next year. Right now I don't need it...

Thanks again for the comments.

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