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#562010 10/18/23 12:00 PM
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I really haven't had any measurable rain for my 1/4+ acre pond since mid-August when it was full. Pond is down about 18 inches, lowest it's ever been. Based on ponds around me, I'm now pretty sure I have a leak or excessive seepage. Even with the low water level, fish seem "happy and healthy" and feed well. Over the past month or so, while fishing for the tilapia I put in, I 've caught good size bass (16+ inches), bluegill of all sizes with some pretty large, perch some I consider jumbo to small ones. This is the most I have fished or caught in the pond since I stocked it in the spring of 2021. Pleasantly surprised on the perch because I thought they didn't make it from stocking and it looks like they have spawned.

Anyway, with winter right around the corner and if my water level doesn't start to rebound, is there a point where I need to start removing fish? I aerate but don't want to start finding floaters. Pretty sure I will have enough floaters with the tilapia soon since I have only been able to catch 8 of the 25 or so I put in.

Thanks.

Drago #562011 10/18/23 12:45 PM
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FYI my ponds are down 12-15" in East Central Ohio.

The Tilapia will likely be out of the picture by the second half of November at the latest (mine always are). If your fish are all doing well now, I don't expect any problems as temperatures drop and O2 levels increase. I bet your levels stay about the same until rainfall catches up with us; evaporation losses will be minimal with lower temps and fewer sunshine hours.

As often (and recently by Dave Davidson) stated, drawdowns can have some good aspects.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Thanks Theo, really appreciate the quick response.

Drago #562018 10/18/23 05:50 PM
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Mine has REALLY drawn down due to zero rain and hot summer. 3 acres has turned into maybe 1/2 acre and about 7 ft low. Feeder can no longer toss feed far enough to get in the water. Middle of next week we have a chance of rain. Yesterday I hand tossed feed and maybe 10 fish came up. Also 4 turtles. When, or if, it rains enough I’ll have to again restock.

There are benefits to drawdowns but they need to be in moderation.


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
Drago #562048 10/20/23 09:55 AM
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Wow Dave, my "issues" pale in comparison to what you are going through. Hoping you get (a lot) rain soon.

Drago #562051 10/21/23 05:53 AM
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I’ve been doing this for a long time and been here before. Droughts happen in Texas and we’re in a long term dandy. I don’t live there but was there yesterday. Texas Hunter feeder won’t throw food enough to hit the water. I hand tossed some feed and a few bluegills came up. Certainly had a die off due to not enough O2 to support what used to be 3 acres of fish. I left a huge brush pile when it was built about 30 years ago. One big limb was sticking up but was always under water. Dang thing is now about 5 ft in the air and I’m about 8 ft low.

My 1/4 acre pond, a mile from the house, is only about 1/3 full with some green sunfish.

A couple of smaller seasonal ponds and a spring fed creek went months ago.

We recently got 1.6 inches of rain. No run off. But, it beats nothing.

Glad I no longer have cows or horses. A local guy took all of his to the sale barn when his water holes started drying up.

Deer season (archery) is on and I told grandsons not to hunt around the water.


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
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Drago #562054 10/21/23 07:53 AM
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Dave, I'm about 8 feet low too. the pond is about half it's size. I have been taking fish out every year so I don't exceed the carrying capacity.


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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).
Drago #562070 10/22/23 08:16 AM
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Wow. Interesting to hear about these low water conditions. I have the opposite experience, and I am just 200 miles or so north of you Ohio and Indiana guys.

According to the NWS website, my area is 12 inches of precipitation above average year-to-date. Highest on record since 1948. This has been wonderful for filling up my new pond (dug 10 months ago) and planting new grass. The pond is just about at the full-pool estimate. In fact, I am a little nervous about the trend continuing and water breaching my 110V outlet and aerator cabinet. I moved them up the bank to higher ground.

We also had a bumper crop of raspberries, blackberries, apples, pears, and walnuts around the property.

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Drago #562073 10/22/23 03:53 PM
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The 8 to 10 ft tall cedars that I cut and put in the water around the edges are about to 4 ft up the bank.

Cormorant excluder lines are over 10 ft in the air. They didn’t work this year.

Glad I got rid of my cows and horses.


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
Drago #562173 10/27/23 03:28 PM
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Went there yesterday, 70 miles, to look at the rain gauge. I got 2.5 inches and pond came up about 1.5 or so ft.


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
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Drago #562488 11/15/23 05:28 PM
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“Essay” deleted

Thanks Rod

Yes I did - no spammers!

Last edited by ewest; 11/17/23 08:43 AM.
Drago #562491 11/15/23 07:47 PM
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Maybe I missed the essay


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
Drago #562492 11/15/23 07:52 PM
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Need to get there and look a potential advantage this drought has given me. When the dam was built across a gorge, there was a low spot that was filled in about 2 to 3 ft below the overflow pipe. It has always seeped. Now I can get a good look at it and figure out how to fix it. If possible.


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
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Drago #562527 11/17/23 12:07 AM
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And your link in your quote is still active..

Drago #562532 11/17/23 08:45 AM
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Not anymore - quote and text gone.
















Snipe #562539 11/17/23 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
And your link in your quote is still active..

Good point Snipe!

Will delete the link in my quote next time.

Drago #563048 12/10/23 01:13 PM
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I haven't had enough rain to get me to full pool in over a year. The pond is down ~2'.

So far I'm lucky though. My granddad endured 8 years of drought back in the 30's on plains of Texas. That drought affected much of the country.

http://www.sullivan-county.com/z/drought2.png

Drago #563049 12/10/23 02:08 PM
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TBar, I’m down about 8 ft. Birds got to the fish under my cords. I probably need to rotenone and wait for rain to start over. No way I can balance it with just adding fish.


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
Drago #563056 12/10/23 10:26 PM
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Dave, do you have any creeks or streams that run into your pond?


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




Drago #563061 12/11/23 08:22 AM
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No


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
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Yikes, no wonder drought hits you so hard. I have water flowing in constantly, though not enough to keep the pond at full pool during a dry summer. Last year I was down 3 feet, so had to extend out the dock. This year I think worst was about 18 inches low.

The first few years the issue was too much water. Several times the pond flowed over the emergency spillway, and we saw lots of small BG left high & dry after the water receded. Ruined several feeders when water got into the lower unit. Forage pond kept pretty full, too. Oh well...


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




Drago #563099 12/13/23 03:58 PM
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I do have a spring fed creek that has now dried up twice in the years that I’ve owned it. This is the second time. The drought we are having is dang bad. Also, my land is higher than most of the land around it ; and clouds actually split over it. I doubt that I’ve had 10 inches of rain in the last 3 years.

When I first met Lusk, a long time ago, he told me that he had always wondered why the clouds split over that area. It’s mostly trees and rocks.

My Grandfather was a West Texas farmer/rancher who figured anything that wouldn’t grow crops or graze cows
wasn’t worth having. I took him to see my place after having a dozer make a road through it. When we left, he said “Well, Ive finally found it. I asked what he had found. He said “ When God made the world, he had one piece of crap left in his hand that He didn’t have a good place for.. So He stuffed it down in one place. And dammit boy; you came along and bought it.” I replied that when I talked to realtors about purchasing land, they asked what kind I was looking for. I told them that I wasn’t too particular as long as it wouldn’t grow cotton. 133 acres, $455.00 per acre, a LONG time ago.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 12/13/23 04:28 PM.

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
1 member likes this: anthropic

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