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#564744 02/28/24 11:42 PM
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Hello all.

New to the forum.

I purchased a piece of property about 5 years ago. The property has a pond that is shared with 3 other properties. It has been extremely neglected for an unknown amount of time. I have no idea where to start with this project. For starters the pond is approximately 0.75 acres. Will attach aerial photo. This pond facilitates flow from storm water run off from parts of the neighborhood to the pond and out through creeks to the anclote river. There is a huge land mass floating on the pond. I have had a friend come over to remove some of the land mass to allow for fishing from my end of the pond. All in all my friend said it would cost approximately 10k to get the pond up to speed. That’s just unreasonable for me and my neighbors are not on board with that either. It’s my limited understanding that the reason the land mass is there is because the water chemistry is off and allowing the foliage to grow and fertilizing it. After clearing enough of the foliage to get some breathing room from my bank I can go out with my son and catch small blue gill and have had some rather large bites when fishing close to the remaining land mass. This makes me think the chemistry must not be too bad. I’m curious to know exactly where to start. Do I start with water chemistry or with the land mass? I will take any help I can get. Thank you in advance

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Floating? Are you sure? If it’s floating, I would start with herbicide in a couple of limited areas to see what happens.

Don’t hit the whole thing at one time. Rotting vegetation can rob oxygen leading to a fish kill. Leave safe areas for the fish to escape to. Maybe 10% at a time.

Any idea of depth and/or history of the mass?


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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Start with the land mass. If it's floating, keep doing what you are doing with the mechanical harvester. Like Dave said check water depth but that's just for reference. If you get floating slimy goo on the surface, that's most likely filamentous algae which can be treated with Cutrine Plus Liquid.


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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).
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Thanks for the reply. I’m fairly certain it’s floating because my buddy’s weedoo floats and is able to scoop it piece by piece as seen in some of the pictures. I don’t have pictures but he was able to remove vegetation from east side of mass as well. The approximate measurements are 240x120ft. Unsure of depth in the middle as the vegetation is in the way. Right now from about 8 feet off bank it’s approximately 5.5” that’s just based on my neighbor walking out in waders attempting to round up duckweed in order to push it to a skimmer I made to remove it. Thinking that maybe we can just my neighbors skid steer to attach anchor to throw into mass and just remove piece by piece.

No real history. All my neighbors say it’s been like that since they moved in. Other people that grew up in neighborhood and live here now say it use to be a really nice pond that the kids would go and fish regularly. Looking on google maps in 2005 it was clean. I will post that aerial picture

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Welcome to Pond Boss, JSkid!

The productivity of the climate in Florida is both a blessing and a curse! Beautiful pond ... surrounded by thick jungle.

Is the depth of 5.5" a typo, or is most of the pond only 6 inches deep?

If that is the case, then yes you are going to have to spend $10,000 (or more) for a decent fishing pond.

Some questions before deciding to spend big bucks:

Does the water coming into the pond contain fish species that you cannot exclude from entering your pond? For example, is there a small creek that runs into the pond during flooding rains? Or, does the water supply come from running off of your property and the neighbors' properties with no chance of fish washing in?

Do you have decent control of the water flowing OUT of the pond when the area receives flooding rains? If not, then spending money for improvements and fish in a pond where your fish will wash downstream is probably a poor investment.

Does the pond ever go dry during drought periods?

If you are optimistic about your pond after thinking about the questions above, then one option would be to deepen the pond. Can you make a berm around the downstream areas of the pond? I don't know if that would destroy the view of one of your neighbors, or divert water into a basement, etc.?

However, excavating the material and moving it the minimum distance would certainly be one way to improve your pond.

Good luck on your pond project! Hopefully, we can answer a few more questions if you keep adding information.

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Thanks for the response. Yes it’s 5.5 ft about half way out to the land mass. We can’t get to the actual middle to determine depth. There is a creek that runs to and from pond yes. However rains would have to be torrential for it to make it to that creek bc of undulation. The creek outlet is also over grown and the property owner does not want to clean it out. Unsure about droughts. To my knowledge and surrounding knowledge of others in neighborhood it has not dried up but I would think at some point it would have had to dry up to begin the start of all this vegetation.

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The 'land mass' almost seems like a mangrove of sorts.


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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Good deal. Water depth of 6 feet or more makes a good fishing pond much more likely to be achieved.

I would definitely get a water test, but I suspect it will be OK if there are no industrial chemicals or heavy agricultural products running into the pond.

How far away is 120V electricity? Adding aeration might be one of your most effective means of helping your fish.

If a neighbor's electric line is closer, then perhaps you could put a cheap meter on the line extension and agree that all three parties split the electric charge for the aeration.

I would definitely keep the neighbors in the loop for all ideas.

I would keep clearing some small access points to fish from the banks. Sampling your pond by fishing throughout this year could give you lots of valuable information.

Is there any type of structure in the pond for the fish? The BG and other forage fish like "fluffy" cover to hide in. The bass like more open cover like some larger tree branches so that they can ambush their prey.

Do you catch fish throwing your baits to the edge of the floating island? I suspect that may be your main structure in the pond right now.

I know $10,000 seems like a lot of money to clean out the floating island and "expand" the size of your pond. However, that is probably cheaper to fix and expand the pond compared to almost any other problem. The good news is, I see no reason that you must clear it all at one time. Just keep taking small bites and observe how much that helps.

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This is all great information, FishinRod! I appreciate it so much and have provided me with information that I have been trying to find myself before stumbling onto this forum.

I ended up downloading google earth pro to my computer and the aerial photos go back to 1995. I'm still researching to determine when this area went through severe droughts and correlating with the historical photos. In my brief evaluation it looks like it may have dried up at one point in time around 2002.

I know you don't live in Florida but would a county extension office perform a water test? Or could I just use my pool test kit to determine basic readings for the common areas of interest?

That's a great idea about the meter. Will have to look and see what is closer. Do you think that by adding the aerator would help reduce regrowth of vegetation?


I definitely like the sound of fishing the pond throughout the year to sample it.
I can cast to the floating land mass and have gotten some bigger strikes whereas my kid cast about 6 feet from the bank and will catch extremely small BG and specks. This area they can reach with casting is usually covered by shadowing of trees. Of course every time i get a big strike i'm dealing with my kids tangled mess haha. There is plenty of overhanging tree branches that would suffice bass

I do like the idea of trying to remove a little bit at a time and think that I will bring that up to the group. one neighbor has contributed by buying peking ducks thinking that they will eat the duckweed and I don't think that is the best idea for weed control.

For killing the vegetation are you just talking about run of the mill round up?

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JSkid, I support anyone improving their ponds and fishery, ESPECIALLY if they are going to spend quality time fishing with their kids!

However, I am NOT an expert on any of the topics you are now questioning in greater depth. I was just throwing out ideas to get you started and thinking about your pond project.

Vegetation
Every pond with fertile water will start growing some type of plant life. You appear to have a diverse set of plants utilizing the nutrients in your pond. Some of your plants are desirable and some are harming your ability to fish and enjoy the pond. The next step is to evaluate which plants are causing you problems. Take some good samples and post them in the forum for identification. There are specific treatments for each kind of plant. Some are easy to eradicate or beat back, some are very difficult and must be treated at exactly the right times of the year with exactly the right herbicide.

Roundup should be fine for your shore plants. Treat on calm days (so overspray doesn't go into the pond) and when there is no rain in the forecast for a few days. When the rain does eventually wash your product into the pond, the ingredients should be inactivated by that time.

Most people think the ducks (and geese) are a negative for managing vegetation. They poop in the water or on the banks (which washes into the pond) and adds to the nutrients (fertilizer) in the pond. Some people do manage to have waterfowl in their ponds, but they generally want duckweed, rice, etc. growing in those ponds to attract more birds.

Water Test
Ponds and waterways are very important in Florida, so I suspect you can get a water test from the county extension service, or the lab at whichever state university was the original "ag" school for Florida.

You can also do some tests yourself, lots of the people on the forum do extensive testing when their ponds are carrying lots of fish. You can read some old threads for that.

Aeration
There are LOTS of aeration experts on the forum. However, I frequently see little videos of local guys selling aeration systems that say it keeps the vegetation down. I don't think the actual experts on the forum agree. However, dissolved oxygen in the water is essential for fish survival. There may be times of the year when weather conditions cause low oxygen levels in your pond. A massive fish kill is no fun, and the reports of that in the forum draw lots of sympathy! You might read up on some of the big aeration threads.

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IF the pond is only 6' deep you won't see much benefit from aeration. You will see some, but not to the extent that you'd see if you had 10'-12' water depth. With the floating island in there, getting the diffuser/air station to the deepest part of the pond won't be of much help if the vegetation covers the deepest part.

Even with a water test, you might find that your water has low alkalinity. If you add lime to bring the alkalinity up, you might cause a big algae bloom just due to allowing the plants to utilize the nutrients that are there.

Basically for now, a simple pH test done 3x on the same day will help tell us a lot. Do the test at sunrise, middle of the day and at sunset to see how much it swings.

When we do a water test for our customers we test for the following, and these are the acceptable ranges:

NH3 = Ammonia 0-1 mg/l
CL = chloride 10:1 CL to NO2
SO4 = Sulfate 0-1,000 mg/l (500 if watering cattle)
NO2 = Nitrite 0-1 mg/l
NO3 = Nitrate 0.005 - 0.5 mg/l but can be up to 90 mg/l
SiO2 = Silica 5-25 mg/l
SRP = Soluble Reactive Phosphorus <0.3 mg/l
TP = Total Phosphorus 0.01 - 0.075 mg/l
TKN = Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen 2-6 mg/l
COND = Conductivity 100-2,000 µmhos/cm

Use this as a guide when sending out water to be tested. Talk to the people that will be doing the test and make sure that they can test down to that small of an amount. For instance, take TP. If the lowest level of Total Phosphorous that they can detect is <1 mg/l then the test that they do for you is meaningless. They have to be able to detect down to 0.01mg/l for them to be able to give you a test result you can use.


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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).
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