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#568498 07/06/24 07:00 PM
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Greetings,
New guy here!
I have been poking around the site for a short time now, gathering a learning all that I can about ponds and how to best navigate for what I am about to embark on. Currently, I am getting familiar with the nuances of pond management and pond building. It appears that in the near future I will be handed the opportunity to manage three existing ponds and creating a new one. I have so much to learn and do not want to be overwhelmed so I will start with this question. If you were starting to build a new pond that will fill to around 3 acres and 25ft deep, stocked with smallmouth bass, have aeration and possibly crayfish and fatheads to jump start it, and adding as much habitat as possible, what aquatic vegetation would you be considering. I have learned here, that crayfish love weeds so they may be second in the supply chain, after the plants get a good hold. Iam trying to prevent a weed takeover but I know how important they can be. In the development of a pond. With all that said, what is the opinion of those in the know as to what is a great plant to start, once water is added?
If this is too vague, please tell me what other information I can provide to help formulate some ideas.
I truly look forward to hearing from everyone.
Thank you so very much.

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Welcome to PB. Since a lot of this stuff is regional, I’ll defer to others for advice.

The real key to this stuff is water quality. Buy the tools to monitor it.


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
B BUG #568579 07/10/24 05:55 AM
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Vallisneria, which is almost like a water grass is a native in most areas, and isn’t bad to fish through. American pond weed is a nice looking shoreline plant, and a smattering of lilies and lotus.

Others will simply come on their own.

liquidsquid #568581 07/10/24 07:35 AM
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Thank you for your replies, I will certainly check into these

B BUG #568582 07/10/24 08:24 AM
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We used a combination of duck potato, pickerelweed, and some water lily (Detective Erika) in our pond this year. Duck Potato and Pickerelweed are similar on leaf appearance. Biggest difference to my novice eyes are Duck Potato with white flowers and Pickerelweed with purple flowers. Currently the Pickerelweed is flowering more than the Duck Potato but they have only been in since Mayish this year.

Detective Erika is listed as a hardy lily so it should take the colder temps we get in our area and has beautiful purple flowers. It's currently in grow-out pots as it came in bare root. I have not seen these guys flower yet but the plants very new getting put in late May / early June.


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Boondoggle #568604 07/10/24 06:41 PM
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I have me a Detective Erika in the garden pond and it pumped out a single flower! Hopefully it is as aggressive as my pink.

B BUG #568648 07/11/24 07:41 PM
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You should look at posts by Bill Cody on this topic. He has experience and will make some strong suggestions. I think that, like most pond topics, it depends on your vision for your pond and your goals. Is this about color and textures or is it about pond structure for fish habitat and spawing areas (perch, frogs and GSH place their eggs on plants). Do you want plants only around the perimeter or in large areas within the pond (provided by shallow areas in the pond bottom contour).

Much has been written and is available on-line around emergent versus submerged versus marginal plants. TAMU has a great website Tamu[/url] [url=https://aquaplant.tamu.edu] There are many on-line vendors of pond plants that can act as a source of ideas and your state's website likely includes lists of desired plants and invasives in your area. Your plan may include emergent plants such as rushes, sedges, iris, pickerel weed, arrow arum, arrowhead, American pondweed, and lilies, along with submerged clasping leaf pondweed, eel grass, and many more. Emergent plants may grow rather deep but typically require areas less than 4' to establish and your pond bottom contour needs to accommodate that. (Bill can give a better answer) One thing Bill will say is that you should look long term at each plant you add. Some, like American lotus, Spatterdock, and cattails can get out of control and take over your pond. Your good options are influenced not just by the plant, but also how you design your pond bottom contour.

Some examples found in nature that I like include floating gardens of lilles and American pondweed, and "meadows" of sedge, iris and pickerel weed. I use a "sedge meadow" at the inlets of my 1.25 acre pond because I like how it looks (they include over 10 species of sedges and rushes), and because it filters most of the leaves and sediment from the inlet water. It also provides nesting spots for redwing blackbirds and possible safe spawning for minnows and other prey. This requires an area about 1 foot deep or less, and since you will have 3 acres with much over 10' deep, you can play with the contour around the edge to provide areas for fish habitat, for lilies, and for aesthetics.

I also would look at marginal plants such as swamp milkweed, black eye susan, plants in the aster family, and various grasses. Many of these just come on their own.

Long thought, but it all comes down to your vision and your goals. Good Luck!

Last edited by Retired on 40; 07/11/24 07:43 PM.
Retired on 40 #568682 07/13/24 06:53 AM
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Thank you for all of the input thus far.
To sort of break down what the pond is being built for is 98% fishing and if the ducks find it in the fall, 2% hunting and dog training. I believe that the primary purpose for the weeds that I will be adding is for fish habitat. I believe that submergent weeds will be my primary focus. I love what coontail and milfoil do for the fish, however, not how they take over a body of water. Also, I am considering crayfish as a secondary food source for the bass and I understand that they( crays) will eat aquatic weeds. I have not seen if they love all things that grow underwater, or if there are weeds that they like or dislike more then others. I have not seen if they will wipe out an existing patch or just help keep it in check. Lots to learn.
Retired on 40, I will search out the article that you mentioned and that, I am sure will guide me in the way I will go.
As I get deeper into my understanding of a new pond build, I will surely have more defined questions. I would guess soil type, water makeup and all sorts of other variables will play into my choice of weeds. And then how to eradicate unwanted weeds that will find their way there on their own.

B BUG #568688 07/13/24 11:11 AM
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Another option would be to build a designated duck pond.

You are going to have lots of spoils (dirt) from excavating for a 3-acre pond. Once you get down to clay, you could move that material to one side and make a small pond on high ground that was only 1-1.5 feet deep. Seed it with rice and millet and then flood it in the fall and the ducks will think they are in duck heaven. Maybe dig one deep hole in the middle so your "duck pond" will have open water for them to land.

You would have to pump water up to that pond, unless you could design it to capture water from your watershed. In that case, it could act as a silt trap for your main pond.

If you did intend to keep it full most of the year, you could install a bottom drain and a deeper "easy seine" area and grow some forage fish in that pond. When the forage is the right size, slowly decrease the water level to concentrate the fish, and then seine a bunch and move them to your main pond.

Just throwing out more ideas while you are still in the design phase of your big project!

FishinRod #568771 07/18/24 06:41 AM
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I love the idea of the shallow pond for ducks and may have to build something like that. One thing that the builder and I have discussed is adding a settlement pond for the water coming into the main pond. If we can add this, I will use this to grow either fatheads or blue gill that will be transferred to the pond when they reach the proper size.
Not to hijack my on thread but would rice and millet draw wood duck?


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