Thanks Dave. My contractor just finished construction last night. I decided to do pretty much what you did - I left about a dozen of the 40 to 50 trees standing. Instead of felling those remaining trees completely, my operator used his big track hoe and busted the tops out of the other 30 or so trees. Now it looks like a good ole Oklahoma tornado went thru there. I will have time to either pull out those crashed limbs or just leave them where they are (which at first impression I will likely just leave them) The track hoe was perfect as the height left on the main tree trunks is about full pool level. There are another dozen or so standing trees in the pond, but they are scattered and not bunched up so i left them in place.
In addition to these trees, I've pulled in around 50 cedar/elm/hackberry trees to make brush piles all over the pond. Some shallow, some deep, many right off the dam for future fishing spots while casting from shore.
Thanks for the tip on the carpet too. Great idea.
Overall the construction went better than expected. The guys did more than I asked for, and stuck to the bid. Now let it rain!