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Fish Pond Owners

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by AndyO, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Want to apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong category. Figure you fish guys will be able to help. I'm trying to find a good book or resource on building a small (1 acre) farm pond. I'm looking at 10 acres of land that has a creek running through the back of the property. There is some low laying land near the creek that, in my opinion, will be a nice spot for a pond. Some of the questions I have: Are ponds high maintenance? Whats a good depth for LMB, Bluegills, and catfish? Will I need permits from the DNR to stock game fish? How about run-off and aeration? Have so many questions... ??? I have no problems putting in the work to build and maintain a pond, just want to get an idea of what I will be getting into and how much will it cost to build and maintain.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    From a former pond owner, we were offered from the Count Extention office a grant to dig our pond, but it had to be to their specifications, steepness of the banks had to be so a swimmer could be able to exit easily with a life ring available on the edge of the water line. The grade and slope of the swimming end had to meet specs as well as the surrounding grade of the lawn around the pond. We oped to dig it the way we wanted it and paid for the whole thing. Check with your County extention office for information. Our pond was in agricultural land so we didn't have to deal with the DNR over swamp & wet lands issues.
    We had the banks steep and the pond 15 foot deep, and the banks slid/sunk in and we ended up with 12 feet of water after two years. So the bank grade is to observe I learned. I had hybred bluegill and perch caught out of Saginaw Bay.The perch didn't grow to any size at all. Bullheads came by way of ducks as I was 4 miles from the nearest river. I built our house about 40 feet from the pond, and the frogs drove us nuts on a hot summer night. This was cured as my little brother 12 at the time, decided to help me out by throwing in a pike he had caught out of a creek somewhere. The pike ate all the frogs and most everything else. :D We bought a bag of Princept if I remember right, and treated the pond every two or three years for weeds and cat tails. We enjoyed the pond in so many ways as the boys grew up. I remember the youngest in diapers would run and dive in when we took our eyes off of him for a second, and I remember his eyes looking up at me from under the surface for a brief second just as I rescued him as fast as he feel in. Scary then, funny now.

  3. Andy,

    I am in the process of cleaning out a one acre pond. As Mr. T stated, your county extension office should be contacted and they may help. Mine didn't help much or want to regulate anything but they referred me to a few university studies that helped a good bit.

    Also, a link that may also help answer more questions than you can think of: http://www.pondboss.com/

    Best Regards,
  4. wabbit

    wabbit Guest

    most Fish and Game Dept. will have the booklet you seek. Some even have a farm pond stocking program, of course with application and deadlines. Not knowing where you live, start with your Conservation Dept. fisheries division. They should be able to knock all your questions off, 'cause thats what they are there for. You pond is just like anything else that lives. It will have a birth, a productive growth period, decline and death. Then it will be time to start all over again. Your combination of LM bass, bluegill, and channel catfish is the "standard" southern mix that I am familiar with. The catfish probably aren't going to reproduce, so you will have to maintain them by adding a few when you take out a few. Once the pond is established and in balance if you add any more cats spend the extra cents and purchase the 8-10 in size so the bass don't feed on them.
    Resist the urge to toss in yellow perch and crappie/croppie they usually stunt, due to lack of food for them, and have been the ruin of many a farm pond.
    Mr. T in his post above found that out the hard way. I suspect the death of his pond as far as the fish population is concerned started when he put the yellow perch in and them backed it up with Princep (simizane) for weed control. I know of a very similar circumstance. The problem being that you are killing off the first link of the food chain, usually for aesthetic reasons, which results in clear water. Nice to look at and swim in but not the idea situation for the species of fish mentioned by Andyo for his pond, in my opinion.

    This old swamp wabbit has killed hundred of acres of farm ponds. Universally I found three problems, an old pond out of balance by man's hand, ie: (1)taking out bass and tossing the "baby" bluegill, crappie back to "grow", (2) carp, and (3) winter and summer kills that result in death of fish due to lack of dissolved oxygen in the water, as a result of decomposing vegetation.
  5. newfhntr

    newfhntr New Member

    We went to our local extension office and they had books on this subject. Then we just cleared the land a bit. and came in with a dozer for a week and dug it ourselves. We went to a local place that have fish for sale and got bass and grass carp for ours and the ducks and geese brought the rest of them. We have not had to do any maintance to it other than weed eating and mowing around it. The thing we did not do was to check where our footer drain line was. My hubby hit the line and did not know what it went to until the pond filled up to where the line was and our basement had water in it. Ours was pretty full within a year and ready to stock. We are in Ohio and did not need any permits or such where we live for fish or anything else. Ours was about a 1/4 - 1/2 acre pond. It has been there of 8 years with no problems. We loved the pond and when we build our log home next year we will be digging a much larger pond as to back fill around the house. Good luck with your adventures!

  6. circleh

    circleh New Member

    I have a pond thats been there for 18 years. Its about a 1/3 of an acre. Like hunterswoods said just mow and trim. I put in aqua shade its a blue dye that helps control algae. Don't hurt fish or animals, but don't go swimming right after you put it in or you might look like a smurf when you get out. I live in Ohio to and there were no permits. I have bass, blue gills, catfish, and a grass carp. If you get the blue gills make sure you get the bass or they will take over and turn into man eaters. My pond is 12 ft deep which I know is plenty deep for the fish. I do feed my fish but you don't have to. My friends call it my version of a fish tank. (The catfish will eat out of my hand and the blue gills will follow me around) The only aeration that it gets is from swimming and my 3 dogs splashing around. When the water gets a little low I do sometimes pump into it, but not to often. (we diked the pond about 4 ft so I don't get run off) Umm one thing that I was told was that if you can don't have to many trees around it because the leaves can cause the Ph to go down (turn it acidic), but I know other people that have lots of trees with no problem. Its a great thing to do if you can it brings lots of wildlife and memories. Good luck and if you got any other questions let me know just pm me or something.
  7. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I'd be glad to answer your question as I have four ponds, more in the works, have a degree in fisheries and have even written articles on pond management, but someone just accused me of being a "power poster" or "bumper." What really ticks me off is this person doesn't have the balls to register as he is onlly a guest. I'm a little honked now and need to hit the hay.

    Good luck.

    Check this website out:



    Get real Cecil if you think he's only a guest. I would bet my last dollar he's registered on here and only posted as a guest to get your goat. Must have worked too!
  9. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Get real? Of course this person my be actually registred under another name. What difference does it make? He still doesn't have the balls to show himself when he making trouble. What's the difference?

    Someone PM'd me and think's it's you. Is that so? If your aim on here is to cause trouble you should be ashamed of yourself. This site was gong well until the crud started thier old ways.


    Gee Cecil if I private mailed you, YOU would KNOW it was me, instead of THINK it was me. Well it ain't so! You're just spitting in the wind, as USUAL, grasping at straws, shotgunning the innocent in the hope you land a pellet, amongst the guilty. BUT since you laid your cards down on the table for your nemesis, et al to see, I too laugh with him/her. You see Cecil I hold by the school of thought of Matthew 6:1 "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
    The person who upset you so might have ovaries, the size of turnips as far as you know, and since you brought up the subject,I do hope you include yourself as some of that aforementioned "crud" you speak about.
    I normally wouldn't even reply, letting your pea brain think YOU knew, Elmer of the Gantry clan pissed you off, but in reality, it's been a vicarious experience feeling your pain!
    Besides I needed the post!
  11. Want to thank everyone for the replies. I'm really excited about this piece of property. My dream as a kid was to live in a log home near a lake. I know most kids should be dreaming of being a pro athlete or being rich. I guess this dream stemmed from our annual lake vacations in the northwoods of Wisconsin.

    My wife brought to my attention that I have some old pond building books I bought when we got married. One is "Catfish Ponds and Lillypads". Someone also emailed with some good info on building ponds and vegetation. I'm going to start will my local extension office then contact our DNR.

    Cecil, I would like to contact you down the road if everything goes alright with the property. We both live in the same climate. I'm in north central Illinois. Maybe I can come up for a day for a pond building class :).

    I want to thank all who took the time to help me out.