Pond building pictorial

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by PondFin@ic, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. I have dreamed of owning my own fishing hole since I was about 12 years old. In the winter of 2002 I began making plans to make the dream a reality. I gathered as much information and learned all I could. I consulated with my county's soil and water department and met with local excavating companies. After a great deal of research and thought, I decided to build the pond myself. I negotiated prices with rental companies and ordered equipment. I had little excavating experience so I hired an experienced operator and got some additional help from friends and family. We began building in October of 2003 The pond took 3 weekends working longs days with 3 or 4 people to complete. I didn't have to move dirt more than 100' so I rented an excavator and two dozers. The topsoil was stripped and digging began. A core trench was dug around the perimeter and packed with clay. Another core trench was dug and packed along the back fence and swales were cut in to direct more water from the field into the pond. The excavated soil was used to build up the rest of the lot for my home. An overflow pipe was installed dumping into a nearby ditch.
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    Water kept coming in and the pond had to pumped daily to continue digging

    Structure (pallets, clay tiles) was added. The pond filled quickly. 10lbs of Fathead minnows and some spawning size bluegills were added. The following Spring, more bluegills (220 total plus 25 Hybrid BG) were added along with about 15 channel cats and I began feeding. I planned adding bass the following fall.
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    The fatheads and bluegill reproduced like crazy so 25 fingerling largemouth were added late June of 2004.
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    The water level dropped during the hot summer months of 2005 exposing a several feet of unsightly bank. Because the pond is so close to the house we put down geotextile fabric and had about 90 tons of #2 limestone delivered by slinger truck. [​IMG]

    By the spring of 2006 some nice bluegills and channel cats were being caught along with bass in the 10"-12" range.
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    Some more structure that was added in 2006 based on the idea of a guy from another pond forum.
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    In July of 2006 I saw a cloud of small fish and decided to catch them with my cast net. To my surprise, they turned out to be gizzard shad. Having read they can be bad for a small body of water I was very concerned. Bob Lusk recommended that I use Hybrid striped bass to control them so I stocked 20 6-7" ones. They pounded the heck out of the schools until no more were observed.

    In 2007 the channel cats were getting too big and eating more than their share of pellets so I've been removing the ones I catch.
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    I also added a bottom diffuser aeration system to improve water quality and increase carrying capacity.
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  2. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    Great looking pond. Looks like all your work has paid off.
     

  3. Great looking pond. Thanks for sharing the progressive pictures.:)
     
  4. Wannabitawerm

    Wannabitawerm Flatulent Entreprenuer

    Awesome pics. I'm glad your pond has been successful. If you ever need help thinnin' the herd, You know how to get a hold of me!!:p
     
  5. looks awsome. I have wanted a pond since I was 12 also, lol. I remember asking my step dad If I can dig up the back yard to put one in and he said sure, but my mom said no. Which makes sense considering we are in the suburbs, lol.
     
  6. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Wow!! Awesome job of documenting from start to finish, and congrats for achieving that childhood dream. Looks beautiful.

    How are the hybrids doing after runnin those shad down?
     
  7. The hybrid striped bass are growing like crazy. By last fall some were over 14" and they have taken well to feed. Last fall I started feeding a new feed called Purina Largemouth. Purina supposedly took all the nutrition of a 3/4lb trout and put it in a ping pong ball size pellet. A few of the largemouth have taken to them but the stripers and channel cats love them too. It's higher protein than the Gamefish Chow I've been feeding so I hope to see even bigger gains this year. The hybrid stripers hit a lure HARD and pound for pound fight better than any other fish I've pursued. They are also easier to catch than Largemouth and make an ideal pond fish IMHO.

    On Saturday I found a 16" shad laying on the bank so they haven't been elimitated yet but it illustrates just how fast shad can outgrow their predators.

    I wish I had about 5 more ponds. There are a lot of other scenarios I'd like to try: Female only bass and bluegill. Male only bluegill, perch and hybrid stripers. Smallmouth bass, perch, Redear and a few female only largemouth. Bluegill and shovelhead. And 1 pond for raising forage species only like crawdads, fathead minnows, gambusa minnows and golden shiners to stock in the other ponds as needed.
     
  8. You sound like the average aquarium enthusist that is working on a much bigger level, hahaha.