Pond Building?

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by jkeeney20, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Me and my dad measured the area we are going to try and get a pond built soon...I was wanting to know if it would be big enough to support having bass, bluegill and cats in it, or what ever else....we have another spot that is larger, but would much rather build it in the 1st location...the area measures 50' wide by 110' long, plus or minus 5-10' both ways. Whats your thoughts! Thanks!
     
  2. In my opinion,that is a fairly small body of water if your primary objective is a close place to fish. You might want to discuss your plans with the ODNR for direction to get written as well as professional information. I would not have the State stock your final product.
    Just how big is your second possibility?
     

  3. With a pond that small your cats and bass will eat everything up and starve. One or the other works well and crappies and gills a must. Gills keep the big fish fed. Might consider the 2nd plan. Also how deep? Do they have constant fresh water? If so how much on a heavy rain? Wouldnt want your pond swept away! Some use a gravel pit to handle run-off. Wouldnt want a neighbor ticked because your flooding him out.
     
  4. theres more to a pond than digging a hole and puting water in. the earth in layers ,will find away to leak out if not done right. mines 2ac . built 30yrs back . never leaked . guy took out the dirt in one pile clay in another . then REpacked the pond with the clay . more to it but if you just dig a hole its gonna leak . don;t put fish in till you get some plant life going . they;ll starve to death.
     
  5. Get a copy of the ODNR pond management guide....it will be a big help. Planning your new pond will be a lot better winter activity than watchiing TV!
     
  6. SO this size is almost pointless, is that what you are saying?
     
  7. Any size pond will if it doesnt leak water, support "x" amout of fish, question is how many would it support. If you wanted all bluegills, would hold a ton of em with a short while before there was a point that you reached maximum carrying capacity. at that point the bluegills would over populate, dwindle down the food supply and then all become stunted. The key here is to figure out the food supply for what specis you want, so if you want bass, you better have plenty of bluegills and stock goldn shiners, if you want cats, better plan on feeding them at least for a while, if you want crappies you better stock plenty of minnows and if you want bluegills, youll ned to make sure the pond has propper spawning habitat and shallows for plant life. All these things must be taken into place to understand how to balance the pond for the types of fishing you want. I once had a neighbor with a pond about 50 feet around, a little backyard pond, it held about a dozen bass between 1-3 lbs and about 50 bluegills and he had 5 channels in it, all real nice ( 6-8 lbs. ) it appeared that is all the pond could support but for many years it was always the same, I might add he got tired of catching the same fish all the time.

    Now if cost wasnt an issue, I definately would go with the bigger and preferably deeper pond site but cost is ALWAYS an issue so youll have to do the best you can.

    Check out the pond website www.pondboss.com and go to the "ask a question" message boards you can find out anything youll ever need there.

    FWIW, I had a pond built over the last 2 years and now am at about 80% full so will be stocking my baitfish early in April and then again stocking the gamefish in early July so the baitfish can spawn at least 1 time before I put all those hungry mouths into it.

    Salmonid
     
  8. Jkeeny,

    Any body of water will have it's limitations on how much biomass it can support. Size/volume is one of the limiting factors. How fertile the water is would be another. Personally I would make the pond as big as the area you have available with how much excavation you can afford. 'Gills are an importatnt food source, as they spawn several times per year and provide YOY for bass and other preds. Everyone has their views on how to manage a pond. I personally wouldn't introduce any cats for the first couple of years. They can be useful to control 'gills or crappie if they get too numerous and the bass can't keep them under control butthey are eating machines. 7 years ago I stocked hybrid 'gills, white crappies, and perch (along with fathead minnows) and no LM bass (have another pond with LM) into mine and they all grew quite well. I also introduce about 15 saugeyes and 6 smallmouth bass as a top of the food chain predator to keep some control over the panfish. Some of the 'eyes and smallies grew very quickly, and some did not. All the panfish grew quite well, especially the perch (Lake Erie size in 3 years) but their numbers seem to have dwindled dramatically...maybe a fav of the toothy critters?

    OSU puts on pondbuilding seminars every winter at many of their branches-great source of info. I say bigger is better. I had lots of room and the right terrain so I went with a pond about 1 1/4 acre. Get references on your potential pond builder. Typically they will dig some "test holes" before breaking ground to check the soil composition and even see if it will naturally hold water or if they will need too "line" the pond with clay. There was a guy doing ponds in my area about 6-8 years ago that screwed alot of people out of alot of $. I still haven't seen a pond he built that will hold water.

    Tim
     
  9. There are plenty of small ponds that do just fine, you won't be able to put the larger numbersof fish in and I would advise against crappie. My pond is about a third of an acre and it has a ton of fish, I feed regularly with floating fish food and twice a year get thirty pounds of minnows. Check with Jones fish near Cincinnati.
     
  10. I have spent many years building ponds. Way too many to count. Where I live now, I have an 1 1/2 acre pond. Its great. I would beware of too small of a pond. However, any size will work to a degree. You just can't build a small pond and expect tons of big bass and cats. The most important thing about building ponds is available water. Too little, you have a frog pond, too much you have a silted in frog pond in a few years. My pond would have had too much water, so I built a head wall with concrete. It has an 8" inlet into the pond and a 24" tile to divert water around the pond. I don't let water in all of the time. I only do it when the grass waterway from the fields is running slow and clear. A great site about ponds is called Pond Boss. They can answer all of your questions.
     
  11. My grandma has a pond on her farm which is small enough to cast completely across from any point on the bank. The largemouth in here got up to 3lbd but no bigger than that, and you would ALWAYS see the bluegill in the shallow side of the pond and about every 10 minutes you would see a swirl in that area.

    I know this probably doesnt help you out much, but small ponds can work, although it's probably better to have a bigger one if maintained right.
     
  12. fished a pond in Medina that you could also cast to the other side. Amazingly held HUGE bass. I am still amazed today at the quality of fish in the water hole...
    7 pounds wasn't uncommon...

    Either way, after reading some prior posts, it just goes to show the info and help that this site produces. I'll probably never have a pond myself, but found all the info given to be a good read.
     
  13. You could put a lot of nice fish in there, but the water is a pretty small body. You might actually need to feed the fish hot dogs or something for them to grow.

    My buddy has a pond that is prolly about 30 ft. wide and 40 ft. long. He has some monster bluegills, medium-large bass, and several cats between 15 and 40 pounds. He throws 5 packs of cut up dogs in there every week, and the fish have really grown. He put in some vegatation and natural hiding places for the fish. But the pond is very deep, and you should dig your pond very deep too.

    Size isn't an issue, what is in it is. I fished a pond last year that had a length of 60X60, and there were no fish in it at all. But I have fished ponds half that size and got some of my biggest fish ever.

    One problem might be the catfish eating bluegills: so when you stock the place, buy/catch the biggest bluegills you can, none of the big cats will eat the super big gills, but the smaller ones will go quickly. Go to my pictures, and you will see what sized bluegills are the best.

    Since it is that small of a body, don't put too many cats in there. That size is better off for gills and bass.

    Your pond can be really good if the fish are fed frequently and have proper water conditions. Go pick up some info about stocking programs or how to maintain ponds.
     
  14. I have about 1/3 acre pond (way smaller than what I would like but it was very expensive and I ran short of $$$). It is about 10' deep at the deepest spot. I have alot of downspout draintile ran to it. It is in great shape. I have a lot of rock, a lot of growth, lots of underwater structure. I do not have a LOT of fish in it but the fish that I do have are HUGE. I have over 20# channels. SEVERAL fish Ohio bluegill about 3 or 4 4# bass and several smaller bass, nice crappie. This only thing I do is make sure that I have plenty of feeders in there. If not, I but from my local hatchery. I have pallets stacked up in it to allow places for the minnows to hide and breed if needed.

    Good luck.
     
  15. ODNR will help you for free. They are worth contacting for the free advice and planning. I am sure you've read it all on hear, but if that's the area you have I think it can work. My buddy built one that size 10 years ago and it has great trout and bass, who would of guessed it would be like it is.

    Good luck, take it slow, and remember the birds bring some non-stocked fish too.

    Rob

    PS - 1 - 8 acre & 1 - 3 acre pond.
     
  16. A 1/10th or 1/8th acre pond is pretty small. If it's 50' wide you will be able to get 8' of deep using 3:1 sloped banks so it is possible. Talk to your county soil and water dept. to see if you have the appropriate water shed and soil type for your pond. Most of the pond "handbooks" you find are for 1/2 acre and larger ponds. Smaller ponds require different management. I would seriously consider using gamefish that do not reproduce or those that have very low reproduction and feeding pellets. Fish that I would consider for this type of plan are hybrid bluegill, hybrid striped bass, and maybe few channel cats. Hybrid stripers and channels can get huge in a small pond when fed and will outperform largemouth in most cases. I would stock fathead minnows several months before adding other fish and add structure they can spawn on. An aeration system should be budgeted into the plan within the first year or two to increase your carrying capacity as the fish grow.

    Feeding is the only option IMHO, keep in mind that an unfed well balanced pond will only support 10lbs of bass per acre.