Building your own private pond

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09/21/21 20:46

Topic


23sailfish-Administrator
Building your own private pond
02/23/21 16:34


Has anyone done this or been a part of doing this?

Anyone that knows me knows I don't do things halfway. Before I get carried away, I'm looking for tips/tricks to not waste time, effort, and money. Is there anything you would or wouldn't do again?

-I have the land
-Pond size is about an acre 2-8' deep
-Planning on Bluegill, shellcracker, catfish, mosquito minnows, and eventually bass
-Structure in the pond-how much is too much?
-Will fish readily reproduce or do I need to facilitate this with structure?






"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017

 

Replies ...


23sailfish-Administrator
02/23/21 16:54


August 2020






"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
02/23/21 17:01


The first water started trickling in a few days later. Yes, I have my own island...






"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
02/23/21 17:03




I've put some structure items in the pond, but I'd like to do more for the bluegill/shellcracker/mosquitofish population to help them thrive.






"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
02/23/21 17:11


Some of you have seen this place and some haven't. I had about 20 acres cleared this past summer to make room for and pay for the pond plus a few other upgrades. I had the timber company leave all of my acorn bearing trees. I also plan to plant the rest in pines.

I planted the entire pond area with rye just to protect the soil over the winter. It was beautiful for several months, but is starting to brown up now as we approach the end of February. I've purchased a box blade and plan to really smooth it out as the water dries up, eventually using part of this area as my entry road to the property. Its like quicksand right now. But that's the plan: boxblade to smooth and then plant with grass. Once established, this will be another area I keep cut with the tractor, but I don't want one of those ponds you can't get to. I want the family to be able to get all the way around it and fish where ever they want.











"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
02/23/21 17:20


Now, finally full to the brim thanks to all of that rain recently. My island is completely covered up! It shouldn't stay this way though; it should probably be on average a foot below the top of the island I would imagine.



The deer like it too...


I've placed my fish on order. It seems everyone has an opinion on fish and quantities, but there is no set magical scenario. The fish companies disagree drastically with how many fish per acre DNR states, and then there's the discussion of fertilized vs. non fertilized. Unless you plan on harvesting a bunch of fish, which I don't, you are fine to go non fertilized. I really want a catch and release pond where we eat fish once in a while out of it. I've done a bunch of research and I ended up getting this spring:

400 bluegill
200 shellcracker
200 catfish
500 mosquitofish


Next spring, I'll order 100 largemouth bass. The idea is to give the smaller fish time to establish and reproduce maybe before introducing the top predator in the pond.







"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Edisto Fisher--Staff
02/23/21 17:37


Thats real nice Clark,,,,(said in my best cousin Eddie voice)


Do you have pigs yet?

Why no crappie?

Last years Christmas trees make great structure for establishing panfish.

I have some trophy snapping turtles in my pond, maybe you need a breeding pair?

Ducks would be a nice addition, floating coop for safety. Just my 2cents

Looks great

sman
02/23/21 18:40


Good idea having it clear all the way around,it helps when using a fly rod ,which is my favorite way to fish a pond.You should have made it deeper. I hope those ain’t Arkansas blue cats you puttin in there.Big limestone rocks will help start the food chain.Don’t let it get over populated which is easy to do in a pond that size.
DFreedom
02/23/21 19:31


Man, exotic ski trips, vintage cars and fancy train sets, now a private fishing pond. You live the life most (except Peapod) can only dream of.

As for your pond, SCDNR used to offer guidance, information, etc. on ponds and pond management. Not sure if they still do. I can call a friend if you'd like.

Like many here at CF, I eagerly await the massive 1st ANNUAL CF THROWDOWN at Ricky's pond. I hear Peapod has a new speedo.


"Apathy is the Glove into Which Evil Slips It's Hand", but really, who cares?
7cs
02/23/21 19:32


Thats real nice Clark,,,,(said in my best cousin Eddie voice)


Do you have pigs yet?

Why no crappie?

Last years Christmas trees make great structure for establishing panfish.

I have some trophy snapping turtles in my pond, maybe you need a breeding pair?

Ducks would be a nice addition, floating coop for safety. Just my 2cents

Looks great

Originally posted by HEAD ADMINISTRATOR--Edisto Fisher
PeaPod
02/24/21 22:35


can't hide $$$
23sailfish-Administrator
02/25/21 17:52


DNR still has the pond management information available online and its a great resource.

https://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/aquaff/fishpond.html

There are a couple of deeper holes dug with the excavator, but nothing crazy. DNR says that anything greater than 10' will contribute heavily to oxygen depletion. I plan on installing an aerator, so this shouldn't be a problem, but even so, I didn't want to go against what they said. I'm certainly learning here.

As for the crappie, for my size pond, they are said to take over and overpopulate quickly. They are also in direct competition with bass for food source and I don't want that.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
02/25/21 17:58


This is where I'm getting my fish.






"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
bioguy
02/26/21 17:26


ive seen that flyer before and don't understand why anyone would stock mosquito fish into their pond, especially at that price. you can catch them with a dip net by the hundreds in any creek, swamp, or ditch. These fish will live in an inch of water surrounding your pond and very few will ever get eaten. The bass will forage on the bream and the bream will be eating aquatic bugs and terrestrial insects that make it into the pond.
yea ive tried crappie before and that was a bust. they never grew more then 6" and the few that did grew were super skinny.
oh stay away from anyone trying to sell "hydrids". they were awesome for 2-3 years then when they started reproducing the off spring didn't grow. had to kill off the pond and restock.
keep on top of the aquatic vegetation that grows, it can get out of hand quickly. Starting out with a few grass carp might not be a bad idea.
Fred67
02/26/21 19:14


2 cents. replace your Island tree with a bald cypress, they will grow in water. I'm guessing yours will drown shortly? Border your pond with Cypress about every 20 yards, best thing in the world for keeping your banks from eroding and pretty too. Do not put any ducks in it, unless some small callers. They will scribble all around the edges eroding it and keep your pond muddy. Lime and fertilize it every spring.

I would hold off on Bass on a pond that size, You'll end up with only a few big ones and a bunch of stunted ones and no more Pan fish. Also expect the Channel cats to decimate you Bream and keep the water muddy. I would not do any hybrid fish, unless you stock it regular. Put in a automated feeder.

If you want catfish, I'd recommend Just catfish, feed em heavy and keep what you catch. For Catfish structure some concrete culvert Pipes work well along with some fat lighter stumps. For Bream, the way you have it sloped they will bed no problem.

Looking good. Some Screw Willows are nice, maybe a couple of Tulip poplar trees, Heck, what ever floats your boat! If it dies no big deal, put in something else.

Oh yea, with our Hot summers you can have a pond "turn" especially if it is heavily stocked or has a large algae bloom. You may need some form of aeration . Nothing worse than coming to your pond and seeing a score of dead fish floating... I've looked to several windmills that you can use to pump stagnant Bottom water and re introduce it to the pond aerated. Really good if you don't have a power source for a fountain.
PeaPod
02/28/21 19:10


2 cents. replace your Island tree with a bald cypress, they will grow in water. I'm guessing yours will drown shortly? Border your pond with Cypress about every 20 yards, best thing in the world for keeping your banks from eroding and pretty too. Do not put any ducks in it, unless some small callers. They will scribble all around the edges eroding it and keep your pond muddy. Lime and fertilize it every spring.

I would hold off on Bass on a pond that size, You'll end up with only a few big ones and a bunch of stunted ones and no more Pan fish. Also expect the Channel cats to decimate you Bream and keep the water muddy. I would not do any hybrid fish, unless you stock it regular. Put in a automated feeder.

If you want catfish, I'd recommend Just catfish, feed em heavy and keep what you catch. For Catfish structure some concrete culvert Pipes work well along with some fat lighter stumps. For Bream, the way you have it sloped they will bed no problem.

Looking good. Some Screw Willows are nice, maybe a couple of Tulip poplar trees, Heck, what ever floats your boat! If it dies no big deal, put in something else.

Oh yea, with our Hot summers you can have a pond "turn" especially if it is heavily stocked or has a large algae bloom. You may need some form of aeration . Nothing worse than coming to your pond and seeing a score of dead fish floating... I've looked to several windmills that you can use to pump stagnant Bottom water and re introduce it to the pond aerated. Really good if you don't have a power source for a fountain. Originally posted by Fred67



read this real slow and loud for those in the back.

Fred67
03/01/21 11:14


Just don't look for spelling errors. What was said about crappy, don't put crappy in that pond. Dad and I've tried em and the only pond we have that's done OK with em is one that is really deep and is mostly shaded. Still never caught "slabs" out of it.
23sailfish-Administrator
03/03/21 14:11


ive seen that flyer before and don't understand why anyone would stock mosquito fish into their pond, especially at that price. you can catch them with a dip net by the hundreds in any creek, swamp, or ditch. These fish will live in an inch of water surrounding your pond and very few will ever get eaten.
Originally posted by bioguy


From what I've read, its a good forage fish for the other species in the pond. Is this not true?




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Fred67
03/03/21 14:26


ive seen that flyer before and don't understand why anyone would stock mosquito fish into their pond, especially at that price. you can catch them with a dip net by the hundreds in any creek, swamp, or ditch. These fish will live in an inch of water surrounding your pond and very few will ever get eaten.
Originally posted by bioguy


From what I've read, its a good forage fish for the other species in the pond. Is this not true?




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017Originally posted by 23Sailfish


I might be wrong, but I believe what Bioguy is suggesting is don't buy the minnows. Get em out of several ditches or other ponds. Super easy to catch and if you have kids it can be a fun outing! We used to make some home made nets with an old broom handle, closehanger, and window screen. not perfect but it worked. I had a edge with Dad's ponds having tons of em.

As for forage food, most everything will eat em and they multiply fast. The biggest bream I've ever caught was with a small minnow lip hooked with a #8 long shank golden hook about 28" below a cork. Wish you the best with your pond. You'll have a lot of fun with it.
23sailfish-Administrator
03/08/21 12:57


Understood. I have another source for my mosquito minnows, but I'm going to the above flyer for my catfish and bream.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
03/29/21 11:44


A milestone for sure. Looking forward to this journey and taking care of these fish for the future. There are several hundred mosquitofish in the pond already from local stocking, not to mention a bunch of happy bullfrogs and several turtles that naturally found the pond already. This past Saturday, I got 400 bluegill, 200 Shellcracker and 200 catfish. There might have been 5-6 dead bream when released, but that was it. I was pretty happy about that. From pick up to the pond's edge to acclimate was about 30 minutes.

Next step is the feeder, then an aeration system. The work is never done!










"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Fred67
04/03/21 14:23


Cool deal. You'll have fun with it. I'd work on getting the banks seeded to keep the run off from further mudding the water. aluminum sulfate (alum) will work really quick to clarify it by clumping clay particles but normally you'll have to add some lime to bring the PH back up from it. Get some Gypsum and it will also clear up a pond by binding with clay particles. I'll add in my experience most "cat" fish ponds never really "clear" up due to them constantly stirring up the bottom.

I'm still partial to Cypress trees planted at the water line. IMO they are the best way to keeps banks together and look nice. You can hit up most any swamp area that you see some big ones growing and dig your own little ones. Don't go after anything taller than a foot, they have a tap root to China. They grow down before they grow up .

I'm talking all about clearing the water, but remember you don't want it too clear! Dad and I had a dude from DNR and Clemson look a couple over. They said you only want to see a white rag about 18" down.

Another pretty cool additive is the Blue dye you can buy. I've done it once and it lasted almost a year before petering out.

As your Pond gets established, if you start getting a lot of Vegetation/weed growth you may want to get a couple of sterile asian carp. a couple will do, those things get big.
23sailfish-Administrator
06/07/21 12:10


Got everything smoothed out half way decent. Next step is some grass seed to try to establish something this year. Anyone know where to get one of those Hydroseeders to spray it?





Also purchased the feeder this week. I've been hand feeding them a few times a week and its fun watching the little tiny guys come to the feed.



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"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
poly ball-Upper Management
06/07/21 13:16


For the hydroseeding, call these cats below, known them forever, in your part of the Lowcountry, will do a great job. Your grading looks nice, btw. Wouldn't hurt to find some cattail and let some seed fly in the fall, will make for good structure/cover for bass fishing, I got plenty.

https://www.charlestongreen.net/green-services

Its a little late now, but an overflow structure, or overflow pipe would help big time if you receive an unusual amount of rain. I personally use flashboard risers, but my situation involves greater volumes of water, and I have to be able to drop the level to work or plant anything. An overflow pipe would prevent the water from spilling over the bank and eroding your nice grade work, not to mention will wash away whatever you decide to overseed with.

Those automatic fish feeders are wonderful, but trouble, I ran a Sweeney directional for better part of a year, had to remove it all because of the abundance of osprey and bald eagles. They knew when the timer was going off, and would perch in the trees around every pond and pick off the fish as they surfaced to feed. Now I keep the feed in a trash can with a scoop and throw it to them whenever, to hell with the birds, I like my catfish.

Good luck!

23sailfish-Administrator
06/09/21 11:57


What would stop me from feeding the fish in the dark so that the predators couldn't easily pick them off? As I type this, I'm thinking back to the time a few years ago I saw an osprey pick up about a 14" flounder in a few inches of water. Yes, this could be a problem.

Fake coyote or fake alligator help this situation?

Another guy I know spent a bunch of time, effort, and money on a beautiful Koi pond in his backyard and was so proud of his accomplishment when he was finally able to put fish in. Less than a week later, he came home from work and two egrets were standing in his pond with most of his fish gone. That's enough to tick you off.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
poly ball-Upper Management
06/09/21 13:43


Night feeding is certainly an option, but I enjoyed watching my fish feed, hard to do in the dark.

I reckon a decoy would work for a little while, but when that osprey is sitting in a tree for 3+ hours, and that coyote never moves one inch, day after day, week after week, that osprey will figure it out....
Fred67
06/10/21 10:22


Good advice on the overflow and not too late. Shoot a grade and find your lowest point and cut a small swell with a little rip rap or go even lower and lay a 3-5" pipe. That should be plenty for that size pond.

Looking nice. If you ever want a few Cypress, I'll look around Dad's for some little ones. Hate to say it but I don't think your Island tree will make it with that water level.

23sailfish-Administrator
06/10/21 11:42


If it dies, I was thinking about putting a weeping willow out there. Or does that suck up too much water?




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Fred67
06/11/21 15:11


If it dies, I was thinking about putting a weeping willow out there. Or does that suck up too much water?




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017Originally posted by 23Sailfish-On Probation


They like water, but would not be detrimental to your water level. Dad and I have both tried several species of willow with no success other than the wild non-weeping willow variety. Had a couple of Spiral weeping willows do Ok for a couple years only to die. They are a beautiful tree, but messy and very prone to diseases and fungus infections.

I still think a cypress would be the best then you would ever have to worry about your island eroding away. Cool thing about it, it's your pond and you get to do whatever you Please! smile You'll enjoy it!
PeaPod
06/11/21 17:50


Good advice on the overflow and not too late. Shoot a grade and find your lowest point and cut a small swell with a little rip rap or go even lower and lay a 3-5" pipe. That should be plenty for that size pond.



Originally posted by Fred67


mostly enjoying this thread. can i get a ruling or a translation on Fred's post. reminds me of DaMoons
DoubleN
06/11/21 22:50


DNR still has the pond management information available online and its a great resource.

https://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/aquaff/fishpond.html

There are a couple of deeper holes dug with the excavator, but nothing crazy. DNR says that anything greater than 10' will contribute heavily to oxygen depletion. I plan on installing an aerator, so this shouldn't be a problem, but even so, I didn't want to go against what they said. I'm certainly learning here.

As for the crappie, for my size pond, they are said to take over and overpopulate quickly. They are also in direct competition with bass for food source and I don't want that.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017Originally posted by 23Sailfish-On Probation


Never would have thought that on the depth. Deeper being cooler and holding more oxygen, especially during these hot summers.

Congrats!

NN
Fred67
06/12/21 15:54


Good advice on the overflow and not too late. Shoot a grade and find your lowest point and cut a small swell with a little rip rap or go even lower and lay a 3-5" pipe. That should be plenty for that size pond.



Originally posted by Fred67


mostly enjoying this thread. can i get a ruling or a translation on Fred's post. reminds me of DaMoonsOriginally posted by PeaPod


LOL, thanks for the laugh Pea Pod, I had forgot about "DaMoons" I aint that bad.
Fred67
06/12/21 16:09


On the cypress, if they are planted with out competition they will bush out instead of being tall with a little top. These are about 18 years old. I can dig you a few little ones if you ever want. If you're in Charleston I'd be willing to meet you half way (Jacksonboro or Cottageville?) in exchange for a rooting of that Mighty Fig tree. smile Cool things about planting trees, if you find you don't like were one's at they at least make good bonfire fuel.



And this was a bonus this morning, second cast with a top water plug. This Girl was just shy of 4lb. I need to thin more out.
23sailfish-Administrator
06/14/21 11:56


I'll take you up on that offer Fred. Come out to the house when the figs get ripe and get you a cutting or ten and a bucket of figs. They should start to ripen in the new few weeks. I'm in Ravenel.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
06/14/21 12:04


I set up the fish feeder this weekend and tested it out. Man is it nice. What would we do without technology? Probably have skinny fish! It says it holds 70lbs of feed; that's probably pretty dang close; I put a 50lb bag in and had some room left. The thrower throws the feed nicely about 30' or so, almost hitting the island!

And the automatic timer is super easy to use. I opted for the solar panel trickle charger. I'm done fighting batteries. The battery is like a mower battery. I'm well pleased with the construction of this feeder. Good hardware and sturdy angled legs. I wouldn't have any issues standing on top of this thing if I wanted to. By this time next summer, we'll be having a catfish fry!














And an added Bonus. Some of the bermuda that I spread out several weeks ago, finally started taking off a bit. That area was a test run, now I need to do the whole pond!








"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Bolbie
06/14/21 17:49


You might want to put a clip on that latch securing the top, I've had raccoons climb to the top, undo the clip, and climb in to feast. Wont take them long to figure it out.
23sailfish-Administrator
06/14/21 18:19


Will do; good idea. Up close, it smells like dry dog food, so I'm sure they'll be able to smell it from a distance.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Fred67
06/15/21 17:46


we'll set a time. I looked yesterday and saw a few small ones that didn't get rounduped. close to the water they should be ok to plant pretty much anytime. If they die, I'll get you some more. When are your figs usually ready? Don't need a bucket full, but I'll take a belly full. We quit making jelly and preserves.
23sailfish-Administrator
06/16/21 14:28


I'd say you have a few weeks before they are ripe yet. They are all still green, but getting bigger and the birds have showed up to start to partake.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
23sailfish-Administrator
06/28/21 12:17


Well, the feeder has been operating for two weeks now and the little cats have figured out that's where the food comes from. That was quicker than I anticipated. Running it this past weekend, the 3-4" fingerlings were much more aggressive coming to the surface to swipe the floating pellets. Even the bluegill were hanging on at the pond's edge waiting for the food to go off.

Battery is still fully charged, so I assume the solar panel is working well. I secured the top of the feeder shut with zipties for now; I'll get some sort of locks for it soon.

On a side note, the turtles have found the pond. There are two or three turtles sunning on the island pretty much every time I go out there now. Will they eat the fish? Should I be worried about them at all?




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Edisto Fisher--Staff
06/28/21 13:00




On a side note, the turtles have found the pond. There are two or three turtles sunning on the island pretty much every time I go out there now. Will they eat the fish? Should I be Originally posted by 23sailfish-Administrator



Only the dead ones generally, so no. They eat almost everything else though, mostly frog eggs and tadpoles,,,,some organic stuff too, but the fish are safe
23sailfish-Administrator
07/09/21 12:30


The figs are ripening now. It's going to be an all out war between the birds over the next few weeks.

Fred, let me know.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Fred67
07/09/21 14:45


The figs are ripening now. It's going to be an all out war between the birds over the next few weeks.

Fred, let me know.




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017Originally posted by 23sailfish-Administrator


They just put Dad on Hospice, so a bit sketchy this weekend. Maybe Sat afternoon or sunday mid day? I'll pm you my number if ya wanna give me a call or drop me a pin. Might have to leave a message, I'm in the White Hall area with poor phone service right now, then headed towards Mashawville (probably the worst phone coverage area around here. Ya want any Blueberry's if I have some good shoots? A little late in the year to plant but nothing lost. I might have some crype myertals as well. They might look good around your pond?
23sailfish-Administrator
07/09/21 15:13


Man I'm sorry to hear about that. I know that has to be tough.

Handle your business and I'll be around whenever you have time. No worries. The figs should last for several weeks. And yes, I'd love blueberries! I don't turn down many plants!




"Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality." --Peepod 07-25-2017
Off the chain
07/09/21 15:46


Fred.
There's nothing anyone can say or do to make these times and easier. But we will keep you in our prayers.



You find things offensive.
I find things funny.
That's why I'm happier than you.

22 life's a day
Fred67
07/10/21 15:14


Thanks for the well wishes. Dad had a bad time with Agent Orange. Back in 1981 they said he wouldn't make it 5 years. Well he showed them up. smile. Forget how many stints, two open heart surgeries, both carotid arteries cleaned out.. then the mini strokes started happening... then last year mom had him uptown and he went completely out with major stroke. She was .10 of a mile from hospital and they gave him the tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), Absolute miracle shot. With in seconds of the shot he came out of it. He still has a good mind, just a body unwilling to do much anymore. This Hospice thing is fantastic. Actually have two doctors that go around making house calls not to mention the nurses. It's taken a lot of burden off mom. We Boys have just got her to have a sit in watch dad so she can go out with the ladies in her Church group for some shopping, eating and gossip. smile He's lived a full life and is ready for his reward. Use kids are just not ready to let go...

He still won't talk about it but he was awarded a bronze star with a V device and several purple hearts + a lot more achievements during his 26 year military career.

It was bad when we had to talk him into not driving, then no more tractor or backhoe after several bad (but lucky) incidents, and then the kicker was selling off his cows.

To keep the private pond thing... this was him attempting to do something with one pond 1 1/2 years ago... we still aren't quite sure what he was up to.




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