I live on the outlet of a lake. The bottom near my shoreline is essentially 2 to 3 feet of semi-decomposed organic matter.
I tried using a 3" trash pump and separate fire hose pump as a makeshift dredge. The fire hose loosened and suspended the bottom matter OK, but the suction screen on the trash pump plugged up almost instantly. Removing the screen (there are no rocks) clogged up the trash pump just about as instantly.
I'm looking for alternative ideas. The water isn't very deep - waist high after you sink into the gunk - and the area I want to clear isn't very large. I have a 30 foot dock and I'd be happy just clearing a bit over boat width on either side. I can't get a tractor too close to the water's edge without sinking - about 20 feet. I was thinking of making a scaled down dragline using a 55 gallon drum that I could pull through the stuff with a long chain attached to the tractor. A benefit of having grown male adult children is that I can conscript them into the job of dragging the empty dredge back out into the water to the starting point after dumping the spoils.
This isn't a lot different than dredging a small pond with the exception that I obviously can't drain the body of water. I can afford to be inefficient since it is a small area. Shovels are out of the question if I wish to have a continuing relationship with my kids.
Any fresh ideas out there?